Thursday, March 23, 2017

Kirkland Train Show Loot

This past weekend was the NMRA Division 5 Model Train Show in Kirkland, OH. Brendan and I braved the fog and snow (snog?) and went in search of very specific items. I was looking strictly for DCC decoders and Brendan has picked up a big interest in Amtrak and was looking for cars to replicate today's version of the Capitol Limited. While at the show we ran in to Jeff Lesile, who runs the Crooked River Rails blog. We walked around together as Brendan hunted for Amtrak Superliner cars. Even though Jeff had already picked up a few items, I tried to get him to spend his money on anything Pennsy I found for him. I almost succeeded at one table but the seller didn't take AMEX.

Brendan found a WalthersProto Budd Hi-level car in an older Amtrak paint scheme. With his money burning a hole in his pocket it was close enough. Forty bucks for a lighted Walthers passenger car seemed like a good deal to both of us. Only problem is that now Brendan has a need for a few more Amtrak cars and an engine to match. He'll have to save his pennies...

Amtrak in Adena? Only when Brendan's trains rule the rails.
My plan was to buy a few basic decoders to quickly get a few engines DCC equipped and a speaker for Brendan's soon to be sound equipped W&LE 2-6-6-2. I found my items at a vendor that always attends the Kirkland and Berea shows. If you've ever been to these shows, he usually has a HO scale NKP Berkshire busily chuffing away, but sadly it wasn't there this year. I ended up buying 3 Soundtraxx mobile decoders and a 23mm high bass speaker I intended, no more no less. I've had good experiences with the Soundtraxx mobile decoder, it's pretty much a Tsunami with all the features but no sound and at $19 each was a good deal.

We also visited the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society's table to chat with Howie Spiedel, Bruce Blonder and Dan Merkel (who also runs a blog called Along the Right of Way). I was tempted to buy one of the new Accurail 36' Boxcars lettered for NKP, but I decided to wait until the Society's special run MoW version is released and order both from the web store.

I was so close to sticking to my train show purchase plans but was derailed by a pair of Bowser PRR H-21 hoppers for $15 as we were heading out the door. Almost all the photos of Wheeling District coal trains I have seem to include a Pennsylvania H-21 hopper, so it can't hurt to have a few more.

My train show haul.
In all it was a good time meeting friends and helping my son find the first piece in what I'm sure will eventually be the first passenger train through Adena in 80+ years.


  1. Chris,

    Could Brendan's Superliner fit through either the Adena or the Long Run tunnels? Regardless, seeing nice rolling stock rolling thru your finished scenery will keep any "prototype police" at bay.

    BTW, I only bought 1 item at the show. Railroad Prototype Cyclopedia with 50 ton single sheathed boxcars.

    Enjoying the progress and development on the Adena Branch!

  2. Thanks Tim, I knew from the start, regardless of prototype dimensions, any tunnels or clearance items would have to fit modern equipment. My test car is one of Brendan's Double Stack cars as seen in one of my posts about Pine valley Yard.

    That's a pretty specific book Tim, I'll have to take a look at it sometime!

  3. Chris,

    I also have a RPC volume with LOTS of 55 ton hopper car pictures and information, including NKP and W&LE. Will have to have you and Brendan over soon so you can take a look.