​​Lakes and Pines Division - Train Collectors Association

​​  Roundhouse Rick’s

RR Ramblings 


Well, well, well, here I am waiting to hear when the new 2018 Lionel catalogs are coming out and all anyone will talk about is Football, Football, Football! ! ! ! ! ! So, the Vikings lost 38 – 7. That big game curse is still active. Now we can stop talking about football. OK, so let’s get onto some train talk. The Woodbury Flea Market was a success with 124 tables sold and at least 250 buyers coming through the doors. The next local train flea market will be the Greater Upper Midwest Train Show & Sale February 3, 2018 from 9AM to 2PM at the Century College, West Campus, 3300 Century Avenue North, White Bear Lake, Minnesota. That’s the show run by our own Tom Jefferson (651-894-2926) and Greg Beckman (651-808-8556). Also on the weekend of February 3 & 4 will be the 21st Annual Arctic Run Model Railroad Show & Sale at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, 1001 Amber Avenue, Stevens Point, Wisconsin from 9AM to 5PM Saturday and 10AM to 3PM on Sunday. This show is sponsored by the Central Wisconsin Model Railroaders Limited. On February 10 & 11, 2018 is the 37th Annual Barron County Model Rail Road Club Show at the Cedar Mall in Rice Lake, Wisconsin from 10AM to 5PM on Saturday and 11AM to 4PM on Sunday. Then on February 17 & 18, 2018 is the 51st Annual Mad City Model Railroad Show & Sale at the Alliant Energy Center, Exhibition Hall in Madison, Wisconsin from 9AM to 5PM Saturday and 9AM to 4PM on Sunday. There is one more event this summer that I should let everyone know about. It’s the International Toy Train Expo, sponsored by Menards at the Chippewa Valley Expo Center, 5150 Old Mill Plaza in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on Saturday and Sunday, July 7 & 8, 2018. Menards is trying to create a show that will someday rival Trainfest. They think Trainfest has become WAY too expensive for families. This show will feature vintage toy trains, collector trains, operating layout, vendors, exhibitors, train dealers, railroad clubs and organization. This show will be presented by Model Train Classics LLC Riverfest Group and Operation Life Saver. YOU can get space at this show for NOTHING. You will pay $25 up front for up to eight tables and when you actually show up, they will give you a $25 Menards gift card. That’s what I know so far. To book your space, call 715- 838-8858. Sounds like a great deal to me. YOU EVER WONDER HOW LIONEL CAME UP WITH POSTWAR ENGINE NUMBERS? Today you have realistic numbers on models but during the postwar era, that number was almost always the same as the manufacturer’s catalog number, but who thought them up? #2332 – the number of Lionel’s first GG-1 model introduced in 1947 – happened to be the engine’s axle arrangement. That set the pattern for the entire remainder of the postwar era. Lionel’s high-end diesels and electrics were numbered in the 2300 series. #520 – a low-end electric manufactured in 1956 – was the roster number of the prototype loco used by a Chilean copper-mining company. To my knowledge this is the only postwar example of Lionel using a real railroad’s cab number as the catalog number. #1862 – the O27 version of Lionel’s General steam locomotive – was the year when Union forces stole the prototype locomotive, precipitating the Great Locomotive Chase. #202 – a lowend Union Pacific ALCO made in 1957 – apparently re-used lettering dies from the much-nicer #2023 from 1950. All subsequent ALCO diesels (with two exceptions in 1969) and 2-4-2 steamers were numbered in the 200 series. #746 – the coveted Norfolk & Western J-class introduced in 1957 – was a logical extension of the #736 Berkshire from which that model was derived. But 746 also just happens to be the number of watts in one horsepower. Can you think of other interesting examples? MTH ELECTRIC TRAINS RELEASES ITS 2018 VOLUME ONE TRAIN CATALOG This year’s volume one catalog has 178 pages. We will start with RailKing steam which operates on O-31 curves. First is the USRA 4-6-2 Pacific in five paint schemes including Milwaukee Road and U.S. Army. A Southern Ps-4 4-6-2 Pacific is shown in three different Southern paint schemes. A 2-8- 4 Berkshire comes in five paint schemes. Their 4-6-0 Ten Wheeler is available in six paint schemes. RailKing switcher diesels operate on O-27 curves while larger diesels operate on O-31 curves. The EMD SW1200 cow and calf sets come in four liveries including Wisconsin Central. The EMD SW9 cow and calf sets come in four schemes. The EMD SD70Ace diesel comes in three different demonstrator paint jobs plus the George Bush 41, CN and WP. FM Trainmasters return in five paint schemes including Milwaukee Road. The EMD E3 AA Sets come in five roadnames including Union Pacific and Rock Island. A B-unit is also available. An ALCO RSD-5 is available in five roadnames including Chicago & North Western. ALCO FA-2 AA Sets come in five roadnames including Union Pacific and a very sharp Great Northern. A B-unit is also available. After the diesels they show Brill Semi-Convertible Trolleys, RDC Budd-Car Sets, Chicago 6000-Series “L” and New York R62 Subway sets. Now let’s visit their Premier offerings. First is the UP 4-8-8-4 Big Boy Preservation Series with engines in six roadnumbers, featuring cab numbers from all existing Big Boys currently on display in museums around the United States. The GS-4 4-8-4 Northern is available in four different Southern Pacific numbers plus an American Freedom Train version. These are followed by a 2-8-8-8-2 Triplex, an N&W Class A 2-6-6-4, a Southern Ps-4 4-6-2 Pacific, 4-6-0 G-5s, and the SP AC-6 2-8-8-2 Cab Forward. The EMD GP9 diesel comes in six paint schemes including Soo Line. A GE U30C comes in six paint schemes including Burlington and Chicago & North Western. These are followed by GE Dash 8-40BW, AEM-7 and GE ES44DC locomotives. MTH’s cute, accurately proportioned GE 44- Tonner comes out in eight liveries. The ALCO S-2 come in six schemes including Great Northern and Union Pacific. An ALCO-GE-Ingersoll Rand Box Cab is available in seven roadnames including Chicago & North Western. Next is a P2 Box Cab with a 2-C+C-2 wheel arrangement. The EMD GP38-2 locomotive comes in four schemes including a special Burlington Northern decoration. The last Premier diesel offered is an EMD F3 in three paint schemes including Chicago Great Western, which is a railroad seldom covered by the toy train manufacturers. That concludes the locomotive catagories. There are twenty pages of their 2018 European Lineup. Of course there are lots of freight cars for both RailKing and Premier lines. In RailKing, a car that stood out for me was a Duluth Missabe & Iron Range 4-Bay Cylindrical Hopper featuring a map of the Missabe railroad. RailKing passenger car sets include Overton sets, Madison Car sets, including a set in Milwaukee Road, Streamlined Passenger car sets. In the Premier line-up, there are some Auxiliary Water Tenders for some of their steam engines. There are streamlined passenger car sets for Southern Pacific, Denver Rio Grande, Chesapeake & Ohio and Amtrak. There are also some heavyweight Madison passenger cars for Chicago Great Western, New York Central and a few other miscellaneous Madison cars. Pick yourself up a catalog to look at all the other freight cars. That pretty much covers MTH. Now bring on the 2018 Lionel catalogs. Our February Lakes & Pines meeting is February 11th at the John P Murzyn Hall. On Saturday night, February 24th, there will be Minnesota Independent Wrestling at Murzyn Hall at 7PM. Hey, Roundhouse Rick may be there as Razzlin’ Rick to enjoy all the carnage. Lakes & Pines Open Meet will be on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Well, that wraps up my February Roundhouse Rick’s RR Ramblings.