Lakes and Pines Division - Train Collectors Association
Roundhouse Rick’s RR Ramblings
Email Rick at Rick@usjet.net
Lakes & Pines Web address is www.tcalakesandpines.com
I guess that’s quite an accomplishment. 130 of my Ramblings. Anyone want to challenge me?
At our Open Meet in November, I finally found the one engine that I have been looking for my entire
collecting life. It had to be in very good to excellent condition. Good paint and no rust. I found it. It’s
not an expensive engine. It’s just a Lionel Missouri Pacific Alco A-A #205. That’s the train my daddy
bought for me in 1957, when I was 10 years old. Besides the engine, there were two short metal
flatcars, one with logs and one with pipes. The set also came with a short gondola with canisters,
plus a crane car and crane caboose. Daddy thought I’d like the crane, which I did. In later years he
got me an LW transformer, the operating cop and hobo gondola, and the #68 Inspection Car. I have
an example of the gondola and I have the Lionel remake of the Inspection Car. I’m all set to play
There are a couple train shows coming up at the beginning of December. The North Metro Model
Railroad Club presents its Railroad Flea Market & Open House on Saturday, December 1
st at the Coon Rapids VFW Building, 1919 Coon Rapids Boulevard in Coon Rapids from 9AM to 2PM. You
can also get a look at their HUGE HO layout that depicts the BNSF (and it’s predecessors) from
Minneapolis Junction to Staples as well as to Duluth.
Albert Lea Area’s Original 23rd Annual Model Railroad Show and Swap Meet will be Saturday,
December 1st from 9AM to 4PM and Sunday, December 2nd from 10AM to 3PM at the National Guard
Armory, 410 Prospect Avenue, Albert Lea, Minnesota. There will be operating layouts in several
Sunday, December 9th will be our own holiday party at the John P Murzyn Hall. There will be some
tables on the south side of the room for members who wish to sell some trains. The rest of the hall
will be set up with round tables for our party and plenty of delicious food. Lakes & Pines will provide a
main course, chips, pop and water. Members can bring a food item or dessert to share. I will bring a
tin of krumkake. The food will be served about 12:30PM. There will be door prizes to be given away
and if you would like to contribute a doorprize, bring it along and place it on the stage. Ira Levin will
be there to sell $5 chances to win an Angela Trotter Thomas print, donated to Lakes & Pines in
Judy’s honor. The print will be awarded to one lucky person on December 9th. All proceeds of the $5
chances will go to Lakes & Pines. Thank-you very much Ira.
Also on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will be making it’s way
through Minnesota. On Sunday, December 9th, the train will stop in Winona at 4PM, Wabasha at
6PM and Hastings at 8:30PM. On Monday, December 10th, the train will stop in Cottage Grove at
5:15PM and the St Paul Union Depot at 6:45PM. On Tuesday, December 11th , the train will stop in
New Hope at 3:35PM, Golden Valley at 4:50PM and St Louis Park at 6PM and Lions Park in
Minneapolis at 7:55PM. At all of these stops you can bring donations of non-perishable food items
which will be given to local food shelves. Gee, I hope the weather won’t be too cold. The train,
covered with lights, is really a spectacle to see.
HEY, IT’S DECEMBER, AND THAT MEANS CHRISTMAS. WHO’S ON YOUR
Roundhouse Rick has some ideas. If you are looking for a train store in the Twin Cities with a large
amount of Lionel and other 3 rail trains, check out my favorite store, Scale Model Supplies, 458 North
Lexington Parkway in St Paul. It’s about two blocks north of I-94, on the Lexington exit. It’s one half
block south of University on the east side of the street. They have lots of Lionel plus lots of previously
owned Lionel. They also have the new Kalmbach all-new special issue from Classic Toy Trains titled
“Christmas and Electric Trains”. The magazine recalls the joys of Christmases past through holiday-
themed layouts, iconic store displays, spectacular train sets and readers’ memories. It’s 100 pages of
heartwarming holiday memories. There’s a six page article on Marx trains for Christmas. If you
couldn’t afford a Lionel, you could certainly afford a Marx. Just ask Al Osterud. $12.99.
Have you been to a Menards store in the last couple years. Menards has entered the toy train
business in a big way. Everyone seems to be asking, “Who makes Menards trains?” The boxcars
look like Williams but WBB/Bachmann has gone on record saying that they (& Kader/Sanda Kan)
have nothing to do with the Menards cars and did not manufacture them. Menards cars are Chinese
clones of Williams made by a company called Golden Wheel Die Cast. The cars are made of resin,
not plastic. Look up the difference between resin and plastic on the internet. Plastic is tougher but
for the price Menards is charging, I can live with resin. I have a number of Menards cars including a
set of 14-3/4” flatcars lettered for Chicago & NorthWestern. These sharp flatcars have a wood
composite, laser cut deck and they include 32 stakes to secure whatever load I wish to haul.
Menards is selling a catalog for $.99 cents. Cars sell for $19.99 to $39.99. I have a Military Flatcar
w/Generator that features two battery operated floodlights. The generator on the car is really an
impressive model. Besides selling flatcars with all kinds of loads, they have boxcars, hoppers,
gondolas and tank cars. Their selection of military cars are second to none. And did you know that
Lionel no longer manufactures tubular track? Menards does and they offer O-gauge straights plus
curves in 6 diameters. They also make a 10-inch straight that mates with Lionel FasTrack. And have
you seen their buildings and accessories? The latest one is a UFO scene where Martians are trying
to beam up a farmer’s cow into their spaceship and the farmer is trying to pull his cow back to safety.
Menards Nuclear Power Facility is an eye-catcher with its red revolving lights. Many of the buildings
are complimented with numerous LED lights. Menards even has a Red Owl Grocery Store, for those
of you who are nostalgic. Besides all the O-gauge buildings, they also offer a selection of HO scaled
buildings. Check out your Menards store.
MTH RELEASES ITS 2019 VOLUME ONE CATALOG JUST IN TIME FOR
At 178 pages, I certainly don’t have enough room here to go into too much detail about the catalog. I
will touch on a few of the local roadname items. I don’t consider Union Pacific a local roadname.
There’s a Great Northern 4-6-4 Imperial Hudson for $479.95. There’s a Burlington E8 A-A diesel with
a non-powered B-Unit available, all with a stainless plated body finish. There’s a Northern Pacific F3
A-B-A in the passenger two-tone green paint scheme. There are eight 60’ streamlined passenger
cars available to go with that engine. There’s a Northstar F59PHI with the road number 504. In the
MTH Premier Diesel line is a Chicago & NorthWestern Dash-9. Also available is a Green Bay &
Western RS-11 High Hood diesel. To round off any engines with a local roadname, there is the
Milwaukee Road EP-2 Bi-Polar in five different paint schemes. These engines have diecast metal
bodies and the price tag is $799.95. Also in Milwaukee Road are both 70’ Madison Heavyweight
Passenger cars and 70’ Streamlined Passenger Cars. That’s about all I can tell you about this
OK, let’s everyone get ready for our holiday party. Remember, if you can contribute a door-prize,
bring it along and place it on the stage. Bring goodies too. I’ll see you December 9th.