The City Edge Layout Model Railroad with amazing Miniature Cars in HO scale

Before you read any further have a look at this blog from a while ago about Minatur Wunderland – the worlds larges HO layout. Now have a look at this blog about the automated road system you saw in first two vids,

A recent visitor told me that the The City Edge Layout Model Railroad  created and built by Vic Smith also has automated vehicular traffic. The layout is located near Lambert International Airport in Bridgeton, Mo, a suburb of St. Louis. Featuring street running and Kato’s Amtrak night running scenes along with Broadway’s Union Pacific AC6000’s transporting Athearn and Intermountain double stack units across the city’s elevated rail structure by Micro Engineering. Along with a nostalgic trip of Broadway Limited Santa Fe’s War Bonnet F7’s pulling a set of lighted California Zephyr cars while a trio of NW2 switcher engines carefully perform some street running down Market Street. This layout runs a variety of trains and rolling stock from many different eras for a wide range of entertainment for layout visitors. This 10 minute vid shows you the layout:

This vid shows the automated street traffic.

Amazing stuff what!

Galloping Goose (Geese?) Railcars owned by the RGS (Rio Grande Southern Raiload)

We, the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Navigation Co.. own two. One is G Scale and runs on our layout. The other is an HO model and resides in our Museum/Library. The Galloping Geese have a fascinating story to tell:

Galloping Goose is the popular name given to a series of seven railcars (officially designated as “motors” by the railroad), built in the 1930s by the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) and operated until the end of service on the line in the early 1950s. Originally running steam locomotives on narrow gauge railways, the perpetually struggling RGS developed the first of the “geese” as a way to stave off bankruptcy and keep its contract to run mail into towns in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. There was not enough passenger or cargo income to justify continuing the expensive steam train service at then-current levels, but it was believed that a downsized railway would return to profitability. The steam trains would transport heavy cargo and peak passenger loads, but motors would handle lighter loads.

Motors were not only less expensive to operate, but were also significantly lighter, thus reducing impact on the rails and roadbeds. This cost saving meant that the first Goose was paid off and making a profit within three weeks of going into service. RGS built more Geese, and operated them until the company abandoned their right-of-way in 1952.

The RGS built its first motor in 1913, as a track maintenance crew vehicle. This was wrecked in 1925, but inspired the idea of using motors for scheduled service.

All of the “geese” were built in the railroad’s shops at Ridgway, Colorado. The first was built in 1931 from the body of a Buick “Master Six” four-door sedan. It was more conventional in its construction than the later geese, though it had a two-axle truck in place of the front axle. Part of the rear of the car was replaced by a truck stake-bed for carrying freight and mail; this was later enclosed and partially fitted with seating. It was used for two years to carry passengers, US Mail, and light freight before being scrapped.

US mail Galloping Goose

US mail Galloping Goose

A second “goose” was built in the same year from another Buick, but later versions used Pierce-Arrow bodies except for #6, which was constructed partly out of parts taken from the scrapped #1.

No. 2 and No. 6 were constructed with two trucks, with the rear truck powered on both axles. #2 had an enclosed freight compartment (like a very short boxcar), while #6 had an open bed similar to #1 (but larger). It was used only for work train service. The other four had three trucks and were articulated in the same manner as a tractor-trailer truck. In these, the second truck was powered, and the freight compartment was essentially a conventional boxcar.

Initially, the “geese” were painted in black and dark green. In 1935 they were all painted in a silver scheme which they retain to this day, though the style of lettering and heralds changed over the years. In 1945, #3, #4, and #5 were rebuilt with Wayne bus bodies (at least the front half) replacing the old Pierce-Arrow bodies. This provided more passenger seating and comfort. A year later they also received new war surplus GMC engines.

Crews taking up the narrow-gauge rails the Geese ran on, September 1952. In 1950, when the railroad finally lost its mail contract (in favor of highway mail carriers), #3, #4, #5, and #7 were converted for tourist operations, and the “Galloping Goose” name was officially recognized by the railroad. Large windows were cut in the sides of the freight compartments, and seating was added. A figure of a running goose and the words “Galloping Goose” were added to the carbody doors. This service lasted only two years, and the last work of the “geese” on their home line was to take up the rails.

It is unclear exactly where the name “Galloping Goose” comes from. It is mostly commonly suggested that it referred to the way the carbody and the freight compartment tended to rock back and forth on the line’s sometimes precarious track. It is also suggested, though, that the name arose because the “geese” were equipped with air horns rather than the whistles of the steam locomotives. The name was used informally for years before the tourist operations, though the railroad officially referred to the units as “motors”.

A similar unit was built for the San Cristobal Railroad, and was rebuilt by RGS in 1934–35. When the San Christobal folded in 1939, this unit was returned to the RGS railroad and dismantled, with some parts going to rebuild and maintain Goose No. 2.

After a fair amount of searching I’ve managed to assemble pics of Number 2 through 7.

Galloping Goose Number 2

Galloping Goose Number 2

Galloping Goose Number 3

Galloping Goose Number 3

Galloping Goose Number 4

Galloping Goose Number 4

Galloping Goose Number 5

Galloping Goose Number 5

Galloping Goose Number 6

Galloping Goose Number 6

Galloping Goose Number 7

Galloping Goose Number 7

Come to our layout and watch one run.

Dumont Museum O Scale Train Layout. Sigourney, Iowa

Ever been to Sigourney? I have never been there and ruefully admit that I have never heard of it. I did apologise to a couple from Sigourney who came to visit our layout for my ignorance. They told me of this O scale layout and I have found a video of it – see below.

What little I know is this:

The main layout measures approximately 50 by 90 feet. The layout features MTH DCS and Lionel Legacy systems and an extensive amount of animated scenes. All the scenes were built by Lyle Dumont. While this vid covers but a small portion of the layout it does cover quite a bit of it. The layout is capable of running over a dozen trains at the same time.
Sorry, I can’t get the link to work – please cut and paste to see.
For O scalers I think a visit to this layout would be a treat.

The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad at Vasona Park – 18″ gauge Live Steam in Los Gatos, CA

I lived in Montreal when I first came to North America in 1968. Alas, I have not been back for many a moon. My daughters, Annalise and Holly, have visited and had a great time. All of this I told to two Quebecois who came to visit our layout here in Fort Bragg, CA. The visitors were making their first visit to California. They had foregone LA and traveled north along the Pacific Coast. Despite the cold weather and rain they had a delightful time. Until they reached Fort Bragg the highlight of the trip had been a steam train ride their Californian relatives had taken them to in Los Gatos.

A very quick search on the ‘net turned up this info and video about the railroad:

William “Billy” Jones’ railroad began in 1939, when as a regular engineer on the Coast Daylight run, he spotted a derelict miniature locomotive in a scrap yard during a layover in San Francisco. Purchasing it for the princely sum of $100, he moved it back to his prune orchard on Daves Avenue in Los Gatos. That locomotive turned out to be Venice Miniature Railway #2, formerly operated in Venice Beach, CA. during the heydey of Abbot Kinney’s artist-community development on the beachfront west of Los Angeles. Designed by John Coit and built by the Johnson Machine Works of Los Angeles in 1905, the now over 100 year old locomotive has hauled thousands if not millions of happy children and adults over its long career. Billy Jones operated the 18″ gauge 2-6-2 “Prairie” type locomotive on a loop around his orchard from 1942 to 1967, always for free, to the delight of local kids and families.

Billy Jones passed away after a brief battle with leukemia, and in 1968 local volunteers began planning to rescue the equipment and re-locate it to a new home at Vasona and Oak Meadow Parks. The Wildcat began operations at Vasona Park in July of 1969 and has been open to the public ever since. The railroad now also has a second, larger steam locomotive and a diesel locomotive to help the aging two-spot with its duties. This footage was shot in 2006 shortly after the #2 received a new boiler. The original scotch ‘marine’ boiler is on display in front of the engine house. The logo seen at the beginning was designed by Disney animator Ward Kimball.”

Thanks for the heads up guys – I’ve added this one to my bucket list.

Scarborough North Bay Miniature Railway in North Yorkshire, England

The last time I was in Scarborough there was a howling gale. The English couple I talked to at our layout assured me that the weather had improved since my last visit some fifty years ago!

The couple told me that when I visited I missed my chance to ride the North Bay Railway from Scalby Mills to Peasholm Park and back again. This is a 20″ guage miniature railway, built in 1931 with 4 steam outline diesel locomotives, Poseidon, Robin Hood, Triton and Neptune,which run 7/8 mile. along the North Bay area of Scarborough in North Yorkshire, England.

Here’s the rather long vid they recommended.

I told the couple I would DEFINITELY take a ride the next time I was in Scarborough.