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 The Roundhouse
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What's New?

Happenings, updates & news within the site


Bigger trains .. bigger curves ...

We have done some big reconstruction of the layout.  Mainly it is the removal of the double loop on the main table.  Check out the Photo Gallery for new pictures of the progress.  The curves tended to be a little tight for the larger trains that we have started to run.  With this we have revamped the track plan for that area.  Giving a cleaning and smoother look to the area.  It looks like all of this will blend more easily.  Strawberry mountain is still going to be a part of the layout.  It has just moved to the corner to give the back wall the look of foothills and mountains.


Weathering and building ...

Dave continues to move forward on his layout.  New pictures of his progress in the Photo Gallery.  I have actually gotten a little bit of time to help him.  It is truly amazing on how quickly his bench work is coming along with the lessons learned from the HO layout.  I have started to weather the Roundhouse for the HO layout.  take a peak at the pictures in the Photo Gallery along with a write up on putting on the undercoat on our Tips & Tricks page.


David's N-scale Layout ...

Even  though I have been wrapped up in fishing and trying to get back in the swing of things, David has made a strong push on getting his N-Scale layout bench work in place.  Take a look at his pics in the Photo Gallery.  Excellent job and just wait until you hear of the techniques he used in building the fine bench work.


Been Fishing!

The summer got away from us a little as we took up bass fishing and that took up all of our time it seems.  Now with the weather turning and the days now becoming painfully shorter we are getting ourselves back into the train room.  First priority is to clean and get trains running.  Then my next task is to get the grizzly Gulch bridge functional so that we have a completed long loop.  Come back soon as we will be getting firebox filled and the steam rolling!


Beacons and track ...

We have added to the Tried and True as I begin the installations of rotary beacons on some of my SOO motive power.  David continues to relay track in the Grain & Freight Distribution area of the layout.  We are still working to move the old forum to the new location.  I hope some will join so we can get this to be a viable forum.  Also there will be a new addition to the SOO Line fleet as I am awaiting the arrival of my first U-boat ... a U30C phase II.  I will post pictures once it finds my doorstep.


Forum maintenance ...

David was going through the Forum yesterday and noticed that the advertising was of something that we do not support.  I am not going to get into the details but I am now in the process of moving the forum to a new location.  I have the basis of the new forum setup and will move what posts I can over to the new location.  Thanks for your patience in this.  we are more comfortable with the place that is now housing our forum.  It is true ... free is not always good.


The weekend ...

I spent a good piece of Saturday at the local train show.  It was by far the best one I have attended as of late.  In fact i could have easily spent the entire day there.  I picked up a few rock Island covered hoppers, a Rock Island train ticket from the 1950s and an Athearn Rock Island pickup truck.    I also attended a few demonstrations on painting rocks, building trees and painting backgrounds.  now for the layout we did get the walls back up and now have sky blue around the layout.  i also did a little work on the bridge and am hoping to do a little more tonight.  So check back for updates.   The Photo Gallery has new pictures. Thanks for visiting!


Final coat, a consist and to flash or not to flash ...

We put the final coat of sky blue on the removable walls and they are now drying, hopefully to be put back up by tomorrow.  I worked a little with pictures last night as I was not happy with how the pictures of my SOO engines turned out.  What a difference not using the flash does.  As I was finishing up the pictures and waiting for paint to dry, I decided to try my hand at getting the two engines to work as a consist.  My first attempt is a success!  I need to tweak the speed tables a bit but all in all I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  Look at our Photo Gallery to see the new pictures.  Also visit our Blog and Forum.  Thanks and look for continued updates!


Painting continues ...

With a small break in the weather we were able to work on finishing the removable walls around the layout.  As the layout is nestled within the garage we put up removable walls so that access panels are not really needed.  This will help in holding the heat in and keeping some of the dust out.  I have also posted a couple pictures of my two newest SOO diesels.  Make sure you take a peek at our Photo Gallery and swing by our Blog as well.  I would invite all to join our open forum.  Thanks and visit again soon!


Bridge deck installed ...

The weather lately has been .. well lets just say crazy.  The temps have been 10 degrees below normal and we had snow over the weekend.  All of this made it just a tad chilly in the train room.   But trying to remember to work smarter not harder, I moved the bridge upstairs to the dining room and worked on it at the table (Please see the Blog for more information).  I have also posted pictures of the progress thus far in the Gallery.  The base coat is now dry in the new grain / freight area so we should be adding the roadbed down soon.  David is trying a different approach on the roadbed instead of the cork.  We will post a write in the reviews section once it is finished.


Progress is made ...

Over the last week some progress especially with wiring (Please see the Blog for more information) was accomplished.  I worked on using Decoder Pro to program the new GP38-2 and also the SD60 that seemed to want to give me fits with a rapid start.  After some research and help from fellow modelers I was able to determine that CV2 was set at 160 instead of 0 as it should have been.  I reset the decoder by setting CV8 to 33 (It is a Lenz Silver MP decoder) and reconfigured the speed table now the big diesel runs like a champ.  I am getting a little motor hum from it but I think I can tweak the motor type to quiet that down.  I am working on photos this weekend to show all the things that are happening as the grain area track has been pulled in anticipation for a new plan.


Into the weekend ...

As with each weekend I look to it with great anticipation.  But with that will anything really get accomplished?  I did receive an addition to my SOO Line motive power ... an Atlas Trainman GP38-2.  Now looking at the Athearn Bluebox GP38-2 from almost 20 years ago now, it almost looks toy like.  I am replacing the handrails and plan on adding some details to the two can work together pushing the grain cars from along the route.  The bridge deck for Old Grizzly gulch is now painted and is on the list to be put together and installed.  As the bridge is the one thing holding up operation around the whole loop.  I will be creating an imagine of the track plan so that you can see a little more what I am referring to. 


New pictures posted ...

Check out the Photo Gallery as we have posted 18 new pictures showing some of the progress made.  From the installation of new walls to the placement of the fueling facility.


Dusting off the site ...

It has been a long time .. a very long time since we have posted updates to the site.  We will be working a schedule that will show the updates at a more frequent schedule.  Not the 6 months between updates like it seems it was.  We will be starting at a minimum to post updates once a week.  As we get this site updated and brought back to were it needs to be we should be posting changes more often so please come back and see what is new.   There has been great changes on the layout.  As the layout rests within the 2 car garage, it has now been modified with walls and a door.  this gives the layout a better feel and will allow scenery to flow better instead of being lost as you gaze out the garage door.  We have also done much work on creating power districts, short protection and documenting the layout using the Atlas RightTrack software.  I have also purchased a Digitrax MS100 computer interface adapter to allow access to the layout and DCC modules via laptop.  There has been some discussion between the two of us on track plans for the Grain area and the Lumber area which I will give updates on as well.  Below is our first attempts at a logo for our railroad ...




Having returned ...

I apologize that we have been away for the last few days.  Both my computer and life decided they were a little more important of my time.  Check out this link, shaky as it may be of us actually running trains ... Trains Running.  I have also added pics of my initial process of stripping paint from a test car and then my GP40.


Up and coming ...

Both the Weathering System and the Rusty Rails system arrived in the mail and we will begin reviewing them soon.  I have also updated the Blog to a more eye pleasing format as well as added rearranging the topics within the forum.  It is an open forum so please stop by and join.  I also received my Western Maryland GP40 that I will be converting to a Tacoma Rail GP40.  I have posted pictures of the GP40 before the transformation as well as a picture of the Tacoma Rail engine I am modeling.  I am excited about seeing an engine that I have created.  The short was found and I did run a train, my Rock Island RS-1 pushing a CNW boxcar.


Reviews ...

We will be reviewing the Weathering System offered by Bragdon Enterprises, the manufacturers of Geodesic Foam and will offer our review soon.  Also, we have ordered the Rusty Rails Painter system from Joe's Model Trains to help in painting the rails a more prototypical look and have been given the okay to post our review of their system as well.  As we try these different approaches some may say that it isn't the way it has been done for all of these years.  My thought is always ... "Work smarter not harder".


Web Updates ...

I have updated the Contact Us page with new contact email addresses for both David and I.  Also we have added the Digitrax link to our Tried & True page as well as a beginning write-up on our DCC on the Tips & Tricks page.


Geodesic Foam update ...

Visit our Tips & Tricks for tips from Joel at Bragdon Enterprises after he read the review.  We have our first member of The Roundhouse Forum.  Congratulations Jake and we hope you will enjoy your stay.


Listed on ...

We have been listed on the What's New section of, which has given us a boost on visitors.  Thanks to Steve Grande of  Also check out the new review of the Rubber Rock molds by Bragdon Enterprises. 

A link to the Tacoma Northwestern railroad club was added under Tried & True.  This is the local railroad club we have been visiting as of late.  Drop us an email at or, leave a comment on our blog or join our forum.  Thanks for stopping by and we look forward in hearing from you.


An updating we will go ...

So we have done a bit of updating today.  Mainly to help the flow of the website a little better.  Also we now have the Blog and Forum pages functional so stop by the blog and leave a note on how we are doing and feel free to join the forums.  Though both are small to start the site and its viewers is only growing with each day.  Thanks for visiting.


Reviews and Links ...

We have posted our review of the Geodesic Foam by Bragdon Enterprises.  Please check out the Review page for more details.  We have included a link to their site along with a link to our favorite train store, Online Trains.  Another change to the site includes a revamped Blog page. 


The Roundhouse Forum ...

We will be soon review the Geodesic Foam product by Bragdon Enterprises.  Click on the Reviews link for more information.  We have now created also a forum for us all to share our thoughts, ideas, experiences and ramblings.  Check out The Roundhouse ForumAlso we have been adding to the Tips and Tricks page.  So take a peek around as the site grows.


The Photo Gallery begins ...

A new link for the Photo Gallery has been added to document the J&C Railroad.  Check back often as pictures will be added to the growing gallery.


The Roundhouse opens ...

The Roundhouse opens its doors as it offers the beginning modeler and hopefully the experienced as well a new look at process and the applications of methods during our quest of building the J&C Railroad.





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