Kalamazoo Toy Train Wheel Block Failures

Over time the wheel block gears on the G-Scale Kalamazoo Toy Train Steam Locomotives fail.  The issue is that there is a plastic gear attached to the drive shaft for the wheels.  Over time the plastic gear wears out. Kalamazoo Toy Trains went out of business a long time ago and only used locomotives are…

Bench Testing Locomotives

During the early years of the layout, I programed the DCC decoders during installation into the locomotives.  I then used my outdoor layout to program the trains after they have been modified.  This caused me to waste a lot of time and I would have sometimes have programming issues with the locomotives, had to have…

How Papa gets everything done !

One of the most asked questions when I tell and show people my garden railroad train layout in my back yard is how do I get everything done ?  I was able to make the layout initially while running Mr. Handyman and Behnke Inc.  I was flying back and forth between Michigan and Georgia.  In…

Garden Railroad Outdoor Mountains v2.0

Garden Railroad Outdoor Mountains v2.0 3 years ago we built the outdoor mountains.  See my post https://papacarney.com/2017/01/12/building-mountains/ and https://papacarney.com/2017/04/20/mountains-finished/  3 years later, the mountain  is showing some wear and tear.  Several issues have surfaced since we built it Cracks are showing up at certain stress points. We have walked on parts of the mountain and…

Aristocraft GE U25B Wheel Block Replacement

One of the major problems with the Aristocraft G-Scale locomotives is the wheel blocks. Specifically the U25B, FA-1, and FB-1. The wheels themselves were chrome plated and over time the chrome plating peels off causing electrical pick up issues.  In addition the wheels are not wired directly into the pickup, the ends of the wheel…

Solar / Tree Shade Cover

One of the biggest problem for an outdoor layout is the constant cleaning of debris off of the tracks.  When I envisioned the outdoor layout, I knew that I would be cleaning off leaves in the fall but I didn’t imagine having to clean the layout every 2 months through the year as pollen, seeds,…

Getting ready for the train open house

I scheduled an open house this past May as a part of GGRS (Georgia Garden Railroad Society meeting). I wanted to meet more Model Railoaders around me and to get an opportunity to show off my layout.  In addition, it is a great motivator to get everything ready and show finished. One thing I have…

Water and Electricity Don’t Mix

When I started this train project I researched how to effectively wire the layout and I used standard LGB track.  I planned the layout, wired up the layout, and after everything was in place I found that the layout electrically is not reliable. Sometimes planning and research is not enough.  Experience is critical, as well…

Minatur Wunderland – Hamburg Visit

I am in Germany for my annual visit to the largest model railroad layout in the world, miniature Hamburg (second to visiting my daughter and her husband who live in Germany…lol). Not a lot has changed since last year other than it seemed more crowded. They were telling us about lofty expansion plans last year…

NGRC 2018 Layout Tour

Well Friday June 8th finally came and the big event.  Our layout was on the Friday tour  June 8th, 2018 from 8am to 1pm for the Natonal Garden Railroad Convention for 2018 in Atlanta.  We have been working hard for this event ever since we started our layout, 3 1/2 years ago.  The plan was…