Mike’s Atomic Cafe

When the ITD decided to conduct the 6″x8″ Challenge, I had just the thing to build. I’d recently acquired Downtown Deco’s The  Atomic Cafe kit after waiting a while for it to be produced again. I’m not sure there’s a prototype for this structure or if it’s just a riff off the 1982 documentary movie of the…

December Challenge

I have had a switch or signal tower on my layout from the beginning. It has been held together with rubber bands, waiting to be finished, painted but nothing else. I have decided to finish it and set it into a diorama that can then be dropped into place on my layout. I will be…

Blue Rail Hobbies – New Shop [sorta] Open in Farmer City

I was reading the latest issue of The Cowcatcher and came across an ad for a new, local train store. Rob Brown has opened a shop recently in Farmer City, on I-74 halfway between Bloomington and Champaign-Urbana. Blue Rail Hobbies serves model railroaders working in scales from G to Z. Or should I say, Blue…

Assessing Assets: Part 3

This is the third in the series about managing our donated assets. This follows up on Part 1, expanding the focus on the Miller donation to cover things other than modules. There’s lots of rail-laying jigs and materials, plus other useful things. Styrofoam Cases for Modules There’s four of these neatly constructed cases for various…

Assessing Assets, Part 2: 2019 Anon Donation

During the 2019 Lincoln Square Village Train Show, someone stopped by our display and made an anonymous donation of some circa 1950s HO scale equipment. Most of the cars were equipped with the archaic hook and loop couplings. Here’s a look at what we have. Mantua General, Plus Misc Parts This loco was built from…

Assessing Assets: Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts that document many of the assets currently in the ITD’s hands. The generosity of donors over the last year has been almost breathtaking. It does create the need to decide which the ITD should retain to support our programs and which might be surplus to those…

Tuscola BELTWAY up date

TUSCOLA BELTWAY RAIL ROAD IS COMING A LONG SPIKING RAILS DOWN ELVATOR IS UP IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND COMING SOON CONTROL TOWER AND RAIL BALEST IS IN SOON GO DOWN LOTS MORE COME . Lots fun build rail road on 4×8 layout seeing faces light at show at lincoln square mall urbana, il

So You Don’t Have to Wait Until Next Year’s Train Show

This weekend that we’re just ending would’ve been the 2020 Lincoln Square Village Train Show, regrettably cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the historical societies and vendors of model trains, one of the show’s most popular features are the operating layouts. Some are crowd favorites, returning year after year. It’s always good…