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TCS recorded Gramling Locomotive Works #85 "Mack," a Vulcan 0-4-0 locomotive, at the Allentown & Auburn Railroad on October 11, 2019. We made many trips up and down the line from Kutztown to Topton, and set up an array of microphones to capture different sounds from #85. Engineer Barney Gramling was on the footplate and happily obliged our many requests in order to get the sound recordings we were after. John is the original restorer of #85 and is currently touring the country with the steam locomotive, which has been recently been spending time on the Allentown & Auburn.
John and Barney Gramling have restored many steam locomotives to working condition from their shop in Ashley, Indiana. Barney is currently touring the country while his father John remains at the shop, continuing restoration work on their next project. Barney is a modeler in his free time, and he's been crafting replica naval ships while he's been on the road.
We made many successful runs up and down the mainline, and finished the day with a "whistle blow." We recorded 5 or 6 whistles new to the WOWSound line that will be available in future releases. During the recording, we spotted several railfans documenting the locomotive and had curious locals from a trackside farm show up to watch our whistle blow.
Many thanks to Dave Strauss, Val Pistilli, and Jordan McBride for assisting with TCS' recording. Special thanks to Barney Gramling, the crew of #85, and the Allentown & Auburn for making this trip a success.
Learn more about the Allentown & Auburn Railway here: http://allentownandauburnrr.com/
Check out a preview for John and Barney's show "Have Steam Engine, Will Travel," a reality TV series available on Amazon Prime and iTunes:
Last weekend, TCS attended the NMRA Mid-Eastern Region Convention in October 2019. We ran a booth in the vendor room to talk about WOWSound and our Universal WiFi Throttle, and also hosted several clinics.
Check out our quick show recap below:
Special thanks to Mike Dettinger, Rob Hinkle, and John Seibert for their help in getting TCS to the show, and to the MER for being gracious and fun hosts! Find out more about the NMRA Mid-Eastern Region: https://www.nmra.org/regions/mid-eastern-region
Available for the first time with pre-installed DCC for ready-to-roll enjoyment on a Digital Layout! Kato USA will be offering its 2015, 2016 and 2017 Operation North Pole Christmas Trains now with factory-installed DCC in both the locomotive and the tail end Cab-Coach!
This is the first time that Kato USA has offered these sets with DCC installed from the manufacturer, and they're a great way to "get in the spirit of the holidays" either for yourself or as a gift for any modeler who uses DCC on their home or club layout!
As always with these Operation North Pole sets, a portion of the sale of each set is donated to Operation North Pole to help fund their yearly Christmas Train and charity event. You can read more about Operation North Pole and the work they do on their website here: www.operationnorthpole.org
Learn more about the Kato x Operation North Pole Christmas Train on the Kato USA website.
N&W J Class 611 took an extended visit to the Strasburg Railroad this fall for their "611 Visits Strasburg – A Reunion of Steam" event, pulling excursion trains throughout September and October. TCS went to record the sounds of the iconic J Class in October of 2019 while 611 was in residency on the Strasburg shortline.
Despite the intense wind conditions on that blustery fall day, we were able to secure most of the sounds on our list. We plan to return at least once more this autumn to finish our sound set before 611 returns home to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, VA.
The Norfolk and Western J class was a class of fourteen 4-8-4 streamlined steam locomotives built and operated by the Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W) in the 1940-50s. Only No. 611 survives to this day, the last of it's kind. It has been restored to operating condition several times, most recently in 2015. You can learn more about the restoration effort at http://fireup611.org/
Strasburg Rail Road is America’s oldest continuously operating railroad nestled in the heart of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Learn more about this iconic landmark: https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/
TCS attended the NMRA Pacific Southwest Region Convention in September 2019. We manned a few tables in the vendor room and spent our weekend discussing WOWSound decoders and our Universal WiFi Throttles with interested folks. Throughout the show we also hosted several clinics, visited layouts, and attended talks on LCC, BlueRail, and other emerging technologies. Check out our trip video below:
Many thanks to Frank Baker, Don Vest, and Richard Wehr for inviting us to Arizona and organizing our clinics. Thanks to the Scottsdale Model Railroad Historical Society and Jim "Doc" Shafer for testing out our throttles on their fantastic layout. Additional thanks to the Pacific Southwest Region for being great hosts and to everyone else we met for all the great discussions! Happy modeling to all!
We spent over 24 hours together with The Mudhens in the Layout and Vendor room throughout the convention. You might have guessed it, Steve decided to document their fantastic layout. The Modular HO Narrow Gauge Society, or "Mudhens," is a nationwide group of HOn3 modular modelers. This layout was constructed from modules belonging to the Payson, AZ crew. While they normally operate their trains with smartphone apps, they were willing to try out our Universal WiFi Throttles and operated with them at different points throughout the show. You can find out more information about The Mudhens at their website.
Finally, a most sincere thank-you to Frank Baker, the co-chair of the Arizona Junction 2019 convention. TCS was so happy to be included in the convention, and it was all due to Frank's hard work. Dan and Stephen were able to visit his layout before flying home on Sunday. The Morristown & Erie RR Western Division is Frank's freelanced HO Scale layout. It was featured in this year's Great Model Railroads publication. Combining scenes from 1940s-1950s New England, Pittsburgh, and the Pacific Northwest, this layout stretches 18' x 34' and has a mainline length of 480'. Baker is well known for his scenery work, and his layout boasts hundreds of scratch built and highly detailed structures.
We had a wonderful time in Arizona and hope we make it back out there sometime soon. You can find out more about the NMRA Pacific Southwest Region at their website: http://www.psrnmra.org/