Throughout October, TCS has taken multiple trips to the Strasburg Railroad, oldest continuously operating railroad in the US. N&W J Class steam locomotive 611 has been a “celebrity guest” at Strasburg for the last month or so, and we’ve been in the process of recording the engine for our WOWSound decoders.
On our most recent trip, we had an amazing steam experience that I feel is worth talking about. The crew set up our recording gear at the northern terminus of the Strasburg line, near the runarounds and switching spurs. On this particular day, there was a guest operator outing where regular folks paid to take the controls of the various steam locomotives and drive or fire them. There were three locomotives under steam and moving between trains at the junction - all at the same time. Where else could you experience this?
We stood between the spurs and watched and listened as these three iron horses worked around us, passing each other again and again. Each one traveled within 20 yards of us at times - it was a steam enthusiasts’ paradise! The sights and sounds were overwhelming, and very much timeless. It could have been a scene directly from the mid 1940s that we were lucky enough to experience in 2019.
This event was not open to the public, so I’d imagine that there were relatively few folks who actually got to see these three steam locomotives in action together. It was quite a rare experience and one that I will cherish for a long time.
Do you want to work at TCS? Know someone else who might? We have a new opening for an Engineering Assistant!
This position will work directly alongside our product engineers and provide support on a wide range of projects. The ideal candidate has an electronics background, and experience with model trains or hobby electronics is a plus. Please contact us for more information regarding this position.
TCS Office: (215) 453-9145
Email: tcs @ tcsdcc.com
At this time Rapido Trains has chosen to not use the Rapido-TCS decoder for the upcoming Alco PA/PB locomotive. While both companies still look forward to working together these PA/PB locomotive will not ship with a TCS manufactured decoder.
TCS will be releasing a custom decoder preset to be a perfect fit in the Rapido PA/PB. Pre-Orders will be opening for this decoder soon so check back here for additional details.
More information - including road names, pricing, and pre-order details - can be found on Rapido's website.
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