Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays to you all. I know I have been MIA but I promise, after the new year, I will be back blogging. For now, I did find something I think you might be interested in. It's local and FREE!!

Happy Holidays,
Hugs and Kisses,

Photo taken by Millard Berry, Press & Guide Newspapers.

Story by Jodi Rempala, Press & Guide Newspapers.

It began with a vision and 525 pounds of gingerbread. Executive Chef Kieran Savage at The Dearborn Inn has hand-crafted a gingerbread train and station on display in the hotel’s lobby....

Check out the rest of the article at the link below. It is free and open 24 hours.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Commercial from the 70's promoting the rail road hobby....

O gauge speed !
and I think Dave approves....
( click on image for a better view )

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I know I have been missing for sometime but the holidays are in full swing. Today I had a few minutes and I found this article. Now mind you it is almost a year old but I went to the website and the museum is still open. Maybe if your near Kalamazoo you can take a tour...

Seth Giem, 73, still loves to play with trains. Over the past four decades, he has created the 3,000-square foot Portage & Southern Railroad. PORTAGE -- "Along the shore of Lake Austin, tucked into Portage's southeastern corner, Seth Giem has created a world of his own. No cliche here. The owner of The Train Barn, a hobby shop and museum of extraordinary proportion, has spent the past 41 years forming mountains, building bridges, constructing buildings and laying track. Oh yes, laying plenty of track."

"The miniature railroad and its surrounding community has grown to more than 3,000 square feet, with approximately 2,500 feet of track -- that's almost half a mile. It has more than 250 train cars, 30 engines and more than 100 switches. The mountains consist of 10,000 pounds of plaster, there are 40 tunnels, about 250 buildings and 75 bridges -- including the 12-foot-high, 16-foot-long centerpiece of the railroad, a replica of the Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge near Colorado Springs, that took Seth Giem 350 hours to build."

To get the full story, and to find out how to get to the museum, please go to the website.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Neat Pictures

Did you all receive the email from Mr. Corley? He sent us a Google site that has pictures from the Life Magazine. Here is the link for all the images.

Here are 4 from the 1880's that I really liked. Don't forget to look at the houses, streets or people in the background.

Enjoy, Lisa

Well-dressed men and women walking on the promenade of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Location: Brooklyn NY, USA
Date: April 30, 1889
Photographer: Wallace G. Levison

Aerial view (taken from a boarding house) of police w. a drunken woman in a wheel barrel.

Location: USA
Date: September 28, 1884
Photographer: Wallace G. Levison

Snow-covered train tracks, rooftops and arches of the Brooklyn Bridge seen from the rear of a train during the Blizzard of 1888.

Location: Brooklyn NY, USA
Date: March 14, 1888
Photographer: Wallace G. Levison

A young girl and boy visiting w. a man and his performing parrots and cockatoos outdoors at Coney Island.

Location: Brooklyn NY, USA
Date: September 19, 1884
Photographer: Wallace G. Levison

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nice Christmas video.
( and yes it has a train at the beginning )

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poor Len .....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Arenac County.....

Along my Google trips to find Michigan trains I cam across Arenac County. I have found some pictures, from their website, I though you would like to see. I'm not sure who owns these photos but here is the website that might tell you more.

Old M-70 north of Sterling open for use. A Model T takes advantage of the newly constructed road.

A locomotive train of coaches of the Detroit, Bay City and Alpena Railroad Company, forerunner of the Detroit and Mackinac, riding the High Iron over the wooden bridge which spanned the Rifle River in Moffatt Township. The bridge was completed in 1883 using a design patterned from bridge engineering developed in the Civil War. It was considered to be the highest railroad bridge in Michigan.

Do you guys see the name of the Township? Do you know that it's the same spelling as my Dad and I's last name? Maybe that is something I should look into next!!!

Have a good weekend and check out the site above for more pictures.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you Bob Knobel

Bob Knobel sent me his pictures from our train show on October 26, 2008.
Thank you for sharing them with us. I'm sure everyone will love them as much as I do.


Part 2 of Bob Knobel's Photos

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Federman, Michigan

Has anyone ever heard of Federman Michigan? I know I haven't.

Federman, MI,

LS&MS Depot

(moved to Monroe Co. fairgrounds-ticket office)

photo ©Alan Loftis

This is the depot at Federman, which has been moved to its current location in the Monroe County Fairgrounds. [Mark Dobronski]

I tried to find where this town/city is/was and this is what I found... "
According to Michigan Place Names, Federman was a village which began as a station at the crossing of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, and the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Railroad in 1884. It's post office opened in 1899 and operated until 1906."

Up until 1975, Federman had a little shanty about 12x12, inside of which was a 10 lever Saxby & Farmer "Armstrong" lever interlocking machine. NYC (Conrail by that time) train crews operated the interlocking levers when they needed to cross the AA. Contribution from Mark Dobronski

please goto the RRHX website for more information on the Federman Station. You'll be sorry if you don't.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

FMRC's Longest train. I'm not sure if Bruce and
Bill were fighting or not. But they decided to combine their
trains and play together... ( from last years Rails on wheels )

Thursday, October 30, 2008

TV Shows?

Matt Brown: Extreme Trains on The History Channel starting November 11, 2008 at 10pm EST

I was up late last night/morning and I came across this show on Fox Reality. It is called Train Wrecks. Here's Fox's website. The next time this show will be shown is Monday November 3rd @ 6pm but I have also seen these times too. November 3rd @ 3 and 7 pm EST. You might want to check your own cable guide.

This morning my hubby was watching The History Channel and this is what I saw.... It's a new series called Extreme Trains, premier episode: Coal Trains. This starts at 10pm EST and right after is Modern Marvels: Bullet Trains.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Future FMRC member. Even though her Grandpa
works for GM !!!

This one has "O Gauge " written
all over her ...


If you did not get to visit us yesterday, October 26, boy did you miss a show!

We had Thomas running on his own track along with locomotives with real sound and steam coming from them.

We also had our SPOOKY haunted house, along with flying witch, up and running. There are two buttons for one to push too! One makes the house howl and the other button makes a skeleton's hand come out from under the train. This is a true favorite for the kids.

You have one more chance, this year, to see us live. Here it is again...
November 30, 2008
Cost: $3 (12 and under free)

Saline Farm Council Grounds
5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.
Saline, MI

Please join us, we'd love to see you

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy faces from the show today. ( 10-26-08 )

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Would you like to see what we are about?

Would you like to see what were about? Would you like to become a member? There are 2 places we are going to be set up before the year is over. All of us at FMRC would love for you to come by and say hi.


October 26, 2008
Cost: $4 (12 and under free with adult)

Redford Model Railroad Club's Train-o-Rama Extra
Costick Community Center
28600 Eleven Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI
(734) 953-2546

November 30, 2008
Cost: $3 (12 and under free)

Saline Farm Council Grounds
5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.
Saline, MI

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

C & G Newspaper

I came across this newspaper from Warren Michigan that let's you know of The Michigan Transit Museum fall color trains tours from Oct 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28. The train rides through Clinton Township and Harrison Township.

Thank you to Maria Allard, C & G Staff Writer, for the story and The Michigan Transit Museum, I think, for the photo.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Doris Day

Because of the Rita Hayworth picture added a few days ago, my father was in his glory. He had that glow in his eye but still said......."if you could find." So I tried and tried to find a picture of his girl and some kind of train. This is the best I could do. It was from the movie It Happened to Jane with Jack Lemmon. Here's a synopsis of the movie.....

I have also added a biography of Doris Day from Wikipedia in case your interested.

I did my best Dad!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Well here it is, A functioning trolley loop.
Thanks to Don Carlson who added the urban
loop to allow a second trolley. A corner of this
loop has been renamed to Eddie's park.
Stay tuned for details...


Mr. Brett Schutzman

It has come to my attention, 10-18-08, I messed up.....and BIG. In August I did a post for Ypsilanti Heritage Festival and added a photo. For what ever reason, and I am not making any excuses, I did not give credit to Mr. Schutzman nor did I put the web address of where I got this photo and for this I am very sorry. I do not know where my mind was and I try every time to give you the websites and all the information.

Mr. Schutzman has a website with many of his photos and I hope you will check them out one day.

Again I am VERY sorry Mr. Schutzman and please except my apologies!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hubba Hubba
For you old guy's. Rita Hayworth and her
" O GAUGE " Lionel train...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Au Sable and Northwestern Railroad

Two Au Sable and Northwestern trains pass at Russell, Michigan. The town of Russell, which was located in northwest Alcona County, was created by the narrow gauge. The A&NW was a logging road which brought timber from the woods along the Au Sable River Valley to Lake Huron and the AS&NW base location was on the Au Sable River at Potts.

From the book: American Narrow Gauge Railroad from Google Book Search

"The E.J. Potts Salt Lumber Co. formed the AS&NW Railroad for it's private carrier in 1887 for it's operations in Potts, 40 miles up the Au Sable River valley from the adjacent towns of Au Sable and Oscoda at the mouth of the river. The railroad was made a common carrier on July 15, 1889 when it opened it's main line from Potts to connection with the Detroit, Bay City & Alpena at Osocoda with lake steamers at Au Sable. Pott's sold the operation to Henry M. Loud of Au Sable who on July 15, 1891 recognized the rail line as the Au Sable & Northwestern Railroad renamed Potts "McKinley" and undertook extensive expansion of the rail mileage. Even by the standards by the lumber railroads, the fluctuation in this line's mileage reported to the ICC were remarkable. 108 miles in 1891, 74 in 1895, 108 again in 1896, 76.5 in 1898 and 56 in 1904. The railroad provided a single passenger train on the main line and on the principal branches. In 1892 it reported to the Official Guide of the Railways an intention to the main line of 31 miles to Twin Lakes, and a branch of 36 miles from Mckinley to Luzerne. The main line was extended further 3 miles to the terminus of the Michigan Central's Twin Lakes branch at Lewiston in 1894. In 1900 the Luzerne branch was dropped. In 1905 the main branch was cut to Comins, 53 miles from Au Sable, and on January 1, 1906, the railroad discontinued operations and vacated it's charter. Loud had died but his heirs formed H. M. Loud & Sons Co and on December 26, 1907 , received the railroad under a charter for the second Au Sable & Northwestern Railway. Comins replace McKinley as the seat of the lumbering operations, and the name "Hardy" was given to Crooked Lake junction at milepost 43, from which a branch was built east, eventually reaching Beevers (12 miles) in 1911. (the branch lines and mileage reported to Poor's Manuels differ from those shown in the Official Guide.)

A major fire in 1911 at Au Sable-Oscoda wiped out the Loud operation causing the management to lease the railroad to the Detroit & Mackinac effected June 1, 1912, with option to buy. The D&M exercised the option and on May 31, 1914 merged the AS&NW into itself. The D&M converted the line in May 1915. In 1917 the management abandoned the outer half of the Beevers branch beyond Curran. The remainder of the branch and the former AS&NW main line from Au Sable to Comins were abandoned in 1927."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lionel in Michigan?

A lot of you guys run Lionel trains. I did not growing up, I use HO scale, so the Michigan connection was even more interesting. Have you heard of Richard P. Kughn? As far as I can find he was someone of importance in Michigan, especially the Detroit area. In 1986 Lionel sold the company to him.

"When General Mills spun off its Kenner-Parker division in 1985, Lionel became part of Kenner-Parker. Lionel was sold again in 1986, this time to toy-train collector / real estate developer Richard P. Kughn of Detroit, Michigan."
"Richard Kughn was a prolific toy train collector who said that his friends joked that the only thing his collection lacked was the company who made them. Kughn believed that if he moved production to Detroit, it would be possible to improve quality to a level characteristic of the original Lionel Corporation and still maintain profitability."
Check out the rest of the information on Wikipedia.,_LLC

Mr. Kughn also did an interview, on Lionel, much later in his life. The link here will get you there.

Some of you were asking for more "Michigan" train information. I hope I did well.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Well this is the first video post. Hope it
This is from Saturday's workshop.
As the trolley approaches, notice there
are no people at the station. The trolley
stops and as if by magic people appear !
Then the trolley leaves...
Can you figure it out ?


Saturday Workshop News

First a BIG thanks to Bill Sund for donating the 2 BRAND NEW crossing
gates. They have been installed and are functional.
( In spite of the HO guy's )

So I figured if Bill donated the crossing gates,
Why not name the crossing after him...

So here is... Sund Crossing !

This Day in History...

Line Car No.1 in front of Heydon House northwest corner St.Clair and (Old) Weston Road in Carlton. 1920 Ontario Hydro Archives

Today in History: September 27......

1825: George Stephenson opens the Stockton and Darlington Railroad, moving the 36 wagons of his steam-powered coal train, Locomotion, across nine miles of track in two hours.

1850: True and faithful to the policy of settling Oregon Territory with Americans, he favored the Oregon land-donation act of September 27, 1850,and was an earnest advocate of a railroad to the Pacific Ocean.

1856: September 27: Grand Trunk Railway opens from Guelph to Stratford.

1856: The Chicago Branch railroad which connected Chicago with Centralia was completed. The branch joined the main line of the railroad which reached all the way to Cairo. This was the longest railroad in the world at that time.

1864: The Washington & Maryland Line Railroad,later called the Columbia & Maryland Line Railroad,was merged into the Columbia and Port Deposit Railroad.

1866: Moberly was born as a product of a railroad land auction. With the connection of the Chariton and Randolph Railroad at Moberly, the North Missouri Railroad Company began a legacy of railroading in the county which lasts to this day.

1876: Just before his death, Bragg moved to Galveston,Texas, where he worked as a chief railroad inspector for the state of Texas. On this day, while walking with a friend, he fell dead from a massive stroke. He was buried in Mobile, Alabama.

1903: Occurred the railroad wreck that inspired the popular ballad, "The Wreck of the Old 97." The southbound mail express train on the Southern Railroad left the tracks on a trestle and plunged into the ravine below. Nine persons were killed and seven injured, one of the worst train wrecks in Virginia history. Danville: between Pickett and Farrar streets.

All this information came from Google News and type in "today in railroad + September 27."


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Model Train Software

Thanks to Mr. Corley, he wanted me to sign up for a Yahoo Group and I did. I am finding out information about trains that I never knew. I have also noticed that they also do...Today in Railroad History. I thought that was neat. A gentleman by the name of Bruce E. Vincelette found this and I just had to pass it on.

Click on this link:

It's pretty neat and it's FREE. You can download the plans in either HO,N,S or O. Maybe there is a spot for it on the layout? We don't have to put that sign on the top. I can always make us a new store sign. Just a thought....especially when the layout is free.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ford Museum Buys Local Locomotive

Mr. Vaughn sent me this article from The Daily Star, March 31, 2008. It was written by Jake Palmateer.

Mike Bissell stands at the end of his driveway in Milford on Wednesday. Behind him is the temporary building housing the GG-1 purchased by The Henry Ford. Star photo by Julie Lewis.

One of 16 GG-1 locomotives in existence is seen at Cooperstown Junction on Wednesday. A second GG-1 at Cooperstown Junction is being prepared for shipment to Michigan. Star photo by Brit Worgan.

COOPERSTOWN JUNCTION _ One of two, rare electric locomotives that for years sat rusting along state Route 7 in the town of Milford is getting prepped for one last ride on the rails.

A temporary building was erected last week around a GG-1 purchased from the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society by The Henry Ford, one of the nation's premier history and culture museums.

The locomotive is being cleaned of asbestos by contractors and will have its transformer removed, said Bruce Hodges, president of the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society.

For more of the storie, please click on this blue link:

Thanks Vaughn for the great story! Lisa

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Train Wreck in California

LOS ANGELES — The engineer of a Metrolink commuter train failed to stop at a red light before a deadly head-on collision with a freight train, a spokeswoman for the rail transit agency said Saturday.,2933,421801,00.html

A preliminary investigation found "it was a Metrolink engineer that failed to stop at a red signal and that was the probable cause of the accident," Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said.

Tyrrell said the engineer worked for a subcontractor, Veolia, used by Metrolink since 1998. She said she believes the engineer died. The engineer's name was not released.

The toll made it the deadliest U.S. passenger rail accident in 15 years.

Speeking for all the train lovers from Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn Michigan our thoughts are with you and your families.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From Len

For those interested in coming, there will be a workshop this coming Saturday, September 13, from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm.
Looking forward to working with you again.

Lumberjack Steam Train

The “4-spot” Steam Locomotive was built in 1916 by the Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. It was purchased September 22, 1926 and was brought to Laona for use in the logging industry. The steam engine pulls two all-steel passenger coach cars, and three cabooses.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Model Railroad Site

Gas station kitbash using Downtown Deco kits by Chris Comport

I came across this site for buildings and backdrops. Here's their motto..."Custom model railroads design and construction. We build your model trains to your specs. All gauges. Any scale. We make custom backdrops and scenery for your model trains."

I know we have talked about getting some backdrops and they might be in our budget. Anyways the guys from the site have done some great works. Take a look...