Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I guess my story has a little different twist. When you receive a train for Christmas
it creates memories. My story is one that brought memories back. I call it,
" A soldier goes home "
A friend of mine's daughter teaches history to children with learning disabilities.
We were talking about the curriculum one day and she told me that W.W.II was part of
the fall subject matter. I asked her if they welcomed W.W.II vets to come and talk to
the students. "Of course we do, But you do realize that these are children with ADHD and
other special needs problems." "Sometimes they have difficulty focusing for long periods of time. I said, "No problem, I have the perfect person for the job " Enter my neighbor George, who is not only a war hero ( 2 purple hearts, 3 bronze stars and was also in the Battle of the Bulge ) but also a retired elementary school principal. He was also bestowed the honor of having the last elementary school built in our community named after him.
Who better to talk to these kids. Well I don't have to tell you that the lecture went well beyond
everyone's expectations. The lecture was in the auditorium during the last hour of class. When the bell rang to go home, nobody left. That is until the bus driver came in and wanted to know where everybody was.
Yes I'm getting to the train part now. It was getting near Christmas time and I knew George collected Santa Claus figures and also liked trains. So what better of a thank you gift than a Christmas train.
We all pitched in and purchased the Lionel traditional Christmas set. One of the main reasons being it's G gauge and has a remote control. George is 83 so this would be the easiest for him to operate. So, one Sunday morning my friend Bob and I went into his house while he was at church and set it up for him.
Well I don't have to tell you the look on his face was the same as mine when I received my first train set at five years old. We went through all the functions as we read the directions.
I think we made an old man feel like a kid again.
About a week later I went back to check up on the new railroad next door and asked Melba ( his wife ) if he was showing off his new train set . " Oh yes. Every one that comes over has to see it and watch all the functions, but no one is allowed to touch it. Not even the grand kids." Then quietly she said.
" I think he plays with it when I'm not home "
We both laughed and I went on my way.
A couple days later I received a thank you letter from George and it made me realize that indeed he was running the train. Unlike so many of our first train sets that create memories, this one brought back memories of W.W.II. I call it
A soldier goes home
In 1946 I arrived in New York after a 14-day voyage from the port of Le Havre, France.
This was across the north Atlantic in February. The seas were stormy and I was seasick the entire trip. From New York to my home in Missouri where my family had moved during the war to escape the dust bowl in western Oklahoma. I received a train ticket home. A steam engine with that wonderful steam engine whistle. The rails were not welded together then, and you could hear that rhythm....
clackety-clack, clackety-clack, clackety-clack. I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home.
I was lonesome, I had lost my platoon, and I felt alone and unsure of my future.
Trainloads of thanks


At age 5 I had my first Lionel Christmas.

At age 83 George had his first Lionel Christmas.

At age 53 I've had my second Lionel Christmas.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Little Bit of Russian from the Wallstreet Journal.....

High Speed Rail Keeps Train Markers on Track.
By: Paul Glader

"ST. PETERSBURG, Russia—As an engineer pulls the throttle, villagers track side gawk at the bullet-shaped train as it gathers speed. Soon, forests and wooden shacks are a blur as a dashboard display reads 250 kilometers an hour (155 miles per hour)."

"Ten years in the making, Russia's state-owned railway is testing eight aerodynamic trains that in December will rush travelers from here to Moscow in less than four hours. With fancy kitchens and leather seats in first class, the Sapsans (Russian for peregrine falcons) mark a change in Russia's egalitarian rail tradition."

"More broadly, though, Russia's new trains mirror a global push in high-speed rail that spans from China to the U.S., an effort that is buffering Siemens AG, Hitachi Ltd., Bombardier Inc. and other industrial giants against the economic slump."

"Global spending on trains, tracks and equipment is expected to reach €122 billion ($182 billion) this year, flat with last year, but up 18% from 2004, according to Unife, an international trade association. It projects that the figure will rise to €150 billion by 2016, propelled by stimulus projects and environmental concerns."

"Rail spending "has a short-term effect on unemployment as well as a longer-term effect on economic growth," says Michael Clausecker, Unife's director general. Rail lines, he says, tend to anchor development of new towns, companies and jobs while increasing travel between cities."

"A high-speed rail link between Madrid and Barcelona that opened last year has stolen former air travelers, cutting daily flights between the cities in half to 35. Spain plans to surpass Japan with the world's largest network of high-speed routes in 2010, and India and China plan to surpass Spain before long. France hopes to double its high-speed track to about 2,500 miles by 2020."

"Denmark is shifting transportation funding from roads to public transportation, the bulk of which will be spent on rail.In the U.S., President Barack Obama has vowed to spend $13 billion over five years to build high-speed rail links between major cities, including $8 billion under the economic-stimulus plan."

"The spending is aiding the fortunes of train makers."

"Bombardier's rail-division revenue in the quarter ended July 31 rose 5% from a year earlier to $2.55 billion while total company revenue was flat. The Canadian manufacturer recently reported a $190 million order for 30 tram-trains for Karlsruhe, Germany, and a $2 billion contract to send 80 Zefiro high-speed trains to China by 2014."

"China "is making the strategic investments" to build a high-speed rail network and sustainable transportation system, says Jianwei Zhang, president of Bombardier China. The country wants to build "the most advanced rail network in the world.""

"Japan's Hitachi shipped six high-speed bullet trains to the U.K. this summer and plans to build rail cars there. Revenue for the unit that includes rail rose 19% for the fiscal year ended March 31, making the business one of Hitachi's strongest."

"Alstom SA's transportation sales increased 3% to a record €5.69 billion for the year ended March 31 as its order backlog climbed 13% to €19.51 billion. The transportation division, which makes up roughly 30% of Alstom's business, received a boost in train orders from Italy and the U.K. recently. The company projects continued strong demand, citing stimulus packages in the U.S., France and elsewhere in Europe, says Chief Executive Patrick Kron.Patrick Kron. The French company in March formed a joint venture to develop products in Russia, the largest railway market in Europe with 85,000 kilometers of electrified track and 1.3 billion passengers a year."

"And while General Electric Co.'s rail operation primarily makes locomotives for freight trains, executives plan to sell fuel-efficient locomotives for faster passenger railroads in the U.S., Mongolia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere. GE wants to sell Amtrak more engines that go as fast as 123 mph, replacing "20-year-old locomotive clunkers," says Stephan Koller, a spokesman for GE Transportation. Trains that are even faster are further on the horizon as they would require expensive track upgrades."

"For the Sapsan project, Russian Railways spent nearly $1 billion for its eight Siemens Velaro trains. "The market is really developing," says Edzard L├╝bben, the company's vice president for high-speed trains, sales of which are growing around 8% a year. "That's a huge growth rate during these times.""

"The Sapsans will trim the Moscow-to-St. Petersburg trip to three hours and 45 minutes from 4½ hours, running about 60 mph below their capacity because of difficulties upgrading tracks. The trip is expected to cost about $100 one way, which is roughly the same as the average plane fare."

""It makes everything more convenient," by removing airport security lines and the need to travel between an airport and the center of town says Irina Darienko, a delivery-operations specialist for Alcatel-Lucent in Moscow.She travels to St. Petersburg about three times a year for work and plans to ride the new trains."

"Russian Railways says its eight-hour "night trains" between Moscow and St. Petersburg will continue to offer service to budget travelers. The Sapsans will replace the faster trains that run during the day."

""I'm sure they'll push away aircraft," says Alexander Dumnich, a captain of the famous Red Arrow train, which was introduced by Joseph Stalin in 1931 and pressed into military service during World War II."

"Alexei Daibov, an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in St. Petersburg, is more skeptical. "I travel by plane," he says, expressing but he hopes a price war will lower the cost of plane tickets."

Write to Paul Glader at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Other Train Show's a Hit!

Trains circle around a track at the Model Train Expo at the D&N Event Center on Saturday

Little Trains, Big Show
By: Mark Young
Published Sunday, September 20th, 2009
North Plate Nebraska

As Rail Fest continues to grow and draw worldwide attention from railroad enthusiasts, so do all of the individual activities. This year's Model Train Expo is three times larger than last year's and is expected to grow, according to Original Town Association's Bernie McNulty, who organized this year's expo.

"We have 13 vendors selling their wares this year and have five layouts," said McNulty. "We have people from five different states with the farthest ones coming from Texas and Illinois to participate in the show."

The vendors have everything a model train enthusiast can imagine, from modern to antique pieces and everything in between. Trains, tracks, culverts, miniature people, cars, houses, grass, hills and everything imaginable is available to create your own railroad line and own city.

What one could imagine to do with all these things is evident in the layouts at the D&N center that extend out for up to 30 yards with multiple trains steaming through mock towns that feature downtown 1950s parking. There is nothing left to the imagination as a lone fisherman angles in his catch atop a hill overlooking the speeding trains.

There's a good reason why train lovers and model train lovers flock to these shows and spend a lifetime collecting pieces to build their own railroad lines. There's a good reason, but no one really knows what that reason is.

"It just is," said McNulty. "There's a real fascination for it. Trains play such an important part of our history and people love the sounds and the power that trains have. But why the fascination gets to this point, I don't know, it just does and it reaches all ages. I'm 70 years old and I have a big layout in my basement."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

FMRC summer workshop

It's train season again and the FMRC is ready to roll. I found a great website and made a new
friend over the summer. Take a stroll over to Joe's website and see where we stole the animation
idea from. ( )

Remember to look around at his other great idea's and drop Joe a note.

Start with expanding the trolley module and a bear chasing a jogger....

Now add a little background......

Add a little more scenery, notice the photographer on the left. Guess he's
not to interested in helping out the jogger....

I wonder if he knows he's about to be lunch ?
then finally the animation.....
See you at the shows....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Year in Review

Here it is.... The best of 2009 from FMRC...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rotated from previous post

Now you don't have to rotate your head to see this fine passenger set .....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fox Run in Novi Michigan

We took our modular to Novi on June 6-7th, 2009. I took some pictures and I thought you would like to see them.


Saturday, May 16, 2009


We have not done a segment on posters. What it must have been like back then. Things were simple, tough, but simple. Enjoy..........

1869 Union Pacific Railroad Poster

1855 Michigan Central Railroad Poster (re-done on the computer)

Illinois Central Railroad Poster

An advertising poster of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in the 1870's. Telling the world of the good railroad land to be hand.

Pullman compartment cars and through trains. Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton railroad advertising poster, 1894

PRR 1944 Molly Pitcher Poster

This poster advertises a celebration marking the completion of the Toledo/Ann Arbor Line in 1878.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

a REALLY steep grade...

Yet Another Bruce.....

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Bruce C production....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

HO trouble....
But the tecs are working on the problem as the modules go up....

Problem in the corner ? Let's check it out....

Nope ! I've found the problem over here !!!!!

The result.... No HO this show.....

Friday, April 17, 2009

Michigan Stations

I was thinking that maybe you would like to see some of Michigan's train stations whether they are still in use or not.

The Kalamazoo Transportation Center train station, looking south-east. Taken by C. Fulton November 5, 2006

Holland, Michigan Train Station, Prior To Renovation.

New Buffalo Station, Michigan

Michigan Central Railroad Niles Depot - Niles, Michigan

MCRR Train Station in Jackson, MI

There are several pictures on this website:
that you should take a look at.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Train Lego.

I don't know if most of you know but I have always loved Lego's. At places we set up, there have been several Lego layouts and I am floored at what you can do now. There were never these kind of pieces when I was growing up.

Here is the picture of the train station I like on on the main website page. In the description of the station, click on the different colored words and you will be directed to more pictures of that station. Website:

Happy building!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jackson man given prison for stealing model trains valued at $14,000

by Steven Hepker | Jackson Citizen Patriot

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sunday, March 22 2009

As you saw a few posts past we, FMRC, was invited to the Redford Train-O-Rama. Along with the group picture, I was also sent the website that included more photo's that they took and I would like to pass that link on to you.

As you can see, everybody had a good time. There were vendors and a couple of us with train layouts. Please click on the link below.

You can click on the photo's, on the website, to get a bigger view of their photo's.

Until next time.....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Follow the link... Worlds largest railroad...
Plans for modifying Lens garage are on the way....


Monday, March 30, 2009


As you guys can tell I have been trying new things with this blog. I hope I have done a good job and you all like it. Please leave me a comment and let me know. If you have pictures that you would like to be in the slide show, I would love to add them. You can send them to my email address at Yahoo. Please send them to me in JPEG or GIFF form.

Again please let me know if you do not like the changes I made. I will change them back. I have other ideas in mind for this site too so I guess I should say.......Sorry for the construction!

Have a train whistle kind of day!

Hugs, Lisa

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who is the biggest kid here ??? Seems they all love trains !!!!

Arn't We Pretty?

On March 22, 2009 we had a show at the Redford Model Railroad Club Train-O-Rama Extra, which by the way we had a blast. When the show was over, the Redford Team came over and took a group picture and we all look GREAT! What do you think?

Anyways, the show was a blast and I think they might have had record turn out. The line way out the door to get in at 10am. If you were not able to make it there, we are sorry, and we hope you can make it to another show.

I did take pictures at the Costick Center and I will add them to the blog later. I just wanted you to see us in action.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Norfork Southern

Norfolk Southern, Cola Tower (former PRR) Penn Central


I came across this FREE offer. I was wondering if you had any grandchildren that might like a coloring book from Norfork Southern? Here is the site:

Put in your information, but don't give what you don't want them to know. It does not say how long this offer is good for or even if there is any left to send out.

While you there, don't forget to visit their "history" page.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

60's Music

Picture for the San Diego Weekly Reader. Article called Monkee Business by By Duane Dimock, Jay Allen Sanford/ Published Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008

One of my favorite bands/groups are the Monkee's and we can't forget their song "Last Train to Clarksville." The song was written in the 60's by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. It was recorded on July 25, 1966 and released on August 16, 1966 and went straight to number one.

Here is the story per Wikipedia:
"According to the song's authors, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the song is their protest of the Vietnam War and tells the story of a young man who has been drafted. He is waiting for the train that will take him to an army base, and he knows he may die in Vietnam. At the end of the song he states, "I don't know if I'm ever coming home." More of the story here:

My Father told me the other day that Peter Tork, Monkee's member, was diagnosed with cancer. So I did some digging and this is what I came up with.

The San Diego Weekly Reader, September 10, 2008:
"Ron Jacobs was a DJ at L.A. radio station KHJ at the time. “One of Boss Radio’s most exciting promotions was staging an actual ‘Last Train to Clarksville,’ ” he says on his website. “A few hundred KHJ winners rode to ‘Clarksville,’ the city of Del Mar.” “The tenth callers would get two free tickets to the Last Train to Clarksville,” recalls KHJ promotions associate Barbara Hamaker in the Michael Nesmith biography Total Control." "According to Ron Jacobs, “Once the winners debarked there and ate their fried-chicken lunch — whackatawack, a quartet of helicopters slowly alit near the train." "The Monkees emerged and were greeted enthusiastically by contest winners and curious locals who’d been told they’d be meeting “the next Beatles.”

To read more of this story, please visit their site:

Oh one last thing. If your a Monkee's like me, I have added their video for the show. Here's that link too.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Levenshulme South railway station

1948 South Levenshulme Station looking East. (Photo: The Fallowfield Line author E M Johnson Foxline Publishers) From Mr. Nixon's wesite. Address below.

How about something new.....Levenshulme South in England. As Wikipedia states "Levenshulme South Railway Station was a railway station located in Levenshulme, Manchester. It was located on the Fallowfield Line which is now a cycle path. The station opened in 1892 and closed to passenger traffic in the 1960s and finally the line closed to freight in 1987. This was one of two stations in Levenshulme."

I have found a nice site created by a gentleman named George Nixon. He has put a lot of time into his site that he call's Levenshulme History then and now. He has pictures of the train station and though it is being renovated, it sure has changed. There are plenty of train station pictures and if you go through the whole website there are town pictures, people pictures and industry pictures that are quite neat to look at.

I hope you enjoy his site and I am planing on contacting him and letting him know about us. Maybe he will write a comment. I can only hope.

Here is Mr. Nixon's site.....


Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's a model of the french Chapelon 3-2-1 (pacific type in us terms). They were used on the Orient Express and the Fletch d'or paris-london trains back when steam was King.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thought I would do something different

How about something different? I found these photo's on the website called But the pictures them selves come from this link:

Now I must warn you if you go to this website. There is adult type photos and language. The whole website is not bad, but I just wanted to warn you.

Oh don't you just love the photo's? Of course they were taken some where in India. We could never get away with doing something like that here in the States!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where we will be next

On March 22, 2009 we will be taking a road trip to the Costick Community Center in Farmington Hills MI. Our layout will be displayed, along with other fun things, on this Sunday and we would love for you to come. Here is the address:

Train-o-Rama Extra
Costick Community Center
28600 Eleven Mile Rd.
Farmington Hills MI 48336

The show runs from 10am until 4pm. The cost is $4.00 per person with kids 12 and under free with paying adult.

Can't wait to see you there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The GTW River Spur

The GTW River Spur was once the DT&I's northern end until that distinction was shared with the Dearborn Subdivision (D&I Junction to Fordson). The combination of the two plus the Shore Line Sub are now CNIC's Downriver Detroit presence, with the epicenter at Flat Rock Yard. Here we see all of the important locations on the River Spur from D&I Jct. to the DCR Short Cut Bridge. Map Copyright © 2002 Jeff Knorek

I came across this site tonight from Jeff Knorek,

It stated that the GTW River Spur was a direct line to the Rouge Complex that Henry Ford so desperately needed. Here's the line from the website:

Henry Ford needed a direct link to the Rouge Complex. Since the DT&I went no further than Delray, he had to rely upon other railroads to interchange traffic to his mills. His response was to build a cut-off from a point just northeast of Flat Rock due north to the Rouge. This was called the Dearborn Division (now the GTW Flat Rock sub). South Yard in Ecorse on the old mainline remained the major yard for Ford Rouge traffic until Flat Rock yard was built in 1926. Afterwards, South Yard remained a vital outlet for Downriver industries, and remains so to this day. It is no small irony that the River Sub of today is far busier with more online traffic than the cut-off that was built to suppliment it. Henry Ford sold the DT&I to the Pennroad Company, a holding corporation of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in 1928."

There are even images of The GTW River Spur. Here's that website:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Disasters?

Picture of Branchton PA July 9, 1907
Photo submitted by: John Hummel
Taken from the website below.

I came across this website called Gendisasters. It about disasters and our ancestors. There are shipwrecks, tornado's and yes trains. Check the site out.

There are stories from different states and , I thought, a very sad one from Detroit.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ypsilanti, MI Crash 1929

The Depot Town district building did not always have this angle, and for many years there was a small shop in the corner. This changed on the morning of Monday, Jan. 21, 1929, when a train car crashed into the side of the building.

A freight train was passing through Ypsilanti that morning when Michigan Central baggage man Fred Beck saw the truck of a car was off the track. The car was the 12th car from the end of an 85-car freight train...... by James Mann | The Ann Arbor News

The picture I have added I can not find to give credit to. When you click on the website, it says "error." If you know who painted this photo or anything else about the photo I have added, please let me know. I would like to give credit.

Thanks, Lisa

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Copper Range Railroad

Copper Range No. 29 was photographed by Stan Mailer on September 28, 1958, at Houghton, Michigan, after its retirement. It was later stored inside the railroad's roundhouse.

Copper Range Railroad, per Wikipedia, states was a small railroad company that operated from 1899 to 1972 in the western Upper Peninsula of the state of Michigan.

Main Website:

Historic City of Houghton:


Wikipedia also mentions: Copper Range #29 is currently under restoration at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin, which also owns former Copper Range Railroad Coach No. 60.

Restoring Copper Range #60:

I just thought you would like to see a place colder than us. haha

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year....New Finds

Have any of you heard of Facebook? Well it's like MySpace for for adults. So far I have not seen any "weird" stuff on there but things like that are everywhere. Any who I am finding old friends that I have not talked to in over 20 years. I guess another fun thing I found is you can join "groups." I joined the Grand Trunk group and there is a Michigan Rail Fan group. This gentleman named Scott Buel said he has some photos on a website. So I went there and what a collection. I see, on the website, that Gene Buel is also a photographer there.

Here is the website:

It's a MUST see!

Until next post.....Lisa

P.S. I would love to add a picture of their creations here but they are copy writed and have writings all over them.