Amarillo Railroad Museum, Inc. ®
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now that the turkey-induced tryptophan doldrums are behind us, it is time to start thinking about Christmas and the Holiday Season. The Amarillo Railroad Museum extends to all of our visitors a warm season's greetings and hope it is peaceful and full of joy.
On a commercial note, if you are looking for a great gift for the HO-scale modeler, check out our Company Store for state-of-the-art models that span the 1940s to the 1980s. All proceeds from sales go directly to helping the ARM further its goals.
The ARM is going forward regardless of the obvious lack of website updates.
We are currently working hard on scenery and electronic work. This work has resulted in only a few if any opportunities to run trains. With summer activities done and autumn rapidly coming to a close, outside work is over for the most part. Most members are glad the grass and weeds have stopped growing or dried up and blown away. We now have tumbleweed alerts!
Our scenery work is the most intense activity. Track is being realigned in places and being painted throughout the railroad. Sub-structure is being put in place to fill up the open spaces before ground texture spackling is laid down and painted. Then along comes the details crew that lays down the ground foam, more painting, placing structures, more painting, and so forth. Canadian has been sceniced for quite a while, but Cuyler is nearing completion with a wheat field and harvesting crew in place. All of this work is going on in what we'd call platted areas while a few members are deciding on how other areas and towns will look as the scenery crew follows.
Powering sidings and frogs is an important part of our electronic work. Right now, unpowered frogs cause some stalling and a lot of flickering in lighted cars.
Along with this work, we are examining/evaluating the mainline's blocks to make sure our current setup will work with the signaling system that is being developed. Our DCC system is showing a bit of age after 10+ years, and random gremlins seem to be creeping in. So, in some ways, not being able to run trains over the length of the layout is a good thing as failing components are found and replaced.
Some things that are not specifically layout related or reported before include:
1. The installation of a complete ATCS Monitor receiving system that allows anyone using the ATCS software anywhere in the world to "see" the current activity on the BNSF. Depending on atmospheric conditions, we can "see" BNSF trains from Canadian, TX, to Clovis, NM, on a good day/night. More commonly, from Pampa to Hereford, TX. Most importantly, we can see trains that will shortly arrive at our "front door" all the time. If interested, load the BNSF Hereford and BNSF Panhandle files into ATCS to see the trains.
2. We have a faster and more reliable internet provider that we've been enjoying for a while now.
3. The Oklahoma City Train Show for 2023 was a smashing success for us. We had brisk sales of every thing from new-in-the-box models, 'vintage' models, and parts. A BIG thanks to the OKC Railroad Museum for their continuing kindness and hospitality. We also want to thank Hobby Time of Amarillo for the gracious use of their trailer. As a note, this year we put our 'stuff' into same-sized large plastic storage tubs that made loading and unloading a lot easier that it has been in previous years when we had various plastic and cardboard boxes.
4. If you've looked at our photos of the layout room, you will note a partially-installed shake shingle "roof" over the layout. A task we have for 2023 it to complete this roof.
5. If you haven't heard, we are selling a great Fort Worth and Denver two-bay covered hopper from InterMountain Railway Co. Check out the Company Store. In the store, you'll also see that we have a very limited number of CB&Q two-bay hoppers of the same model. We did a swap with the Burlington Route Historical Society; trading some of our FtW&D cars for their Q cars which were done at the same time. Again, there are just a few left.
Before we forget, we had a visit this autumn from Doug and Barbara Geiger. They planned on visiting the ARM since last spring. We finally settled on mid-October. Doug was interested in taking detailed measurement of our White Train cars. While Barbara and the webmaster sat in the shade and talked about the 'universe,' Doug busied himself; crawling all over the cars. We had an enjoyable afternoon.