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This is to announce the start of new Garden Railroad scheduled activities in Central Arkansas. It will be called the "Arkansas Powered Rails Garden Railways" also known as "Arkansas Powered Rails' (APR) to shorten it.
Al Taylor and I developed a plan to have scheduled activities twice every month officially starting in January but informally starting this coming Saturday December 13 at around 11:00 am at Al Taylor’s home.

Our initial schedule will be to have a “meeting” starting at 7:00 pm the 2nd Thursday of each month followed by a “Running Day” the 4th Saturday of each month starting at 11:00 am. The schedules can be adapted according to weather, holidays or other conflicts.

The Meetings will be an opportunity for us to get together with sort of a “show and tell” approach to see who is doing (or planning) what with their trains and layouts.

The Running Days will be primarily focused on running trains, visiting and perhaps having a cook out with light refreshments (Cokes, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers) to make it more of a family occasion. If there will be refreshments served it will be mentioned in the announcement.

Unless otherwise scheduled the default location will be at my home. This week will not be at my home but instead will be at Al Taylor’s. Future meetings and running days can be anywhere that anyone wishes to host them.

Our focus will be primarily on the various forms of track power which can include:

  1. Traditional Analog Track Power LGB’s MTS Digital Track Power Generic DCC Digital Track Power MTH’s DCS Digital Track Power Powered Rails with On-board Controls such as AirWire or Aristo-Craft
While it is outside our primary focus - as long as it can be done without inconveniencing track powered operations - we may also run battery or live steam powered trains.

Al and I have been expanding the capabilities of our layouts so that we can now run any of the above on our layouts. We have also equipped a quantity of our locomotives with decoders (to run with MTS/DCC) which will enable us to have multiple trains available (with individual remote controls) for visitors to always have trains available to run if they do not have or did not bring their own.

Since this will be organized activity it was probably a good idea to have a name that identifies the purpose of the activities. For that reason we will call it the “Arkansas Powered Rails Garden Railways” and use the name of “Arkansas Powered Rails” (APR) for short. At this time there is no need to include Association, Club, Society or anything else because there really is no need for any sort of official membership or club organization. We are just a couple of retired guys who enjoy running trains and welcome anyone else who would enjoy running trains with us.

In the past the limitation on running trains was how big the layout was so that one train would not run into another train. With the conversion of sufficient trains to MTS/DCC capability by adding decoders to them we can now have up to eight (8) trains running on the same layout at the same time with each train being run with an individual remote control.

Since Al and I are both retired we can usually be found at home (perhaps running trains) just about every day of the week so if someone wishes to get together with us it is not necessary to wait for a scheduled meeting or running day. Just phone ahead to see when one of us will be running trains again. The more advance notice we have the better the chances of being able to run trains when you would like to.

Going back to the name of “Arkansas Powered Rails Garden Railways” part of the reason for this name is because it can include anyone anywhere in the State of Arkansas (or even nearby states) who has or wishes to run Garden Railroad size trains with power from the rails. As we learn of others in the state who also use powered rails to run their trains we will be able to share knowledge and experiences with those who have had similar challenges to overcome. By the same token if they are running rail powered trains they could run their trains on our layouts and we could run our trains on their layouts (unlike battery or steam power layouts which typically cannot run rail powered trains).

As for the meetings and running days there are no specific plans to do anything other than get together and have fun. If only 2 people show up that is OK and we will have fun and if 20 show up that will be fun too.

Everyone is welcome and you are welcome to bring your family and any guests.

Al Taylor will be starting things out this Saturday. If you have not been to Al’s house contact me via email for his phone number and directions. Also contact me via email for my phone number and directions.
Al is located in Maumelle (north of Little Rock) and I am located near Austin, Arkansas (about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock).

Jerry McColgan
 

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Jerry what a cool Idea. Sounds like it can be a lot of fun. Are club kind of does something similar but only get together at other members homes to have meeting and run trains during spring and summer. I like your Idea of year round get together s. We also have members for neighboring states that do attend.

Wished I live closer. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Posted By aceinspp on 12/11/2008 6:54 AM

Wished I live closer. Later RJD




Hi RJD,

I too wish you (and other MLSers) lived closer.

There is another group in Central Arkansas but pretty much all of them run on battery power or live steam (no powered rails for us track power guys).

Al and I pretty much run trains just about anytime we feel like it. In Al's case he runs about 8 hours every single day regardless of weather. I've gotten lazy with my crawl space layout (no weather to worry about) but it is not a very convenient space to have visitors over to run trains (not much room for more than 3 or 4 people).

I finally got enough LGB Remotes and Transmitters and have installed enough decoders so that I can have up to eight trains ready to run anytime we have visitors. I got the idea from a fellow who runs a large HO layout on DCC and has trains and transmitters for visitors to run trains.

It should be fun and anyone can come whether they have a layout or train or not.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Jerry do you ever get a lot of snow? My mom lived in Mountain Home and at times they got some good snows. Almost moved there a few years ago. I have good friend of mine that lives in Ak I will pass the word on to him. I know I'd fit right in as I'm all DCC now and have one LS loco thats a blast to run when the weather is cool. Lots of smoke. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Posted By aceinspp on 12/11/2008 6:22 PM
Jerry do you ever get a lot of snow? My mom lived in Mountain Home and at times they got some good snows. Almost moved there a few years ago. I have good friend of mine that lives in Ak I will pass the word on to him. I know I'd fit right in as I'm all DCC now and have one LS loco thats a blast to run when the weather is cool. Lots of smoke. Later RJD


Hi RJD,

Mountain Home and Northwest Arkansas are like different states when it comes to weather. Most years we get no snow at all and at worst we might get a week or two with not much accumulation. As a result drivers here have little awareness of driving on snow. I am from the Chicago area and my wife is from England so we know what we are missing and are glad to miss it but I admit that there are a few times when I would like to see some snow.

Dave Hottmann moved to Evening Shade so he is not too far from Mountain Home.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Jerry I can relate to the snow as I was born and raised just out side Chicago. I really do not miss the snow. Paid my dues so I'm enjoying the south. However we can still get snow here also like you so I do have a plow just in case. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Posted By aceinspp on 12/12/2008 11:28 AM
Jerry I can relate to the snow as I was born and raised just out side Chicago. I really do not miss the snow. Paid my dues so I'm enjoying the south. However we can still get snow here also like you so I do have a plow just in case. Later RJD


What is funny is that every year the stores here that carry Sears surplus end up with like new snow blowers. Some people buy them and modify them to pick up pecans from the ground.

Jerry
 

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Well Jerry, I live sort-of close to Arkansas. Only time I've been there though is when I went railfanning in Memphis about 10 years ago lol. Sounds fun though!
 

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Posted By Engineercub on 12/30/2008 4:16 PM
Well Jerry, I live sort-of close to Arkansas. Only time I've been there though is when I went railfanning in Memphis about 10 years ago lol. Sounds fun though!


Before I retired I used to go through Murfreesboro at least once a year. Perhaps your travels will bring you back through Arkansas and you will be able to visit.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Jerry,

Wish I was closer as well. Like the idea of a train running day. We may try something like that in the spring for some friends
up in NWA. Our club has a meeting each month, however there usually isn't much train running. I think that several of our
folks would enjoy just a day to run trains and no business etc. At least I would. The way my work schedule is, I only get to
make one or two meetings each year.

Best wishes on your endeavors!

Monte
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Posted By trainman707 on 12/31/2008 4:17 PM
Jerry,

Wish I was closer as well. Like the idea of a train running day. We may try something like that in the spring for some friends
up in NWA. Our club has a meeting each month, however there usually isn't much train running. I think that several of our
folks would enjoy just a day to run trains and no business etc. At least I would. The way my work schedule is, I only get to
make one or two meetings each year.

Best wishes on your endeavors!

Monte



Hi Monte,

There is a great group in NWA but so far I've not been able to get together with them much other than to visit Henson once and awhile. I did join the Springfield club but only got to one meeting.

It seems (to me anyway) that it is hard to combine running trains with business meeting on the same day so we decided to try doing them on different days and to have Saturday as a running day because it should be more convenient for families with children.

In order to make it more of a family outing as well as a running day we plan on having simple cookouts (nothing more than Cokes, Hot Dogs and/or Burgers).

Our "Club" now has a new "Club house" - Missouri Pacific Extended Vision Caboose #13641. The excavators finished preparing the site today. I doubt the caboose will be moved here before our first Meeting at 7:00 pm on January 8th but hopefully it will be here by the 1st Running Day of 2009 on the 24th of January starting at 11:00 am.





The caboose looks rather sad now but I have all the windows and doors sealed and locked to prevent any further vandalism.

Once we get it moved we will get started in earnest to at least get it looking nice both inside and outside. I bought a new wood burning stove for it yesterday plus I have electrical power to where the caboose will sit so it will be warm and cozy for our meetings and run days.

What is particularly nice about this caboose is that it has quite a large main room which should prove great for club meetings with show and tell projects etc. If anyone gets bored I will have it set up with at least a DVD/VCR player and TV set complete with a collection of railroad videos.

We will have a patio outside with chairs, swings etc. for when the weather is too nice to be indoors.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Love the caboose! I'd like to have one like that as my office and train control room here. Lord knows I have the space
for it! lol

Yes, there is a good group in NWA. Carl Holt and I started the NWAGRS a little over two years ago. We met at a tour in Tulsa
then we decided it was time for a club in the Fayetteville area. I had to bow out due to work concerns a little over a year ago. Recently
I've made a meeting, but still have most of my Saturday's tied up.

Keep us posted on how things are going on down that way. If we have an opportunity we may drive done sometime.

Monte
 

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A couple other things; Henson and his wife Reba are wonderful people. They were at our home a couple of weeks ago for our annual Christmas Wonderland
Open House.

On the caboose....what's it's history? ....anything before MOPAC?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Posted By trainman707 on 12/31/2008 7:09 PM
A couple other things; Henson and his wife Reba are wonderful people. They were at our home a couple of weeks ago for our annual Christmas Wonderland
Open House.

On the caboose....what's it's history? ....anything before MOPAC?




Hi Monte,

The caboose had a relatively short life of only about 15 years on the railroad. It is one of only 29 of this last production lot that were made for MoPac. It was manufactured by International Car Company between November 1973 and January 1974.

http://dbry.rrarchives.com/cabsavedhtml/cabstyles.html

http://www.forums.rrarchives.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=386

In 1989 it was donated to the Cabot (Arkansas) School District where it was used as a concession stand for several years but then moved to an unsupervised location and virtually abandoned. I had been trying for about 4 years to get the school district to sell it if they were not going to protect and preserve it.

The School Board finally agreed to sell it but because it was public property they had to put it up for an advertised public auction. Fortunately for us I was the only one who apparently wanted the caboose in its present condition (especially considering the major expense of moving a caboose) so I was awarded the caboose at the close of the auction.

I had discussed the caboose with Henson and he was able to provide some assistance in my understanding the school system.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Posted By trainman707 on 12/31/2008 7:09 PM

On the caboose....what's it's history? ....anything before MOPAC?




I just found this:

MP 13605-13664 (60 cars)
[*]Assigned UP Class CA-31 [*]Built in 1973 and 1974 by International Car Corp. (Lot 2060). [*]Extended vision, off-center cupola; 41 feet, 7-3/4 inches over coupler pulling faces; MP 13605-13634 built with 52,600 pounds light weight; MP 13635-13664 built with 52,900 pounds light weight. [/list]
MP 13641 Date Vacated: 15 Feb 1989 Notes: Removed from service on 25 July 1986 at Sedalia, Mo. Donated to Cabot Public Schools, Cabot, Ark.

http://utahrails.net/caboose/cabooses-mp.php

Jerry
 

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and.....now we know 'the rest of the story'! Now residing at Jerry McColgan's railroad! I think it's great
that you have kept alive a vital part of railroad history for our area. I look forward to seeing it in person
sometime. Looking forward to updates on restoration progress.
 

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Always good to see another club forming. Good luck.

A suggestion, if I might. Since you are announcing the club here, I'm assuming you are inviting MLS members to possibly attend. If so, it would be nice if some actual street addresses or web site links with directions were posted to see if we are actually close enough to attend activities.

Have fun with your new group. Good score on the caboose.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Posted By barnmichael on 01/03/2009 9:19 PM
Always good to see another club forming. Good luck.

A suggestion, if I might. Since you are announcing the club here, I'm assuming you are inviting MLS members to possibly attend. If so, it would be nice if some actual street addresses or web site links with directions were posted to see if we are actually close enough to attend activities.

Have fun with your new group. Good score on the caboose.


That's a good idea.

Of course all MLS Members are welcome to come to a Meeting, Running Day or just to say "Hello."

Information and directions have been placed in the Garden Railways Magazine listings under

Model Railroad Groups within Arkansas, United States



http://www.trains.com/trc/community/rrgroups/group-info.asp?groupid=1664

We are about 30 miles northeast of Little Rock (3 miles west of Austin, Arkansas) and I can be contacted at 501 843-6000. I am retired so I am here almost all of the time but if possible it is best to phone a few days ahead to be sure that the layout is up and running.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We had our August "Run Day" at Al Taylor's home and for the event Al had invited the members from a local O Gauge Club.

The turnout was excellent and we had more O Gaugers than G Gaugers present. Everyone had a great time and we expect most of the O Gaugers to join us at our next meeting at our home on the 2nd Thursday of September.

Several of the O Gaugers expressed a very strong interest in getting into G Gauge as a result of their experiences at Al's house.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We are pleased to announce the the Arkansas Powered Rails Garden Railway Club now has an official website at:

http://aprgrc.com/

Our thanks to Dean Whipple for making this possible and for preparing the website for us.

By coincidence last night I had a phone call from the Administrative Assistant of the School Superintendent asking if she could bring her 2 year old grandson (who is crazy about trains) over to see their old caboose and my train layout. I think she will be reporting back to the school district that their caboose is in good hands.

Jerry
 
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