The nation’s largest model train shows announced cancellations this week, some for dates as far away as early 2021. World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour and Trainfest, which account for about five of the most widely attended model railroad shows each fall and winter, canceled upcoming dates out of concern for covid-19. The cancellations follow suit with many smaller regional shows that have steadily dropped off since early March. Train Show, Inc., issued an exhibitor update Friday announcing that WGH on Tour was being sidelined until 2022. The four or five winter shows that rotate major metropolitan areas are typically hosted from January to early March. The 2021 slate had not been announced. “The Covid-19 health crisis has created an exceedingly difficult situation for event promoters,” the company said in a statement. “Most government jurisdictions and venues are not allowing large gatherings, hence most sporting events, concerts and trade shows have…
After four decades in business, M.T.H. Electric Trains is closing. President Mike Wolf announced Monday that he is retiring, shuttering the business in May 2021 but leaving the door open to prospective buyers to form a new company. In a letter to customers, Wolf said the last products the company will offer are those associated with its latest catalogs. Wolf thanked retailers for supporting the company from its “humble beginnings” and employees for their hard work. At one point, M.T.H. Electric Trains employed 57. The dealer network extends beyond the U.S. “M.T.H. Electric Trains would not have enjoyed success without the support of the M.T.H. Authorized Retailer network,” he said in a statement. “While traditional retail has changed significantly over the past decade, the independent hobby shop has been and continues to be the most important cog in our distribution chain. I truly appreciate the support and friendship these shops…
A survey of Denver-area residents leads RTD to take extra precautions to ensure riders feel comfortable using their surveys. See the Story
The Texas Central Railway overcame a big legal hurdle Thursday when a Texas appeals court ruled that the company building a high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas is, in fact, a railroad company and interurban electric railway. The decision paves the way for the railroad to secure property through eminent domain, if necessary. The decision follows a four-year court battle. Landowners along the proposed route in Leon County argued that the Texas Central was not a railroad and did not have rights associated with a railroad, including eminent domain and access to property for surveyors. The 13th Court of Appeals of Texas issued a Memorandum Opinion, authored by Justice Nora Longoria, that said, “Having found that the appellants (Texas Central Railroad and Infrastructure, Inc. and Integrated Texas Logistics, Inc.) are both railroad companies and interurban electric railways, we conclude that the trial court erred by granting (a landowner’s) motion…
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced that the CARES Act is providing $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help the nation’s public transportation systems respond to covid-19. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed by President Donald J. Trump on March 27. “This historic $25 billion in grant funding will ensure our nation’s public transportation systems can continue to provide services to the millions of Americans who depend on them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. Funding allocated to urban, rural areas FTA is allocating $25 billion to recipients of urbanized area and rural area formula funds. Approximately $23 billion is being allocated to large and small urban areas and $2.2 billion to rural areas. Funding will be provided at a 100 percent federal share, with no local match required. The money will be available to…
The NMRA Gateway 2020 national convention is the latest model railroad event to be stopped in its tracks because of the new coronavirus. One of the largest annual model railroad meets in the U.S., slated for July in St. Louis, MO, was canceled after local organizers determined they could no longer continue preparations, the NMRA announced today. A member of the organizing committee reportedly was diagnosed with covid-19. The National Train Show, which runs concurrent to the convention, was also canceled. Robert Amsler, who manages the NMRA’s meetings and trade show department, informed officers and the board of directors of the committee’s decision. “Neither the Gateway 2020 crew nor the NMRA made this decision in haste or without careful consideration of all involved,” said NMRA. “The cancellation is in the best interest of the NMRA members, their family members and the NMRA.” Officers and the board of directors supported the…
July/August 2020 Issue No. 100
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A Time to Build
The covid-19 pandemic is having an indelible effect on model railroading and rail enthusiasm. And modelers, retailers and event promoters are meeting challenges head-on. Our 100th edition of the Cowcatcher has extensive coverage of how the hobby is managing through historic times. For modelers, staying at home has meant building or working on layouts.
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Adding sound to any train is easy by outfitting boxcars, hoppers and other rolling stock with Digitrax “sound schemes” decoders. Tom Marsh explains how he fitted an N-scale boxcar with the equipment to give DC-powered trains sound.
Project Layout: The N-scale Whitehurst & Pine Ridge Railroad opens up lower-level staging for better functionality, while incorporating train movements to the top of the layout into operations…
Actor Jackie Gleason’s “Bonnie Brook” Budd-built passenger car charts new territory at a South Texas railroad museum…
Special cargo makes a Schnabel car’s last run before retirement memorable…
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
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Product News & Review
GRAIN BELT MODELS BINS/CULVERTS
Grain Belt Models, a division of Iowa Scaled Engineering, has introduced a realistic-looking line of galvanized grain bins and culverts. The Cowcatcher reviewed some of the models and placed them on the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific.
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Tracks from Texas to Tokyo
Railroad in Focus