Specializing in HO, S, O Scales — Standard & Narrow Gauges

Metroliner and a Lehigh Valley RDC at the Pennsylvania RR Museum,
Strasburg, Pennsylvania, August 2014
Ray Kaminski

What a fabulous time in Kansas City! It’s always great to make new friendships; renew old ones and match faces to the voices I hear on the phone. Modular groups presented wonderful examples of the fine art of model railroading. Clinics were informative and packed while vendors tried to satisfy all the attendees wishes. Many new products were featured while some old product lines have been refreshed and reintroduced by new owners. More on this shortly.

CURIOUS CREDIT CARD DOINGS (or why is my card bouncing?)

I saw something interesting happening a lot at the Convention — a customer uses a credit card for a purchase and the card is not accepted by the card processing company. “What’s Going On Here” was the frequent question (plus some others I won’t print here). It seems that the outside works has begun invading our hobby — and in a good / bad way. Here’s what I’ve learned from my new card service provider. Due to all the recent fraudulent card thefts and security breaches credit card companies are more stringent then ever about card usage. Aside from the new security card types coming out in the next year or so (along with new card readers merchants will need), location is an important consideration. You’re at the convention in Kansas City (from wherever you live) making purchases from dealers who are from different states themselves. Your card issuer sees these out of state purchases from several states within a few hours and, being extra cautious lately, shuts down your card and notifies the master database, which may shut down other cards you may have. Result: You’re ($&@#%€£¥<=>) annoyed. Example: A customer’s card was declined; he phoned his card company to find out what the problem was — it was the fact that he (a resident of Washington State) was in Kansas City, KS making a purchase from a vendor based in Philadelphia, PA (and vendors from all over the country). The card company verified his information and reset his card — but the good thing that came out of this incident was that he was told his card had been used 10 minutes earlier for a food purchase in Pittsburgh, PA! We all must be vigilant with our sensitive card information. I make sure that my card companies are notified before I leave as to where I’m going; for how long and the approximate route. A few minutes before leaving can help resolve potential frustrations; helping all of us to better enjoy our hobby vacation.


Berkshire Valley and I had a substantive chat with the result that I’ll again be carrying the Building Kit and Detail line. The molds need some work, but I’m told that fresh stock should be coming my way by Thanksgiving. The Banta Modelworks line of S Scale Kits (renamed The Building & Structure Co.) have been sold to Commercial Scale Models of Riverside, RI. New owner Benjamin Viti has made me a dealer for the building kits and the Ulrich line of HO truck & trailer models. He tells me he’s getting up to speed on all the building items and now has several available which I now have in stock. Watch for his new webpage in the Buildings Section of this website.

SoundTraxx® now has both the CurrentKeeper® and SoundCar® shipping to dealers. Blackstone Flat Cars and Drop Bottom Gondolas are now in stock along with Motrak Models loads for the Gondolas. Pre-orders are now being accepted for their new 30’ Reefer (due late 2015) along with the previously announced K-36 & K-28 Mikados. Fans of the ProTraxx™ system will be happy to hear that turnouts are being added. We’ll update the pages for these products shortly.

TCS is introducing “Motherboards” for installation in select Bachmann and Life Like / Walthers steam locos. These “Motherboards” replace the factory circuit board that is mounted in the tender. They conveniently have a 21 pin connector that mates with either the (new) TCS WOW121-Steam sound decoder (#1525) or the TCS EU621 (#1344) 21 pin conventional decoder (not included). Each motherboard comes with TCS onboard Keep Alive™ that will provide stall free operation over troublesome track sections. The boards eliminate the wad of wire that gets in the way with many decoder installations and makes for a much cleaner and better fitting decoder installation. On sound decoder installations the lack of excess wire also improves the sound quality eliminating the rattle that sometimes accompany crowded sound installations.


Next year’s NG Convention will be in Houston, TX from September 2nd – 5th at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Many of the Kansas City vendors have already signed up and the preliminary list of local layouts to visit is both large and varied. Now is not too early to, at least, give some thought to attending. Until we get our link posted check them out at www.nngc2015.com.

Our October and November shows include Berea, OH; Gardiner, NY; Timonium, MD; Syracuse, NY, Allentown and Strasburg, PA. Watch at the bottom of this page for the next show listing and its web link.

— Ray
Next Show —
October 4/5 — Berea, OH

Great Berea Train Show @ Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.
Info at www.div4.org

Phone: 215•482•7530
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Last Update: September 17, 2014