Arnie’s update

“Hi Al,

It’s been a long while since my last contact and submission to you. Despite my professional and family responsibilities, I have tried to keep up with your postings. I continue to be impressed with the way the posting submissions have grown in number and diversity.

I am forwarding to you a short video I put together today, entitled, “BERKSHIRES – STEAM BY NIGHT.” It features the recently released version of Bachmann’s N scale 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive equipped with DCC and Sound.

It’s Bachmann’s first sound equipped N scale steam loco. The number of sounds of these locos running on my layout are limited since I have a DC not DCC powered layout. Full access to the spectrum of sounds can only be accessed in DCC mode.

Nonetheless, the automatic sound control when operating in DC mode is respectable. As I have a DCC powered test track, I’ve run these locos in DCC and recorded the accessible and user controlled sounds of the whistle and steam release hiss and added them to the automatic sounds of chuffing and bell at various points in the video.

For the viewers unfamiliar with the real Berkshire, here’s some info: It was first made back in 1924. Two surviving examples are still actively in use today in mainline excursions – the Nickel Plate Road (NKP) #765 and the Pere Marquette #1225. The 1225 is the prototype that was used for the animated hit movie “The Polar Express.” These locos ran in both passenger and freight service. Depending on the railroad each loco was designed for, they ranged in length (loco + tender) from 100′ 8″ to 105′ 2″ with 2754 HP to 2979 HP.

I hope you’ll find the video interesting enough to post.



Well, what can I say – except a huge thanks to Arnie. A stunning video and a wonderful narrative.

Please do post your comments below.

And if Arnie has inspired you, the latest ebay cheat sheet is here.



48 Responses to Arnie’s update

  1. Very good showing of night time running Arnie …the sounds come through very good ..Dave

  2. Very nice, a little too dark, but very nice set up. When it comes to night, it’s best not to go too dark.

  3. Its a terrific ,Arnie The sight and sound are just fantastic, Sounds so real .You sure are talented. .. Thanks for sharing.,John

  4. Brilliant video, very realistic sounds & views. I do like the US Loco’s & rolling stock. Enjoyed it very much thanks for sharing it, it’s a credit to you Arnie. Dave.

  5. Absolutely beautiful!

  6. Arnie has answered my biggest concern; can sound be run on DC? Thank you! Great layout and great video. Keep on contributing! Frank from Micķey Mouse World.

  7. i just thought that video is amazing the sounds and bells just right. having just the one carriage and lite up looked so great. it is amazing how a layout at night on camera looks so different. keep it up.

  8. a terrific video very good work!!!

  9. Arnie,
    Wow! What a great video. Thanks for sharing.

  10. That was awesome to watch. Beautiful layout. I can only dream that someday my layout will look that good. Well done.

  11. Just brilliant

  12. Arnie certainly captured the romance of the steam era. Great video! Amazing layout! What is the name of the instrumental that played at the closing?

  13. Very realistic!! And this is in N scale. I was really struck by the realism of the scene from about 1:45-2:10. The rock outcrops and the stream were very real! It must have taken some care and effort to make things look so natural. I also liked the backdrop of the row houses on the hill. It reminds me of many towns in eastern Pennsylvania (Easton, Bethlehem, Pottsville, Minersville) from the steam era.

  14. That was realy great, I wish it would have been a little more light in it. It was hard to believe that was in N scale DCC, the sounds were real great also. GOOD JOB !!

  15. Wow what a wonderful layout. I thought his scenery was great. Really nice work !!!! Paul

  16. What a beautiful layout and video….thank you for sharing this with us. I am a long time model railroader who recently moved into a city high rise and had to give up his 3,000 sq ft basement with his extensive layout. I have built many a layout from “0” gauge to “HO” gauge and enjoyed many hours with my children and grand children. An extensive albeit portable layout makes for some crazy family gatherings at Christmas in our living and dinning areas of our condo.
    In fact I have a small storage unit rented still filled with boxes of stock, scenery, buildings and engines ready for someone in my family to take it.
    Do you have any plans that you could share with us of the layout….it is just wonderful and maybe……just maybe I could free up a bedroom or find some off space to explore a “N” scale layout.
    Thank you for sharing and making my day.


  17. Fantastic video – great layout and an excellent trip during the night – thank you for sharing your tremendous talent

  18. Nice

  19. Truly outstanding! I have never seen anything so realistic. Arnie,you are an absolute artist. Thanks so much for sharing. I also loved your closing music.
    I would also like to thank you Alistair for your dedication, time, and effort in sharing this site with all of us.
    Mike DeMuyt

  20. Wow, what a brilliant video. Excellent scenery and buildings along with realistic train movements. Well done!!
    Norman in UK.

  21. SPLENDID, inspiring and most impressive!

  22. Outstanding! Best work I have seen yet. N Scale though? My hands just don’t work that well on the small equipment anymore. In fact I recently moved up to “O” gauge for that reason. Maybe I will send some posts of my new and still primitive layout, in addition to offering about 200 pieces of rare HO gauge engines, diesels, buildings, sets, etc, I hope I can get those great sounds especially with my limited technical skills. Would like to see more of this layout

  23. Arnie,

    As an N scaler myself, I found the video wonderful. The sounds and engines looked great. But the best part of the video was your scenery and layout. Simply stunning and very realistic. I would be interested if you have any other videos or information on your layout available online.

    Great job!
    member of KV&EC Model Railroad club, Huntley IL.

  24. That was great great great thanks

  25. great, great, great,

  26. Arnie:

    Job well done as you have shown what you wanted for all to see. Your layout is great-depicting a beautiful backdrop and many splendid items along the traveled way. Thx for sharing and I know if you wanted to go DCC you could have easily as what you have shown us where there is a will-there is also a way. Take care and keep sharing.

    Harold Jr GPTx of USA

  27. Beautiful! I was waiting until my local Hobby Shop got the Bachmann Engine in as I was worried the first of their tries at a N Scale Engine w/sound would be a flop, but your video proved otherwise. The care and detail you put into your layout is way above my level of expertise. and shows in your video. All I can add is: Well done”!

  28. wow great work Arnie
    both the layout, the trains, the audio dub/over, and the video process!!
    look fwd to more from you more often
    keep ’em runnin guys

  29. A master at work. Thanks for sharing, although you’ve made me more than a bit jealous. Just no way I could do that in N gauge.

  30. Being a Pennsylvania born and native ,even though I,ve never been to the places mentioned in your video, if it has to do with Pennsylvania , It has my attention, great job with the detail, I really enjoy the stream and bridge scenes, (I could never get enough small mouth bass fishing), again awesome job

  31. great job…….would like to see it in the “daylight”

  32. Very nice….love the viaduct!!!!


  34. Arnie, an extremely nice layout with believable scenery. Your night time lighting was just brilliant. Top marks.

  35. Excellent Has brought back a little faith in Bachmann. I’m interested.

  36. ENTHRALLING! GREAT JOB!! Thanks much for the viewing!!

  37. Hi Arnie, are there any Trout in your streams I got carried away for a bit thinking that the Trout in that stream will take a fly. the water looks so real great part of to your layout to look at, love to see a video of it all in daylight.

    thanks Monty
    Perth Australia

  38. Amazing work!!!
    Looking at the people in the train station, I remembered the old electric football games where the players were moved by some sort of vibrating mechanism….I wonder if that could be adapted for a train station, so the figures would move around……

  39. Good modeling, good production and presentation. One of the better ones.

  40. Outstanding,you can actually hear the Doppler effect,first class layout also.

  41. Looks like a layout Disney would do!

  42. Thank you, for sharing , your pieces of history, so excellent ly. Re-created. Will watch & take notes many times. Congrats on excellent work.


  43. Gosh, you don’t see anything quite like that in Berkshire!

  44. I dig all layouts and Arnies is one of the best. Great detail and so damn big! Love that night time effect. And yes. It’s amazing that it is in n scale. Your an inspiration to us struggling to get things just so.

  45. When it comes to video, night can be done with a dark blue filter, a Hollywood trick. That way you don’t have to turn off all of the house lights. Christine.

  46. wow pretty kooool layout Arnie
    and Alastair the new ‘blog’ site is priceless
    keep ’em runnin’ fellas

  47. Sounds great, looks great. – excellent layout and video – well done
    Steve R UK

  48. Really enjoyed watching your nite-time running of the steam era trains.
    I’m not an expert but was very surprised at the realism.

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