Pics of trains

Dick’s been in touch with some stunning pics of trains:


Thought you might enjoy some pictures from the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania located with the Strasburg Railroad just outside Lancaster Pennsylvania.

Truly a day-long adventure at a very modest admission. Lots of historical exhibits and information; even a “hands-on” for the little ones.


(All images are clickable.)

pics of trains railroad museum

pics of trains railroad museum

pics of trains railroad museum

pics of trains railroad museum

pics of trains railroad museum

railroad museum

What stunning pics of trains – looks like a fantastic day out to me.

I’m very keen to hear more about the engine in the last pic. If anyone knows please do leave a comment below.

And now for Jon. He’s got in touch after seeing a ‘how-to’ from another John:

“Thank you for the post.

I decided to use John’s idea and make my own model railroad switch machine. I added a light system to it.

I’ve attached pictures.

If you would like more information just let me know.

Thank you,


model railroad switch machine

model railroad switch machine

model railroad switch machine

My word – clever stuff – all I can say is yes, please do send more info Jon, look fantastic.

There are lots of posts on the blog now about switching machines. The one that springs to mind is Dean’s:

HO scale switch maching.

And there’s John’s post too:

HO scale turnout switches.

Please do mail me if you’d like to share anything – even if it’s just some train pics of your day out.

Thanks to Jon and to Dick for sharing his pics of trains.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming – it’s all getting rather sparse in my inbox.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

28 Responses to Pics of trains

  1. Derek Stocker says:

    Visited this museum on 3 occasions when visiting family in Baltimore, it’s a great museum with plenty to see and of course you get to ride the railroad as well.

  2. Peter Martin says:

    The locomtive is a replica of Camden & Amboy Railroad’s “John Bull” steam locomotive 2
    This is a replica of a 4-2-0 wood-burning steam locomotive that was originally built in the early 1830s – the original still exists. This replica was built in the late 1930s and is on display at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in the town of Strasburg.
    (Information from Google)
    Kind regards,
    Pete (In Dorset,UK)

  3. John N Frye says:

    HI, John from Baltimore here. I like Jon’s version of the switch machine! Good job and nice mods!
    Also, I’ve been to the Pennsylvania Strasburg museum, and it’s one of the best in the USA. I had the opportunity to actually ride in a GG-1 locomotive, boarding it as it brought a freight across the Potomac river from Washington DC into Potomac Yards in Alexandria, Virginia when I worked there. The one I was on was sooty-black with a fading Penn-Central logo, not the shiny waxed Tuscan Red like in the one in the museum photo.
    As always, good work on this site Alistair, please know there are many out here who really appreciate your efforts, and pop open the emails as soon as they come in.

  4. Bill Holt says:

    amazing, good job!!!

  5. Robert Brady says:

    Dave if you had a 2 hour viewing of your work in progress I would certainly watch.Carry on Sir.

  6. Kevin McArdle says:

    Lot of work for a switch machine. I find it easier to just purchase, I guess that makes me pedestrian.

  7. Was there 2 years ago and had a wonderful time exploring all the RR memorabilia. They have a stunning model RR set up as well. Not far from the museum is a motel made of cabooses you can stay in.Haven’t tried it yet but maybe on another trip.
    Bob G

  8. From info from local York city sources the John bull ran the earliest track lines in and around this area before the Northern Central and the Maryland and Pennsylvania (the “ma and Pa”) railroads were formed. Apparently the “John Bull” locomotive mad the run from Baltimore, MD to York, PA from what I was told.

    Norm from York, PA

  9. Gregory Oliver says:

    Thanks Dick:

    I found the Hornby suspension bridge on eBay, for $54 US including shipping. They do make It again from the company. I’ve been looking for this bridge for a long time.

    I always enjoy your videos and modeling tips.

  10. A few small comments…
    While I have not been to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (as I live about 3000 miles away as the crow lies… A bit of a drive one might say. It is next to the Strasbourg Railroad which I did ride on when I was young… The Strasbourg is interesting in that they do occasionally run freight trains (as proper trains with a purpose) but they pull them with steam locomotives as that is their most available motive power…
    As to the John Bull… It is actually a 2-4-0 and not a 4-2-0 as mentioned in a comment above….(I occasionally get dyslexic fingers so this is merely to correct the record). The locomotive was originally built in England as an 0-4-0 (hence its name “John Bull”). The pilot truck was added specifically for the “cattle deflector” (now often called a “Cow Catcher”.) Unlike many locomotives its age, the original still exists but the one at the Railway Museum is a copy.
    Then there is “Dangerous Dave”… I really love the changes that I am seeing. The older version was “a bit busy” from my perspective… Lots of track on the old one which was great for displaying trains… The new version looks like it has a better track to scenery ratio….. More like a model of a railway than a model railway. Really excellent work!

  11. Bruce says:

    Jon, More info on the motor is needed.

  12. Richard B. Walter says:

    Dave; would you be kind enough to provide the source for your dackdrop scenes? They’re very nice. Always a pleasure to watch you work!

  13. Rossco says:

    Thanks for your Photos of the Railway Museum Dick. I was there in October 2003 and had a few great hours looking around. Since that was 15 years ago, I know they have built a model railway as well. Did you take any photos of that layout? Thanks again! Cheers Rossco

  14. Bruce@30 says:

    Excellent switch motor. Just what I’ve been looking for. Please more information, wireing diagram? Diode spec? I don’t want to assume. Thank you Sir

  15. Joe Wright says:

    Thanks for the pics. Been to the Pa. Railroa museum. Fantastic collection and so well preserved. A must see for anyone traveling to the area. While your at it stay overnight at the caboose motel. Right down rge road. A collection of about 30 real caboose’s from all different Railroads. Fitted out as motel rooms.

  16. Seeing the comment about the Hornby Suspension bridge – I’ve got one that’s free to a good home if someone can collect from Reading (UK).

  17. ANDREW SCHYHOL says:

    While at the museum just down the road is the CHOO CHOO BARN with a HUGE O gauge layout and hobby store. If you drive down the road from the RED CABOOSE MOTEL you will arrive at the TRAIN COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION MUSEUM another must see! The Lancaster county area is home to hundreds of antique and collectible shops and auctions for your train hunting. All this surrounding the Strasburg Railroad. And don’t forget the Penn Dutch attractions. Spent many vacations there years ago, schedule at least a week!

    ANDY (not living nearby anymore, I miss visiting)

  18. mike says:

    Dave, you make it look easy. I’m watching your videos and they are very helpful. I’m saving them and watching. I’m saving the money up to start. I have a lot of your videos. It’s very nice of you to share. KUDOS you do nice work. I would love to work with you your methods look easy. Thank you.

  19. RICH FATH says:

    Jon, great idea, but execution is problematic. The lever switches should be rotated 90 degrees from how you mounted them. With current orientation there is a lot of force on the lever arm this will lead to premature failure; with the force applied inline with the lever, it puts an additional load on the servo motor, and it too could cause premature failure of the servo. the activation force on the lever should be in line with the switch button, this way the lever arm is not in compression (at the lever pivot point).
    Next, use ring terminals on the ends of your wires, it will keep the wires from sliding out of the screws when tightening.
    As for the terminal screws, either M4 or #6-32 will be sufficient enough for attachments. (Ring terminals 22-18 x #6 will work very well and at a lower expense, here.)
    I guess I am nerding out here but I am an Electrical Engineer involved with product development and manufacturing, I know this is a hobby but doing it correctly will allow for a better and longer operational life.

  20. Michael Lyle says:

    I love this museum. Been there in my childhood and have returned several times as an adult. Look forward to taking my grandkids.


    I live nearby and love visiting the museum. the only thing that bothers me is that many of the locomotives I worked on are in the museum not on the RR. Man, I must be getting old !!!!

  22. Steve says:

    The first photo looks like the old Tri-ang “Davy Crockett” loco and coach, which I always thought was freelance? Maybe not, or maybe they made a 1:1 “model of the model” 😁

  23. I visited that museum a couple of times real nice, if anyone have the opportunity will be a good time there. Eduardo from Valencia Spain.

  24. Ross Johnston says:

    I visited that museum in 2003 but didn’t have time to go on a ride. They were building a model railway there too. Did you have any photos of that? Also for those living in Chicago, have you any photos of the model railway at the Science museum to share? That layout was very impressive. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, Auistralia

  25. Chris - O'Reilley says:

    Been to the museum numerous times as a kid and taken my kids there several times. I grew up about about an 1:30 from the museum and always loved going there. Great memories for me and with the kids.

  26. George Zaky says:

    Thanks for the pics. Any train enthusiast should try to get to Strasburg, Pa to see the museum-it is very well done.
    I am a very firm believer of servos for switch motors. When you have more than 10 switches the economics becomes an issue and the servos are strong & reliable.

  27. W. "DUTCH" Leydsman says:

    It was just over 3 years ago that my wife and I visited the museum. I was there to attend my high school reunion in NJ where I grew up. Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed the PRR and the GG1’s as the raced between NYC and Philly. We got by the Museum just prior to closing and it was a quick visit. I was a veteran and they allowed me in and had a quick tour. Wonderful place. I am an 0 gauge hi railer now living in the mountain west. At 4-1/2 years old I received my first Lionel train. That has grown to over to over seventy locomotives and a large collection of freight and passenger cars. I lost count. As with my family’s tradition as I grew up, we set up a display around the Christmas tree, which I still do most every year. Like many, I have a large number of ceramic and plastic buildings. Since retirement my plans are to complete my layout in a large shed built in my backyard. It has been a slow project. I was called to work out of the country for several years so the project came to a halt as the building became a storage facility, as we were away. While away, I spent my free moments designing and sketching our my theme and layout. My theme is Christmas time 1956, depicting the NE corridor from NYC to Philly mostly of the PRR and other railroads. It represents that happy season of the year and my fond memories of growing up and watching those GG1’s racing to and from NYC and Philly and I even included depictions of NE Pennsylvania. It is a slow project. That period represents the end of the steam era and I do remember that era as a child. So now I sit in my living room enjoying our annual Christmas city, under the tree which took me three weeks to set up and will soon be packed away with the hopes of becoming a full time display. It has two loops each with a siding. It is all Fun!

  28. Jeff (pops) Somerfield in Chicago says:

    To Ross Johnson:
    The railroad you ask about at the Museum of Science and Industry was donated by the model rr club of Electro Motive (EMD) when the company closed it’s doors. Sorry, no pictures. My father retired from there after 41 years of service and I also followed in his footsteps for 16 years. I remember visiting the layout at their annual Christmas party as a young lad.

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