More train missives

“Hi Al

I’d like to share my highly effective method for clamping track during gluing.

While this may seem a little flippant, it is actually quite effective in settling track while PVA glue dries.

The added attraction is that the content of the cans can be consumed on completion of the task.

For our American friends, XXXX is Australian beer! Not what you think!





At age 72 with limited space and color printing capability, I was able to relive a part of my youth when a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood was acres and acres.

So with computer images, balsa wood, a color printer, a couple of car kits, and purchased landscaping and a few spots of glue, this is what I came up with.

Thanks for your great email links and photos.



photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

“Hi Al

Just to prove I am still about, got myself a new Loco the A4 Great Sprite from Hornby, and a few changes going on again…



That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you spring into action, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

37 Responses to More train missives

  1. svyatoslav vykrest says:

    it`s beyond any praise!

  2. peter benson says:

    Well done Dave that was great. What a luckie and lovely man you are; thanks from a jealous fan.///////////////////

  3. builder Kim says:

    Great idea with the can’s of beer.Im Canadian and after 6 of our can beer you be under the table not working on it. great idea. Dave always get a kick out of your video’s. Im a modern engine runner,but like to watch the steam engines run. Thanks for the idea’s and Dave’s video

  4. builder Kim says:

    That’s a cool diorama Joe. Cant wait for more photo’s thanks keep up the great builds. Thanks Al to

  5. John Meehan says:

    I love the clamping idea! But in my house, those would probably be empty and not much weight to be useful enough!

  6. Thanks for giving us a look at a look see ,at your layout. I think you have done such a great job,of getting it to where it is today. Thanks for keeping us up to date.good health to you.

  7. William Schart says:

    Is that XXXX stuff twice as strong as Dos Equis?

  8. Bulfrogeh in Ontario says:

    Luv the ‘track clamps’. O think I read somwhere why the Queenslanders named their beiere ‘four-X’. Muskoka Cream Ale works well here in Ontario; but, it needs a 2-10-4 to move it our of the cooling yard.

  9. Dick says:

    Nice diorama Joe. I noticed a horse has come down from the hills in your last picture. Didn’t see it in the other pictures.

  10. Rev Steve Eggum says:

    Pure Beauty..

    Memories never grow old .
    Recreated to perfection ..
    Be Proud .. A Super recreation ..
    We are there w You !!


  11. great idea for clamping the track especially in summer when you want to lay a lot of track. nice work on the buildings and surrounds. always good to see something from Dave love seeing his changes gives me new ideas. thanks Al for all you do.

  12. phillip says:

    great very talented .living in queeensland is great yesterday was only 25cel

  13. Nice one Joe, its amazing what can be put in to a small area, and Pauls idea well …maybe some John Smiths Smooth Bitter would be better here in the UK ….and thanks for the comments on My railway new addition …Dave

  14. Byron Lusher says:

    Great look. Where did you get those visible texaco gas pumps?

  15. Steve Roberts says:

    Nice diorama Joe, good work in a small space. and Dave, it’s never ending is it. I do wargaming ( playing with toy soldiers) and am recently back into railways, I’m trying to build a heritage line in ‘n’ scale. So, now retired I have 2 of the best hobbies in the word, never a boring moment. Steve R.

  16. Gwyn Lewis says:

    I have missed your missives Dave. Great to have you back

  17. D.B. Lewis says:

    Okay, so we need an experiment to refine the “clamp” idea: What TYPE of beer would work best? I’m thinking some kind of stout malt.

  18. Stan White. says:

    Great Dave another great demo nice to hear the A4 and waiting for the track mods good on ya Regards from Sydney NSW.

  19. Terry says:

    Paul has omitted to tell you the origins of the name XXXX, which is made in Queensland. We New South Wales beer drinkers believe that it’s name originated from the fact that the literacy rate in Queensland is somewhat lower than in the civilised states of Australia, and was so named as nobody at the brewery could spell ‘beer’. And yes, there are plenty of beers, including Aussie ones, which are far better! Still – a very good idea, mate!

  20. Carl in Kansas says:

    Seeing those clear gas pumps reminds me of gas when my father was younger, and gas was cheaper. He recalled 7 gallons for one dollar, or as the sign said, “Seven Gals, One Doll”.

    Carl in Kansas

  21. Rob Shuman says:

    Paul – Great idea with the beverages! Good reward for when the glue dries. I’ll try that in the winter when the room is cooler so the beverages will be cooler too. You know how us Yanks can be about cold drinks.
    Joe- Awesome work. Hope to see some trains involved with you excellent buildings soon.

  22. John says:

    Nice idea but xxxx is British advertised as Australian made in burton upon Trent but with that gone nice idea

  23. Ray Suckling says:

    Very nicely done Joe, have been chasing similar vehicles and pumps over here in Australia to no avail could you tell me the brand and where you got them.

  24. Robert Brady says:

    OH Mcgoo ( Dave ) You’ve done it again! And commercial free. Lol

  25. Graeme says:

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think 4X is a good drop! But, we from Victoria maintain that Queenslanders call their brew XXXX is because they can’t spell BEER! 🙂

  26. NJ Mark says:

    Great stuff presented, as usual. I never had XXXX but I did have Cooper stout and really enjoyed it. Beer and model railroading what a great combination. Cheers! NJ Mark

  27. Roberd D. Bouskill says:

    Why do you suppose European engineers placed so much emphasis on aerodynamics when a steam engine can develop so much power aerodynamics mean nothing?

  28. Stephen E Parker says:

    The 100 square inch at a time approach is a great way to do detailed work and not be overwhelmed by a large work area.

  29. svet vykrest says:

    Well done ,Dave ,it`s fantastic!

  30. Terry Foster says:

    Hi Dave ,love your posts and info .i look forward to seeing your next video each time,bye the way love your new loco ,the sound is just great keep up the good work until next time all the best.Regards Terry F. P.S. Four x beer is a very good beer and tastes great if you like a bitter.

  31. Will in NM says:

    Paul, Great track laying suggestion! Do champagne bottles work as well as 4X beer cans?

    Joe, You did a wonderful job in just 100 square inches. You’ve got some definite modeling skills. Are you planning to expand upon your diorama? You could always do a series of 100 square inch modules then connect them together later.
    Just a thought — no pressure,

    Dave, It’s always a pleasure to see your latest model train acquisition videos. You seem to have room for an endless supply of new locomotives and dandy new passenger coaches. I don’t know how you do it. 🙂 Your wife must be very tolerant of your model railroading efforts. Thank you once again for sharing your new toys with us.

    Last but not least, Al. Thank you for all you do to keep this wonderful blog or whatever it is going. It must take an enormous amount of time and effort to put together the daily emails and blog spots.

  32. Ed Pagenkopp says:

    To further improve the weight distribution lay the cans on their side so the track cradles the cans. I use vegetable,, soup,, etc., cans.

  33. Dave Karper says:

    Could I use Pepsi Cola cans. Full, Of course.

  34. Adrian Campbell says:

    FANTASTIC NEWS – so Castlemaine XXXX is available agian in the UK is? Brewed in Burton on Trent (next best to Queensland) but where can I buy it? Used to love it but it disappeared around 10 years ago.

    Oh, and yes, the train stuff. That’s good too.

  35. Bob says:

    I always enjoy your videos. Thanks for sharing.

  36. DavidHutto says:

    I love the clamps! I’m Working on my layout (1890-1910) and I need horses with saddles to put in front of saloons and on the street. Where did you get the horse?

  37. robert tiemann says:

    consume the contents of the cans afterward, i love, i dont drink beer but i love it.

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