Web Site of ToyTrains1

Model Blue Comet

On the left-hand side of the screen, you will see a list of topics.   Click on a topic to display the photo(s) and information relating to that topic.   Where I have models of the locomotives listed, photos of the models are included.

To see digital movies of some of my model trains in action, as well as digitized movies of some steam train excursions that I've been on, click on one of the following links:

Multimedia Section 1 - True HD 1080p videos

Multimedia Section 2 - Standard Definition videos

In the Spring of 2002, MTH released their much-awaited DCS (Digital Command System), a remote control system that allows you to control all of the trains on your layout.  I was lucky enough to get one quite early and learn about it -- to the point that I have some helpful hints and tips about using DCS as well as a revision history from the beginning to the present.

DCS Tips and Hints

In 2003, I wrote an essay on the dangers of using non-certified materials such as "lamp oil" as smoke fluids in toy train locomotives.  The essay appeared in a leading hobby publication.  The topic keeps coming up in various online venues and I thought that I'd give the essay a permanent home on the web so a Google search can turn up the facts.

The Myth of Lamp Oil

On a visit to New York City, I shot a few photos at the nicely restored Grand Central Terminal.

Grand Central Terminal

On my layout, I'm fond of using an insulated rail to trip trackside signals and accessories, rather than using some type of contactor or optical switch.  It's relatively easy to do using a simple relay and full-wave bridge rectifier available from Radio Shack or other electronics suppliers.  The following two diagrams specifically show how to hook up the MTH Watchman's Shanty and MTH trackside Red/Yellow/Green signals but can be more generally applied for most such accessories.

Hookup - Shanty

Hookup - Signals

I occasionally do reviews of my new model locomotives -- some of the reviews are collected on a page accessed via the following link:

Train Reviews

I've started to keep a blog about my railroading and other interests.  You can read it by clicking on the following link:

ToyTrains1's Blog

I have several favorite lines -- Jersey Central, Pennsylvania, and New York Central -- and have a page that links to the locomotive pages that have photos from those lines.  If you'd prefer to view those immediately instead of browsing through the various locomotive types, click on the following link:

Photos by Road Name

There are a number of web sites that I enjoy visiting; I think you might like them too!  The following link will take you to my page of Train Links.

Toytrains1's Train Links

Ever wonder on what basis steam locomotives are classified?  Try the following link.

Steam Locomotive Wheel Arrangements

If you'd like, you can leave me a comment about the web site by signing my Guest Book

Starting in July of 2000, I've visited the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, the Strasburg Railroad, and the Choo Choo Barn, all in Strasburg, PA, on a number of occasions.  Click on the following link to see photographs taken at all three locations.  All are well worth the visit!

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania/Strasburg Railroad/Choo Choo Barn

Starting in May of 2002, I've visited the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD with my friend Bob on a number of occasions.  They have an incredible collection of old locomotives, primarily steam.  Click on the following link to see photographs taken during my visits to the Museum.

B&O Railroad Museum

In July of 2002, I visited Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA, with my friend Bob and his daughters.  They have a wonderful collection of steam locomotives as well as a steam excursion.  Click on the following link to see photographs taken during my visit to Steamtown.


In April of 2002, I visited the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad in New Hope, PA, with my friend Bob and his daughters.  We went for a very pleasant ride on a train pulled by a Consolidation steamer.  Click on the following link to see photographs taken during this visit.

New Hope & Ivyland Railroad

In April of 2002, I also attended the TCA train meet at York, PA, the largest event of its type anywhere.  Here are a few photos taken there.


In September of 2002, I went for a ride on the NJ Transit Raritan Valley line (the former Jersey Central main line), from Dunellen to North Branch, as part of Dunellen Railroad Days.  That might not be worth mentioning but for the fact that I was riding in a vintage coach and the train was pulled by NYS&W #142, a 2-8-2 Mikado built in China.  Click on the following link to see photographs taken during that excursion.

Dunellen Railroad Days

When I was a member of the Raritan Valley HiRailers modular railroad club, I designed a new style corner module that made use of Ross preformed curves of very wide diameters: O-128, O-120, and O-112.  This made for very broad, sweeping curves and  modules that could be flipped end-for-end to form S-curves.  The following link will take you to a page which shows how these modules are built.

ToyTrains1's Corner Modules

Also, when I was in the club, I took lots of photos of the modular layouts that we set up at the Greenberg train shows in Edison, NJ.  Here's a page that will take you to the pages that contain those photos.

Club Train Show Photos

Over the years, I've built up a small collection of railroad books, relating to both models and prototypes.  The following link will display the contents of my collection (PDF format)

ToyTrains1's Train Library

The same holds true for my small collection of railroad videos, of both models and prototypes.  The following link will display the contents of my collection.

ToyTrains1's Train Video Library

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Last updated: 24 Feb 2023

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