The Spill with President Bill for March 2015

By Bill Farrell, Chapter President

Well, it just seemed like last week and we were having our February meeting. We need to thank Ricky for getting the February program together for us. Rich did a good job on the refreshments; Blair Terry gave him a four star rating on the food. In other words, you did good, Rich. Our program this month will be brought to us by Wally Watts. We will have some guests from the former Owensboro Chapter of the NRHS.

We have some exciting news about events and projects coming up in March and April. On March 28th we have a trip planned to the National Transportation Museum in St. Louis, MO. We have two 15 passenger vans lined up for those who would rather ride then drive. I say 15 passengers but the plan is to carry only 10 people per van. I believe the word we are looking for is “comfortable”. We will fill the seats on a first come first serve basis, so if you would like to go, let me know soon. The cost per member and or guest to take the van is $17.00 (per person). We will discuss this in more detail at the March meeting.

We now have some thirty DVDs for the chapter Video Library. Any member that would like to put a DVD in the library on loan please bring them to the next meeting. I noticed several members checking out movies last month. Until we get the number of DVDs up in the library members can only check out one per month.

April 11th is “Archeology Saturday”.  The plan is to use metal detectors and go to a former location of a train depot in Hopkins County. We are going to list and catalog all the artifacts our club members unearth. These items can be placed in the case in the Parkway Plaza Mall or stored at the Hopkins County Historical Society. Now keep all that in mind, last Friday I called one of our chapter in house railroad historians, Wally Watts. I said, Wally lets go and find a depot site for “Archeology Saturday”, Wally said sound fine lets meet at Cracker Barrel.

Once we got on the road, Wally dragged your President through the bowels of Hopkins County looking for sites where depots once stood. I don’t know how many times I hear Wally say, “I’ll sit in the car, you wade through that water and see what is over there”. “Wally it’s just more snow and ice”. All kidding aside we did find one very interesting site, I think you will find the pictures we have of the Nebo site very rewarding. Wally and I will have the pictures for the next meeting.

Do you have a digital camera? Well if not, maybe you can borrow one from a good friend. In May, the chapter plans on having a photography contest within the club. Jim Pearson, one of the chapter members will chair this event. It will be open to all our chapter members in good standing. The pictures you submit to Jim (by email) will have to be taken in Western Kentucky on the day of the contest. Jim will have some tips and rules for the contest in the April meeting. Those members who are worried about Jim Pearson winning the photo contest need to know he will not be a contestant. We are still working on the prize to the winner. The most important thing in this event is, you have fun. In the case of Matt Gentry, he will be allowed to submit a picture from the west coast.

Those who missed the last meeting, it was announced that the GarGraves track company has donated between $1,000.00 and $1,100.00 in track for the modular layout. We still have three module’s unspoken for, any member who want to build one, let me know.

We need “Show & Tell” items and things for the raffle for the next meeting. Weather permitting I hope to see you on the 16th of March @ 7:00.

The Project Corner, Spotlighting the work of Bill Heaton

Just finished an American Standard 6-3 Pullman kit that I did on ACL purple. I’ve never seen one done in O scale as I don’t think anyone has ever made the purple paint. Finally Tru-color came out with the paint. Yea for Tru-color! The yellow striping was painted on then masked for the purple. Then the purple was masked and the silver applied. The lettering is from 3 different Champ sets. The ACL on the letter board is from a Champ ACL passenger car set, the car name is from a Champ Pullman set & the small Pullman on the ends came from a NYC passenger car set. This one was a lot of fun to do and a challenge.

Below is a T-1 that I weathered. Don’t know who painted the model initially. I wanted that “in-service” look as well as some reddish tint (like GA clay) on the trucks and tender frame. Other colors used were two types of grime, sand, grimy black, rust and dirt.

CSX #5439 at the CSX yard in Louisville, KY by Matt Gentry


CSX #5439 is tied down just north of the CSX yard in Louisville, KY. just after 8 inches of snow have fallen on the town on February 16, 2015.
I snapped this photo for, among other things, the main reason of the way the wind was blowing the locomotive’s exhaust. As some may know, I’m a bit of a UP Turbine junkie and this shot reminded me of the way Turbine exhaust exited the famous UP locomotives. -Matt Gentry

Toms Rail Flicks for March 2015


Title Kicking Horse Pass Canadian Pacific’s Laggan Sub
Producer 7idea Productions
Format DVD Wide Screen
Playing Time 1 hr 34 min
Purchased From
Date Purchased 2/19/15
Price Paid $27.95


This one is another excellent video from 7idea.  The video quality is great and the Wide Screen format lends itself well to the beautiful panorama of the Canadian Rockies.  The scenes were shot in June, September, and October of 2014.

The Laggan Sub runs from Field, British Columbia, on the west to Exshaw, Alberta, on the east, a distance of 136 miles.  Some of the most spectacular and beautiful scenery is found on the Laggan Sub.

Trains shown include mixed manifest freight, double stacks that are 10,000 feet long, unit grain trains, potash trains, and we even get to see Canada’s most prestigious passenger train “The Rocky Mountaineer.”

Two unusual and extremely interesting features of the Laggan Sub are the upper and lower spiral tunnels that were completed in 1909.  These tunnels lowered the grade from 4.4% to 2.2% and added 8.2 miles to the route.  The treacherous 4.4% grade was called “The Big Hill” by railroaders when it was in use from 1884 to 1909.

The tunnels were dug by hand and even though they were built without benefit of all the modern surveying technology, the alignment was off by only two inches when the crews digging from either end met in the middle.

We see trains spiral over themselves as they go through these tunnels, just as they do a Tehachapi Loop in California.

The narrator, Aaron Bentsen, tells the story of how Kicking Horse Pass got its name.  James Hector, a member of the survey crew searching for the best route for the right of way, was kicked in the chest by his horse in 1858 while at this pass.  His co-workers thought he was dead and dug his grave, but, fortunately, Mr. Hector regained consciousness in time and was not buried alive.  So, the pass was named Kicking Horse Pass because of that event.

This video is definitely one you will want and I highly recommend it.

Union Pacific MOW train at Tehachapi, CA

Photo 3

A Union Pacific MOW train makes its way into the town of Tehachapi, CA. on the afternoon of February 1st, 2015. I had spent about 3 hours in Tehachapi waiting on trains and none had come by. This train rolled into town right as I was about to leave and, once I saw what it was, I knew why the tracks were silent. So, I snapped my shots and headed back towards Anaheim via Mojave where there were a few trains sitting in the yard wasiting to move, but not many. – Matt Gentry

The Spill with President Bill

By Bill Farrell, Chapter President

We are heading into our second month of the New Year and things are looking great. We had an informal executive board meeting at the Ideal convenience store in Nortonville on January 31st. This was in an effort to save time at our regularly schedules meetings. The two hours the officers spent in that meeting were well worth the time. We worked on the club calendar for this year and tried to remove any obstacles or duplications that might occur in the next 11 months. With that said, anything we worked on or put on the 2015 calendar is subject to approval by the membership, at a regularly scheduled meeting.

In the board meeting we discussed the possibility of what to put in the second case in the Parkway Plaza Mall. One thing led to another and before we knew it we were talking about a back drop in the display case with pictures of all the train stations in Hopkins County printed on it. We decided to contact WTTL radio station 106.9 fm to see if we could be on, “Coalfield Comments”. Wally has most of the pictures of all the stations but there are a few that eluded him. So Wally, Ricky, and I will be on the show Monday, February 16th at 8:00 am. The show will be hosted by Lori Pendley, an executive with the station. Our pitch will be to explain what our chapter is all about and to get the word out that we need pictures of Hopkins County railroad stations (the ones Wally is missing). Be sure to listen in on the 16th of this month.

March is one of those months that you never know what the weather is going to bring on any given weekend. The board is looking at a one day trip to the National Transportation Museum in St. Louis, MO. next month. This is something we can discuss in the next meeting and decide if it holds any merit. Most of the board members said they had been there before but it has been a long time ago and they would like to go back. This is an event that we can move anywhere in the month of March, if the weather doesn’t suit us. We can leave early on a Saturday morning, carpool together and get breakfast along the way. I think if we all kick in for gas of the vehicle we are riding in, it would work. If your wife has any interest in our hobby, invite her to make the day long outing with us. I will be in touch with the museum this week to see if there are any discounts for the membership.

Our video library is coming together real fast. If you have any railroad related DVD’s that you wouldn’t mind in the library bring them to the meeting so we can get them cataloged in the case. At the present time we have twenty DVD’s cataloged in with room for another sixty five. We need to discuss how many videos a member can check out at one time.

If you know someone who is in good standing in the community and has interest in railroading or model railroading, please invite them to the February meeting. Organizations such as ours eventually “falter and fail”, without membership growth. We also need, “Show and Tell” items for the meeting. Do you have a raffle item?

We had a great January meeting! You should have been there!

Our guest speaker was Butch Vanderveer, a retired CSX locomotive engineer. Butch told stories of his days as an engineer with the railroad. There was a Q & A session which proved very interesting with lots of questions.

Our guest speaker was Butch Vanderveer, a retired CSX locomotive engineer. Butch told stories of his days as an engineer with the railroad. There was a Q & A session which proved very interesting with lots of questions.

Our guest January 19th was Chris Taylor, from Oak Grove, Kentucky. Chris is a person who served 22 years in the US Army. He seemed very interested our organization and I think we will be seeing more of him in the future.

The club gave Bill Farrell the go ahead to look deeper into the Modular “O” Scale layout. The layout can be used at all type of events and where ever we are invited to set it up. Members who desire to build and or landscape a modular will be given the chance. We still have more details to work out in the future.

Wally talked about the possibility of having an open house at the depot this spring or next fall. This opened up conversation on would we need liability insurance to cover this activity with the City of Madisonville or any other city we set up at. Wallace and Ricky are check into this and report at the next meeting.

Do to health reasons Wallace Henderson feels like it is time to step down as our NRHS Representative. The membership nominated Ricky Bivins to finish out Wallace’s term this year.

We are going to try to start a video library for members only. Tommy Johnson will head this project up and members will supply the DVD’s for the library. We hope to have 50 to 60 DVD’s in the case.

Three membership chairpersons, Thomas Bryan, will serve the Henderson area, Ricky Bivins will serve the Hopkins County area, and Steve Miller in Christian County.

Steve Miller will start looking for a rail trip for the membership this spring or next fall. There was also talk of going to the train shop in Louisville in February so we can all see Matt Gentry, who works for Athearn Inc, in Calif.