Toy Train Operating Society – Southern Pacific Division
– Southern Pacific Division,
Lionel Ambassador and home to 200 members is located in Costa Mesa, CA.
Southern Pacific Division are an operating group that focuses on getting
families into the toy train hobby and keeping people in the hobby through
running and collecting trains, and
creating and building portable layouts.
division of the Toy Train Operating society, TTOS and the Pacific Division are
continually looking for opportunities to promote and educate the public through
the use of their Lionel and American Flyer layouts and displays.
Jeff Meyers developed the concept of the “All Aboard FasTrackers” squares that
are now used at shows with over already built (www.allaboardfastrackers.com). These small layouts can be run at
home, at small venues or added to other squares to make bigger layouts. Also, the TTOS – Pacific Division built and
maintains the train display at the La Habra Children’s Museum and partner with
them to participate in public day events. Other shows include the Orange County
Book Fair, the Imaginology-Builders Fair for kids and Fullerton Railroad
Days. Member Jeff Meyers also teaches
and trains enthusiasts using the Command Control systems – including Legacy and
provide free software upgrades to those that need help.
Bringing Toy Trains
to a New Generation – The TTOS SP Kids Train Project
By Glenn Olsen
Every kid deserves a train.
Do you remember your first train set? My grandfather gave me
mine for my third Christmas. He and my dad had set it up on a table in the
basement on Christmas Eve. When I heard the blast of that American Flyer
billboard whistle, I raced down the stairs and couldn’t believe my eyes! Model
trains have been a part of my life since that memorable Christmas over 60 years
ago. At TTOS-SP, we’re working to make trains a part of today’s kids lives
through our Kids Train Project.
The Southern Pacific Division is very active at train shows
and community events. Many of our members have built portable layouts and we
have a group called the All Aboard Trackers with a large, flexible, modular
layout. These layouts never fail to attract crowds of families when we appear
in public. We operate these layouts at our monthly division meets as well and
we are frequently asked how much it costs to get started in the hobby. We
realized that many families are not able to make the investment in a new train
set even though they may have a youngster who is very enthusiastic about trains,
so we decided to try to do something about it. In the fall of 2014, the SP
Division board of directors approved the Kids Train Project. The goals of the
project were to bring new families into the hobby and potentially to attract
new members to TTOS.
The project has two parts. First, we make up complete,
ready-to-run O-27 sets consisting of rolling stock (typically a small steam
locomotive, two or three freight cars, and caboose), a loop of track, transformer,
lockon, hookup wire, and instructions all packed in a box with a distinctive,
colorful label. We offer these sets for sale to club visitors only for the price of $35.00. Secondly, we hold
free kids raffles for boxed sets at our May and December open house meets,
three sets at each meet again only for visitors age 12 and under. All these
sets are made possible through the generosity of SP Division members. The sets
are made up of equipment donated, refurbished, tested, and packed by our
members. The sale of the sets and the auction of donated items have allowed us
to purchase additional equipment and raffle prizes.
Member support of this project has been outstanding. SP
Division members have donated some absolutely fantastic equipment (we stick to
postwar and modern Lionel and compatible brands, and only use tubular, O-27
track). In return, we don’t compete with our sellers. We only sell the starter
sets. If someone wants additional track, a bigger transformer, or some
accessories, they have to go to our sellers.
Have we met our goals? The jury is still out as to whether
or not we are gaining membership as a result of this project. On the other
hand, there is no question that we have succeeded in making trains a part of
many kids’ lives. There is nothing like seeing the expression of joy on the
face of a girl or boy with that new train set. Who knows, maybe they too will
become lifetime train hobbyists. After all, every kid deserves a train.
TTOS National Train Show at the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA
with the public show on August 5 & 6, 2016.
We held one of our three public events this month at the
Mackerel Flats and Goat Hill Junction Railroad run by the Orange County Model
Engineers on September 18, 2016. We held a public club picnic where we bring
the original portable layout designed by a past president Brian Fields and
socialized with members and children. We promoted the hobby and we assembled
some Lionel swag bags along with giving out Lionel hats to the kids.
TTOS Southern Pacific Division at the St. Adelaide Church
By Jeff Meyer
Several members of the TTOS Southern Pacific Division
Participated in the St. Adelaide Church Festival located in Highland, CA during
the first weekend this October 1& 2, 2016. There were rides, food, booths,
games, and of course trains! We were provided to elementary school rooms to set
up our portable layouts and the club members, Danny Spendlove and his family,
Glenn Olsen, and Jeff and Denyse Meyer had a great time sharing Lionel and
American Flyer trains with the attending kids of all ages. TTOS Southern
Pacific Division provided some handouts and catalogs courtesy of Lionel. We
also we able to do a raffle of a Lionel train set to a lucky winner with the
proceeds going to the St. Adelaide elementary school. We raised almost $6000
for the elementary school along with promoting Lionel, the fun of family and
trains, and just seeing people young and old enjoy the trains. We did encourage
all to come to one of our future club meetings so if when you see someone new
tell them thank you for coming out to our meet!
The November 13th, 2016 Train Meet at the Brookhurst Community Center in Anaheim, CA was open to the public and was well attended.
What else have the Ambassador’s been up to? Check out their product review on new and old product below:
TTOS SP July 2016 Product Review Video
(6-82120 Frisco Boxcar #700117)
TTOS Southern Pacific Division Review of the Lionel 6-82092 MOW Tie Work Car
By: Jeff Meyer
Maintaining the railroads is a job we as consumers as well as the railroads themselves depend on to keep everything running and on time. When I first got into model railroading I was like anyone else and wanted to build the layout and then run the trains. As time went on I became interested in different types on consists the railroads built. After studying business in college I gained a new respect for how difficult running a railroad is since the railroads must cover all of their expenses on their own.
I became interested in running MOW, or known as maintenance of way consists. Railroads use a variety of recycled and repurposed equipment to create specialized equipment to help maintain their right of way. Since costs can escalate quickly anything a railroad can repurpose or make from existing assets or equipment cuts down on these costs. What does that mean for the person running a model railroad? Well, frankly anything goes! I have read many articles and studied pictures of MOW consists and work trains to discover you can do anything you want with an MOW consist.
Lionel has produces their 6-82092 MOW Tie Work Car that goes great in any maintenance of way consist, where it is a large consist or a small work unit. The MOW Tie Work Car represents what was likely a fixture of many railroads several decades ago. Many Class 1 railroads use more automated equipment now so this Work Car really will go well with anything from the past 60 years or so. Lionel makes this car in several road names to suit the enthusiast so you should find a road name you can use.
I like the MOW road name since it goes well with a variety of the roads that I run on my layout whether it is Pennsylvania, Western Pacific, Union Pacific, and so on. The detail of the MOW Tie Work Car is well executed and has a good quality feel. I like the yellow MOW paint scheme and this works well with many railroad names. There is a light inside the workhouse of what is essentially a repurposed flat car just like any railroad would do. The car also includes an amount of ties that do look almost perfect in size to the Fastrack ties. There is an electrical connector that is used to jumper the center rail pickup to the Lionel Command Tie-jector to help prevent power issues when going through switches. The MOW Tie Work Car looks great in any consist and since there are operating knuckle couplers on both ends it can be anywhere in your maintenance consist. These are currently available at your Lionel retailer with a suggested price of $74.99.
Next month we will review the MOW TMCC Tie-jector power until and put these two together. I promise you, the reader will not be disappointed!
TTOS Southern Pacific Division Review of the Lionel 6-81445
MOW Command Control Tie-Jector
By: Jeff Meyer
This is the second part of the MOW consist review and this
month focuses on Lionel’s New Command Control Tie-Jector 6-81445 motorized
unit. The original Tie-Jector was produced by Lionel in 1957 and was made for
about 5 years. The original Tie-Jector was loosely based on current railroad
equipment technology that was developed to provide ties to the maintenance
crews quickly and in a sufficient quantity to keep the work crews productive.
As times have changed new technology by the current railroads has led to
several specialized equipment consists that can do just about everything needed
replace track, ties, and ballast the roadbed at one time.
The original Lionel was an amazing little motorized unit that
through a series of track activation levers would eject ties as the motorized
Tie-Jector traveled along. Being a fan of anything command control when I saw
the new MOW command control 6-81445 Tie-Jector introduced by Lionel I had to
have one. I have a soft spot for MOW, or equipment with a Maintenance of Way
road name, since these items will really work on any road or consist while
providing a little bit of color to your layout.
When I received my new Command Control Tie-Jector 6-81445
motorized unit it was well packaged and was easy to set up. The new Tie-Jector
does come with a jumper cable to connect the center pick-up to the Lionel
6-82092 MOW Tie Work Car. I would suggest using this connector as it is a bit
longer than the one that came with the Lionel 6-82092 MOW Tie Work Car and is
easier to use. There is a knuckle couple on the back end along with a plug to
plug in the tether. The rear couple is an electro coupler so you can switch out
a car or two before getting on to the assigned work assignment. Note that if
the jumper harness is used the electro couple works just fine but the operator
will have to under the wire jumper to completely disconnect the Tie Work Car.
Frankly this is a good safety feature when letting young operators run the
Tie-Jector since no cars are left on the line for that mishap.
Test your layout with and without the jumper. My layout uses
O36, O48, and one O72 Fastrack turnouts and I had no running issues with or
without the jumper. Either way the Tie-Jector is a great runner and responds
well to the Legacy or TMCC commands. I have used this on my home layout with
Legacy and then took my set to a friend’s house with his TMCC and it worked
flawlessly. Everyone was impressed by this mini consist and loved the tie
ejection feature. I was able to run any speed and eject ties at will which was
The paint and finish in this little gem was flawless. I was
surprised by the lightweight feel of the unit and amazed at how well it runs on
any track from tubular to Fastrack. I had no stalls or errors. I recommend this
Command Control Tie-Jector 6-81445 to anyone who likes motorized units,
different units, or just something to run on the same line behind another
consist on a big layout. Imagine having train orders for 10 of 12 ties to be
delivered at milepost 2. Can you meet the challenge? With this fun little unit
you will be doing that and more. Check
out the bonus video with the Bungalow 6-82008.
The Tie-Jector is available now at your local Lionel dealer
with the Command Control Tie-Jector 6-81445 for $199.99. You also have a choice
of various road names with the Tie Work Car being made in different road names
to match. I have taken my mini consist out to several friends and being so easy
and small to carry I can have a train to run anytime and anywhere. What work
challenges will you do with yours?
TTOS Southern Pacific Division Review of the Lionel 6-82036
By: Jeff Meyer
Before the world of fast food like McDonalds, Burger King,
and now even fast coffee like Starbucks there were the local diners. The local
diner was something of the town hang out for some people while others it was a
place where home cooking was ready to be had. While some parts of the United
States still have diners in operation, many of these little reminders of time
past have disappeared.
Any railroad, especially during the steam era and early
diesel era, usually had a diner in the local town where the railroad went
through, either a small town or a big city. Diners represented a taste of home
for many weary traveler and worker alike. Lionel has modeled a new 6-82036
Luxury Diner. The pictures on the catalog do not do this little gem justice.
When I received this I had decided to use this on my All Aboard Fastracker
squares portable layout since pre-assembled buildings make set up a lot easier.
I was ready for a nice building but not what I saw….this
little gem is amazing! The packaging is easy to remove and use again for
storage and transport. When I removed the 6-82036 Luxury Diner from the box the
fit and finish was amazing! The chromed section of the diner felt solid and
almost like the whole diner was made of metal. The red roof is finished nicely
and the fit and finish is really good. Inside is detailed like very few items
are these days with everything including people ordering and eating a waitress,
and a cook with all of the details on the tables and counters. The lights are
just perfect and it does not take one too long to imagine themselves there
ordering a hamburger steak with potatoes and gravy.
This diner should be placed on any layout for all to see. I
would suggest you be prepared for a lot of comments and questions from those
who see it. I lost count of the number of people that wanted to buy it right
off of my layout at the past two shows. The suggested retail on this little
taste of the past is $79.99 and the 6-82036 Luxury Diner is available now at
your local dealer. Better hurry of the special might be sold out!
TTOS Southern Pacific Division September 2016 Product review 6-82164 Video
(6-82164 Burlington Northern LionChief™ Plus NW2 Diesel #546)
TTOS Southern Pacific Division Review of the Lionel 6-15094 Sleepy Hollow Halloween Reefer
By: Jeff Meyer
October is always fun for my family and for my wife and I running Halloween themed trains always adds to the fun. Whether zombies, monsters, bats, ghouls, ghosts, goblins, and more there is always room for an additional to the Halloween consists. Today we are taking a look at the Lionel 6-15094 Sleepy Hollow Halloween Reefer car. The graphics on the side of this car represent the Sleepy Hollow Cider Company and it is listed as “The Horseman's Choice since 1813”. The car number is 1031. Coincidence here? Probably not.
Reefer cars are always good fun and Lionel has done an excellent job on the 6-15094 Sleepy Hollow Halloween Reefer car. The trucks are sprung die cast trucks that have a great look and feel to them along with running well on the tracks. The feel of the car is one of quality and feels very substantial. I love the feel of the cast in details and wood grain texture. The graphics are excellent and very sharp and give a good creepy feel to this reefer. The sliding doors open on both sides so you can haul some pumpkins, candy, or even a couple of zombies. The car goes well in any consist and is good to run at other times of the year. I like running this car with a Lionel Postwar steamer or switcher just to add to the haunted look but it goes well in other trains also.
This fun little gem of a reefer car is available at your local Lionel dealer for $59.99 and is a great way to have a fun, creepy, great time in your railroad. Just do not go wandering into any woods to follow that horseman, right? Right?
TTOS Southern Pacific Division Review of the Lionel 6 83545 PFE Vision Reefers Video (6-83545 Pacific Fruit Express Vision Reefers 3-Pack)
TTOS Southern Pacific Division Review of the Lionel 6 82265 MOW Welding Car Video
Maintenance of Way Operating Welding Flat Car)
Lionel 6-81693 Aerial Target Launcher Review
By Glenn Olsen, TTOS SP Division
The year was 1962. The cold war was at its peak and Lionel had been offering a variety of military-related models since the late 1950s including several missile launching cars and accessories. The thing that was missing was a proper target for model railroad defenders to hone their missile firing skills against. That requirement was filled by the 3470 Aerial Target Launching Car introduced that year at the price of $9.95 and featured in the “Defender”, “Enforcer”, and “Chesapeake and Ohio” freight sets. The target is shown on the cover of the ’62 catalog taking a direct hit from a Turbo Missile Firing Car.
The 6-81693 is Lionel’s latest remake of this iconic military model. It lists at $89.99 in the Lionel catalog but to put that into perspective, the original $9.95 price is equivalent to $79.54 in today’s dollars, not a bad deal at all.
The model consists of a red, unnumbered flat car (the original was blue) running on plastic, roller bearing style trucks with the blower mechanism mounted on the deck. Like the original, the target basket is a separate blue plastic part that must be mounted to the blower outlet. Unlike the original which operated on two D cell batteries, the 6-81693 is powered by track voltage (more about this later). A package of target balloons in assorted colors completes the set. The balloons have bullseye markings with a Lionel “L” in the center like the originals.
The car proved to be a good performer. The photos that follow were taken on Steven Eastman’s eclectic tinplate layout. The instructions recommend inflating the balloons to a diameter of 2.5 inches but the test balloon shown in the photos measures about four inches in diameter.
Since the blower runs off track voltage, the height of the balloon varies with the voltage. The balloon will float above the train unless it is disturbed by air currents. On a conventional layout, with the train running at moderate speeds, this should not be a problem. Today however, many Lionel railroaders run TMCC, Legacy, or LionChief locomotives with the track voltage set at a constant 18V. Here’s where the target flies at that voltage.
With careful train running, it should be possible to keep the balloon in place, but some judicious management of the throttle is definitely in order.
Lionel has produced a fine model in the Aerial Target Launching car for the postwar collector or operator. What better way to enjoy all those missile launchers than to blaze away at an actual target and a moving target at that.
**The information about the clubs is provided by them and may or may not be accurate depending on changes in membership, 501c status, etc..
Lionel is sharing their content and not validating it’s accuracy.