22 June 2013

Delivering the lumber- my freight car Friday

Lionel log dump car with the Switch Tower in background
I wanted to have some action on my railway besides just going in circles.
Lionel makes quite a few operational cars. I featured the milk reefer a few weeks. I doubt I will ever get that one to work. It is a long range plan.
So I found this Northern Pacific log dump car from 1984 on e-bay in practically new condition. Even came with the box for less than $30. I was planning on getting a version of this car at one of the local antique shops for less than $20. However, that one was broken.
The log dump car basically holds a few logs and at the desired point- notably the place where the collection tray sits and the automated track piece sits- dumps the logs.
Lionel has made these types of cars since the post-war period. Earlier versions were all metal. Its close relatives are the coal dump car and the helium tank dump car. These cars can be operated manually with the manual uncoupler thingie and automatically with an operating track section.
We don't see these type of cars out my way on prototype railways. Though I am sure they do exist, I suspect they may be in service further west where the lumber business is still in full swing.

05 June 2013

Wrap it up with neon - Fargo Marathon 2013

It seems a bit late to wrap up my Fargo Marathon coverage.
The race is long over and sort of forgotten for the year, but today I wear my "Team Fargo Rocks" shirt from a 2011 to make concluding remarks about the region's premier and largest running event.
So we know the winners but what about those who ran with style and vigour and panache? Let's meet a few memorable runners.
Neon on the rise
The trending style this year appears to be day glo neon. I saw plenty of runners apparelled in the brightest colors on the spectrum.

More neon
I tend to wear the neon vests more than the actual shirts. It ensures that I am seen and not run over. For what appeared to be a mostly overcast day the runners in those loud colors stood out.

In typical years in my marathon coverage I provide a snippet of particular traits of runners- like costumes or mustaches or tattoos. Well, this year I was distracted and did not come up with any consistent trend to cover. But I did re-visit some combos of years past in 2013.

Trifecta spotting
Above we have the beard and tattoo combination with a side of long socks. The tattoo is on the bicep.

Lobster on board
Here we have a creative hat- a lobster. Not sure if this is in reference to Boston but I'll say yes.

Finally we don't want to forget how far recognized that the Fargo Marathon has become. A son of Krypton runs this every year.

Superman spotting
Though I bet he could have beaten everybody, I think he decided that the Fargo Marathon is a good race to enjoy the scenery on the ground and get serenaded by Elvis once or twice.
Well that's it for this year. The only thing I did not mention is that there appeared to be more youth running in the 5K and marathons. Potentially a good thing.
Next year the marathon celebrates its 10th year with the event moving to May 10.
See you in 2014.