Mrs. Martha Moreland: Outstanding Amtrak employee worthy of a Thomas The Train Set for her grandchildren

Posted on September 18, 2014 · Posted in Bachmann trains
6-Martha Moreland wins a well-deserved award from Amtrak-Sign posted inside the Amtrak DepotREV

The cover of Amtrak’s “Southwest Division News” I photographed at the Amtrak Depot in Mineola is hard to read. The main story is Mrs. Martha Moreland won the Amtrak President’s Service and Safety Award. Very cool!

I recently took a day trip to watch trains in Mineola, Texas. Mineola is about 80 miles east of Dallas via US Highway 80. The main east-west rail line of the Union Pacific Railroad from the Midwest and Southeast to Texas, Mexico, and the West Coast passes through this small city. Mineola is also a station stop for the Amtrak ‘Texas Eagle”. On my many visits to Mineola I have had the pleasure to get to know Mrs. Martha Moreland, who opens the station for Amtrak and takes care of the needs of arriving and departing passengers.  Martha always greets me and all the Amtrak passengers with a smile, and always takes care of passenger needs. Whether it is information, assistance boarding, letting passengers know about train status, helping passengers arrange rides once arriving in Mineola, or just being there as a familiar caring face, Martha has made a difference in the lives of Amtrak passengers in Mineola. While hard to read, this picture of Martha cites her for receiving the Amtrak “President’s Service and Safety Award”. Wow! It could not have happened to a more deserving person. Next time I am in Mineola, I will offer her a free Lionel Polar Express Set or other children’s product. I know she has grandchildren. And grandkids love trains! All aboard!!

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Railroads Borrow Concept from Model Train Accessories

I was recently looking down at Union Pacific Railroad’s Miller Yard in Dallas, Texas- from the Loop 12 Highway bridge. I noticed this locomotive “engineer” was not in the cab of the locomotive. The cab was empty! I know railroads have been using this concept for several years but this was the first time I saw a railroad employee drive his train while not being in the cab. Come to think of it, isn’t remote control the entire concept around model train accessories, such as the MTH Electric Trains DCS Commander Controller also pictured? Hmmm….

46-A Union Pacific Railroad employee is driving his remote-controlled locomotive with a handheld devicerev

Union Pacific engineer drives his locomotive with a remote control device. Perhaps the idea came from model railroads?

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MTH Trains DCS Commander Controller found on YourToyTrains MTH Accessories Page. $139.95.

Travel Tip for Dallas/Fort Worth Residents and Visitors: Loop 12 exits off Interstate Highway 45 about 5 miles south of Downtown Dallas. Drive east on Loop 12 to the bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad Miller Yard (Formerly Southern Pacific). There  is parking on the east side of the bridge by some older industrial businesses. I would visit the yard on Sunday when the businesses are closed. While the yard seems isolated from the surrounding community, it is not the best part of Dallas. Do not visit at night or go by yourself. The beautiful Trinity River Audubon Center has a visitor’s center and nature trails. The center is about a mile east of the railroad bridge. A popular place for visitors, the nature center is very safe and family friendly.

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Bachmann Thomas Trains: Look Under Bachmann HO For Kids> Bachmann HO Thomas

Posted on September 15, 2014 · Posted in About YourToyTrains.com, Bachmann trains, Thomas products, YourToyTrain Products
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Bachmann HO Thomas The Tank Engine. $45.99. One of 47 products on our Bachmann HO Thomas Page. Very exciting!

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Bachmann HO Deluxe Thomas The Tank Engine Set. The whole railroad loaded in one box ready to dazzle your Little Railroader. $129.99.

Building a website with thousands of products makes for some interesting strategy. The whole idea will be to make our site intuitive and logical to make it easy for our customers to navigate our site. Of course, we will have a “search” function, but what if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, but you have a general idea? For example, for Bachmann Thomas Trains in HO Scale our logical navigation intuitively takes you to the Bachmann HO Page. Logically Bachmann Thomas would be in our “Bachmann HO For Kids”. Clicking on “Bachmann HO For Kids’ there are two choices- “Bachmann HO Thomas Trains” and Bachmann HO Chuggington. But wait! Your ToyTrains has also engaged an outside website developer who will analyze our site for logical product placement, logical structure,  and intuitive navigation. While this product logical flow looks great to me, we are bringing in an extra “set of eyes” to look at our site. Why all this trouble and extra expense? We love trains! And to share our love of trains, we want you to love us too!

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Bachmann Freight cars imitate real life down here in Texas

Posted on September 12, 2014 · Posted in Bachmann trains, Model Train Stories, YourToyTrain Products
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Bachmann N Scale Santa Fe Flat Car with Pipe Load ($14.99). While Santa Fe is no more, their successor BNSF is making a lot of money hauling oil.

70REV-Union Pacific Railroad (Former St. Louis-Southwestern Railway) Texarkana-Big Sandy-Tyler -Corsicana Route

The real world of trains mimics the model! Union Pacific Railroad intermodal train rolls through Corsicana, TX, on its way to the West Texas oil fields.

In our Bachmann N freight Cars Category we sell a Santa Fe flat car carrying a load of pipe. With the oil boom in progress out in West Texas in the Permian Basin, it is good times for the real Texas railroads. For example, while I was train-watching in Corsicana about a month ago I was able to photograph an entire trainload of pipe on the Union Pacific Railroad bound for the oil fields. Every day railroads are contributing to America’s energy independence by moving the pipe, oil, and frack sand necessary to end our dependence on foreign oil. Heck, railroads even haul those giant windmills on the big “windmill farms” on our Western prairies. Your own N Gauge model railroad can have its own Bachmann freight car carrying a load of pipe to your own oil field. We can take you as far as your imagination wants to go at YourToyTrains.com.

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Thanks to the Men and Women That Watch Our Back

Posted on September 11, 2014 · Posted in About YourToyTrains.com, Discovering America

I will not use my message today to talk about trains. Although I dearly love trains, I wanted to take a minute to thank the men and women who daily go into harm’s way so the rest of us can go about our lives, raise our kids, and go to sleep in peace every night. He or she might be in your family. You may know one of these people from your work, your church or synagogue, or a neighbor. You may see these people in police cars and on fire trucks all over this great nation. We must all be grateful for our  Armed Forces, the Police, Fire Departments, Emergency responders, doctors and nurses, and all the other folks that keep an eye out for us. Day in, day out. Night in. Night out. To all you that sacrifice to protect our country from harm, a heartfelt salute from the folks at YourToyTrains.com.

5REV-United States Marines-Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery-Dallas,TX

United States Marines: A laugh from a group of gentlemen who are on guard for our freedom.

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Lionel Train Ornaments: Beauty Plus Tradition Equals Holiday Magic

Posted on September 10, 2014 · Posted in Lionel trains, News From YourToyTrains.com, YourToyTrain Products
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Combining beauty and tradition, the Lionel train ornaments in our “Trains At Christmas!” virtual store will make you a big hit with your Lionel model train lover. Lionel Classic Ornaments (24 pieces) with Gift Box $32.95. The perfect gift!

It may be a little early to push a Christmas item, but when I loaded the Christmas items into the Lionel online virtual store these products caught my eye. I just cannot think of a nicer gift than to give that special someone a Christmas ornament from Lionel’s product line. I love the way the new owners have kept alive Lionel’s 100 years of history- the train ornaments in the YourToyTrains catalog are both beautiful and bring back memories of Christmases past. The pictured item is the Lionel Classic Ornaments collection of 24 ornaments with a gift box. The gift box can be used for keepsakes and is practical aside from the beauty and tradition. I am sure if you look in our Lionel “Trains At Christmas!” Category you will find just the right ornament or box or ornaments your Lionel model railroader will cherish for years to come.

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How I Love the Online Marketing Business: Model Lionel Trains

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Lionel Santa Fe Blinking Billboard. $21.99 in our Lionel Accessories Catalog.

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Lionel Destination DVD. A good time for your Little railroaders. $11.99 in our Lionel Accessories catalog. Maybe for a Birthday or special surprise?

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Lionel O Gauge Legacy Custom Series II EMD GP9. In our Lionel O Locomotives Catalog. $359.95.

I have been working on my new website, YourToyTrains, for about 6 months now. The work so far has involved hundreds of hours to load 5500 products into many different categories and subcategories. Model Lionel Trains alone has hundreds of products loaded. Each day as the amount of product grows I get more excited. One day I load thirty different N locomotives. The next day could be thirty O figures or HO freight cars. Still another day I could load thirty “command/control” products, structures preassembled or for assembly, and even complete scenes. The breadth of the number of items a model railroader has to build his or her fantasy train world is truly astounding. Why is all this work so exciting? I know when I finish loading everything and start relabeling products with original text and offer great prices I know YourToyTrains will begin it’s real goal: Making dreams come true.

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Trains And Bridges: Important to Railfanning and N Scale Trains

Posted on September 4, 2014 · Posted in Atlas trains, Discovering America, Travel Ideas/Tips, YourToyTrain Products
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Atlas N Code 80 Thru Truss Bridge Kit. $19.95. On the Atlas N Accessories Page on the YourToyTrains.com website.

33REV-BNSF Railway-Abo Canyon,New Mexico

BNSF Railway stack train heading west approaching Abo Canyon. The view from the US Highway 60 bridge west of Mountainair, New Mexico.

Bridges are very special, both to railfanning and model railroading. The picture of a BNSF Railway intermodal train was taken from the US Highway 60 bridge over the Chicago-Los Angeles Transcon Route. This stack train is about to enter the famed Abo Canyon. There is something very exciting about being above a train as it comes rolling by you. The view of the top of the locomotive, watching the big engines working, the smoke rising, and the tops of the freight cars is a great perspective to see a train. The pictures can be awe-inspiring from this vantage point as well- especially since from above additional scenery can be included in the shot. But let’s not forget model railroading. I don’t think there is anything much cooler than watching your Atlas N Scale train rolling across a bridge such as the one pictured here from the Atlas N Scale Accessories catalog. Bridges are such a vital part of the landscape...there is a home for a bridge in every model layout.

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Another Landmark in Building Our World of Model Railroad Trains

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Woodland Scenics HO Built N Ready Harrison’s Hardware. $55.95 on our site. You can build an entire city with Woodland Scenics. Well, several cities!

Coarse Gray talus

In the Woodland Scenics world, nothing is too big or too small. Coarse Gray Talus (rock debris) $3.99 on our site.

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Woodland Scenics 2 1/2″-4″ Pine Trees (33 Per Pack) $29.99 on our site. We have so many trees at YourToyTrains.com, the US Forest Service could do their training reviewing our products!

YourToyTrains has finished loading all the product for Woodland Scenics! As you model railroaders know, you can literally build an entire world with Woodland Scenics products. We have divided all the many products into logical categories, but additional planning and work will enable us to streamline the site, make navigation even more logical, and allow you to search specifically by the Woodland Scenics brand or say for “HO Figures”, all HO Figures would appear from all the manufacturers at one site. I have been talking to some model railroaders- this product arrangement would be the most logical and beneficial to our searching customers. We know in the world of model railroad trains there are so many products to choose from and time is precious so our goal will be to make our navigation the best of all the model railroad sites.

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While as a Child I was Given a Model Train Layout, My Mom took me to New York By Bus…

Posted on September 1, 2014 · Posted in Bachmann trains
77REV-Grand Central Station-New York with Gloria Furlini

Grand Central Terminal in New York in a photograph much more recent than 1968, when I would have been using a Kodak Instamatic.

80REV-Cartier store-Fifth Avenue-New York,NY

Fifth Avenue in New York in the early 2000s. Back in 1968 my Mom yelled at antiwar demonstrators on this famous street. Happy Labor Day!

Back in 1968 I was in the 8th Grade living in Aberdeen, Maryland. While the small town near the Aberdeen Proving Ground was served by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968, my Mom took my sister and me to New York by bus. I may have been given a model train layout, but here I am on a bus to New York City. Shucks! It was my first time, but far from my last, I visited this great city. While memories are sketchy, I know we were in New York on Labor Day weekend. In that year the Viet Nam War was reaching its height, and resistance to the war was in full swing as well. My Dad was serving in Viet Nam at this time with the United States Army. My Mom was very proud of my Dad and his service. She was an immigrant from Germany and seemed to  be especially grateful to live in this wonderful country.

Well, demonstrating is of course a part of what makes this country wonderful. As we walked Fifth Avenue back in that troubled year- Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were both assassinated in 1968- protesters were walking down Fifth Avenue chanting “Don’t Let Labor Pay For The War!!” I am not sure how labor was paying for the Viet Nam War. My Mom could not remain silent. From across the street she began shouting in her loud voice at the angry young protestors- my sister and I were a little nervous. A New York Police officer asked my Mom politely to keep it down…he didn’t want “any trouble”. Oh, how I love New York!

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