All posts by centramodrr3

Train Campers Organized by Named Trains

On Wednesday, June 13th, 25 children aged 7 to 11 visited CentraMod to learn about modeling and running trains. They visited on the second day of a three day Train Camp experience that was offered through the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum.

As the children arrived at the CentraMod club house, there were divided into small groups named after historical named passenger trains. These group names were the The Scout, The Texas Chief, The Super Chief, The Texas Special, The Daylight, The Southern Belle, and The Texas Eagle. They were also given a timetable to control their movements between various activites during their stay at CentraMod.

Camp Timetable
Camp Timetable

Each of the logos below was the drumhead for the corresponding named train. The sign was a sign posted on the rear of passenger trains. It consisted of a fully-enclosed box with lights inside that would illuminate a tinted panel showing the logo of the railroad or specific train. Since the box and the sign were usually circular in shape, they resembled small drums. This is how they came to be known as drumheads.


T - ScoutThe Scout was one of the named passenger trains of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It was initially assigned train Nos. 1 (westbound) & 10 (eastbound), and its route ran from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. The Scout made its last run on June 7, 1948.


T - Texas ChiefThe original Texas Chief was inaugurated as a coach and Pullman train in 1939 and ran until the end of Santa Fe passenger operations on May 1, 1971. The Texas Chief’s route ran from Chicago, Illinois, to Galveston, Texas with a section cutting off near Denton, Texas, and heading to Dallas, Texas.


T - Super ChiefThe Super Chief was one of the named passenger trains and flagship of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Inaugurated in 1935, it was a first class sleeping car only train. It was often referred to as “The Train of the Stars” because of the many celebrities who traveled on the streamliner between Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California. The train continued in service until the end of Santa Fe passenger operations on May 1, 1971.

Kato USA has produced cars and diesel locomotives which can be used to model the Super Chief in N Scale.


T - Texas SpecialThe Missouri – Kansas -Texas “Katy” Texas Special made its first run in 1915. In 1947, it was upgraded to a diesel-electric powered streamliner train. It was jointly operated with the Frisco until 1964 and served St. Louis, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and San Antonio.


T - DaylightThe Daylight was a passenger train originally run by the Southern Pacific between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. Many have said it was the most beautiful passenger train in the world with a stunning red, orange, and black color scheme. The Coast Daylight had its inaugural run on March 1, 1937. The train continued to run until 1971 when Amtrak took over passenger service.


T - Southern BelleThe Southern Belle was a named passenger train service offered by Kansas City Southern Railway from the 1940s through the 1960s. It ran between Kansas City, Missouri and New Orleans, Louisiana. The last run of the Southern Belle was on November 2, 1969.


T - Texas EagleThe Missouri Pacific Railroad and Texas and Pacific Railway train of the same name was inaugurated August 15, 1948. It is now operated by Amtrak and serves the central and western United States.

CentraMod Volunteers Support RRHM

HandcarFam-210pxCentraMod volunteers will support the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum by running the Handcar Park for young museum visitors. This month the following groups are scheduled to visit:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Gatesville
  • Rogers’ Little Eagle Daycare
  • Rogers’ Elementary
  • First Church Preschool
  • Fort Hood Day Care

If your group is interested in scheduling a special tour of the Handcar Park or the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, call Gloria Harris at (254) 298-5165 or email her at

About The Handcar Park
CentraMod members volunteer at the museum to run the handcar track in the Santa Fe Gardens just east of the museum from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. The proceeds from all handcar rides go to benefit the museum.

CentraMod Volunters received the Education Award from the Museum in April 2007.

RRHM to Host Luncheon and Book Signing

LambEvolutionThe Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum will host author Dr. J. Parker Lamb for a book signing event at the museum Saturday, August 11th, from 2:00PM to 4:00PM. Dr. Lamb will be signing his latest book, Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive (Railroads Past and Present).

The museum is also hosting a “luncheon with the author” from 12:00 noon. Reservations are required and are $10.00 per person. Call 254-773-4759 to make your luncheon reservations.

CentraMod will be open from 1:00PM to 4:00PM in conjunction with this luncheon and book signing event.

About the Author

J. PARKER LAMB, Ph.D., P.E., is Professor Emeritus at The University of Texas at Austin’s Mechanical Engineering Department. He has served on the College of Engineering faculty since 1963 in many different capacities.

He has been photographing trains since the fall of 1949. His life and career have taken him throughout the Deep South and on to Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and finally Texas.

Read Classic Trains Magazine’s bio on J. Parker Lamb.

You can see some of J. Parker Lamb’s photography in the Winter 2000 issue of Classic Trains magazine.

Lamb’s goal is to “display railroad machinery within scenic compositions that cause people to respond with a comment such as, ‘Now, that photograph makes the train look beautiful!'”



1996 Katy: Diesels to the Gulf
1997 Classic Diesels of the South: A Railfan’s Odyssey
2001 Steel Wheels Rolling: A Personal Journey of Railroad Photography (Masters of Railroad Photography)
2003 Perfecting the American Steam Locomotive (Railroads Past and Present)
2007 Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive (Railroads Past and Present)

Modeler and Model Railroader Author Duane Gaddis Visits

CentraMod was surprised and honored to be visited by fellow model railroader Duane Gaddis of Booneville, Indiana on Wednesday, June 6th.

DuaneGaddis-210pxA retired telephone repairman, he had ridden his Harley Davidson, “Old Red” down from Indiana to attend this year’s NMRA Lone Star Region Annual Convention as he has done in years past. This year, he was lucky enough to find the club open for a work session and was able to take a tour.

Duane’s HO layout, The Northern Illinois-Southern Indiana Railroad, was featured over an 8-page spread in the April 1995 issue of Model Railroader magazine.

While Duane mentioned that he has cut back on some of his rolling stock, he does still conduct operating sessions with his friends. Even though his layout is 26 x 46 feet, he said it could get a bit crowded during sessions.

One of the most interesting aspects of his layout is that he designed it to allow for different railroads and eras. The overall generic  midwestern feel looks right for whatever equipment he is running at the time. Most of the structures and track configuration are based on prototypes and were compressed to fit his available space.

Duane has modeled the following railroads:

  • Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe
  • Chicago & North Western
  • Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
  • Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific
  • Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific
  • Illinois Central
  • New York Central

He can set up to run in the 1950s, mid 1960s, or late 1970s/early 1980s.

When Duane saw CentraMod’s library, he commented on how valuable his own personal library of books and magazines helped him to build prototypically correct models. He said he has since donated more than 2,000 railroad and model railroading magazines to libraries in his area.

We are glad that Duane stopped by to say hello and check out the club and railfan the Burlington Northern Santa Fe mainline from the depot’s freight dock. As he said in his own words, “If you happen to be railfanning on some lonely stretch of the Santa Fe and spot a big red Harley and an oversized biker with a camera hung from his neck, please stop by and say hello.”

Be sure to check out the April 1995 issue of Model Railroader in the club library to see some great pictures of a beautiful layout.

Club to Host 25th Train Show Banquet

The meeting for June 2007 was called to order June 2nd by Club President Earl Blanchette at 10:31.

The minutes for May 2007 were presented; a motion was made by Mike Ross and seconded by Bill Lancaster to accept the minutes as read. The motion passed.

The Treasurer’s report for May 2007 was submitted, read, and accepted.

Old Business

Dan Ladd provided a 25th Anniversary Banquet update.

    • The Temple ATSF depot has been reserved for three hours on September 15th from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. The banquet will open to guests at 6:30 PM.


    • Dan presented all of the vendors that had submitted bids to cater the event. Bill Lancaster made a motion that the club have Susan Faucett cater the event. Kyle Penn seconded the motion, and the motion passed with two opposed. Clark Overman made a motion that King Ranch Chicken (a popular Tex-Mex casserole of chicken with creamy tomato sauce, tortillas, vegetables and Cheddar) be served and Mike Cleveland seconded. The motion passed with one opposed.


    • Betty Neill checked on cakes at Sam’s club and it will cost about $60 to serve 120. Mike said RSVPs should be received by July 15th. A decision on the cake will be made at the August meeting.


    • Banquet attendance is currently estimated at 255 – Vendors (89), Layout participants (42), Club members (80), and Guests (44).


Clark Overman made a report on the 25th Train Show Commemorative Mug. Five vendors submitted bids and the least expensive bid was from Dynamic Designs out of Waco and Killeen. Wylie Starnes made a motion to order 360 mugs (10 cases) from Dynamic Designs, Mike Ross seconded, and the motion passed.

The mug will have a two color club logo on one side and read on the opposite side on three lines – 25th Annual Train Show – September 15,16 2007 –

Mike Cleveland discussed the banquet confirmation letter they will be sending out to vendors.

174 tables have been sold for the show so far. There may still be four tables available for vendors.

The 2’ x16’ of award-winning HO modules have been set up along the wall next to the HO layout. Work has started on getting them cleaned up. The First Place Ribbon and Lamp awards are located in the glass display case at the depot entrance.

Train Show Raffle Layout – This is being built by the O Scale group and is now running. It should be moved to the depot in a couple of weeks.

Train Show Promotion – Ed Neill provided a report on the advertising activities for this year’s train show. KCEN TV will be running 35-40 15 second spots on Monday – Saturday the week before the train show. There will also be 4-5 days of newspaper ads in the Temple Telegram. Jerry Johnson is working on an article for the Waco Tribune.

Mike Cleveland mentioned looking at placing an ad in the Cowcatcher. The deadline for this is June 15th. Tim Blackwell is going to do an article on the club from material on the website and interview Earl Blanchette, Club President.

New Business

Keith Hartberg’s father recently passed away and the club sent a sympathy card.

The Chamber of Commerce membership has increased from $100 to $130. Bill Lancaster made a motion to adjust the budget to meet this increased expense and Ed Neill seconded. The motion passed. Bill said he would get with the chamber to schedule a ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently finished depot renovation. A cake and coffee reception to follow the ceremony was discussed.

The club insurance policy renewal was received. The new premium is more than was budgeted because of a different policy term. Ron Miller made a motion to adjust the budget to cover the unallocated expense. Bill Lancaster seconded and the motion passed. The policy provides coverage similar to a small business/museum. The NMRA also offers a policy for collections. See Betty Neill if you want to look at the policy.

The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum (RRHM) is hosting a Train Camp on June 12-14. Earl Blanchette and Bill Lancaster have volunteered to open the club from 10:00 to noon for children aged 7 to 16 to learn about modeling and running trains.

Ed Neill mentioned that the RRHM will also be having a book signing on August 11 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. Ed said the club would consider being open on the second Saturday of the month from 1:00 – 4:00 PM.

Noel Cowling needs volunteers for helping out with the hand cars.

Kennedy Gauger will have shirts and hats on Run Day.

Dick Copeland will have the new sign with hours of operation and web site on Run Day.

The meeting adjourned at 11:55.