Category Archives: Featured

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.

Austin Steam Train Association to Host 2007 Railfair

Be sure to take a trip down to Burnet Texas on June 23 and 24th for the 2007 Texas Hill Country Railfair and Festival.

Hours & Admission
Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-4. Adults $3, children under 10 free with each adult admission. Train ride tickets are sold separately at the fair.

RailfairLogoThis show has something for everyone:

  • Railroadiana and model railroad vendors
  • Railroad memorabilia museum
  • Displays of rail cars and equipment
  • Transportation, historical and preservation exhibits
  • Train rides twice daily at 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. on the Bertram Local with a photo run-by of the Hill Country Flyer at the restored Bertram depot
  • FREE railroad motorcar rides

This is also one of the rare occasions where you can also take the train to the train show!

The Hill Country Flyer offers daily round-trip service from Cedar Park to Burnet during the Texas Hill Country Railfair & Festival. Enjoy a three-hour layover at the Railfair in Burnet. Tickets start at $27 for adults. Hill Country Flyer and Bertram Local passengers receive admission to Railfair at no extra charge. For reservations, call the Austin Steam Train Association at (512) 477-8468.

For More Information:

LSR NMRA Annual Convention Starts Next Week

LSRConlogo-color-smThe Lone Star Region (Texas and Louisiana) of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) annual convention is just around the corner.

Several CentraMod club members are on the planning committee, led by chairman Bob Alston. Other club members include Dan Ladd, Gordon Locke, Mike Cleveland, and Kennedy Gauger. Richard Zamudio’s layout is part of the layout tour and will be available for operating sessions.

If you are already an NMRA member and registered for the convention, the excitement is building. If not and you are interested in attending the convention, if you have either never been an NMRA member or not for the past two years, you can become a member for a trial period of 6-months for only $9.95.

You would be able to attend and participate in the convention activities after paying the $95 registration fee.

The registration fee covers more than 60 clinics, a train ride (with meal) on the Bertram Flyer run by Austin Steam Train, layout tours in the Austin metro area, tickets to a banquet on Saturday night and a breakfast on Sunday morning.

Of particular note, you will have the opportunity to learn operations on an industrial switching layout developed by Dave Barrow (published in a series of Model Railroader articles during the fall of 1996 — we have these issues in our library).

Other eventes include a silent auction (if you have items that you would like to sell) and model contest. Dan Ladd will be entering his model of the Temple Depot he constructed for the historical layout.

There are many other activities included in the registration fee as well as numerous optional, extra fare items. Check out the convention website, for additional details.