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Welcome to the SCKL Homepage

Welcome to the Official SCKL (South Central Kansas Lines) Homepage. Through this site you will always be able to watch the development of the Model SCKL Railroad, and its affilliates, sister railroads, and customers.

(6/21/99) Things are looking gloom for the SCKL today. The Model SCKL's development has been put on hold while all energies are focused on the prototype SCKL. This week, I have began checking all the track before I make formal cotact with the KSW. I started at the likely location for the SCKL offices and yard, Conway Springs, Kansas. Tracks there are usable, though the tracks past the Lange Elevator will need heavy reconditioning. Traveling Northwest, the first two towns, unincorporated Milton, and Norwich haven't any rail customers. I still have to check from Belmont to Olcott, including whether there is any servicable businesses in Kingman. Today I went Southwest out of Conway Springs, and almost wish I hadn't. The tracks to Argonia are fine, but from Argonia southward...YUK! There is almost a hundred yards of track tore up south of town, separated by the BNSF Mainline. They tore up the Interchange tracks at Argonia also, so a lot of dealing would have to be done to get them to put the cross track back at Argonia, more than likely, the SCKL would have to run as two separated districts. And Argonia's tracks...they were almost all buried in the dirt/mud. That all for now, look for the upcoming reports on Argonia south to the Oklahoma border, and Norwich to Olcott, Kansas.

BAD NEWS

(7/14)Its been a while since I updated, its because the dream is dead, or least a part of it is. The prototypical SCKL took a big hit on June 24th. That is the date that the paper broke that an already existing, already operating railroad had bought all 190 miles of the abandoned track. Since I was still in the research phase, I was the odd man out. Update on the Model SCKL. The HO scale plans are moving at a slow pace (aka - I've looked at them), but they will probably be shelved till 2000. A new project has risen from the ashes of the last month.....A division of the SCKL, the NPRR (North Pole Railroad), has went into preproduction. It is a idea that my wife Angie gets credit on, and she will be assisting me in the construction and engineering of the NPRR's Christmas Village. The town doesn't have a name yet, but in essence it will be a generic midwestern town set in the 1960's, but generic enough that it can become 1999. The idea arose out of the fact the Christmas Layout was usually around the tree, and last year a car - which I haven't been able to replace(if anyone has an extra one, I'll buy it. The blue and white 1998 Athern/BelBev car), was destroyed by an angerly thrown shoe, and the fact that with a child now, there wasn't any room for presents. A car from each year we've been together is in production. The exception to the one car per year is 1996 and 1997. Our First Christmas, and our daughter's first Christmas boxcars were added to the regular yearly car. The rolling stock is: 96 - Christmas tree carrying car; 97 - Egg Nog Tanker; 98 - Nativity scene car; and 99 - Peppermint Covered Hopper. Motive power varies, depending on era. We have a Mikado steam engine, and a F7A unit for early operation, and a sd40 for modern era operating. The table will be kitchen table height, and be 7' by 45 inches. Known buildings in the village are: train depot, drive-in restaurant, 30's era gas station, and a country church. A bed and breakfast as well as a typical downtown businesses are expected. Angie will be helping me in the construction and decorating of the buildings and layout area. The basic extended oval shape, and placement of the church, roads, pond and community tree have already been decided, the rest will be the place and see method. That is all for now, I hope soon to replace the SCKL GP35 with one of the NPRR's Santa's Special locomotives as the header. At completion, a picture of the village will be published.

(8/1)As you can tell, I was able to get the artist conception of the "Santa Express" F7A that will run on the Christmas layout. We are leaning towards naming the town "Holiday Village". We have also added a second car for 1999. No were not having a baby - at least not that I've heard. We decided that the dogs will get their own car. With BJ being a celebrity now, we figure they earned it. The car is the Hero and his Sidekick car, and will feature both BJ and Scrappy. For those who missed it, many I suppose. BJ woke me up one morning when our daughter had turned over in bed, and was near suffocation. When the story got out, we were doing interviews with the area papers, the Associated Press, the Miwaukee Journal, and National Public Radio picked it up for broadcast. Enough about that. Construction has begun, and the outside walls finished on a couple of buildings. Angie's Cafe building, which will house the cafe, upstairs apartments, and an as of yet un-named business.The exterior walls have also been completed on Ashley's Toy Shop. Finally, construction is complete on the towns bed & breakfast. Most of the businesses to be included have been plotted out, but construction hasn't begun. The next buildings expected to be completed are the bank, candy shop, and department store. The local radio station - KMAS will be housed on the upper level of the department store. Now, an automated pond will probably be replacing the static pond originally planned. It will be countersunk, making it flush with the table top. Check back in a couple weeks. We should have another update on construction. I'll be busy the next couple weeks in the SCKL's paint shop. Besides all the Christmas cars for us, cars are in production for my parents, as well as a Christmas train for my wife's family.

(10/1)Its been a pretty busy time here at the SCKL since the last post. Construction was began, cars were painted, and to reduce costs, we moved our office (home) to Garden Plain, the SCKL's home.
News....Construction:Three building had their outer walls completed in the last two months. The first, the bank, wasn't exactly what we expected, so it will be moved elsewhere in town, possibly as the post office, or city building. The same is true for the building that was to house Sis' Gifts. The coloration wasn't what we wanted after completion, so it will probably become a candy store or flower shop, and be moved elsewhere, possibly behind Angie's Cafe building. The third building completed, the towns theater, was completed, only afterwards to be condemned as inadequate. Plans are on the drawing board to possibly scratch-build the entire theater. It will sit on the corner across from the bank and catty-corner to the rail station. It will be re-alocated to a later project. A fourth building, the Department Store has just begun outer wall construction. A new building for Sis's Gifts and the Bank are expected to be constructed after the Department Store. That will complete the block directly facing the train station.
Rolling Stock: As of this posting, with the exclusion of the "layout" train, all rolling stock thru 1999 has been painted. That will give the Santa Express three completed engine/caboose sets and seven cars painted. Decaling is next, and a total of approximately 30 cars need to be decaled. The completion date is slated for Thanksgiving weekend. In addition to cars designed and built at the SCKL's Garden Plain Shop, the SCKL owns five commercially designed Christmas cars, with another 2 expected in '99.
Design News: I understand revamped plans of the village are showing an increase in size for the town. Originally slated to be 45"x 7', the new design is 4'x 8'. Other additions include a team track for the Hardware store/Implement dealer, and adding through-tracks, so the village could be added as an expansion to other planned layouts. And also, an engineering change that will completely change the look of the city, the park, with its ice skating pond and community Christmas tree will be switching ends with the housing district of the village. More on this as plans are finished, and hearing can be had on the changes.
Extra - Extra: In other SCKL news. New Train Announced: A history train is being planned for the SCKL. No word on the motive power yet, but the cars will be box/reefer and covered hoppers primarily. Each car will denote important dates in the history of the Raney-Neises Family. This train is not to be confused with the planned heavyweight passenger excursion train. It is a passenger train with steam motive power that is slated to run on weekends around Kansas. Each car of it is named after members of the family, and the cars number is that members birthdate. The history train will cover events since we've been together, such as births, anniversaries, and other monumental events. The first seven cars are already planned, they are the birthdays of myself, Angie, and Ashley; when we met, when we married, adopting our boys, and the founding of Executive Security. Finally, the prototype idea is being shelved until realistic funding can be secured.

(12/3)Not much news over the last two months. Construction has halted on the towns buildings, even though recently the materials for the towns gas station was purchased. Do to droppage, a few cars went to the scrap pile, while another went to the shop for adjustments and rebuilding. The pictures are currently in development to be placed on several cars. Decaling and final prep on the cars for Christmas '99 delivery, is proceeding, though extremely slowly.
Even though they are behind in the work, the SCKL shops announced another Christmas Train going into production. The expected delivery date is Christmas Eve, 1999. The trains motive power will be steam, and will consist of three cars and a caboose. No word on painting or schemes, though it is known that the three cars will be, a boxcar, a gondola, and a flat car. More news and pictures, when they become available.

(1/9/2000)Everyone at the SCKL Shops survived the Turn of the Century intact. They currently are enjoying a well-deserved two week shut-down vacation. The crews were very busy, delivering 6 Engines, 3 cabooses, and 14 cars of various design by Christmas Eve. Five additional cars were delivered by New Years Eve. Delivered was the 9 car consist of the Christmas Special; a new Pacific Steam and Nativity car for the Holiday Express; and a 0-6-0 Steamer and four car consist for the NPRR, delivered to Angie's Aunt Sis and Uncle Larry on Christmas Eve. Three engines, a caboose, and two cars were completed for the Santa Express. On New Years Eve, the NPRR shop crews delivered five boxcars, four for the Santa Express, and one for the Holiday Express; a special Baby's First Christmas car.
The SCKL shops have announced that they are beginning a production line in 2000 to pre-build and begin marketing several of the railroads Christmas car designs. The first car to be produced will be the Nativity car. At least 20 of these are scheduled to be produced.
In other rolling stock news, the SCKL acquired two new Christmas production cars, and a car to commemorate the Millennium. The SCKL engineering department was also busy in December. With the ANSL Racing League reforming for the 2000 season, League Commisioner Rob Neises ordered the ANSL Special to be overhauled to be ready for February. The train will be brought in a car at a time. Currently the trains motive power, a F7A/B unit is being worked on. You can see the engineers rendition of the A unit on the main page. Finally, a new "Operation LIfesaver" safety train is being built for the SCKL rails. Three cars are finished, or almost finished, an education car and motive power are the only cars not completed.
With the unseasonably warm weather, construction began on the village's train station. It was also announced that Sis' Gifts would be moving into the station upon completion. The station, when completed, will house Sis' Gifts, a concession stand area, full ticket services, a climate controlled baggage area, and a nicely appointed waiting area. No business has been named to replace Sis' Gifts on the village's main street. No date has been set for completion of the station, weather among other things will determine its completion date. The first of the towns houses was completed in Decmeber. No other construction news at this time.

(1/25/2000) The crews are back at work, rested and ready to get busy.
Construction News: The crews are back at work, and work picked back up today on the train station. The freight door for the baggage exit to the tracks, and doors to the office/baggage area arrived today. The door between Sis' Gifts and the waiting area of the station also arrived. Instead of the arched french doors, decorative wooden doors with an arched transom and glass side panels is to be installed. The work on the station is being halted until the door subcontractor begins work. During the slowdown, construction crews will probably begin construction of the department store. It will be located mid-block, across from the train station, next to Ashley's Toy Shop.
Other Construction News: Engineering plans now call for a hotel, not apartments over Angela's Cafe. No business has committed to the empty business space in that building. The bank is moving: The site of the bank, which earlier was razed, will be filled by a new "modern" grocery store. Plans also call for the business previously assigned to Sis'Gifts to be built elsewhere in town. That will open up some parking next to the new grocery store. Soon, the supplies to build the grocery store, and the new theater should begin arriving on site.
Rolling Stock News: The partners of the NPRR have decided that from now on, all cars built for the "Santa Express" will be "layout ready". That means all cars will have kadie couplers and be nicer Athern based cars instead of the Life-Like "toy" cars used for the non-layout cars. The already built "toy" rolling stock will be retired and put on display during the Christmas Season. Since the decision, the new 1996, Tree carrying car has been purchased, and is in the SCKL shops for completion. It will be joined soon by the 1997, Egg Nog tank car, and the 1999 Peppermint covered hopper. The 2000 car, a Reindeer/Sleigh car will be scratch-built later this year. With this decision, a new green/black/red Mikado will be slated for construction. Soon after its completion, an F7A/B unit will be painted in the NPRR "Warbonnet" scheme. The Commercial Christmas Train cars will probably be led in upcoming seasons by the Tri-Colored SD40-2. A new "12 Days of Christmas" Train will also begin seeing time on the NPRR next season. The First Day (98) has arrived, and the Second Day (99) is on order, and will be at the NPRR Shops soon. A beverage delivery semi decorated with the First Day will probably be seen delivering drinking supplies to the Holiday Village.
In Motive Power News: Besides the acquisition of the Mikado and new F7A/B unit, the privately owned SD9, owned by James Gang Racing, will be at the SCKL shops for decalling after being painted. A B-unit will be acquired soon to be matched with the F7A unit of the ANSL Racing League. The coach car, dining car, and sleeper cars are also being taken for painting and final decalling. An office car, press room car, and tech car have yet to be recommissioned.

(2/11/2000) Construction News: The crew have been very busy in the last 17 days. The door subcontractor is working on the doorways and counter area of the towns train depot. Completion is expected on the door work in a week or so. While the door people work on the station, the rest of the crews began construction of several buildings, completing the outer walls on 6 buildings. The outer walls are up on the City Hall Building Complex, the Fire Station, the Department Store, the Drug Store with its soda fountain, and a smaller building which has no tennant yet.
Speaking of tennants, after discussion, the rooms above Angie's Cafe are going to be apartments again, the Candy Store has agreed to take over the small building Sis' Gifts was to occupy on the front street. The location will been moved next to the bank on the main street. The towns movie theater, not the grocery store will be next to the Department Store, with side parking in the empty lot, and the town barber is now scheduled to move into the other business space in the Angie's Cafe Building.
Engineering Notes: The state engineers have decided that the highway through town will curve around the train station on the west, then head straight out of town. Originally, the highway was to curve around both the east and west sides of the station. Yesterday, the engineering/construction department began modifying the platte for Rob's parents new village. It was to be 3'x 8', but will be modified to 3.5'x 8'.
Rolling Stock News: The SD9 owned by James Gang Racing, and several cars went to an outside car shop in the last week. When completed, several of them will go to the SCKL Historical Association. In other rolling stock news, the SCKL is expecting a GP60 within a week or so. The former NS unit will be painted in the SCKL's newest scheme before being put into service.

UPDATE

(3/10/2000)System Update: With this weekend being the 13th Air Capitol Train Show, the SCKL Crew will be there. Here is an update of progress on the NPRR's Holiday Village, and other SCKL activities.
Engineering/Construction: In engineering, the platte for Bob and Mary's Holiday Express Village is currently on hold. Non-Railroad projects have taken up all the time. As an update, their village has been expanded from a 40" circle to a 3.5' x 8' oval. The added area will be developed in porcelin buildings as the smaller village was. The platte is now scheduled to be finished, and primered by the end of March.
The Holiday Village the NPRR is undertaking for Rob and Angie's family is going to be 4' x 8', and no construction is expected on the platte in 2000. The towns buildings completed, or under construction are: The Bed and Breakfast and one of the towns houses are finished. The outer walls are completed for Angie's Cafe Building, which will house the cafe, above business apartments, and the Barber Shop. Next to it on the Highway will be Ashley's Toy Shop, the Department Store, and the Movie Theater. The outer walls are completed on each of these businesses except the theater. Other buildings with their outer walls finished include the City Library, the Candy Store, and the Drug Store w/ Old Fashioned Fountain. Construction has began on the fire station, and the door/ticket booth sub-contractor is expected to be finished with the towns train depot this weekend, therefore the station should be remodeled and ready for passengers by Mid-April. The towns gas station has been delivered, and it is expected that it will be the next building finished after the depot and fire station. Currrently the towns Movie theater and new grocery store are on back-order. At this weekends show, President Rob Neises hopes to secure the supplies for a few more of the towns buildings.
Locomotive Power: This weekend, James Gang Racing's SD9 is expected to return to Garden Plain after it was sub-contracted out to RR Customs in Wichita, Kansas. The former Norfolk Southern GP60 arrived in Garden Plain last week. It is expected to get new power and gearing before going to RR Customs in Wichita to become the first diesel in the SCKL's newest freight scheme. The scheme is a throw-back to the scheme began in 1986 and run until the agreement with BNSF. All the freights will eventually wear the new scheme with updated graphics. The engine will be yellow except for the long hood which will be dark grey, the new full-color Kansas logo will be on the long-hood, the number will be under the cab window in brown, a small state logo in brown will be on the tail, with the Sunflower logo on the nose. The ANSL Racing Leagues F7A, and an ex-Santa Fe F7B unit will also be lashed to the GP 60 for painting. While the F7's are at RR's Custom, a former SCKL business train A/B unit will pull the ANSL mobile offices. Finally, the UP has donated a C&NW Dash-9 to be displayed at the SCKL Historical Museum.
Rolling Stock: Several cars are to return from RR's Custom that are slated for display at the SCKL Historical Museum. Boxcars from the Gorre & Daphitid, Model Railroader's 65th Anniversary, and the 50th Anniversary of Atlas will end there, while the sleeper, diner and coach car for the ANSL Special will be back and take their place in the train after re-decalling. This weekend, hopefully the egg nog car, the Peppermint hopper, and the flat and stock car will be acquired to kitbash the 2000 sleigh/reindeer car for the Santa Express train. Also in Christmas train news, the '98 Blue commercial car was located at a foreign road, it will go in for refurbishing, and hopefully will be ready for use by Christmas 2000. Finally, The 1st Day of Christmas boxcar, the first car of the 12 Days of Christmas Train is expected back in Garden Plain this weekend. Acquisition of the 2d Day car is on the list for this weekend.
Hope to see everyone at this weekends show at Century II, Wichita.

Update 2 (3/21/00): It was a pretty sucessful weekend for the SCKL Crew at the Train Show. First, Rob brought the video camera and got what may be the last ride of the Wichita & Ark Valley System. They may be forced to dismantle the system, which means its would be out of commission for 12-18 months. There is a movement to try to get a one year extension, lets hope its successful.
At the show, many things were acquired or made their way back to SCKL home territory. The door contractor finished his work on the depot, but due to circumstances, it probably will not be finished until June. A new fixer-upper house was bought also at the show. The three commemorative cars were returned, and are being stored until the SCKL Historical Museum finds its home. The SD9 was not quite fiished, and is expected to return to James Gang Racing in about a month. That is also the expected return time for the ex-C&NW Dash-8, and the ANSL's F7A/B Unit. The three ANSL Special cars are back in Garden Plain, and are awaiting final decalling before being returned to regular service on the Special. Other acquisitions at the show include, an ex-UP PA/B-1 unit for the Museum. It will be repainted to match the SCKL Scheme of that time. Also, a former UP Doodlebug was acquired for special trips around the system, it too will be redone to the SCKL scheme of its time. Final rolling stock acquisitions included a covered hopper for the Peppermint car, and the 62' tank car for the Santa Express' egg nog car. The villages emergency services picked up a couple vehicles, including its EMS Ambulance, a small "SCAT" pumper truck, and a Chevy Caprice Police Cruiser.
Ordered in the aftermath of the show were: a couple more police cruisers, a Mack Fire Truck, a new modern fire station, a Blazer for the fire chief, a Blazer for the Police/Sherrif's Department, and a snow plow and salt spreader for the maintenance department.
In the construction department, most work has halted due to time constraints of the construction crew. When it resumes probably this summer, expect several building to get at least the outer walls completed. They include the train depot, the fire station, gas station, and City/County Hall.
In rolling stock, expect also by summer, the Peppermint, Egg Nog, and Christmas Tree cars to be ready for decalling. By the summer, the SCKL hopes to acquire the 2 remaining 65th anniversary cars for Model Railroader Magazine, the Second Day of Christmas car, and the parts to get the prototype Reindeer/Sleigh car built. In mid-July August, the SCKL Shops hope to be busy on this years commeorative Christmas Car, the Nativity Car. 20 kadee equiped and 10 hook-horn "toy" cars are scheduled for release for Christmas 2000. Cars will become available in October, 2000 if all goes well.
Above you can see the artists conception of the new scheme. The only difference is the logo on the long hood will be the modern state logo.

(4/24/00)- Good days mean work being done that was not expected, most of the work relates to structures, planning, and the platte for the Holiday Express layout for Rob's parents. The layout platte has been built and primered. A new design feature to the layout is a mountain in the right corner area. The mountains dimensions have been drawn out, and one of the tunnel portals have been purchased. All new track has been purchased for the layout, and test fitted. The next step is to get the foam to begin mountain construction.
Plans have been revised on Rob and Angie's as-of-now unnamed village. All of the main street buildings have had their outer walls completed. The main block now shows, from left to right, Angie's Cafe Building, Ashley's Toy Shop, Department Store, Drug store with old-time fountain, and theater. There will be no open lot for parking on main street. In other planning decisions: there will not be a fire station on the actual layout, just implied by a vehicle or two, same for police station. The village already has 3 Caprice Cruisers, and a couple four wheel drives are on order. A mock up of the train station and gas station have been finished, they will not stay on the layout permanantly, they will be replaced by better, more detailed versions. The replacement train station has began construction, all walls but three have been wallpapered. The windows are currently in production. Plans call for lighting of Sis' Gifts, the lobby, and possibly the track side offices upstairs. The service window for the stations concession stand are on order, as is the replacement Cornerstone gas station. The new bank building and half of the accompanying block have been delivered. The implement dealer, auto repair shop, and more doors for the fire station arrived this week.
The work contracted out to RR Customs of Wichita, Kansas is expected to be completed before Mid-May. When spoke to this week, they said most everthing was nearing completion. RR Customs has the ANSL Racing league's F7A/B unit, the new GP60 for the SCKL, and a C&NW Dash 8 for the SCKL Historical Museum.
No word yet on when the Second Day of Christmas '99 Car will be in. Slated to go to RR Customs this summer are: A SCKL SD40-2 and BN F45 will receive new handrails before going to the Historical Museum. Another F45 will receive painting in the newest SCKL Special scheme. Others likely to go include the ex-UP PA/B-1 Unit and Doodlebug unit to be retro-painted in its former SCKL color scheme, also for placement in the Historical Museum. The ANSL Special's League Business car, and the pressroom car should also make it. That would just leave the tech car, the transport hauler, and equipment car yet to be retrofitted.
Finally in NPRR news, two new cars were purchased for the Santa Express. A CB&Q Business car, and a UP-styled Combine. One of the cars will be used to carry mail and passengers at the tail of the NPRR's Santa Express. The car will probably be numbered 121996, in honor of the families first Christmas together. The car will be CB&Q Red and White. In final news on the NPRR, the Christmas Tree car has been painted ATSF Red, and the Peppermint car is in the paintshop, getting several coats of BN Green. Look for the Egg Nog car to go to the paintshop next.
Look for another update when significant work has been accomplished.

UPDATE: The shops of the SCKL have relocated. Due to considerations of his daughter, the shops needed to be relocated to Wichita. The move is in the final stages.
The artists rendition of the new SCKL Special is on the page header. With the demise of the ANSL League, the SCKL Special will return to its role of transporting the James Gang Racing Team to races the remainder of the season.

UPDATE: With the completion of the move to Wichita, and the upcoming show in Wichita, here's a status update on the SCKL and its affiliates.
Bob and Mary's: The platte is in the process of being moved to Wichita to begin construction of the mountain. The mountain is to be removable, so it won't be damaged as quickly in the off-season. After the mountain has been built, the new track is to be laid, and the only thing left to do is put on legs and wire it for the porcelan buildings. Barring any mishaps, no work will need to be done on rolling stock.
Aunt Sis' & Uncle Larry: Plans are in the works to possibly upgrade the motive power. Depending on a report from Angie's Uncle Larry.
Uncle Johnny: 2 Camel cars are under construction to go with the engine and caboose given to him in 1998. One car is slated to be a regular Camel car, the other a Smokin' Joe's scheme.
NPRR: Purchases were made to begin constuction of the first commercial Christmas car to be marketed by the NPRR. The 2000 car is to be a Nativity Scene car.
In news on Rob and Angie's Christmas Village: With the move to Wichita, most of the work on the village has been halted till a working area can be set up. Till then, here's the update: The new 4-6-2 Pacific has been delivered to the NPRR. It is going to RR Customs for redecalling in the NPRR's Santas Express scheme. It will be numbered 1225. Also going in for new decals is the Christmas Tree Car. For 2000, the plan is to build the table base, and cover it with particle board. It will then be covered in white batting and a 4X8 oval of track will be set up. The train and gas station mock ups, plus a couple houses and the pond will also be displayed. The NPRR Mikado 25 will probably lead the consist of Santa Express, commercial, and hopefully the first two days of Christmas cars on the layout. Though that is subject to change, depending on if the NPRR/SCKL Display tracks are open by then.
The consist of the Santa Express is currently: Engine, Christmas Tree Car, Our First Christmas car, Ashley's First Christmas, Egg Nog car, Nativity scene car, Dogs First Christmas, Peppermint Hopper, Sleigh/Reindeer Car, and the train will be ended with a combination baggage/passenger car, numbered 122596. Most of the villages buildings have been ordered. The only buildings not in our hands is the new gas station, school, city offices, barn, and houses, including Angies and mine.

Update: 8/15/2000 Not a lot has happened as of late, so here's a short update. The NPRR's Pacific will be numbered 25, not 1225, and it has been delivered to RR Customs for finishing. I spoke with RR Customs today, they expect everything to be delivered not later than September 1. Currently RR Customs has, the NPRR Pacific #25, James Gang Racing's SD9, ANSL's F7A/B Unit, ex-C&NW Dash 9 for the Museum, SCKL GP60, and the Mack Fire Engine. Slated to go to RR Customs in the place of the completed items is: Ed's Market will be pre-built, then moved to its site in town; the Christmas Tree Car for decalling; the Egg Nog car and Peppermint cars for new couplers and grab irons; and a new tender for the NPRR's Mikado.
In building news, the new City Hall has arrived, and construction will begin later in the year. New rolling stock include two old-fashioned passenger cars, a Batman billboard boxcar, and a Florida East Coast BL-2 Diesel.
In construction notes: another wall has been raised for the villages new train station, currently the walls that make up the baggage area are in place. Window construction is expected to begin again soon. There is talk about modifying some doorways in the building. Possible changes include: a glass door to Sis' Gifts, moving the front entrance to where the windows currently are, and a glass door leading from the lobby to the tracks.
Finally, in NPRR news, construction has begun on the 2000 Christmas Car and the 2000 car for the Santa Express train.

Update: 10/5/2000 Things are starting to move now. The SCKL Train Shop already has orders for 7 Nativity Scene cars. Half have already been delivered. In other car design news, a third of the 2000 family Christmas cars are completed, and the 2002 car blanks have been bought, and two-thirds have been primered. The design for the 2001 family Christmas car is already in pre-production. With a new addition to the family expected in April or May of 2001, a new Neises Family car is slated for delivery that Christmas.
In Santa Express train news, two cars are now finished. The 1997 Egg Nog tanker, and the 1998 Nativity Scene car. A change was made for the SE Nativity Scene car, it was done on a 60' bulkhead flat instead of a regular flat car. The 1996 "Our First Christmas" and the 1997 "Baby's 1st Christmas" cars are done, but both need step repairs done. The 1996 Christmas Tree car went to RR Customs for lettering a week ago. The 1999 Peppermint car went in for repainting, and the 2000 Sleigh/Reindeer car is being cut down and painted at RR Customs also. In final Santa Express news, a double-door boxcar was bought for the 1999 "Santa Paws" car to commemorate the dogs first Chrstmas. Still to be finished by Thanksgiving are: a caboose for the SE, the Santa Paws car, decaling the Peppermint Hopper, and kitbashing the Sleigh/Reindeer car.
Last week, several items were returned to the SCKL home from RR Customs in Wichita. The SCKL GP60, the James Gang Racing SD9, and the ANSL Special F7A/B unit were returned ready for service. The GP60 is due for new underhood workings, and some final detailing needs to be done on the ANSL Special. Returned to the SCKL Historical Museum was an ex-C&NW Dash-8. The NPRR Pacific remains at RR Customs for repainting and decaling. Ed's Market business was outed to RR Customs for completion, its going to be part of Rob and Angie's Christmas Village.
Speaking of the Village, it now has an offical name - Noel, Kansas. The decision was made yesterday to name the village Noel. In other news about Noel: The new City Hall supplies were delivered about a month ago, with construction to start later this month. Again, changes are being made in the towns layout. It looks like the fire station and ambulance building are now gonna be seen in Noel. Placement will depend on the final decision on placement of the bank and its neighboring buildings. Talk is between the building staying on Main Street, or moving to the other side of the alley next to the Angie's Cafe building. Later this month, early November should see work on Noel's Church. It, the train station, gas station, and a couple houses will be included on a temporary layout this Christmas. Another addition to the town is a new water tower. Construction has been slow on the new train station, as well as on all the villages buildings due to a very busy schedule. In final news on Noel, the state has received a new dump truck complete with salt spreader and snow plow. It will see service in and around Noel.
In other train news: A new steam engine is being delivered soon, it will be overhauled, remarked, and delivered for Christmas. The original "Santa's Express" steam switcher, formerly numbered 94, and which originally ran on Rob's parents layout was returned to the yard. It is being renumbered number 1, and will now have "NPRR" on its tender. It may see duty when the families big layout is built, till then it will probably sit in the SCKL Historical Museum.
Finally, in news about the Holiday Express layout for Rob's parents: The supplies have been built to begin construction of the removable mountain. All that is needed is several rolls of paper towels, and some strips of balsa wood. The tunnel openings will be rough on the facing edge, and a finished wooden portal on the backside.

Update: 12/10/2000 The Holday Express layout is now finished and delivered. Today I delivered the 3.5' x 8' oval to their house. The removable mountain was finished. From my parents basement, all that needs to be done is one section of track replaced, and the holes for the villages lights need to be drilled. When it is fully decorated and operational, a picture of it will be posted here.
In news about the NPRR Nativity Scene car, 12 have been ordered and delivered. Another 5 have been ordered by Engine House Hobbies. If 8 more can be delivered this Christmas season, my goal of 20 units will be realized.
Here's news about the Christmas Village Noel, and the Santa Express Train: We decided not to put out a temporary layout of the village. Time and money constraints were behind the decision. The Observation car that is to bring up the rear of the Santa Express went to RR Customs a couple weeks ago with the Second Day of Christmas car and the 30th Anniversary of the Wichita & Ark Valley. In final layout news, construction has begun on Noel's church. Other than that and Ed's Market, construction has been halted for 2000.
All of the 2000 Family Christmas cars are completed and being wrapped this weekend. A new car for Angie's fathers train, and a car for her uncle are under construction, with a completion deadline of December 23d.

Update: 1/16/2001 Not much news to report yet this year. With the upcoming birth of our next child...most likely a girl, not much work will be able to be done until it gets warmer, and the garage gets cleaned. I will update you on purchases made for the SCKL. I got the Bev-Bel Christmas 2000 car, Bev-Bel 2000 "True Millennium" car, and the third day of Christmas car from Con-Cor. The Third day of Christmas car and a couple other cars are going to RR Customs soon.
The only scheduled work between now and the summer is Noel's Chrurch, a couple of cars for the SCKL Special, and Noel's train station.
Other acquisitions include a BNSF GP38 for the SCKL Museum, and a "Corky's Circus Train" that will run eventually on the family layout.
An update should be expected when RR Customs returns the projects it has around late January, Mid-February.

Update: 4/16/2001 Last month was the Air Capitol Train Show, and luckily/unluckily it was on a payday weekend. I was able to acquire a new Mikado to be used on my parents Christmas Village layout. All it will need to do is be renumbered. Other purchases include a 65th MR Observation car to complete the set. Including additions from ebay, the SCKL and its affiliates, and towns served by it, the inventory has largely incresed. New items include: KC Southern SD40-2 and a Warbonnet Dash 9 for the SCKL Historical Museum. Other Museum items include a General 4-4-0 Spirit of 76 Engine, three Bicentennial boxcars, three boxcars commemorating Columbus, and another Spirit of 76 Caboose. Other purchses include a 90' Turntable, several U-Haul trucks, and several boxcars for the race team effort. Finally a new streamlined observation car was bought for the SCKL Business Train.
Several items were returned from RR Customs last week, with a bunch more expected this week. Returned to the SCKL Yards was the BNSF SD40-2, the Peppermint Car for the Santa Express, the 30th Anniversary Wichita & Ark Valley Railroad car, and the Business Office car for the ANSL Special.
Though they still have several items, more are to be dropped off soon. They include: a new Transport Hauler, Parts and Car Carrier Cars, the Noel Church, and 2 boxcars for the Santa Express. At the top is a picture of the new SCKL freight paint scheme.

Update: 8/1/02 Not a lot has happened in the last 14 months, but I thought an update was in order. I spent 20 minutes at this years Air Capitol Train Show. RR Customs has become hard to get a hold of, so they have a whole bunch of my stuff, and I haven't got it back yet.
Last Christmas' NPRR car sold 10 units. It was an Egg Nog Tanker car. I didn't utilize ebay as a sale tool, and lost my list of year 1 buyers. Looking forward to Christmas 2002, I am trying to decide what will be my design. I'm leaning toward a hopper, open or closed that will carry peppermints. My second idea is a modern fish-belly hopper carrying a load of snow. More on that soon, I have set a August 30th deadline for my decision. For the annual family car, I'm planning on a Husky-Stack car with a 'Mistletoe Express' semi trailer. September 1st I plan on ordering the decals for the Christmas cars.
Other news. . . I have made a decision to run for political office. I have a pair of covered hoppers being painted and data decaled by the Engine House Hobby painter. I have designed the decals for them, I just haven't printed them yet. As you have seen above, with the hoppers, will be a red, white and blue BL2 diesel to pull the hoppers and other political or patriotic family cars in the future.
Nothing much has been done on the Noel, Kansas project. There has been another design change. In order to fit in with the overall modular effect that the layout is planning on taking, the layout will not be operational in a stand alone way. There will be a track with a passenger station siding in the front of the module, and another straight track along the back with a back in team track siding. These changes will make a change in the layout of the buildings likely. Here's a current discription: Centerline with its back to the siding track will be Noel's train station. In one end of the station is going to be Sis' Gifts. Along the highway, across from the depot will be: In the center block - (l to r) Angie's Cafe with barber shop, and a motel/apartments above it; Asher's Toy Shop; a department store; drug store with an old-fashioned soda fountain; and the moviehouse. Across the street, but on the same side of the highway (l to r): gas station and drive-in restaurant. Across the street from Angie's Cafe, also on the same side of the highway is the Noel Church. Behind the Church is the park where the big Christmas Tree and possibly the animated pond will go. Across the alley from Angie's Cafe is Allison's Candy Store. Across the alley, seperated by a parking lot will be the grocery store. On the same street will be the fire station and ambulance barn (old fire station). Across the street from the fire station and stuff (l to r): Bank building; Anderson and Long Law Office; possibly a auto repair shop; and the implement dealer/hardware store. Behind the gas station will be a small housing development; bed and breakfast; and a school. This is all hypothetical as of now, we'll have to see how construction goes.
Finally, the personnel cars of the 2002 SCKL Special race train have been under production. Three have been purchased and repainted bright silver. Decals are in production. They'll probably go to someone else to have the red, white and blue striping applied.

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