Journal Index





High time to correct the many glitches







Added/Started on the Tech Tools section







There will be “quite a few” things to add. Won’t all happen in one week.






Revamping the website or “don’t fix it, unless it is broken!”.







As elsewhere there were a few things that didn’t quite work out as expected. Covid-19 saw to that, but the lucky ones of us kept out of the way and still continue that routine. When “normal” returns is anyone’s guess and one best leaves the guessing to the “experts”.


When it comes to revamping, well it is truly amazing how much more complicated things get when “it has been a while” kicks in. The long and the short of it , it was time to slim the website down, get rid of the German content. Which requires comparing all the content to make sure nothing that was added to the German side was still missing on the English version. That part is still ongoing since “it’s been a while”.


The other major move was shutting down the phpBB RhB forum when yet another glitch popped up in the database. This after I weeded out a lot of “non-participating” members. In my opinion the “best before date” was reached. Time to move on.






2020 arrived and it’s time for a bit of that infamous hindsight in short form







2015 was the year of our trip to Switzerland. Some time we spent in Valais (Fiesch in the Goms) with a lot of trips — Zermatt and the rest of the region. On days when the schedule was less to my liking I would be off on my own shooting video along the MGB (MatterhornGotthardBahn); lots of video, some of it still waiting for editing. :((


Next stop was in a suburb of Zürich with a lot of day trips in that region as well as the central part of Switzerland.


Most distracting “feature” in and around Zürich? By far too many construction cranes which seemed to intrude on too many still shots.


Next and last stop.... Filisur! We were lucky enough to get a super deal on rail passes at the “Grischuna”. That’s all we needed, riding the trains and postal buses from morning to night. That is start right after breakfast and be back just in time for dinner. Great stuff, perfect weather and all the rest.


It was very inspirational, but with all the changes I missed the good old RhB a bit.






2016 brought a lot of “cosmetic” work around the railroad instead of on the railroad.






2017 wasn’t a banner year, actually I call it the year from hell. Health problems all around. Progress stalled on almost everything.






2018 3+ weeks in Jan/Feb spent on a cruise; Australia and New Zealand. Which put the “been there, done that” to any more cruises! Slowly recovering from 2018. Somewhat more positive was the arrival of the first 3D printer. Which presented some additional challenges, first getting it to a quality level that the manufacturer missed out on. Second getting cracking on 3D CAD design.






2019 started with getting back to skiing, with two weeks of ” time out” since it was bitterly cold. Next an appointment at the ophthalmologist’s regarding my cataracts. The time out to get both eyes fixed started on May 15th and ended on August 15th, when I finally got the new eyeglasses. In the meantime it was no garden work, no heavy lifting and and and. With the very peculiar vision, with good eyesight in one eye, but the other yet to be done, even design work was a challenge and caused headaches. Positives? An additional larger 3D printer arrived in March. Are things back to “ normal”? More or less; but time will tell.






Time really flies ....







Fortysix years since the CP Air plane touched down at Dorval — Air Canada had a small labour problem ;) — walked through immigration and got the official welcome to Canada, along with the required paperwork and stamps. First impressions? Whew, it’s warmer than expected and what’s with rusty, old cars in Downtown Montreal? Next day it was off on the train to Brockville, Ont ..... always on the lookout for beavers in the many waterways. Yeah well, little did we know, eh! 


The plan was for “at least two or three years” to get a feel for things and learn better English. Hmmmm .... 46 years later and heading for the 50 mark I’d say it feels mighty good and my English improved considerably. ;)  :))))






And whatelse is new?







Spring arrived a few days ago, but we are waiting for one more snow storm. While other people are busy already talking about Spring, starting their gardening and dressing as if Summer were around the corner ...... I’m still cross country skiing. The snow is good, some days the weather is gorgeous and closing day is April 5th. Might as well keep on skiing.


And on the layout front? We had a serious windstorm on March 14th , stuff flying everywhere. The plastic wrapping came off Piz Styro, so much for the duct tape holding things together. Minor damage to the roof of the photographer’s shelter — prototypical  wind damage. I haven’t really checked for other “oh no” situations, not before we’re done with the snow — for good!


Lots of items on the “To Do” list, but that is completely normal. Three control panels are the most pressing, in order to get the turnouts at Samedan “under control” and first real tests with “Train Controller Bronze” and the “Acer Iconia” tablets (7 inch) done.






It takes all kinds .... but one doesn’t necessarily have to take it.






During Nov 2014 my status on Large Scale Central was in limbo after the owner, commonly referred to as “Bob, the benevolent dictator” once more blew his stack and wouldn’t answer emails or PMs. I was seriously contemplating quitting that outfit, but then reconsidered after reading posts from fellow members who thought it would be a shame.


So I stayed. Then came the big software update at LSC, prior to which Bob had another one of his fits since one very active member quit because someone questioned his facts/procedures. Bob’s “last words” prior to the update “It will either work or it won’t; I really don’t care!!” (paraphrased).


With the update came a slew of new features which were gradually implemented, some good, others not so good. Among them a reputation feature — the kind on which one’s fellow members can sit as judge and jury regarding any post at any time.


Did that improve things? Far from it; people who habitually have posts that are absolute nonsense, e.g just a “.” or just a smilie, were still busy with their usual nonsense.


And it just kept on going, which reminded me very much of the LSC WIKI — long dead for lack of interest aka as very few relevant posts. I quit posting in the LSC WIKI after some “member”, with only acronyms instead of his real identity, kept correcting my facts since he didn’t like my phrasing. So I posted that it reminded me very much of the current state at LSC. Bad mistake, it brought the usual suspects out of the wood work; in one instance complete with a sexually suggestive GIF. So I got slapped with a yellow card; I told Bob politely to cancel my account and that is that.


Except the benevolent dictator then tried to refute my facts, mentioning that I was all wet and didn’t know how a WIKI works. Now that is interesting, since we had one on the RhB/Swiss Trains forum, installed and tuned by yours truly. With the usual tight requirements.


OK now that I have this bit out of my system life goes on. ;)  :)






Oh just one more thing, Bob the benevolent dictator has found it necessary to block my IP,  I guess that’s to prevent me from reading how he revises history. Funny what people will do, isn’t it?






Hard to believe ... the end of January is near







Last year was super busy, between pushing ahead with the layout and garden projects there seemed to be too many Holiday interruptions. A few days here and a few days there, riding trains and chasing trains. It all adds up.


The track in the garden is as good as finished but still needs to be wired. The rest of the rail at Samedan got finally spiked into place. With plenty of groaning about my aching back — that’s what happens when one leaves the tricky stuff (as in tight access) for last. While I was at it I also decided that the portal to the garden needs to be increased in height to allow engines to pass through with the pantographs in the up position.


My friend Art Lüscher ( — who is the importer of ZIMO and other fine goodies for North America — let me watch over his shoulder while installing ZIMO/Däppen sound decoders. But there are still enough left for me to do; better sooner than later in case I forget the routine.


C–C 413 was the first engine to sport the ZIMO/Däppen combo, naturally that called for a corresponding record.  http//


Now the push is on to get Samedan (staging) hooked up e.g. build two new panels and do all the rest of the wiring. Since this is inside I’ll give the Frog–Juicers a try and see how that works out. 








According to the calendar it’s Spring ....







... but still too cool/cold to even start cleaning up in the garden. Besides, as soon as one decides “tomorrow!!” there will be another storm and/or cold front coming through and dump more snow.


It was an odd winter; too may virus varieties along with up and down weather meant not enough skiing and slow progress on the gazillion projects.






Where did the time go?







There was a lot of progress on the layout starting in July. May and June was either too much rain or too much vacation. The real “problem” is too many projects and hobbies which all take time ... and more time.


Anyway, Winter is just around the corner. As the NA Indians say “The snow will fly when the swamps are full” and we had so much rain that it must be time.


In the meantime the winter projects have started, first up the turnouts for Thusis.






Winter at the door ...







... means building season is here. Work on the new Samedan is progressing very nicely i.e. just one more turnout to finish - this one was a last minute addition when I did an operating session in my mind and figured out that it will provide better “work flow”.


It had been a busy summer ..... with me running after the 1:1 size trains, both in British Columbia and Alberta. Lots of video to show for it. Rocky Mountaineer ; CP Rail ; CN Rail .


The nice tan I got from all the hours in the sunshine and the fresh air is slowly fading. But it is almost time to get the XC-skis ready for more of the same in different surroundings.


Fired up the Laser machine; time to get cracking on the “gazillion” projects that are ready to cut - after a bit of fine tuning.













Is how my friend Friedhelm Weidelich summed up the presentation of new Large Scale items at the Nürnberg Toy Fair. Breaking with the tradition of years past most (or just a few?) of the manufacturers issued the information in advance of the Fair. In other words there were no big surprises!


Which is OK from my perspective, I much rather have pleasant surprises concerning the production/delivery dates. If those actually move into the plus/minus 2 or 3 months frame we would have something to smile about. But frankly, I’m not holding my breath!






It was high time ...







Uff ... apart from adding the META data - specific for each page - it’s done .... the website is now in Version Eleven format which allows a few extra “wrinkles” that were a pain with Version Eight. 


Now it’s just a matter of adding all the content which has been sitting in anticipation of the software update.






One more item ...







... for those who are interested but would like the short version before heading to the detailed nitty-gritty.


The Journal will cross reference to either the RhB Forum or the respective page on this website in short form just long enough to get the gist.






Fun with the software







After a few unexpected glitches things should be back on track (yes, my fingers are crossed!) and the various updates under way. It will take a while to get both the look and the content of the whole site trimmed. Your patience is appreciated.