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What's New for February 2014 - Feb 5, 2014

I have some good news and I have some more good news!

First: the 2014 Steel Mill Modelers Meet is on schedule for Labor Day weekend 8/27 thru 8/31, 2014 at the Best Western Lehigh Valley Conference Center in Bethlehem, PA. Eric Craig, our local host, has found us a very nice hotel that will work very well for our conference.

This will be our ninth year (we skipped 2006) for the conference and once again we will have a great compliment of seminars and workshops. Several of our regulars will be making presentations but we still have room for more. I'd like to see some new faces, and I know there are several of you who are building, or have built steel mill models, and have material for a great presentation. Give Mike Rabbitt a call or Email and he will let you know all the details. 610-688-3352 or

Our format will remain the same, 12-14 seminars, one day for prototype tours (TBA), and one day for layout tours. Saturday evening we have our "Steelworkers Banquet" Kielbasa, Sauerkraut, Perogies, Glumkies, etc.

The hotel is the "Best Western, Lehigh Valley Hotel", 300 Gateway Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18017. Room Rates are $79.00 per night, which includes the buffet breakfast, wi-fi in the rooms, and free airport shuttle. There is also a nice restaurant that will be open for lunch and dinner.

You can make your reservation immediately, call 610-954-5000 and just mention "The Magarac Society" .

More Good News!

A few months ago State Tool & Die announced a "Basic 200 Ton- 4 Tuck Bottle Car Kit". This was a great addition to the available HO models that are needed for a steel mill, but... There was a problem... The car looked...odd..

The tapered ends didn't look like any prototype I had ever seen. There was a second short tapered end that I couldn't relate to any prototype photos I had or could find on the Internet. Meanwhile there was an initial sales rush, which stopped abruptly.

So I called Emil at ST&D and asked him what prototype he had copied. The answer was none. The car was a composite and the second shorter tapered section on the bottle was to gain the required truck clearance. ??

Well, Emil saw the problem and fixed it. New tapered end sections were made and the car now looks much more like a Treadwell car. Neat!

But here is the best part. Not only do all the new kits come with the correct parts, but ST&D sent me enough replacements so that I can send them out to customers who bought the original car! NOW that is customer service! We have the new cars in stock with the correct tapered sections and I am in the process of sending new parts to everyone who ordered the original car from Peach Creek Shops.

And Some More Good News!

I've just returned from The 2014 Toy Fair in Nurnberg, Germany where I had a hectic and great time. Got to see some new products from Bachmann. They have some VERY nice 50' 6"" drop end gondolas that will appeal to steel mill modelers and a drop dead gorgeous HO PRR GG-1. All wheels powered, DCC w/sound, high reach pantographs and sharp as a tack graphics. Lots of other new products, but you will see more in my review of The Toy Fair in an upcoming issue of RMC.

But... some not so good news...

Every year I attend the Toy Fair in Germany I continue doing research on my long-term project. This is an exhaustive effort to find bad beer in Germany. To date I have collected a considerable amount of data but my efforts have yielded no success. I shall just have to try harder...

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Silver Spring, MD 20904
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