The last time we were in San Diego, we stopped in at Reed’s Hobby Shop in La Mesa. Robert found a rail bender for sale there and we bought it, knowing that we would need one when we begin laying track in the Spring. Well, we got it home and it didn’t have a name, didn’t really look complete, and so I took photos of the bender. I shared the photos with several of our G-Scale friends who I knew had used rail benders in creating their garden railroad. I asked them if they’d ever seen or used a rail bender like this one. No one had ever seen one or used one. I went online and contacted a rail bender manufacturer if they could give me any advice on the machine. They came back with the disturbing news that it appeared to be a knock-off of their product and from what they’d heard, it wasn’t a good attempt at duplicating their rail bender. I called Reed’s and explained that the rail bender just wouldn’t work for us and could we return it. Yes, and they agreed quickly to refund my money. An excellent company to deal with — notwithstanding that we have friends who work there and we’ve been a loyal customer for over 20 years.
In discussing this rail bender situation with close friend Ken Stanfield of Scale Diversions who not only moved from San Diego long before we did but who moved up in railroad scale to 7.5″, which is the size that you ride. His layout encompasses over 2,000 ft. of track and runs through forested land in his back yard. Follow the link for Scale Diversions to see photos of his layout. We really do need to get up there one day and ride his train!! But I digress — my point in commenting about my conversation with Ken is that he offered to sell us a single rail bender (in contrast to the dual rail bender we bought and returned). A single rail bender requires that you remove the rail from the tie strips, bend the rail and then reinstall it onto the tie strips. A bit more work, but not out of line for someone building their own railroad. Some modelers (Ken being one of them) cut their own wood ties and build their track from scratch. We buy ours, and we’re going to need quite a few more feet of it before we get finished with this railroad and have it ready for trains. So we bought the single rail bender from Ken and it arrived by UPS today. Big box for a small item — then I remembered he said he had a couple of other things he was going to throw in for us.
It was like Christmas all over again as I opened each of the small white bags and removed all the miniature items for our railroad. Such a hoot!! Now we have sheep, fruits and vegetables, milk cans, hedgehogs and our very own G Scale trash can created by another G-Scale friend who moved to Washington state, Pat Curtis. Robert spotted the trash can and asked me if I thought Pat had created it. I told him that it was possible and I would ask Ken — yep, Ken says Pat did indeed create the very realistic trash can, complete with trash! She was the resident artist and creative person who built houses with white picket fences and flowers hanging from the eaves. She created wineries with grape vineyards, with miniature grapes hanging from the miniature vines. Amazing artistry and talent.
The rail bender is perfect and Robert has it downstairs in the train room, ready to begin working on the track. That will be a good project for him to start on as it’s far too cold and nasty outdoors to begin working on the layout.
We had snow yesterday, and by the end of the day it had melted everywhere except on top of the mountains across the way. Then we had snow in the wee hours of the morning and by noon, the sun was out for a bit and any snow we had melted, except for the very tops of the mountains across the way. I can deal with snow that behaves like this. I took photos yesterday of a train that came down the mountain and through the valley. A friend messaged me on Facebook and asked permission to post it to the Golden Hills Community Services District Facebook page. I said sure. And so he did.
Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.