Smart wiring for the gateman, from the January 2012 Classic Toy Trains

This week I received an advance copy of the January 2012 Classic Toy Trains. There, on page 42, is my first magazine article in more than a decade: Smart wiring for the gateman.

I’d like to make a couple of clarifications on the article, as space constraints kept me from elaborating quite as much as I did in the original manuscript–a problem I never have online, but almost always seem to have in print. The issue isn’t due on newsstands for another couple of weeks, but I’ll go ahead and post this now.
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How to lower your train accessories into your table

One of the first articles I remember reading in a train magazine (I don’t remember if it was Classic Toy Trains or a competing rag) was titled “Put your accessories in pockets.” Basically, it advocated cutting holes in your table, putting a board beneath the hole, and putting the accessory in the hole to even it up with the ground level on your layout.

It’s a great idea–more on that in a minute–but it really didn’t go into much detail about how to do the cutting part.

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Contract time

I received a contract today from Classic Toy Trains, a sister publication of Model Railroader and Discover. If you haven’t heard of CTT, there’s a chance you’ve heard of one of the others. It’s an article about the venerable Lionel gateman accessory, and some tricks for improving its operation.

I don’t know yet when they plan to publish it, but when I find out, I’ll make an announcement.

Kalmbach, the owner of CTT, has a long tradition of excellence dating to the 1930s. I’m thrilled to write for them.