We've been enjoying weather conditions more like early April in the State Line, but the various model railroads in the area are having their operating sessions, filling the gap between the end of football and the beginning of March Madness.

With the State of Maine Northern still under construction (although an open day will be coming in March) some of its power is helping out on The Milwaukee Road.

The Weaver USRA Light Pacific isn't as fast as a Hiawatha steamer, and here she's pulling the Savanna to La Crescent plug that connects with the westbound Sioux at Marquette.  The mail car might be handed off to an overnight mail train at La Crescent.

The Weaver diecast 2-8-0 is returning empty meat reefers to the packing houses of western Iowa and southern Minnesota.  Once the home railroad is finished, its job will be to pick up coal from Salem Wharf destined for Boston and Maine coal docks and factories along the old Boston and Lowell and Boston Concord and Montreal lines.

I built this tank car a quarter century ago.  Start with a basket case Lionel tank casting, some Plastruct shapes, and wood for the underframe, and put the whole thing together.  There used to be some carping against the oil business, expressing the hope that Exxon could be made Humble again.  Thus the lettering on the car.  Look closely at the tracks.  In railroad yards, some of the consignments get shaken out, here limestone and iron ore.

This tank car has been visiting on the Fox Valley club for nearly twenty years.  It's a cast metal Walthers car from the bronze age of O Scale, it weighs a lot, and I bought it in rough shape at a swap meet.  Pegasus and Mobil were trademarks of the Socony Vacuum Oil Company.

The tank cars will likely be repatriated, as much of the home heating in New England is by oil, and the tank cars will be switched at dockside.

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