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EnterTRAINment Junction(s) . . .

Since it pretty much poured down rain all day today, and will for the next few couple of days, and I was trying to finish up the new Tattoo Supply website and get it ready to put online, I thought I repost a couple of our visits to EnterTRAINment Junction, then listed as the largest indoor model railroad in the world.

Don’t know how this one presently compares with the one in Germany though.  Enjoy!


July 30, 2010

We’re presently parked at the Little Farm on the River RV Park in Rising Sun, IN, about 25 miles from Cincinnati, OH.

This park is in the middle of a working farm that runs right down to the Ohio River and we’re surrounded by corn and soybean fields

Little Farm 1

Little Farm 2

Little Farm 3

Little Farm 4

About 10:00 am we headed into Cincinnati. Strangely enough, although Ohio is just across the river, we have to go through Kentucky to get there. Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky all come together right here in this corner of the country.

Our first destination was Quaker Steak and Lube, a hot wing place we first ate at in Buffalo, NY last year on our way back from Newfoundland. When we were there the big promotion was their “Atomic Wings”. These rate about 150,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale (a jalapeno rates between 2500 and 8000) and you have to sign a release before they will serve them to you. Jan and I got a sample order (5 wings) and we both thought they were pretty hot, hotter than anything we’ve eaten before. Jan could only eat one.

This time they have a new deal. “Triple Atomic Wings” with a 500,000 rating. Unfortunately they don’t offer a sampler of the Triples, and I didn’t want a whole order of 10, so we didn’t get to try them.

But Jan and I both agreed that either we had both lost a lot of taste buds, or these “Atomic Wings” today weren’t as hot as the ones we had last year. But they were good. We also had some regular Hot Wings and some Buckeye BBQ, which rates at about  5000.

One thing I really like about Quaker Steak is that their chicken pieces are a good bit bigger than either Hooter’s or Buffalo Wild Wings.

After lunch we stopped off for gas and car wash before heading over to the main course for the day, EnterTRAINment Junction. Yes, it’s spelled correctly.

EnterTRAINment Junction is a trained-themed attraction that has a railroad museum, and what I was really there for, the world’s largest indoor model railroad.

With over 25,000 sq. ft., 90 trains with more than1200 cars, 2 miles of track, and over 6000 handmade trees, it’s really something.

Train 1 Train 2 Train 3 Train 4 Train 5 Train 6 Train 7

I had a large HO layout when I was a kid, and if we weren’t living in the RV I might think about building another one. But in the meantime I still like reading about them, and visiting large layouts when possible. Last year I visited the Model Railroad Museum near Lancaster, PA, but this one is much bigger.

As I said, my layout was HO, which at the time was the smallest scale at 1/87 real size. The trains we say today were G scale, or 1/22.5

Now there are two smaller scales than HO  N scale, at 1/160, and Z scale at 1/220. An locomotive in Z scale is less than 2 inches long.

We also enjoyed the American Railroad Museum, which had a lot of interesting displays and artifacts. One thing that I found funny was that when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific work crews approached their meeting from opposite directions, they passed each other by and kept on going for another 100 miles. They were getting paid by the mile and didn’t want to stop. Finally the Government stepped in and declared Promontory, Utah the meeting point.

Leaving the Junction we head back to the rig, but detoured through downtown Cincinnati to get some flavor of the city. It’s a very nice town with a lot of new big buildings going up.

I kept looking for the Flimm building, but never found it.

Getting back to the rig a little before 5 we decided it was nap time for an hour or so. Then about 6:30 we headed out for dinner at Skyline Chili, one of two chili-based restaurants in this area, the other being Goldstar Chili.

Everything is pretty much chili. Chili Dogs, chili burritos, salads with chili on them, and even chili spaghetti. And of course, all of it covered with grated cheese and onions.

And it was delicious. Hopefully we’ll get to try Goldstar some other time.

Tomorrow we head north about 135 miles to Celina, OH for the night before getting into Elkhart, IN on Sunday.


September 20, 2012

Trains and Pl . . . well, just Trains . . .

Today was another fun day and we hit the ground running . . . well, walking briskly anyway. Our first stop was back at Jungle Jim’s Market. Terry wanted to spend some time there, so we dropped her off and then we all headed out.

On the spur of the moment we saw a Jack in the Box and decided to grab a quick breakfast sandwich. But when we started to pull in we noticed police cars and policemen directing traffic into the parking lot, with a double line of cars going into the two drive-thru’s.

What’s up with that?

Jack Box

It turns out that this was the grand opening of the very FIRST Jack in the Box in the entire state of Ohio. I guess they don’t get out much here.

After we finished, we headed around the corner to our destination, EnterTrainMent Junction.

EnterTrainMent Junction is the largest indoor train display in the world. With two actual miles of track, 90 locomotives, and 1000 cars, the layout covers 25,000 sq. ft. in an 80,000 sq. ft. building.

The dream of Don Oeters, a Cincinnati entrepreneur and model railroad hobbyist, EnterTrainMent Junction is a family entertainment center focusing on trains, with something for everyone.

EJ19

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Although EJ (EnterTrainMent Junction) is laid out using ‘G’ Scale equipment, most home layouts use one of the 3 sizes shown below. ‘HO’ scale is on the left, ‘N’ scale in the middle, and ‘Z’ scale is on the left. To give you some idea of the actual size, the ‘Z’ locomotive is only about 2 inches long.

EJ13

The ‘G’ in ‘G’ scale stands for Garden, because this scale is normally used outside in a garden or backyard.

The display is divided into 3 main areas, the early days of railroading, starting in the Civil War era, the Golden Age, centering around the 1940’s and 50’s, and the Modern Era. And the detail is just amazing.

Another thing that’s unusual is that they use real water on the layout.

EJ1

EJ4

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The detail even extends to the lighted insides of the buildings.

EJ2

EJ6

The lighting cycles through periods of daytime and night, showing off the many lit interiors, but others are visible even in the ‘daytime’.

EJ12

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The night time scenes are amazing.

EJ3

EJ5

EJ7

EJ8

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There’s even a very realistic forest fire with dancing flames.

EJ9

The downtown area of the Modern City is fantastic. Most of the buildings are based on real structures, but from many different cities, like the Space Needle from Seattle,

EJ10

and this office building in New Zealand,

EJ11

complete with occupied offices.

EJ18

EJ14

EJ16

And of course, what’s a railroad without someone spray painting graffiti on a railcar.

EJ15

This was our 2nd visit here at EJ, but Nick’s first. And it was fun to watch him wander the aisles trying to take it all in.

If you’re in the Cincinnati area and have kids, or you act like kids most of the time like Nick and I, this is a must-see.

Tearing Nick away from EJ, we all headed back over to Jungle Jim’s to pick up Terry, and then headed off to our next stop, IKEA.

Nick and Terry had never been to one, and when we left, Nick said it was the ugliest stuff he had ever seen, and that he would never forgive us for taking him there.

I guess there’s no accounting for taste . . . or lack thereof.

By now it was almost 5pm, so it was off to a nearby Red Robin for our burger fix. Nick liked this place better. And so did I.

Food was involved, after all.

Our last stop of the day was The Container Store. Jan and Terry were looking for some storage items, so Nick and I napped in the truck. Nick said now we could tell everyone we slept together.

He wishes!

We finally got home about 8:30pm after another long but very fun day. Tomorrow will be a stay-at-home before we make a day trip to Dayton on Saturday.


Thought For The Day:

“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” ~ H. L. Mencken

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They’re Officially Stumped . . .

I was on the phone with Cummins Tech Support for about 45 minutes, as they went back and forth, talking with various people, trying to figure out what was going on with my oil filter adapter problem.

But they finally came back with “We’re Stumped.”

Well, that was helpful.

I think that part of the problem is that these guys are not mechanics, but just tech support, reading from the same bulletins that I am. So now I have 3 paths to follow now.

1. Call the RV Mobile Lube people to see if they might have any input on the problem.

2. Call the local Cummins repair place up north of Houston, and see I can talk to a ‘real’ mechanic to see if they have any ideas.

And also check with one of the Rush Truck Centers to see if they have some ideas. Rush was the place out in Los Cruces that repaired our bad fuel line sensor back in 2012, the only time I’ve had to put our rig in the shop.

3. The next thing that I’m going to do personally is to put the 4 bolts back in the adapter, fill the filter with oil and then reinstall it. This will let me crank up the engine, and lower the rig so I can hopefully reach the adapter with my hand.

When I can do this I’ve got two things to try.

Rig Oil Filter Closeup

First, can I push in the small pin until it’s flush with the shaft. This might release the adapter so it will slide off the shaft?

Maybe.

Second, can I pull down on the shaft and then turn it,  perhaps releasing a lock up inside the adapter, letting it come loose?

Maybe.

Jan and I have been going over the Fall TV schedule, anticipating some new shows like Emergence, Prodigal Son, and Stumptown. And mourning the loss of favorites like Instinct.

Instinct was set to be renewed, and ended the season with a big cliffhanger. But then it was apparently cancelled at the last moment, leaving us all hanging, so to speak.

Maybe another network will pick it up.

Our cold ‘snap’ is looking better and better, with the high on Wednesday now forecast to be 80°. And it never got out of the 80’s at all today.

Very nice.


Thought For The Day:

Does the Black Bear Diner know guys, or what?

Black Bear Urinal

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