The General

Long overdue, I finally sat down last evening and watched the 1926 silent film “The General,” which was inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase of the Civil War. The movie is interesting on a number of fronts, notably it is set in the North Atlanta area (true to history, The General 4-4-0 was stolen by Union spies from Marietta and run North towards Chattanooga), it features a number of real-life operating 4-4-0 locomotives, and it includes the most expensive single shot in silent film history with the wrecking of the Texas.

While at it’s time, the film was considered a flop, it’s since been raised to the ranks of one of the greatest American films ever made. While I admit my bias due to my love of trains, the film itself is entertaining in it’s own right and worth a watch. To boot, due to it’s age, it’s available in the public domain, so it can be watched for free on YouTube. Below is the full-length film:

Farewell 2020

So 2020 has been… a year. And we’re happy for it to be over. Very happy. While we don’t expect 12:01 January 1 2021 to erase the issues, crisis, and pain we witnessed over the course of 2020, we are looking forward to a brighter year of 2021. To celebrate in Slottown fashion, we picked up a few goodies for our layout (some of which were pre-orders):

MTH Premier Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 J

Adding to our 4-8-4 fleet (this marks #4), we picked up our pre-ordered MTH N&W J from Legacy Station today. With it’s actual recorded sounds from the real restored 611, Passenger Announcements featuring well-known Virginian cities, and the whistle-steam smoke effect, this locomotive hit a home run.

MTH Premier Amoco 8000 Gallon Tank Car

Colorful, cool, and a touch of nostalgia, we had to pick up this Amoco tank car up. A good friend and train buddy used to work for Amoco, so I couldn’t pass it up.

MTH Premier Santa Fe Caboose

A bit of an impulse purchase, the lack of a “red caboose” in our fleet was apparent. What better than a Santa Fe red caboose to punctuate any freight train!

Lionel National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Another impulse purchase, it features operating lights and highlights one of Lydia’s favorite Christmas movies growing up. It’s a nice addition to our annual holiday train