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FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER

NEWS AND UPDATES

01/12/21

FLASH UPDATE

Milwaukee Warehouse Power Outage

Over this past weekend the Milwaukee Warehouse was without power Sunday which caused both their main website and the dealer website to be offline all day Sunday and the systems where not fully operating on Monday. This was due to their local power company just cutting the power off in the area for some infrastructure work according to our contacts at the warehouse.

What does this mean? Well we attempted to transmit the weekend orders to them at 6am Monday as their systems where up, but come to find out that the warehouse systems where not fully back up and functional. This caused the order not to process Monday.

As of this update, BRH has re transmitted the open this morning but have not received a confirmation that the order has been received and will be processed and shipped to BRH today. It is showing up on the order status which normally would be okay, but we are awaiting a verbal or email confirmation that the order was received and will be processed today.

So this completely messes up to the outbound from BRH shipping schedule for this week. Please do not contact us as we will process your orders as quickly as possible based on this situation.

We are sorry for the delay.


01/10/21

Holiday Week Shipping Issues Over?

The Easton Warehouse was closed last week so there where some delays in receiving those items. As of this update the shipping is back on the Covid schedule as we are finally out of the holiday shipping schedule.

Some of you have emailed regarding your shipments but  most of them are with the USPS or Fedex. USPS still seems to be have issues in getting holiday items to you. If there is an issue, please contact the shipper directly.

January A Busy Month

Just to keep you informed, January is usually our busiest month for sales. Better then December.
So, again, please be patient as we move forward through our traditionally busy month.

BRH Adding Two New Warehouses

As time permits of the next weeks and months BRH will be adding two wholesalers to our mix of discount model railroad product offerings.

One warehouse will allow us to offer a wide variety of European model options in addition to what we currently offer. They include but are not limited to Roco / Fleischmann, Magorail, Proses, Aztec, Azl, Arnold, Piko and many many more.

The other warehouse will expand our offerings of track and DCC items.

Currently product availability is very very limited due to Convid 19 with factories in Europe and around the world be closed or on very limited operational schedules. So initially, product will be in limited availability.

I will update you on when these new warehouses are in the product database.

Upcoming Order Deadlines

January 13: Atlas Preorders
January 14: Broadway Limited Preorders
January 15: Rapido Preorders
January 21: Broadway Limited Preorders
January 31: Intermountain Preorders
January 31: Walthers Preorders

Rapido Trains Announces HO EMD E8 Diesels, PRR Class GLa Hoppers

We are now taking preorders for new Rapido Trains EMD E8 diesels and PRR Class GLa Hoppers. Detailed E8 diesels are available in
several schemes, with and without sound and DCC making them great for hauling passenger trains on your customers' layouts. PRR GLa
Hoppers are highly detailed two-bay hoppers built by the Pennsylvania Railroad, which will appeal to steam and classic
diesel-era modelers. PRR built over 30,000 of these cars beginning in 1904 and some lasted in service into the early
1960s. GLa Hoppers were also built for other lines or sold on the used market. The cars are available in six packs as well as
individually. Preorder now

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE EMD E8's


CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE
GLa 2Bay


Broadway Limited New Announcements

Arriving in February 2021 the 2-8-0 Consolidation in HO Scale. Known as a highly efficient replacement for the 2-6-0 Mogul- it could move trains twice as heavy at a fraction of the cost - the 2-8-0 Consolidation was a mainstay on railroads all over the world.

GG1's are among the worlds most recognizable engines, the GG1 is no stranger to rail fans of all levels. The GG1 has been plastered on everything from magazine ads and Hollywood movies to coach seat headrests. The GG1 represents a true breakthrough in electric locomotive technology. Patterned after the GE New Haven, it was the eventual culmination of nearly 40 years of experimentation. Broadway Limited Imports brings the memory of this world famous locomotive in diecast construction with Paragon3 electronics including Rolling ThunderTM. 

In N Scale the GE AC6000CW with 6000 hp under the hood - thats more than the Big Boys were able to do. They are about 76 ft. long from coupler face to coupler face and are often run in pairs. On today's railroads, they are the king of the hill! BLI is producing these monsters from GEs Erie, PA plant and our models do them justice. Our new Paragon3 N Scale AC6000s more than do their life-sized prototypes justice.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE
2-8-0 CONSOLIDATION

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE PRR GGI'S

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE AC6000'S


DFR&RMRR UPDATE

My Denver Front Range & Rocky Mountain Railroad continues to slowly move forward in my limited spare time in the evenings. After the wiring gauge corrections over the holidays I turned my attention to the three reverse loops in the North Yard, Utah Junction and Union Station area and the problems with the Digitrax AR1's. While I was aware of the AR1 issues, I had them on had from the retail store so I opted to use them. Unfortunately due to the nature of the reverse loops on this layout I could not get the settings correct no matter how much tweeting. So, this week, I switched to DCC Specialties PSXAR and immediately the issues went away!

So live and learn despite what I was aware of in the past. I was trying to save a couple of bucks. The PSXAR are about twice the price of the AR1's but well worth the extra cost with less head aches. Just an FYI.

Now it is time to tidy up some wiring in the current yard area I am working on and then move to the track on the lower level staging. But as of Thursday, trains are running through the yard area!


1/03/21

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2021!

We all made it through 2020 and BRH is ready to serve you all in 2021.

The next 30 days will be a challenge and will set the tone for 2021. You and  I and BRH have zero control over what happens. Hopefully nothing but good things.

Sales for 2020 over 2019 where up but by just 3.6% and the highest sales year since 2012.

2021 will still be a challenge with, at this point, late of product availability. So think ahead and place pre orders / advance reservations so you can continue to build you layouts without delay.

Remember BRH has the largest model railroad hobby database with two large warehouses around the USA. I am working on adding yet two more warehouses. One for USA related products and the other for European products. Hopefully this will be completed this month.

January is usually our busiest a busy month. Better than December each year! We are expecting the same this year as well and so far the trend is holding true.

So week this past week with many of the manufacturers and wholesalers closed during the week between Christmas and New Years. Shipping delays are still occurring with all of the orders from Christmas weekend arriving late on New Years Eve. They have all be sorted and all shippable orders will leave BRH tomorrow. The Easton warehouse was closed so any orders from that warehouse will be shipped after the items are received.

The orders from 12/28/20 until 01/01/21 have been transmitted to the Milwaukee and Easton Warehouses and are expected to arrive by the weeks end. The After Christmas Sale was a huge success so there is a lot, I mean a lot of product to arrive and ship. So at this point it is up the the warehouse and Fedex to get it all to BRH for sorting and shipping to you.

Looking forward to being here for you through 2021!

DFR&RMRR

A few months ago  I shared the main level track plan for my Denver Front Range and Rocky Mountain Railroad I have been creating for the last 10 years. While I should be much further along, the Miniature World of Trains chewed up about 6 years of working time on this project.

In working on this new HO layout I had to remove my European N scale display while building the new 3 level HO railroad based on Denver,  Colorado from Union Station north through the northern and eastern yards to Utah Junction then up the Moffat Road to Moffat Tunnel and Winter Park. Once through Winter  Park connecting at Dotsero to split to Glennwood Canyon to Salt Lake City and the upper level west staging or south east through the Royal Gorge and the front range from Palmer Lake along the Joint Line back to Union Station.

It is a massive project and I have been working on the hardest part of the layout first. This has taken a lot of time as the track work and wiring is very very intricate since the layout wil eventually be computerized and run by JMRI. A friend of mine will be helping me with the programming but for now we are manually via the Digitrax DCC system. During the summer I had help from my friend Pete Wittsack when his family was visiting during the summer. We working on the main level lighting on the main level from the upper level.

The past couple of weeks during some very limited down time I was working on moving from the temporary Digitrax DCS50 (from the old BRH HO store display) to the new DCS based system. However I was having a problem with a 4 volt drop in power from the DCS system to the track as the power filtered through the PM42's and BDL's.

Wiring was done per DCC standards and I could not find an answer to this puzzling problem.

After reaching out on the internet and not finding what I was looking for I reached out to Larry Puckett the DCCGuy.com and customer of BRH. After a couple of email exchanges I determined that it was a wire gauge problem coming out of the DCS and the boosters. So I upped the gauge of wire from the DCS and the DB's to the PM42's and viola, the voltage increase to 14.1!

I want to thank Larry for his help in helping me diagnosis the issue.

So, again as time permits I will start sharing images and videos the the DFR&RMRR as I move forward.

Upcoming Order Deadlines

January 13: Atlas Preorders
January 15: Rapido Preorders
January 31: Intermountain Preorders
January 31: Walthers Preorders


12/27/20

2020 Year In Review

As you all know 2020 has been a challenge. Impeachment of a President, Election issues and Corona Virus plus all that has come with that including product shortages of everything from toilet paper to model trains. Through all of this I have had to reexamine how BRH has needed to operate and will operate into 2021 so we can stay in business while some of our competition closes.

While sales where very very strong in March and April and stronger than normal in May and June, the second half of 2020 was a little flat. Mostly because of product shortages and delays in getting product. The manufacturers are about 4 months behind and are still having trouble producing enough product that we can sell to you. So, into 2021 at this point, product shortages for the model railroading staples will continue with no relief in site.

While we started 2020 with an up year in sales, by the time we reached the end of the year, sales will be on par with 2019 with no real significant increase. This again is due to product shortages.

As for the retail store,  I will continue to operate with the "By Appointment Only' visitation to the retail store. This is done for three reasons. Covid tracking of customers just in case, stopping walk in customers that just want to look around (they just pick my brain and do not buy anything and take up valuable time away from shipping orders to you all) and to generate revenue for the time I spend with in store customers. We have to generate income to pay the bills .

There have been many many very recent examples of people getting information from BRH and not making a purchase. Ever! So, even with calls to the store and emails all I can do is answer a simple question, more detailed probing by unknown potential customers will now need to be charged for our time. You most answers are readily available via the BRH website or online and most of the time if I do not know off the top of my head, I look it up on the internet. So, thus BRH now needs to charge for that telephone help and in store help.

This is not a new concept as your doctor, dentist, plumber, appliance repair etc.  all charge for appointments so that you can get your question 'answered'. More and more businesses are moving to this way of doing business so that they can stay in business.

The retail store has been shifting to more of a mini warehouse operation anyway as we move into 2021. That will not change as of this update.

Your best place for best pricing and availability is still the website product search as it has been for almost 17 years now. Order online and pickup up free a the retail store.

Hopefully the inbound shipping situation will straighten out and get back to a Covid normal after January 15th. That is usually when the shipping system mellows out a bit.

So good reddens to 2020 and we are looking forward to a great 2021 but that is not looking good at this point for many reasons.
 However, BRH will still keep operating and give you all the best possible pricing!

Upcoming Order Deadlines

December 30: Kato Preorders
December 31: Walthers Preorders
January 13: Atlas Preorders
January 15: Rapido Preorders
January 31: Intermountain Preorders
January 31: Walthers Preorders

Popular WalthersMainline(R) HO 100-Ton 2-Bay Hoppers Rolling In

Perfect for 1970s and later layouts, WalthersMainline 34' 100-Ton Two-Bay Hopper are based on aggregate hoppers widely used to haul ballast, sand, gravel and ore. They first hit the rails in the 1970s, so if you have EMD GP9, GP35, SD45, U23, U28, U33 and other second generation diesels, as well as
modern units since many are still in service in 2020 these would be a great addition to your layout! Features of these cars include separate, factory-applied door and brake details, a heavy die-cast metal underframe, correct 36" turned metal wheelsets and Proto MAX(TM) metal knuckle couplers. They're
in-stock so order these fast sellers now!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE HOPPERS


12/20/20

Merry Christmas!

The Blue Ridge Hobbies Team, Frank, Ed and Annette want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas 2020.

We are looking forward to a better 2021 and hope you are as well.

Thanks for the support!

BRH Operations For The Rest Of 2020

As with every Christmas and New Years Week the BRH delivery and shipping schedule is totally whacked and the large number of packages in the USPS, UPS and Fedex Systems is not helping. Fedex is working a half day on Christmas Eve and USPS, UPS and Fedex are closed Christmas Day and New Years Day.

BRH has been receiving shipments from Fedex 7 days a week. Orders received will be worked the next business day as time permits over the next two weeks. Orders received from 6am Friday 12/18 most likely will not arrive and be shipped to you by Christmas base don what we know as of this email.

The retail store will be closed from December 24th until January 4th as we do each year with many of the manufacturers closing between Christmas and New Years. We will be accepting Store Visit requests with 24 hour notice via the Store Visit Request form to get approval. Requests will be accepted 12/20, 12/21 and 12/22 for 12/21, 12/22 and 12/23.

BRH shipping operation normally do not get back on track until around January 15 each year. Right now we are not sure if that will occur but rest assured that Ed and I will be processing your orders as fast as we can. So please be patient.

Upcoming Order Deadlines

December 28: Broadway Limited Preorders
December 30: Kato Preorders
December 31: Trainworx Preorders
December 31: Walthers Preorders
January 4: Broadway Limited Preorders
January 13: Atlas Preorders
January 15: Rapido Preorders
January 31: Intermountain Preorders
January 31: Walthers Preorders

WalthersProto HO Arrivals

Detail-minded modelers will love the latest WalthersProto arrivals. For passenger car fans, Union Pacific(R) Heritage Fleet Domes and 10-6 Sleepers have arrived in both standard and lighted versions. These sleek streamliners complement previous UP Heritage Fleet cars which arrived last month. For late-1960s and later freight modelers, a new round of the very popular 56' Thrall All-Door Boxcar is a welcome addition for freight trains for hauling lumber and building materials. These detailed, colorful cars add variety to any freight consist and are available in three road numbers per scheme. All WalthersProto
models are limited-run and are selling fast - order now for best selection.

  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE THRALL BOXCAR'S 

  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE HERITAGE FLEET PASSENGER CARS

All-New Schemes for WalthersMainline HO Passenger Cars Arrive

The newest schemes for popular WalthersMainline Budd-built passenger cars have begun to arrive. Dressed in some of the most popular schemes and able to negotiate sharp 18" radius curves, WalthersMainline cars are ideal for new hobbyists making the jump from train set to first layout. But, with finely molded bodies, interiors and available detailing and lighting sets (sold separately), they'll also appeal to longtime modelers looking to expand their passenger trains too! New schemes include Amtrak(R) Phase IV, SP "Daylight" and Delaware & Hudson. The latter schemes are perfect for operation with the Alco PA diesels expected later this month.

  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE PASSENGER CARS 


Digitrax UT6 Utility Throttles Now Shipping

The family of UT6 Utility Throttles from Digitrax are the successors to the UT4 series. Great for layout locations where decoder programming and other high-end features are needed such as yards and switching districts, the UT6 allows users to enter a decoder address and operate a train. UT6 throttles work with all compatible LocoNet systems and feature a compact size and large knurled encoder control knob for easy, one-handed operation with fine speed control. A color 1-1/2" LCD display screen makes it easy to see operation status. Tethered versions are shipping now; wireless versions will be here soon. Order now - they make great gifts for Digitrax users!

  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE UT6 


Kalmbach Announces New Iron Ore Modeling Book

Kalmbach's newly announced title "Model Railroader's Guide to Iron Ore Railroads" is an exploration of the iron ore industry and the role played by rail. Noted author Jeff Wilson details the history and evolution of the iron ore industry and railroads across all eras from the late 1800s to today. This how-to modeling book is loaded with period and modern photos, including many previously unpublished. You will learn how to apply the prototype information in the book to their own layouts. With many new layouts being planned or under construction, now is the time to preorder this book for delivery early in the new year.

  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE BOOK 

A Handful Left: Rapido Trains HO New Haven 8600-Series Coaches

Rapido Trains HO Scale NH 8600 Series Coaches are based on streamlined cars built following WWII to modernize its postwar passenger fleet. Produced in the old Osgood Bradley factory in Worcester, Massachusetts, along with parlor cars, diners and others, the 103 cars shared features with other Osgood-Bradley cars including their unique curved-end roofline. These iconic cars were used on both long distance and local trains and served well into the 1970s. The Rapido HO Scale NH 8600 Series Coaches have all of the add-on parts and lighting features that make accurately-detailed Rapido cars popular with modelers. While many road numbers and schemes have already sold out, we still have a few left - order now for best selection!

  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE NH 8600 SERIES COACHES 



THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!

 

 


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