Boulder Creek Engineering News

Recent News

RollBy™ Speedometer App for Apple iPhone® & iPad® Now Available

September 12, 2017

Turn your Apple iPhone or iPad into a dashboard speedometer and odometer with the new RollBy™ OnBoard Speedometer. (Android SmartPhone availability was previously announced; see our earlier news article.)

Watch scale speed and distance as your train travels around your layout — measure real distances between stations and elapsed travel times too!

The OnBoard Speedometer installs in an N, HO, O, or Large Scale rail car. The RollBy™ Train Speedometer App (free from App Store) keeps track of several OnBoard Speedometers at once, displaying maximum and average speeds, real and scale distances — and more — in either feet/miles or meters/kilometers. The App requires iOS 9.0 or higher, and Bluetooth Low Energy support.

Whether you're surveying your Main Line, or keeping an eye out for speeding engineers, RollBy OnBoard Speedometer & Train Speedometer App are just the ticket!

Check out our demo on YouTube™.

App Store

Or download the Train Speedometer App now from the App Store to see if your mobile device is compatible and try it out!

RollBy™ OnBoard Speedometer for Large Scales

September 12, 2017

A new Large Scale Rotation Wheelset extends RollBy™ OnBoard Speedometer to G, Fn3 and other large scale trains. The new Wheelset is built from a Bachmann 31mm diameter / 45mm gauge insulated wheelset. Now you can check speed and distances on your large scale indoor or garden railway.

Check out our demo on YouTube™.

NNG Convention: Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern RR

August 1, 2017

Jim Ferenc will be presenting at the 2017 National Narrow Gauge Convention in Denver, CO on August 30 - September 2.

In "A Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern", Jim shows how we can recreate November 27, 1900 from the Dispatcher's Train Sheet. Train movements, passenger traffic, freight consists, engine assignments, snow fighting, delays, and more are revealed step by step and presented with maps, photos, and graphs.

The presentation handout is under "Articles" in the navigation menu above.

RollBy™ Speedometer for Android™ SmartPhones Now Available

January 16, 2017

Turn your Android SmartPhone or Tablet into a dashboard speedometer and odometer with the new RollBy™ OnBoard Speedometer. Watch scale speed and distance as your train travels around your layout — measure real distances between stations and elapsed travel times too!

The OnBoard Speedometer installs in an N, HO, or O Scale rail car. The RollBy™ Train Speedometer App (free from Google Play Store) keeps track of several OnBoard Speedometers at once, displaying maximum and average speeds, real and scale distances — and more — in either feet/miles or meters/kilometers. The App requires Android 4.3 or higher, and Bluetooth Low Energy support.

Whether you're surveying your Main Line, or keeping an eye out for speeding engineers, RollBy OnBoard Speedometer & Train Speedometer App are just the ticket!

Check out our demo on YouTube™.

Google Play

Or download the Train Speedometer App now from the Google Play Store to see if your mobile device is compatible and try it out!

"Typewriter" Display and Data Link with WeighStation™ Track Scale Now Available

July 30, 2015

Boulder Creek Engineering has just released the latest WeighStation™ Track Scale with two new features.

For vintage modelers, the new "typewriter" display mode taps out weight values one digit at a time, accompanied by a keystroke sound, suggesting the swift typing of a harried weigh clerk.

This release also adds the Report Data Link, connecting the Track Scale to point-of-sale printers, C/MRI, computers and other electronics. The Data Link sends weight messages for each car — perfect for coal marshalling yards and other weigh-intensive industries.

Visit YouTube™ for a demonstration.

Double Track Coverage with TrainBoss™ Defect Detector Now Available

August 17, 2014

Boulder Creek Engineering has just released the latest TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detector with two new installation options.

The Detector's two Axle Sensors can now be installed to cover a double track main line or two widely-separated single track locations — two detectors in one! Or the Axle Sensors can be installed on track approaching bridges and tunnels to give high/wide load protection. These options report a train's accurate axle count but not its speed or length.

The original single track installation option is still included and is the best match to modern defect detectors. This option reports true axle count, train speed, and length.

Upgrades for current TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detectors are available.

Browse on over to YouTube™ for a demonstration.

HotShot™ Speedometer Now Available

June 18, 2013

How fast is my train really moving? How fast was the speediest train in the history of this railroad?

HotShot™ Speedometer has the answers. This Speedometer displays the scale speed of passing trains — and alarms just like a highway speed trap if you break the pre-set speed limit! And it keeps a record of fastest and average speed in a session, the all time speed record, and more.

Now your road crews can test and improve their speed judgment — and try to keep The Limited on schedule without getting caught!

Browse on over to YouTube™for a demonstration.

BrassHat™ Announcers & Sound Recorders Available

November 20, 2012

There's no escaping notice as you slink into Union Depot 2 hours late with the Limited!   With the push of a button on BrassHat™ Announcer's faceplate, the Station Master announces your arrival.

The Announcer records up to 10 messages or sound tracks and plays them back on pushbutton demand or through a variety of automatic options. It's perfect for fascia-triggered announcements for passenger stations, yards and industries.

Or do you need custom sounds for that special industry — a unique sound module with flexible playback? The easy-to-use BrassHat™ Sound Recorder has 8 recordable on-demand sound tracks, plus a recordable background track.

Both Announcer and Sound Recorder will bring your railroad's industries, engine facilities, towns, and right-of-way to life with audio tracks that you record.

Browse on over to YouTube™for a demonstration.

WeighStation™ Track Scale Featured in Model Railroader

June 1, 2012

Model Railroader Magazine's July 2012 issue features a two-page article describing the installation and use of a WeighStation™ Digital Display Track Scale on their 4x8 Virginian Ry. project layout. Virginian operators weigh newly loaded hoppers from the layout's mines at the Rogers coal marshalling yard.

MR editors also demonstrate weighing coal in a Virginian operating session video (Part 20 in the Virginian project series) on the MR website. The website also has paperwork used to originate and weigh coal traffic.

Needless to say, we are very pleased that the editors of MR chose the WeighStation™ Track Scale for the Virginian!

NightScope™ Infrared Detector Drives Tortoise SMs

October 6, 2011

Boulder Creek Engineering demonstrates how to drive Tortoise Switch Machines in the latest update of their NightScope™ Infrared Detector Application Guide.

One or more Infrared Detectors can drive up to 4 Switch Machines. NightScope™ Infrared Detectors make animating your layout easier than ever!

Female Automated Voice for TrainBoss™ Defect Detector Now Available

September 15, 2011

Boulder Creek Engineering has just released the latest TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detector, and the big star is the new Female Automated Voice. Select either the Male or Female Automated Voice when ordering. You can order an additional Voice Chip of the opposite gender if you want to swap between the two.

Other new features include Radio Static Bursts before and after automated voice messages, a Greeting Message when a train is first detected, defect counting from the rear of the train, and more.

Upgrades for current TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detectors are available.

Browse on over to YouTube™ for a demonstration.

News Archive

NMRA Convention: Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern RR

April 30, 2016

Jim Ferenc will be presenting at the NMRA National Convention in Indianapolis, IN on July 3 - July 10.

In "A Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern", Jim shows how we can recreate November 27, 1900 from the Dispatcher's Train Sheet. Train movements, passenger traffic, freight consists, engine assignments, snow fighting, delays, and more are revealed step by step and presented with maps, photos, and graphs.

The presentation handout is under "Articles" in the navigation menu above.

NMRA Convention: Operating with Track Scales, Scratch Build an Animated Coal Mine

May 21, 2015

Jim Ferenc will be presenting at the NMRA National Convention in Portland, Oregon on August 23 - 29.

"Operating with Track Scales" is the companion presentation to Jim's January 2010 Operations Special Interest Group Dispatcher's Office article. Jim describes modeling railroad track scales, scale houses, and scale test cars. Jim also explains how to integrate weighing into model railroad operations, including freight movements, scale certification, and car card/way bill systems.

In "Scratch Build an Animated Coal Mine", Jim shows how to scratch build a very large animated coal mine tipple, headframe, and boiler house to match prototype photos from the 1930s. Techniques include strip wood, styrene, and brass construction, and finishing with painting, and weathering. Simple electronics and motors bring the model to life.

Handouts for both presentations are under "Articles" in the navigation menu above.

NMRA Convention: Operating with Track Scales, Scratch Build an Animated Coal Mine

April 21, 2014

Jim Ferenc will be presenting at the NMRA National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 13 - 19.

"Operating with Track Scales" is the companion presentation to Jim's January 2010 Operations Special Interest Group Dispatcher's Office article. Jim describes modeling railroad track scales, scale houses, and scale test cars. Jim also explains how to integrate weighing into model railroad operations, including freight movements, scale certification, and car card/way bill systems.

In "Scratch Build an Animated Coal Mine", Jim shows how to scratch build a very large animated coal mine tipple, headframe, and boiler house to match prototype photos from the 1930s. Techniques include strip wood, styrene, and brass construction, and finishing with painting, and weathering. Simple electronics and motors bring the model to life.

Handouts for both presentations are under "Articles" in the navigation menu above.

NMRA Convention: Operating with Track Scales, Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern RR

May 24, 2012

Jim Ferenc will be presenting at the NMRA National Convention in Grand Rapids, MI on July 29 - August 4.

"Operating with Track Scales" is the companion presentation to Jim's January 2010 Operations Special Interest Group Dispatcher's Office article. Jim describes modeling railroad track scales, scale houses, and scale test cars. Jim also explains how to integrate weighing into model railroad operations, including freight movements, scale certification, and car card/way bill systems.

In "A Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern", Jim shows how we can recreate November 27, 1900 from the Dispatcher's Train Sheet. Train movements, passenger traffic, freight consists, engine assignments, snow fighting, delays, and more are revealed step by step and presented with maps, photos, and graphs.

Handouts for both presentations are under "Articles" in the navigation menu above.

TrainBoss™ Defect Detector in O Gauge Railroading Magazine

May 24, 2012

O Gauge Railroading Magazine's June/July 2012 issue features the TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detector on Drew Madere's award-winning layout. Drew has some great tips for installing Axle Sensors on 3-rail Code 333 track.

WeighStation™ Track Scale Featured in MR Project Layout

December 14, 2011

Model Railroader Magazine's January 2012 issue headlines their new 4x8 Virginian Ry. project layout. The Virginian coal marshalling yard at Rogers features the WeighStation™ Digital Display Track Scale for weighing newly loaded hoppers from the layout's mines.

MR demonstrates weighing coal in both the article and on their website video introducing the Virginian project. The article and website also include paperwork used to originate and weigh coal traffic.

Needless to say, we are very pleased that the editors of MR chose the WeighStation™ Track Scale for the Virginian!

Rocky Mtn Region Convention: Operating with Track Scales, Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern RR

August 12, 2011

Jim Ferenc will be presenting at the NMRA Rocky Mountain Region Convention in Loveland CO on September 1 - 4.

"Operating with Track Scales" is the companion presentation to Jim's January 2010 Operations Special Interest Group Dispatcher's Office article. Jim describes modeling railroad track scales, scale houses, and scale test cars. Jim also explains how to integrate weighing into model railroad operations, including freight movements, scale certification, and car card/way bill systems.

In "A Day in the Life of the Rio Grande Southern", Jim shows how we can recreate November 27, 1900 from the Dispatcher's Train Sheet. Train movements, passenger traffic, freight consists, engine assignments, snow fighting, delays, and more are revealed step by step and presented with maps, photos, and graphs.

Handouts for both presentations are under "Articles" in the navigation menu above.

Greeley Freight Station Museum Installs TrainBoss™ Defect Detector

March 11, 2011

All mainline trains on the Greeley Freight Station Museum model railroad now pass a TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detector on the western slope of Quartz Summit.

Visitors at the GFSM hear train length, speed, and axle counts for passing trains between Dog Lake and Sycan Jct. Those "lucky" visitors that hear a defect report can then enjoy watching the GFSM engineer set out the bad order car at the next convenient spur.

This breathtaking 5500 sq. ft mountain layout was featured on the cover of the December 2008 Model Railroader magazine.

Now Available in Australia and New Zealand

December 17, 2010

Boulder Creek Engineering products are now available in Australia and New Zealand, in addition to the US and Canada. This includes TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detectors, WeighStation™ Track Scales and NightScope™ Infrared Detectors.

International orders ship via International First Class Mail. See our ordering instructions for details.

BCE Holiday Closing November 22 - 28, 2010

November 19, 2010

Boulder Creek Engineering will be closed the week of November 22 to enjoy time with our families and the opening of ski season. Orders placed that week will ship beginning Monday November 29. Happy Thanksgiving!

TrainBoss™ Defect Detector Now Available

September 15, 2010

Put the voice of an automated defect detector on your model railroad with the TrainBoss™ Talking Defect Detector. The Talking Defect Detector speaks and displays Hotbox, Dragging Equipment, and 4 other types of defect reports for passing trains with the probability you assign, as well as axle count, train speed and length, and temperature. Or for a bygone era, listen as rear trainmen report defects and speeding engineers.

Now you can really give your road crews something to sweat about — and the experience of a rolling stock headache for the unlucky ones!

Browse on over to YouTube™for a demonstration.

NightScope™ Infrared Detectors Available in Bulk

April 26, 2010

NightScope™ Infrared Detectors are now available in 10-unit bulk packs at a discount price. 10-Packs of both Instant and Delayed Response Detectors are ready to ship.

New Video: WeighStation™ Track Scale Demo

April 3, 2010

Boulder Creek Engineering has just released a video demonstration of our WeighStation™ Track Scales. Covering both Digital and Meter Display models, the video shows how to use weight ranges for load and empty rail car weighing, and how to program new range settings.

See the YouTube™ video screens on our Home Page and WeighStation™ Track Scale Product Page for a quick view. Or browse on over to YouTube™.

Now Available in Canada

December 8, 2009

Boulder Creek Engineering products are now available in Canada. This includes WeighStation™ Track Scales and NightScope™ Infrared Detectors.

Canadian orders ship via International First Class Mail. See our ordering instructions for details.

Meter Display Track Scale Available in Two Capacities

November 3, 2009

The previously-announced WeighStation™ Meter Display Track Scale is now available.

A technology match for model railroads set before 1970, the Meter Display Track Scale is compatible with any era. It is available in either an 80-ton or 100-ton weight capacity.

With a 0 - 160,000 lbs. readout, the 80-ton capacity scale is best for lighter applications and narrow gauge in particular. The larger 100-ton scale sports a 40,000 - 200,000 lbs. readout and is well suited for major yard installations and any Transition Era installation.

Coming in November: Meter Display Track Scales

October 14, 2009

For model railroads set before 1970, we are announcing a WeighStation™ Track Scale with a meter display. With the capabilities of the Digital Display model, the Meter Display features a smooth edgewise meter movement reminiscent of station scales of a by-gone era.

WeighStation™ Meter Display Track Scales will be available in November.

WeighStation™ Track Scale Now Available

September 25, 2009

Thanks to the ahead-of-schedule performance of our suppliers, the previously-announced WeighStation™ Track Scale is now available. (See our earlier news article.)

Now you can expand the prototype experience for your yard and road crews: put them to work weighing newly-loaded cars, checking the empty weight of your railroad's rolling stock, and certifying your track scales with your railroad's scale test car. All of which adds up to more play value for your model railroad investment.

Coming in October: WeighStation™ Track Scales

September 15, 2009

Railroads are paid for moving tons across miles. Now you can model the miles and the tons.

The WeighStation™ Track Scale is a prototypical track scale for model railroad operations. The Track Scale brings yard and industry scale tracks to life by generating weights for railcars within a range specified by the user. While the Track Scale does not actually weigh the cars, the realistic display action as cars move on and off the scale emulates high capacity scales of the prototype.

The Track Scale has three selectable ranges for variety. Optional LEDs and bell alert crews when weighing is complete, and can be configured as a red/green “traffic light” to guide train crews. The Track Scale supports both weigh-in-motion and static weighing, single or gantlet track arrangements, and with a NightScope™ Infrared Detector (included), both day and night operation.

WeighStation™ Track Scales will be available in October.

Announcing NightScope™ Infrared Detectors in Two Flavors

September 15, 2009

To begin, we need a simple yet reliable-in-all-conditions method to detect moving trains. So our first product is the NightScope™ Infrared Detector, sensing trains with coded IR pulses to ensure accurate detection in any lighting conditions — even complete darkness!

The Infrared Detector's opposite-polarity outputs drive LEDs and switch motors directly, as well as a wide variety of popular model railroad electronics.

As for flavors: The Instant Response Detector responds immediately when trains come or go. The Delayed Response Detector responds immediately when a train is detected, but delays 2 seconds to report departure, effectively ignoring gaps between cars.

NightScope™ Infrared Detectors are available now.

BCE Opens for Business

September 15, 2009

What a great time to start a business. No, really! Lead times are short, suppliers have capacity, and a lot of talented folks have time on their hands. And what better time than now for model railroaders to take a "stay-cation" and work on their railroads?

That said, we are proud to announce the opening of our new business: Boulder Creek Engineering. Our mission is to create a new level of operating fidelity for model railroads. With advanced yet simple-to-use technology, we will deliver products that drive realism into your operating sessions. And no soldering or computer programming required!