Sunday, June 16, 2019

"For the times they (may be) changing"........

I've been "retired" for just over a month now and some things are becoming obvious to me......with no commitment to "the daily grind of a job" (mine was never really a "grind"!) the days seem a lot longer!
We're in the process of having a new home built in Charleston and completion is scheduled for Nov. In the interim we are living as "guests" in my daughter and son-in-laws home here. Happily for us and them it's fairly large and we have our own section of the home so we are able to hide away and give them the time and space they need to survive our extended visit.........
So far it's been a lot of fun playing with my grandson every morning before day care and in the evenings before "tubby time" and bed time.
We've had some time to get out and explore our new digs and have been pleasantly surprised with the convenience of accessing downtown Charleston and living about 20 mins away in the Charleston suburbs.
So far, so good........

Of course, paramount in my mind has been the future plans for my modeling efforts. There's a lot to think about because the increased free time means there will be more options open to explore.

In the past 40 years of model railroading I've always built layouts that could be "operated" by small groups of guys who were really into the hobby and shared interests similar to mine.  I've modeled in HO, On3, On30 and lately have been researching the Irish 3' narrow gauge lines using 45mm. track (G gauge) and a scale of 1:20.3. While I haven't made any decisions yet, I can see some measure of large scale either outdoor or indoor.

More time to spend researching as well as seeing what a garage space of 20x20' can accommodate in On30 Maine narrow gauge.......


Lot's of fun converting an old Bachmann "Big Hauler" ten wheeler to an Irish 3' passenger loco.







Monday, June 3, 2019

Big Move.......Retirement!

Things have moved pretty quickly for me......I retired and put the house on the market.....it sold quickly (maybe too quickly!?!) and we were asked to move out in 30 days.  The offer was too much to refuse so we rented a POD packed up everything and headed to Charleston SC to be closer to grandkids.....
Having a home built so planning will begin on the next layout. Lot's to think about in the next 8 months while the house in being built.....we'll see what can be done.  Stay tuned.....tom

Friday, February 1, 2019

A bit more of Andrews yard......

Continuing to look at the yard we come to the coal house sitting on the turntable lead. I based the model on the Albion coal house but shortened it to better fit the space I had. (the entire yard sits on an 80" by 24" solid core door.)

I started on a model of the WW&F's Crosby tank which was located just south of the real Albion yard.  Styrene construction with a "home made spout" made from rolled paper! The prototype tank was shingled but I'll probably paint it up for now as the idea of cutting 1,000 shingles is not floating my boat!
The station in Andrews began life as a model of the little station of Fork's Creek on the Colorado and Southern.  I was able to use it by adding a small extension to the right side which houses the stairs to the second floor.  She looks a bit like her counterpart (in Albion) but her smaller size better fits the space I had available.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The little town of Andrews is beginning to shape up.

It's almost Feb. and I want to keep the blog as current as possible. I've got some guys coming over in February for an operations session and we will be breaking in a new timetable for the trains operating on the railway.
As I said previously, I'm modeling a bit of the WW&F and a bit of the SR&RL's. This allows me to model a branch line which looks a little like Wiscasset and Albion.  Another branch represents the Kingfield area on the Sandy River.  There is also a short branch (in and out of a single track staging yard) called Franklin.  All three of these branches come into the town of Troy, (aka Strong) where cars are switched out, the majority heading down the mainline to the Maine Central interchange at Burnham Jct.
While nowhere near prototypical it allows 3-4 operators to stay pretty busy for a 5hr. session.
The majority of the trains are "mixed runs" but there are a couple of First class Passenger trains running between Troy and Burnham Jct. where folks can board MC trains heading down to Portland.

My end of the line town of Andrews was named for author and modeler Dick Andrews. I was really drawn to Dick's style of writing and his cartoonish artwork in the articles he did for the Gazette.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dick during the 8th National Narrow Gauge Convention as he had done the artwork for the convention T-shirts we were selling.
The town of Andrews tries to capture some of the sights of the Albion yard on the Wiscasset line.
Fellow WW&F modeler (and blogger) Brian Bond had graciously given me a model of the engine house that needed only a bit of weathering.



I've made a start on a small frame turntable for Andrews. It's in place and working however I still need to finish the upper supporting structure, but at least operators can now turn their engine for the morning milk train.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Wow, it's been three years since my last post….shame, shame, shame! That said, a lot of progress has been made on my On30 Sheepscot & Sandy River Rwy. (she was originally named the Sheepscot Rwy. but I felt there was too much of the SR&RL's being built to ignore the reference)

The railway is a composite of the WW&F and the SR&RL's with scenes that reflect (not exactly) actual places on both roads. For instance on the SR&RL's side, my railway begins at Burnham Jct. with a connection to the Maine Central. The line passes through a small junction called So. Troy and then on to Troy, Maine (which looks a bit like Strong on the SR&RL).
From Troy there are two additional branch lines, one to a place called Unity Mills (aka, Kingfield) and a second line to the WW&F section of the layout featuring Sheepscot, a place with the essence of Wiscassett and then finally heading up to Andrews, Me. again looking a lot like Albion on the WW&F.

Confusing, probably, but it allows me to model places of some importance on both lines where visitors who know the the Maine "lilliput" roads will usually recognize.





I built the S&SR Rwy. to "operate" by a small group (3-4) so the three "branches" make sense. Trains begin out of either Troy yard or up in Unity Mills (like they did in Kingfield). The towns along the line were designed to give the operator approx. 30 real time minutes of work before moving on. The way the railway is laid out there are two junctions (not including the std. gauge jct. at Burnham) where trains will meet, adding additional work time to the runs as they pass each other. Ops sessions run so far show  runs of 1 hr. per job.  After a job is run we usually switch jobs allowing each operator to try their hand at each of the jobs on the railway. Ops sessions can easily run 3-4 hrs.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Update for Jan. 2014

I've been spending some time working on the layout in between jobs and home remodeling efforts.
I've gotten all the trackage down on the section that's built and dummied up a big loop around the room so that I can watch trains run while working on the layout. Nice to see and hear trains running again.
 This shows a bit of "road construction" near the station. I used pieces of foamcore board glued down. Then added a bit of drywall compound to give it some texture. Painted it with the ten color I'm using as the basic, general ground color.
 So.....I decided I'd go ahead and use the "proper" station at Strong.....(I think I'm going to go with the prototype naming scheme rather than going with made up names.) So....this junction town will be named Strong, just like it was on the SR&RL.
 This building is a model of the New England Creamery which was located on a spur in Strong. I cut the building in two and used both "halves" up against the backdrop. My shelf is only 24" wide so I've got to make the most of the space for trackage. The Creamery is located right behind the station.
The larger building was originally a large flooring mill on my old West Virginia logging layout. I was able to reuse in Strong as the mill and warehouse of the Foster wood mill which produced toothpicks that were sent out in SR&RL boxcars down to Framington where they were reloaded into Maine Central boxcars headed in all directions.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tom, where have you been??!

Since 2013 is almost at it's end, I figured I better get back to working on my blog. The good news is, I've been able to get some good work done on the yard at Troy. All trackwork is in and working well. I can run a train in from staging and work the local companies. 

Here's how I've decided to lay the turnouts. The idea is to be able to install the slide switches I use for throwing the points and routing power to the frog.  As you can see, the thin plywood is a perfect match for the n-scale cork roadbed I'm using under the flex track. I like this method because it allows me to work on the turnout at the workbench, get everything working right and then install it on the layout. I found that the slide switches work themselves loose if mounted directly into the black sheathing I use.



I've repainted a station I had on my old WVa. logging line in the new Sheepscot colors of dark green and light gray and I think she looks pretty good in the Troy yard.  I have a kit of the Sandy River's station at Strong to replace her in the future.
The large structure in the background is another building I had on the old layout. With a coat of weathered white paint I think it will serve nicely as one of the large mills that produced wood "novelty" products like chair spindles and table legs etc. Strong Me. had several of these wood mills and kept the Sandy River busy with carloads of product headed to Farmington and the Maine Central RR.