About the Header

This is a commuter train in Baltimore, Maryland, just outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. As you can see in the lower right, it isn't the most current photo I have (I've gotta start disabling that silly date stamp!).

Note: Constantly Updated Train related news at bottom of this page - scroll all the way down!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MR Mag Project Layout Inspired Me

The Milwaukee Road Chestnut Street Division, or the "Beer Line", is a model railroad layout based on a famous Milwaukee prototype and constructed by the Model Railroader staff. It was documented in the first five months of this year (2009) in the magazine.

This project has inspired me, mainly because it is similar in shape and size to what I'm doing with my Boyer Valley Central. I hope to borrow heavily from the design cues here and I also hope that this will give me the gentle "nudge" that I need to get moving on this again. I'll try to remember to share details as I progress and share the ideas / give credit when I have borrowed from the MR layout!

More details to follow soon...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Enjoying Railroad Days in CB & Omaha: Rails West

This is the first in a series of posts to describe a recent trip to Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa to take in Omaha Railroad Days 2008.

My first stop was at the Rails West museum in Council Bluffs, where an old Rock Island depot has been turned into a museum featuring actual old rolling stock and a number of quality exhibits inside the museum/depot.

An interesting fact about the depot is that it has two waiting rooms, which were completely separate with separate entrances from the outside, one for men and one for women and children.

Aside from the depot, one of the other main attractions for me here was the Omaha Club Car, a car originally built in 1927 for service on the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy RR.

During the 1930s and 1940s this car saw service between Chicago and Lincoln on the CB&Q and was used mainly as an observation and lounge car. This basically means that the passengers had seats elsewhere on the train and they came here to smoke, play cards, or just visit.

The level of remaining detail and the general condition of the car was quite impressive considering its age and the many years it has spent out of service.

The fixtures were mainly complete, the oak paneling in good condition, and the original furnishings helped to recreate the feel of the car in its heyday.

The other exhibits outside the depot included locomotives and a caboose, a mail car, and several types of station equipment. Inside the depot was a variety of war era artifacts and other general railroad memorabilia - a very impressive collection. Additionally, the depot houses the model railroad of the Greater Omaha Society of Model Engineers (GOSOME).

I had visited the layout previously, and the layout alone is certainly well worth a visit. When you add in the opportunity to view the depot, its contents, and all of the rolling stock, this is a must-see for the railfan and the history buff alike.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Model Railroad Benchwork: BV Central, Phase One

All aboard the Boyer Valley Central Railroad! As promised, here is a shot of the existing bench work. Also notice the re-painted woodwork and walls. I used anything and everything, including remnants of an old built-in closet that I tore out of this room to make more space. Underneath the pink foam, you can see the wooden support brackets which are made from some of this recycled lumber.

Note how close the ceiling is to the back of the tabletop. In HO scale, it is actually about the equivalent of a five story building from table top to the edge of the "sky". Thankfully, the pitch of my roof is fairly steep, so it rises quickly as we move out, away from the wall.

This section extends along the length of the west wall. It will likely house a cluster of industries loosely modeled after the Dunlap/Denison area of western Iowa. This basically means a bunch of agri business. Possible prototypes include Dunlap Fertilizer (a rural fertilizer plant), Quality Liquid Feeds (a livestock feed manufacturing plant), Amaizing Energy (an ethanol plant), a few smaller online industries and several casualties of modernization: industries located near the mainline but not actually served by the railroad.

Check back soon and see what grows here!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Plywood and styrofoam and homasote - Oh my!

It's pretty late at night, so this is just a quick post to jot down a thought before I forget. I got to thinking that when I get a little further along, my layout will have a really neat feature: it is essentially three layouts in one: a modular layout with two modules, each 2' x 4'; a shelf layout with shelves along two walls; and a basic oval although not quite 4' x 8' (closer to 4' x 6'). It also will comprise several base materials (pink foam board, homasote, good old plywood, and shelving a.k.a. particle board). It should be fun to document the progress! I've got the pink foam installed already and will get a picture posted soon, as well as that diagram I promised earlier.

Resources for you (resource links and info from the articles above)

Coming soon...