Saturday, 19 January 2019

1950's Ontario License Plates - HO Scale

Peter Mumby recently found a sheet of HO 1950's automotive license plates that he had squirreled away for years. I made a few copies for us to use. I thought I should scan the plates to keep on file. If you model Ontario vehicles maybe you are interested in a copy also...George Dutka

Friday, 18 January 2019


This farm scene found along the edge of the layout is what one typically finds in New England. I had viewed this scene a number of times in print but it was nice to get a close look in person at it.
I had been thinking about what the NEB&W members have planned and I am not sure that will be a reality. It is a huge layout located in a basement with standard size doors and 90 degree turns on the way up meaning anything hauled out has to be pretty small. Maybe 30" by at most 6'. The reality is it might have to be 4' long if crated. Looking at my photos of scenes such as the Red Rocks area that is close to floor to ceiling high, maybe 15' long and 2 to 2.5 feet wide, I have no idea how that could be moved. When built in the 1970's planning for movement was probably not on anyone's mind. It will be interesting to see what can be actually saved. I am looking forward to see how a new NEB&W will look. New can be good. Here are a few more views of the NEB&W from my visit in November which are now my memories of a great layout...George Dutka

One of the many street scenes in the Troy, NY portion of the layout.
Another newer scene of car repair shops area. Neat to see a model of repairs being made.
The NEB&W has many creameries and this was always one of my favourites.
The NEB&W contemporary fleet on display
I love the looks of the subsidiary railroads that the NEB&W model.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Throwback Thursday - Remembering the International

Amtrack 306 and Via 6441 are seen at CN Ridout in London, Ontario with Via train #81, the International, on February 12, 1992.
By Peter Mumby.

The original International ( or International Limited ) operated as a joint CN/GTW service between Chicago and Toronto.  This train was cancelled in 1970, but the route was revived as an Amtrack/Via operation in 1982.  A route revision in 1990 had the Toronto to London portion of the trip using the "back way" through Kitchener and Stratford. 

At the time of this photo, a mixture of Via and Amtrack equipment was in use.  In later years Amtrack locomotives and cars were used exclusively.  With increased border security after September 2001, the Sarnia /Port Huron crossing became progressively more complex for the International, leading to its eventual cancellation.  The final westbound run took place on April 23, 2004.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

CNR Scale Car

Kevin Smith's great looking scale test car on display. Don Janes blog post was the inspiration for Kevin to build this model.

WRD blog follower Kevin Smith sent me the following e-mail about his great looking scale test car...George Dutka

"Hi George just a quick note of thanks to you and crew for posting the information and articles about a CN scale test car. I recently acquired an undercoated Walthers car in a trade. Your information led me to Andy W Scale Model Decal and also provided the overall inspiration. KLS."

Monday, 14 January 2019

B&M Sign

An on-line find.
Jim Sloan was looking on-line for signs for his most recent build when he came across this neat looking B&M sign. I am sure I will find a number of spots it will work well at. Thanks Jim...George Dutka

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Buffalo Southern

Buffalo Southern RS-11 still wears its original number once used on the D&H. John Hajnosz photo.
John Hajnosz follows the WRD blog on a regular basis and offered us this view of an ex D&H RS-11 near his home in the Buffalo area.  John also mentioned that the Buffalo Southern has a RS-18 that alternates with the RS11. The Buffalo Southern engine house is in Hamburg NY...George Dutka

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Algoma Central - OCS Boxcar

Most of the Bob Bowes collection are in B&W, but this well used boxcar photo is seen in colour. I think you will enjoy its nicely weathered effect one could try to replicate in model form. This view of AC 036 was taken in Sault Ste. Marie Steelton yard on April 19, 1994 noted from Dave Shaw collection.
One of over 1,000 rolling stock prints that Don McQueen scanned from the Bob Bowes collection. I scanned just over 100 extra for use. From all these scans I think this blog will be able to keep going for a long time looking at various prototypes...George Dutka

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Wells River Freight Don Janes

A trackside view of the freight shed with some details added to the loading dock.

A New (or not so new) Freight Shed added to Wells River

     I am slowly starting to get some scenery and detail work done on my Wells River scene which is located on a branch line on a peninsula in the middle of the layout room.  A couple of weeks ago I did a post on the Richland Fuels scene in the same town.  This post will focus on the B&M/CPR freight shed which stands next to the oil dealer.  These structures are freelanced but hopefully give the flavour of buildings that would have stood in small towns in New England in the 1950's. The only accurate prototype model in the town is the station which is a replica of the actual Wells River station.
    My original plan was to scratchbuild a freight shed using photos of a typical B&M structure.  That changed when I contacted my friend Neil Schofield about buying a freight shed that he had on his old layout but would not be using on his new one. I had always admired this building and was very pleased when he offered to sell it to me. Neil had scratchbuilt it from styrene using photos of a New Haven fright shed that was once located in Mansfield, CT. I figured that even though it was a NH structure I couldn't get much more New England than that.  Neil had painted it the same as the photo. I decided that I would try to change the colours somewhat to closer match the B&M colours.  The trackside of the structure was already close to what I wanted so I decided to try and match the cream and maroon paint and finish the rest of the structure the same as the trackside. I am very pleased with the way it came out.
This is one of the photos Neil used to build his NH freight shed. Note the brown end. Note also the boarded up windows.
This is a photo of the freight shed on Neil's layout. Note the boarded up windows and general disrepair of the structure.
This is the model on my layout with a new paint job and some of the windows opened up to represent a less rundown structure.
     When Neil built his model he boarded up a lot of the windows to represent a later period when the building had fallen into disrepair.  Since I am modelling the 1950's I wanted to represent a better maintained structure so added some new windows, leaving only a few windows along the parking lot side boarded up.  When Neil did the windows he modified Grandt Line windows to closer match the prototype so when it came time to re-open the windows I had to make some more custom windows to match. Fortunately Neil gave me some extra windows to work with. Neil did a great job of weathering the styrene loading dock to look like old weathered boards so I left that part alone.

Here we see Neil's model on his bench where he was measuring it for me to see if it would fit on my layout.  Note the many boarded up windows.

Here is the back of the freight shed on my layout with the opened up windows.

   One other detail I added was station name signs. This was just a matter of going into Microsoft WORD and creating the signs.on a sheet of cardstock. I then cut them out and glued them on the shed. Following B&M practice I made them with white lettering on a blue background.
    Once I had all the modifications done I cut a piece of Gatorboard for the base and glued the loading dock to it. I left the building loose so I could move it out of the way when doing the scenery. The parking lot was made from 1/8" Masonite which I air nailed down and filled the holes with spackle.. It was then painted a dark gray to represent asphalt and then weathered with chalks. Lines were added to represent cracking with a fine tipped felt pen. The gravel area was a mixture of various shades of dirt run through a very fine tea strainer to represent an unpaved gravel area.
     Overall I am very happy with this scene and look forward to finishing more sections of Wells River.  I still have some more detail work to do but I consider it pretty much finished for now.  This will be my last layout post before heading to Arizona on Sunday where we hope to hide from the winter until April.
Here is a trackside view showing the various weeds and broken packing boards laying along the tracks. The board fence separates the freight shed from Richford Fuels. It is a Tichy product.
Another view of the parking lot side. You can see the weathering effects in the pavement. I added a period billboard and long grass and weeds beside the road.
Another shot of the truck docks. The photo shows the gravel and paved parking lot, covered rear entrance and station name sign.

Throwback Thursday - Gateway to the North

FP7A 1517 sits along the south side of the main ONR shops at North Bay, Ontario on August 29, 1990.  Behind that unit is rebuilt FP7Am 1985 and its semi-permanently coupled 3-car TEE train passenger consist.
By Peter Mumby.

Christmastime is always enjoyable, but I must admit to feeling relieved when it is all finally put away for another year.  Then it is back to normal for another ten or eleven months until the onslaught of holiday tunes and Hallmark Christmas movies starts anew.  As you enjoyed some of these Hallmark productions, you probably didn't realize that several of them ("Christmas in Angel Falls," for example) were filmed in North Bay, Ontario.  Throw around a bunch of fake snow, hang out a lot of American flags, and North Bay in August can masquerade as a generic New England town or small Midwestern municipality in early December.

Tourism and TV/film production aside, North Bay has been billing itself as Ontario's "Gateway to the North" for over a century.  When I think of North Bay, the major draw is the head office and the main shops of the Ontario Northland Railway (ONR).  Originally constructed as the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway (T&NO), the ONR has its southern terminus in the Gateway City where it makes an end-to-end connection with the CN Newmarket Subdivision.  CN forwards most freight from here to Toronto.  Northbound, the ONR runs to its principal yard at Englehart and onwards to Cochrane Junction.  At this point one line runs west to Hearst, while the other continues north to Arctic tidewater at Moosonee on James Bay.

General Motors Diesel constructed 22 model FP7A locomotives over the 1951-1953 time frame, with the 1517 graduating with the class of '53.  These were used as dual service locomotives and could be seen all over the system.  FP7Am 1985 and sister units were  rebuilt with a head end generator to replace the original TEE train power cars used on the Northlander passenger trains.  Several years ago the Northlander was cancelled, so currently the only ONR passenger services, the Moosonee mixed trains and the Polar Bear Express, operate north out Cochrane.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Tim Horton's - Model

A scratch-built Timmies including a detailed interior. The sign is 3D printed.
At the Woodstock train show this past weekend there was a young gentleman that had scratch-build a nice group of Tim Horton's. In Canada this is an institution for coffee and donuts. He did a great job detailing the interior of this model. It sold at the show for I believe $260. He had more without a detailed interiors for $200...George Dutka

Note this modeler is having some fun with his whole HO police force having donuts and coffee.

Monday, 7 January 2019

The NEB&W - The end?

One of the most recognizable locations on the NEB&W. The layout began in 1972.
 Bill Gill passed along the following words written by John Nehrich. It appears the NEB&W is about to become a memory in history, the same as some of the rail lines it portrays. Don Janes and I visited the NEB&W back in November as part of the Albany Expo layout tour. I am glad we did as that will be our last memory of the current layout. It has been at least 25 years since my other visits when the layout was in it's prime. This visit revealed a tired looking version of the NEB&W with many areas water damaged and very dusty...although it still looks great and it actually photographed very well. Don and I did find areas of the layout that have just been completed or updated that looked great. I think a facelift in a new location would be a big plus to NEB&W and the membership...all the best to a great layout and their membership. Here we have a few photos from my trip a couple of months ago along with John Nehrich's comments...George Dutka

The wall in the crew lounge area.
The NEB&W have just gotten word that shortly, perhaps a few weeks, a professional mover is going to come in and crate up sections of the layout, along with everything else, and move them out of Davison.  These will either be stored in a warehouse or if we are lucky, moved to a new permanent home.  The school wants to rehab Davison over the summer with all new plumbing, etc., but wants the layout now.  At first when they were talking about this, they were figuring they would totally box in the layout to protect it from swinging pipes around, but they would have to remove the backdrop and build us a whole new one.  On reconsideration, they figured it would be better to move us instead.

So where?  Barb Nelson, who used to work at RPI in space allocation, is now the Executive Director of TAP Inc. (Troy Architectural Program) and wants very much for us to move to some place where the layout can readily be seen by the public.  She is very sympathetic to our needs and attuned to the entire downtown building boom.  She thinks there may be some appropriate space downtown opening up.  Many developers are having a hard time filling their first floor with retailers, and she sees the layout as generating a lot of foot traffic.  We don’t have anything definite yet.  If it does, our role might change, whether we stay a part of RPI, be a collaboration with say the county historical society, become totally independent, or who knows what.  We know one important consideration no matter what would be to ensure this is a permanent home.

Or we have been talking about a new building, a simple (and thus cheap) steel shell building on a concrete pad floor somewhere on RPI property.

For years and years, we have looked at moving to an existing location in an unused space, but we take up far more room than people think.  And if we were to move into J Building or Winslow, even if we fit – we don’t – it would cost so much to remove walls, etc.  But now we are talking about a prime location, not a spare attic or unused basement.

Please spread the word to EVERYONE you can think of.  Massive amounts of publicity are needed, and soon, both word-of-mouth and professional media.  In this way, we may reach some wealthy benefactor, or even just convince the school the importance of not letting us wither away in storage.  We will be looking into some type of go-fund-me campaign, hopefully in conjunction say with a local historical group.  (We probably can’t do it under RPI without stepping on some toes).

The contract to move us has yet to be signed, but they are aiming for a few weeks.  Then we will know the timetable but it likely to be soon after.  Once we have a definite date, we are hopeful of holding one last operating session.  If you know of individuals who need to see the layout, I can set up an individual tour - it may be now or never.   

  - John Nehrich

One of the areas that has been recently refreshed.
Don stands next to Rutland yard and under the pipes which are still in pretty good shape. We noticed a lot of locations were leaks seem to be the norm.
State Line still looks great although the trees are holding a few decades of dust. While the NEB&W train departs the tunnel from one state into another, the layout itself maybe departing from its start into a new beginning.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

January 2019 - Update

On one of my November Monday Workshops with Peter Mumby I built a second Sylvan model. I changed the load on this model. It turned out to be a quick build as I had already completed the same model a week earlier. I will post some more photos and details shortly.
Life has thrown a curve into my modeling plans this winter. My mom being 90 is having issues and also my in-laws who are 94 and 92 are also needing extra commitment. Although I have kept up my posts with the help of Don and Peter I have not actually done any modeling in over a month other than one Monday workshop with Peter in December. The rest of this winter looks to follow the same path with Monday workshops and the rest of the time getting my mom settled in a home and prepping her home for sale within the next few months.

I have a lot of models built over the last few years that I have yet to lots of projects to write-up as I find time. The easiest posts will be prototype photos, layout visits and other model inspirations I came across which I have readily available. These will be the main focus over the next few months. Hopefully I can back at modeling sometime this winter. I will still be helping Peter at a few local trains shows and my original plan for Springfield is on hold for the moment...George Dutka

A partial view of a Quebec Central cattle car in St. Thomas, Ont. being pushed by a NYC switcher. Aug 18 1956, Bob Bowes collection. A nice article on the QC is in the current Classic Trains.
Rensselaer service area Nov. 3 2018. During my fall visit I noted this unidentifiable bird on the front knuckle. Not sure if this was a Halloween prank.
B&M yard Mechanicville, NY Feb. 1976. It is amazing how big the yard once was there. Don and I have visited it a few times recently and there is nothing left. I do recall seeing a bit of the yard in the 1990's but nothing like this. Bruce Nelson photo.
This is a FOS scale kit that I finished back in November for a waterfront scene that I plan to build. This is on hold for this modeling season. More on this structure will be posted on my Narrow Gauge blog sometime this winter. Link is on the sidebar.
The London & Port Stanley Ry is seen doing bridge work at an overpass in London. No data on the photo. Bob Bowes collection. I have had access to his collection and have a nice group of area photos scanned and ready for use.

Friday, 4 January 2019

What's in the Box No. 33

All what comes in the box.
ITLA kit offering this fall is my next What's in the Box. Albany Manufacturing Co. was produced for this years Expo structure show in Albany. Nick did a bit of research into the signage and came up with a few signs once found in Albany. I saw the kit at the Brampton train show back in September, purchasing it then...George Dutka

The ITLA display of the Albany kit
Lot of nice details are found included in the kit.
The laser cut bricks and blocks are well done.
There are no metal casting all is laser cut wood.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Throwback Thursday - Loco at Lillooet

BC Rail 628 was resting between assignments at Lillooet, British Columbia, on August 21, 1997.
By Peter Mumby.

Pacific Great Eastern / British Columbia Railway had a long and successful relationship with the products of Montreal Locomotive Works.  RS 18 number 628 was completed in August of 1966, and operated with its Alco prime mover until it was rebuilt as a 2000 hp Cat-powered unit in 1995.  It was looking good on this summer afternoon in 1997, but its fall from grace would occur shortly after CN's assumption of control of BC Rail.  This locomotive was retired on Dec. 14, 2005.