Saturday, 21 July 2018

A Look inside the Door

Looking inside my retired service station one sees a good amount of details.The back wall has an old Sunoco station sign as seen above. The photo below views a wooden wall behind the barrels which blocks the office area of the station. The bottom photo views the amount of details I have laying around that works to add interest to the open doorway...George Dutka

Friday, 20 July 2018

Snapshot - July 2018

A string of Multi's are found in the staging yard during the Kitchener Layout Tour 2018 Free-Mo display.
This months snapshot is a look at the fleet of multilevel cars on display by the Credit Valley Free-mo Group layout this March at the Kitchener layout tour...enjoy...George Dutka

Some really interesting weathering and tagging.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Railfanning in The Canadian Don Janes

The first train I encountered, a westbound loaded potash train rolling through Canmore, Alberta. It also had mid-train and rear DPU units.

Railroads in the Rockies

     On June 20, my wife and I and another couple set out on a two week Alaska cruise and Alaska interior expedition.   We all decided that it would be a good chance to travel through the Canadian Rockies so we flew to Calgary, AB, rented a car and traveled to Vancouver making overnight stops in Canmore, AB (just outside Banff), Jasper AB and Penticton, BC in the Okanagan Valley.  Since I was the only railfan in the group I knew I wouldn't get too much railfanning in but we all travel very well together and if there is something someone wants to see the rest are very agreeable to take in those attractions.  I was fortunate that the CPR mainline ran right through Canmore and Banff and the CNR through Jasper so it was only a matter of taking a short drive or walk to stake out  raifan spots when time permitted. At our first stop in Canmore I was lucky to catch a westbound loaded potash train and an eastbound empty potash train within an hour of arrival.
     The weather turned a bit the next day but I was able to catch an intermodal train passing the Banff station in the early evening.  Earlier in the day we set out to find the famous Morant's Curve west of Banff along the Bow River.  It is a spot where thousands of photos have been taken of the CPR in the Rockies.  Unfortunately the road was closed for repairs and there was no access to that location but we did find a very nice spot just east of there and got a few shots.
This eastbound empty potash train was really moving through Canmore and there was a UP DPU bringing up the rear
This CP intermodal train was wasting no time passing the famous Banff depot. Unfortunately, the mountain in the background that I really wanted in the photo was covered in mist.
The CPR snakes along the Bow River for miles. Just east of Morant's Curve we caught a freshly painted CP engine on the point of a westbound intermodal train. It had a mid train DPU. see below
      After two days in this area we headed to Jasper, a main terminal on the CNR line to Vancouver.  It was a short walk to the station and yard from our hotel so when I had some free time I took a stroll to see what action might be happening.  CN operates a lot of trains through Jasper in a 24 hour period but we were out sightseeing most of the day but I had some free time in the evening to check out the train situation. The first night was somewhat overcast but I was able to see a few freight trains.
It was starting to rain and getting dark when this westbound was making a lift and getting ready to leave town. Leading is an ex ATSF GE unit 2186.
As soon as the 2186 departed this eastbound led by the 5703 pulled into town with an ex CSX unit trailing
To close out the day the 3071 pulled through the yard with an eastbound mixed freight.
CNR 6015 is on display near the station.  She is in beautiful shape.CNR  6060 once held this spot before being restored for excursion service.
    The next day was much brighter and after another day of sightseeing I headed down to the depot to find the eastbound VIA Canadian ready to depart. Only trouble was that they had pulled a freight train into the yard and it was blocking the Canadian's departure from the station.  The Canadian ended up being over an hour late but that was great for me as I got a lot of pictures of the engines and various cars on the train and got to see it depart.
     Later that evening my wife and I went for another walk and I found train 5, formerly the Skeena, parked east of the station ready for an early morning departure for Prince Rupert. It is now unofficially called the Rupert Rocket.  The Rocky Mountaineer had also arrived but the engines and equipment were buried in the yard.
The Canadian departing for Toronto.  It had 3 units and 25 cars this day.
This interesting car was mid train.  It must afford some great views of the Rockies. I am not sure of its origin.
The "Kootenay Park" brought up the rear of the Canadian.
VIA 6415 is the leader on train 5 for Prince Rupert due out the next morning.
"Banff Park" was the rear car on the "Rupert Rocket". The rainbow was an added bonus to the photo.
I was lucky enough to catch a shot of the Rocky Mountaineer several hours west of Jasper as we were headed to our next stop near Penticton, BC.  The train is meeting a CN eastbound freight at this location.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Up to the lake once again!

Not sure if I will get any posts in this week...will see if I am near some internet...George Dutka

B&M Hopper Used in Sugar Service

B&M 5753 in outbound sugar service from Mystic Wharf  during Feb. 1974. Bruce Nelson photo.
After looking at my fleet of sugar service air slides here is a view of a B&M hopper used in sugar service in New England...George Dutka

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Paris Jct. Visit 2018

Paris Jct. Section house. I am thinking the signals depart
On our way to the Rapido open house and BBQ Peter and I stopped at Paris Jct. for a look and maybe catch a train. Well all we found was an interesting pick-up truck behind the section house. A truck was also being loaded in the parking lot and the structure has been updated with a crossing signal erected outside the front door...George Dutka

A close-up look at the new addition to the section house.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

CP Block Lettering Switcher

The block lettering is still being worn on this old work horse during 1977. I would have thought they had been repainted well before then.
I was wondering how long the CP block lettering was used on switchers. A photo Roger Chrysler posted last week answered the question. I guess if you have purchased one of these switchers from Rapido recently you can run it through a few eras...George Dutka

Friday, 13 July 2018

A New Drop-in Scene

A new drop-in scene has been added to the WRD.
During the last heat wave I hid in the basement most of the time. I completed a few modeling projects including a new drop-in across from the boarded up gas station. This location most of the year has a flag stop B&M milk platform. Here is how it looks now...this now updated the whole main line from WRJ to Bellows Falls. Now to figure out what might happen in the yards...George Dutka

This garage is normally in place next to Elwell's general store across the tracks from this scene.
I added my rusty old car along with a few extra details. Although the garage is at the edge of the layout one thinks the home is located right next door even though it is not modeled.
The Gatorfoam base is all detailed up with everything glued down other than the car and garage as they need to be placed at other locations in the winter season. Along the outside garage wall is a Vermont Maple Syrup sign which came off another building I purchased a few years back. It was in my parts box since then. I think it adds to the flavor of New England by just leaning there.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Throwback Thursday - Operation Axle in London

Via 80, led by GO 723, prepares to leave London depot on April 12, 1992.  723 is an EMD-built GP40-M-2, a former Rock Island unit acquired by the Toronto - area commuter line in 1982.

By Peter Mumby

Viaphile Eric Gagnon describes Via's operations in the early months of 1992 with the phrase "Operation Axle."  Serious problems had developed earlier with axles on some of the LRC coaches, and by this time the whole fleet had been withdrawn for checking and repair.  In the resulting scramble to find temporary rolling stock replacements, a number of GO train sets were pressed in to service.  One such set of GO equipment is the subject of the accompanying photo.

As is apparent by the length of the photographer's shadow, this was an early morning train - specifically #80, a Sarnia to Toronto run.  If everything is running on schedule, it must be between 07:42 and 07:47, as #70, the train from Windsor, should be pulling up on track one behind this train at 07:47.  Via 80 will use the "back route," travelling to Toronto by way of Stratford and Kitchener.  Its arrival time at Union Station is scheduled for 10:35.  Via 70 will have the quicker schedule, travelling over the Dundas and Oakville Subdivisions by way of Brantford, with an ETA at Toronto of 10:14.

This GO equipment was never designed for long distance runs, so the seats must have led to a few cases of "numb bum" for Sarnia to Toronto passengers.  Not to mention the lack of washroom facilities on these cars - hopefully passengers had sufficient time at the Sarnia station to permit a little pre-planning!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Monday, 9 July 2018

Before and After - Ice House

My finished model prior to the melted ice.
I couple of years ago I picked up this nicely constructed wooden ice house at the Ancaster, Ont. train show. I am not sure if it is scratch or a wooden built kit. Anyhow I thought it might work on the layout. As it turned out I did not use it but had updated it a bit. I sold it off at the WOD-NFR Paris show last year. The photo captions tell the story...George Dutka

I am about to apply some PanPastels to better weather this structure up. The walls are originally painted boxcar red. I went lightly over them with PanPastel burnt sienna. The pod is seen in the photo. It is a lighter brown which dulled down the look of the red. This is a really nicely built wooden kit.
The ice blocks are engine numberboard lens plastic that I shaped to look like an ice block. One can actually purchase ice blocks from Tichy. The deck is done with Hunterline weathering mix followed by a wash of Floquil grime. PanPastel grays are then applied. I ran a hobby knife over the boards first to add dents and cuts into the wood.

These decals came on the building which I decided to leave as they would not be seen anyhow.
I added a good amount of details to this structure. I ended up not using it on the layout as I did not feel it looked like anything that would have been in WRJ or Bellows Falls (the only location I had room for such a structure) so it was sold at the WOD-NFR train show last year. The roof got a dusting of PanPastel neutral gray then raw umber streaks.
Close up view of the loading deck. As mentioned before I added a bit of gloss coat around the ice blocks to emulate a bit of melting after a suggestion from Peter Mumby. I think it really makes the scene look much better.

Friday, 6 July 2018

VTR along the WRD

My new power is hauling a string of hopper cars out of Bellows Crossing on the WRD. I added a bit of PanPastel blender to the red body. The trucks and fuel tank will get a bit different colouring, mainly grime.
I picked up this VTR engine second hand this spring to add to my contemporary fleet. I now have 4 engines to work the Bellows Falls yard depending on the era...George Dutka