Friday 29 June 2012

Wells River, Vt. - Station Life

An early era postcard view of the B&M station at Wells River, Vermont.

 B&M - Wells River, Vermont
Life at the station

At Wells River station there was three shifts of operators, working 7 days a week. If for some reason one was off sick the other two just worked twelve hours each to take up the slack. They did not call in spares other than to fill a temporary position or a full time one. If an operator was off sick for a day or even a week the other two worked their tails off. Wells River operators shifts were 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm and 11pm-7am.

The operators also worked the ball signal located near the station. The signal had five balls. The indications allowed operating on the wye tracks only, not on the main line or onto the M&WR. One ball allowed the M&WR to use the north wye to Woodsville. Two balls up allowed the main line southbound trains on to the north wye into Woodsville. Three balls up allowed trains from Woodsville to depart on the north wye. Four balls allowed southbound operations on the south leg of the wye out from Woodsville.  Five balls allows all trains to use the south wye track towards Woodsville. The balls are used in daylight and lanterns at night. It was the night operators job to take down the lanterns and attach the balls. He would then refill the lanterns and store them away for the next night. His job got a premium for doing this chore.

The operators also looked after the south wye, north wye and M&WR main line switchs. The operator had a lot to do. First setting the balls then lining the switches. All switches had to be lined back for the normal routing which was the north south main line routing. In the early 1940s there was at least 14 trains operating  through Wells River, with two extra turns out of Newport arriving. These extra`s would set off in the south Wells River yard wye engine and caboose and depart. The M&WR at that time had 4 trains a day in and out of Woodsville also. The M&WR steam engines had to run around the wye after arriving Woodsville and prior to departing west again. On occasion a helper engine was run over from Lyndonville and sat on the north wye as a helper engine. Wells River was in yard limits so engines could move around or work clearing the class trains.

At Wells River there was two train order signals. One on the main line which was always showing red as all trains required new train orders at Wells River station. The train order signal on the north leg of the wye was not in use in later years as trains departing Woodsville would have already received train orders before departing. B&M timetables further notes that train order signal does not affect trains using south wye track.

CPR RS-2 #8404 waits on the wye as CPR FA #4000 pulls up to the station. Note the train order board is in the stop position which was how it regularly was set.  Also the semaphore signal is set in the stop position holding CPR #8404. The other train order signal which was not in use even in the early 1940's is seen in the proceed position. The CPR engine and caboose is most likely a Newport turn that set-off in the Wells River south yard grabbed the caboose and shoved around the wye. It would run back light. This photo taken by Dwight Smith in April 1952.

The following 1957 B&M timetable notes instructs crews about train speeds at Wells River. Speed on the North wye was 10 mph for both freight and passenger trains. South wye was restricted to 15 mph for all trains. On the main line in both directions train speeds between south wye and north siding switch was 25 mph for freight only, passenger trains ran at track speed although most did do a station stop. Yard limits rules also applied restricting freight trains to look out for each other within the limits.

Another aspect of trains operating on the north wye was switches and signal equipped with electric switch locks. The following is from the 1953 B&M timetable. The two arm semaphore as seen in the above photo was the northward home interlocking signal. Top arm at 60 degrees and bottom arm horizontal (green over red lights) Proceed. Top arm at horizontal and bottom arm at 60 degrees (red over green light) Proceed at restricted speed. Both arms horizontal (two red lights) Stop.

Local yard switchers movenments on the south wye and station spur tracks leading from the south wye at Wells River could switch without ball and light indications but under the direction of the switchtender at Woodsville. This same switchtender also had to give northbound trains on the south wye arriving Woodsville a highball before those trains could cross the bridge and enter the yard.

One other task of the operator at Wells River was the handling of the large amount of mail arriving on the Red Wing. In early years these amounts were at least two truck loads hauled over from Woodsville. The mail bags was organised for private mail contractors to pick up the next day. The life of an operator at a busy location such as Wells River, Vermont could keep one working hard all day.

Don Janes built a model of the Wells River station for a B&MRHS kit review last year. He is planning on posting some nice photos of his model including a few highlights during construction, plus a little history of the station...George Dutka

Saturday 23 June 2012

Johnsons Loft and Boat Works - Early Construction

This is a great photo included with the kit, but many of the items used to build this model are not included with the kit beginning with the windows, doors and sign. There has been alternates added. In the kit are many additional details that would work well when kitbashing.
 Building a Mill
 a Railway Design Associate kit

This spring I picked up a RDA kit, "Johnson's Loft and Boat Works" when visiting Paris Junction Hobbies. It is a neat looking New England design model that I could see fitting into my WRD expansion. I had not tried any of the RDA kits in the past and for the price it was worth a try...I must mention it was 30% off and I love a deal. This structure is typical of a New England smaller frame mill, supply building or as seen a marine manufacturing company. Mine will probably become a mill supplying wooden wares although I really like the though of trying a water front scene with a boat loft.

Since the weather this past week was way to hot to venture outside...thank god I am now retired...I remember a lot of these 40C days sitting on the engine with no air movement, waiting to depart town. The place I hated sitting on the engine in the heat the most was Aldershot yard near Hamilton, Ont. It is in a valley...all sun no breeze. I was back modelling  through the heat wave and got a good start on this kit.

Before beginning this kit some thought needs to be given as how it will be tackled. There is a lot of stuff included with the kit but not all of it is usable to finish the model as seen in the included photo. I find the instructions are just average at best. I feel this kit can be a great jumping off point for a kitbasher. If you check out RDA web site this kit may have began as part of Indian River Mill Works and-or Durham's Tool and Die and it appears some of the parts from those kits are included with this one.  Railway Design Associates

The RDA kit is injection  molded styrene, which can be easily cleaned with a sharp hobby knife. There are plenty of imperfections that need to be cleaned up, but that is typical of many kits, especially at this price point. I found they are very easy fixes.

The windows seen in the builders photo are not the same as those included with the kit. The ones viewed below need to be installed from inside the structure which is fine. The window trim that is engraved into the walls are not all that great so I decided to paint the windows the same colour as the wall. This will hide any rough spots. I did not want to make new window trim or purchase new windows that could be installed from the outside, both of which are options. The doors in the kit are very good for the side wall, and are made by Tichy. There is some cutting to be done so that they would fit.  I plan to separate the doors and model them as open. I also will add flooring for each level and some interior details. I also want to include some lighting to this building.

This kit comes with a lot of details such as a laser cut wooden cupola, some Tichy doors, cast plaster loading dock and steps, plus a spur full of detail parts and vents.

The cast plaster platform and steps are easily finished using Woodland Scenics earth colour liquid pigments. I used Stone Concrete first (C1217) and Stone Gray (C1218). I then used some chalk weathering, black and red on the bricks. Lastly some Bragdon weathered brown finished off the effect.

The walls are assembled and awaiting painting along with the doors and windows. The plaster casting have been finished with Woodland Scenics  concrete and stone gray. The flooring are painted and weathered and will be installed after the walls are painted.

The side wall before assembly was embossed to reflect nail holes. I glued corner bracing on to help support the walls... which are left over cuttings from Danby Coal. The basement windows casings had to be enlarged to make the windows fit.

I had a lot of problems deciding what to do about the doors on the two ends. None of the kit doors fit or were even close to fitting. Since I am modelling open doors I decided to use the two passage way door on the bottom floor and cut the white baggage doors in half and trim to fit for the top floor. The laser cut doors also do not fit and I cut them up and used what I could. I used scribed wood for the backing. I broke down and used two of my baggage style doors left from other projects for the second floor on both ends. I built a sliding door for the top floor at one end from scrap wood.

The floors are made from card stock and got a coat of Floquil Rail Brown along with the interior of the structure. I just brushed it on. I used this colour since the jar was almost empty and was not good enough for airbrushing. The floors got some weathering also with Flouil Grime and White. Once they are installed I will add a little chalk weathering in the areas that the moment the model is ready for painting and detailing but I am off to the lake again....George Dutka

Thursday 21 June 2012

CV Waterbury, Vermont Frt. House - Demolished

I was viewing some pictures on the Internet a few days ago and notice one of the Vermonter stopped at Waterbury, Vt. Something looked different. It was a low angle shot that did not show very much background details. I thought I should have been able to see at least a little of the Central Vermont  frt. house in the view. I could not see any of it. A quick e-mail to Bill Brigham, President of the CVRHS confirmed what I thought. On Bill's last visit to Waterbury, for National Train Day, May 12, 2012 he found the frt. house was torn down to the point all that was showing was the floor timbers which are very substantial. I am glad I stopped by and took additional photo last year. These photos can be seen in my post of June 1, 2012. I also measured the structure and at some point will do a drawing...George Dutka

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Blog is almost full

White River Division
Possible Changes?

With the very hot local weather this week (feels like 40C...or 100F) I am at home and have started working on a few new posts. To my surprise when I went to load my photos a message came up after the second photo that the blog is full. Seems there is room for more text posts, but not photos.

I may have to start a second blog as the space allowed in this blog is now almost full. An upgrade can be added to allow additional photos but there is a monthly fee which I do not care to pay. What I have just done is go back through the past posts and photo edited. Mostly photos removed are from prototype features, none of the modelling shots are removed. I originally gave you all the views I had, but not all are needed especially when space is limited. Don Janes mentioned that maybe the photo sizes might be best reduced. I always wanted to give you the best quality photos, but reducing the photos is something we will have to do from now on till we find a solution.

If you have run into the same issue with your blog or may have a solution please let me know...I should have enough space at the moment to carry me through to the fall...George Dutka

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Central Vermont Steam - Classic Trains

Classic Trains - Summer 2012 
CV 2-10-4

In my June 5th post I forgot to mention another New England addition that is included in the Summer 2012 Classic Trains. In the photo section one can find three colour photos of CV #707 in White River Junction or near by. All three photos are by Mike Usenia and show some nice details in and around the engine terminal...George Dutka

Monday 18 June 2012

Millers Falls, Mass. Over and Under

You are looking north on the once CV main line. At this location the CV has a steep climbed out of Millers Fall, Mass. and crosses the east-west B&M main line.  The CV tracks cross over route 63 a few hundred yards behind me as I take this photo, March 2012.
 Crossing Over at Millers Falls, Mass.
 CV - B& they did it.

Have you visited a modellers layout and watched the train loop around the layout, then at some point one track climbs a steep grade and crosses over the other track...well that is exactly what happens with the Central Vermont at Millers Fall.

I stopped by Millers Falls shorty after visiting East Deerfield yard. Once I took a look around town...there is not much to see in regards to the railways, I went south out of town on route 63 to take a look at the location were the two railroads cross each other. I stopped about a quarter mile north of the bridge that carries the CV over route 63. There is a clearing that you can drive up to the B&M track. Since it was March it was easy to walk the bank to the crossing location. I think it might be much more difficult to do once the foliage is out. The photos seen here are from that visit. I did hang around for over half an hour since I could hear something that resembled a train switching but nothing arrived before I left. East Deerfield is not that far away and maybe the sounds from the yard echo through the hills. If you are visiting East Deerfield this location is maybe a 15 minute drive away and well worth a visit...maybe you will be lucky and catch a train...George Dutka.

Looking at the south side of the bridge.

North side of bridge

This is how the tackage looks like departing Millers Falls. I took this photo from an overhead bridge at the edge of town. Beyond this spot the CV trackage begins it rise to the crossover location maybe a mile away. The Central Vermont track is to the far left

Tuesday 12 June 2012

RPM Meet - Collinsville, Ct.

Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet
An NMRA Sponsored Event
Collinsville, Ct. June 1-2 2012
photos by Dean Splittgerber 

I had always wanted to attend the RPM Collinsville Meet but for one reason or another I just seem to miss out. Well after viewing Dean's photos and his comment about the event, I am going next year!

Dean attended the show on Friday. The show was a two day show, Friday and Saturday. Dean notes that both days had great clinics and a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There was a room set up with tables for displaying models and dioramas. Dean took all these great photos with his pocket camera. Two additional rooms were set aside for vendors. Rapido, Atlas and Funero and Camaralengo attended to mention a few. Mike Rose, Mike Conafalone, Scotty Mason and many other talented modellers were present to meet and answer questions. The two day meet was held in the Community Centre which is attached to the Collinsville Library.

 Check out the link for past years model photos...and save the link for future information...I am really looking forward to attending this meet next year for the first time...George Dutka

B&M structure models by Jim Dufour.

Bill Schneider's NYO&W equipment.

Models by Kip Grant.

Rutland Ry. station at Florence, Vermont...Randy Laframboise.

Monday 11 June 2012

Chateau Martin wine cars

Wine Cars of the 1940s through to the 1970s

I just received the link below from Dean Splittgerber to a site which covers the Chateau Martin wine cars...which are former milk cars. The site is by James E. Lancaster and was last updated February 9, 2012. It is well worth a look...George Dutka.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Borden's Butterdish car #1025

Additional Information...
Dean Splittgerber has pass along a little extra information regarding the Borden's chemical butterdish car in my last post and what he knows about Borden's chemical division in that area. Dean identified the brick work found behind  Borden's butterdish car #1025 to be that of the Borden's plant at Bainbridge, NY. This building still survives today. The plant was shut down around 2006 when some production was moved overseas. This Borden's brick three story building can be seen from I-88...thank Dean.

Borden's Elmer's Glue
Elmer's glue was invented in 1942 by Ashworth Stull, a Georgia Tech chemistry graduate. He sold his company to Borden's during the mid-1950's. During this time Borden's had excess milk cars on hand which became the base for the company's chemical car fleet. Borden's did introduced the first consumer white glue in 1947 under the trade name Cascorez Glue. Later on it was renamed Elmer's Glue-All.  In 1951 Borden's company decided to use the name Elmer for its glues and chemical division, which would be the spouse of Borden's famed corporate symbol, Elsie the cow of its dairy division. At that point Borden's glue sales took off.

The Borden's Chemical Division plant in Bainbridge, NY was purchased in 1929 during a corporate buying spree. At the time it was called Casein Company of America, a small company which manufactured a cold water soluble water resistant adhesive from casein. Casein is a byproduct of skim milk.

Elmer's became an independently company around 1999. The company was acquired in 2003 by Brewind  Corporation a investment firm.It was recently reported that Elmer's glue is the number one selling glue in America...George Dutka

Thursday 7 June 2012

CPR Cabooses used in New England

CPR RS-10  8575 is running caboose hop through New Haven,VT with van 437436...Don Janes photos

CPR's New England Caboose
by Don Janes

Over the years the Canadian Pacific used several different styles of cabooses in its New England operation.  They ranged from the early wood cabooses built in the 1920's and earlier to the first steel cabooses  built in their own Angus Shops  in Montreal in the late 1940's and early 1950's to the modern steel wide vision cabooses that were painted bright yellow with the large multi-mark on the end showing off CPR's new image of the late 1960's.  These modern cars were built between 1972 and 1981 in CP's Angus Shops in Montreal and were used right up until the CPR ended its New England operation.       

I have always like collecting models of cabooses that ran on the various railroads in New England.   One of the railroads I model is the CPR and I have four different styles of cabooses that ran on their lines into Vermont.  To represent the older wooden cabooses I have a brass model from Van Hobbies,  a resin model built from a Norwest Models kit and several plastic models from Trueline Trains.  The 1940's and 1950's steel cabooses are Overland Models and Van Hobbies brass models produced several years ago.  These include a 35 foot end cupola  version and a 40 foot slanted streamlined centred cupola car.   I still need to find an Overland Models 40 foot caboose with a standard centred Cupola in the 437495-437499 series. One of these cars, the 437497 was the regular caboose on the "Scoot" in CPR's Maine operation.  I'll have to keep watching E-Bay and going to swap meets for that one.  Even though I model the 1950's I bought a Rapido modern CPR wide vision caboose for my collection.  

CPR 436377 is a brass Van Hobbies model that came out many years ago.

Here the 436377 is ducking into Hoosac Tunnel on the Green Mountain Division

CPR 437265 is a Norwest  Models resin kit of a CPR wooden caboose


CPR 437368 is an example of an early 35 foot steel caboose built in CP's Angus shops in 1949.  This is a Van Hobbies brass model and is sitting on the WRJ caboose track.


CPR 437436 is an Overland brass import.  It is a model of a 1953 built 40 foot streamlined centre cupola caboose.

CPR wide vision van 434479 has just arrived WRJ from Montreal and now the train will be handed over to the B&M
   As you can see from the model photos it is possible to represent many of the styles of cabooses used by the CPR in New England.  Some are still currently available while other will require a little searching for but are out there... Don Janes   


Wednesday 6 June 2012

Borden's Butterdish Milk Car - the Prototype

My F&C model along with a photo received from John Nehrich to help me with the end details.
Borden's Butterdish Milk Cars
 Re-post from May 2012

My favourite milk cars which also is a unique style, is the Borden's butterdish milk car. In my next post I will discuss the construction of two F&C kits that Warren Dodgson and I built. The Borden's buttedish car has been produced as a model kit and also in brass. In brass Nickel Plate Products and Railworks Brass each offered a finished model. As a kit Red Ball Models and Funaro and Camerlengo each offered a nice option. F&C still has the butterdish car available on its web site. At one point Walthers was advertising a finished butterdish milk car. I do not think it was ever released.

The Borden's butterdish cars could be found on trains running on the D&H, Rutland, Lehigh Valley, DL&W, NYO&W, Erie and the NYC. I have yet to see a photo of a  Borden's butterdish car on the Central Vermont Ry., MEC or B&M. I have though seen a photo of two butterdish cars in Eagle Bridge on the D&H which connects with the B&M in town. One wonders if it arrived along the B&M main line.

The butterdish cars were a rebuild from Borden's wooden milk cars. It appears they may have picked the cars for rebuilding at random. Not all the wooden milk cars may have been rebuilt. One could see both the butterdish and wood side cars though the years in the same consists. With this in mind the butterdish numbering would not be in any particular series. It was reported that 35 cars saw conversions to the butterdish style. There has not been enough photo evidence found to confirm all the facts stated in reports made. Cars that are known to be butterdish cars are BFIX 503-516-520-521-523-537. One butterdish car, #520  is preserved at the Illinois Ry, Museum in Union, Ill.

The butterdish cars originally had a top fin and two end fins. Later during the war the top fin was removed for scrap metal purposes. The end fins on some car also were removed at a later date. I would think the fins are of cosmetic design and not of structural value.

As built the cars may have been white or silver in colour with black lettering. In the later part of the 1940's, the colour scheme changed to a Chinese lantern red-orange, will yellow cut out sheet metal lettering. The last views in the 1950's show aluminium coloured bodies with black lettering.

This photo view a Borden's butterdish car in chemical service.
Last Uses...
In the mid to late 1950's the butterdish milk cars changed usage. They went from  hauling milk to glue ingredients while others just became storage. Ingredients used in the making of Elmer's glue was reported moving over the D&H in these cars. A photo of BCDX 1006 is seen on the D&H during that era. The photo above views BCDX 1025. Elmer's Glue-all commercial sales began in 1947 and really took off during 1951.

The reporting marks became BCDX  in the 1000 series. In my New England Railroad Heritage No. 1 (1997) booklet I listed the 25 cars that ran in chemical service during 1957. It is interesting to note that cars 516 became 1016, 521 to 1021 and 523 to 1023. You would wonder if the other first numbers were only changed leaving the last two digits the same. If this was the case than we could assume which Borden's cars did live on but does not confirm which are butterdish cars.
Borden's butterdish car totals... originally built - 35
                                                            1957 - 25
                                                            1960 - 22
                                                            1965 - 12

The 12 Borden's chemical cars left in 1965 are 1006, 1007, 1008, 1010, 1018, 1019, 1021, 1024, 1028, 1030, 1031, 1032, but one does not know if all or any were butterdish cars....George Dutka

Borden's Butterdish Milk Car Models

Two Borden's butterdish milk tank cars are awaiting lifting on the White River Division. My Borden's creamery at Westminster Center can be seen in the background. It ships both bulk and cans.

F&C Milk Car Kits
   Building a pair of butterdish cars
 Re-post from May 2012

The very first milk car I built was the Borden's butterdish kit, an offering by Funaro & Camerlengo. This was shortly after it was first offered, which I think was in the mid to late 1980's. This was a period of much milk train activity in the model press and modelling world. If one has a copy of the RRHS March 1989, Vol 3, No. 1 of  the Newsliner you can see my article on the prototype and model.

The early F&C kits are no comparison to the standards of today's kits. When I built my milk car I found most of what was included to be over scaled or of poor quality. The kit did have the basic needs to begin the project. The tank, fins, frame and I believe mine had trucks included...most kits did not come with trucks then or now. In my notes from 24 years ago I did note "trucks included."

BFIX 537
I began by filling all the pits and air bubbles in the tank and frame with auto body putty. There were many in the kit. Once dry I sanded it smooth. On the tank I attatched the end fins then drilled holes to accept eye loops. Back then I used Juneco #B112, but today there are a lot better ones available. Bended hand holds are then added from .015 piano wire. Today you have better choices also. The hand holds are slipped through the eye loops and secured. I left off the top fin which was removed during world war II.

My Borden's milk car as it looks on the White River Division.
 I used John's photo to add my end details. I installed a Hi Iron #265 check valve and breather piping from Detail West #BP111, which is actually a SD-9 fuel tank breather but looked close to my photo. The parts once attached best resembled what I saw on the car. The brake wheel is from my scrap box, but today's Kadee brake wheels would look great. The brake stand is scratch built from styrene and I used Juneco chain. Once again there is better choices today.

On the frame I installed Pacific Tractions grab irons, Kadee air hoses #438, Grandt Line #5130 stirrups, bent .015 piano wire operating levers and brake rigging. The brake pistons and reservoir are from a Roundhouse kit not in use. Kadee #5 couplers are added.

Between the tank and the frame I added a piece of styrene as the instructions called for, but thinner than what is included in the kit. I left off the end bumpers as the ones in the kit looked over scale and poorly molded.

The frame is painted black and the tank Floquil Old Silver before cementing together the tank and frame. The handrails are brush painted black. Once the decals are applied a coat of flat finish is applied. A note about the decals...the capacity on the decals is 12,000 gal. which is wrong, it should be 6,000 gal. I actually did not note this error till after I finished the car. I did go back and change it at a later date...guess I should pay more attention  to what I am adding.

Warren Dodgsons Borden's milk car.

 BFIX 523
Warren Dodgson purchased the F&C Borden's butterdish kit also, but a few years after I had built mine. He used my article to add his details and the photo above shows you how his model turned out. Today the car is in my collection and servicing my area Borden's creamery.

The following are a few of the differences between mine and Warren's models. When Warren built his model he used the thicker styrene base and painted it black, mine is silver following the photo I had. The later version of the F&C kits seem to include a larger size font and a bit bigger tank size. You can compare the two models side by side in the photo below. One last difference was that Warren uses the much nicer Cape Line trucks on his model. I just could not part with the kind of money back then when you take into account that at the time our Canadian dollar was trading at 40% of the US dollar...George Dutka


Two Borden's butterdish cars en route to Bellows Crossing for interchange. You will note that F&C in later years changed the decal lettering to a larger size font.
A very short Rutland milk train departs Bellows Crossing with my two butterdish cars in tow.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Rutland's Chatham Division

Pencil sketch of a Rutland NB freight departing Petersburg Jct. NY.
 Classic Trains - Summer 2012  
" Remembering the Corkscrew"
by Jim Shaughnessy

If you are a Rutland Ry. fan you will want to read this article. In the current issue of Classic Trains one will find a great six page article by Jim Shaughnessy recalling a place and time not many of us ever saw, plus a little history with a great group of photos of the Rutland's Chatham Division. To many it was known as the Corkscrew. Jim tells his story of  his youthful days spent on the Corkscrew. In the same issue I should mention there is a neat article by my friend and past CVRHS contributor Jack Swanberg about his childhood visit to a NYC location. If you are interested in E-units you are in luck as the history of the units with many photos makes up the main feature...George Dutka  

Monday 4 June 2012

Rutland RPO no. 191

RPO no. 191 is seen on the head end of a Bellows Crossing bound passenger train.

Kit bashed Rutland RPO
originally built by John Blatherwick 
Re-post April 2012
Last month I purchased three RPO's at an area RR show in Burlington, Ontario. They are from my old friend John Blatherwick's collection that is being sold off by a dealer working for the family when he has table space available at shows. The RPO's are two Rutland and one CNR international service cars. All three John built in the mid 1980's, and reflect the detail and construction techniques of that era. The first car that I decided to update is Rutland RPO #191. I am not changing much since I want John's efforts to show through on the finished model.
John's model seen with the RRHS Newsliner photo.
John's Rutland Ry. RPO is seen on my work bench ready for some add=on details. You can see some of the roof ribbing has been shaved off already.

RPO #191 is part of a series of three RPO cars (190-192) built by Osgood-Bradley in 1928. It should be noted that these were the last passenger cars built for the Rutland Ry. All three were sold in 1956. The RPO's were 71 ton cars with a length of 70 feet. There is a good photo taken in Burlington, Vt. by John Gardner of #191 in RRHS Fall 1989, Newsliner. There also is a colour photo on page 92 in "Rutland in Colour."

John's notes that was included with the car mentioned using a AHM underframe, Athearn roof and a kit bashed body. The blue prints below indicates how he cut up the car sides and added a couple of new doors. I did not do any changes to the car other than shave off the ribs on the car's roof  to match the prototype. All the details are add-on's that I think add to the overall look of the car.

John's blueprint for kit bashing the Rutland RPO.

I began by adding Kadee #2022 miner brake wheel, Tichy #3045 stirrups, and Tichy #3053 24" straight grab irons. I also added steam coupler piping from my parts box and #9507 Alexander marker brackets. The trucks that John was using did not run all that well since it had the old over scale wheels. I had a extra set of Branchline trucks that I had not used while building a B&M coach. They look great and run much smoother. I used the same Kadee #5 couples that John had applied. One of the mail catchers was missing so I bent one from fine wire and applied.

I painted the roof and under body Floquil grimy black. I also had to do a bit of touch up to the car body with  Floquil Pullman green. The roof, sides and ends got a coat of Floquil flat finish followed by a light dusting of chalk weathering...George Dutka

A short Rutland Ry. passenger train is heading out of Bellows Crossing on the White River Division.


CPR 60' Boxcar Update

Robin's Rail 60' boxcar
Re-post from May 2012
  After my last post I got an e-mail from my friend Bob Hannah regarding the history of my International of Maine boxcar model. His memory appears better than mine. The boxcar was assembled by our friend Chris Martin for Peter Mumby who gave it to Bob as a Christmas present back in the 1980's. When Bob got out of modelling for awhile he passed it on to me. These days Bob dabbles in On30". If anyone is interested in this style of car I found an article in an old RMC magazine, April 1986. The article explains converting the Robin's Rails boxcar into various road names...George Dutka

CPR International of Maine 60' boxcar

  A 60' Boxcar
CPR International of Maine
Re-post from May 2012   
Sometimes you have a piece of rolling stock that just hangs around so long you forgot why you actually have it. Well mine is a Robin's Rail CPR 60' boxcar that has been sitting on top of my print box along with a few prototype photos I took to help with the details. I am thinking it has been sitting there for a decade along with a BAR 40' reefer. I was wrong, seems I took the photos to work with in 1989 and 1990...boy does time fly...22 years. Over the years these two models became my parts sources of trucks, couplers, and mounting screws. This past modellers season I finally decided to do something with these two cars. The BAR car I will cover in another post. I had just purchased 8 Bragdon weathering colours that I first tried on my D&H cement car. I thought this larger car side surface could be great for experimenting on. If I mess it up it could be repainted or finally retired. 

This car does not fit my 1950's era modelling but I do enjoy the other era's. I have enough equipment to run at least one or two trains from the 1960's and 1970's. I don't plan to build much more for what I call the modern era (anything after 1960)...but I do like to dabble with these era's.

All my car needed to be finished was Kadee couplers and a set of trucks. Once added I gave the entire car a coat of Floquil flat finish. When it was almost dry I began with the Bragdon powders. The underside and trucks got some of the rust colours brushed on. I like the look of Light Rust on the couplers which needs very little. I then moved to the roof then the ends and finally the sides. On the roof I began with Dark Rust followed by Soot, Ash and Medium Rust. I blended it together using my wider brush.  I used the same weathering powders on the ends but less of it. On the sides I began by streaking some Soot and Light Rust on followed with Ash over the lettering streaking it down below. I randomly added some Dark Rust. To get a better blend I used my finger to mix the powders together starting from the roof working down to the bottom of the car. This was done mainly over the lettering.

I think the car turned out great and it became a great working surface to play with my chalks...I think I will keep this one...George Dutka

The CPR 60' boxcar spent many years sitting on top of my photo box before I got around to it.

The CPR International of Maine 60' boxcar is seen with couplers added but awaiting trucks and weathering. The prototype photo are handy for weathering and checking details.

The weathering is well under way. I tried all my weathering colours on this project and have found a few favourites.

CPR yard London, Ontario June 1989

CPR yard London, Ontario June 1989. The Canadian Pacific and International of Maine is starting to reappear through the paint.