Sunday 28 July 2013

A Vermont Barn Along Route 5

This scene would look great either in the background of a layout or close to the foreground to hide the trackage heading into another room or scene.
Wordless Wednesday No 25. viewed a barn I came across just south of White River Junction on my way to Windsor, Vermont. It has a lot of character and includes a large garage across the road. This could make a nice modelling project. It is near to the old CV line but not within sight though...George Dutka

This is a road side view of the property. I really like the look of the metal roofing which could be duplicated in model form.
The garage is located across the road from the barn and home. I have run across this a lot throughout New England.

Saturday 27 July 2013

What's in the Box? - No. 2

All the packages and parts are seen along with the plans, photos and instructions.

B&M Westboro NH Sand House
One of the scenes I am planning to add to the White River Division during reconstruction  is a small peninsula that will connect to WRJ. It will be a few shop tracks and structures found near the B&M Westboro engine house. Although I will not have space for the roundhouse and turntable I thought of adding the diesel fuel track, sand house that is seen above, sand loading tower, section house, station and the other small structures found near by. Westboro was a compact facilities. I have already measured the station and section house for future construction. Westboro will make a nice spot to display my fleet of B&M-CPR engines when not in use.

The sand house kit is another offering by RailroadKITS that I purchased last fall at the Lancaster Expo. It was originally released by White River Structures of Granville, OH.  They mention in the instructions that the structure was built around 1904 and used into the early 1970's. It appears to still hold a third of its original sand and for some years was used for paint ball practise by weekend warriors. Today it is surrounded by a high fence and well secured.

The kit comes with two great photos that will be helpful, a set of plans (6 pages) including a location page for all the parts full size. The instructions are lengthy, 14 pages. The original kit (or early releases) has laser-cut walls and lumber by Northeastern Scale Lumber, not sure what RailroadKITS are using now. My kit's wood looks great.

The windows appear to be Grandt Line and the other metal parts Alexander Scale Models. Ladders and walks are from Central Valley. A package of sand is also included. The roof material is flimsy and will be changed out with styrene. Also the tar paper roofing will be switched with BEST roofing.

The kit looks like a good build that should not have many problems. I have already figured out all the assembly steps by just using the drawing and part location sheets. I will fill you in this fall with how it went together once I have a  finished model...George Dutka

The Westboro sand house during the fall of 2011. The structure is now secured behind fencing.

Monday 22 July 2013

Colourful Boxcars of the 1950's

One of my NH orange 40' boxcars is seen near the tail end of a CPR train which is nearly all boxcar red.
 There was some discussion last week on Marty McGuirk's SNE Ry. yahoo group regarding the many bright and colourful boxcars found on the New England lines during the 1950's. The range of the conversation was dates these cars first appeared in service to if one should even consider running them on a layout. It was thought that too much colour might distract from the vintage looks of strings of  boxcar-mineral red cars. Someone even mentioned a B&M minuteman blue boxcar behind a steam engine would look out of place. Well it probably would, but the B&M was all diesel by the time this scheme arrived. I do recall seeing one of these B&M boxcar in a WRJ yard photo during that era. The colourful boxcars of the 1950's were not anything new as colourful reefers had been running for sometime. In an earlier era billboard milk cars with big lettering lot of colour was also the norm.

After reading the posts I took a look through my pictures to see how I actually felt about my own group of colourful boxcars that do operate over the White River Division. I think they look right at home along with all my other rolling stock. What do you think...George Dutka

A Kadee model PS-1 B&M blue boxcar is trailing a new CV arrival in the late 1950's.
A NH black boxcar with an orange door and full size herald is seen next to an earlier era wooden caboose on a WRD B&M train.
An older B&M S-2 Alco handles a  Rutland Ry. modern era boxcar in this mid 1950's scene.
A string of colourful reefer are seen awaiting departure in White River Jct.

Friday 19 July 2013

WRD Tear Down Process

The left portion of this photo views the area that once was the hidden staging. It will become the foreground once completed.
With all the hot and humid weather this week I have been home and in the best place in the house, the basement were it is really cool. I decided this would be a good time to tear out the areas that needed to be removed so I can rebuild the layout as a operating point to point line. The staging yard will become the foreground with this side of the layout narrowed by almost half. Some of the bench work needs to be cut out and re-braced. I did all this surprisingly in one long afternoon. I am at the point that I can now play with some three foot long flex track pieces. I have a few good ideas but they still need tweaking...George Dutka

Looking into White River Jct. yard from the point that once was the duck under. As you can see a lot was removed from this area. The WRJ yard will be built along the rear wall which once was staging.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Green Mountain Division Expansion - Don Janes

Two freight trains are tucked away in two of the three staging tracks I recently completed. Note the smooth flowing lines of the curved by Don Janes

Staging Tracks Complete

     Since my last post I have built five turnouts and finished installing the three long staging track along the north wall of the layout.  The two inside tracks will hold a total of twenty cars, including locomotives and caboose and the one along the wall about twenty five cars.  I could also stage two shorter trains in one track. To get the most out of my available space I decided I would need to build curved turnouts leading to and at each end of the staging tracks.  I have been using Fast Tracks products for quite a long time and decided to use their Twist Tie turnout tie sections for all the curved turnouts.  These sections are designed to be flexible and bent to fit your track arrangement.  They have pre-drilled spike holes and laser cut scribed lines where the rails are to be placed making scratch building turnouts a dream.  They come in several different frog angles for both right and left turnouts.  For this project I used two # 8 right hand, one # 8 left hand and one each of # 7 right and left hand tie sections.  The resulting track work is smooth flowing and extremely reliable.  Check out the Fast Tracks web site for their complete product line.
     Once all the turnouts and track were installed I added Tortoise switch motors.  The main power bus is #14 solid copper wire.(14-2 house wire)  I dropped down smaller gauge track feeder wires at about four foot intervals to keep a good electrical flow to the track.  For years I have seen articles about using "suitcase connectors" for connecting feeders wires to the main track bus wires but this is the first time I have tried using them.  Let me tell you, they are great.  Fast and clean. No more crawling around under the layout soldering feeders while laying on my back.  I would highly recommend these to anyone doing any track wiring.  I bought mine from Micro Mark but they can be purchased at numerous places including Princess Auto.
     After all the wiring was done I built a temporary control panel for the switch machine switches so I could test run the trains through all the turnouts and staging tracks.  Everything seems to work as planned so now its on to designing the rest of the layout track plan.  
Here is an example of Fast Tracks "Twist Ties"  The lower one shows how they come from Fast Tracks and the upper one shows how the ties can be curved to fit a specific location.  Note also the pre-drilled spike holes and scribed lines where the rails go.  These examples are #6 right and left hand turnout tie sections.

These are the turnouts just after the track enters the new room.  The turnout on the right is for a future spur track and the one on the left leads to the new staging tracks
Here we see the opposite end of the staging tracks with a #8 right hand turnout.

I have started using "suitcase connectors" for my drop down track feeders and Tortiose switch motors.  These make wiring a dream. 

Saturday 13 July 2013

Johnsonville, NY - Tower Model

A few weeks ago the NEW&B Facebook page mentioned a model of the prototype Johnsonville Tower was available. As noted on the kit page "The prototype is located in Johnsonville, New York at the former junction of the Boston and Maine Railroad’s (B & M’s) East-West Mainline and its Troy, New York Branch.  Not only was this junction home to B & M freight and passenger trains making connections to the New York Central Railroad over the Troy Branch, but it was also frequently used by the Delaware and Hudson (D & H) and Rutland Railroads.  Johnsonville Tower was built in 1931 as part of the B & M’s initial investment in Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) and was retired in 1962 when CTC functions were further consolidated into Greenfield, Massachusetts.  This tower was used for storage until the mid-1970's when it was abandoned."

The kit is available from N Scale Architect for just under $80. Link to the kit is below...George Dutka

Friday 5 July 2013

B&M - Johnsonville, NY

A track side view of the station. Note the concrete platform is still in place.
Last spring I stopped by Johnsonville, NY to see what remains of the abandoned tower and if the station still remains. The station is currently used as a home and is in good repair. The tower still stands but in poor shape. I did hang around for a bit...but never saw any trains go by. Would have been nice to have a freight in the background...George Dutka

Looking east at the rear and west wall. It is currently a home.

A look west towards the tower from the station.

The tower is in poor shape.