Friday 31 July 2015

July Snapshot Follow-up

On train #387 after pulling through the yard and a set off in another track...a process that happens each time we arrive in Sarnia. The train is heading west and mile wise about  half way through our trip. While the conductor ties down the set off I decided to take this view through the rear window. Not quite the red glow that I would see the next few trips before I retired.
Sarnia Sunrise
Following up on July 2015 Snapshot I had a couple more views from my 2009 runs to share with you...enjoy...George

What a great morning glow Nov. 9, 2009 in Sarnia, Ont from the cab window of train #386. Not many times do you see the whole sky red such as this. This happened to me for about three trips in a row. Once coupled to the train I will depart to London and off duty in about 2-3 hours.

Thursday 30 July 2015

MEC Athearn Caboose - Upgraded

MEC #661 is seen in service this summer on the WRD. Some minor changes have made it appear more like the prototype. The caboose came over to the MEC from the Western Maryland Ry.
I was comparing my MEC Athearn caboose made specifically for the Danbury Railroad Museum to photos of the prototype the other day and found a few discrepancies that I thought could be an easy fix. One the smoke stack is on the wrong side and the second is the running boards did not have end platforms. The stack can be cut off and a new one added. The wood running boards are removed and the platforms cut off. With a touch up of paint and weathering it looks more like the prototype...George Dutka

Parts added are Trackside Parts #193 smoke jacket (straight), Tichy corner grabs, roof #3028 and Tichy straight grabs #3021.
End grabs and cupola corner grabs are seen added. A new smoke stack is also in place. The conductor is ready for his next run if the shop staff get their act in gear.

The smoke stack is a Trackside Parts straight offering. I added a small piece of scrap styrene to complete the look. One can see the end grabs in place of the roof walk platform. I decided to add Tichy cupola corner grabs as found on the prototype which is an easy chore. The grabs and any paint removed from the roofing is painted a mix of Floquil coach green mixed with a dab of brunswick green.

In service the conductor appears happy with the overall look of his caboose. He does complain  a bit about the molded on  curved handrails on the sides. It appears he is having a problem getting a hold of them when the caboose is on the move. I considered scraping them off and adding wire handholds, but it would make a mess of the nice paint they are staying as is.

Both sides of the caboose have been weathered differently. This side although still pretty clean is a bit dirtier than the other side. The weathering at the moment is all Bragdon powder but when I get to airbrushing again, an overcoat of grimy black will be dusted on the roof.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

CNR Timetable Sept. 30, 1951

CNR Passenger timetable 1951.
Here is a timetable from my area that might be of some interest to a few of my fellow bloggers. One of my wife's friends passed it along...n-joy...George Dutka

Monday 27 July 2015

Snapshot - July 2015

Looking east from the cab of CN 8800 on Nov. 9, 2009. This engine at that time already had 214,700 miles.
A Sarnia Sunrise
Just before I retired from the CNR my regular run was #386-387 London, Ont. to East Detroit, Mi.. The runs are mostly night work with arrivals in Sarina, Ont. about sunrise in both directions. We railroaders actually see more sunrises than sunsets. I decided to take my camera along to capture a few of the neat sunrise I had been seeing over the last few weeks. On this occasion it was my fourth last run. I took this photo balancing my camera on the top of the engineman's seat. The train is at the east end of Sarnia yard looking east...George Dutka

Sunday 26 July 2015


An Atlas Alco decoder that should make my conversion of CV 8081 easier.
At Collinsville this year I picked up a NCE decoder which is a drop in and go version. I think this will make the conversion very easy. Don and I also picked up a few I-phone speakers which will work with a sound decoder. There actually was a clinic on this topic which we missed due to a late breakfast and a structures photo shoot in downtown Collinsville. We did get the scoop shortly after by one of our regular blog readers. "Using I-phone speakers" by Kaylee Zheng was the 9am clinician this year at Collinsville. Don looked into the speakers for us and we both left with a few speakers. It does makes sense to use this type of speaker as Apple cell phones have great quality sound and considering the minimal cost of purchasing the speaker, it is a great option. Don will take it from here...George Dutka

Two of the I-Phone speakers are seen here in their packages.

Tsunami Sound and I-phone Speaker Don Janes

B&M 1558 is equipped with a Tsunami decoder and I-phone speaker
     As George mentioned, we picked up some I-phone speakers at the Collinsville show to give them a try.  I really wish I could have attended the clinic about them but after talking to the rep from Loksound I was convinced they would be a good choice and decided to buy four that I could use in future projects.  At $2.90 there wasn't a lot at stake if they didn't work out.  My first engine to receive one was an Atlas GP-7.  I am a real Soundtraxx Tsunami sound decoder fan so that is what I went with for the decoder.  I used an EMD 567 AT-1000 which is a direct replacement for the Atlas lightboard. 
The Tsunami EMD 567 TSU AT-1000 is made as a direct replacement for the Atlas light board. The TSU-GN1000 for Athearn Genesis engines is shown here but is similar to the AT-1000.

This is the I-phone speaker.  The two small brass wires are where the decoder wires are attached.  $2.90 is a great price when compared to $10-$12 for model speakers of comparable quality.
This is the location of the I-phone speaker in a GP-7 long hood.  It is set back from the front so it won't interfere with the light lens and LED.  It fits nicely above the motor and decoder in the long hood.
      Once I got the decoder installed and was sure it was working correctly I added the lights.  For this I used a pair of Golden White LED's, one at each end with a 1K, 1/4 watt resistor on each LED.  In order to get the headlight and class lights to illuminate when the headlight was turned on I used the end of the clear plastic light bar and placed the LED's directly behind it.  As you can see from the photo above these lights really show nicely.
     Once the lights were tested and working properly it was time to add the I-phone speaker.  The GP-7 is a prime candidate for this speaker with its spacious long hood.  The I-phone speaker measures 2" long x 3/8" wide x 3/16" thick making ideal for installation in high hood roadswitchers, F units or steam engine tenders. The photo above shows the location of the speaker and it was held in place with a piece of double edged tape.  Once it is installed it is just a matter of attaching the speaker wires from the decoder to the two small tabs on the speaker.
     With the decoder, LED's and speaker installed I replaced the hood on the chassis and put the engine on the track for a test run.  When I fired it up I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the sound that the I-phone speaker produced.  I feel that the sound is as good or maybe a little better than the 16mm x 35mm and 1" round speakers I have used in previous installs in similar locomotives.  I feel that there is a little more bass in this speaker (which really enhances the throaty EMD 567 engine) than other model speakers but like any sound, it is subjective.  The trick to good sound is to have the speaker in a good enclosure.  In the case of the I-phone speaker the speaker and enclosure are already integrated into one unit and since it is for an I-phone you know it has the best design possible for quality sound.  I know our I-phone has great sound and this is also true for my locomotive with the I-phone speaker.
     Once satisfied with the install I put the engine on the program track and programmed in a new long address of 1558, changed CV's to enable brake squeal, air compressor sounds and cooling fans cycling on and off. The factory default volume is much too loud for home layout use so I cut back the individual sound to a more acceptable level.  Combining the smooth running quality of the Atlas locomotive, great sound effects from the Tsunami and excellent sound quality of the I-phone speaker I am extremely pleased to add this sound equipped locomotive to my roster.
     I checked out the Much Buy web site, , and found these I-phone speakers for $2.99 and if you buy 8 they are only $2.19 each so if you want to order 8 and split the order with your friends you can save even more money.  Put the SKU number 4564 in the search.
The shop staff has fired up the 1558, tested the lights and are now having a break while the engine crews gets ready to head out on their next assignment.

Thomas the Tank - St. Thomas, Ontario

At the southern edge of the city, Thomas has just started the return trip to the Memorial Centre.
                                         Thomas at St. Thomas
                                               Photos and Story by Peter Mumby

I know it's nice and cool in the basement, but the weather outside is fine - and Thomas is in St. Thomas!  So, put down that hobby knife, cap up that tube of glue, and put the lid back on that kit box.  Grab the grandkids and head off for a "Day out with Thomas."  They'll love seeing Thomas and Sir Topham Hatt, and they'll have a renewed interest in your layout when they return home.

A Day Out with Thomas is the major annual fund raiser for the Elgin County Railroad Museum.  The train is boarded at the St. Thomas - Elgin Memorial Centre and heads to the south edge of the city.  The North section of this trackage is city-owned; the south portion belongs to Port Stanley Terminal Rail.  ECRM contributes a coach and a former troop sleeper to the consist, while the locomotive and the balance of the rolling stock are provided by PSTR.

Here we see PSTR L3 "Winnie" leaving the Memorial Centre.  In an earlier life, L3 toiled for the Greater Winnipeg Water District as their #103, and started its career 12/1950 as CN 7751.

ECRM "troop sleeper" 8367 is ex-C&O service 910076, built 3/1948.  Be careful if you are going to run one of these on your layout - those Allied Full Cushion trucks have been banned from interchange since 1955!

This ECRM coach (PS, 1955) originated as LIRR 2841.  It pays the freight by carrying a lot of City of St. Thomas advertising.
Thomas crosses Elm St with the assistance of a volunteer flag person.  July 24, 2015.mas at St. Thomas.

Saturday 25 July 2015

Fast Forwarding - Era Change on the White River Division

Central Vermont power awaits an assignment in White River Jct. yard on the White River Division. It is the 1960's or 1970's depending on the other rolling stock added. CV 4547 is actually a Front Range engine I turned into a dummy unit. GT 4450 is an Athearn unit that is un-powered also. I guess I best run a DCC sound unit down to the yard or these guys are not going anywhere soon.
Era changing this summer 
I got to taking a few photos of what I have out on the layout as far as equipment this summer. I tried to pick locations that do not look like the 1950's. Some photos needed extra cropping to take care of that. Lets see how it all looks like for the moment. At some point I best find a few vehicles, details and structure that help set the era better....George Dutka

A look into White River Junction yard we find MEC, PC, CPR and CNR rolling stock awaiting routing. All have some degree of modifications and weathering added.

The tracks are full behind the Fairlee, Vt. freight house. The gondola is an Ertl model and the boxcars are Details West products.
A CPR freight passes the only detail that does not really fit the scene...the ball signal might have been around but not in use. A track full of cars are ready for a B&M lift.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

HO scale - Tie Plates

A good stockpile of tie plates ready for use this fall.
Monster modelworks have two styles of tie plates. They are laser cut on wooden sheeting. Although they are a bit pricey considering the exchange on the Canadian dollar Monster modelworks had a one day July 4th sale which was 20% off. I contacted Don Janes and put in an order for 4 sheets, two for each of us. I plan on using mine in a work service gondola and some piles around the yard in White River Jct. Will have to see, there might be another order in the future...I am sure they will get used up fast...George Dutka

Web site photo of how they may look when finished.
A pile of tie plates and a neatly stacked row of tie plates are seen in the Canaan, Ct. yard on May 31. 2015.
A close up look at the tie plate sheeting. I plan to try Floquil rail brown to start followed by rusty powders and chalks. Will fill you in on what works.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Water Spouts

The water spout located at the shop tracks Greenfield Village.
I had covered prototype and model water spouts in posts dated Nov 26, 2011, Nov. 27 2011 and Dec 11, 2011. I thought I would share these views from Greenfield Village. One is found at the entrance gate station stop, a second next to the roundhouse on the shop tracks and the main water tank along the mainline next to the roundhouse and coal tower. I would have liked to see one in action but I must have been at the wrong spouts through the day...George Dutka

A good look at the spout at the main entrance station stop.
The main gate station stop has a water spout located just off the platform.

Saturday 18 July 2015

Canaan Union Station - Vintage Views

This early era photo has a northbound train stopped at the station blocking the diamond crossing. The semaphore signal is currently installed in the parking lot.
Here are some extra interesting views and postcard of the Canaan, Connecticut station and surroundings from various era`s. Built in 1872 one can find more views of this station on line. The station has a historical society that is always looking for more images...George Dutka

A passenger train stopped at the station in 1948.
To the west of the station was a large steel water tank which is not seen in many station photos. Charles Gunn photo 1954.

A 1940's view looking north.

Ground floor 1948 and track plan.

Canaan 1948

The Canaan depot is of Victorian influence. G. H. Bundy a cabinet maker was the craftsmanship that makes the building distinct. The chief engineer of the railroad was credited with the design. The second floor once housed a lunch counter or restaurant.
Built in 1872 this station was almost totally destroyed by a fire in Oct. 2001. Hard to believe it was rebuilt.
A postcard from 1905 views the station.

Friday 17 July 2015

Canaan, Connecticut - Station 2015

Canaan Union station looking north on May 31 2015. It was used by the New Haven Ry. and actually served as a passenger station till 1971.
Don and I stopped by Canaan, Connecticut and the rebuilt Union Station once used by the New Haven Ry. I had seen many photos over the years of this station but did not know where Canaan was. As it turned out it was almost on our route home from Collinsville RPM. We stopped by the RR Model & Hobby Supply in Winsted, Ct. There we found a built HO scale model of the Canaan station. We then realized how close Canaan was to our present location and off we went...George Dutka

Looking east the light colour portion of the structure is the new build after a fire which destroyed a large portion of the station in Oct. 2001.

The diamond at the south side of the station has been removed a few years ago.

A roadside view of the station. The highway signs help you get your bearings. As one can see the light painted wing of the station is all new. That must have been a huge undertaking repairing this structure.

The yard north of the station is still busy with a good supply of covered hoppers. As you can see we are having a rainy visit.
I took this shot using my telephoto lens from the engine facilities of the Housatonic Ry. There is a rock cut between the two locations.
I found this sign on the station.