Friday 30 September 2016

East Kingston - Station

East Kingston as it looked on Sept. 6, 2016.
On our way to the NNGC we stopped by the old B&M station at East Kingston, NH. I had seen it many times in photos but it was nice to see it up close. For B&M modelers a station one my consider building a model of. Although it was raining on and off we made our rounds...George Dutka

Station sign is in good shape.

A rail side view.

The rear wall.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Greenland Valley Railroad

One of the newer scenes is put together with FOS Scale Models flats...a really neat scene and one of my favorites.
One of the layouts opened prior to the NNGC was located in Greenland, NH, a B&M location. Actually the layout is located in view and only around the corner from the station...more on the station shortly. Don and I had an interesting visit to a layout that has pulpwood operations, street running, waterfront locations and a great selection of craftsman kits. Dave Kotsonis models the B&M during 1940's to 50's time period in a 22' by 30' area....after checking out the following photos take a look at the May 2004 MR issue...George Dutka

Pulpwood loading is a major focal point on this layout.

One of many waterfront scenes.

MEC street running using Digitrax DCC.
A nicely modeled woodchip service car.

One of many nice pulpwood cars that fill in the fleet.

The Portsmouth station is a nice build that will find a home shortly on the layout.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

A Day Operating Bill Moore's B&M Don Janes

Bill Moore (center) goes over the operating procedures as Dan Lewis (left) and Rad Jones (right) take it all in.

Operating on a Boston & Maine Layout

     Several years ago I met Bill Moore, a fellow New England modeller and since then we have become very good friends sharing many common interests in the hobby.  I first visited Bill in the Detroit area and saw his beautiful Boston and Maine layout which was the cover feature in the Aug.2012 issue of Model Railroader.  Since then Bill has retired from his job as a University Professor and has moved to a beautiful home in rural Michigan just outside Imlay City.  Here he has built a new 21' x 28' layout which features the Boston & Maine as the primary railroad with connections with the Central Vermont. Although not the official name, he says "I call it the Requiem Railroad because, at my age, it is likely to be my last. I guess I would call it the Boston & Maine-Central Vermont Interchange". Bill says he has completed phases 1 and 2 of a three phase layout.  All of the benchwork and track work is complete for the three major yards of White River Jct., Concord and Enfield and scenery work has been started. Phase 3 will be the Maine Central Line through Crawford's Notch but Bill says that is still a few years in the future.  
     One of Bill's main passions in model railroading is operation.  He has worked very hard to create a layout geared for operation.  Many hours have been spent designing yards and towns that will fit into a  sequential operating plan. In the case of White River Jct., it has been rebuilt to better accommodate his operating plan.  Not a small job considering all the turnouts have been built using Fastracks turnout components. Bill first studied the prototype railroads to figure out what he wanted to include in his operations then designed the layout to make it all come together.
Here Bill shows us the prototype map showing the area modeled and the lines he is representing on the layout.
In this photo Bill is describing how he has interpreted the layout design based on the prototype map.
     As you can  see from the above photos Bill's layout had been built in a very bright room to make the operating experience a pleasant one.  There are wide aisles and all the lighting is provided by pot lights spaced to give the layout a nice even light. The floor is finished with a soft light coloured carpet which really helps when standing for long periods during an operating session.  All this work was done before the layout was started.
Bill is explaining how the new control panel at White River Jct. works.  With two double slip turnouts in the yard to save space the push button matrix really saves operators time trying to figure out the routes.
Veteran operator Gale Saxton is switching at White River jct. while bill keeps an eye on things. The Concord Station and coal tower are in the background.
       Without getting too complicated describing the operations, the layout is  designed with operators at the three major yards (mentioned earlier) making up trains destined for various other yards and mainline crews taking those trains to their destinations and doing any other required switching enroute.  Each train is run in a specific sequence and has a "Form 19" order that lists everything the train is required to do from the start to the finish of the assignment.  A car card system is used to route cars to their next destination and a card for each car is left at the yard or industry where the car is located.  The hardest part of the whole thing is to get familiar with the various tracks and industries on the layout but Bill has a done a great job of labeling everything either on the fascia or on the layout itself and I was surprised how quickly I learned where everything was.
This is one of the sceniced areas that had a lot of operations in a small space. Industries include Mcleod Oil,  The Rumford Press, Robertson Paper and Armour Beef Co. 

Another view of this industrial area.
    Besides Bill designing the layout and building the benchwork, he has built some very impressive structures and his weathering techniques are second to none.The ares that he has finished look great and now that he has the trackwork pretty much finished and the operating scheme in place Bill plans to forge ahead with some more scenery.  I might add also that the layout runs flawlessly due to excellent trackwork and is controlled by a Lenz DCC system. Bill is an excellent modeller and I can't wait until my next visit to see what progress he has made with more scenery and structures.   
     The operating session ran from 10am to 3:30pm and the time just flew by. Bill's wife Juli provided a delicious lunch also.We had five operators plus Bill overseeing the operations.  Bill is a gracious host and we all enjoy being part of his operating crew, always looking forward to the next one.
Here we see Dan Lewis working Enfield Yard.  Dan is an excellent N Scale modeller and has had many articles published in all of the major hobby magazines.

This is a view of the Concord roundhouse and engine facility.  The turntable is a Walthers product and is fully indexed.
Gale, Rad and Dan relax in the comfortable crew lounge at one end of the room
The operating crew posed for a group photo after the session. Left to right - Don Janes, Gale Saxton, Greg Rich, Bill Moore, Dan Lewis and Rad Jones

Monday 26 September 2016

D&H Whitehall, NY

Friday, May 21, 1991 at Whitehall, NY Gord Taylor photo
His is a small group of scanned slide of a visit to Whitehall, NY by Gord Taylor and Bruce Douglas when there still was something there...George Dutka

May 21, 1991 Gord Taylor photo

Whitehall, NY May 21 1991 Gord Taylor photo.

Sunday 25 September 2016

White River Division - Construction Photo's

A B&M milk train heads over the causeway, one of the first scenes to be finished and the first to be removed from service on the White River Division. A Rutland Ry. train is seen in the background near the summit future scene.
I scanned some older views from when I was still constructing the White River Division. Have a look at how some area's came together...George Dutka

The Northfield Falls scene is coming together. I have a photocopy of the covered bridge in place. The farm scene is almost done. Note the barn mock-up that was set in place for about a year. Once I built the model it was too big and a smaller version was built. The larger barn was converted into the Fairlee freight house.

A CV RS-3 heads out of hidden staging on the CV lead. I began with cardboard forming the hillsides. The scratchbuilt A frame bridge is from a past layout which was used to hide a hole in the wall were a wye tail was extended. The prototype is from a local CN bridge west of London, Ont.
This is the area heading to Bellows Falls and also near the area of the old duck-under. The B&M style milk platform is set on Gatorfoam which will be later set into the area marked out by stripwood.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Narrow Gauge Convention Report - Best Modular Layout in Show Don Janes

Soggy Bottom and Deep Cut Railway, Navigation & Cartage Co.

     One of the best attractions at the National Narrow gauge Convention in Augusta Maine was the three rooms full of Modular layouts.  George and I had visited two of the rooms and were extremely impressed with the high quality layouts on display but one evening while going over the convention brochure George discovered we had missed an entire room which was tucked away down several isolated corridors.  The next day we visited this secret room and discovered some of the best modular layouts at the convention.  My favorite in the room was this featured layout brought to the convention by a group from Ohio.  It turned out that the Soggy Bottom "O" scale layout won the best Modular Layout in Show Award decided by popular vote.  There were many layouts with more trains and railway equipment but I think it was the overall quality of the work and natural look of the scenes that made this such an attractive layout to view.  The workmanship was superb.  
This war scene shows a part of one side of the layout illustrates the effect given by the shadow box design
     The neat thing about this layout it was built using a shadow box design.  There were two side scenes and two end scenes, each in their own shadow box.  This effect separated the scenes from each other giving the impression of a longer run for the train without needing a lot of open space between scenes.  The other nice feature was the even lighting on the entire layout created by lights above the layout behind a valance created by the shadow box.  This made photographing the layout without a flash very easy as lighting was bright and evenly distributed over all of the scenes
     Sit back and enjoy the photos and see if you don't agree that this was a great looking modular layout.
Here is the other end of the wharf scene showing the busy dockside activity.  Notice how the train cleverly enters the scene under the walkway on the structure on the right.
This old mill scene fills the entire end module.  There is are are many great little detail scenes within the overall mill scene such as the photographer at the end of the platform. He must be waiting to shoot the next train through town.
The other end of the layout features this water tank scene based on the old Petticoat Junction TV series. Note the curious guy in the tree at left sneaking a peak of the three bathing beauties in the water tank. Look closely at the right of the photo and you can see where the train enters this scene. It is very well hidden.
The layout features several well detailed trackside scenes depicting the late 1800's.  Looks like the horse followed his master into the store.
Another shot of the above area from a different angle.
Looks like there are no environmental regulations in effect judging from the oily water pouring out of the discharge pipe at the "Old Canal Deswillery"
A narrow gauge train is passing the wharf while a fellow on the dock is waiting for a barge to come in.

Monday 19 September 2016

Covered Bridge Model - Hunterline

A new offering by Hunterline on display at Augusta, Maine.
Hunterline premiered their new covered bridge kit at this years National Narrow Gauge Convention. Here are a few views...think this one will be a good seller. On another note leaving in the morning to Vegas so might not be any posts till I get back on the weekend although I think Don has something planned for you...George Dutka

Railranning Exeter, NH

The Boston bound Northeaster arrives at Exeter, NH on Sept. 6, 2016
Don and I stopped by the station in Exeter, NH on our way to visit Tom Oxnard's B&M layout in town. We found that we arrived close to the time of the Boston bound Northeaster so we decided to wait. It was also operating with a dome car so that was also neat to see. Listening in to the conversation of a few waiting passenger they had come to ride the dome car that day. The weather sucked due to Hermine and as the train arrived it began raining once again, Oh well...George Dutka

Flyer at station.

The dome car was right behind the engine.

Departing Exeter as it begins to rain. The old B&M station is seen to the left used as a general store and diner.

On the tail end is the Cabbage car.

Sunday 18 September 2016

Snapshot - September 2016

A short PanAm train is set to go to Portsmouth, NH on Sept 6 2016.
Rockingham Jct.
After visiting layouts in Exeter and Greenland, NH  Don and I visited Rockingham Jct. NH during our trip to Maine. Thanks to Dan Raymond for guiding us to this location a short distance away. This day was one full of rain and overcast sky's thanks to hurricane Hermine. At Rockingham Jct.a PanAm train is awaiting a crew to continue on...possibly Portsmouth, NH. The train is sitting on this branch line just off the corridor main line running north and south. Not many options for a good photo as it was later in the day and very overcast. The rain had stopped which was a blessing as we still had a long drive ahead. For my photo I just decided to crop out the whole sky and surrounding area with the wooden overhead bridge we stood on for the photo...this is what I came up with....George

A Visit to Waterville, Maine

Two PanAm geeps work the Saturday yard job pulling a cut of cars out beyond the yard area.
Last Saturday Don and I decided to head up to Waterville, Maine to check out the yard, shops and engine facilities of the old MEC. As it turned out most was not accessible to us, which was no surprise. The yard lead does stretches out of the yard leaving us some options to photograph the yard work. We also got a good view from a playground used by a local daycare...lucky it was a Saturday or we would have been in trouble there also...was nice to see the MEC heritage unit up close working the yard...George Dutka

Two vintage way to travel in one photo. This is the crossing in the yard near the offices.

Guilford boxcars that seem to be well painted.
Was neat to find a MEC geep working the old MEC yard and on a sunny day to boot. Sept. 10, 2016
Don and I found this impressive bridge that crosses the river in Waterville with mills in the background. There is a dam on the right side of the photo which gave us some other interesting photo options...if only there was a train.