Friday 31 March 2017

B&M Tool Car

My tool car has a wooden roof...something that this car never had, it was steel. I like the looks of a worn out wooden walk on my out of service cars.
This week I pulled another one of my older new cars out from my storage drawers (I actually need room in there to put in the cars I purchased this winter and will not finish). This time it is a B&M lettered Front Range boxcar that I probably purchased 20 years ago. I decided to turn it into a tool car for my summer contemporary set up. It will be a drop in to replace the Petersburg station. The creamery across the track will become a lumber unloading area. The tool house looks different on both sides so I can turn it around for another version...George Dutka

I added a Grandt work car window, Black Cat CN caboose door, Bar Mills awnings, some signs, smoke stack and a Westminster Centre station sign over the door. Some grabs and ladders are attached, but most of the details are left off. I added a bill or mail box to each side of the building.

This is the other side. I modeled the door open so one can get a look at some additional details. PanPastels was the main go to for weathering of this car. I am really liking the looks of PanPastels and after a few dozen attempts I think I have figured it out.

Thursday 30 March 2017

A Visit to Bellows Falls

Bellows Falls Tunnel South portal January 2016.
Over the past week I have been communicating back and forth with Ian Stronach. Ian models the CPR in urban Montreal and has sent me some of his railfan photos from the past. His two pictures seen here are taken in Bellows Falls. The one above is from January 2016 on his annual pilgrimage to Springfield. Ian mentions that he cannot drive by Bellows Falls without a stop to check things out. It is only a little detour off I-91 and he hopes that a shot is to be had at the tunnel.  Last year did not disappoint him.
The picture below was taken on his first trip to Bellows Falls during October 1966, when Steamtown was still alive. Ian was 12 years old then and had no idea of the tunnel being under the city centre. On that trip he arrived after dark. That night he stayed in the Windham Hotel right above the tunnel for $3.00 a night.  It is now the new block in town as the old block burned down in a huge fire in the 1970’s which killed a firefighter.  The Windham was not exactly a Hilton hotel, but was the only room available that night.  At 3:00am the hotel started to shake while the 14-L whistle from the southbound B&M freight woke him up.  Out his window he saw the headlight just before it disappears under the hotel.  Needless to say as the sun rose he made sure to check out the town, tunnel and a walk across the bridge to North Walpole where he took this shot using his Yashica twin lens reflex camera, his first using 127 slide film. 

We will have some more goodies from Ian shortly...George Dutka
North Walpole Oct. 1966.

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Don Janes out West

Late in the day, Don Janes photo
Don Janes sent me these two photos that I though I should share with you. It appear a downturn in traffic has turned into a surplus of motive power, and guess what happens to them.  

The photo above shows a string of stored UP engines, likely well over 100, maybe close to 200.  They are stored on an old UP mainline that was a horseshoe curve, likely about two miles long filled with locomotives. This location is about 30 minutes east of Tucson.

The view below is the Sunset Ltd cresting the grade at Mescal, east of Tucson.  It was almost dark so focus was a little off, but still an interesting view...enjoy...George Dutka

Gord Taylor

May 23, 1977 Whitehall, NY. A young Gord Taylor
Bruce Douglas a good friend and traveling buddy of Gord's sent me this photo after seeing the view from last week of Gord. Bruce took this photos 40 years ago in Whitehall, NY...boy how time fly's...George Dutka

Monday 27 March 2017

Bulkhead Flat Mini-Scene

My latest train show acquisition.
I picked up a few contemporary cars for my summer fleet. I don't recall the gentleman's name but I have talked to him many times about New England as he is a New England modeler living in the St. Catherines area. I decided to get an early start at changing the layout over to summer time winter time modeling season ends in less than two weeks when the boat cover comes off.

Since this bulkhead I purchased has nice loads and are not strapped in, I decided to model them as being unloaded. I made bands a bit over scale out of electrical tape, and took some of the loads off the bulkhead. I have a few lumber loads given to me just lately by Chris Martin and a heavy piece of equipment that could be used as an un-loader that was given to me years ago by Bob Hannah. More on this mini-scene shortly...George Dutka.

The machinery that will be used in my mini scene is built by Bob Hannah. The lumber loads to the left are made by Chris Martin.

Sunday 26 March 2017

London & Port Stanley Ry.

L&PS spray car #204 at London, Ontario. April 23, 1955, photographer unknown.
One of the railroads from the past that operated out of London, Ontario was the L&PS. Here we have a few rolling stock photos from my collection that I hope some of you might enjoy...George Dutka

L&PS# B1 London, Ontario. August 24, 1947.

L&PS B2 South Pinafore, St. Thomas, Ontario. November 1, 1953.

Saturday 25 March 2017

A Walthers Coal Yard Office

Once the weathering was done I added a few weeds along the edges.
I purchased this structure earlier this winter. The structure is part of the Walthers coal yard scene and when I got it, it had been assembled and painted. What I did was add a few more details and weathered it with powders and PanPastels...George Dutka

I added some details to the interior and signs on the walls.

Some signs and newspapers are found inside the throughway.
The roof had a green look to it when I got it but I changed the colouring a bit with a wash of Floquil PC green. There was no chimney on the structure. I added a BEST casting painted Floquil boxcar red and weathered.

Friday 24 March 2017

B&M #114 - A Real Weathered Job

B&M 44 tonner #114 is about to switch the creamery on the WRD.

Last month I got around to weathering up my Bachmann 44 tonner. The B&M had a 44 tonner stationed at Bellows Falls for a number of years and that is the location mine will reside. A sneak peak of this engine at Westboro was on this weeks Wordless Wednesday.

I did not do much as far as changes, but did change out the couplers with Kadee true scale #158's. I wanted this engine to look well used so the Bragdon and PanPastel powders went on heavy. I also used gloss coat along the walkways by the engine compartment doors to simulate some leaking oil. When done it looked like I dropped it into a dirty vacuum cleaner bag. Not to worry this is when the engine weathering gets toned down with a light overspray of Floquil grimy black...I think it turned out well. For a more detailed explanation of what I did to my unit watch for an upcoming B&MRRHS Modelers Notes...George Dutka

How the Bachmann locomotive looked like right out of the box. Shiny with the engineman not standing out well.

Builders photos 1941. B&MRRHS

The colours used to weather this engine are two PanPastels and Bragdon Soot and Dark Rust.

This is how it looked before air brushing with Floquil grimy black. Looks like I dropped it in the vacuum dust bag. The key to getting this engine to look dirty but not overly gross is a light coat of black paint. Check the difference in the photos below. I added some gloss coat along the running boards and stacks as oil leaks prior to overspraying.

A canvas grill cover is made out of paper a simple addition. Wiper tips are painted silver.

Repainting the engineman makes him stand out more. The handrails are painted Floquil DRG&W yellow before weathering and painting.

Thursday 23 March 2017

LVRC - Modeling

John's nice looking Atlas model at his engine house.
Following my post last week of Gord Taylor photos from the LVRC John Hajnosz sent me the following photos and note...he is also happy to share them with you...enjoy...George Dutka

" Hello George, After seeing your latest post, I dug out one of my early Atlas RS jobs, here are some photos, one at the engine shed, another switching the Swanton mill and the last in front of Brigham Gelatin  scratch built from your photos that you and Marty posted, which were of great help...John"

Switching the Swanton, Vermont mill.

Brigham Gelatin along the CV.
An up close look.

Monday 20 March 2017

Tichy Hand Cars

This is a great deal for some additional details around a layout. They are very simple to build. Peter and I each built two in in about a hour at the end of one of our work day Monday's.
A few years back at Springfield I purchased a boxed group of Tichy hand cars. I built one of each when I got home. This past winter I decided to build the rest. On one of the work day Monday's (that Peter and I have over the winter) was to build an additional set of hand cars. Later in the same week I thought I best finish off the rest before moving on to other projects. These are a really easy build and I think look pretty good...George Dutka

When done I added some details to these trailers. They are now scattered around the WRD.

This is the first one I built. I painted it flat black then weathered it with powders.

These are painted Floquil CN yellow.

The last group of hand cars I painted Floquil CN orange.

Saturday 18 March 2017

Traffic Movement and Interchanging - B&M Railroad

Part of starting this blog other than modeling was to share as much prototype material and photos I can with you. This winter I began cleaning out some of my files drawer keeping what I still need and getting ready to unload stuff that needs a new home. I have a good box full to take to the Palmer, Ma. Library the next time I head out that way...they have a really nice railroad room. Other photos and material are set to go to historical societies and Sig groups. The following information I had copied down many years ago and don't have the name of the person I noted it from or the date. Not sure why but it was a B&M dispatcher...George Dutka

Interchange from other railroads to the B&M is as follows:

"Mentioned before during the 1940's, any day that 1,000 loads eastbound did not move through the Hoosic Tunnel  was a dark day. During the time I dispatched trains in Greenfield from the mid to late 1960's 600 cars eastbound was considered a good day with the average being 500 cars. The cars in my era are a lot bigger and heavier than then. Currently (2004) Guilford interchanged with CSX just under 80 loads at Rotterdam Jct. and 32 at Worcester. Of these 27 are auto racks. D&H (CP) delivered just under 50 cars. Nowhere else on Guilford did railroads interchanged reach double digits. If one takes in the eastbound coal traffic passing through the tunnel, another 200 cars a day are handled. The coal traffic is now four times it was a dozen years ago."

Friday 17 March 2017

Photos by Gord Taylor

Here is Gord at the throttle of  a LVRC locomotive...he is not going to get far as the locomotive is in the scrap line. Bruce Douglas photo. May 19, 1987.
Here we have a few more photos from the Gord Taylor collection. Gord and Bruce Douglas spent a lot of their time in Vermont photographing the St J. & LC and later the of the photos I scanned has Gord in the drivers seat...George Dutka

St Johnsbury, Vermont May 25, 1989.

Morrisville, Vt. May 23, 1989.

Thursday 16 March 2017

UP Inspection Train…… by Don Janes

An eastbound Intermodal train holds the main at the west end of Tucumcari, NM
While on my yearly pilgrimage to our place in Apache Jct., Arizona we pass through
the town of Tucumcari, NM. Located on Old Historic Route 66. At one time this was
where the Rock Island Lines routes from Kansas City, MO and Amarillo, TX merged and
trains were handed off to the Southern Pacific to continue south west to Texas and
California. Today it is all part of the Union Pacific with the line from Amarillo and points
east abandoned. It is still quite a busy route hosting a variety of intermodal, auto and
general freight trains. Passenger trains no longer ply this route that once hosted name
trains like the Golden State Ltd, a RI/SP train to California.
We usually stay at Amarillo on our second night on the road but with a snow and ice
storm forecasted for that area we decided to push on a couple of extra hours to
Tucumcari to get ahead of it. It turned out to be a good move as Amarillo was hit by a
nasty winter storm that night and the roads were treacherous. The day dawned quite
overcast and gloomy but I decided to swing by the old restored station and see if there
were any trains in sight. Just as I pulled up to the station an SD70 rolled by with an 80ft
flat car and track geometry car in tow. I didn’t even have time to get the camera turned
on and it was gone. Looking up the tracks I noticed a red signal on the track the train
was on so scooted up the road to where they had stopped. To the west, a headlight
appeared so I staked out a spot where I could shoot the trains but stay off the UP
property. Unfortunately, the inspection car was behind a tree and the crew was out
crawling around it so I didn’t want to get too brave and end up in the UP doghouse.
Within minutes the eastbound intermodal train passed and the inspection train started to
pull. I was able to get several shots of each train. Once it was gone we headed west to
the town of Santa Rosa, another Old Route 66 town that had a large trestle in a good
spot for photos but the train passed over the bridge just as we were driving by. The
conductor, having recognized the car gave us a friendly wave and then they were gone.
There are some great spots to shoot trains along Highway 40 once you get into
New Mexico and Arizona and I always try to get some photos on our trip out west. 
The conductor of the Inspection train gives the eastbound a visual roll-by
inspection. There were 2 DPU’s on the rear
The Inspection train has the light and is starting to pull westward

A couple of views of the track Geometry car

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Snapshot - Don Janes in Winslow, Arizona

A westbound train 30 miles from Flagstaff.
Don Janes is spending his winter once again in Arizona. He recently sent me a couple of shots he took while visiting Winslow, AZ.  So this month we have a second snapshot. The train is facing west with the mountain in the background about 30 miles away in Flagstaff.  The second view below is called "standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona" complete with the flatbed ford, a tribute to the rock group, the Eagles.

Traveling route 66.

Monday 13 March 2017

CV Caboose 4016

Freshly painted CV caboose 4016 is seen with it's original style steps still in place. I don't have a date for this photo.
Last Sunday I met up with fellow CV modeler and CVRHS member John Hajnosz at the Copetown train show. We had a nice visit and by the end of our visit we both had purchased a 55' bulkhead flat kit that could be used to build one of the following...CN, DWP or BCR car. John asked me a question that I did not have the answer for at the moment, but once I got home and looked through my files of photos found the answer. John wanted to know if any of the CV cabooses got the orange paint prior to having the end steps changed out. Here is an undated photo that shows CV 4016 freshly painted with its original steps. The caboose behind appears to be still in the mineral red not all your models need to have their steps changed out if you model the era of change...George Dutka

Sunday 12 March 2017

What I have been doing this past week.

One of my projects finished this week is a ball signal for Bellows Falls. I decided to build the wood post version which was in use till the end of the 1940's. I always liked the look of this one so now I have two. One at Bellows Crossing and one here. The metal post signal is in the future though.
I play old timer's basketball twice a week and this past week I rolled my ankle for the first time in about 20 years. Well I have been laid up not being able to walk or drive anywhere. A blessing in disguise for me but not my wife. She does not drive. I was able to hobble down to the basement (I now know why one needs chair lifts as one ages) and as long as I stayed put at my workbench with my leg raised I was fine. After three pretty long days downstairs working on anything but the layout, I really cleaned up a lot of projects. Now that my foot is starting to feel better it is catch up time my wife is saying on home projects and running around trips she needs done...might not see the basement again for awhile unless I can get out to basketball for another game...George Dutka

The ball signal under construction.

Peter and I have spent the last two work day Monday's working our our Tichy boxcars. Mine is ready for paint now after about an hour or two of extra effort. Thinking I better take another car over to Peter's on Monday to work on.
I also began my passenger shelter for Bellows Falls. 
I could not find any styrene long enough so it is being pieced together. The ends are cut wrong and will have another one applied shortly. I don't have any finished photos at the moment but this model is also done now.