Saturday 30 June 2018

Green Mountain Division - MR Desktop Wallpaper

A current MR download. Rutland RS-1 no. 405 has finished its day's work on the local and is hustling back to North Bennington.
A recent e-mail from Model Railroader had a great photo taken by Don Janes. Don's photo is the current MR desktop wallpaper download...nice work Don...George Dutka

Friday 29 June 2018

The Great Rapido Excursion - Third Annual Dealer Open House

The Rapido bus is on display plus ready to take us out for a tour.
Story by Peter Mumby
Photos and Captions by George Dutka

Monday June 25 was the date of the most recent Rapido dealer open house - the day had been circled on our calendars for at least the six previous weeks.  As usual, we packed a lunch, as a full day had been planned.  We decided in advance that, on the eastward trip, we would avoid the multi-lane highways as much as possible.  Accordingly, we followed county roads from Ingersoll to Hamilton, then from Hamilton to Mississauga.  The final leg to Markham would take us over the 407 toll route.

As normal, our day would involve a three-pronged program - railfanning, hobby shop visits, and the open house itself.  The day dawned with a cloudless sky, so we were optimistic about the railfan photography component.  Unfortunately, the trains proved to be almost as scarce as the clouds.  However, we both enjoy photographing rolling stock, so this was our saving grace at Ingersoll and Beachville.  We were reduced to shooting vehicles at Paris, and our time at Copetown was devoted exclusively to eating lunch.  Our best location turned out to be Hamilton's Stuart St. yard.  Here we caught a CN mainline freight and a Southern Ontario transfer job.  We were glad to see SOR in action, as this yard work is scheduled to be taken back by CN in 2019.

Ties being unloaded at Beachville on the OSR. Peter and I took a close look at the covered hoppers which we found interesting.
We visited two hobby shops en route.  Paris Hobbies featured a sale table with a few items which ultimately proved irresistible.  We were able to resist temptation at Credit Valley, but while we were there the large TV screen featured a live Jason Schron podcast from Rapido Trains, so we were apprised of the new product announcements before we arrived in Markham.  An N-scale CN Dash 8 unit and an HO RS-11 were introduced.  A group of CN and CP RS-18s would feature the rebuilt Tempo train units.  The real surprise was that the Tempo passenger cars were to be produced to accompany the locomotives.

As usual, we were made to feel comfortable by the pleasant and knowledgeable Rapido staff at the open house.  Questions were answered, stock was perused, and an excellent barbecue supper was enjoyed.  The highlight for George and myself was that the ex-TTC GM fishbowl Rapido bus was on site, with short rides available.  What a flashback to the 1970s!

The trip home was quick and pleasantly uneventful.  We are already considering plans for next June.

A CN Toronto bound train passes the Hamilton GO station.
The local in Hamilton yard is doubling up two tracks of trash cars.
Peter checking out one of the displays.

There was a good crowd at the open house. That is Pierre Oliver (Elgin Car Shops) in the black ball cap. Pierre tagged along with Jeff Grove from St. Thomas.
Jeff Grove is once again put to work cooking hamburgs and sausages.
Dash 8's in N scale on display.
The only New England RS-11's being offered appears to be NH. Wondering if MEC and CV will follow.
RS on display.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Throwback Thursday - Train Time at North Bay

On August 19, 1986 FP7Am 1985 was receiving a little TLC at the CN station in North Bay, Ontario.
By Peter Mumby
Ontario Northland Railway went out of the way to ensure that railfans and patrons could identify its flagship passenger train, the "Northland."  This train had travelled from Cochrane to North Bay via the ONR Ramore and Temagami Subdivisions.  Upon arrival at North Bay the train backed onto the North Bay/Capreol segment of the Newmarket Sub in order to access the CN station. With its station work complete the train will return to the CN/ONR junction and head south on CN trackage towards its eventual terminus at Toronto Union station. 

ONR 1985 was an FP7Am, originally built by GMD in 1953 as FP7A number 1518.  It had been modified to replace one of the original TEE train power cars.  It now incorporated an alternator for auxiliary coach power, and was semi-permanently coupled to a 3-car TEE trainset.  In this August 1986 view the unit is receiving a little individual attention from ONR personnel prior to resuming its journey.

Quite a bit has changed since this photo was taken.  ONR subsequently built a combination train/bus depot on its own line, as CN made the decision to abandon the mp 227 - 311 portion of the Newmarket Subdivision with the exception of a small segment in the Capreol yard.  Now this relatively new facility serves bus passengers only, as the Northlander has been relegated to the history books.  The only remaining ONR passenger train is the Polar Bear Express which operates between Cochrane and Moosonee.

Sunday 24 June 2018

June 2018 - Update

I purchase a bag of toys at the Paris train show this winter. It was a pretty big bag including some Lego trucks, cars and other things my grandkids have taken home. I was surprised to also find at least a dozen HO scale vehicles mixed in...a couple were mini metals. Not bad for $10. Anyhow the middle one of this group of cheap vehicles has been weathered up to be parked next to my ex-Sunoco station...more on the others to come this summer.
This is the second post today as I am away in the morning with Peter Mumby to the Rapido BBQ and dealers open house. Posts as you may have noted are a bit inconsistent this month as I have been up at the lake a bit and with no internet, so no posts. A couple of double post days helps keep the post count up. Will see how it goes next month but I am thinking hit and miss most weeks. I do have a few Wordless Wednesdays laid out and a few posts from Peter to share. I am looking at covering a few structures I completed a few years back that have yet to make it into the blog. Guessing the next post might be an update from our Rapido visit...George Dutka

Now that summer is here some ice might be needed. This is an ice house kit I purchased built up a couple of years ago. I weathered and detailed the structure. The ice is actually parts of engine light lens. Peter thought it might look better with a few puddles under the ice so a bit of gloss coat is applied. Tichy makes ice blocks but at the time I could not get any.
This is the ExactRail car I won as a door prize at the 2017 RPM Copetown meet.

I decided to leave this tank car as a new addition to the contemporary fleet. I rusted up the wheels, trucks and couplers.
This was my $5 find awhile ago at our area train show. It had a lot of missing and broken details. Think I have most of it attached now. A bit of Bragdon powders helps with the final look.

Upper Vermont 1980 - Gord Taylor Photos

A CP-B&M pooled train Gord chased on May 17, 1980. The slide does not have any information other than the month and year but I am thinking this might be Newport, Vt. I had posted a couple of Gord's slides in July 2016 that have the same consist and included some data such as the exact date and noting he was chasing the train south from Newport. The consist includes CP 4220, 8777 and B&M 1747. Don't have the last units number. Bruce Douglas was along on that trip but has limited memory of the trip as they did many similar excursions to upper Vermont.
Earlier this month I took the last of the Gord Taylor slides that I plan to copy up to the lake. On a rainy day I scanned about 180 more New England and Canadian views. This is a drop in the bucket of what Gord had taken over the year. I may have scanned 400 views but his collection is in the 10's of thousands. Peter has kept what he thought he might like to file away in his own collection and has sold somewhere between 10,000-20,000 of Gord's slides to a US collector that will be putting them up for might want to watch on line for many more of his views. I have yet to scan any of his prints which I have a large box full of...George Dutka

Another view of Gord's at an unidentified location in Northern Vermont during June 1980.

Saturday 23 June 2018

New Drop-in - an old Sunoco Station

A B&M local passes a re-purposed Sunoco station.
Here is a look at my new drop-in station along the White River Division. The location is the site of the BEST Elwell general store kit. It is closed as a service station but still in use for auto repairs as seen through the open garage door. You will get a closer look in the door shortly...George Dutka

An internet find...station logo signs.

Friday 22 June 2018

Air Slide Models - Part 3

My trio of air slide hoppers are seen on the WRD.
Many of the air slides in Canada was used in shipping sugar. One, the Redpath hopper had a custom decal made for it years ago. It is a hard decal to apply as the captions will tell you. For the second side I just made a billboard from a colour photocopy of the logo and attached. I think this looks way better. The numbering decal which is printed on a better type of decal paper works well...George Dutka

The custom made decal offered locally a number of years ago is a really tough one to work with. The lower lettering was not too bad but the coloured lettering is very thick and once in the water rolls up into a sausage wrap. The decal set solutions I tried had very little effect on the decal at first. I began cutting the decal into smaller pieces right on the car and holding the pieces in place while flooding the area in decal set. Eventually some of the decal grabbed to the car. After about a week of the same routine this side looks not too bad from far back. I gave it a really heavy weathering job.
The second side of my air slide got a billboard logo made from a photocopy of the original decal.

Here we have my car resting on the prototype photo from a book Peter brought over the other day. There was only three cars in this particular fleet.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

CN Caboose Ditch Lights

On  the Credit Valley Free-mo Group layout this March one modeler had converted the lighting on this True Line Trains caboose.
While at this years Kitchener layout tour I ran across a modeler that decided to remove the interior lighting and add ditch lights instead to his CN True Line Trains caboose. A really good idea since the interior lighting never looked right to me. I just might try this with one of my models....George Dutka

This caboose looks more realistic with the ditch lights working. On this model the lights are on all the time since they are wired to what once was the interior lighting.

Monday 18 June 2018

Loading Hoppers

I picked up these photos of CP hoppers being loaded somewhere in Southwestern Ontario but typical of may areas in Canada and the US.
A very simple way for a hopper to be loaded on any siding and a great modeling project that one can use anywhere on the layout.

A tractor is the kind of power used to move the hoppers around in many farming communities.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Connecticut Eastern Railroad Don Janes

Willimantic, CT 

      While attending the Enfield RPM meet on June 2, Bill Moore and I ducked out of the show on Saturday afternoon and headed over to Willimantic to visit the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum.  The last time I was there with George in 2014 while attending the Collinsville, CT RPM meet we stopped by on a Friday only to find the Museum closed, being open only on weekends.  This time we made sure to visit when it was open.  We were two of only about 10 visitors so we had the place pretty much to ourselves for photography and browsing around.  
    There is a very nice new brick six stall roundhouse built on the original footprint of the old New Haven structure.  Inside was a fully restored Central Vermont USRA wood caboose #4052 still waiting to have the correct lettering applies. Also inside was a CV long wood caboose in terrible shape, hopefully on the list for restoration in the near future and an old CV wood boxcar in pretty good shape. This is where restoration work is carried out.  It was interesting to see some of the original brick lined inspection pits still preserved.
    Just as we arrived they were running an old EMD SW8 which had just been fired up that day. It sounded really good. Wondering the grounds we found quite a few exhibits in various states of repair.  Being a volunteer organization progress is limited to the amount of time people can spend working at the museum.  There were several old railroad structures that had been moved to the museum and restored to excellent condition with displays inside.  There is also a working turntable with the original stone block pit used for turning equipment.
     While stepping into the roundhouse, just as the heavens opened up with a torrential downpour I met long time museum volunteer Art Hall, who by the way follows this blog.  Art was very knowledgeable about the museum and northeastern railroading in general.  He gave us lots of information about the museum and the history about the surrounding area.
     I am glad I finally got to visit the museum when it was open.  The volunteers are doing a great job restoring equipment and making this a great place to visit.  The following photos give an idea of the various equipment and structures at the museum.
This SW8 was fired up when we arrived at the museum. Not sure of its origin.
The roundhouse and turntable
GE 44 Tonner and Chaplin Station display.  A very nicely restored display.
Interior view of the station
Some of the equipment is still in need of repair
Here we see a little GE 45 Tonner lettered "New Haven Terminal Inc."
This old CV train order signal was very interesting. It once seved Willimantic
A restored section shanty and Fairmont Speeder inside
CV 8081, an ALCO S4 has been nicely restored and can be made to run again at some point
New Haven FL7 2023 is open for display
CV 8081 as seen from the cab of 2023
CV USRA caboose 4052 has been beautifully restored inside the roundhouse. It still needs some interior work and lettering to be applied
In contrast this Conrail, ex New Haven caboose is showing the effects of sitting outside exposed to the elements.
A trackmobile is moving a CV wood caboose in the roundhouse.  This caboose is in really rough shape but hopefully someday will look like the 4052

CV Power - CN Eastern Ontario Freight

A 1966 CN westbound freight with all New England Power. John Vincent photo.
Bruce Douglas sent me this view of a trio of New England power handling a westbound train at Port Hope during November 1966. Although not that clear of a photo it is neat to see. The power is CV 4927 leading followed by GT 4450 and a DWP RS-11 now assigned to the CV...and all in the classic green and gold...George Dutka