Sunday 30 June 2019

Layout Room

Brian's new island style layout bench work. He will have a really nice long run on each side of the backdrop.
In this years issue of Model Railroad Planning Tony Koester penned 7 More Things Not To Do when it comes to ones layout. Peter and I visited Brian Smith's new home this spring and were asked for our should Brain's layout plan come to realization. Brian noted he thought he was breaking all Tony's rules but I don't think so.

Number 4 which talks about preparing a working space for ones layout. This is always a tough call I think. Many layout owners do have a nice finished basement to begin with but this is not always the case. Many basement are unfinished. Brian's layout will be in an unfinished basement and the area the White River Division is located in is actually found in a partly finished basement. The walls have some drywall with cove corners.

Brian is in an older home. I think working around what is there will work great and he will have a chance to actually finish the layout. Brian is staying away from the outer walls building the layout in the middle area of the room with room for operators to walk around the outside of the layout, similar to what Credit Valley Hobby Shop has done. I am looking forward to see how this all will unfold...George Dutka

This is the main section of the layout. There will be another section added to the far end making the layout L shaped.

Saturday 29 June 2019

Snapshot - June 2019

November 3, 2018 an eastbound PanAm freight heads out onto the bridge having departed Mechanicsville. On a very overcast day the sun came out for a few seconds and only on the engines as they headed out onto the bridge.
This months snapshot was from the November trip Don Janes and I made to Albany, NY for the Model Railroad Expo. On the Saturday which was raining during the morning we spent most of the day railfanning and exploring the area. Our last stop of the day was Mechanicsville, NY. We arrived as a PanAm train EB was departed town. We highballed over to the large bridge at Stillwater catching the train with a couple of seconds of sun as it entered onto the bridge. That was the kind of sun we saw all day once the rain departed. We got lucky a couple of times with a minute or two here and there...George Dutka

Friday 28 June 2019

Summer Update 2019

CN 1205 on the WRD. This engine is an Athearn model with a Juneco RS switcher details package included. Paint, decals and a few extra parts round this engine out. It was built back in the 1980's.
I have been at the lake on and off so posts are thinner than usual. I do have a lot of material on hand and more coming once I get to scanning my NERPM check back through the summer, I am sure you will find something you like...George Dutka

Kind of an interesting view of a tire depot back in 1937. This could make a nice scene to model. I like how they pile the tires out front.
CV Richford job near Richford, Vt. during May 1976. A nice collection of rolling stock from that era found on the train that day...1970's modeler's take note. Ken Patton photo.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Alouette - Montreal

No date or data.
The Alouette leaving Windsor station in Montreal for Boston. This photo I have had for years in my collection that I thought would be interesting to view even without much of a description or date...enjoy...George Dutka

Monday 24 June 2019

RPO on the WRD

This car was made from a Rivarossi model.
This is another John Blatherwick model I purchased from his estate. I really enjoy having a few pieces of John's modeling in my collection. Once again it was built back in the early 1980's when not a lot of options where available for us New England modelers...captions tell the story...George Dutka

The RPO car arrived on my workbench a number of years ago. The roof got a fresh coat of Floquil Grimy Black. John had painted the sides and applied decals.
All the handrails are shaved off and wire replacements added. Not an exact model but a good stand-in from the 1980's era modeling. There are craftsman kits available for this model style and I have one to build someday.

Sunday 23 June 2019

The MEC - A George Melvin Clinic

A lot of produce moved over the MEC back in the day as seen on this map.
George Melvin's clinic was full of wonderful photos, details and very useful information at this years NERPM. I wish I could remember them all. One comment did stick in my mind, MEC 50' boxcars originally built with silver doors which are aluminum did not stand up corroding to the point they had to be replaced. The new doors added are painted green. Now I need to check my photos and maybe change a couple of my models...George Dutka

The Aroostock Ry. being owned by CPR, their grain traffic moved in CP cars via the MEC not BAR. The traffic moved over the border into Canada before returning into the USA and MEC. The structure in the background is really neat looking from what one can see of it.
MEC 55500- 55551 are converted from cars built in 1939. Note the yellow stripe along the top edge.

The MEC during this era painted every 4th car yellow. Painting of cars occurred every 5 years.

Woodchip unloading Oakland, Maine 1965. Most of these cars never left the MEC traveling back and forth from loading to unloading facilities, many traveled only 5 miles. The converted hoppers in the distance I believe are lettered Portland Terminal.

A top view of outside braced cars. If one was to model one of these this view shows were the braces are. Note doors on one side only. Cars are in pulpwood service.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Throwback Thursday - Via 651 at Port Hope

Via RDC-1 6111 (built for CN in 1955) is the trailing unit on #651 as its station stop is made at Port Hope, Ontario on August 13, 1987.  Scheduled to depart Kingston at 07:00, the "Ontarian" arrived at Port Hope at 08:36 and would make it to Toronto by 09:55.  We often think of RDCs as being branchline equipment, but Via made good use of them on the Kingston Subdivision all-stops local trains.

Also prominent in the photo is the Port Hope CN/Via station.  Opened by the Grand Trunk Railway on October 27, 1856, this limestone structure is one of the oldest stations still in use in Canada.  It received it designation as a heritage railway station in 1992.

As of January 24, 2012, Toronto/Montreal trains no longer have a station stop at Port Hope.  However, a number of trains between Toronto and Kingston/Ottawa still call at the attractive station.  More comprehensive Via services are available in neighbouring Cobourg.

Monday 17 June 2019

Borden Milk Sign

A copy of this sign might work on a structure on your layout.
Jim Sloan cleaned up and squared this sign for me. I had posted photos of the sign leaning against an old creamery along the D&H last month...thanks Jim...George Dutka

Sunday 16 June 2019

Ball Signal - North Conway NH

The ball signal was originally used to protect the diamond between the MEC and B&M at Waumbek Junction. This is railfan day Oct. 14 1995.
On a visit to North Conway NH. in 2007 I took a group of photos that I could use to build a model of the ball signal. I also took a few measurements at that time. I had visited North Conway a number of times including the ball signal in at least a few photo...George Dutka

Oct. 14, 2007
Oct 14, 2007

Saturday 15 June 2019

A Before and After - Section House

The finished section house which includes a caboose stack from my parts box and a lot of details included.
Back in May I spent an afternoon trying a new roofing method which I think turned out well for my first attempt...George Dutka

It appears the modeler glued two small structures together to make a larger looking section house. I thought it looked like something I could enhance, and for only a favourite price.
The roofing was done using construction paper spray bombed gray and cut into strips. The edges are cut and feathered to look worn. Some patches are added from the overhang pieces that were trimmed off. Note by using two structures the walls are two type of boarding.
I decided to also weather the interior blinds. The walls got a coat of Home Hardware camo coat olive green followed by a coat of PanPastel raw umber shade. The window trim has PanPastel white applied with a micro brush. Doors and windows are coloured Bragdon antique iron.
I added a good amount of signs to all sides. The open door really gives me a good opportunity to add more interest through details.

Friday 14 June 2019

Twin State Fruits - WRJ

An overall view Warren Dodgson took with his wide angle lens. At this time there was not a lot of growth along the walls hiding the details. Oct. 23 1992.
I covered the Twin State Fruit Corp. once located in White River Jct. Vermont back in 2015. Here are a few more detailed views of the structure. If you are a CVRHS member you should have copies of my plans for this structure. Recently Jim Sloan squared up a photo I took of the sign which was on an angle. Now I have a better sign to apply to my structure...more on that shortly...George Dutka

Matt Flynn photo Sept 19, 1992.
Matt Flynn photo Sept. 19, 1992
A photo I took  back on Sept 27, 1992.
Note the variation of metal siding on this wall...something to think about if you are building this structure.  Matt Flynn photo Sept 19 1993.
Jim Sloan straightened out the photo of the sign I took many years ago. Now to add it to my structure...more on that shortly.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Throwback Thursday - Arriving in St Thomas.

NS freight number 327 is swinging into the CN North yard in St Thomas, Ontario.  The units have just come under the Barwick St. overpass and will soon be heading west towards Talbotville.  This action was photographed on October 21, 2000.
By Peter Mumby.

BNSF 4408 and NS (CNOTP) 7079 are powering NS 327 into the yard at St Thomas, Ontario.  They have just completed the 12.5 mile trip along the Talbot Subdivision from London, and will soon make the short run along the Paynes Subdivision to the CN Southwold yard in Talbotville.  The auto parts traffic the train has hauled from Buffalo will then be picked up by CN for transfer to the Talbotville yard which is located on the east side of the St Thomas Ford plant.  The NS power will return to the St Thomas yard to wait until it is needed for the next day's 328 train.

NS continued hauling this Ford traffic until the end of 2006 when the contract was handed over to CN.  Within a few years the Ford plant shut down, and auto parts traffic became a thing of the past in the St Thomas area.  Both Southwold and Talbotville yards are unused today, and the Talbot Subdivision has been downgraded to the Talbot spur.  The St Thomas yard today is an interchange point between CN and the Ontario Southland Railway.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Essex Steam RR and Old Saybrook Station

Essex Steam RR #40 was just pulling out of the station when we arrived.

Live Steam and Modern Passenger Don Janes

              While attending the NERPM meet George and I had a few free hours on Sat. afternoon.  We decided to head down to see the Essex Steam RR and then pop into the Amtrak Old Saybrook commuter station a few miles south. .As we pulled into the parking lot the steam train was just about ready to depart so we took up our position to photograph steam engine #40 as it was leaving town.  Good timing there. Once it was gone we had ample time t stroll around and check out some of the various equipment around the grounds.  About 40 minutes after #40 had left an empty dinner train pulled in behind a GE 80 ton switcher.  Shortly after #40 returned running tender first. Another load of passengers would soon depart Essex to take a ride on the steamboat up the river.
  Most of the equipment used on the trains and on display is in excellent condition. No rusting hulks laying around here.  
     After watching #40 depart for the second time we decided to head down to the station at Old Saybrook. Even for a Saturday afternoon there was a steady parade of commuter trains and Amtrak trains running between Hew Haven and New London, Ct. 
    The station platform is a great place to catch all the action and stay safely away from the tracks. In just a short period we caught three trains at the station. After that it was time to head back to the hotel, have a cold beer before supper and then take in the evening clinics.

This beautifully restored Pennsylvania caboose was carrying the markers on the train.
0901 is an interesting diesel. According to the Essex RR equipment roster it is a GE 80 ton deisel, ex US Navy #2
New Haven caboose C-540 has been beautifully restored to its original colour scheme. When I was there in Oct. 2017 it was still in the shop being restored.
This Ex PRR baggage car has also been nicely restored.  It was also in need of work when I was last there. Too bad it wasn't repainted into Pennsy colours.
Trains aren't the only things that have been restored at Essex.  They have done a great job on this old truck Also.

0902 was on the point of the empty dinner train returning to Essex.  It is another GE 80 Tonner.
Here we see #40 returning, running tender first to pick up another load of passengers for the steam boat ride.
A timeless scene of an engineer "oiling around"
An old double ended snow plow was stored on a spur track across from the station

A cab car was leading up this train to New London.  Those red and white stripes will sure catch your attention.
A New Haven bound cmmuter train is just pulling into Old Saybrook

Our last train for the day was this Amtrak train led by an electric locomotive.  

Monday 10 June 2019

CP in Northern Vermont - Neil Schofield

This scene has been photographed many times in the past but was nice for me to see in person. Neil has done a wonderful job blending the backdrop into the foreground scenes.
Don and I stopped in to see Neil Schofield and his wonderful layout on the way home the Sunday of the NERPM weekend. Most of you have seen photos Don took last year and the many blog posts elsewhere. I thought I would focus in on the little things that Neil has done that I found interesting and maybe not been focused on in the past....George Dutka

Some of the cars are showing their age such as this one. Neil is very good at adding just enough weathering to the scenes making them realistic.
I really liked this scene with the go-cart under the lean-to and the car with a replacement door.
Lots of details are found on all structures.
I really liked the look of this barn. Many of the really old ones are located very close to the road...probably since years ago the road was a one lane path.
The roadways are very realistic on the layout. I was waiting for the train to arrive.

The backside of the mill.
I really liked all the weathering on Neil's rolling stock and engines. It makes the layout look realistic. This car I thought looked great with the door open and the grain being held in as on the prototype.
Don books us in on arrival at Neil's layout.