Friday 31 January 2020

A Neophyte's Take on the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

So, can you point me towards the nearest CSX interchange?
By Peter Mumby.

George and I attended the 53rd annual Amherst Railway Society Show ( a.k.a. "The Springfield Show") on Saturday January 25, 2020.  I had heard a lot about this show from local hobbyists who attended on a semi-regular basis and were enthusiastic about the experience.  However, for years I had been attending local train shows as a vendor, and had a show which conflicted with the Springfield date.  When I retired this small business at the end of 2019 after 40 years of operation, I was ready to give the big show a try when George indicated he was planning to attend.

You are well aware of the scope of this show long before you see your first train display.  Consider the length of the line-up of cars waiting to turn into the Eastern States Exposition lot, the multiplicity of police officers on traffic duty, and the number of ticket booths where you line up to purchase your admission arm band.  Also consider the cost - $5 to park, and $15 for admission.

We were on site before 9:00, so we were present for the air horn blast that signaled the opening of the doors.  Yikes!  How many decibels was that?  There were a few outdoor displays, so we decided to check these out and avoid the initial entry queues.  A cold rain was in the forecast for mid-afternoon, so this was the right time for outdoor photography.  The Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum had a narrow gauge locomotive outside the Better Living Center - under steam, yet!  Also present was an interesting MOW truck in New Haven lettering.

Our friend Luc enjoys collecting photos of railroad service vehicles.  This one should be right up his alley.
Railway societies representing many lines from the Northeast were present at the show.
The show itself featured 415 exhibitors spread out through 4 separate buildings.  Before we started our tour, we had agreed to aim for a 3:30 quit time as a way to avoid the exit stampede from the parking lot, so we knew we would not be able to see everything.  As it turned out, we only visited three of the four buildings.  If we saw half of the displays in each area, that means that we took in about 40% of the show - 166 of the booths.  Sounds about right.

There were lots of vendors of the ordinary plastic locomotives and rolling stock which you will see at any train show.  I was expecting to see lots of the latest and greatest releases, but was surprised to see that a large proportion of what was on offer seemed to be older stock.  The prices also surprised me.  I was expecting to see more mark-downs and clear-outs, so I found both new and used items to be a bit expensive, even before I calculated in the differential between the Canadian and American dollars.  The flip side of this is that it is a wonder we don't have more American visitors at our Southern Ontario train shows where they would certainly get more bang for their high-powered buck.  But I digress.

Our friends Clare and Andy were taking care of business at the Sylvan Scale Models booth.
There were smiles all around, since George had just ponied up the cash for his Central Vermont membership.
Many of the structure kit manufacturers ( think Fos Scale, Railroad Kits, ITLA, and Hunterline, for example) had very impressive displays.  Manufacturers/Distributors such as Walthers, Athearn, Rapido Trains, and Atlas had booths.  Scale Trains was probably my favourite in this category.  Prototype and historical groups were well represented and offered books, calendars, and clothing for sale.  We spent a fair amount of time checking out the HO scale vehicle displays in the Mallary complex.  In this same venue there were a variety of kid-centric displays, including a huge Lego display layout and stage shows by Maggie the Train Clown.  Something for everyone, indeed.

If I had a complaint about the show, it would be that attendees of a certain age could really use more places to sit down for a few minutes.  We were fortunate around 2:30 to find a couple of seats in the Bar Mills clinic area where we could rest our bones and take in a few tips and modelling tricks at the same time.

So, that was my first visit to the Springfield train show.  As far as the exhibits were concerned, I feel like I barely scratched the surface.  I will definitely have to consider a return visit!

George was discussing an upcoming article in Railroad Model Craftsman magazine with editor Otto Vondrack.
Four year old Jaxson, my youngest grandson, is a real Lego aficionado, so I took this photo for him.  The entire Lego set-up was very impressive.
Busy times at the Rapido Trains booth.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Throwback Thursday - Incident at Hyde Park

This photo looks northwest off the embankment for the Hyde Park Road overpass in London, Ontario.  The signboard for CN Hyde Park is just beyond the yellow crane.  The mobile command centre has been set up just out of the picture to the left, and a lot of men and equipment are on site on February 16, 1995.
By Peter Mumby.
CN Hyde Park is located in the west end of London, Ontario at mile post 4.1 of the Strathroy Subdivision.  In years past, a passenger station was located here, and the short siding that served this facility was still in use in 1995 for the occasional run -around move.  This siding ran off the south mainline track, while the turnout for the Ilderton Spur was located on the north track.  This spur was the truncated south end of the Exeter Subdivision.  All of this trackage was conveniently visible from the Hyde Park Road overpass.

In the early hours of February 16, 1995 an eastbound freight powered by CN 2105 and LMS 723 struck the tail end of another eastbound train which was stopped on the south track just under the overpass.  By the time these photos were made around noon hour, men and machines were in place and the clean-up had commenced.  The LMS unit remained on the track, while the 2105 had been spun around and was off the track, facing south west.  The lease unit survived the crash, while 2105 was retired later in the year.

This photo looks directly west along the double track Strathroy Subdivision.  The Ilderton Spur curves off the north track to the right of the picture.  Trailing unit LMS 723 from the second eastbound train is visible just beyond the CN boxcar which is tipped over the north track.  Presumably the yellow box car next to CN 2105 was the last car on the first eastbound train.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Kodak Park Railroad photo exhibit

The Kodak Center is a massive building  that also hosts a performing arts center and is only a small fraction of the complex.
A few weeks ago I read a post on the D&H "Colonie Main" layout (link on sidebar) regarding a railroad exhibit called "The Power to Move Us" that is being displayed at the Kodak Photo Gallery in Rochester, NY, till the end of the month. Peter and I did a side-trip from I-90 into Rochester to the Amtrak station and Kodak Gallery and Museum. We would have loved to get a Kodachrome sweatshirt but the gift shop was closed the day we visited...maybe another trip? Be forewarn, it is nice to see but maybe not a location to base a whole trip on. They do have tours of the plant on occasions...George Dutka

Some large side negatives are viewed in display cases.

A model railroad display is also included.
I had not realized how many engines were used over the years in the Kodak complex.
The rail system was extensive. About 24 miles of main track and many sidings and yards.
Next door to the railroad display is the Kodak museum. This is just a teaser view, best to visit in person.

Monday 27 January 2020

Snapshot - January 2020

Although it was warmer than most days and sunny I am not sure I would be venturing out in shorts. NECR SB is seen waiting at the diamond on Jan 24, 2020 with a large railfan contingent.
This months snapshot is a visit to Palmer, Mass. on Friday before the Springfield train show by Peter and I. We might have timed it right as the NECR SB was waiting at the diamond, the Mass Central is pulling a cut of car into the CSXT transfer yard with about 15-20 railfans hanging around. We missed the Mass Central heading to the transfer as we pulled into the parking lot but would see them again shortly. We realized quickly the NECR was waiting for a train to pass with railfans pointing in different directions. A headlight appeared within moments. It was a WB Amtrak that we saw. A not bad visit seeing three trains, two more than once in about 30 minutes sometime after 3pm...George Dutka

The WB Amtrak arrives only minutes after we got out of our car. It was impossible to take a picture without getting a railfan in the photo.
NECR heads past the home signal.
As NECR began to head over the diamond Mass Central came into the picture shoving a boxcar back by the station.
NECR on the diamond. I took this photo using my telephoto lens and had to quickly change it to record the view below. Glad it worked out.

The NECR train had a large group of rust bucks included that I would think are salt cars.

Saturday 25 January 2020

C&O Walther 50' Hopper - Updated

In service on the WRD.
One of my flea market finds is this Walthers 50' Hopper. Some weathering had been already done when I purchased the car by air brush. The photos tell the story...George Dutka

The car as it was when I got home. One short afternoon with these products and the model is good to go.
I did not rust up the car a lot, I did use some PanPastels to tone down the final appearance. Burnt umber shade and colourless blender ( to fade the colouring down more).

Friday 24 January 2020

Rust Bucket No. 12

St. Thomas Brian Smith photo.
My friend Brian Smith forward these photos taken in the OSR yard in St. Thomas, Ontario...enjoy...George Dutka

Nice patchwork Jan. 2020, Brian Smith photo.

Thursday 23 January 2020

Throwback Thursday - It's All in the Details

CP 5606 South is passing the old station at Britt, Ontario on August 21, 1991.
By Peter Mumby.

When I took this photograph almost three decades ago, it was probably just another train picture.  In this case the train was CP 5606 South.  Nothing unusual in this - another train led by an SD40-2 on what was basically an SD40-2 railroad.  The location was Britt, Ontario, on the mainline between Sudbury and Toronto.

What I see when I look at this picture today is a scene that could really appeal to a modeller of the late 1980s/early 1990s era.  Here is an opportunity to include an older passenger station on a layout representative of a time when local passenger service was a thing of the past.  The structure has been given a new lease on life by being converted to company service use.  At the far north end of the structure can be seen a motor car shed and set-off track.  The tall pole close to the station appears to be topped by some type of antenna.  The south end of the baggage/freight annex has been rebuilt with roll-up doors.  Next to the building is a fenced compound housing vehicles and track supplies.  To the left side of the photo can be seen the main sliding gate for the entire facility.

In the foreground of the scene we can see organized stacks of track supplies.  To the left of the high level switch stand, the vertical silver unit is a block occupancy indicator.  At the rear right side of the photo, near the box cars, we can see a mile marker attached to the line pole.  At the extreme front right edge of the image an old telephone call box is visible.

So, take another look at the photo.  You might see a train, you might see a station - or, you might see a little modelling inspiration!

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Pikestuff - Loading Dock

The loading docks are complete and ready for loading details.
One of the kits I picked up at Woodstock earlier this month was a loading dock kit. Peter Mussen who had the table next to us still had it near the end of the show...I was surprised it lasted to this point. Glad I got it. I was able to construct two docks from the kit with a few leftover pieces...George Dutka

The small dock is done. After a spray bomb of gray a coat of india ink and alcohol is applied. More on how I did the weathering to the small dock is on my narrow gauge blog.
The wood bumpers and nuts-bolts are from my parts box. The small dock will be added to a industrial building.

Monday 20 January 2020

Paris Train Show and Springfield

I was working on another FOS kit-of-the-month project. I also had some FOS kits finished on display...Peter Mumby photo.
Peter and I attended Sunday's Paris train show this time working on projects at the NFR craftsman corner. Peter was weathering rolling stock using PanPastels and I began building another FOS kit-of-the-month. We also helped out manning the door.

Wednesday Peter and I are heading to Springfield for the train show there. This is the first time for Peter. On the way we will be doing some railfanning and maybe stop at the Kodak museum to see the railroad display that is on this month. A visit with Kip Grant on Friday to see his layout again and then off to the Springfield area to meet up with a gang for dinner...George Dutka

An overall view of my display and mess on the work surface. Peter Mumby photo.
Peter had a few cars along requiring PanPastels. I think they all were done by the end of the show.
The WOD-NFR gang talks things over. Think they were suppose to be working at the craftsman corner.
Roger Chrysler displays his fleet of CPR equipment.
Peter hard at it. Looks like this car has been around awhile.
The tool guy had a whole room to himself and it kind of looked like a hobby shop.

B&O - Weed Sprayer

B&O weed sprayer VC13. Martinsbury W.Va, 1974 Bob Bowes collection. The car was converted on 6-11-67.

Sunday 19 January 2020

Abandoned Truck

Shows you what can be done with some cast-off parts.
My new abandoned pickup truck. I picked it up for a buck at the last train to find a place for it to rest...George Dutka

This is what I got...not all the parts are included so it just became a junked truck.
Painted it orange.
Flat finish applied.
I made an axle out of a parts spur. I then added a F&C block to the front and some old boards to the rear.
The rust is a mix of AK rust washes followed by some Bragdon powders. While taking the photos I realized I had not applied a plate which if from FOS. The box got a lot of junk.
I eliminated my comment and added Manny's s letter as the caption regarding plates. License plates are issued by the individual provinces and states, not by country. Various provinces and states have single or pairs of plates and it is constantly changing. Manitoba for instance had single plates in the 1944-49 and 1987-97 time-frames with pairs all other years. Politics, lobbying, law enforcement all play a role and it's about half and half of pairs vs singles across North America. Manny Jacob Licence plate collector since 1987.