Sunday 31 January 2021

GMD Recollections - Waiting For an Eastbound Freight

GO 536 waits in London for its turn to head to Toronto.  Soon it will be put to work hauling the bilevel coaches of Government of Ontario Transit.

By Peter Mumby.
F59PH 536 was the first of twelve members of Go Transit class GCE-430h.  This rear view was made available to potential modellers on January 05/90.  It is sitting at CN London East and will soon be added to a Toronto-bound freight.

Saturday 30 January 2021

Ex-Pillsbury Covered Hoppers

The article views the patched Soo car modeled as the lead in photo and the stock model below.

While visiting layouts during Trainfest 2019 I took a break from the operations and sat down near a pile of magazines. The copy I looked at was the SOO Line historical society winter 2019, which had a neat article about modeling covered hoppers using an InterMountain Pillsbury car. It appears the Soo purchased 84 Pillsbury cars 125010 - 125059 and 125104-125137 in 2006. Built in 1979 as a group of 200 for Pillsbury some still are seen today of course with other reporting marks. I ran across one in Woodstock CP yard recently...George Dutka

OFCX 125014 is seen in Woodstock CP yard on November 14, 2020. This would have been one of the Soo cars back in 2006.

Friday 29 January 2021

Virtual West Springfield this Weekend

There was a selection of heavily weathered B&M engines at last years Springfield, Ma. train show.

This weekend one can attend the W. Springfield big train show without leaving home. I don't think a virtual show will be the same but at least it is something. Check their web site for details. Also BarMills is running clinics both days beginning at 10am...check their Facebook page for details tomorrow morning...George Dutka 

Another vendor and another B&M rust bucket.

Thursday 28 January 2021

Throwback Thursday - Bringing Up the Rear.

Ontario Northland van number 122, photographed at Englehart, punctuates a train bound for North Bay on August 27, 1990.
By Peter Mumby.
Ontario Northland Railway continued using cabooses a little longer than many North American roads.  This photo of the tail end of a southbound freight was taken at Engelhart, the site of ONR's major classification yard, in August of 1990.  ONT 122 was a member of the most modern group of vans on the railway.  During the late 1970s these cars had been constructed by National Steel Car, with some final assembly at the ONR shops in North Bay. 

Tuesday 26 January 2021

North Bennington, Vermont

Southbound Flyer with B&M 3700, 4-6-2 during 1951.

These two photo I purchase back in the 1990's at the Springfield train show. I dug them out during our current lock-down here in Ontario for some more scanning...George Dutka   

A colour view of the North Bennington, Vermont station on 10-7-68. Boy it sure did not look great back then. I am not sure when it was restored, but it looks great now.

Monday 25 January 2021

Snapshot - January 2021

On April 6, 2020 VIA 72 has departed EB from London, Ontario station. This is the tail end unit. During this time the train ran with a unit on each end.

January snapshot is a look back at some views of VIA in the London area during 2020. No exciting trips far away with lock-downs and Covid restrictions...George Dutka     

At CN Ridout VIA 72 crosses over to the north track which leads into the London station on Dec. 7, 2020.

This is VIA 71's trailing unit (note the red markers) going through the crossovers at Ridout. It had departed the London, Ontario station a few minutes prior. Dec 7, 2020. The year is coming to an end with VIA still operating with units at both ends.

VIA 72 at Rectory St. London. Note the Look, Listen, Live sign painted on the sidewalk. This has been done on numerous crossing.

I am standing on the newer Hale street overpass to catch VIA 72 at CN Highbury on May 22, 2020.

VIA 72 May 26, 2020 departs London, Ontario. The building behind the train was once the London Free Press building that received boxcars of newsprint paper on a regular basis. With VIA 72 being the only daytime train in my area there was not a lot to shoot during the spring.

Sunday 24 January 2021

Revisiting the Athearn Genesis Central Vermont GP-9

The CV GP-9 with modified paint and corrected details.

      Correcting Some Mistakes on Athearn's CV Don Janes

          My new Athearn Genesis Central Vermont GP-9's finally arrived at Railway City Hobbies a couple of weeks ago.  I had ordered two of them and Jeff had them in the mail for me the next day.  I purchased road numbers 4550 and 4551.  I already had two that I custom detailed and painted many years ago so being able to get a factory painted model saved me a lot of time compared to doing all the work myself.  The models look really nice.  Great paint job and they run beautifully.  I chose the DC version as I wanted to add my own ESU Loksound decoders as I have standardized my entire diesel fleet with their decoders.  Athearn sound units come with a Tsunami 2 decoder which are excellent decoders also.
     Having said that, they did have a couple of glaring mistakes which in my opinion Athearn should not have made, especially with the paint since there are lots of colour photos of these engines they should have used for reference.  On the prototype the frame is all black from the body down, but for some reason they painted the side sills and skirting and step wells the same green as the body.  On their model of the 4547, they for some reason painted the entire end green instead of black. Other major mistakes included using a very small fuel tank similar to those on their run of CN GP-9's (which was correct for CN units but not CV units).  Another obvious mistake was using the older GP-7 style handrail stanchions on the ends instead of the correct later stamped style that should have matched the side stanchions.   I called Athearn to try and get them to replace these with the correct parts but to date haven't heard back from them.  The silly thing about the fuel tank is that they do have the correct tank as they used it on a previous run of GT GP-9's which were built in the same batch as the CV units but were sent to the GT.  Other smaller issues needed fixing also.  The air horn was put in the center of the cab roof and should have been near the front of the cab roof.  These units also had Sinclair radio antennas.  This was an easy fix. I pried the brass horn out of its hole and moved it closer to the front of the roof, filled the hole then added a new antenna where the horn was.

These two photos show the corrected paint on the frames and side skirts.

     Once I decided how I wanted to make all the necessary corrections I set to work.  The first thing I dealt with was the fuel tank.  A friend of mine contacted me and asked if I would be interested in trading my two small fuel tanks (which he needed for a project) for two larger tanks from a couple of his Athearn geeps.  Although they are not 100% correct (they are too long) they look a lot better than what came on the model. I will leave them but hopefully Athearn will supply the correct tanks but if they don't I will likely shorten them at some paint.. I decided to correct the paint mistake by brush painting Floquil Engine Black onto the frame, step wells and side skirts. To me this immediately made the engines look a lot better.  Once that was done I had to put new FL and FR decals at the front of the frame. This is for Front Right and Front Left.  My model was missing the EMD builder plate below the cab on the right side so I added a Microscale decal for that while I was at it. 
     Next I turned my attention to the roof details.  I removed the horn, filled the hole with some styrene tube, cut it flush with the roof and touched it up with some Trucolor CN Green.  Then I drilled a small hole and installed a Cal Scale brass Sinclair antenna. All CN family GP-9's had a V shaped pilot below the coupler between the footboards.  All my Athearn CN and CV  GP-9's lack this detail but quite a few years ago I used Juneco castings of this part to make rubber molds and poured my own pilots using resin.  I have added this detail to this unit and will add it to the other one once I get around to doing it.  It is a small detail but is quite noticeable.  I also replaced the couplers with KaDee #158 scale head couplers.  Judging from most photos I have seen of these engines, CV seemed to leave the bell in its original brass colour so I painted my bell brass.
This photo shows the cab roof with the relocated horn and radio antenna.

The above photos show the "V" shaped pilots below the couple and bell painted brass.
    Looking at colour photos of the prototype, George and I have come to conclusion that the handrails and stanchions are black like the model, at least when they were new but it really is hard to tell if some had been painted green to match the body or are just dirty.  I have decided to leave mine black for now but might paint them green if I can find a good colour photo showing this.  One thing that does need to be fixed is the stanchions are yellow on the frame where the are over the yellow strip.  I will get to that soon.   For this post I spray painted the frame, trucks and fuel tank a mix of Floquil Weathered Black and Engine Black to try and bring out the underbody details better in the photos.  I will eventually add some light weathering to both units.  That just about covers all the changes and corrections I made to this engine.  I will do the same to my second unit.
      One other thing I did to these engines was to add working class lights front and rear.  Athearn has finally decided to use LED lights for the headlights so I didn't have to change those but I did add working class lights front and rear.  For these I used tiny 0201 LED's.  These are so tiny that I drilled a small hole where the class light dimples were and they fit right in the class light housing.  Now that is small.  These look really good and are controlled as two separate functions, front and rear.   I also tried a Decoder Buddy from NIX Trainz. It is basically a motherboard  that has a 21 pin decoder plug on it.  It has all the resistors on the board so there is no need to add any resistors. There is also a plug on the motherboard for all the lighting functions so if you want to separate the shell from the chassis you just unplug this small board and the two parts can be easily separated.  I like these and will use them again.
     So, that pretty much wraps up the modifications and changes I made to these new Athearn models.  They make a really nice addition to my locomotive roster.
This view shows the LED headlight and class lights.

Saturday 23 January 2021

GMD Recollections - Diesel Division Number 57

GMD plant switcher #57 is working just south of Oxford St on June 16, 1989.  It is engaged in shoving Via 6449 into one of the erecting bays on the north side of the complex.

By Peter Mumby.

GMD plant switchers tended to come and go over the years.  They came from a variety of sources.  Some were purchased used, while others were transferred from the parent EMD plant or leased from other sources.  Number 57 was purchased from CP Rail after all the Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo switchers were declared surplus.  The unit spent its first year on the property wearing a patched version of the TH&B paint scheme. 

It is exactly one year later (June 16, 1990) and Diesel Division 57 has been freshly painted in time for the plant's 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Friday 22 January 2021

New England Long Barn

My two long barns, one in HO and N scale.

I built the Creative Laser Design long barn about 10 years ago to become a scenic divider that never came to be. Since then I purchased the N scale version from Gary Pembleton at a train show. This last week I built the model which one sees above. The HO scale model needed a bit of work also I never really finished the weathering to the roof and the roof sections had come loose and warped. A bit of glue and clamping and all is well...George Dutka

The main rust steaks are applied using AK dark rust pigment. I did some highlights with AK crusted rust and rust texture by Vallejo.

The roof is rusted up but just lightly.

Thursday 21 January 2021

Throwback Thursday - Railfanning CV Geep's


CV 4551 Alburgh Springs, Vt. July 2, 1968 Ian Stronach photo.
For this week's Throwback Thursday we have Ian Stronach's account of catching CV 4551 and a few other geep's he came across in the late 1960's...George Dutka 

CV 4551 is at Alburgh Springs VT on 02 June 1968.  It is Train 490 the regular day job from Montreal to St. Albans.  The story here is I was 15 years old and could not drive.  A friend of mine and I had taken the D&H passenger train from Montreal to Rouses Point NY and were staying at the family's summer house on Lake Champlain, about 5 miles south of Rouses Point for a week of railfanning.  We had our bikes and pedaled to Alburgh Springs – a good 15 miles to get the shot above...Ian Stronach.

CV 4549 on CV 431 at Essex Jct. June 12 1969. Ian Stronach photo

CV 4549 north of Essex Jct. Vermont on June 12, 1969.

CV 4549 on train No. 490 at St. Lambert, QC 1968. Ian Stronach photo.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Large Shed Installed on WRD

The large shed looks like it has been there forever.

 A few views of my new large shed or small barn placed into the farm scene on the WRD...George Dutka 

A structure like this is used for farm vehicles and would have been the carriage house before the days of cars.
This view was taken with my pocket camera set into the scene.
The Woodland Scenic farm lady I added two small pumpkins to her hands about a decade ago. Glad she is a strong lady.

Monday 18 January 2021

Athearn New Geep's

As delivered my new CV Geep is already in service even before some paint and details are changed or added.

Last week I received my latest addition to the WRD fleet, CV 4551. The Athearn engine looks good right out of the box but there are more details I think that should have been included that I will add. Some of the paint is also the wrong colouring, nothing major just something Athearn should have check...more on that later. Here are some shots of the engine as it looks just delivered to the WRD. Oh by the way Don Janes has already done most of the updates to his engine and maybe we can get him to share his work....George Dutka 

One thing I don't like with new Athearn models are the couplers which will be the first thing changed out.

Sunday 17 January 2021

FOS - Dafoe's Auto Storage


The finished model ready to find a home on the WRD.

The completed FOS kit for now...some signage will be changed out...George Dutka 

I broke up the long look of the roof by using different style and colouring of roofing. The signage will be changed to fit the Bellows Falls setting shortly.

Newspapers are included to cover up a few windows.

The rear wall is an interesting mix of wood styles.

Saturday 16 January 2021

FOS - Kit of the Month


My finished structure with a variation in the roofing.

Another FOS kit-of-the-month is now completed. The captions tell the story of what I did...George Dutka 

The back wall is together but the front wall is mainly doors.

The doors being assembled.

Doors ready to go in place.

I would have liked to model the doors open but they needed to be closed and braced to hold the structure together.

Ready for stain and powders.

Hunterline stain and Floquil grime is applied. The tar-paper is painted acrylic black.

The roofing is being installed. Note the bracing to the front doors. Even after the two braces for each set of doors an extra piece needed to hold the two together.