Saturday 30 April 2022

B&M Power

B&M 4268-4266 on or about April 22, 2022, N Conway NH.

Roger Robar passed along this view of a pair of B&M at North Conway with the following comment.

"This was taken on April 22, 2022 They are working on getting both to mu together, both run. 4268 was load tested several weeks ago. I never thought 4268 would run again. It had been a shell for 25 plus years."

I guess there is something new for one to check out this season if in that area...George Dutka

Friday 29 April 2022

White River Division - Bellows Falls Yard

I set my camera down on the tracks last week to see what I could come up with. Here we have a view from the middle of the Bellows Falls yard. The B&M baggage car is converted from a leftover B&M shell into a storage area for track crews. Looks like there is a lot to switch in the yard this day...George Dutka

Thursday 28 April 2022

Throwback Thursday - Ditch Lights on CN?

CN HR616 number 2111 is heading a westbound freight past the London Via station on March 11, 1988.
By Peter Mumby.

In last week's post I made a brief reference to ditch lights being in use on CP during the late 1980s.  This got me wondering about how CN was applying ditch lights to their motive power in the same general era.

By the 1980s CN had actually been making use of ditch lights for many years, although this application was restricted to the mountainous regions of Alberta and British Columbia.  Furthermore, these ditch lights were portable, and were plugged onto locomotives as they headed into the mountains, then removed as trains left Edmonton on their way east again.  CN HR616 number 2111, featured in today's photo, was one of 20 MF-32a class locomotives built in 1982, and it is apparent that these units were not equipped with ditch lights as-built.  CN re-manufactured a group of GP9 locomotives in the 4000 series during 1981-84, and these came without the lights.  Units 4100-4116 of 1984 similarly lacked ditch lights, although by 1987 they were being retrofitted.  Later units in this series, 4117-4143, rebuilt in 1989-1991, all came out of the shop equipped with the appliances.  The 5400-series SD50F locomotives, built by GMD from 1985 to 1987, were also fully equipped upon delivery.  1985, then, would appear to be a watershed year as far as ditch light application was concerned.

Locomotive 2111, as shown above, was photographed on March 11, 1988.  I have photos of other units of this class dating to 1992 which show that ditch lights had been installed by then, so presumably the process of retrofitting these appliances to the existing fleet was spread out over a few years.  As for the modeller, then, it seems as if the 1985-1990 era would allow for a bit of variety as far as running locomotives with or without ditch lights was concerned.

Tuesday 26 April 2022

B&M Milk Cars

This photo of a B&M milk car has the numbers painted over. It is an ex-Erie milk car. No details or date. From the Bob Bowes collection.
 Following yesterday's look at a milk car here are two more that I promised you. We see a couple photos of B&M milk cars from the Bob Bowes collection that does not have much information included but nice to see...George Dutka 

B&M 1917 used as a storage shed in the 1970's. No other details. From the Bob Bowes collection. I like how one can use an extra milk car as a storage shed by adding a set of stairs and hand railing. One just has to place it at an end of a siding against the stop block. No need to build a creamery.

Monday 25 April 2022

Lehigh Valley Milk Car

Today and tomorrow we will look at some milk cars that I have views on file that have yet to be shared with you. A view of Lehigh Valley Ry. milk car no. 1131 at Easton, Pa. August 21, 1954. Bob Bowes copy from the Keith Sirman collection. Kind of a long car that I don't recall seeing a model of...George Dutka 

Sunday 24 April 2022

Spring This and That!

My ITLA tool shed in place with a few details added.

Winter and early spring are normally my busy time modeling but with family health issue nothing has been normal and nothing has been done since early January. 

I pushed recently to accomplish something even if it is only minor to finish off the winter early spring modeling season. Detailing the area around my ITLA tool shed in Bellows Falls yard could be done in short order. It was a simple project that I completed in less than an hour which seems to be all the time I have had lately. After this project I found small accomplishments can make one feel good. Maybe I will look for another one...George Dutka

It is April 20, 1990 and I think this was on the way to a Rutland Ry Historical Society convention. Warren Dodgson and I stopped by the Bellows Falls yard where I spent some time taking a few measurements and detailed photos of old equipment. Warren Dodgson photo.

That is my father in law on the right Jake Milette CN master mechanic with Ernie who is his counterpart on the GTW. This was during the initial runs of London crewed trains running through the Detroit tunnel and onto the GTW trackage all the way to ex DTI's Flat Rock yard.

Once again a view of my father in law in CN newsletter Keeping Track sitting at the controls in the new comfort cabs. Oh and they spelt his name wrong. I never found these engine with the desk top controls very comfortable or easy to operated especially while switching. If I had an option I would change it out to a trailing unit. I have a story for another day about a defective brake control on one of these engines when they were brand new.

Another view of Bellows Falls and the tool shed.

Saturday 23 April 2022

CPR Newport, Vemont


CP 8401 is seen in Newport, Vermont yard on Aug. 25, 1972.  

Friday 22 April 2022

Milk Station

A look at the FOS Borden's creamery which seems at home on my winter diorama. I feel the milk will be good and cold...George Dutka    

Thursday 21 April 2022

Throwback Thursday - Does This Fit Your Era?

The sky was dull on January 08/89, but any time you could catch a Big M leading a CP freight, you could call it a good day for railfanning.
By Peter Mumby.

Whenever I look at this picture I can still hear the "chug-chug-chug" as ALCo-powered M-630 number 4571 headed its westbound freight up the ruling grade of the Windsor Subdivision in Southwestern Ontario.  If this is a scene you wished to replicate on your layout, the time frame would have to be pretty narrow.  The unit sports ditch lights, so the late 1970s would be too soon.  By the early 1990s some of these locomotives were still operating, but basically as trailing units.  Most of these 4550-4573 series diesels were retired by 1993, although several were later re-activated for a few months.  The actual date of the photo was January 08, 1989, so if your  layout was set in the 1985-1990 time frame, the locomotive would probably be appropriate.

So, now that we have a time frame established, what would the rest of the train look like?  Following the two units was a mixture of auto racks, COFC (containers on flat cars) and TOFC (trailers on flat cars).  Most of the auto racks were fully enclosed at this time, although quite a few were still open-topped with wire mesh side panels like the one positioned right behind the power.  CP hasn't run piggyback freight in our area for quite a few years, so that would be both nice and appropriate to model.  As for the COFC traffic, there would be a few well cars, but most would be flat cars equipped with container pedestals.  None of the well cars would be double stacked, since the Windsor-Detroit tunnel was not enlarged to handle most high cars until 1994.  Many of the names on the containers would be recognizable today, but to be era-specific, you would want to include a few names like Cast, CP Ships, and Canada Maritime which have subsequently disappeared. 

Tuesday 19 April 2022

The Spot Lunch Diner - 1952

This little scene is begging to be modeled. I may start looking for a scrap trolley model. Note the amount of stacks on the roof.
The Spot Lunch diner, a former streetcar, was located at 640 Williamson St. and owned by John B. Hanson. The picture here was taken in 1952. Madison, Wis.

Very little room is needed to model such a structure.

Sunday 17 April 2022

International of Maine

A nice view of a 40' boxcar in use through New England.

A view from my computer file collection of a CPR PS-1 boxcar. The photo is undated and not sure who took it...George Dutka

Saturday 16 April 2022

Was there an Orange 1951 Studebaker?

My 1951 Studebaker as seen in RMC is parked at the water tank on the WRD.

If you follow RMC you may have seen my Craftsman Workshop feature on vehicles in the April issue. I sometimes get feedback from readers which is passed along to me. Here is one with a bit of a negative tone to it.

I do have a small nit to pick concerning the vehicle article by Mr. Dutka.  As a 45+ year member of the Studebaker Drivers Club (I currently own two) I feel it necessary to point out that orange was not a Studebaker offered color in 1951.  Since Mr. Dutka indicated he models the mid-to-late 1950's, the car probably wouldn't be solid orange even if it had been repainted.  Orange just wasn't that popular in that time period (although some car manufacturers used it as part of a two tone color scheme).  Now if he was modeling a decade later a solid orange car would be more probable.  However, he did redeem himself somewhat with the N-scale model of the Studebaker R-series pickup truck. While the shade may not be exact, they did come in green.   This is not meant to take anything away from Mr. Dutka's excellent modeling and admittedly is just a very minor point.  It is just a little nudge that the colors chosen for vehicles, structures, advertising, etc. help define the period modeled.

I was surprised by the comments and found it really interesting. Clare (Sylvan Scale Models) is a car guy and would not suggest or model a car (as seen on the box front) in a color that actually did not exist on a vehicle. I thought I should do a bit of a google search and see what's up. From what I could see orange was actually a Studebaker color for the 1950s and it also had a name, Minute Maid Orange. If you know something else please fill me in...George Dutka 

As one can see the suggested color on the box is orange.

The 1951 Studebaker classic car catalog views the car in orange.

I found this ad for a large size 1951 Studebaker in orange also.

For this 1955 Studebaker ad they featured the shade as Minute Maid Orange.

Friday 15 April 2022

How one can use Leftovers!


This small shed could make a great storage shed addition to this RailroadKITS structure.

Here are a few options one can do with a smaller leftover structure...George Dutka 

I really like how this shed looks like when added to my FOS Kit of the Month structure.

I thought it even works when placed against this smaller sized ITLA structure. A marriage of an ITLA kit and its company leftovers.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Throwback Thursday - Staying Power

On September 16, 2004, ETR 108 was at rest at Lincoln Avenue in Windsor, Ontario.
By Peter Mumby.
Built in May of 1960, by the time this photo of Essex Terminal Railway GP9 was exposed on September 16, 2004, it had been in service for over 44 years.  It rolled off the GMD assembly line wearing number 9 and dressed in the paint of Quebec Cartier Railway.  One of the later examples of GP9 production, it came from the factory with the low short hood generally associated with later models.  The unit later operated as Cartier 59 before migrating to the ETR roster in November of 1989.  Today it still serves along with three switchers as 25% of the short line's roster.  In a few short weeks it will celebrate its 62nd birthday.  Staying power, indeed. 


Monday 11 April 2022

St.J &LC No. 50

StJ&LC no. 50 is seen pulling through the yard.

A view of St. J operations in St. Johnsbury, Vermont...George Dutka  

Sunday 10 April 2022

Leftovers Part Two


The end wall is covered with a plywood print from Roomettes. The roof is left over laser wood from the ITLA kit covered with BarMills leftover corrugated roofing which is a paper stock from Northeastern. Some Juneco sacks are added inside the open door.

A couple of views of how the shed looks once completed...George Dutka

One can see I did not have a window frame so I just boarded it up and included some broken glass. The stove pipe is added. The walls are painted a dirty green tone and the roof is rusted up.

Saturday 9 April 2022

Snapshot - April 2022

A surprise unit included in a WB train in London, April 2, 2022.
Last Saturday I took my camera on my way to visit the mother in law as it was a sunny day and it has been two months since I last took a photo. My wife was not with me this time as she was at home recouping from surgery.  To my surprise CP 235 was at the west end of the CP yard ready to depart with an interesting inclusion as the middle unit. So it was great to get the shot while the engine is still newly painted and clean looking.  

I spent a couple of hours with my mother in law making her coffee and lunch before departing for home. She is 97. To my surprise a CP WB has the crossing blocked at the east end of the yard. A quick right took me to another crossing were I photographed the WB with the same Heritage unit as in last month's Snapshot. I guess this engine is hanging around this area. It was a surprise to actually catch to CP trains with interesting units included on my first camera trip in two months...better days ahead...George Dutka

CP westbound departing London. This train got good coverage just after I pulled in to photo the train three other cars and trucks pulled into the lot blocking me in till they were done getting their views.

Departing London, April 2, 2022.

Early afternoon CP WB has doubled over blocking the crossing on April 2, 2022.

CP heritage engine 7019 is the trailer. I am wondering if at some point this engine will be turned for a return trip or the power could be turned on a wye.

Friday 8 April 2022

Leftovers Again

A new structure built from the leftovers of ITLA shed is to the left.

After building a number of ITLA line side sheds I had some leftover pieces that could be used to make another structure. Here is what I did and more photos to follow...George Dutka

Corner posts are added to the laser cut leftovers.

The basic assembly is done. I used a plastic door which I cut in half and a stove pipe for the rear of the structure.

Thursday 7 April 2022

Throwback Thursday - Slug Set

BC Rail RS-18 number 606 was working in the yard at North Vancouver on July 06, 1989.
 By Peter Mumby.

The RS-18 was probably the most successful offering in the product line of Montreal Locomotive Works.  British Columbia Railway locomotives of this model certainly served reliably over their long careers.  BCR 606, shown in one of today's photos, had been assembled as number 592 in June of 1960.  Renumbering came in 1964.  Twenty years later it was damaged in a wreck, with rebuilding following in 1986.  A second rebuild would occur in 1993, when the unit was upgraded with a 2000 hp CAT prime mover.  This RS-18 continued in service until the CN take-over in July of 2004.  Keeping the 606 company in the photos was yard slug S405 which had been built from an ex-LS&I RS-3 in August of 1984.  

The RS-18's dance partner on that day was slug unit S405.


Tuesday 5 April 2022

Avonlea - 1942


A Saskatchewan fuel station in Avonlea in 1942. A pretty simple looking building with a well weathered pump and some rusty old barrels out front....George Dutka       

Monday 4 April 2022

B&M Yard Office - White River Junction

A roadside view of the B&M yard office with the main line in the foreground. No date for this photo but it shows some interesting features such as the walkway over the track from the street which would have had a bit of a parking lot. The train order signal is in view. The one wall appears to be painted gray while the end walls are well weathered. There is a sign also on the wall facing the main line and the hand railing appears to be yellow.
A photo from my WRJ files...I don't have any information about it and the file is really small although there is a lot more details shown then I saw in the 1980's when I first visited this location...George Dutka   

Sunday 3 April 2022

GMD Recollections - Via Delivery

Via locomotives 6418 and 6419 had just been delivered to the London Via station on February 07, 1987.  They had been forwarded by CN yard engine 1363, which was just out of the picture to the left.
By Peter Mumby.

Via F40PH-2 locomotives 6400-6458 were produced between 1986 and 1989.  The normal delivery procedure was to have a CN yard engine bring the new units to the Via station, where they would be coupled to the head end of the next regularly-scheduled eastbound passenger train.  The 6418/6419 pair featured in today's photos had recently been escorted to the station by CN 1363.  They were sitting on station track number 1 awaiting the arrival of Via engine 6793 and its train number 84.

Via 6760 looks on as 6419 waits to couple on to number 6793 at the head end of Via train 84.  Both 6760 and 6793 will soon be put out to pasture by these new arrivals.


Saturday 2 April 2022

Building the White RIver Jct Station Scene

This was a really early look at WRJ with a paper mock-up and the trackage in place. I operated the railway for almost a year like this to make sure all would run well before working on the scenery. WRJ was the last scene to be finished on the layout.

Here are a few views that I took while building the WRJ station scene almost 20 years ago....George Dutka

The paper mock-up of the WRJ station is in place. All the track is operational and some scenery webbing made from cardboard boxes is in place.

The area around the station is completed. I built a form with the concrete curbing in place before a pour of Woodland scenic plaster Smooth-it into the forming.