Sunday, May 28, 2017

Improving Conrail F7A 2975

Made some improvements to Conrail 2975, an Athearn dummy loco. It was missing all the window plastics and the headlight lenses. A window set salvaged from an AHM FM-A C-liner snapped in perfectly. Made headlight lenses from some scrap clear plastic sprue. Unit was numbered 2972 but I changed it to 2975, since I make all powered locos even numbered and all dummys odd numbered for quick reference. Faded the markings and sooted it up a bit.

Friday, May 26, 2017

WP 28051 at Marias Machining

Western Pacific 28051 has arrived at Marias Machining with a load of stainless steel components to be machined for marine use. Switching in this area is a bit of a challenge with tight trackage and stacks of intermodal containers everywhere.
This Tyco car has been repainted deep purple with an aluminum roof, and decaled for WP’s modern Feather River Route scheme.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

CR 433165

Conrail 433165 has just arrived on the interchange track with a load of ballast for the Cape Ann. It is being switched onto a side track at Kenton to wait for the next work train to be made up.
This Tyco hopper has the stock Conrail lettering. It has had the interior painted rust color, and a removable ballast load set in place. The ballast load is a mix of coarse sand and white latex caulk, applied to a piece of mat board, and painted grey. The speckled rust effect on the car sides was made by making distant passes with a spray can of red auto primer, gradually making each pass closer until the desired effect was achieved.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pimping a Tyco Bulkhead Flat

CP Rail bulkhead flat 29069 is seen being switched past Tower GT at Kenton Yard on the Cape Ann.
This Tyco car has had a repaint - the car is painted with red auto primer from a spray can (my answer to boxcar red), and the wood load brush painted over the original pumpkin-orange color. The removable hollow wood load is a convenient place to stash additional weight inside.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Section Work Car 992

This is #992. one of two “section cars” on the Cape Ann. These are used for day-to-day maintenance of way tasks that do not require a full work train. The mini-caboose provides a place to ride, have lunch, and shelter. The 20’ container provides secure storage for tools and materials. The locomotive must always couple to the caboose end, as end clearance is needed to access the container. Like all non-revenue equipment, the road number is in the 900-999 series.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Late night switching at Tower GT

The daily interchange with Conrail is a late night affair, and the last move in the day's sequence of trains. Here we see a cut of cars being slowly backed into Kenton Yard, under the watchful eyes of the Glen Cove Tower (Tower GT) operator, observing reporting marks illuminated by the tower windows.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Progressive Weathering

I try not to weather two cars in the same manner, so I use a technique I call "progressive weathering". It's not original - I read about in a magazine a while back. Here I had 4 identical cars to weather. Made one weathering pass to all four, then set one aside as done. Then another pass to the remaining three, then set one aside as done. Continue in this manner until all are done. Here are the results. Least weathered at the top - should be obvious! This was a lot of four Tyco "Old Dutch Cleanser" cars obtained used from eBay.

Hard to sleep at Kimball's Campground

Campers at Kimball's Campground are sometimes surprised (sometimes unhappily) to find railroad tracks run right behind the campsites. Funny, but the brochure photos never seem to be taken when a train is going by. But it does provide a great spot for train-watching. This line leads into Davis Yard and usually slow freights are clanking by. The mainline beyond is a different story - campers get awoken late at night when The Acadian screams by behind a quartet of F7's bound for Sanford at 80 MPH.

Glen Cove Fuels

Before and After: This 89' Auto Rack just doesn't fit my layout. After cutting it in two, the rack becomes the tank support structure at the local fuel oil dealer, Glen Cove Fuels. Two junker tank cars complete the installation.

LLPX 6002: A 99 Cent Special

I keep an eye on eBay - sometimes things show up for 99 cent opening bids. I will place a bid for 99 cents, and once in a while no one else bids! This GE U36B was a 99 cent win. But since my railroad standardizes on EMD power, what to do with it? So I turned it into a leaser unit, which is a plausible cover story. It has been repainted, decalled as LLPX 6002, and outfitted with directional LED lighting.

Ghost story - the phantom GP20

A DC ghost story - and this has happened SEVERAL times. I have a Tyco GP20 #912 assigned to MOW service. The motor is absolutely silent - you cannot hear anything even with your ear up close. Now the layout is conventional DC block control. 912 will be resting somewhere unnoticed. I will be working switching cars somewhere, and lo and behold, here comes a headlight and 912 creeps into the block. Unsettling! Guess I have to watch those block switches a little more closely.

"Opening" the hoods

Optical illusion: How to "open" the hoods on cars - paint the hood flat black, cut a new hood from styrene and paint to match, and prop/glue them in place on top of the SALE signs. Fools the eye to the casual view! These cars are 1:100 scale architectural models, close enough for HO scale.

Monday, May 1, 2017

EEE Feeds

EEE Feeds is located at the edge of Marias Industrial Park. Due to the unusual arrangement of the track being end-on instead of parallel to the dock, they share a dock with Chronicle Printing (around the corner) whose dock is parallel to the siding. 

Bolton Memorial Maintenance Facility

The John Bolton Memorial Maintenance Facility ("Bolton Shops") is named in memory of real-life Amtrak conductor Johnny Bolton, who never failed to learn the names of his regular passengers and call them by name as they boarded the Downeaster. This shop is made from mat board. The roof is removable (the antenna mast is the handle) so the inside can be seen while switching cars in and out.

GP20-B 807

GP-20B 807 is made from two Tyco GP-20 shells combined back-to-back. The Tyco GP20 has no separate chassis, just two truck assemblies snapped into the shell. 

Sermon Interruptus

Sometimes church services at Grace United Methodist are interrupted by a diesel horn as a passenger train approaches Cape Ann station. Cape Ann's newest passenger loco, FP45 #400, is on the point this fine Sunday morning.