Sunday, June 25, 2017

Business Train at Cape Ann Station

Cape Ann's business train was seen this morning picking up some executives for an inspection trip.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hobo camp

The hoboes have set up camp next to the dead line. The dead line has several old locos, freight cars, and this derelict caboose. The three guys on the left are standing around the campfire, which is a flicker LED salvaged from a flickering tealight. The empty cable spool is their dining room table. The guy holding a briefcase and looking at his watch is clearly in the wrong crowd.

Cab Eye Video Ideas

1. Obain a Tyco Piggyback flat car. They are readily available on eBay. This one is currently listed - $1.99, no bids yet. You will see what is special about this car in Step 3.

2. Remove the trailers.

3. Remove the yellow decking. It will not be used. It snaps into slots (arrow) in the chassis so it is easy to remove by poking the tabs up from underneath. This is the "exploded view". The slots make mounting a camera easy.

4. I left the stock weight strip in place, and added an additional cast weight from a scrap F7A engine, securing it with a mini-zip tie through the slots. This makes the car very stable when moving. (Without it, the car wobbled a lot) The two white pieces are leftover from a wire shelving install. The J-hook on left is hot glued in place. The other piece is mini-zip tied through the slots, and it can slide back and forth to snug up against the camera.

5. Place the GoPro in position and snug it up. Push it along with your loco. Watch your clearances - if you have tracks on 2" centers, it will strike anything on an adjacent track.

Here is another approach by modeler Jim Booth. Jim writes "A mini video camera available dirt cheap at Wallymart. Comes with a clip so it fits on the end of a gondola. Perhaps not as clear as a Go-Pro but does the job. And it is the same width or a little less than the rail car. Camera cost me $44 in Canada. Think it's around $24 or so in the US."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day Tribute Run 2017

Every Father's Day, as a tribute, I run the original Atlantic Coast Line train set given to me by my father in the mid 1960's. This is the set that started me in model railroading. Here it is passing across Glen Cove Bridge, still shining the rails over 50 years later.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

FM Trainmaster - MEC 554

This was at a club meeting on the FREE table - an Athearn FM Trainmaster, undecorated, needing a little TLC. New couplers, LED lighting, hardware bypass of the springy motor contact clip, paint and decals, and now here it is working in Cape Ann's Davis Yard.

Pair of Conrail RS-2's

Before and after. Two Alco RS-2's (eBay finds) become Conrail (ex-Penn Central) 5225 and 5228. This scheme fits in with the 1981 layout.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Odds and Evens

When setting up the numbering scheme for locomotives, this was the plan:

199passenger, non-revenueCape Ann business use
100199passenger, revenue 
200299locomotive, switcher or FMyard or pusher service
300599locomotive, F seriespassenger service
600799locomotive, GP-18 seriesfreight service
800899locomotive, GP-20 and later seriesfreight service

Further, all powered locos would have even road numbers, and all unpowered (dummies and slugs) would have odd road numbers. This makes it easy to figure out what's going on in multiple unit consists. The ruling grade is a hefty 3% up Cascade Pass, and this requires two powered locos. The consist shown here would not qualify!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Visiting Op

My sister-in-law Kris likes to operate trains when she visits. When it comes to planning out 4 or 5 switching moves in advance, seems people either "get it" or they don't. She gets it. Here she is spotting some cars at Marias Machining. The switchbacks make switching a bit of a challenge here.