Wishing you all a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year

It’s come around again. The end of one year, and the beginning of the new calendar.

I hope that you all have a festive, safe, enjoyable and very happy New Year’s celebration, and that 2016 provides all that you need in your life during the year ahead.

That goes for me too!

See you next year!


Site Update: December 31 2015

I’ve added some photos to the Galleries section at last.

From the Main menu choose:

All have recent photos uploaded from earlier this month. There’ll be more coming in 2016 as I find and update my content of both trains, trams and modelling as I go through all the old HVL site data.

Site Seeing – December 30

I’ve written and shared a lot of Gene48’s posts before on this blog. Not only because he models in P48 O scale, but also because of the quality and quantity of his work. As the next to the last post for the year, I thought I’d round out with one of Gene’s more recent posts.

Site 1: Grade Crossing Construction

Gene’s using the techniques developed by my favourite railway author – Gordon Gravett – to make his grade crossings. I wish I could afford the book as it goes for outrageous prices on Amazon and other places. I have most of his other books btw.

If you’d like to wander over to Gene’s blog and take a look at what he is working on then please do so. You won’t be disappointed.


Site Seeing – December 29

Small layouts can be as interesting and as fascinating as their larger cousins. Today we’ll focus on one such layout that shows how even in a small space, there is room to excel.

Site 1: Paul Marshal-Potter’s ‘Shelfie’

Paul’s blog site (Albion Yard) has featured before on this blog.

Recently I found a couple of posts and images of ‘Shelfie’ in a semi-finished state, before managing to get a copy of Model Rail #214 October 2015 from our local library service last week.

And what a difference between the in-progress shot and that shown above and in the magazine. If you’ve not read Paul’s blog before may I suggest that you do so? There is great modelling ideas and images aplenty there. Drop by and give Paul’s blog a read soon.


Site Seeing – December 28

Small layouts are my true love. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t love to have a huge O scale layout filling the basement of a huge house. Realistically however, the small layout is the most likely layout that I can build and operate within the scope of income and time available. And as many others have pointed out over the years it is also a canvas within which you can detail to your heart’s content.

Site 1: Bart van Doorn’s 33rd St Layout

This beautiful O scale layout shows what can be achieved in a relatively small area in what I consider the premier scale. Pop on over to Bart’s channel and take a look around at his videos of the layout.

Site 2: Bart van Doorn’s Flickr site

Bart’s layout has come a long way since the video above. Take a look at the Flickr set and see his outstanding modelling.

Site 3: Shortliner Jack’s version of 33rd Street in HO Scale

Shortliner Jack is one of my heroes when it comes to building a layout. He is a serial small layout builder designing some notable layouts among them Box St Yard.

Recently I found a 2013 set of posts about his HO scale version of 33rd Street that makes some interesting reading. Even though the layout did not get finished it does show what you can manage in a relatively small space.

Site seeing December 24

Among my favourite places to model are where the railroad meets other types of transport. In today’s case we’re looking at the connection between rail and road and the infrastructure that allows it to happen.

Site 1: Gene’s P48 Blog – modelling grade crossings

While Gene’s site is for P48 O Scale modellers, the techniques used apply equally to those of us modelling in smaller or should you be lucky enough in the larger scales.

Enjoy part 1 of this series.

In Praise of Bakeries, Part II

In part 2 of his post on Bakery operations in the Roswell area, Rails West has some great shots of the unloading equipment, delivery vehicles and railcars involved in the operation along with details of the operation.

Enjoy, and thanks again Rails West for this great resource.

Rails West

To conclude my series on bakeries, here is a little information on the structures, rolling stock, vehicles and operations.


Bakeries come in all shapes and sizes, but most of the older ones were pretty substantial brick or cinder block buildings from what I can gather. Here’s a collection of photos demonstrating the variety.

Capture Rainbo Bakery, reportedly in Tuscan, AZ.

Tucson Rainbo Bakery

Older Rainbow Bakery in Tucson, AZ.

Roanoke Rainbo Bakery coutesy Roanoke Public Library Rainbo Bakery in Roanoke, VA.  Photo courtesy of Roanoke Public Library.

back Back of a bakery, location unknown.

Here’s a more modern bakery.

Schwebels Bakery Solon OH Dan Sapochetti Schwebels Bakery, Solon OH, 2005, photo courtesy of  Dan Sapochetti

Here is a collection of photos of a former Rainbo bakery in Lexington, KY with some cool interior shots in case you were very ambitious and wanted to model a realistic interior.


Frankfurt KY II

Frankfort inside II

Inside of a Rainbo bakery in Kentucky

Lexington inside

Here is a few photos of silos and unloading equipment.

shick-bulk-flour-system(ecpqf3) Shick bulk flour system, courtesy of Shick Solutions.

Rail Car Unloading Systems Detail on…

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In Praise of Bakeries, Part I

Bakeries make for fascinating operations on a model railroad. They can be modelled with minimal facilities (such as the unloading areas – silos, tanks and such) or full blown with the entire bakery building and office complex should you have the space. Being space poor, the silo and tank thing (really the most detailed part of the operation) appeals to me the most. I’ve blogged about Bakeries as on-line customers (Mrs Baird’s on the Bergstrom Lead in Austin, TX) here before as has Lance Mindheim (Miami, FL).

Small and larger bakeries continued to use rail for inbound loads until the early 1990s. Rails West has some great history in this post (part 1 of at least 2) and it is really worth the read. I hope that you enjoy. Thanks go to Rails West for sharing his personal knowledge of the industry.

Rails West

I lived in Roswell, NM, for much of the early 1990s.  One of the pleasures of early 1990 Roswell was driving by the Rainbo bakery and smelling the fresh bread being baked.  Another treat for me was to check out the spur where the Santa Fe Railway brought in covered hoppers of flour.

Roswell II Site of Bakery in Roswell.  Green dots denote the former unloading area.

Sadly, it is all gone now with the exception of a few relics.  The green dots above show where the cars were spotted for unloading and the base upon which the silos sat that stored the flour.  The flour was pneumatically carried from the train car to the silos and from the silos to the bakery.  I am not sure if the remaining structure was related to the bakery.  I remember to pneumatic tube that carried the flour to the bakery was pretty long and may…

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

The end of the year is nigh, and it’s time for the jolly old Elf to ride around the place whipping down chimneys and all that stuff. As one train-lover to another I thought I’d share an image of the season with you.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy and safe New Year
It’s all down hill from here! Cheltenham, VIC 21/12/2015.
Photo copyright: Ian Andrew Martin 2015

Thanks for stopping by this year and being a part of the HVL and Andrew’s Trains. I hope that you’ll drop by again next year too.

I wish you all the best wishes of the season, no matter what your personal beliefs, hoping that you have a safe and Merry Christmas and a bright, interesting and enjoyable New Year.

Site Seeing: December 14

After I reblogged Rails West’s San Fernando Valley Branch post on December 7th I took a look around the web to see if there were other sites that had information on this very interesting branch line. Luckily I found one. I could not find a SPINS book in my stash of SP paperwork to cover the area however you could certainly find this information from many of the online dealers (found at the last link) today.

There’s a week’s worth of information here and I hope you enjoy reading through it all.

Site 1: Burbank Branch Industries, 1981

Bruce Petty’s website has some really fine information (including lots of photos) of the branch in the early 1908s that would of interest should you decide to model the branch or one just like it. It includes the names of the industries served and the car lengths of the spurs.

Site 2: San Fernando Valley Freight Station Photos

Another of Bruce’s pages this time with photographs of the freight stations along sections of the line. Nice if you wanted to model any of these buildings specifically.

Site 3: Bruce’s layout page

Bruce has a model railroad covering a portion of the branch that was featured in the 2007 Great Model Railways (Kalmbach Publications). Take a good look around and take a look at some of the links on the page for the modelling articles there. Really goo stuff.

Site 4: CLIC, SPINS, ZTS: Zones, tracks, spots Identification

Some solid information on the different forms of track and spot identification. Main site is in German but the page is written in English.

Site 5: An overview of SPINS and the TOPS system that underpinned it

A great site with a huge range of detail and links about the SPINS system and the TOPS system. And yes UK modellers that is the same system BR purchased from the SP in the 1960s.