Site Seeing – May 22 (the I needed some steam therapy post)

I woke up this morning after dreaming about driving steam trains all night. Don’t know why, but there it is. So over a breakfast of toast and jam, and a cup of tea I got in some serious steam therapy and wanted to share my sense of serenity with you.

If you are in need of some steam therapy, consider the therapist ‘in’. Sit back, crank up the sound and enjoy.

Therapy session 1 – UP Challenger #3985 + 143 Freight Cars

While I understand why steam is no longer the king of the rails, doesn’t it make you wonder ‘what if’?

Therapy Session 2 – Steam Locomotives At Speed

While not as imposing as the UP Challenger, there is something cathartic and invigorating about seeing express locomotives ‘expressing’ themselves at high-speed; enjoy!

Therapy Session 3 – Steam trains at speed

I want to make sure that you are as revitalised as I am. So here is a little more therapy for a bleak, cool and windy Sunday (at least in Ballarat). Go get a coffee, or tea, or frothy beverage of choice, and relax into 45 minutes of enjoyment.

I hope that you got some value from our therapy session this morning. I think that we should see one another again soon. Let’s schedule another session in … well leave a comment, or like this post, and we’ll see when we can fit one another in eh?

Site Update – May 21

It’s been a rather busy month with the doing and the finding of new work. However, late last week I finally got around to updating and uploading images and new pages. Let’s get into what’s changed and what is new.

Galleries section

In the USA section (that’s been empty for far too long) I’ve added two new subsections, and galleries beneath each one. Of particular note are the Austin TX, and Kyle TX areas.

Kyle, Texas in particular had some great rail served classics from the long gone era of railroading when we first moved there in early 2001. Including a two spot Quonset hut for the local Co-Op. All gone now of course, but forever kept in posterity here.  It would make a great modelling challenge, and something that would work from the post-war (WW2) period through the late 80s to early 1990s period. There are also some other Co-Op related buildings in this new gallery too.

The Austin, TX gallery has two new subsections for review:

East Austin

  • TSE Boxcars – showing a set of detail images for Texas South-Eastern Railroad Company (reporting mark TSE) boxcars parked up near the HEB supermarket off East 7th Street.
  • Historic buildings – East Austin Ice Factory – shows an iconic med 20th century ice factory serving the East of Austin. Not a lot of photos but enough to draw inspiration and make a great model from.
  • Railroad infrastructure – shows a few shots of the area between 5th and 7th Street in the same area as the Ice Factory. And some fascinating track formations in the few photos that I have.

Bergstrom Lead

  • This is all of the photos from the article I wrote sometime ago on modelling the Bergstrom Lead in Austin’s South.

Site Seeing – May 14 (the All American Model Railroad show issue)

Thanks to Neil Cowie, a friend and former fellow member of the Essendon Model Railway club in Glenroy – Melbourne, I got invited down to his new club’s show today.

Site 1: US Model Railroad Club of Australia

The US Model Railroad Club of Australia are all US modellers (obviously) and model a variety of US prototype. You can find the club’s web presence on Facebook. Their show was open today, Saturday 14 May, and will be again tomorrow from 09:30 – 16:00 hours at 27 Talmage Street, Albion, Victoria. For locals it is Melways ref: 26 – F10.

The club has only been going for a relatively short time (a couple of years) but they’ve secured club rooms in an iconic (some might say landmark) building in suburban Melbourne and have made a solid start on a large HO scale club layout.

Based in the former Albion railway sub-station, one of several built around the Melbourne metropolitan railway system in the 1910s which housed large rotary converters to transform the 20,000V AC electric current supplied by the Victorian Railway’s Newport Power Station to 1500V DC to power Melbourne’s electric trains. Luckily that very building now allows them plenty of floor space.

If you get  chance tomorrow drop by and visit with Neil. Tell him that Andrew sent you. He’ll get a kick out of that I’m sure. Below is a work in progress shot of the layout.


Site seeing – May 11 (the Shelf layout Inglenook post)

It’s been some time since my last post, due mainly to work and other real world commitments. Recently while enjoying a little downtime, I cam across a great set of posts and the layout blog. I wanted to share that with you.

Site 1: Burbank Branch Layout

A simple Inglenook track plan, this layout has some outstanding features that make it worth looking into. Not least is the modelling skill shown going into the layout by the builder – survivaljoe over on the MRH website..

Burbank Branch Layout plan
Burbank Branch Layout plan

As a renter he needed to build a layout that could move when he moved and not mount to or damage any of the walls in the dwelling. The control is DC for the moment while he waits for new technology in the market to mature. That does not appear to change the slow running qualities of locomotives.

Designed for operating sessions of roughly 30 minutes at a time (which I’ve talked about several times before as the perfect amount of time to operate on a small layout) this layout really shines up well, even without all the scenery in place.

The video above shows a basic operating session and the modelling quality involved.

While the video above shows images taken during the build process. I hope that you enjoy look at the layout as much as I have. Look into the resources below for the build and blog over the MRH site also.