Site seeing – Loco dead line edition – August 20

Locomotive dead lines make fascinating modelling subjects. One layout idea that has percolated along for the last couple of years relates to a locomotive rebuilder. A recent post by one of my favourite modellers, Mike Confalone, over on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums, provides a great starting point.


Modelling a deadline

One layout idea that’s been percolating along for the last couple of years relates to a locomotive rebuilder. One aspect of that design is the deadline, that is, the line of locomotives waiting for work to begin on their rebirth, parts removal for donation to other units, and for some the final indignity – the cutters torch and a change of state to scrap metal. Fortuitously, a small project by Mike Confalone over on the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums has been focused on a deadline too.  Mike writes in the post that:

On the proto-freelanced Allagash, we have a caboose track at Madrid. With the move to 1984 a few years back, the caboose track is used less and less as cabooses begin to become less common. We still run them on most of the road jobs, but most of the locals go without, per the prototype in that era. So, I’ve converted the caboose track to a diesel deadline. Its a bit tight but it’s the only available real estate in the yard and I didn’t want to put them on a remote siding. I wanted the deadline near the engine house. Seemed to make sense.

Click the photo above to go straight to the MRH forum post

There’s five pages of comments and information there as of my writing this post. Being a fan of Mike’s work I may be biased. However, I find his work to be of the highest quality and well worth the time to review. I hope that you feel the same way after you’ve read through the thread.


Resources

  • There is a Megastructures documentary (Mega Breakdown – train overhaul) that is worth watching for an overview if you haven’t seen this type of operation before:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in diesel, Large, Layout Design, Layouts, Modelling, Motive Power, Operations, Site seeing, Web, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Site seeing – Op till you drop ‘Blue Flag’ edition – August 18

In this post we’ll be looking at blue flags; what they are, what they do and how to model them.


What blue flags are, and what they do

Blue Flags are used in the North American  railroading industry to show that railroad or other personnel are working, on, about, under or between railroad equipment and that the railroad equipment may not be connected to. These signs may be posted at the entry to the track upon which the vehicle sits or may be at, or close to, the railroad equipment itself.

Whoever places the flag is generally the only person that may remove said flag. However anyone from that same ‘craft’ may remove the flag. While this generally applies to railroad mechanical departments many customers have also begun to use the blue flag to ensure that cars loading or unloading have the same level of protection. Railroad crews are so used to dealing with these safety items that ‘everyone’ in the industry understands what their placement on a siding or spur means.

Canadian Pacific’s safety regulations state the following:

12.3.7 Blue flag protection is used to indicate that CP or Contractor Personnel are working on, under or between Railway Equipment and movement of trains or other Railway Equipment is prohibited. Blue flags must not be tampered with or obstructed. Blue flags can only be removed by the person or group of persons who originally applied it. Application, use, and removal of blue flags, when appropriate, may only be done under the authorization and guidance of the Manager in Charge.


Modelling blue flags

Have you considered adding ‘blue flag’ operations on your layout? Adding prototype processes to an operating session provides two important benefits:

  1. It makes the time you spend on the layout more meaningful through the application of, and adherence to the rules, and
  2. It slows down the session and forces you to work in real-time.

Over on the Model Railroad Hobbyist blog of Craig Thomasson he recently described how he builds HO scale blue flags for operations and how they are used on his layout. I found his blog post interesting and think that you might find as interesting and useful as I did.

Resources

If you’ve not met Blue Flags in the operations sense before here are some resources that you might find useful:

Posted in Modelling, Operations, Prototype, Site seeing, Web | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Site Update – August 10 2018

Facebook has recently made changes to the way that bloggers make posts to their primary profile page. In essence this means that they broke the way that WordPress and others could post updates from their blogs.

The only option has been to create a page and connect to that. So, to continue to make sure that posts continue to appear on Facebook, and through exhaustive research and audience consultation (1 person said they had no idea either) I’ve created the Andrew’s Trains page. All the posts will now appear there (as well as here obviously) as a large part of the followers of the blog find information about this site on FB.

The devil is always in the details.

New day, new challenges, new solutions. See you all in the funny papers.

Posted in Layouts, Site Updates, This Site, Web | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – the Switching small customers edition

There was an interesting video posted by Danny Harmon (who goes by the handle of Distant Signal on YouTube).

He focuses on the increasingly rare small switching customer. Once upon a time it was the core of railroading. And while it is harder to find, in some places it can still be found as Danny presents in this video.

Enjoy the video! And if you like Danny’s videos as much as I love his voice then like the video and subscribe to his channel. I have no affiliation with Danny other than as a happy viewer of his content.

Posted in Boxcars, Class 1, Freight, Prototype, Publishing, Site seeing, Switching, video, Web, YouTube, Youtube | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Site Update – the I have a bench finally edition

It has been more than 20 years since I last had a dedicated modelling room, and the spaces within which, to continuously model. It is nice to be able to leave out projects that I am working on, and not have to worry about little hands and my wife getting grumpy at me because of the mess I leave about. I’m not complaining mind. Just saying that it is nice to be able to leave out projects that I’m not quite finished with and come back to them hours, days or even weeks later without the guilt of being in another’s way.

I was lucky in finding a solid glass top desk in a local thrift store (on the cheap mind). Nice thick glass (perfectly flat and great to use when scratchbuilding) with plenty of space to build and keep the projects on (see the image on the left).

And there are several projects that I need to advance and get to completion. Among them are the following Australian outline kit building projects:

  1. GY Grain wagons from the SEM kit as outlined here in 2015

I’ve actually got about 12 of these to complete, and I’ve learned along the way with the kits that while it would be nice to include everything I originally planned, unless you build them from scratch you have to compromise. These will eventually belong to an Aussie outline small layout for exhibition. More on that later – as I need to buy some motive power (A Y class loco, or two, or three, and a T Class too if I can get my bookkeeper to authorise the purchase).

Then there are the following US outline projects:

  1. O Scale GP38-2 rebuilds (more on that here)
  2. HO Scale SW1500 rebuilds (more to come on that in another post soon)
  3. Completion of a bunch of HO scale car repaints, upgrades and so on

There are several other types of non-rail modelling projects that I’d like to finish too, including Robby the Robot, a series of BSG (Battlestar Galactica) projects, a couple of Star Trek projects and tanks, submarines, and a couple of dioramas for these said projects too.

That’s it for now on this update. There’ll be more information and write-ups coming on these projects as I get them moving again. I still have some parts to order for the O scale project, where as I’ve all the parts needed now for the SW1500s.

Posted in 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4"), diesel, GP38-2, HO Scale, Information, Modelling, Motive Power, O Scale, Scales, steam | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Site seeing – Saturday morning video watching edition

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to post. A range of reasons you’re all familiar with – work, tiredness, time pressure and the needs for others among them. And then that this is at the moment a hobby and not my primary income source (sigh).

While taking a little time out for myself in the early morning (before the sun came up on a very chilly day in Ballarat) I rediscovered the video produced by the folks over at Model Railroader on model railroad operations. Hosted by the late (and greatly lamented Andy Sperandeo) this video is a great introduction to operations, without all the paperwork, and other stuff that can hamper your entry into the realm.

I hope you enjoy, and it is great to share with you Andy’s wit and personality. I miss being able to chat with him as I did every now and then online about operations and the finer points he knew from a lifetime of modelling. Have a great weekend.

Posted in HO Scale, Layout Design, Liked off site, Modelling, Operations, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Switching, video, Web, Youtube | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Site seeing – the oil soaked track edition – April 15

Mike Cougill over at OST Publications is an inspiration when it comes to modelling track. His work is in O scale sure, his techniques however can be used in any scale to spruce up, or in this case make a mess of, otherwise perfectly good track.

His recent post about modelling oil soaked track is a point in case. Simple, presented in a straightforward style and always willing to experiment Mike’s technique provides a great result.

Image courtesy of Mike Cougill

Mike’s site is full of great articles and ideas. Very well worth the time taken to visit.

Posted in 1:48 (US O Scale 1/4"), Acrylics, Modelling, O Scale, Paints & Painting, Powders, Proto 48, Scenery, Site seeing, Sites of interest, Weathering, Web | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Site Seeing – the I’ve got a model room edition – April 1

I’ve been without a modelling space, a dedicated out of the line of fire, not on the kitchen table, leave all your stuff out, style space since the late 80s. A recent move has seen us in a larger space with two spare rooms and a space for our library.

Over my 2 week break from work I’ve gone through my boxes, trying to find all of my collected modelling tools, and I have for the most part succeeded. I’m still missing some critical stuff like my Chopper 2 and Duplicutter along with my set of beading tools that I use to cut a range of river heads. There in a box somewhere but for the life of me I cannot find the blessed thing. Same goes for the NWSL products. I know they’re there, I just cannot say quite where that is for now.

I’ve emptied my mobile toolkits (large and small fishing tackle boxes, and carry totes) to get all of my tools and bits out of the dark and onto the table – making the space look like a the remains of a tornado. So no photos yet – I do have some pride. However, in the short space of time I’ve managed to part complete three little rebuilds from Athearn BB kits, which is more modelling that I have been able to complete in quite a while.

There is a bit of work to get the room into shape. I have a list of honey-dos among them is to build bookcases for our library room. I will add to that list as I need some in my modelling room. These will serve their obvious purpose as well as a base for the switching layout that will be permanently setup in there. More on that in a couple of weeks when I find a tape measure to measure up the room and begin to design something that fits inside the house, and not in the soon to be very cold garage.

I managed to pick up a glass top work desk for $35 Aussie from a local thrift shop (similar to the image on the left). A couple of twists to tighten screws and the judicious use of my allen keys to tighten everything up and the thing is as good as new. The glass top will aid in making scratchbuilt items too.

It has been fun working with my Waldron punch sets and the Historex Hex punch sets and I have to restock all of my depleted punched out bolt heads, and circle plates (great for diesel detailing) from the different grades of styrene.

I’ll post some photos over the next week or two as I get things sorted out. All the best.

 

 

Posted in Home, Information, Modelling, Site seeing, Site Updates, This Site, Updates | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Site Seeing – the Model RR to Go edition

Good day readers wherever you may be, and whatever you may be doing. It has been a while since my last post. That’s mainly down to my work schedule being all-consuming, and the days being long and the start times being all over the clock face. Nine months into my new role as a tram driver I’ve just managed a couple of weeks off and needed every moment to recover.

While recovering and looking around for some layout baseboard design ideas today I stumbled across Rick De Candido’s Fillmore Avenue Roundhouse blog.

His section of layout concepts (click this link to open a new window) has several great ideas. He really thinks outside the box on many of his designs. There is such creativity from this space starved modeller.

His terminal layout is something to see too, and can utilise up to 6 operators on the layout during each 2.5 hour operating session. Well worth the time to visit the site and take a long read through the many useful posts there. Thanks to Rick for sharing his passion.

Rick’s Fillmore Avenue Roundhouse layout

Unfortunately I have no contact details for Rick, and there is nothing on the site where I can post a comment to let him know that I’ve profiled his site. If any of you can help with getting me in touch with Rick would you please reply to this post?

Posted in Information, Layout Design, Layouts, Modelling, Small, Switching, TOMA | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Site update – Operations pages updated

I’ve completed a complete rewrite of the introduction page to the operations section. In addition I’ve added another page to the ops section to improve the information flow. I wrote the original in September 2014 stating that it would be a living document, and so it has proved.

You can read the updated intro page here. That page then refers you to the new 101 – Ops Intro page which has more information on the subject moved on from the first page. I’ve updated several of the other pages also. There is still more work to do to make a better complete article. I’ll continue working on this section during January and February 2018. More information once I complete the new sections.

I don’t expect that you will agree with me on every point in this article series on Operations. For me it is about creating the conversation, and getting people to talk and think about the subject. I hope that you will use it as a jumping off point from which to refine your own vision of what model railroad operations means for you.

Make sure to comment and share your ideas with me. I love hearing what you have to say.

Posted in Layout Design, Operations, Site seeing, Site Updates, This Site, Web | Tagged , , | Leave a comment