Tag Archives: HO

Claremont Concord decals in HO

Over on Chris Meer’s Prince Street blog a recent post points to a new supplier of decals for the Claremont and Concord RR (yes that is the Railway that MR did a G scale layout of some time ago).

The C&C is a great prototype for the small layout builder (especially in HO) and these decals are in HO scale and at first glance appear to be crisp and match the prototype exactly.

While there are no guarantees, and Chris points out that he has not received them at the time of this post, these look very nice and here’s hoping that the seller’s customer service and the product meet expectations.

Site seeing – July 8

Obsessive, obscure, observant and even excessive; all these monikers I’ve worn in my modelling career. And then just when you feel that you need to back off the scratchbuilding fanaticism along comes someone to restore my faith in the obsession.

Site 1: Scratch building a HO scale mattress box spring [Link –>]

Over on the FreeRails forum there is a build I just had to showcase. Sean W needed a box spring mattress for a scene. Not able to find one from a manufacturer he did what he had to do – scratchbuilt.

Sean W's HO scale box-spring mattress

Image 1: Sean W’s scratchbuilt box-spring mattress (

Visit the link above to see how he did it. Great work Sean!

Site seeing – July 7

A local site seeing tour today of the newest pages uploaded to the blog.

Site 1: Small Layouts [Follow the link —>]

This is the small layouts section of the old HunterValleyLines.com/gallery website that is now offline as mentioned in my post yesterday. There are over 30 layout designs in this section.

Site 2: Medium Layouts [Follow the link –>]

This is the medium layouts section of the old HunterValleyLines.com/gallery website. There are 13 layout designs in this section.

Site 3: Large Layouts [Follow the link –>]

This is the large layouts section of the old HunterValleyLines.com/gallery website. There are 3 layout designs in this section.

Site 4: Ideas and Scribbles [Follow the link –>]

This is the most interesting and fastest growing section of the website. The Ideas and scribbles section is the storehouse of all of the doodling and noodling that I’ve done over the years. There are narrow gauge loco designs, industry designs, layout ideas and designs but all are drawings only.

  1. Layout Bits
  2. Layout Ideas
  3. Other Stuff
  4. Track Diagrams

 

Broken down into four major sections follow the links and find some hopefully useful ideas to kickstart your own modelling process.

Site Seeing March 22

Bound for South Australia

Small, smart, practical exhibition layouts are not as easy to find as I’d like in Australia. Most club layouts are huge affairs, requiring many willing hands, a box trailer or van, and a pioneering spirit to move from home to exhibition to home.

Site 1: “Commercial Road” – 1960s South Australian Railways (Link Here)

One such layout that just popped up on my radar on Thursday is the Commercial Road layout of Gavin Thrum of South Australia. If you’ve not come in contact with the railways of South Australia before then you are in for a real treat.

Commercial Road – view the website for more great pictures of the layout

The South Australian railways are an interesting study in Multiculturalism. Originally built to English standards,  and operating practices, in 3 gauges (Irish Broad at 5′ 3″, Standard Gauge at 4′ 8 1/2″, and Narrow Gauge at 3′ 6″) the states rail system was a hodge-podge of types and wooden bodies goods and freight wagons until 1922 when the state’s worst financial deficit reared its ugly head.

To the rescue rode Commissioner William Webb (of the Missouri Kansas and Texas RR) and from 1922 Mr Webb revolutionised railroading in the south.

Engine 502 – 1953 – Public Domain Image courtesy of Wikipedia (more detial below)

Speed signalling, large steam engines, metal freight cars, Brill railcars, and more became the norm. Today there are still three gauges in use and lots of action through the state and in Adelaide where electrification has finally arrived (link here); Very similar to the Victorian VLocity diesel railcar (link here) that I travel in down to Melbourne. (I love electric traction)

But I digress; back to the layout. It’s a great small layout measuring 10′ 10″ long by just 13″ wide. Hop on over to his site and take a look at the images and the modelling. Really well worth a visit.

Resources

Wikipedia article on the SAR – Link Here

More on the big steamers of the Web Era

Why I chose not to design my layout – Part 5

Somewhere back in a previous post I am certain that I published a basic op session. Today I wanted to update that in light of the new layout design, as there is a pretty big change to both the ops plan and the layout since I first set track on plywood.

A Modified Op Session

An op session will start where ever the previous session stopped. You should keep in mind that I am aiming to have roughly one 30 minute operating session per night, at least 3 nights per week. I’d like more but the realities of work and family mean that aiming for 3 nights is achievable.

Assuming that a full day’s work (around 90 minutes odd) is planned for say a Saturday op session here’s how the work would be done.

The yardmaster will go through the electronic system (more about that later on) and determine what cars are due to be picked up and what inbound cars are due to be setout for the day. The YM then hands the paperwork off to the switch crew and goes about his business.

We pick up with the switch crew after they’ve already travelled out to the interchange, connected on, pumped up the air and begun their return back to the Industrial park.

  1. Train arrives from interchange
  2. Loco runs around the train on the arrival track and moves the train over to the classification 1 track
  3. Cars are classified according to the switch list using the main, loop and the Class 2 track
  4. The crew checks the pickups and setouts for industries and then sets about doing the individual jobs for each customer. In cases where there are multiple customers on a spur, the job is handled as a single job
  5. Industries are pulled and setout as required by the switching documentation
  6. The crew then returns outbound cars to the yard, for storage while other switching goes on for other customers (if any that day)
  7. Once all of the industries for that day are switched all outbound cars are made up into a train (blocking is not required)
  8. The final work for the day is to pull the outbounds to the interchange
  9. The cars are set out, handbrakes applied as needed and the air bled off
  10. The loco crew return empty handed to the yard, carry out any further trimming of the class tracks as needed, and
  11. Run the loco back into the maintenance facility.

Here endeth the operating session.

As I said above this full operating session ought to take up about 90 minutes. Allowing the session to be broken down into shorter, easier to achieve 30 minute mini-sessions means I’ll be more likelt to play with my layout, and get more enjoyment from it.

Between sessions the paper work will be hung on clip boards off the front of the layout ready for me the next night.

Should I want to run a longer session I can do that and simply complete the previous sessions work as a part of that.

Why I chose not to design my layout – Part 4

I did some measuring on the new track plan (version 3) today and the result is pleasing (at least to me). On the HVRR we use a XAF10 Railbox car as our standard measure for cars; These car’s measure 190 mm over coupler faces – that’s right on the 54′ and some change that a real car has for door spacing if it is recorded as a 50′ car. With the numbers in hand I tried a few calculations to see how everything fit.

Yard Tracks

With measurements now completed on all of the storage and “yard” tracks our holding ability on all tracks suggests that the:

  • Main (at 1400 mm) can clear 7 standard cars,
  • Loop (at 1500 mm) can clear 8 standard cars.
  • Classification track 1(at 1800 mm) can clear 9 cars ,
  • Classification track 2 (at 1300 mm) can clear 6 cars, and
  • The total on-track yard capacity is 30 cars (not including the interchange as I consider the interchange loadings to be a part of this number).

Yard Occupancy

I don’t want to flood the yard on any one day so I expect that the total yard occupancy at maximum will be 50% of the total – leaving me with 15 cars maximum. So that even with a full train of 9 cars coming in from the interchange I can use Class 1 & 2 to store all of the cars and leave the main and the loop free to work. More on this though below.

Industry tracks

On the main board there are two industries:

  • Industry 1 is 800 mm long and can manage 4 cars
  • Industry 2 is 1600 mm long and can manage 8 cars
  • Interchange track (at 2400 mm) can clear 9 cars plus the loco. The interchange track is considered an industry also.

The trackage on the base of the L are to be built based on an article in Model Trains International #58, page 106 by Bruce Petty. While this was essentially an article on scratchbuilding the Strongheart Packing Co. there was also a track diagram included. While I cannot post the magazine article here for you, I can point you to Bruce’s website which has the same information and track diagram (link here)

The current track layout in this area bounded by East 49th and E 50th Street is somewhat different from that of 25 – 35 years ago, this is reflected in the two images here:

Strongheart Packing Co - Vernon CA

Image 1: Block bounded by 49th & 50th Street, and Gifford To Corona Ave

This is an overhead view of the same block as in the article, but several of the buildings have been removed; specifically Union Malleable and Strongheart Packing. Otherwise the track for the most psrt seems to be intact.

Vernon CA - 49-50th Street - Gifford to Corona Ave - Track Layout

Another overhead view showing a slightly different angle that puts the article map in perspective.

I’ll be leaving building’s in place at Ingle Bros. It is a nice, generic building, plain brick that will be easy to model. It will have the two car spots as on the plan. The Chase Bag Co will go. In it’s place I’m going to put a team track. This will ensure that I can have a range of cars in that spot, and in addition give a great view of the remainder of this section of the layout.

The other buildings will be changed slightly to give that 1970’s renewal look of tilt-up concrete construction so prevalent in Texas.

Industry occupancy

Just as for the yard, I do not want to flood the industry tracks with cars. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I like that industries are not always blocked with cars – this is also very prototypical, and
  2. I am aiming at maximum to have industries be 50-60 percent occupied

Thus the total car numbers of the main board will be:

  • Industry 1 holds on average 2 cars with a maximum of 3 cars
  • Industry 2 holds on average 4 cars with a maximum of 5 cars
  • Interchange holds on average 5 cars (rounded up from 4.5) to 7 cars.

As noted earlier it can clear up to 9 cars at any one time if needed; this ensures that the interchange and the yard tracks should never be flooded with cars to stop the operations of the railroad.

The industrial park (bottom of the L) boards will hold on average 7 cars using the same occupancy rate. In total then the maximum cars in and out of the layout (should all of the occupied spots be switched on one day) would be 17 cars. Luckily that is not going to happen because these car movements would be spread over 6 days.

I am hoping the average will be in the range of 4-5 cars per session. This meets my goal of a short switching session, but with plenty of interest for me as the crew. More on this later.

Why I chose not to design my layout – Part 3

I wanted to show my working (as my Math teacher always encouraged me to do) on the layout design as it evolves to meet my needs. I was not happy with the way the original design performed when I looked at the yard throat design. There was an ‘irksome’ separation between the mainline and the branchline running into the future Industrial park extension. Image 1 below, shows my attempt to fix that issue; a simplified version of the first track layout.

New Layout Design - Take 2
Image 1: Take 2 on the layout design

The throat area is the set of switches around the Interchange track and the branch out to the rest of the industrial park. In mock operating sessions the biggest issue I had on the fist design was the lead out to the rest of the industrial park had crept down quite a way onto the upright of the L shaped boards. Keep in mind here that the other boards are not yet attached to the three boards in the image.

Additionally, I wanted to have a better yard throat, that was easier to switch through and took up less space.  After due reflection, the layout just didn’t look right for a small, smart industrial line with the smarts to build their own industrial park out of a couple of abandoned branch lines. Thus we arrive at version 3.

New Layout Design - Take 3
Image 2: Take 3 of the layout design

First there’s a better use of space,and visual appeal (to me anyway) with the long classification track #1, and the maintenance lead / class track # 2 being at the front end of the board.

All of it coming direct off the old main (now the interchange track). It simply feels better, and right in a way that the previous versions did not. I’ve run a quick thought exercise ops session on the new layout, and it also makes it easier to do business on the new layout. I’ll post the results of that a few days in the future once I have some other modelling work that I have to complete done.

On reflection I will be moving the switch (currently a Wye that will be replaced with a left #5) further back toward the camera to extend the run-around on both the main and the loop. This will stop just short of the road overpass and ensure that a loco can pull clear of the switch to allow the run-around move to take place. Additionally it will allow the

That’s it for me at the moment. Talk to you all later. If you have any questions let me know.

Site seeing March 18

So much for catching up! I had promised to catch up on my posts after a long week of the flu; Sun Tzu was right – no plan survives first contact with an adversary (or a past time).

Site 1: BobbyPitts44 build of a flexiflow car

Over on the FreeRails forum (Link Here) there’s a brief discussion on the work done to take what is essentially a 1960s era toy freight car and turn it into a scratchbuilding masterpiece.

While the forum does not have a lot of information on the build, luckily his Flickr site does. Everything is back – to – front, but there is some really amazing work there to be viewed.

View the Flickr site (Link here)

It’s great work and well worth a view.

Site seeing – March 9

Introduction

All of last week I was sicker than could be with the current Ballarat flu bug. I am almost over it just in time to see the cooler Autumn weather really kick in. As a result of the dreaded lurgy I did not feel in the mood to model or post or do anything beyond making a buck. The next few posts are a catch up from the last week and should bring me back up to speed.

Site 1: Trevor Marshall’s ‘The Peterboro Project

With the current layout build under way, I’ve looked about for inspiration for the scenic treatment. In both the model and the prototypical sense I’ve found inspiration for the look as well as the overall design. Today’s site is a source of my inspiration. I hope that you enjoy looking it over as much as I have.

Trevor’s S Scale Port Rowan layout has been featured here before. Before this S Scale masterpiece there was an HO Scale masterpiece – The Peterboro Project. In 2006 he and a friend, intrigued by the Free-mo modular standard, decided to build a module.

Not just any module though, this was a complete layout module set, that could then be joined to other modules with like-minded Freemo modellers. While the layout itself is fantastic, the experiment did not work out for Trevor and his friend. The layout .

However, the pictures of the layout still exist, and are very worthwhile to review.

Enjoy

Site Seeing 18 February

Introduction

The IAIS Grimes Industrial Line

1 – The IAIS Grimes Industrial Line

In my site seeing post yesterday I mentioned the publishing bonanza we’ve inherited thanks to the internet. One of these great sites is the free (as in Beer) internet Model Railroading Magazine – the Model Railroad Hobbyist (Link Here).

Apart from a great magazine that I’ve read since issue number one, there are the modellers blogs that are associated on the site. Among the best of the blogs is the Grimes Industrial layout blog of JFMcNab (Link Here).

You can also see a range of photos from his layout on the Unofficial IAIS Railfans website (Link Here).

Take some time and take a look around and discover the Grimes Industrial Line. I think you’ll enjoy the Grimes Line sites.

Resources:

Watch one of James’ videos from his YouTube channel: