Saturday, April 19, 2014

Just a short video..

     Shot this short little video with my new T3i today. Sorry it's not something more interesting - like freight traffic - but I was waiting for a westbound GO to get on. I think the quality is pretty good and I look forward to shooting more videos over the summer.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Is your modelling season over?

     If you're a regular reader of model railroad blogs and/or message boards; you'll know that with springs' arrival often comes a modelling hiatus. As the urge to get outside and out of the basement pushes railroading to the back burner, most of us don't want to be inside updating blogs or weathering freight cars.

     However, the warmer weather does afford us the ability to indulge in other rail-related hobbies. Garden railroading for example, is likely a lot more fun in the summer months, when you're not prototypically freezing your ass off sweeping out switches.

     Photography is another passion of mine. Although I have a pretty decent camera on my Galaxy SII at 8MP and 1080p video, it's absolutely nothing compared to this Christmas' addition to my modelling toolbox.  The Wife bought me this hefty fellow:



     Last summer The Wife and I spent a great deal of our free time looking at houses in the Niagara Region, so I didn't get any time to go railfanning. What I did do though, was notice things I'd like to photograph this summer. First stop on my agenda is going to be National Steel Car in Hamilton, which is quite visible from both Kenilworth St. and Burlington St. E. The last time I was by their plant it was full of brand new TTX autoracks - some of which were still in various stages of construction.



     Not too far from them is the old Studebaker Assembly Plant, which was obviously closed a long time ago, but still has "STUDEBAKER" painted on the windows. I think it's amazing that this has lasted as long as it has, and I want to get some documentation before it's too late.


     For size comparison, this is an aerial of the plant. You'll notice some sort of courtyard in the middle that looks like it had a rail line in it at some point. Hell maybe it still does. I'll definitely try to get a better look and report back with my findings.



     Anyway that's all for today, but look for more posts over the summer that predominately feature photography as a theme and railroading and/or industrial history as a subject. I find this stuff fascinating and I hope you do too.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Port Hood v2.0

     So after finishing up the yard last week, I still had SCARM open on my laptop and I got to thinking about what other aspects of the layout I could design. Lord knows I certainly can't build anything in this tiny apartment - The Wife would have an effing canary if I did. So I thought for a while..



     ..and then it occurred to me that I haven't really come up with a definitive plan for Port Hood since I scrapped it last year.  Knowing the mistake I made last time - operationally speaking - I moved the sidings around and added an extra spot for the coal dealer that was giving me the run-around (if you'll pardon the pun).

     This time I think I've got it sorted:


     There is now a full time storage/run-around track between the station and the elevator, an extra track opposite the station that ends at the north face of the elevator that will service the fuel dealer via small coal trestle, and the elevator will now be serviced from the opposite side of where it once was. There is also now a dedicated siding for the freight depot.

Ctrl+Alt+Del

     I've heard some say a model railway is never quite complete. Sometimes it's a scene that doesn't quite look right, or a track arrangement doesn't quite work out operationally the way it did on paper. Or maybe that West Siding Switch is six inches too far east and it's buggering up train meets. Perhaps you tried to cram too much track into a particular spot. Hell, I'm sure there are thousands of modellers out there that thought;

"Finally, the layout is fully sceniced. I can enjoy the fruits of my labour",

    ..and then a week later some joker introduces static grass to the world. Man does that stuff look real or what? Would you start scenicing your layout all over again? I imagine I would.

     But whatever.

     Back on topic - sometimes the best laid plans don't work out they way you wanted them to. Port Hood was a good example of this, in that I had designed it poorly. What I had originally wanted, was crews to be able to leave the passenger portion of their mixed trains at the station while switching the Co-Op, but the station was in-effect on the run-around track. Well that's no good. I needed both sidings to be on one side of the main line to facilitate this. Luckily I hadn't secured any of the structures just yet, so all I had to do was salvage the track - an easy task with 99% isopropyl alcohol and a putty knife.

     Back to a clean slate.

Inverness Yard v3.0

     So the revisions I played around with this past week, and printed out 1:1 on copy paper, and then taped together come out to around 12 feet. I had to compromise the yards design a little, but it's still pretty faithful to the prototype drawing I have, except for the fact that I added an extra ladder track and a couple of turnouts.

     Compare my final revision:


To the scan I posted a couple weeks ago:


     I'd say they're pretty damn close, and I'm happy with the result.

     This is what it will look built:



     Thirteen sheets at 8 1/2" x 11" is a pretty decent size. As always, comments are welcome.