Saturday, December 26, 2009

6th Anniversary

Yesterday was the 6th Anniversary of the Christmas that started it all. My wife bought me my first NScale for Christmas 2003.

To honor that date, here's the fist layout on that Christmas Day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Roy's Folks Clip

Forgot to post this, but I did a segment for WGHP TV In High Point several months ago. Thanks to Roy Ackland and Producer David Weatherly.

Clip is here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Work On The M-Line

In the last month, I completed the benchwork for the M-Line (as well as the Thomasville Beltway), added fascias, lights, splines, track, the crossover across the pit and connection into High Point Yard.

Have also started scenery to hide the higher branch behind the NS mainlines as they pass by Thomasville. I think the generic undergrowth helps the scene a good deal.

Monday, May 18, 2009

NS M-Line

So, after the May session I had the bright idea to fill in the old dispatcher's corner with a branch line. But what to model?

Marcus suggested that I look at the line running thru Asheboro as it included a plastics plant that supposedly had a lot of traffic. Did some Maps Live work and WOW! The plastics plant is called Starpet. On one satellite photo I counted over 125 hoppers setting in the plant and showed their own switcher.

I talked Tammy into riding that way one Sunday and took pictures of several places along the way. There's a Georgia Pacific plant, Chandler Concrete, Dahalia Plastics, CMC Metal recyclers, Metals USA and several more.

These are cumulative from beginning construction on May 02 until May 18.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 09 Ops Session

The 3rd formal operating session included around 15 guys. Lunch was BBQ chicken. Maybe that's what they really came for. Oh well, they HAD to stay and run the trains anyway.

This was the first session with 2 dispatchers: Charlotte, manned by Josh Blevins and Danville manned by Tim Heckman. We also used 2 separate radio channels to cut down on traffic.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dispatcher's Office

After the March Ops Session, it became obvious to me that I needed a seperate location for the dispatcher and that we may need to have 2 dispatchers in the future.

I cleaned out the front of the barn and started walling off a 8 x 18 section. A friend came by and in just a couple of hours, we had the stud wall done and door hung. I just had to finish the paneling.

These pics show part of the room with all the boards needed to run the session. One for the train schedule and the others for the 2 dispatchers, Charlotte Dispatch and Danville Dispatch.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 2009 Ops Session

We had a test run in Oct 08 and a second test in December. As of January 09, The CCSB will have Operations Sessions every two months. This is the second full time session and there were about 14 people attending.

This was the first test of the Linwood Hump. Larry Keller and Jeff Lindstrom were scheduled to be the first yard operators, but Jeff came down with the flu just before the session. Josh Blevins filled in for Jeff. Reports were that the hump worked well.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Time Off For Snow

Sorry, this is NOT my model but I thought the recent snowfall made for some pretty good scenes. These are from station name Lee just north of Linwood Yard in Linwood.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lesson Learned #5263

Not sure I want to openly admit this, but here goes:

I had not run a train since the last Ops session in January. Since then, I added in several Tortoises, some twin coils, ballasted the yard and added in a crossover between the 2 mains.

I had been adding decoders and mu'ing them in the yard for an hour or so and then thought I'd take a train out of the yard. It sputtered a bit as the track had not been cleaned since Jan, so I went ahead of it and cleaned a bit. Then I heard the click of the PM42 for the Danville section, looked back and the train had stopped.

Must be on a switch. Nope. Must have laid something on the track. Nope. But it's been on for 2 hours and now magically has a short? From cleaning track? Panic sets in and I start clipping wires. Still shorting. The more I think about it being on and then suddenly shorting, the worse the panic and frustration gets. I start cutting the track bus until it's down to 20'. (I was planning on subdividing anyway, just not right now.)

I finally turn the lights out and leave thinking tomorrow will be a better day. Next day, I power back on and guess what? still shorting. I'm looking for anything out of place. Something must be laid across the tracks...... then I spot it.

When I put in the crossover, I had to add a linkage to the ground throw because of the Maybelle track to the back. It was a steel wire not in a sleeve and was against the underside of the tracks. Evidently, between painting the rails and glue from the ballast had isolated it enough to run for 2 hours, but when I moved the ground throw to bring the train thru it became the short.

So, here I am a bit grayer, a bit wiser. I thought this was supposed to be fun ??

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

North End Of Linwood Yard

I worked on the northern end of Linwood for a couple of days adding a few scene breaks in the form of small hills. One, to break the siding for Kimberly-Clark, the other to separate the yard tracks from the mainlines.

This section is in the middle of the winter and makes it hard to "hide" things like seams and horizons and such. Compounding that is the fact that the mainlines pass just 2 inches from the skyboard leaving little room for anything.

As a last thought, I dabbed on a dirty brown wash behind the "trees" to try and hide the horizon. Wish I had done a bit more. I wanted to cover with Supertrees, but there just wasn't enough room. I had to rely on the Cinnamon scented decorative broom to do the job. Mmmmm Cinnamon.......

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Corner At 5 Row

Five Row is a named point on the NS Piedmont Division between the old Spencer Shops and the Yadkin River, located at MP 329.7

Near the signal bridge is a favorite place among railfans, also known as Five Row. The stretch offers a clear view of the rise from the Yadkin bridge up to Salisbury. There are 2 houses across from where everyone parks and it's not unusual to see 2 or 3 cars of railfans there at a time.

The first pictures below are taken from just in front of the 2 houses and looks south towards the signal bridge, to the siding into the PCA plant and last looking north (downgrade) near the river.

The pictures of the model version are from an opposite vantage point. 

On the CCSB, I let my apprentice, Chris, work on Five Row. He first created the grassy/wooded area to the left of the houses. After that, he added in the foam platform for the houses and road, grassed in the yards and added the background trees. Later, I added in the foreground trees.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

HPT&D Scenery

Added a small neighborhood to the HPT&D (High Point, Thomasville and Denton) level.Had to take a couple of pictures to see what it looked like up close.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yadkin River Bridge, Pt. 2

When I first made up my mind to build this layout, I had the winter to work on things before starting construction in May 2007. I realized some of the first items I would need then tracklaying started would be the bridges and trestles.

I had never scratchbuilt anything before and started with a Plastruct single bridge kit. I planned to use it for 1 of the 3 Flat Swamp bridges needed on the WSS. After it was together, I bought the supplies to make the other 2.

The next job was to attempt the Yadkin River trestle and Old Hwy 29 bridges. I took plenty of pictures and from a known measurement, scaled everything from the computer screen. After a couple of weeks, I had the 685' long bridge done and went to work on one of the Hwy 29 bridges. By the time it was done and mounted, I started work on the building.

The Yadkin section was mounted in the benchwork in September 2007 and track connected, but was never finished. Last week, while off work for the New Year I made up my mind to try and finish the section. The first item was to finish the guard rails on the highway bridge. After that, I added in new shoreline and trees.
I built 2 simple bridges for I-85 and created the rock outcroppings at Old Salisbury Road using some plaster castings I had laying around.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Snow Scene On The Winter Side

As a train travels through the CCSB, it travels through time as well as space. All 4 seasons are represented. Winter was the hardest to do as you can't hide things behind trees and ground cover.

Just like Disneyworld, it's all about the illusion.

Here's a couple of picture of a section I did with some snow. Being as we haven't had a really good snowfall in years, I kept it real with just a dusting.