Tuesday Train #48

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And it’s not quite a train this week, though where trains once ran, now an amazing urban intervention of turning abandoned infrastructure into a public park now exists.  I am speaking of course of the New York City “High Line”, that once served the meat packers, but has been converted into a linear park along the West Side of Manhattan.  Because this is a slightly different than normal Tuesday Train, I’ve included a few bonus images from The High Line below.

The south end of The High Line at Gansevort St and Washington St on the west side (the Whitney Museum of American Art is to the left, and the Standard Hotel High Line in the middle); one of the preserved spurs into a former packers; and, where you can still see trains for now, the Long Island Railroad Hudson Yard, quickly being covered up by the Hudson District neighbourhood under construction.
IMGP6939RawConvThe High Line Information Poster – This Image is large, open it up to read about the history of the High Line and the parks creation.

From RPM To Freelancing

So, typical of my sometimes scattered interests in the hobby, I’m following up a post on attending a Prototype Modellers Meet, with one on a freelance narrow gauge shelf layout.  Strangely, the rolling stock for the layout will be partly prototypical, with my 009 Gauge conversion of Talyllyn being the primary motive power, along with display space for a Lynton & Barnstaple Railway passenger train at the back of the shelf.  The shelf itself, is just a little switching puzzle/run around for moving wagons from one side to the other using Talyllyn.

Its one of my “IKEA Shelf Specials“, a micro layout or diorama designed to fit into one of the standard sized IKEA Besta fame/bookcases, on a $10 IKEA shelf for the base.

IMGP6215RawConvNarrow Gauge IKEA Shelf Layout track plan in progress.

Having gone through a variety of designs and layouts, I settled on the design above.  A sweeping track at the back, which will be home to a Lynton & Barnstaple passenger train with a platform and station canopy behind, and the shunting puzzle in front of it.  It’s not really based on any other shunting puzzle I’ve seen, more an attempt to maximize what I could do in the space, and clearly not based on any prototype!!  My plan is to operate it as a single locomotive with 4-5 wagons, and the goal being to move the wagons from identified spotting locations so that everything winds up on one of the two sidings opposite where it starts.  The operating scheme is still a work in progress, and its mostly designed as flexibly as possible to let me run things around.

Track laying in progress.  The first image shows the back display track and base for the platform in place, the second shows the printout transferred to the IKEA shelf using a chalk marker, and the third shows the laying of cork roadbed in progress.

I have used Midwest N-Scale Cork for the roadbed, I debated putting the track straight onto the board, but having the roadbed gives me options for when I decide what the look of the basic scenery will be in terms of ballasting or raising the open spaces around the tracks.  I can either use the roadbed to create a profile, or fill the gap areas to get a level look.  If I didn’t use a roadbed, I’d have fewer options moving forward.  I haven’t really thought much about scenery other than doing a crushed stone/simple platform and possibly a canopy at the back platform.  With the plot of the track plan, i was able to cut away and mark the centreline of the tracks using a chalk marker, then, once the track plan was laid out, start laying the cork along the outer boundaries, then filling in the central areas.

Completed Roadbed on the right, and the track about half tacked down using DAP Silicone Caulk on the left.

I am using Peco OO9 settrack for this, because it is readily available and Peco track has a great reputation.  This is the first time I have used silicone caulk to lay track.  It works nicely to adhere after weighing the track down during the curing.  I’ve found that the track seems to be noisier glued with the caulk, hopefully ballasting the track will kill the noise off some.  During the track laying process, I’ve also been running electrical tests with the Peco track and switches to figure out how I need to wire the layout.  Electrical wiring and such is not one of my strong suits in terms of understanding where feeders are needed, and what to do to make sure everywhere has power when needed, but not creating electrical shorts or frying locomotives!!  I think I’ve got it now, my plan is to install drops and continue to test as I go until the layout operates reliably without having to set the switches in a certain way to ensure power is routed where it’s needed.

Its been nice having this set up, as when I’m working on it, even though the range of travel is less than 2′ each way, its more running than I’ve managed in a long time in our apartment!  It’s also a rabbit hole that the decision to buy one locomotive for a project has led me to know building a narrow gauge layout!  Still, it’s been a fun diversion from other projects, and a chance to work on skills I otherwise wouldn’t be working on.

Tuesday Train #47

3767257929_857e60f556_o.jpgA little bit of daylight on a day where I’m feeling sick.  Southern Pacific Daylight GS-4 Northern Number 4449 at the Train Festival in Owosso Michigan in 2009.  Sadly I couldn’t go down for the weekdays when she was running through the central Michigan fields, but still seeing her in light steam was fantastic.

Toronto RPM Meet

This past Saturday was the Toronto Railway Prototype Modellers (RPM) meet at Humber College.  This was my second time attending the meet, having attended for the first time last year.  RPM meets are just what they sound like, gatherings of modellers who are interested in prototypically accurate modelling.  They generally feature clinics by modellers on various topics, and a display room with what for lack of a better description, is a “show and tell” session where modellers talk about their projects and what they’ve brought.  Before going last year, I was worried it would be intimidating, but having gone, I found out it wasn’t, as there isn’t judging or other “competition” aspects, its a chance for people who are all interested in modelling whatever they are interested in as accurately as possible.

IMGP6715RawConv2017 Toronto RPM Meet Display Room

The three clinics this year where on varied subjects, one on using British branch line terminals as inspiration for a proto-freelanced layout, the railroads of Stelco in Hamilton, and on the Model Railroad Manufacturing Industry.

The event was attended by about 50 modellers, and there was around 150 models on display from a quick count I did.  There were all sorts of prototypes and railroads being modelled.  Some were “finished” models, others were works in various stages of completion, brought as discussion points on the ongoing projects.  I brought a number of models, in both the “finished” and “unfinished” states to discuss.  I got some interesting feedback on my projects, and more than a few other modellers were surprised by the quality of some of the 3D printed parts I’ve designed and am using.  It was nice to get that kind of feedback and see people be intrigued by the opportunities it can bring into our hobby.

A selection of models on display at the Toronto RPM 2017.  HO Scale Diesels, HO Scale Hi-Cube Box Cars, HO Scale Maintenance of Way, HO Scale Structures, and an S Scale Steam Locomotive.

In due course the website will be updated with information on the 2018 event, if you are in Southern Ontario, or interested in seeing some fantastic modelling and talking shop, it may be worth checking it out if you can try and attend next year: https://torontoprototypemodellers.wordpress.com/

A full gallery from the day is on my Flickr.

Mike McGrattan Memorial Gondola

There are lots of great people in our hobby.  Sadly, one of them, Mike McGrattan of Rapido Trains passed away from cancer far too soon in 2016 at only 52, leaving behind a wife and 12 year old son.  His collegues at Rapido Trains have done a special run of N-Scale 52′-6″ Mill Gondolas decorated in the “Puddington Valley” lines scheme of Mike’s railway.  All the proceeds from the sales of these cars, numbered 1964 and 2016 are going to an RESP for Mike’s son Sam, to ensure that when he’s ready to go to school, there is a fund there for him.

I received my car No 2016 car on Thursday, and I’m working to figure out where amongst my models I am going to display it in memory of Mike, who I had the great pleasure of meeting and talking shop/joking with, but sadly, only doing so a couple of times.

IMGP6735RawConv.jpgOne Puddington Valley lines mill gondola, in honour of Mike McGrattan, proceeds from the car are raising funds for his son’s education.

I understand that Rapido does have stock of both cars still, but they’ve sold well.  You can buy your own McGrattan Puddington Valley gondola here if you are so inclined: http://rapidotrains.com/mike-mcgrattan-gondola/