Spring Creek shout-out …..!

Once again, as I approach another train show here in Denver, it’s time again to give the crew at Spring Creek Model Trains a big shout-out for their consistent, friendly service. As I purchase all my items now from Spring Creek, including the most recent car I’ve weathered, I’m still pleased every time I do order merchandise from them, for their selection, knowledge, and fast, friendly service. When they do come to Denver (or everywhere for that matter) to a train show, their selection and amount of stock is amazing. If you’re a modeler, you can’t go wrong by making Spring Creek your go-to hobby shop for sure!

The Hitop on the air….!

Yesterday, the great bunch at A Modelers Life put up a podcast interview with myself about the layout, how I got interested in the hobby, and a bit about myself. A high point of discussion was how I talked my wife into buying a larger car that had to sit outside our garage so I could take over the garage for my layout….lol. This was a fun interview to do, and the guys did a great job. For those of you that haven’t heard the interview, and a lot of you have, check out the podcast at: http://www.amodelerslife.com and look for episode 92!

Re-line that switch!

When operating on my layout, and running a road job or turn, I always stop my caboose at a switch and reline it for the proper direction, especially on the mainline. I guess this comes as habit from working on the prototype.

Although not quite as disastrous and deadly as the consequences of not doing so on the prototype as we’ve seen recently, it can be embarrassing and problematic to do so on your layout if a switch is misaligned. I’ve seen this happen even on a museum layout where inattentive operators ran through an open switch into the rear of another train, derailing one or the other. I’ve seen it as well on a home layout once.

You can imagine on the prototype this kind of inattentiveness can lead to deadly results. Again, not deadly on the layout, just embarrassing. This ties into a previous blog post about taking time which I believe is on my “operations “ page. Take that time as a real rear end brakeman would do, to reline that switch back to its normal position. This also leads to helping in the next operating session knowing that switch is lined properly. Of course, this leads to another must do, especially on the prototype, and that is, when you’re moving down that track, be aware of how that switch IS lined! But, that’s another story for another time…..

A trip to Morris Fork and back

This week we were able to get out and about for some railfan action. We started early as usual grabbing some breakfast at Sam and Mickey’s across from Dickinson yard. We then headed over to see PC GP9 7466 making up its train of empty hoppers for the Morris Fork mine and truck dump. We followed the train all the way to the end of the branch at Morris Fork, then followed the train back to Dickinson yard bringing loads in. Below are the photos we took.

In the photos above, 7466 is about to depart Dickinson yard for Morris Fork.

Next, we caught 7466 poking its nose out of one of the tunnels on the Branch, then snaking around one of the twelve degree curves below Morris Fork.

At the end of the branch at Morris Fork, 7466 runs around his train, then seen pulling loads from the truck dumps.

As 1 empty wouldn’t fit in the siding for the mine, it was left on the passing track for the next turn to work. We then followed the train as it heads back downgrade towards Dickinson yard.

Finally, we last caught 7466 weighing the loads back at Dickinson, then spotting the loads in the yard before tying up. Another good day of railfan action on the Hitop….

Update on weathered models…

Just a short post here concerning the models listed on The Weathering Depot page. I do have several cars listed now on the page for sale, with one more coming soon, a TILX tank car from Scale Trains, once I have finished it. I also have a pending possible offer on the hopper cars listed. If this offer falls through, I will also have these possibly available for sale, the hopper cars currently shown on the page.

Please remember several items with the cars I weather and sell. These are: I always change out couplers to better Kadee couplers unless the car already has these, unless the car has excellent metal wheel sets, I also change out the wheel sets to semi-scale wheels. I also apply brass ACI panels from BLMA if it matches the era, along with safety visibility stripes and other current day decals from Smokebox Graphics if applicable. Modern day cars I also apply graffiti when applicable. All these supplies cost me, so as in any other venture, I have to pass this cost along to make a profit. That being said, I do NOT sell my cars for an enormous amount as others do. I feel the price I ask is fair and reasonable that covers the price of the car, materials, labor, and a small profit.