The last one….!

Yes, the last one, as-in last building that needed to go on the layout, is now complete and on the layout. These photos below show the finished work. All that’s needed is to glue down the gravel around the building. This is Electro-Met division of Union Carbide:

From the previous blog post, here are the switches for the two tortoise machines that were just installed. These control access in and out of Spring Street yard:

My next blog post I’ll post photos of the entire layout as it looks today…….


Recent layout progress….

I’ve been able to accomplish several tasks on the layout expansion in between bouts of winter weather out here recently. One small project was to weather the administration building and the white tanks in Allied Chemical, as the wife told me they  looked too clean, and you know, she was right!

These were both weathered with a steel grey pan pastel powder. Next up was to place the base of the last building to go on the layout. This is Walther’s machine shop kit which will serve as an industry known as Electro-Met division of Union Carbide, which was located in Alloy. The track nails were installed in the base to not only hold down the building, but also to try to level the base, as it’s warped. Photo below:


The structure behind is the pre-built electric substation by Bachmann. In the meantime while winter set back in, I started work on all the walls for Electro-Met, and finished yesterday. The walls are complete except for weathering and sealing:


The last project I was able to complete was to install two tortoise machines on two hard to reach switches with the great help of a friend. Actually, he did almost all the work for which I’m grateful, as I’m electrically challenged! I still have to label these, so I’ll post photos later with photos of the completed expansion work, especially once I get the machine shop fully constructed.

With this the layout is almost complete, except for tons of Scenic Express trees I need to put down when the weather cooperates. Stay tuned….

Yesterday on the Hitop….

We were out yesterday on a warm but hazy day in the Kanawha valley to follow quite a few trains actually. We stopped at the Dickinson yard office first to get the low down on the days action. As GP7 5628 was putting a train together, we decided to head up the valley to Nitro, as we heard some action there on our scanner.

When we arrived, we pulled off onto public property about as close as we could get to Allied Chemical where Alco S2 9106 had already gotten his lineup for the day, and was starting to work Allied for outbound loads going to Spring Street. Photos below of working Allied:

After about an hour of working Allied, we got one more shot of 9106 pulling two scrap gons out of Paxton Salvage:


Since we were already in the driveway that runs back to the Nitro yard office, we caught 9106 and train heading east towards Spring Street yard:


After arriving at Spring Street, the crew dropped off its cars for the Spring Street switcher, pulled in the clear, and as he had to wait for the Spring Street turn coming up from Dickinson, the crew went to beans across the tracks at Sam and Mickey’s:


The Spring Street job had its normal power in GP9 7466, which pulled two boxcars out of Armitage Furniture for the Spring Street turn, then sorted the outbound cars for the turn:


When 7466 was finished, it too had to wait for the Spring Street turn to arrive from Dickinson, so the crew joined the others at Sam and Mickey’s. Part two coming later, so stay tuned…..


The danger of social media….

Today I’ll discuss an issue I’ve experienced recently, and the dangers of posting on social media, including websites. The issue is criticism. Recently I’ve stopped posting on several model railroad pages on a well known social media forum, and have also stopped posting on one particular model railroad website. The reason?

The reason is criticism or snide comments. I’m going to be frank here. There’s an old saying about comparing an anatomical part of the body with opinions, and it holds true. I just don’t understand snide comments and criticism from people that do not know me, have never met me, have never seen my layout, and who surely haven’t helped build my layout.

I have to back up and first state that I have had very FEW critical comments or rude comments, but even several people whom I’ve known for years have been guilty of these comments. Perhaps some people are naturally critical of others. Perhaps some people are simply jealous of others work, or perhaps jealous of someone being published. Perhaps some are just simply snobbish.

Whatever the reason, one shouldn’t have to be a “master modeler”. One shouldn’t have to build a triple deck 40 x 60 foot layout to be acknowledged. I think I’ve covered this area before, so I won’t elaborate further. I’ll just state again that one can have as much fun and enjoyment planning, building, and operating a 4 x 8, a 2 x 10 shelf layout, or similar layout as they can a 40 x 60 foot layout.

In summing up this post, the important thing I have to state is this: I am proud of my work, whether in weathering locomotives or rolling stock. I’m proud of my scenery work, and an eye for details. I’m proud of my track planning ability, and of my track work. I’m extremely happy with the results of my handiwork on my entire layout, and proud of my layout, the way it runs and the way it looks. Is it an exact replica of a prototype area? No, it is not, but I’m pleased, and when it comes down to it, that’s all that matters…..

Short layout update….

Today I have a short layout update on installing the piping at Allied Chemical. This project actually took about four plus hours, laying out the remaining piping and all the separate valves and such. Then I had to measure some pieces and cut to fit, then of course glue everything together in rather tight quarters. Except for one set of steps going over the last berm I installed, I feel the Allied Chemical area is finished.

The area may not be an exact duplication of a prototype chemical plant, but I feel it’s a good representation of one for the space I have, and I feel it looks good. Photos below of today’s work: