Category Archives: The Trains

Pretty interesting article in the New York Times about a new Model railroad Museum to be designed by Architect Frank Gehry

The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture museum in North Adams Mass. 83,000 square feet with 40 foot ceilings to accommodate 35 foot tall Empire State Building.

The article can be accessed here  Extreme Model Railroad and Architecture Museum

 

COOL

 

Back working on the layout

Back after a summer of visiting various railroad venues, and getting down to finishing trackwork. I am modifying Shinohara code 70 # 8 switches, to work on DCC.

I am using Micro engineering Code 70 flextrack and # 6 switches, but need some # 8s and also some # 4s on the logging branch, which ME does not offer. On the Shinoharas, I am changing to gapped PC board throw rods and  connecting the running rails and closure rails with wire jumpers soldered to the bottom of the rails.

Modified Shinohara #8 code 70 switch

Also cutting gaps in the rail on either side of the frog, filling the gaps with CA glued plastic, formed to fit, and soldering a wire to the frog rails underneath to connect to a Tortoise switch machine contacts as the switch is thrown to guard against shorting.

Switch frog modified

Colorado and visit to Intermountain Railway Co.

Visiting friends in Colorado, I was able to further my ongoing summer visits to full scale and model railroad sites. First was the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley CO, and then the Buenavista model railroad society in Buena Vista CO, both of which I will put up further posts in the near future, but the real unexpected treat was a tour of the

Intermountain Railway Co. the model railroad manufacturer in Longmont CO. Kirk was very gracious in showing the whole operation, from their milling the molds for injection molded parts on their CNC milling machines

CNC milling machine

Small detail parts half mold

Just a few of the many machined molds for various products

To explaining their process and inventory.

Small part of inventory

To talking about their quality control, including a final visual inspection of each and every HO engine and actually running each engine through various track situations. A very impressive commitment to quality, and not releasing anything that is not absolutely right.

Engines ready for inspection

engines in the inspection area

All in all an enjoyable morning and an appreciation of a quality company

 

Steamtown National Historic Site

In an ongoing summer of visiting railroad related sites, we visited Steamtown national Historic site in Scranton PA. run by the national park service. A lot of very interesting trains and exhibits. I’ll post more in a future post, but thought this cool cutaway of a steam engine showing the firebox, Boiler, smokebox and cylinder, was a good introduction.

Steam Engine cutaway

 

More about The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

The Museum of Science and Industry has a model train display that is really much more than just a train layout. It is about transportation, and how the railroads move goods from place to place.
The fact that it is beautifully crafted, with scale large sections of Chicago and Seattle and the industries , plains, mountains etc in between, makes it a modelers must see if you are in Chicago.

Chicago

The buildings in Chicago are true to the sections of the city that is being modeled. Two times an hour there is a short night segment to show the display in that setting.

Chicago-night

Of course along the way showing double stack containers, mountain bridges and peaks, not to mention some human interest in a stream

Containers

UP in the mountains

Beach

Finally ending up in downtown Seattle including the docks.

Seattle