Category Archives: The Trains

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

Visiting Chicago Museum of Science and Industry / Tranportation

Visited the Museum of Science + Industry, Chicago this past weekend, to see their terrific HO model railroad exhibit, from Chicago through the plains, the rocky mountains, and ending up in Seattle.

I will put shots of the exhibit up in future posts, but this one to one scale Empire State Express greets you at the beginning.

Empire State Express

Closeup of Driver

Empire State Express Driver

Scouting scenes on layout for photography

As a photographer, I am starting to look at sections of the in progress layout to work up into completed photographs of scenes, looking to do this in different weather scenarios, time of day, etc. I will put up several in the next few posts and then later I’ll recall them and the finished photographs.

View across main line and siding to town

 

Wiring the movable access section part of the town for lighting

 

Using several kinds of lighting including woodland scenics Just Plug, strips of long reel leds

as well as some 12-16 volt incandescent Veissmann gas lamps.

Wires for town site

Wires for town site

Rigging bus bars and Just Plug light hub to a couple of mini plugs [added later) so the access section can be removed if needed with little trouble.

under the town section wiring in progress

under the town section wiring in progress