Preparation and construction of a basement-sized, HO-scale model railroad based on Conrail's operations through Central New York on the Chicago Line in 1994.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
One thing that helps me though some of the more mundane tasks and production work on the layout, like wiring and switch machine installation, is running some trains. Slowly, my equipment is being dusted off, tuned up, and added to the active roster.
Athearn, as part of their Genesis line, did a nice version of the Conrail SD70 some years ago. I have two of them for my fleet, even though they are on the modern side of the period I will be modeling. Everything you see here is out-of-the-box besides the weathering, coupler lift bar, upgraded plow from Details West, and MU hoses. Here, 2572 leads a TV24 train near CP277:
Here's part of his 38-car intermodal train passing at speed above the temporary interlocking panel at CP 277. The panel will eventually be plexiglas.
I'm also having a blast running two trains, as mentioned a few posts ago. Here I have Morristown & Erie #19, an Alco C424, working a local train and being passed by TV24. The 19 will be one of the mainstays on my shortline.
As a side note, our cat, Clarence, is also a big fan of 'guy time' in the basement with the trains. He's quite a character, very social, and generally gets himself in trouble raiding the garbage at some point during the day, which means he is banished to the basement with me at night :-) He usually demands some attention from me while I'm fiddling with the layout unless he finds some spider crickets to hunt.
My latest big manifest is running with a recently-upgraded leader and a freight consist that I am labeling INSE (Avon Yard in Indianapolis, IN to Selkirk Yard (near Albany), NY). Here, the head end has crested the grade at CP282, but is still dragging its 50 cars of manifest over the summit:
The freight consist includes boxcars full of recycled, shredded cardboard and paper for the paper mills of New England, empties for eastern chemical facilities, scrap loads, and empty covered hoppers headed for pellet manufacturing plants in New Jersey. Empty CN family boxcars and NS loads round the big curve east of CP282:
Following the train east, we see it about to enter CP280 at the other end of the yard. In the background are some loose tracks that will soon be permanently laid. After some good advice from many of you, I settled on the idea of using a gardening fabric as a base for the yard. It is 1/8" deep, and tightly woven, which eliminates sound, allows for a lower profile than the mainline, and gives a nice separation between track and plywood. INSE at CP280:
Today's power includes a recently-upgraded Conrail 6569, a C30-7A, along with SD40-2 6524 and CSX C30-7 7003, a former Family Lines unit. Here is a profile of 6569, a 1993 kitbash I built and painted.
We turn and look east as the head end rolls into the 'rising sun' (and my nice Genesee beer blackboard :-)
Finally, the units round a curve over towards CP277 as they begin to slide downgrade.
Enjoy! The next few weeks are busy as summers are, but keep an eye out for updates. Thanks for reading!