Sunday, November 30, 2014

Views of a Recent Operating Session

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thanks for taking time to check out the blog, hope you enjoy what you see!

Here's a few views of the recent November 22, 2014 operating session, during which we re-enacted September 10, 1994 on the railroad based on Conrail schedules and timetables.

First, an extra military train ran, carrying the symbol MIL-401.  Conrail gave the 'MIL' prefix to any dedicated military extra, and the digits worked with the division first ('4' for Albany Division origin) and the section of the train second ('01' for first such movement of the day).   So, the MIL-401 is a military extra originating on the Albany Division and is the first Albany Division military extra origin of the day.  In any case, here it is pausing at CP280, adjacent to Onondaga Yard:

Shortly thereafter, I grabbed a quick shot with my iPhone of the view looking west from CP280, which has in the distant background some of the new scenery along the M&E.   For now, this is the most 'complete' view along the Onondaga Cutoff, and helps give a sense of space in the layout room.

I am also in the process of editing a video or two of this operating session to present here in the next entry.

With this most recent operating session behind us, things will quiet down a bit on the model railroad between the holiday season and the pending arrival of another baby - the Abeles family is about to have a new member!   I will do my best during the next few weeks and months to keep you up to date with all the changes.  I hope to still find a few moments to make some progress on the railroad.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The 'Canyon' at Skaneateles Creek

As scenery continues to develop on the Onondaga Cutoff, I am focused on getting the areas that visitors see first taken care of.  A major part of that has recently been finished, with the bridge on the M&E at Skaneateles Creek now finally crossing finished cliffs!   Here's a few images that show the newly-installed cliffs and vegetation.'

The new scenery really helps to focus attention on the open-deck bridge, which until now crossed a bunch of pink foam and plywood.

Birch trees, after a long hot summer, have started to turn to their fall colors a bit early.  These splashes of color really help to add some interest to the overall scene.

All that remains is to add a few more trees and foliage to better transition the backdrop, and then to add water to the creek bed along with some final details.  There's a variety of scenery techniques here:  plaster-embedded cloth over cardboard strips, foamboard insulation, various ground foams and polyfiber fabric, 'SuperTrees', static grass, etc.  My feeling is that using a variety of techniques and colors for foliage really leads an authenticity to the scene.

Scenery will continue into the winter, and will be mixed with time spent tweaking the signal system as well as work to add a few more locomotives to the active roster.  This is a great hobby:  so many different things to do, with such tangible and visible progress!  I haven't been bored in years.  It's a great relief from the daily grind at work.

Plenty more to come!  And, after several scenery posts, some more pics of actual trains are in order, too.  Stay tuned!