Summer Evening and the ML401

Summer Evening and the ML401
Conrail ML401 rolls west through Central New York farm country in Onondaga County, September 1994.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Context, Details, and Maintenance Equipment

One of the things that working for a railroad can give you is lots of opportunity to observe the machines and people that make a railroad work - besides the trains!  While we all enjoy the trains themselves, the fact is that trains wouldn't roll if the property were not properly maintained.  Different departments work to maintain different aspects of the operation:  Track, 'B&B' (Buildings and Bridges), Signals, etc.

Scenery around the west end of Onondaga Yard has continued to progress.  With each small improvement, the context of the layout deepens.  Here's an overview of the scene at the big signal bridge supporting the westbound home signals for CP282, showing new ballast work, and the newly installed access road for the yard office:

And a quick snapshot of the signal bungalo for CP282, which has taken the place of the abandoned interlocking tower in the background:


In that first image, you can see a big knuckle-boom truck on the access road, headed towards the maintenance base that occupies some of the yard office area.  Built by my long-time buddy Mark in exchange for some weathering and DCC work, I only added some decals, window glass, and weathering to finish up his truck models for my fleet, each of which include scratchbuilt, resin-cast cabs, with kitbashed frames, wheels, and body.  

Here's a few shots of the current fleet at rest at the office.  First is a shot showing the rest of that area, which ends up being a good place to display the trucks behind the west end of the yard:


The trucks are not motorized, but are really beautiful models, with plenty of details!  Having a few of them fills a crucial role of adding important background for Onondaga Yard.  Most Conrail facilities would have a few trucks like these around, and Onondaga is no exception.  Here is a close-up of the boom truck:

 And finally, here is a close-up of the knuckle boom, the most recent and most intricate of the three models that Mark has delivered:

I am looking forward to getting more background and base scenery done, as it allows some of the real scenic detail work to begin in earnest.  All of that helps to set the feel of Conrail in the 1990's, as well as the feel of the area of Central New York that I am trying to convey.

~RGDave



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