Monday, August 31, 2015

To Portland and Back, the NMRA Portland Convention..

I just returned from the NMRA Convention in Portland OR on the red eye yesterday morning.  I spent most of yesterday getting some rest.  It was an awesome week spent with many friends, some of whom I haven't seen in years! I haven't been able to attend a convention since the one in Milwaukee, so it was great catching up.  The LD SIG tour was great as usual, though I think I will be seeing Southern Pacific engines in my sleep! :p  Out of the 9 layouts we were able to see during the allotted time they were open, 6 were SP layouts.  Just Charlie Comstock's Bear Creek & Jackson (SP&S inspired), Larry Kennedy's Great Northern Stevens Pass, and Bruce Barney's Arrow Lake & Western (Canadian Pacific Boundary Div) were not SP themed layouts.  All the layouts were great, not a stinker in the bunch.  One layout I didn't get to that I really wanted to see was David Clune's On3 Cascade County Narrow Gauge RR.  It's based on the Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR but moved up into Oregon.  Dave lives in Eugene and that was 1 1/2 hours south of Portland, so we just couldn't get there in time.  In all, it was a great week of trains, great food and brew pubs, and friends. :)

OK back to things Ma & Pa, the answer to the last Where is this Wednesday was provided by Dick Bradley and you can find his answer in the comment section of that post.

Speaking of Dick Bradley, I'd like to congratulate him for winning the RMC Dremel Kitbashing Award in the September issue of RMC!  He did a beautiful kitbash of the Ma & Pa RR caboose #2003 as it looked before being rebuilt in 1936.  I didn't even know it had a end cupola before that year!  It's a great article and I urge you to check it out in the latest RMC. :)

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Mother Load!

I came across a seller on eBay who was offloading a ton of back issues of the Ma & Pa Society's publication, "The Timetable". I managed to win most of the auctions (thank you Auction Sniper :) though a few got away.  All told I picked up well over 40 back issues, some going all the way back to when it was just a photo copied publication with one staple holding everything together at the top.

I have been spending quite a few hours going through them and I've found some valuable info from interviews conducted with older retired Ma & Pa RR men.  They gave lots of great insight into how the RR operated.  Between that and the maps and drawings I'd say I hit the mother load!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Where is this Wednesday #18

Where is this?

If anyone is heading out to Portland for the NMRA Convention let me know.  Maybe we can meet up and talk about all things Ma & Pa RR. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mitzel Coal Trestle ready to take deliveries..

After my last post I continued working on the Mitzel Coal trestle deck and I installed it after shaving down and painting the foam.  I also sprinkled a little bit of black sanded grout around it. The picture below shows the finished trestle.  Does it look convincing?  Let me know.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday Progress report..

This past week I worked on a few projects:  One that had been on the back burner, fixing the separating roofs on my two F&C Ma & Pa RPOs, the other was to build the top decking of the coal trestle for Mitzel Coal after thinking about how it would look for operators standing looking down at the scene.

Here trains 3 and 8 meet in Red Lion.  I know they probably never met there but let's say 8 was extremely delayed with mechanical problems that day. ;)  The two RPO's were bought on eBay awhile back but had a problem with the roof coming unglued off the top of the cars in the middle.  I got the roofs detached and filed down the car ends a little so the roofs sat somewhat flush.  Before I re glued the roofs on I added weight to the cars to bring them up to NMRA specs.

After last week's post I looked at Mitzel Coal trestle for awhile and realized that most operators will see the top of the trestle so something should be there.  Working off some drawings in my Ma & Pa RR Plan book 2 I made a reasonable representation of a coal trestle deck out of Central Valley bridge decks connected together.  I cut out for the coal drop, painted and weathered it, then glue on the rail.

I removed the track and roadbed from the trestle site.

Destruction complete.

Here's what it looks like looking down as an operator with the decking in place.  The foam will be painted black before the deck is permanently placed.

I then temporarily located the deck on the trestle location.  The foam has to be shaved down a 1/4 inch so the track on the deck matches up with the approach track.

I parked a coal hopper up there to see how it looked. :)

I'm pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish this week.