Friday, October 28, 2016

Bench work for the Gloconda section

Back in the July post First crossing of the Humboldt River I described the scene I wanted to create for the next section of the layout and had a good start on a pair of bridges.  At that time I had named it the Gloconda section as that is the name of the location where this scene is located.

Here is a photo of this section right now with the bench work completed. Because it is quite a bit smaller than the Wesso and staging yard sections I was able to build it entirely from scraps left over from those.  The deck is from scraps of 1/4 inch plywood with the middle section set lower for the river.


This section will be an anchoring point with a sturdy metal bracket similar to those used on the staging yard on each end.  The Paint booth will fit between the bracket and under this layout section.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Two year anniversary for the layout

It was around this time two years ago that I started work on this layout.  One year ago I marked the first anniversary by noting what had been accomplished up to that point and and making goals for the next year.   Looking back now I am actually pleased with the progress, here is a brief review of the goals I set out for myself one year ago and their current status.

  • Complete lower helix - Done !
  • Bench work for Wesso and Carlin sections - Done !
  • Start some code 55 track - Yes, on the Wesso section.
  • Start some scenery - Yes, on the Wesso section.

So here is what I hope to accomplish on the layout over the next 12 months.
  • Complete the 3 ft Gloconda section including scenery with the bridges crossing the river.
  • Build and install the upper return loop section that goes above the Wesso section.
  • Install LED lighting under the upper return loop that will light the Wesso section
  • Permanently install the Wesso and Gloconda sections after installing photographic backdrops.
  • Add the bottom panels with LED lighting to the Carlin section so the staging yard will be lighted.
  • Build a temporary return loop section that can be moved as the layout progresses allowing running on the completed sections.
  • Start bench work on the section that will come after the section with the bridges.

I made up this drawing to show how the different sections relate to each other.  Right now all of the work is going on at one end of the layout room.  The plan is that as the layout is extended around the room the section labeled "Gloconda" will eventually connect to the section labeled "Carlin".

Most of what is shown here are the parts of the layout that will be double decked with most of the rest of the layout being single deck.



This should keep me busy for the next 12 months.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

On the road again - Scranton, PA

On the last full day of our recent trip to the east coast we drove from Sayre, PA to Mount Laurel, NJ and had enough time to make a short visit to the Steamtown National Historical Site in Scranton, PA.  The site is in downtown Scranton and was originally owned by the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad which was most commonly known as the Lackawanna.

The focal point of the historic site is the round house.  Most of the round house has been converted to museum displays while several bays remain as a working repair and restoration facility.
We were there on a Monday and it was fairly quiet.  I understand that on the weekends there are back shop tours and excursions available.

The 90 ft turntable is still in use to move equipment in and out of the roundhouse bays used for repair and restoration.

Within the area around the turntable are parked several locomotives and rolling stock such as this Eire Lackawanna caboose.

The Eire Lackawanna was created in 1960 by the merger of the Eire with the Lackawanna.

There are a number of interpretive displays to explain in detail how a steam locomotive works including this actual locomotive with many cut away sections so the visitors can see what is inside.

Visitors are able to view the part of the working part of the roundhouse from elevated walkways.  I thought they really did a great job of utilizing the round house space and that the different types of areas tied in really well together.


While the exit was well marked on the highway, once we got into downtown Scranton we had trouble figuring out exactly where the entrance to the site was.

I have marked up a Googlemaps screen shot showing the entrance from Lakawanna Ave. marked with a red arrow.





There is so much to see I could have easily spent the whole day there and really hope to be able to do that some day.  It is well worth the stop even if you only have a couple of hours like I did.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

On the road again - New Hope, PA

During the last part of September and the beginning of October Nona and I took a trip to visit family to the northeastern US.  There were a couple of opportunities during this trip to do railroad type things.

The New Hope and Ivyland Railroad is a short line running on part of the former Reading Railroad Bethlehem branch through Bucks County Pennsylvania north of Philadelphia.  

This is a working freight railroad which also operates as a heritage railroad and offers passenger excursions.

This is the station in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

The New Hope and Ivywood railroad has a variety of steam and diesel locomotives on their roster.  This one looks like it could have come from the Canadian Pacific but I could not find any reference to this number so it may be an more recent acquisition.

Our train was pulled by this C30-7 which had previously owned by the Seaboard and then the CSX.   It has been fully repainted in the New Hope and Ivyland's paint scheme.

At the New Hope station they use a freight height platform which made boarding easy.

The New Hope and Ivyland has been operating passenger excursions since 1966 and our Philadelphia area cousins had been on this train before.   They thought we would also enjoy it and they were right.

Here is an interior shot of the car we were riding in which included a bar.  The six of us had the car to ourselves.

Here is Nona enjoying the train ride through the countryside.  It was an enjoyable day during which we also explored the towns of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ which are on opposite sides of the Delaware River from each other.

Here is a link to the New Hope and Ivyland RR website.