The Garage

April 14th, 2018

The middle Tennessee weather has been warming over the last few weeks, although winter’s grip can be seen on a few mornings when the frost must be scraped from the car windshields. I’ve cut the lawn a few times already and that has given me time to ponder the garage upgrade for the new hobby space. That’s the garage in the above image; my future hobby haven.

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2018 RPM Valley Forge summary

March 30th, 2018

Val keeps the west end of Little Ferry yard organized.

I journeyed to metro-Philadelphia last week for the RPM Valley Forge¬†railroad prototype modeler meet. A winter Nor’easter was threatening but passed through a couple days before the event. I arrived on Thursday afternoon to participate in an operating session that evening.

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1926 B&O freight car fleet – 2

March 17th, 2018

B&O 136399, an O-17 class gondola in a 1906 Pressed Steel Car Company builder photo.

Do you recognize this gondola? I know you recognize the railroad name, but do you recognize the car design? It looks similar to many gondolas used in the first four decades of the 20th Century. The B&O had more than 2500 of these O-17 class gondolas listed in an October 1926 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). Are you surprised?

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Sanborn Maps

March 8th, 2018

I’m involved with the Dixie Model Railroad Club here in Nashville and have an assignment to build the Tennessee Egg Company structure that sat along the railroad in Chattanooga, TN. Other than a few aerial images, the main document at hand to build this structure is a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map. These are very good resources of structures in communities served by railroads, many of them being commercial industries along the right of way. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

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Southern Ventilated boxcars

March 2nd, 2018

A Southern ventilated boxcar can be seen in the lower right of this circa 1925 image. Keefer, Potomac Yards, Alexandria, Va. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/npc2008013406/>.

Fenton Wells has presented an interesting kitbash at a couple recent RPM meets. He shares his tips and techniques to transform an Accurail 36-foot boxcar into a Southern ventilated boxcar. Click on any image here to view a larger size.

Ventilated boxcars were once a common element of the freight car fleet. Several southeastern railroads had thousands of ventilated boxcars on their rosters to move fruits and vegetables from packing plants to wholesale grocers in northern areas. Distinctive screened doors and end vents set them apart from typical boxcars. Most of the ventilated boxcars were older cars of double-sheathed wood construction, thereby standing out all the more over the years as the national freight car fleet modernized with taller steel-sheathed cars.

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