Departure time, again

Moving again

Our time has come to a close here in the mid-Hudson Valley region. My wife and I have said goodbyes to friends and made our rounds to our favorite places. I’ve spent many hours over the last four weeks packing up the household and hobby goods in preparation for our move to El Paso, Texas. It will take at least a month to settle in and survey the hobby possibilities of the new home. I have a few ideas but cannot push forward without being on site. I have some blog posts to release here over the course of the next month, so new content will be posted to keep this from falling dormant. Here’s one last look at the New York hobby room before all the modular drawer units are wrapped up with plastic wrap.

still to pack

While packing I was surprised to find a large number of freight cars that are built, detailed, weathered and ready for use. There were also a couple dozen built freight car kits that need to be painted, lettered and weathered. I had forgotten about many of these cars and am happy that a layout ready fleet will be on hand in the new home. These cars will serve as ready inspiration to get wheels rolling along the rails in the next year.

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More Hopper Madness!

Six B&O USRA hoppers

I started assembling and upgrading a six-pack of Accurail USRA hoppers a couple of months ago. These are destined for a club layout in Morgantown, WV so the extra detail has been kept to a minimum. I downloaded a PDF file of an old pamphlet from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society that features detail and images of hopper rebuilding in Keyser, WV. This came in handy when building these models. The prototype hopper cars seemed to receive new AB brake systems in a late 1940s rebuild, but many kept a vertical staff handbrake and wheel. It’s this detail addition that I will focus upon.  Continue reading “More Hopper Madness!”

Boomer Operator 3 – The New York Harbor Railroad

Erie 28th Street terminal.

I traveled to Clifton, NJ on a recent Friday afternoon to operate on the HO scale New York Harbor Railroad of Dave Ramos. Dave models three railroads and their operations with a focus on late 1947. These facilities are confined to a few blocks along the west side of Manhattan, mainly between 27th and 33rd Streets. Dave features quite a bit of prototype detail on his layout website. I used my iPhone to capture images at the op session. A slightly larger size can be viewed by clicking on any image here.

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Upgrading Accurail hopper cars

NYC Hopper Upgraded

This post began as six separate email updates with a few friends to share upgrade ideas and techniques for the HO scale Accurail USRA hopper models. Since everything worked out pretty well, and the images are decent, I thought I’d share it here. Most of the images on this post can be seen in a larger size after clicking on them.

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Boomer Operator 2

A B&O mallet storms from a tunnel on the B&O West End.

While I have not started a new home project layout this past year, I have been able to operate on a number of interesting model railroads. One of these layouts is inspired by a stretch of the Baltimore & Ohio in West Virginia, and not far from where I lived in Morgantown, W. Va. Thomas Eckhardt has been building his HO scale B&O West End layout for a couple of decades. The main line is running, nearly all track is complete, and much of the scenery has been installed. On occasional weekends, a crew gathers to operate the West End.

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