Check out the podcast!

I was recently a guest on the Model Railcast Show and talked about a few of my recent blog posts. It is a nice format with four guys discussing layout design and the inspiration for our model railroad projects. I had a great time talking with Ryan Anderson, Craig Bisgeier and Tim Harrison. I think the podcast conversation format enables easier clarification and expansion of ideas than a blog presentation. Check out show #171 from September 9, 2012. I recommend downloading the cast to your hard drive then opening it with iTunes, Winamp, or Windows Media to enjoy. Our conversation runs about 76 minutes and is great to have playing while you work on your layout or hobby project.
http://www.modelrailcast.com/

I recommend keeping this blog handy so you can also refer to the images, maps and drawings that are discussed during the show.  I hope you enjoy the podcast!

A second option for the hobby room

The business end of the B&O Wheeling freight terminal as seen from across Wheeling Creek.

The B&O Wheeling, WV freight house and docks as seen from across Wheeling Creek. This is one of the HABS/HAER images taken before the facility was leveled.

As outlined in the previous post, I am contemplating a new HO scale model railroad in a spare bedroom of 9′ 10″ by 16′. I want to keep this layout simple to ease building, operating, and eventually tearing down and moving. I’m also lucky to have prototype details in hand to assist with two different projects. A portion of the Wheeling & Lake Erie was detailed in the last blog post, so now it is time to share details and thought processes for a second prototype.

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How does it all fit?

The W&LE crossing Broadway Avenue in Newburgh.

Looking west at the W&LE crossing Broadway Avenue in Newburgh. Image from the Cleveland Memory Project of the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University.

When I talk to model railroaders about using the prototype to guide a layout design, nods of approval are typical, as is the question, “How does it all fit?” With patience and creativity, a good portion of a well-defined prototype can fit into an available space. Let’s walk through some thought processes to fit the Newburgh rails of the Wheeling and Lake Erie into my new hobby space that is 16 feet long by almost 10 feet wide.

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Surveying a new space

It’s been a busy month as my wife, Cheryl, and I relocated from the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York to the far west Texas city of El Paso. We arrived July 3rd with a couple of cars, a couple of dogs and some belongings. There was no time to visit El Paso to house hunt before our move, so we rented our new home on the recommendation of Cheryl’s UTEP co-worker. We have settled right in and spent time coordinating legal papers and exploring our new city and region. It was odd for those first couple of weeks as the moving van did not arrive until July 16. This offered plenty of time to decide where furniture would be placed and what rooms would be earmarked for other uses, such as the hobby room. Here’s how the hobby room looked shortly after we arrived.

Empty hobby room.

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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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