Another year

A switcher works a string of cars at the freight house.
A switcher works a string of cars at the freight house.

New Year’s Eve is a time when many people assess the last twelve months and look ahead to the next year. Goals are set and promises are often made. Let’s take a look around the blog and the hobby room to see what has happened in 2014.

I like a year end reviewing as the number of projects and activities often surprises me. While I did not make as many blog posts as in 2013, I kept pretty busy with my layout and Mike’s layout in Las Cruces. I attended at least one operating session a month and I finally hosted a few sessions on the B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal. These become more satisfying each time and are a major reason why other projects keep moving along.

I’ve also been attending the monthly meetings of our local NMRA division, the Roadrunner Division. It’s been fun to interact with the other members and share tips and techniques. I’ve brought back at least one new idea from each of the meetings. I also traveled back to Pennsylvania last spring for the Valley Forge Railroad Prototype Modelers meet. It was great to see a bunch of old friends, take in presentation details, and operate on a couple of the layouts open for the event.

I won’t offer up my plans for 2015, but I do have three major projects and goals that I hope to achieve. Details will be shared here, of course. I also look forward to attending the RPM East event near Pittsburgh in late March, as well as the June NMRA Rocky Mountain Region convention in suburban Denver, CO. I’m most certain there will be more operating session details shared here, as well as freight car kit builds, and weathering factory output.

I hope you have set a few goals for the New Year. Railroad modeling becomes more enjoyable as we meet new challenges.

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The first op session for the Wheeling Freight Terminal

The quiet before the storm of the first op session.
The quiet before the storm of the first op session.

My B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal layout has reached the point where I can hold an operating session. All of the track switch controls have been installed and adjusted to proper working order and a few track gauge issues have been corrected. It was time to make the leap of faith. My friend Mike committed to the initial shake down session so I was now locked in and needed to prep. This will be the first op session on a layout in my home since the summer of 2001. Where have the years gone?

Continue reading “The first op session for the Wheeling Freight Terminal”

Catching up from winter

An HO scale CNJ gondola on Steve Salotti’s model railroad. Seeing this at an operating session reminds me of one I’ve built and not painted yet.

We all experience ebbs and flows in our hobby activities. We can make furious progress on several tasks over the course of a few weeks then two months may slip by with hardly any activity. Tasks from beyond our hobby world can dominate the spare time, especially with spring weather blowing away the grit and cold of winter. I’ve been working on several different tasks, but few are far enough along or very photogenic to share here. The death of a friend has also weighed heavily on my mind. Less busy days are coming back around for the hobby tasks and I hope to share updates soon. Let’s recap a few model railroad events from the last couple of months. Click on any image here to review a larger version.

Continue reading “Catching up from winter”

A quick update

At long last, I’ve been able to upgrade the blog software. It’s been a bit of a battle but all is updated and the comment area is functional again! I spent time creating a new header but no matter what I do to change the large, shaded box above, it won’t go away. It’s frustrating to follow the WordPress blog directions and change out the files, and then it doesn’t work. HO scale resin freight car kits are easier than figuring out the WordPress coding. Even those kits that lack directions!

As an addendum, I know many images are missing form older posts. It seems the software upgrade did not completely transfer all of the files to the new locations or assign the proper file address to the image. <sigh> I hope to tackle this issue by restoring images to a few older posts each week. The pages will be done as soon as possible along with a focus on 2013 posts. It will take some time but everything will be restored in the upcoming months. Thank you for your patience.

Hobby updates are coming soon as I’ve been busy on a number of projects. Thanks for checking in.   – Eric

Happy Holidays!

The holidays are a busy time of year devoted to family and friends. Hobby time declines and progress often grinds to a halt as our free time fills with parties and preparations. It’s been a great year as my wife and I moved into our own place with an ample hobby space. Many projects have worked towards completion and the HO scale B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal layout moves closer to operation. Thank you for checking in here on projects and progress. More excitement is just around the corner in 2014.

While I’m quite happy with the layout and model progress, I am not happy with this blog. I use WordPress software through my web host, but they stopped upgrading the versions a few months ago. Now I need to download the software and flesh out the blog on the home computer before uploading to the web host for viewing here. It may take a week or two of free time, learning, and tweaking before the next blog update, but there should be a new page design and an improved comment area. This seems like a huge bother to me right now, but I can see this is really a benefit if there is ever a problem at Mission Control, i.e. the web host. Building the blog on my computer means I’ll have all content ready to roll out at anywhere else if it needs to relocate, or if the web host has a hiccup and loses everything. Some readers may recall a web host hiccup a couple of years ago that wiped out many early posts.

So we live, we learn, we update the software, and we move right along. I’m looking forward to 2014 and sharing more of the hobby journey. If you have a comment, feel free to drop me an email at 43admin at hansmanns dot org, just remove the spaces and substitute @ for ‘at’ and a . for ‘dot’, and it should work fine.

All the best to you, your families, and your railroad crews in 2014!

– – Eric