ExactRail 60-Foot Boxcars Arrive
ExactRail's October special is the 60' Berwick 7327 Hi-Cube Boxcar for $28.95, $10.00 off the MSRP. I had not considered purchasing any of these; however, the special got me looking at them. The NW cars are really sharp and sealed the deal for me. So the October order was started. I chose two of the NW cars as well as a Missouri Pacific and a Chessie System (B&O) car.
While perusing their site I happened to notice that the ExactRail 62' PC&F Insulated Box Cars in the Santa Fe BX-210 "Gothic Repaint" scheme were in stock. As with most things Santa Fe, they sell out quickly so I figured it was now or never for these models.
These cars are perfect for my era and are a nice fit for the transcontinental bridge traffic on the Meridian Speedway. When I worked in Fresno one of my pet trains was the H-MODSEL (Modesto, CA to Selkirk, NY) which carried lots of beer and Gallo wine from the San Joaquin Valley to points east with blocks of cars to set out at Barstow and Kansas City with the balance forwarded to the east via a Conrail connection at Streator, IL.
These cars will nicely compliment the BLMA BX-166 Santa Fe insulated boxcars which I plan to purchase in the near future.
Having received the cars today and personally inspected them, I am thrilled to have them in my fleet. These cars are beautiful!
Cars received are:
PC&F 62' Insulated Boxcars: ATSF 625378, ATSF 625397, ATSF 625410, and ATSF 625424
Berwick 60' 7327 CUFT Boxcars: B&O 410305, MP 269058, NW 604569, and NW 604580
Recommended Link - Weathering Solutions
As I make progress cataloging my freight car fleet the staggering amount of weathering work to be done has become clear! I remembered seeing some very positive reviews of a decal product by a company called Weathering Solutions. I decided to add them to my Recommended Links page so that I can find it when I wish to order decals from them.
Particularly stunning are the results seen from their rust pattern decals. I look forward to working with these decals in the future. The button below will take you to their website. There are also a few YouTube videos linked below as well.
Sheridan and Everywhere West Progress
We mass produced about 11 joists. Jacob was in charge of measuring and marking them for center stud placement. His marks were all spot on!
Next was the repetitive process of measuring and leveling the joists, placed on every other stud in the center wall structure. Odd-length joists were individually measured for the ends where the track structure changes to a semi-circle at one end and positioning to wrap around the center bathroom/furnace room at the other end.
Finally we cut a 4x8 sheet of plywood into three strips to use for decking on the joists. The bubble in the center of the level shows success in our efforts to create a level shelf. Now, if the building will just stay right where it is and not settle over time......
It was a great exercise to get out of the house and unplug my son from technology. Though he did show symptoms of Call of Duty Xbox withdrawal, we did get him plugged back in at home. I think he will make it through the night!
Sheridan West in Argyle, TX
There is a post on Chris' blog with the above picture of him in front of this section house with a link to a podcast by A ModelersLife where he was interviewed about his interest in the hobby. Of course I clicked on the link out of curiosity and ended up listening to the entire podcast. I had not heard of A ModelersLife before so this was new for me. The button below will take you to that podcast:
Chris Atkins pointed out that a subsequent A ModelersLife podcast was an interview with Shane Murphy. That podcast is linked in the below button:
Currently Chris Atkins is renovating this building and will construct a two-level Northern Pacific model railroad. I am looking forward to seeing the progress of this railroad and hopefully will be invited to some work sessions and operating sessions in the future.
Shane Murphy dubbed some of his operating sessions as "Pie Night". These sessions were always fun! The slideshow below contains a few images I took when the property was owned by Shane Murphy during a Pie Night in 2009:
Be sure to visit and follow Chris Atkins' Sheridan and Everywhere West blog and listen in to the above podcasts. I expect great things to in the future from this model railroad!
PWRS Santa Fe Hopper Car Set H-1019-6B
I have been updating my freight car master list and on-line index with some older cars that have been in inventory for some time. The beginnings of a Santa Fe grain train (about 25 cars so far) are accounted for.
Among this fleet of Mineral Red colored cars are three grey hoppers with the blue "Santa Fe" billboard letters. These cars are the second of two three-car sets released by Pacific Western Rail Systems (PWRS). At the time PWRS was working with InterMountain Railway Co. to release sets of unique paint schemes.
Since then, InterMountain has released their own cars in the schemes commissioned by PWRS but with different road numbers. There are at least six cars in this scheme released by InterMountain with different numbers and slight variations in the markings.
The three hoppers in the set in my collection are ATSF 315965, ATSF 315979, and ATSF 315994.
Pages have been added in the freight car index for each of these cars. The buttons below will take you to the pages. Each page has a slideshow of the respective car with more detail images and varying angles.
These cars represent hoppers in the Sana Fe GA-905 class numbered 315900-315999. Even though this scheme very uncommon, I chose to add some to my fleet because, quite simply, I like them! They make an excellent accent to mix-up a brown fleet of Santa Fe grain hoppers
Athearn RTR NS GP40X 7001 and Walthers Tank Cars
A small shipment arrived today. Rounding out my GP40X wish list is one NS pony, No. 7001, to compliment my slowly growing fleet of NS power. This unit will blend in nicely with the Athearn Genesis GP49's and GP50's pulling intermodal trains across the Meridian Speedway!
I also grabbed two Walthers Proto 2000 funnel flow tank cars: 40' 16,000 gallon ACFX 78947 decorated for Georgia Kaolin and 54' 23,000 gallon ADMX 25785 wearing the famous ADM "Molecule" logo. These are all very sharp looking models!
Louisiana & North West Photos - 1986
Recently I came across several images of the L&NW by way of an e-mail from Phil Gosney. The photos were taken by Australian photographer Greg Dixon while on a tour of the United States in 1986.
In that era at stop by the L&NW shops at Gibsland was a must-do on any trek across north Louisiana, if for no other reason than to see one of their laid-up F-units resting quietly in the shade of tall pine trees.
I reached out to Greg Dixon with a request to host these images on this site. He graciously agreed!
The button below will take you to this slide show:
Ops Session Preparation on the MCIS
This evening I spent a couple of hours on Greg McComas' HO-scale Michigan Interstate. Tomorrow is the first annual Fort Worth Layout Operations Day championed by Dean Ferris and the Michigan Interstate is one of the participating railroads with two operating sessions scheduled.
Alas, it was not in the cards for me to be able to participate tomorrow; however, I was able to assist with staging on the Michigan Interstate today.
After several operating sessions Greg decided to migrate to a card-card system to assist operators with the work events at Bay City Yard and On-Line. He decided to use clear baseball card holders, each labeled on top for a specific railcar. Printed destination cards slide into the clear holders completing the Car Card.
The destination cards have the two-letter station code in large, color-coded print. For examples, cars destined for Port Huron have a red "PH" and cars destined for Bay City have a blue "BA". The color coding will assist with visually identifying blocks of cars.
Under the letter code is additional information including secondary destination information such as industry name or track number, load/empty status and even Haz-Mat notation.
We built several trains in Bay City yard, repaired several cars, filled and aligned the car cards, and then backed the trains into one of the two staging yards. I expect the operators tomorrow will have an excellent time operating on the Michigan Interstate! Be sure to check on the Michigan Interstate Blog button below for updates!
ExactRail Evans 4780 Covered Hoppers
The ExactRail September Special Deal was a discount on their very impressive Evans 4780 Covered Hopper. While there are about 20 of them I would like to have I whittled that wish list down to this five-car order which was received today - 10-1-2015.
Three of the cars are wearing the grey ADM paint scheme: UELX 10002, UELX 10017, and UELX 10024. I will be building a small fleet of ADM cars, both tank cars and hopper cars for a specific Y&MV local train that will run south out of Vicksburg. The inspiration for this train is the BNSF L-NEB841, also known as the "841 Local" which is built at Lincoln, NE and serves the ADM Columbus facility at the top end of the Bellwood Subdivision. I was quick to learn that this train had more priority that the Z-CHIDEN9/Z-DENCHI9 trains as well as Amtrak Nos. 5 & 6!
On my Meridian Speedway there will be a dedicated Y&MV local built at Vicksburg to serve a fictitious ADM facility somewhere near Natchez, MS.
The other two cars in this order are USLX 26257 and USLX 26275. These are decorated for Farmers Co-op Elevator Co. Daykin, Nebraska and the Farmers Co-op Mead, Nebraska. Nebraska grain elevators are of particular interest to me for obvious reasons so I had to pick up one of each of these beautiful cars!
These cars are a welcome addition to the fleet!