Man Cave Progress - MP Hoppers Arrive Today
Welcome to 2016! Hopefully your holiday season has been a blessed time for you and your families. 2016 should be an exciting year for the Meridian Speedway and I look forward to sharing it with you.
The concept of my new home office/model railroad/man cave are coming together. When I was in my apartment in Lincoln, NE I had purchased some furniture from IKEA for my new second home. I was particularly fond of the "Expedit" line of bookshelves and desks which occupied my apartment office. Since I moved back to my home in Texas this furniture has been in use for my wife's home office space.
I decided that I wanted more of the same in my new room. IKEA's Expedit line has been replaced by the Kallax line which is very similar but with a thinner frame. It was interesting to see on-line that there is quite a passionate following for the Expedit line. There is even a German FaceBook page with over 20,000 followers dedicated to the topic!
Anyway, I have a new Kallax shelf unit with 25 compartments as well as a new desk assembled and now in service in the man cave so I am officially moved in! This is the first blog posting authored from my new workstation in this room....
Also added to the room are two bookshelves that I purchased when I moved to Fresno, CA in 2000 and have lugged across the country as I have moved around over the years. These were in the loft, but I have reclaimed them and they are positioned at the door creating an artificial "hallway" entrance into the man cave. Soon there will be another Kallax unit purchased for placement on the opposing wall to the one the current unit is on.
The design of the ceiling shelf railroad is still in the rough-draft concept phase. More on that to come in future blog posts.
The other news is a new freight car order received today, 1-5-2015. Nine ExactRail Bethlehem 3737 open hoppers in various Missouri Pacific schemes make up this order. These cars compliment one sister car, MP 582184, received on 5/4/2015 and will be mixed with the dozen Tangent Scale Models Union Pacific 3600 CuFt Quad Hoppers already in the Meridian Speedway Fleet to make up a unique coal train scripted into the Meridian Speedway Playbook. I have now added the Tangent Cars to the data base.
This coal train is an "exploder" which is loaded by the Union Pacific and handed off to my Natchez Trace and Orient at Monroe, LA. The NT&O operates this train to the joint Yazoo & Mississippi Valley/Mississippi Central yard in Vicksburg, MS. Here the train is cut up for forwarding to customers on both railroads. Cycle time is about a week for the empty cars to return to Vicksburg where the empty unit train is reassembled for movement back to the Union Pacific at Monroe.
Inspiration of the mix of older UP/MP equipment comes from the trains that pass through Fort Worth destined for Box, TX. Inspiration for the exploder coal train concept comes form the BNSF "Sugar Train" on the Powder River Division. The C-ATMNPG1-A1 trains are loaded at South Antelope mine with three blocks of coal that serve coal-powered sugar beet facilities at Laurel, Montana; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Here is a closer look at some of the MP family cars received today:
1 x Bethlehem 3737 Hopper - CEI 1973 "As Delivered"
4 x As Delivered Series 582000-582499 - 5/79 and 6/79
MP 582012, MP 582143, MP 582214, and MP 582252
1 x C&EI Style Buzzsaw MP Re-Stencil
2 x "As Delivered" 588710-589709 Series
MP 588749 and MP 588800
1 x Bethlehem 3737 Hopper - TP 1974 "As Delivered"
TP 588132 (With "Rambler" Moniker)
Below are some images of the Tangent Scale Models 3600 quad hoppers already on-hand the the new MP cars will be mixed with:
I look forward to seeing this unique coal train ply the rails of the Meridian Speedway in the future!