Monday, December 3, 2012

Dawn of the Genset Era

Keeping my model railroad up to date is not an easy task, but it does allow me to have constant inspiration from around my surroundings. Part of staying current is motive power. The mechanical department has recently begun a modernization initiative. This program includes adding GPS units, air conditioners, and reflective taping to units.

New additions to the fleet have also been coming from National Railway Equipment. Recently the first 3GS21B from Atlas Trainman arrived, but is currently off at Fogelsinger Rail being painted.

A unique program for modernizing the SD35 fleet has also been implemented with two directions being taken. Two SD35s are currently being converted to 3GS21C's without dynamic brakes as noted by the photo below of the unit at Bay Yard on its way to Fogelsinger Rail for painting.

The other SD35s will be converted to SD22ECO's that will utilize a NRE genset style cab with a EMD 8 cylinder 710 engine.

Our Newest Arrival

Our first child Grayson was born on November, 27th at 2328 local time. He is such a joy to have and alot of work but being a parent is such an awesome experience. I look forward to the time we will spend together working on the model railroad.

Bay Yard - Fall 2012 Update

A quick update on Bay Yard - the final track plan has been developed for the yard and should be completed by early January 2013. The yard consists of 6 through tracks that can be used for classification, blocking, or arrival / departure
Above the R-BAUH "Huron Turn" has just returned to Bay Yard after making a run to Upper Huron to drop off and pick up traffic for local delivery by the Upper Huron based switcher.

The terminal also has a 2 track diesel service facility for inspecting, fueling, and making light repairs to motive power assigned to or moving through Bay City.

Layout Update

My last update was on March 30, 2012 over 8 months ago. I do however have results to show regarding layout construction that has taken place during this time.

The biggest improvement completed over this time was the benchwork, mainline, and upper staging yard completion.
 The left side of the layout above taken from the room entrance shows the mainline banking into the super elevated curve heading toward Gray Lake, Gerhard, and Port Huron staging.

Right side of the layout from the room entrance showing the helix exit onto the upper deck leading through the Upper Huron Wye and over the Quanicassee Creek heading east. Soon a backdrop will hide the helix opening and the staging / through tracks along the back of the room by the poster.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Motors

This month was also the delivery of two new units for the MCIS. Both units were spotted showing off for employees outside the Bay City Division Offices. Paintshop work orders are in the works and should be off to Fogelsinger Rail sometime in May or June for their coats of blue and yellow.

EMD GP40-2 (4006) Atlas - Silver
EMD SD40-2 (4055) Kato

Motor of the Month (March 2012)

Model:(Athearn Genesis) SD45-2
Built: 1974
Manufacturer: GM-EMD
HP: 3600
PM: EMD 645E3
Fleet Size: 2(4570-4571)
Painted by Fred Fogelsinger (Bay City, Michigan)

Bay Yard Update #2

The month of March has been really busy between military trips, vacation, a wedding, and of course work. But I did find some time in the schedule to make continual progress on Bay Yard. The pictures posted were taken from the 10th Avenue Bridge that crosses over the main and east yard ladder lead between Bay Yard and Chessie Junction. The third picture is taken from light pole in Bay Yard.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bay Yard Update

Having a few days off, figured I would showcase some of the work being done on Bay Yard. This really is the focal point of the layout as all traffic flows through it. By the numbers the yard will have six body tracks which can be used for anything from classification to arrival/departure, a throughfare track, and engine servicing top it off. By design it can be switched from both ends since it has double ended capability, but the east end has the longest lead to work with.

Looking west from the start of the East yard ladder. The super reefer is spotted over at BayView Fresh Foods.

Left to right (switch at DSF, tk 7, tk 6, tk 5, tk 4, tk 3, tk 2, tk 1, main, and Bayview Foods siding)

Looking east towards yard - tracks in foreground are switch to North Spur off main line veering to the left, and right switches are the beginning of the West yard ladder. The piece they are sitting on is removable to access the room.

Another picture of the West yard ladder just this side of the DSF.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Motor of the Month (Feburary 2012)

Every month I plan on featuring one of my locomotives, for the first month we are going to feature MCIS GP40-2 "4005"

Model:(Atlas) GP40-2
Built: 1975
Manufacturer: GM-EMD
HP: 3000
PM: EMD 645E3
Fleet Size: 8 (4001-4008)
Painted by Fred Fogelsinger (Bay City, Michigan)

Rock Island Power Shortage

Caught a picture of two Michigan Interstate Motors on short term loan to Dan Munson's Rock Island Layout in Omaha. Those Conrail Blue hoods sure look good moving through the brush.
(SD40-2 "4052" and GP38-2 "3828" lead a local of scrap gons into Douglas, IA)

Saginaw River Bridge

One of the main elements I wanted for my layout was a crossing of the Saginaw River with a swing bridge. While I liked the Walthers kit, I figured to be unique why not kitbash my own. The bridge's main structure was from the combination of two Atlas Code 83 Through Truss Bridge Kits. With their easy assembly and "good enough" detail the bridges made fun work while not spending tens of hours laboring to build a bridge girder by girder that is still a considerable 27" long. Alot of detail is still needed so stay tuned as I work this scene for a possible entry in the Walthers 2013 Catalog.

Helix Part 1

Shown here is the future location of the helix from the main deck to the second level. The beauty of foamboard is its ability to be cut however needed, in this case the inside of the Ashlin Designs helix will be open to allow maintenance and derailment access. More on helix construction in March. Sidenote: The train in the picture is rising up from the lower deck staging about to come onto the layout and cross the Saginaw River.

Layout Update

Here a few pictures of the work that has been happening around the layout recently. From the photos evidence of foamboard, fascia, backdrop, and lighting installation seem to be well at hand.

The first picture was taken from the french doors walking into the room looking to the right which will feature local Bay City industries and Bay Yard creating the focal point for the layout.

Picture number two is looking at the same area on the main deck but from the back of the room looking towards the door. Under Bay City and Bay Yard is a 4 track staging yard capable of holding around 50-55 cars or in my case 3 manifest trains and 2 locals. Below the staging yard are two four drawer storage cabinets from IKEA that I use as off layout staging / storage. My Digitrax Zephyr and PR3 sit on a pull out shelf about the cabinets.

This last picture is from the center of the future helix facing towards Bay Yard and the computer desk. The helix once constructed will be accessible from the inside via duckunder. Behind the unpainted backdrop is a 4 inch gap which houses the 2.5% grade two and from lower level staging.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Weathering Work

Here are a few pictures of MCIS equipment recently weathered by Shannon Crabtree and his Virginia Midland Shops - great work!

Ok so the covered hopper with rep marks WCOX is not actually Michigan Interstate equipment but instead a joint ownership pool with Michigan Agricultural Commodities and State of Michigan that were purchased from FarMarco. Its one way to add more to your fleet without having to repaint.