Saturday, May 31, 2014

End of May Update

Well June is almost upon us and the capital maintenance gangs are out in full force on the "Clair". This past week the gangs wrapped up laying track on the storage siding between Grays Lake and Buhler. This siding is used for setting out or picking up cars from manifest freights for the Grays Lake Switcher (L-GLBU).

Storage track with cut of cars left by Grays Lake Switcher for pickup.

The gangs were also working on the Upper Huron Wye. Focus for the project was to broaden the curve radius more originally built. While working the west leg, the gangs also rebuilt the east leg including a new switch and lead for the Sugar Beet / Cogeneration plant.

This morning was the first enroute pickup made at Gray's Lake, MI utilizing the new trackwork recently installed. The M-PHBA-31 made the headend fill. 

Everyone have a safe summer, stay tuned for another post next week on Upper Huron trackwork.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The L.U. (Laid Up) Line

At one point all locomotives come to the end of their life cycle and end up on the L.U. (Laid Up) Line. It's a matter of what L.U. status the motor gets.

LUGO - laid up good order
LUBO - laid up bad order
LUMO - laid up for modification 
LUPE - laid up pending 
LUFS - laid up for sale

The MCIS had a fleet of 6 (2 modeled) GP30s over the years acquired from various sources and they served their time well in the first generation MCIS paint scheme (1975-1990). As of May 1st the fleet was down to 4 units on the roster. With arrival of EMD SD70ACe's last year, their time became limited in service. On May 16th the engines were pulled from service and are now stored at Mt. Pleasant in LUMO status. Rumor has it they could be rebuilt with 710 V8 prime movers and become GP22-ECOs or part of GP40-2 slug-mate set.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Walt Disney and Model Railroading

A little change from my normal layout progress posts today. Instead I want to focus on inspiration and the ability to dream it, design it, and create it.

This past week my family vacationed to Walt Disney World which is an awesome place filled with creative ingenuity created by Disney's Imagineers. While there I always feel re-inspired to focus on my model railroad and its a shot of inspiration that all of us modelers need.

The Disney parks and rides all start as dreams which are put on paper. How many of us can relate to sketching trackplans or ideas on napkins, I know I have plenty of times. These sketches then become models just like our layouts which go on to full size construction. What sets us modelers apart from the dreamers is the ability to then take this concept a create it through our model railroads just as the Imagineers do. As Walt Disney would say:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

“Whatever you do, do it well.”

Beyond the creative inspiration part, Walt had a backyard railroad at his house in California called the Carolwood and Pacific. Below I have provided a few photos of his model railroad on display at the Walt Disney: One Man's Dream exhibit at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

You can find plenty more on Walt and the Carolwood & Pacific via the web.

If you visit Disney's Wilderness Lodge in Florida there is also a Carolwood & Pacific room that has two of the railcars from the layout on display.

Recently I hit a road block designing an area that will host a sugar beet plant. Staying true to dreaming and designing I now have a solid plan for the scene (fall 2014 posts).

So the conclusion for all of you reading this post is enjoy the dream, design, construction, and operation of your model railroad. If you hit a roadblock rethink it and work around it. After all it's about enjoyment of the hobby and having fun. Sometimes the hardest critic of our layouts happens to be well....ourselves.