Friday, August 29, 2014

Chicagoland Visit

This past week I was up in the Chicagoland area for work and had a little bit of free time one afternoon to make two model railroad stops.
Chicago style pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, and model trains...

White Sox game versus the Indians

Stop #1 Schaumburg, IL

A couple weeks ago I found one of my older Kato SD40-2s to have a broken truck sideframe clip. Finally I got around to sending an email to KATO's customer service to see if a replacement part was available. They were great to work with and quick to respond. It happened that I was 10 miles from their headquarters so I decided to stop by and pick up the part.

Like their website states they do not have a operating layout but there is still some neat products on display in the front office. The address and hours are available on their website.

Stop #2 Des Plaines, IL.
     Des Plaines Hobby

If you are ever up by O'Hare airport, take an hour and head up north a few miles to stop by this shop. They have a nice stock of products and a nice staff supporting Chicagoland modelers. Being I live in Texas it's hard to find Midwest paint schemes on the shelves but not when visiting here!

Picked up two Intermountain covered hoppers with CN/IC and CNIS reporting marks.

I found this IC car to have packaging damage so got a pretty good deal on it, will get it to the RIP sometime this month to repair.

Also picked up my first Fox Valley Models HO scale SOO 7 post boxcar in Tony Koester's Allegheny Midland. Very nicely done.

Note: opinions above of KATO USA and Des Plaines Hobbies are my own and not biased or persuaded by any monetary compensation or gifts.

Everyone have a great and safe Labor Day.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Following the Sugar Turn

While work continues on the layout, I figured it was good to show one of the locals that defines operations.

L-BAUH "Sugar Turn"
Local Switcher Bay Yard to Upper Huron

Purpose of this local is to serve two customers at Upper Huron: Michigan Sugar and Saginaw Valley Co-generation.

Lets follow along for a normal days work.
MCIS 4035 (EMD GP40X)
2 Loads 
  2 coal hoppers for Co-gen
2 MTY 
  1 Molasses tank car
  1 Beet Pulp covered hopper
  1 Shoving Platform

Departing Bay City - Bay Yard 

Heading under M-13
Passing the "Begin EDSE" DTC Block sign, the local has the road until reaching Upper Huron. 

Arriving at Upper Huron 

Rumbling across Main Street in a blur the local is no doubt on the move.
In the background you can see the east leg of the Upper Huron Wye.

Shoving platform MCIS 31 brings up the rear. Since the wye is currently out of service the turn heads east to Grays Lake and makes a run around then returns utilizing the west leg to access its customers. 

Working Customers

Making the run around move and returning to Upper Huron, the turn prepares to pull the outbound and then spot the inbound. 

Returning home at Upper Huron

Work events and air test complete the turn has shoved back onto the main and begins the journey west to Bay Yard.

Arriving at Bay City - Bay Yard

Sugar Turn arriving back - the 3rd trick yard job using a venerable EMD MP15DC (Y-BA03) idles in the foreground. 

Returning back to Bay Yard the local operated with a little more tonnage.

3 Loads
  1 Molasses tank car
  1 Beet Pulp covered hopper
  1 Sugar Airslide
   3 coal empties

The Y-BA03-25 will sort the cars for outbound movement later tonight. 


Bay City Industrial Spur

The past week I have been working to rough in the industry and track arrangement for the Bay City Industrial Spur. Last night the final arrangement was made and decided on.

The area consists of two industries which are reached through four #4 turnouts and  a diamond crossing. One goal of this area was to not overdo the amount of trackwork or turnouts in the area - wanted it to feel "real". The area will be served by the Y-BA04 which also works the other two customers in Bay City.

Huron Milling
Inbound: Corn, Wheat
Outbound: Flour
Inspiration gathered from mills in Chelsea, MI, Frankenmuth, MI and Saginaw, TX. 

Huron Milling - flour mill on left and unload facility on right

Straight on view of Huron Milling
The unload facility is located in the foreground where the product will travel over the tracks to the silos adjacent to the mill. The mill itself is a kitbash of Walthers, DPM, and PVC pipe.

Fort Mackinaw Paper - Corrugated Div.
Inbound: Rolled Paper
Outbound: Recycled Paper

Facility hosts a double track inside arrangement that can hold 3 50' boxcars each. The roof will be removable to view interior which will have a balsa or plywood simulated dock level with the rail and truck docks.

Fort Mackinaw Corrugated and switch back for serving Huron Mill flour and unload tracks. 
 I hope to install the cork base and trackwork this week.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Evening at Bay Yard

A little under the weather today, but enough time to post ops at Bay Yard.

MCIS 4035 (GP40X) idling on yard 6 - should be power for the L-BAUH operating tomorrow.

MCIS 153 (MP15DC) tucked away on yard 3. This unit is assigned to switching the yard. On Sundays there is only a 1st shift yard job to set up the yard for Monday.

MCIS 2101 (3GS21B) tied down on main 2 with traffic for Mondays Y-BA04-18. Mondays crew will go on duty and take these cars to Huron Milling and Fort Mackinaw Corrugated for an early morning switch. 

Until next time


Monday, August 11, 2014

A Bridge Runs Over It

Last night I completed the two lane wide M-13 highway overpass that crosses the St. Clair Subdivision east of Bay Yard. While the bridge is meant to set a location geographically it is also designed to seperate scenes.

Looking west towards Bay Yard with lead on right and main on left. 
Construction was straight forward using Rix Products modern overpass parts and a sheet of .040 styrene for the bridge deck. 

To the right of the scene the track heads into the helix. With SuperTrees and this bridge I hope to conceal or take focus off the entrance to the helix. Left of the bridge is Bay Yard and Lakes Forest Products which is another focus point.

I still need to paint and weather the bridge which will come soon with the scene. Not bad for the first completed kitbash in over 2 years.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Early August Update

The first bit of  scenic terrain shaping has begun on the lower level. The scene being focused on is the helix entrance on the lower level up to the east yard lead and LSRC connection track.

      Looking east from the yard lead

  Another view east - in the foreground a    highway overpass representing highway M-15 will break up the scene.

Sculptamold, tan latex paint, and a layer of sifted Michigan dirt / sand will soon cover this area. Can't forget to airbrush the track as well.