Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mid April Update

It is fitting to start this post with - "April Showers bring flood stage" here in Texas. A lot of different things happening in the past few weeks on and off the railroad, so let's jump right in to the details. 

Day Out With Thomas
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad hosted Day Out With Thomas and of course we were there on the early morning departure.

                Ready for boarding 
My son loves Thomas and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as I myself grew up on the actual modelled version versus the CGI now on TV.

       Stored equipment in Grapevine

            O Scale (three rail) setup 

   Checking out the layout from all angles
               Station in Grapevine
Eventually this 10mph trackage through Grapevine will become part of TexRail which will use the Cotton Belt Corridor from Fort Worth to DFW Airport. It will be interesting to see how the grapevine train, tourist events, and commuter rail will work together. The train was setup with Thomas at the rear and a GP7 on the head doing the pull/push. Modeling opportunity?

Ops Session @ Don Murpheys
Last week we got together a crew of five to operate Don Murpheys St. Louis, Atlantic, and Pacific. This freelance version of the St Louis Union Terminal and rail lines between Chicago and Kansas City is a joy to operate on.

This session I had the opportunity to start out with a loaded coal train from Illinois mine to power plant at Jefferson City, MO.

               Today's paperwork

  Mine switcher getting train put together.

Power today is GMO 548 which had been tied up on the mine branch. After running light up to the mine, we shoved back with caboose to get on the mainline. Here we are finishing the shove.

After transiting the layout and through St. Louis and Kirkwood we terminated at Jeff. City. Instructions advised to spot cars at the plant then take power to house.

The session ran around 2.5 hours with 14 trains being operated.

MAC Locomotive Services
The locomotive shop team in Mt. Pleasant has begun marketing their services for contract repair work as MAC Locomotive Services "MAC Built". With necessary facilities and equipment the shop turned out two motors for a customer here in April.
RDUX #5115 B23-7 buried in consist heading back to Texas via Chicago last week on the Q-BAGR-08.

RDUX #300 GP38 in consist Sunday night for routing to Texas via Port Huron CN interchange. Motor will be heading out on today's M-BAPH-19.

Corn Field Scene
Receiving another box of Bluford Shops corn fields for my birthday, this weekend I was able to paint, install, and complete the farm field scene between Grays Lake and Gerhard.

So with another 2/3 box used this scene has a total of 82 corn field strips for a total of 1,640 corn stalks!! This is great product from Bluford Shops, recommend to anyone doing a field scene. 

Grays Lake Trackwork
Sunday afternoon we caught maintenance of way out on the St. Clair Sub dumping ballast on the main and passing track at Grays Lake.

MOW operator monitoring ballast dump.

      Mainline ballast work complete. 

Slow order now in place until surfacing gang can come through with scenic cement to permanently secure. The rest of the week they will be working to complete the passing track and local setout/pickup siding.

Once ballast in place for this section of layout, we will see a lot of foliage sprouting up with the wet on wet method to complete ballast and basic ground cover at the same time.

Until the next post have a great week!



  1. I'm in the same boat with the Thomas stuff. I grew up with the modeled version and now my 2 year old loves the new CGI version. We're actually taking him to his first Day out with Thomas next weekend at Greenfield Village here in MI.

    By the way, that's a cool Mackinac Mac logo on your shelf there. What exactly is it?

  2. Greenfield Village, what a great place. He will love Day Out.

    The Mackinac Mac cloth patch was provided by a good friend from Bay City.