New England/Northeast RPM Meet – 2015

One of the freight cars Dave Oppedisano had on display showcasing his weathering techniques.

I was in Collinsville, CT this weekend for the New England/Northeast RPM Meet.  As always it was a good time though there seemed to be fewer models this year than last.  Not sure what that’s about, but it is what it is.  The models that were on display however were of the quality I’ve come to expect from the attendees of this meet.  I especially enjoyed the two presentations Brian Banna gave about building his MoPac SD40-2 and GP35 and was glad to get the chance to see some of his work in person.

If you haven’t attended before, consider it for next year.  I have no interest in New England (or even east coast) prototypes, but I always find a lot of variety in the model room and have conversations that introduce me to new ideas and new skills to make my modeling better.

I took a lot of photo’s this year, check them out below the cut. Please let me know if I attributed anything incorrectly or misspelled any names.

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Turnout Motors

The four assembled and tested Mole Switch Machines for the staging yard.

The four assembled and tested Mole switch machines that will be buried in the staging yard.

Work has been progressing quickly on the removable staging yard I’m building for one end of my layout, and a few weeks ago I had reached the point where I needed to get the turnout motors installed. I’m using Proto:87 Stores, Mole Switch Machines which I’ve mounted on two sheets of .080” styrene sheet. This assembly sits in a notched hole in the foam baseboard, invisible from the top, but accessible from below. Continue reading

Gunderson Twin-Stack – Part 1

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Three of five cars have been completed on the A-Line Gunderson Twin-Stack set I’m building. Clearly I need a bigger photo backdrop…

I was looking back through my old posts and realized that I’d never written about the intermodal cars I’ve been building off-and-on for the last few years.  I recently started working on them again and though I’ve posted a lot of grab shots to Facebook, I figured it was about time I wrote a little something as well. Continue reading

Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show – 2015

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Rapido’s upcoming Amtrak F40PH on display at the Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby Show.

This past weekend I attended the Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby Show at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. The RHS is the largest (in terms of square footage) model railroad related event in North America.  Most years it’s a pretty chaotic scene.  This year opening day coincided with a major snowstorm so apart from the harrowing drive there, it was pretty relaxed.  I didn’t hear the final attendance numbers, but they were definitely low.  I spent the weekend at the New England/Northeast RPM booth displaying some models and generally just hanging around.  I did manage to wander around a bit though and have included some photos below the cut.

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Layout Valance and Staging – Part 1

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The layout with its new valance and staging yard all custom built to accommodate my apartment and furniture.

I’ve been writing a lot about my adventures trackside lately, but have neglected to mention the progress I’ve made on the layout.  A couple of huge leaps were made over the last few months.

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A mid-Autumn trip to Bear Mountain State Park

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A southbound intermodal train crosses the causeway at the north end of Iona Island as it speeds towards New Jersey on CSX’s River Subdivision..

On August 24, 2014 I was able to spend a few hours trackside around Bear Mountain State Park along the Hudson River in New York State.   I’d wanted to check out this area for awhile and it ended up being a decent day.  We didn’t hike up the mountain though as we weren’t entirely sure where we could get a good vantage point.  Unfortunately, what you see here are pretty much all the photo’s I got as the CF card in my camera got corrupted somehow.  Oh well, maybe that experience will give me the kick I need to get a new(er) Nikon. Continue reading

Norfolk Southern’s camp train visits Northampton.

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NS’s camp train set up to house the crew working preparing the Connecticut River line for Amtrak service.

After years of discussion and planning and more discussion and criticism and a bit of arguing and yet more discussion followed by what amounted to only a few months worth of work (spread out over a number of those years) Pan Am’s Connecticut River Line is almost ready for it’s first revenue passenger run in 25 years.  The work peaked in July when Norfolk Southern’s camp train and a small army of track workers arrived. Continue reading