Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More Photos of Recent Improvements on the layout.

These photos are from our 2016 Photo Book by Shutterfly.  95% of the Scenery shown is by Warren, Farm Structures by Jay and Will, Telegraph Poles by Vance, and Penn Station by Jay
Scratch Built Barn and Junk Pile.  Leg of the unfinished Wind Pump (Wind Mill).

Cattle Grazing along the tracks.  Guess we need a fence there.

Company House on the "Other Side" of the tracks.  Left over from abandoned coal mine.

Will's Chicken Coup, Tractor Shed, Pig Pen, and Jay's Barn

Will's Family Garden, Outhouse, Clothes Line and Jay's Farm House

Another view of the Farm House and Will's Tire Swing and Sand Box

Jay's Kit Bashed Organ Factory. Interior and Lights not finished yet. LW Barnhart was an actual West Virginia pipe organ builder in the 50s.

Jay's Scratch Built Penn Station Baltimore.  Roof now finished but still needs roof details, lighting, the concourse, platforms, stairways, and catenary.  The upper part of the station is built from resin castings.

Two of Vance's Telegraph Poles.  Vance is still building them and we have no idea how many more will be needed.  Last count yesterday was 47 poles and the WMRY still needs more.  Plus the PRR and all the utility poles for the small towns, Hagerstown, and Baltimore. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

History of Jay's O Scale Layout Part One

Like most model railroaders, my history starts with Lionel and American flyer as a child in the forties and fifties.  I was also interested in ships and merchant ships mostly.  Visits to the Smithonion in Washington DC added to that interest.  I also traveled to Baltimore to visit my Aunt and Uncle during the summer and gained an interest the the Pennsylvania Railroad via the GG1s I took to Baltimore.  Also in Baltimore rode the older Brill trolleys and found them most enjoyable.  Their house on Sparrows Point was 2 or 3 blocks from Blast Furnace Row.  I loved walking down there and looking at the furnaces particularly during a Cast when they let the molten iron out of the furnaces. Then at 13 or 14 my interest turned to girls and other activities. 

After getting married at 23 and starting a family I began to become interested in trains again and began to acquire HO engines and cars.  Built several relatively small layouts mostly based on the Pennsy.   Also during two trips to Chicago discovered the South Shore.  Trolleys had been gone from DC for years but Chicago had trolley wires and these giant interurban which were just big trolleys as far as I was concerned.  Took me a number of years to research them.  But I did not act upon that interest as very little in the way of models were available in HO or in O.  When I found a good job in WV and moved up here from the DC area in 1977 built a bigger layout in HO based loosely on the PRR Columbia and Port Deposit branch.  Visits to the Hagerstown Model Railroad Club created my interest in signalling because of their HO layout had ABS signals.

Some years later I visited a very small club in Martinsburg.  They had HO and O scale.  Watching the O Scale trains run on two rail scale track really seemed cool and big and up in your face personal.  I acquired an Atlas F unit for $25 from Denny Masters.  And also purchased somewhere a coal hopper which I weathered and built a 12 inch piece of hand laid track to display the hopper on.  And I filled the hopper with real coal.  That set on our mantle for a long time.  After a number of years I tore out the HO and and start to build a small O scale layout in the basement based on the South Shore as kits in brass had become available.  Over a few years I acquired 12 kits of which I still have 8 of which one is almost finished.

During that time I also worked as a motorman at the Rockhill Trolley Museum located next to the East Broad Top railroad.  Then we moved to a larger house and a 30 x 60 foot basement.   In the meantime I had acquired some EBT On3 brass engines and a bunch of hopper kits.  Also lots of drawings and other information.  So decided to build the EBT.  However, I found soon that I would need to build switches and hand laid track.  Then 30+ hopper kits to build.  Then someone offered me 8 more South Shore kits.  I also wanted signals and the EBT had none.  I also realized that was a good market for my EBT engines and cars and several structures I had built, so I sold all of it and purchased 8 more South Shore cars and power trucks for the 12.  I then proceeded to build a two deck layout based on the South Shore's entire railroad.  At this time I had just finished building a shop building and decided to move my office in the basement over to the shop building thus providing additional space for the South Shore.  Somewhere along this route I met Jim Withrow and he helped me with track work, wiring (2000 feet of #12), and working together we built most of the circuit boards for the CMRI system.

At some point the second deck idea wasn't working out.  Mostly due to the layout being O Scale and the basement height was only 80 inches under the joists.  So we eliminated the second deck and made some adjustments to still model from downtown Chicago to South Bend Indiana.   Between Gary and South Bend I had a big 10 foot across peninsular and just didn't look right so we added a view block on both sides and began construction of a mountain between two tunnels.    I knew that Indiana didn't have any mountains but my growing up in Montgomery County Maryland and its rolling hills suggested my layout needed a mountain.  I considered flat scenery e.g. Indiana was boring and difficult to model.  However, I had not seen the work of Pelle Soeborg of Denmark.  He was able to model basically flat countryside and make it very realistic and certainly not boring.  If I had seen his work I may have never build that mountain.  After building the mountain I was not happy with the way it looks and emailed a photo to Warren Hart whom I had known from some years ago.  Warren had moved back to Berkeley Springs from Hagerstown and came by and asked if he could "correct" the mountain by tearing it down and redoing it.  Stay tuned for Part Two to follow.  That part will document how I went from the South Shore to the Western Maryland Railway and the Pennsylvania Railroad that we are building now.

This is subject to correction and editing as I reread and proof read it.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Roller Coaster Speed Study

 Skyliner Roller Coaster Lakemont Park Altoona, PA

In an effort to develop a realistic operating model of a coaster I filmed this small wooden coaster at Lakemont Saturday.  Watching the video I have found that the speeds down hill vs. the speeds up hill are not significantly different.  At the maximum I would guess the speed down is about double the speed up hills and on curves at level or near level.  I think a model with fixed voltages to several different portions of the tracks and the use of flywheels on the motors in the cars could produce a realistic model.  If you do a search for model roller coasters on you tube you will all of them run entirely too fast.  For example:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Penn Station. Work continues on my O Scale 80% model of the station.

The Rear of the Station is on the Track side.  The front won't be modeled.  Still to be added is the windows on the 2nd and 3rd floors.  They are built and painted but waiting for "glass" and some need window air conditioners.  Currently I am working on additional details on the top of the 3rd floor and the roof.
A close up of the middle/main section of the station.  The three arched opening lead to the main waiting room inside the building from the concourse.  I have cast the windows for the concourse but have not build the actual structure.  The platforms and train shed have to be built before the concourse can be added.

The end of the building.  Both ends are almost alike.