Podcast: Episode 6 - speed demons

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No. 999 on display in ChicagoNew York Central No. 999 on display in Chicago.

For this episode, we'll take a look at the progression of speed records set by steam locomotives for various railways around the world.  In the Modeler's Moment, we discuss a quick and easy way to improve the appearance of the track on our layouts.  We close with a quick recap of updates to The Rip Track website.

  • The complete audio from the 1967 TurboTrain press conference is online.
  • Steam locomotive speed records:
    • First record set on February 21, 1804, with Richard Trevithick's locomotive.  Speed: 2.4 miles per hour.
    • First authenticated 60 mile per hour run on the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1848.
    • "Great Speed On The Central." New York Times (May 12, 1893).  Describes the reported 112.5 mile per hour run of No. 999.
    • First authenticated 100 mile per hour run on November 30, 1934, Flying Scotsman.
    • Current fastest authenticated steam locomotive run was July 3, 1938, with Mallard.
  • Modeler's Moment: improving track appearance
    • Spray paint in black, dark brown, dark red and one can that is close to the color of the dirt in the area that you're modeling. 
    • Water based paints will avoid odors and chemical reactions with your scenery materials.
    • Spray the track from about the average viewing angle at a distance of about 1-2 feet away. 
    • Spray a somewhat random pattern over the track, coloring both the ties and the rails with paint, but don't try to apply even coats.  Use a spotty method to spray the paint onto the track, making sure to leave small areas of each color that aren't applied, but overlapping these spots so that no section of track is left completely unpainted. 
    • Work generally from the darkest to the lightest colors, applying the surrounding dirt color last and as the lightest coat. 
    • More heavily used track should have more blacks and browns while less traveled sidings should have more rusty colors and more of the surrounding dirt color.
    • Clean just the tops of the rails with your track eraser and use a small piece of fine-grit sandpaper to clean the areas in your switches where the point rails meet the stock rails. 
  • Rip Track website updates

Until next time, Happy Modeling!

Listen to Episode 6