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Podcast: Episode 15 - Barstow, Waupaca and Railsplitter 2012

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The observation end of the Grand Canyon Railroad train at the Grand CanyonIn this episode, we visit the Barstow Harvey House, the preserved Waupaca Depot, and do a quick recap of the 2012 MWR NMRA convention.

Podcast: Episode 2

Listen to Episode 2

We continue the show with episode 2. In this episode, we take a look at some interesting railroad junctions, some small rail-served industries and their modeling potential, and we hear a story about a newly hired switchman on his first trip to a distant yard for an assignment.

Modeler's Moment - Quick structure building

A construction site office

Large construction projects will usually have temporary on-site offices to coordinate the work that is involved at the site. Often these offices consist of a single trailer based on a mobile home design, but for larger construction projects, larger offices may be needed. The office structure pictured here is currently up in Madison, Wisconsin, to coordinate several construction projects on the University of Wisconsin campus. The offices are made up of four 20-foot containers on the lower level and two containers that appear to be at least 48 feet long. A structure of this type would be rather simple to build in model form, especially considering the number of container models available in almost every scale. The hardest part would probably be the stairs to the upper level entry, but a quick search through your spare parts bin may reveal ready-built stair runs from another kitbashing project.

Modeler's Moment - Tank car unloading at small industries

An unloading hose for tank cars

Ever wonder how tank cars are unloaded when they are delivered to industries and how to model such an unloading facility? It can be quite simple, really, as we see in this photo of a siding at a local styrofoam manufacturing company. The receiving industry attaches a hose to a drain valve on the tank car and pumps the liquid out. In this photo we can see the hose the industry attaches to the tank car, and the outer edge of the pump is visible in the lower left corner of the picture. The track is far enough away from the industry that a person can walk between the building and the car in order to attach the hose. Also notice, that when the industry is not actively unloading the car, the hose is detached from the car and out of the way so the railroad can perform switching without damaging the unloading equipment. At some industries, the pump is completely inside the building to deter vandalism or to keep it out of the weather, so sometimes the only visible item is the hose; of course, there are other industries that bring the hose inside also when it's not in use.


Modeler's Moment - Need a project? YVRR Bagby station

Today, August 24, 2008, is the 63rd anniversary of the last regular operations of the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The railroad's last scheduled passenger train operated on August 24, 1945, from Merced to Merced Falls. If you're in need of inspiration for your next model building project, why not try one of the structures along this short line railroad? There is a fairly large amount of data to help you in your endeavors, including some in the public domain available through the National Archives. The image here is one of three images that contain plans for the Yosemite Valley Railroad's Bagby station. There is enough in the plans for any good model builder to create a reasonable model of the station. So let's get building (and if you do build this, send me a photo and you could be featured on this site too!)

Modeler's Moment - Putting a bridge against a backdrop

No outlet
So you've got a small rail bridge that you really want to use on your layout but the track is right up against the backdrop. How do you blend the road under the bridge into the backdrop while keeping it realistic? Block the road! I spotted this former bridge and road underpass yesterday in Waupaca, WI; the road used to go through under the bridge, but has since been blocked by fill material. My guess is that the bridge itself is rated for lighter trains than now run over this line and it was cheaper to just close the street and fill in under the bridge than to replace the bridge.

Modeler's Moment - Modern interlocking tower

Did you know that the busiest interlocking tower in Chicago isn't on one of the freight railroads? It's this cantilevered tower at the northwest corner of The Loop (as seen from the rear of a passing El train in 2004).

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