New From Athearn: CN, CPR and CP Rail GP9s

It keeps improving and far better for Canadian version railroaders– now Athearn hases announced brand-new Canadian-style CP9s in CN, MOUTH-TO-MOUTH RESUSCITATION and CP Rail.
The devices, in Athearn’s Birth line, schedule in December, 2014. They will certainly retail for $189 without DCC and sound and $289 with DCC and SoundTraxx Tsunami Noise.

They schedule out in December, 2014; pre-orders are due May 23. Additional details is readily available on Athearn’s Facebook web page.

As for me, I ‘d be happier if they were chop-nose systems– that would certainly fit my time (early to mid-1990s) a lot better. Yet still, this announcement is to be celebrated. With InterMountain and Bowser both making Canadian-style SD40-2s, and with all the excellent items from Rapido, it’s a great time to be a Canadian model railroader.

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Update and Flyer About Bowser’s New SD40-2: It’s Getting Closer!

It’s acquiring closer! Bowser has now posted a leaflet regarding their new Canadianized-version of the SD40-2.
The device will certainly be available in spring season, 2015. Pre-orders schedule in August.

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The X2F Coupler: Keeping it Together Since 1955

Like many HO scale modellers, my first locomotives and rolling stock were equipped with X2F couplers–or, as they were more popularly known, horn hooks.
Also like many HO scale modellers, I converted to Kadee knuckle couplers as quickly as possible.
One person who hasn’t is Eric Gagnon of the Trackside Treasure blog. In a recent instalment, Eric gives an interesting look at the history of the much-maligned X2F, and shares why he is still proud to use them on his layout.
This includes what he thinks might be the only Rapido CP Rail Angus Van in the world that uses horn hook couplers.

Note the X2F couplers.

In my early days of modelling, when I didn’t have a lot of disposable income, the changeover to Kadees went slowly. For a while I had a boxcar with a horn hook on one end and a Kadee on the other so I could create a train with cars using both couplers.
I don’t miss the old horn hooks, and I have no desire to go back to using them. But reading Eric’s blog post gave me nostalgic look back at those days.

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A Bit of Railfanning on the M & M Sub.

I went down to Ritchie yesterday for a bit of railfanning. I caught a local doing a bit of switching at the elevator, along with a couple of freights.
First in was a general freight from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, led by SOO 6623 and 5480 (ex-SOU/NS 3429). It took the siding.
At first, I wondered why. A short while later, I discovered the reason when a hotshot pig train from Winnipeg to Duluth, led by 5449 (ex-DRGW 5402) and 5447 (ex-CNW 6910), blasted through.
That’s my story, at least. Below find a couple of other shots of the scene.

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Builder Kim’s Tips: Signals

Recently I received another email from one of my favourite scratch builders, Builder Kim. In the email he explains how you can take a static non working crossing signal and with a bit of ingenuity, get it to light up.
“Hi Dan,
This is how to make non working static signal’s to working.
First take a drill bit slightly larger than the two holes. Careful not to go all the way through or damage the inside of the lens. Just big enough so a 3mm led pushes in tightly. Now take two 1 second red flashing diodes or leds. The first photo show’s that the positive lead’s on both leds are soldered together and so are the negative. Do not over heat the parts. Use paste, that is what you see in photo as it isn’t melted. Can just wash it off after its all done.

Now second photo shows the leds done and the wire running down the post to the base. Now make slices at the top and bottom so the wires push into the slits. At the base cut a slit so the post slips into the base without crushing the wire, then run the wire through the bottom as in photo two.

The video is a test run to be sure its working. I have a diagram of how to hook to the rail so when the train passes it goes off and as it go’s by it shuts down, or it can be left running all the time.

Kim”

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Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about model trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!

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Making Realistic Rock Scenery

Nothing makes a train format come active even more in comparison to having realistic landscapes. In the following exactly how to video, DJ from DJsTrains reveals exactly how he went around developing reasonable stone views, which is perfect if you would like to give your layout depth.
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Dan Morgan dropped in passion with model trains at the age of 6 when he went to an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his daddy. Forty two years later on, his enthusiasm continues to be simply as sturdy. After attaining an effective career in architecture, Dan’s certain passion is within layouts and structures. With a wealth of know-how on the target, Dan enjoys nothing more compared to discussing this with others and is happy in the forum of members which are brought together over the hobby they share. Dan deals with his other half Helen in Washington. As an expert painter, Helen has found out via Dan concerning model trains and they now delight in working with projects together. The only member of the household who isn’t allowed to take part is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William that hases been strictly outlawed from the workshop! You can discover Dan on Google here!

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Great Canadian Model Railroad: William Flatt’s Niagara, St. Catharines & Toronto

Originating from St. Catharines, Ontario, I have a fond spot in my heart for the old Niagara, St. Catharines & & Toronto Railway.

By the time I was aged enough to cherish trains (in the 1960s), the NS&T was had by CN and was totally dieselized. Today the majority of the tracks that were in function in my boyhood are gone– developed into trails, shreded or paved and built over.

The aged NS&T Lakeshore line near my boyhood house.

It’s unusual to find a person which models the NS&T in its electrical or diesel versions; previously this year I posted pictures of Tom Wright’s layout (now dismantled).

Now I’m delighted to share another design that models this train– William Flatt’s S scale NS&T.

William models the railway as it alreadied existing in the mid-1950s. The layout visits a U-shape, with Merritton, where it swapped with the CNR, inhabiting the majority of one leg.

The connection in between the two sides of the U is the shift from Merritton to Thorold, and the various other leg represents Thorold. William plans an additional expansion to stand for Fonthill.

Track is code 100; turnouts are built making use of the Quick Tracks technique. Digitrax DCC is made use of to regulate the trains. William has positioned cart poles, yet they are for aesthetic usage just.

“I uncovered that on my previous layouts, both HO and O scale, that one of the most irritating element of trolley procedure was filthy wire, with the consequence being erratic procedure,” he states.

Rolling stock is primarily ready-to-run, with the tweaked kits and scratchbuilt. All the carts are scratchbuilt from brass, lumber and styrene, while two CNR diesels were assembled from packages and detailed with a blend of industrial components and some cast from William’s own patterns.

A 3rd steeple taxicab, NST # 17, is under construction. William credit ratings Dave Browning for several of the paint tasks.

There aren’t many individuals that model the NS&T, the last operating interurban model railway in Canada. I’m glad I found out concerning William’s excellent format.

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Great Modelling and Weathering

One of the great things about the Internet is getting connected with modellers in other parts of the world. 

One person I have become acquainted with is Edgar Romero Roldán of Mexico. Edgar does great modelling and weathering, as seen in the photos in this post.

Also check out Edgar’s modelling of the Kansas City Southern de Mexico Christmas Train.

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Great Canadian Model Railroad: West Toronto Junction

A model railroad doesn’t have to big to be great. It doesn’t even have to be finished, as the West Toronto Junction shows.

This HO scale switching layout, being created by a new online acquaintance, seeks to replicate railway activity by the CPR in the West Toronto area.

The layout–the first “real” one attempted by the builder (after building the usual 4 x 8 as a youth)–is the result of his desire to return to the hobby.

The decision to build a switch layout was influenced by the amount of space available in his basement—about 12 by 10 feet.

His list of givens & druthers included a small yard with capacity for some light switching; at least one runaround track; and a few spurs.

The next step was deciding what area to model. The builder settled on an area near where he lived. He found three sites to model—Lambton yard, the H industrial spur (with six industries) and a major industry with four spurs.

His goal is to create a switching-heavy urban layout that mimics, as close as possible, the freight operations in a small yard with sidings that serve a few light industrial clients. 

A key influence for this layout is Lance Mindheim, an expert on building small switching layouts (among other things). Mindheim gave the builder of the West Toronto Junction a mental “framework” for his layout.

As I’ve said before, if I ever build another layout it will likely be a switching layout like the West Toronto Junction—something with a few industries and a small yard.

The double-deck CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Sub., which fills a 17 by 21 foot room, satisfied my desire to build a large layout. I can’t ever see myself building anything that large again.

The West Toronto Junction is a great Canadian model railroad because of the thoughtfulness the builder has brought to the enterprise. Even though it’s nowhere near finished, it’s possible to see the potential in the design and construction. 

As for the builder, he says this about his effort: “As I make a re-entry into the MR world, I hope to build on the skills I learned years ago while acquiring new ones. 

“As I learn, my hope is that you will too. I’m sure to make mistakes, and do things that will make for plenty of  eye-rolling from other model railroaders. 

“This layout is a journey and this blog will allow readers to make it with me.”

You can follow progress on the West Toronto Junction by visiting its blog.  It’s a great source of information about how to model a prototype location in a small space, along with various tips and ideas. 

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Repainting your Model Trains

When you are creating your layout you may be basing it on a real train line and/or a particular era. If you are doing this you may find times when you want a particular model of train for your layout but its not currently available. In cases like this, what you can do is to take an existing train and repaint it to fit the layout. This is especially useful if you can find the model of train and carriages that you want, but they are not the livery that you require for your layout.
This can be quite a daunting task and for your first attempt you should always have a trial run on an old model so you can test your colors and masking.
In this video EverardJunction shows how he goes about repainting his models so that the fit the livery for the era of his layout.

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Dan Morgan fell in love with model trains at the age of six when he visited an NMRA Convention in Seattle with his father. Forty two years later, his passion remains just as strong. After achieving a successful career in architecture, Dan’s particular interest is within layouts and buildings. With a wealth of knowledge on the subject, Dan loves nothing more than sharing this with others and is delighted in the forum of members who are brought together over the hobby they have in common. Dan lives with his wife Helen in Washington. As a professional painter, Helen has learnt through Dan about model trains and they now enjoy working on projects together. The only member of the family who isn’t allowed to join in is their over-enthusiastic Labrador called William who has been strictly banned from the workshop! You can find Dan on Google here!

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