The Roster

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Blue Wire, or the red wire?

Been a while since I've posted! I've made good progress. The first loop has its permanent wiring in place. Good power feed all around the layout now.

I've moved on to laying roadbed and track for the outer loop. Ran out of Roadbed, so waiting for the next shipment of the Californa Roadbed companies Homabed to finish the north end of the loop. Ran into a small problem on one section. I found that the subsuface and the roadbed didn't mesh well. The result was a 'curb' on the roadbed where it transitioned from flat to a grade.Soooo...we grabbed the Zona saw and the putty knife and pried the defective roadbed out of the way and added about 10" of slope starter from Woodland Scenics. Its looking much better and prototypical.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Choo Choo!

Big news today!
I've got the first loop of track installed AND I've successfully run a locomotive all the way around the layout.
That is the good news.

The bad news;

Its power with temporary wiring.
There are still two more loops to go
Lots of landscaping to do!

Soooo...the good news is that I run a train around the track.

It might be time to install an ad hoc control panel and run the permanent wiring.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why building a layout takes so long.

Yes, WHY?

I'm stuck in a cycle that reminds me of the old poem about a nail, a shoe, a horse, a knight and so on.

 I'm laying the first loop of track and have run up against the first of two waterways to be bridged. I can't run the track as the bridge needs to be installed. I can't install the bridge because I have to get the stream painted before putting the bridge in. I can't paint the creek as its not sealed yet...

And we wonder why it can take so long to get our layouts completed. Still making progress, just a little slower than I'd like.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amazon...the S Gauger's best friend

Scored a bargain on Amazon. Two ERTL 1:64 scale 2-story farmhouses for $9.99 each! Just perfect for the S gauge model railroad. This is a great kit with detail at least as good as the Plasticville stuff. Okay, the doors don't open, but construction is a snap and these look great once assembled.

Full Steam ahead!

I've made good progress installing the roadbed. Let's define 'good progress'. It means that the road bed for the first of three planned loops is almost complete. Once that's done I can starting running wire  and laying the track for the loop.

Soon I'll be able to at least run the train around the layout, even if there is still a lot of work to do.

I can't say enough good things about the roadbed from the California Roadbed Company. If you are trying to cure a noise or vibration issue, the California Roadbed Company's Homabed road bed is a good product.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Working on the railroad...

Squeezed in some time this weekend to work on the terrain and road bed. Managed to get a new hill installed and covered with plaster cloth. The big achievement was getting the piers for the first bridge cut.With that out of the way, I can continue on with the road bed.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The 4-4-2 Atlantic rides again

In the last couple of years, I had acquired  an American Flyer 4-4-2 Atlantic (# 300 Reading) that needed some work. This particular model was a 1940's vintage S gauge locomotive that had a broken link pin coupler, broken running gear on the right side and a heavy layer of grime.

After consultation with the experts and a visit to the parts depot (Art's Parts) I can report that the 4-4-2 is back to running order. I'm assembling and cleaning a short train of vintage cars to show at the Carillon Rail Fest, Dayton, Ohio, June 35 and 26th. For more information on railfest  click here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rusty High Rail is open!

This marks the start of my blog documenting my S gauge model railroad hobby.

Why S gauge?

Ultimately, it goes back to my father. When dad was a boy back in the late 40's and 50's he collected American Flyer toy trains. Classic, old school trains with 'hook and pin' couplers. He held on the them and handed them down to me in the 1970's. By that time, American Flyer was out of business and my toy trains could have been viewed as obsolete.

Unfortunately, Dad died in 1981, but the train collection survived. The collection was stored in the attic for much of the 80's and 90's. In the mid-90's the trains received a much needed overhaul to restore them to running condition.

In the late 90's I became aware that the American Flyer had been resurrected (thank you Lionel!). New cars were available, though the new cars had modern knuckle couplers. Even better - there were other manufacturers of S gauge model railroading supplies. My train collection moved into the modern era with the acquisition of an American Models SD-60 locomotive.

So here I am. After many years, I've finally started on a permanent model train layout populated with a mix of classic American Flyer trains and modern locomotives and rolling stock from a number of manufacturers. What follows are my musings on the hobby and the challenges and fun of building a model train layout.