Those new Tangent 86 foot auto-parts boxcars are nice. Really, really nice actually. But I've got a bunch of the older Athearn models running around on the layout. They can be had, often new in the box at train shows for $5 to $15. With just a little upgrading, I think they look fine, and operate much better as well. Here's my latest addition to that group of freight cars
Saturday, 27 March 2021
Saturday, 20 March 2021
I bought some (Atlas) tank cars recently, with the intention that the JSSX would be able to spot them into the transload spur. Two of them are stencilled to carry corn syrup. The 17360 gallon tank car below however is labelled for chlorine service, and I didn't really know of a reason that chlorine would be used at any of the other industries along the layout. I'd just as soon have it coupled up with either of the other two cars at least occasionally at the transload spur, so I've decided to remove that chlorine stencil.
Saturday, 13 March 2021
The photo at the top of the blog for the month of March features a single boxcar being pulled toward it's destination by JSSX 815. I thought I should feature that boxcar, as it's the first car (not that there's been many), that I ever really put under a knife, saw, and of course paint. It's probably the oldest model in the current inventory too. We won't look too closely at the boxcar data stencils though, as they're for a fifty foot boxcar.
It must have been at least 25 years ago that one of the model railroading magazines (Model Railroader I think) had an article about how to kitbash 2 Athearn blue-box boxcars into a CN 60 foot combination door. At the time, I was interested because I had seen lots of those cars passing through here on freights going to and from the USA, and I still see them occasionally.
I believe that the prototype cars were built for CN by Trenton Works in Trenton, Nova Scotia. I like the "long and low" appearance of these type of boxcars. A much different look than the high-cube cars we see so much of these days.
Here are a few looks at the combination door car as it proceeds along the JSSX to the consignee.
Saturday, 6 March 2021
I actually followed through on last weeks' mention of re-painting the loading ramp because I wasn't happy with the way the "cracks" I had drawn onto the concrete had turned out.
Here it is, still on the workbench. I first cleaned off what I could with some alcohol and then sprayed it with ModelFlex Concrete Gray. With that done, I thinned down Grimy Black and sprayed that in several light and quick passes to leave tire tracks where where I figure lift trucks and such would drive on the concrete.
Next was to try to highlight the expansion cracks in the concrete. Using the newest and finest (0000) brush I have, I very lightly dabbed AK Interactive RailRoad Wash into the cracks and watched with interest as it ran through the cracks. That colour was a bit "bold" so I went over the cracks again in the same manner with Vallejo Dark Gray wash to darken it down a bit.
I don't think there are many hard working outdoor lift trucks out there that don't drip some kind of oil or fluid, so I flicked some Vallejo Oil Stain from an older brush onto the surface of the ramp as well.
If all goes well, this should be able to become quite a busy spur for the JSSX short line.I still have a ways to go for track ballasting and ground cover in this general area of the layout. However, flat cars, box cars, and tank cars (when I can get a suitable tanker truck) for transloading will be able to be spotted into this spur.