Saturday 29 January 2022

Ferry in the Fog

A car ferry in the fog... that's what this graphic represents for the AnnArbor Railroad

The Ann Arbor RR had car ferries that crossed Lake Michigan from Frankfort, Michigan to the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin, with the idea being to bypass the congestion in Chicago.

I don't remember ever seeing a prototype freight car with this logo myself.  But many years ago I was at a train show somewhere in the Detroit area, and someone had a model of an 86 foot Ann Arbor Railroad auto parts car for sale.  I didn't buy it, but I've often wished I had.

A few months ago, I was looking through the CMR Products website, and happened across their decal set for 86 foot Ann Arbor auto parts cars. I thought about it for about 5 seconds...and then ordered myself two sets.

Good pictures of the prototype AnnArbor RR cars seem hard to come by, but I did find a real nice image of the Lionel model in this paint scheme. I pretty much followed that to try to match up the paint colour.
I'm pretty sure this is the wrong boxcar model to use for this. I think that the proper car to use would be the Walthers Greenville 86 footer, but I don't have one of those to spare right now. Hey, I figure that if the major model manufacturers can produce foobies on a seemingly regular basis, then I should be able to get away with this one.

I used acrylic craft paint Canyon Orange with a drop each of Holiday Red and Espresso brown. Once I had sprayed that on the model, I thought it looked a bit too dark, so I sprayed a couple of light coats of just the Canyon Orange by itself.  I thought the colour match was a lot better after that.

Most of the decals went on real well, but one of the big "Ferry in the Fog" decals first curled up, and then a number of air bubbles formed underneath it that I couldn't get rid of. I pulled that decal right off and used one from the 2nd set that I had been just smart enough to order.

I'll probably weather this car sometime, but for the time being, it's going to stay looking the way it is:

I'm pretty happy with the way this little project turned out. So that's it for this week.  Thanks for looking in here.

Saturday 22 January 2022

A Bunch of This and That This Week

If you happened to read all the way to the end of my post last week, you might have clicked on the link to a story about Union Pacific trains in Los Angeles being robbed.  Further to that, here's a link to NBC's take on that situation from just a couple of days ago. Might take about 5 seconds to load the video:

My friend Chuck sent along this link to the video he took of his train at the Elmhurst Model Railroad Club in Elmhurst, Illinois.  With his permission, I thought I'd include it here.

Next up, I happened to see this interesting local railroad news item on Blackburn News this past Wednesday...

Sarnia council has approved a rezoning application in principle to permit the expansion of the existing Procor Ltd. rail car maintenance operation at 725 Procor Drive, east of Highway 40 and south of Confederation Line.

A 5,300 square metre paint and blast facility with an attached storage shop, 930 metres of additional railway, new access road, parking lot and stormwater management facility are planned.

No mention of when this expansion project will actually begin, and I wonder how many additional permanent jobs could be created by this expansion.

And now some progress shots of two of those boxcars I showed here last week.

One of the 8-door high cube boxcars, with the Evergreen Styrene being used for the conversion to an exterior post car.  This project is being done for a friend.

Here's the boxcar after the primer coat.  I actually found I didn't have any model primer, so I used concrete gray as a substitute.
Painted with SP Scarlet and ready to start decals.  I expect that it will take quite some time to complete as it's a pretty tricky decaling job. Updates will follow.

And I'll close out this week with a shot from the layout...
As I took this photo, Jimi Hendrix's "Hear My Train A'Comin" popped up and started playing on my itunes shuffle

Saturday 15 January 2022

Cold Weather Effect

 First off, before I get to the subject(s) of this weeks post, I received an email from the promoter of the Woodstock Train Show advising that the show scheduled for tomorrow Jan 16th, 2022 has been cancelled. I'll leave it to you to guess why.

So, onward and upward... This happens every year here at the JSSX...when the weather turns cold, really cold, cracks and rail kinks appear along the railway. The basement room is heated of course, and the thermometer never seems to get below 70F, but nevertheless, this stuff happens.

This crack opens up across the 3 tracks that make up the JSSX yard.

And on the other side of the layout, this fissure crosses the road that runs between the JSSX line and the scrap metal recycler yard.

Motorists and train crews alike have to watch out for the section of roadway that has popped up on South Industrial Blvd.

And then there's the track/rail kinks...

Running a train of my 86 foot boxcars around the layout, one of the cars derailed.  Put it back on the track, and the next time around, same thing happened. Over and over again, same boxcar each time. I checked the car's couplers and wheel gauge, nothing wrong with those. Then I spotted a situation with the track.  It had buckled vertically, breaking free from the ballast and glue holding it all in place.

The track in the foreground is fine, but the outer track, the GTW line, broke free from the glued ballast and prompted derailment.  My solution, working so far, was to drive track spikes through about every 4th tie.  So far, so good.

And this kink in the JSSX line appeared last winter, however it hasn't caused any operating problems at all with freight cars or locomotives.

I mentioned above an 86 footer derailing.  I just began work on these 3 project 86 foot auto parts cars. Two are 8 door cars, and one is 4 door.
Two of the new cars are primed, while the 3rd on has exterior ribs added. I'm modifying and painting this one for a friend.

I'll be keeping the 4 door car for myself.  It will be decorated as AnnArbor Railroad...that is when I settle on the paint mixture, which will be a reddish-orange colour.

And one more thing...Brian Smith sent me this link to a news story about containers being broken into on the Union Pacific in Los Angeles.  The link is from the New York Post, but there has been quite a bit of TV coverage of this story as well over the past couple of days.  There's quite a series of photos in the linked article. Wait 'til you see the 4th photo down...

Saturday 8 January 2022

SCLAIR Pellet Hoppers Going to Scrap

 Back on December 2, 2021, an acquaintance of mine, Marc Dease, caught the last three of the SCLAIR covered hoppers on their way east out of Sarnia. I'm told that the trio were headed for scrapping. I'm sorry to see them go, as their colourful paint scheme has always been so distinctive, particularly here in Sarnia among the hundreds of rather ordinary grey covered hoppers and black tank cars that always fill the Sarnia freight yards.

Photos below used with permission

And now here's Marc's going away shot...
Thanks for the use of the photos Marc!

I've know that I've posted my three models of the last of these cars in the past, but here they are again anyway.  These ones will keep on being used in service in the industrial setting of my layout though.

I've sold off a few of my locomotives over the past couple of months, but this week I took delivery, via Canada Post, of this undecorated Atlas GP38 (below).  I found this engine through the facebook group that I've joined.

For the short term this project is being put off as I await a non-dynamic brake hatch section from Atlas. I just ordered the part on Thursday, same day as I received the engine.

In the meantime, I have installed a 4-function decoder and then sent the engine out for a successful test spin around the layout.  When the hatch part gets here, the engine will be painted in the grey and red corporate colours of the JSSX.
The undecorated GP38 looks a rather ghostly white as it sits on a holding track outside of the JSSX loco maintenance shed.

Edit:  for those that may have been on here earlier, I posted a picture of an undecorated SD40 by mistake. I'm feeling a bit foolish about that. Oh well.  Sharp-eyed friend Chuck in Chicago spotted the error, and sent me an email to tell me about it.

Saturday 1 January 2022

First Post of the Year

I don't actually have much of an excuse, because I wasn't really all that busy during the holiday week, but posting to the blog this week kind of slipped my mind a bit. Forgive me for re-hashing some of the pictures from the year just passed...

This Tangent 86 footer posted back in January sees pretty regular service in and out of the parts plant on my GTW line...

I actually just lifted the 4 door auto parts cars including this Southern model off of the layout and replaced them with the 8 door variety.

I painted this NW car to this striking black and white scheme.  I remember I had used flat black to paint the car because I was thinking the flat would look the best. But then had to put gloss coat over top of it before the decals.

I still haven't made the time to weathering DT&I 250, at least so far anyway.  
My other DTI engines, a GP38 and GP40 have been sold off in recent weeks

My trio of 50 foot SOO boxcars.

I really like this picture, except for the problem of poor focus depth of field.

This bash of an extended height 50 foot boxcar was done from the boxcar pictured below

That's going to do it for now.  Thanks for looking in throughout the year. Wishing you all a really Happy New Year.