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...


  1. That is a crazy amount of buckling! You must have some serious humidity swings. I know our house does... it gets very dry here in the winter.

  2. I assume that your rail joints have expansion/contraction gaps and it is the actual benchwork that is causing the buckling? Is there any way to install a small space heater for the few weeks a year when this happens?

  3. Jim, I finally reset my password! Have you checked if your room's relative humidity fluctuates throughout the year?

  4. Oh, it's a basement and the humidity certainly fluctuates from summer to winter. I don't have a humidifier any more. We had one on the furnace some years ago. It helped in the basement in the winter, but condensation on windows around the house became an ongoing problem.

  5. Hi Dave. Seems hardly a month goes by without some password problem arising for no apparent reason.