Friday 29 September 2023

Following 813 along the Front on the JSSX

So I mentioned last week that the 813 job had to get back to the yard before the 5068 could get going to do it's work.  So, here's a few looks including the 813 going about it's business.  

I call this area of the JSSX the Front simply because it runs along the front edge of the layout.  There's only two industries along here, but one is a transfer/loading industry, so almost any type of freight car can show up in there.

I should add that I completely forgot to include any of my new sets of people figures to any of these photos.

That's the Mississippian (MISS) boxcar that has to be picked up from the warehouse.  The track on the right serves as a temporary spot as well as pull-back for switching and run-around moves.  The track looks just a little rough, at least partly intentionally done that way.

A bit more of a perspective view of the boxcar and warehouse

And there's 813 as it's about to pull the boxcar from it's spot location.  I had to adjust the brightness of this photo on the computer, as I think the headlights threw off the camera's sensor and the picture was originally way too dark.

And again a bit more of a perspective.  Sorry for the slight blurriness at the front of the loco.  I think a bit of camera shake must have happened here

Two boxcars are dropped off now, and the one has been moved to the temporary spot, to actually be picked up a bit later.  Now 813 will be off to the other end of the spur to lift a couple of other freight cars.

At the other end now, 813 is about to enter into the trans-loading property where there's a pellet hopper and a boxcar to be lifted

Here they come out through the gate.  813 will drop these two cars just after they clear the track switch, and then pick up that Mississippian boxcar. Then there will have to be a run-around move done in order to get the engine on the proper end of what will be a 3 car train

So 813 had left that pellet hopper and the RBOX car behind for a few minutes, and then ran back to hook onto the Mississippian boxcar. Then 813 was run around with the single boxcar and backed on to the two cars.  All that's left to do now is to head on back to the yard.

Lance Mindheim posted a video this week on his website of an operating session on his Downtown Spur, and if you're anyting like me, you really enjoy Lance's modeling ability.  The model railroad portion of the video starts at about the 1 minute mark.

Here's the link to the video:

Other than that, have a great week...

Friday 22 September 2023

Around the JSSX

Last week I showed the packages of work figures that I had received.  I've put just a couple of those guys to use so far. 

The train crew is just getting aboard the engine at the start of their work day.  They can head on down to the yard to assemble their short train.

That's about as far as they'll be able to get though, as they'll have to wait for the crew of 813 to get back to the yard from their switching assignment
813 shouldn't take too long though, since they've only got two boxcars to drop off, and then a single covered hopper of plastic pellets to pick up.

One car that the 813 has in tow is this MCSA fifty foot box

Looks like the covered hopper they have to pick up is a SCLAIR carload of plastic pellets that's spotted to be emptied inside the compound of the trans-load.
I've never liked this section of chain link fencing at the trans-load facility since the day I installed it.  It all looks too thick and oversized for HO scale.

And out in the 1:1 world, this grey painted ammonia tank car sits at Sarnia's "C-Yard", just across from the station.  I find this spiral design interesting.  The weld seams have accumulated enough grime to make them stand out against the faded grey paint. The ladder and walkway being offset toward one end also adds a little bit of interest to the car as well.

Far as I know, no model manufacturer has come out with a car of this type.

Friday 15 September 2023

This and That in September

I think had better start off this week trying to explain that I cannot sign in to blogger to reply to comments.  I don't know why this is, but believe me, I've been trying.  It's been this way for a while, and it's ridiculous.  And I'm sorry.

D&HColonieMain asked a question in the comments last week, about the rusty patches on the PHD boxcar, and how did I create them, so I'll try to answer that here and hope that he reads it.  I got the inspiration for those type of rust patches from a photo I had seen somewhere on the interwebs, of a very similar boxcar that had been weathered by Preston Stinger.  I don't know how he did the work on his model, but I thought I'd give something a try.  What I came up with worked for me - eventually - but I'd certainly say it was "not easy".

I had trouble getting those rust patches the way I liked them, and two or three times I actually removed what I had done, and started them over again.  The first step was to fade the blue colour of the blue boxcar with a spray of concrete gray through the airbrush, and then I sealed that in with a clear flat.

For the rusty patches I put tiny dabs of (Winsor & Newton) water mixable oils on a small piece of makeup sponge and dabbed it on the panels of the car.  There's 3 colours that I used, one at a time, and in the following sequence:  Sienna, Burnt Sienna, and finally Burnt Umber.  So the colours go from lightest to darkest.  Lightest colour also makes up the largest part of the rust patch, with the darkest toward the centre. I let each colour dry for a day or so before adding the next layer. I really should have taken pictures as I went along, but I didn't unfortunately.
Here's the PHD boxcar again.  I've added the reflective FRA stripes this week.

I put FRA stripes on the LLSR boxcar as well

I've never had any people/figures for the layout before, but I ordered these 2 sets of railroad worker figures this week, and received them Friday morning.
The upper set are train crew workers and the bottom set are railroad construction workers

I ran across this on a facebook post and it made me smile
I like how all the guys are standing around as though they're waiting to see what's going to happen next.

Friday 8 September 2023

A Couple of Boxcars

 A couple of boxcars to feature this week, both with ties originally to Detroit, as they're on their way into the Tri-State Paper recycler on the GTW.

First up, I thought we'd have a look at a former Detroit & Mackinac boxcar, that's been re-lettered for the fictional LLSR.

This one is a pretty dusty looking boxcar

Below the reporting marks, the CAPY number data has been blanked out.  I don't really know why railroads do that now, but they do. I keep a small piece of white decal film that I had lightly oversprayed with a beige colour I trim it into the tiny pieces to use for the old notices by the door.

Next up is this FMC boxcar, in the nifty looking Port Huron and Detroit paint scheme.  Unusual to see a boxcar with the logo/herald on the left end, and the reporting marks on the right.

This boxcar had languished as brand new in my storage cupboard for years, until I recently saw inspiration on another modeler's version, and I just finally brought it out for weathering a couple of weeks ago.  A pretty weather-beaten looking boxcar now, the CAPY number has been blanked out with decal film on this one too.

A view through the pillars of the Gratiot Avenue overpass.  I intend to patch and re-letter this one from PH&D, but haven't gotten to that just yet.

A view from the Gratiot overpass of the two boxcars together at the Tri-State Paper site.

The Woodstock Train Show is this Sunday, so I guess "modelling season" must be here. I'm going to be there for an hour or maybe a little more, hoping to find a bargain or two.

Friday 1 September 2023


For September, the picture at the top of the blog shows a former Port Huron & Detroit boxcar spotted at the unnamed warehouse on the JSSX.  I got that boxcar from Luc years ago, but I really don't remember who did the patching and weathering on it.

That low grey warehouse in the foreground was scratch-built by me years ago, and then I actually shortened it by maybe about 8 inches or so in order to fit the outdoor loading dock onto the left-hand end.  The red brick building was 1or 2 dollar find at a train show and was only 3 walls and a broken roof with a hole in it when I got it. The warehouse does see a lot of rail service, and typically involves a short train making a runaround move to spot the boxcar(s) there.

A look at the details found on the loading dock.  I made the pallets from Evergreen styrene strips, and the steel ramp was scratched out of styrene as well.

In 1:1 scale locally, there's a BNSF GP39V here in Sarnia. Not sure when it arrived here, but I happened to catch it switching the IOX (Imperial Oil loading rack) on Saturday.

Crossing Devine Street

I tried to take a photo of that CN GP9 that the BN engine is coupled with too, but this is what happened.
And the guy looked right at me as I held my camera as he drove past me.  At that point I just gave up.

Below, we have the Lee A. Tregurtha southbound, coming in off Lake Huron on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023 likely loaded with taconite pellets for Detroit

The water tower from the now closed Dunn Paper plant in Port Huron, Michigan as well as the Port Huron Lighthouse are in the background
Kind of a long and sleek looking lake boat, Lee A. Tregurtha is 826 feet long.