Monday, February 20, 2012

News About the Trains I Ride Everyday

On previous occasions we've discussed the Washington Metro trains I ride back and forth to work everyday.  Metro is currently expanding out to Tysons Corner, Virginia, and will eventually reach Washington Dulles International Airport.  The expansion has necessitated acquisition of the first all-new cars in decades, maybe since Metro was built in the 70s.

Courtesy of the incomparable Unsuck DC Metro blog are these photos of Metro's new 7000-series cars.  That's an all-new paint scheme, window configuration and interior divider, for those who aren't familiar with the three or four previous series of Metro cars that are virtually identical, save for a few esoteric details and differently-colored interiors.

7000-series Cars begin to Take Shape:

More on the 7000s

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scott Kremer's Great Northern Electrics in HO's magazine section is lots of fun--kind of like discovering there's several decade's worth of model train magazines in your closet. Archives of several non-Kalmbach/non-Carstens magazines have ended up on, such as Railmodel Journal, Model Railroading, and Prototype Modeler. And it's all there for free, as part of the community,

Great Northern Z-1 i in the snow on Scott Kremer's HO GN layout.
Photo by Robert Schleicher/Railmodel Journal, courtesy
One treasure I recently unearthed on appeared in the December 2006 Railmodel Journal.  Scott Kremer's Great Northern layout features GN electrics under catenary in the snow! Like the mystery Milwaukee Road layout, steam and diesel roam the layout as well.  The photos show Z-1 and Y-1 electrics--wonder if Scott ever ran a B-D+D-B W-1 on his layout.  W-1s were later reincarnated as monstrous UP coal turbines

Click through and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Progress on the Mineral Springs Grade Crossing

Before embarking on forestation of the backdrop area (plantin' all those trees that have been going together over the past month or so), I wanted to put in Mineral Springs road.
Blair Line laser-cut wood crossings. They've been stained and test fit.
But before Mineral Springs Road can go in, there needs to be a grade crossing. Previously, we test-fit and stained a Blair Line laser-cut wood crossing. Now the track underneath needs ballast in preparation for permanently mounting the wood crossings.
Highball HO limestone ballast on the track, glued down between the rails with Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement and on the roadbed shoulders with thinned Elmers White Glue.
Over at Model Railroader magazine, Cody and Dave have been ballasting track on their Virginian project layout.  Cody ballasts between the rails first, wets it down with alcohol and water using a pipette, and floods it all with Scenic Cement by Woodland Scenics. After that dries, he coats the shoulders of the roadbed with thinned white glue and sprinkles on a thin layer of ballast.  When that thin layer is dry a day or so later and he vacuums up the excess, it provides good 'gription' for another, final layer of ballast that he pokes and prods and shapes with a little foam paint brush.  That final layer then gets the wetting and Scenic Cement treatment.
A couple of layers of ballast, waiting for the glue to dry so all that excess can get vacuumed up.
We're pretty much using Cody's technique here, with the added step(s) of building up some extra layers of ballast in that gutter in the roadbed on either side of the center track.  I suppose I could have cut and glued in a couple of wedges of cork roadbed.

Check back in a couple of days when the Blair Line crossing is permanently mounted to the track and road building can commence.