Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Tribute To Our Ukrainian Friends

Tribute To Our Ukrainian Friends

Indeed, we salute our friends in the Ukraine!  Stay strong!  Stay brave!

Outbound B&M train MP4 has left its tail end back in North Dover as it pulls across the Salmon River to switch out the north siding of town with the flag of Ukraine flying proudly above the F.B. Hamer & Sons building.

 The Hamer family will fly the flag of Ukraine in support of its citizens until such time as all hostilities end.  (F.B. Hamer is my late father, Frederick Brian Hamer.)  

Click once on the white arrow and then a second time to engage the video footage.

 Please keep our friends in Ukraine foremost in your hearts and minds.

All the best, Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Sunday, January 09, 2022

One Millionth Viewer Today!

One Millionth Viewer Checks In Today

Wow! What a blast it has been sharing my model railroad with friends, acquaintances and fellow railroaders world wide. 

 And...today, January 9th, saw my one millionth viewer to my blog showcasing the layout.

Click on an image to enlarge it and click outside the image to return to the default look of the page.

This is a big thrill for me.

I began the blog back in February, 2006.

I showcased our Friday night train running.

Indeed, it is the friends you meet in the hobby that is the most rewarding aspect for me.

B&M FT 4255 leads a trio of F-units on its way into North Dover.

It will be hauling the train that will pierce the banner.

Going back to 1997, I would like to thank my good friend Trevor Marshall for designing the track plan for the layout on my behalf as I was relatively new to the hobby at the time.

Seeing as we were confined to a small 11x13 spare bedroom in the basement, we had to be quite creative as I wanted a wide variety of traffic coming into my town of North Dover.

Trevor came up with the notion of having the staging surround the layout.

I'd also like to thank another friend Marty Phillips for putting in a tremendous amount of grunt labour preparing the room and creating the benchwork based on Trevor's plan.

Two other very special friends in the early years are Bill Meek and Stan Conley who began running trains in the group with me from the start.

Indeed, this is a tremendous hobby.

Well...here we go!

Our One Millionth Viewer!


Yabba dabba doo!

Here's to a million more!

Why would this Canadian operate a Boston and Maine/Maine Central model railroad?

Initially I wanted to model the TH&B, the railroad Trevor was modelling at the time seeing as I liked the paint scheme of that railroad in the diesels I saw while running Trevor's layout...a maroon and cream livery.

While visiting Trevor's railroad one day he shared with me a hard cover book on another railroad.  The diesels carried the maroon colour but accented the maroon with gold rather than cream.  The subject of the book was the Boston and Maine Railroad.

While looking at the pictures in the book I recognized a number of places I had visited as a kid.  You see, our Canadian family would go camping each summer across the border and down to the various New England states.

The die was cast!

The Boston and Maine it would be!

When Trevor became involved in the planning of my railroad he also fell in love with the B&M and went on to model the railroad in steam days!

As the train passes the banner and continues on its way...it's time for me to close out this entry.  

Thank you to all those who have checked in on the blog.  Here's to many more postings!

All the best, Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Friday, October 29, 2021

My Layout on a Virtual Tour

 My Boston and Maine Layout on a Virtual Tour

Hello everyone.  My layout recently appeared on the Capital Region Model Railroad Tour up here in Ottawa.  

To view the 42 minute presentation on YouTube simply copy and paste the link below into your computer's browser.


Below are "snippit" images I took from the video.  Their clarity is not as good as stills, but they serve to give you an idea of the content of the video tour!

You can enlarge each image by clicking on it.  To return to the default look of the page, click outside the image.

The first segment was an introductory one. 

Then I offered a video view following an outbound train around the entire layout.

The layout schematic.

Following a Maine Central train through the big curve in North Dover.

Crossing the Salmon River from New Hampshire to the state of Maine.

                  Cover shot from MR's Great Model Railroads 2004.

                  Looking up shot at the New England River Bridge.

                                       A portion of the schedule.

Train N2 exits the inbound end of Marshall Cut.

Noon time in North Dover.

Lifting tank cars for the incoming "Oil Can".

MEC's "Oil Can" reaches the interlocking and holds the junction.

The B&M is the superior railroad so the Maine Central crew must hold the interlocking for clearance onto Boston and Maine rails.

Evening time over the Salmon River.

The Maine Central in hot pursuit.

The "Oil Can" arrives town.

My map of the three railroads.

This GP7 is equally comfortable hauling passengers as well as freight.

Check out the train lighting box on the long hood.

Station stop in North Dover.

Staging at the duckunder.

Surround staging.

MEC staging.

Short local staging.

Overall look.

Trains traversing staging.

View to the right from the duckunder entrance to the room.

Passing the tower at Lowell Jct.  This staging location also acts as Rigby Yard up in Portland as well...the south and the north!

A cowl bodied locomotive.

The F2 is connected to an A-B set of FT's.

On the roll to North Dover outbound.

A manifest freight.

Check out that gondola load.

Two buggies for the price of one.

The Boundary Road crossing.

A "going away" shot at the interlocking.

Conley Lumber and Coal.

Paperwork - switch lists and train orders.

That little BL2 is a little darling!

Love the long cupola buggy!

Departing Maine for New Hampshire.

Early morning work in the yard.

Love those "Bluebirds" so much!

Those boxcars with the interlaced "B over M" look really sweet!

As does that blue and black brass buggy!

Testing the curve off Stanley Bridge over the Salmon River.

A "high green" aspect gives the crew permission across the span and Haney Gorge.

Traversing the New England River Bridge.

A "brace of blue" for the eyes!

Milk anyone?


Boundary Road separates the urban scenes from the rural ones on the layout.

The RS2's are "all maroon" on the B&M.

Through the crossing!

Into North Dover we spot a "Back to the Future" car...that Smart Car!

The Rail Diesel Car approaches the station.

That milk car will be lifted in short order.

The team track.

The freight house.

We await the passenger train.

A Maine Central E-unit holds the honours on this day.

Pulling up to the station.

Some local switching.

Another passenger train arrives town, "The East Wind".

Another car lifted for another train.

Outside my layout room you will find the numerous dioramas I have created over time.

One of my more recent dioramas.

My O-scale scratchbuild of a machine shop.

This is still a project very much "in progress".

I've really enjoyed this build of the Sierra West Scale Models machines.

Everything else has been scratchbuilt.

In my crew lounge.

Lots of items of interest for visitors.

A few freight cars in differing scales.

Yet another diorama.

Such a great hobby.

This is the first scene when you walk down my basement stairs.

Love that work of art of the train at midnight...nicely framed!

Thanks for checking in on my blog entries!

All the best and stay safe!
Mike Hamer. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada