Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Video, Train Ops Plus Rio Grande Southern Visit

 We Follow Train N6 "The Newsboy"

Here is one of my favourite scenes on my B&M/MEC model railroad.  It showcases the Salmon River which acts as a natural border between the state of Maine the left and the state of New Hampshire to the right.  I loved building the clipper vessel you see tied up next to the legion hall.

Later in this posting you will find some video footage and we will revisit a train ops session on my friend, Bill "Sn3" Scobie's narrow gauge "Rio Grande Southern" layout!

But...let's get on to even cooler things...Yes, I have re-ignited this posting from a few years back to showcase an interesting train that visits my town of North Dover.
To view the images in larger format, click on them.
To return to the page's default look, click outside the image.

One of my inbound trains to North Dover on my Boston and Maine Model Railroad is Train N6 "The Newsboy".
 In the image above we see the local North Dover crew having blocked traffic for this train.  Moments earlier, they pulled the required freight cars dispersed in among the lines of cars located along the two major sidings in town.
Click on the image to enlarge it and click outside to return to the default setting.

The switching order for the local crew indicates the cars to be found in the yard and blocked.

They've placed the cut of four cars to the "inbound" end of the North Siding in town.  This will allow "inbound" Train N6's crew ease in lifting the cut onto their train before they set out some cars from their consist for North Dover. The switch crew verifies the cars with their switch list.  A Pennsy flatcar, a B&M boxcar and two tankers all with proper identifying marks.

With the block of cars in place, the local crew moves their locomotive out of the way.

They will park the switcher on the South Siding in short order. 

In due time, Train N6, "The Newsboy" approaches town.

The train crosses Stanley Bridge over the Salmon River.

Hitting the Boundary Road crossing, the locomotives are now in the state of New Hampshire with the remainder of the consist back across the river in the state of Maine.

They round the big curve in North Dover with the Holy Spirits Distilleries complex towering above the yard.  (Due to selective compression on the model railroad, the mainline in North Dover, along with its two sidings (aka service tracks) act as a yard for the local switcher when dispatch indicates no incoming trains.

The train orders for the crew of N6 "The Newsboy".  It will determine their moves upon arrival at North Dover which is their only stop en route between Rigby Yard in Portland and Lowell Jct. outside of Boston.  The train orders indicate which cars the crew will drop (set out) from their train and which cars they will lift from the town.  Note the Slow Order Restriction they must observe at Marshall Cut.  Our train orders tell us our first drop is a Santa Fe reefer, so the model railroad operator will be looking for this car in the lengthy consist.

We locate the SFRD reefer which we have determined to be the first car in the cut to be removed from the long manifest freight.

On this day, the movement will be an easy one with four cars being set out and four lifted.

The cut is made behind the Southern flatcar which is the final car of cut of "set outs" from the train.

The gondola of scrap metal to the left heads up the remainder of Train N6 while the crew pulls the train ahead of the turnout for the siding..

The engineer guides his train on to the North Siding where they have grabbed their lifts.

They pull the lifts from the siding while still holding on to their set outs.

They bring lifts along the main to the rest of the train.

N6's crew then uncouples the setouts from the train once again.

They spot the set outs back on the North Siding.

Almost there.

Set outs complete.  The crew uncouples to head back onto the mainline to pick up the remainder of their train.

N6's crew verify their set outs with their train orders.  A Santa Fe reefer, a B&M 40' boxcar, a B&O hopper with loads and a Southern flat with all identifying marks corresponding.

The crew of N6 has performed their brake test and are now underway.

We say good-bye to the buggy as the train enters the tunnel beneath the main street of town.  In an hour or so they will arrive Lowell Jct. outside of Boston.

Thanks for checking in on B&M Train N6 "The Newsboy".
These next set of images with video footage showcases the same locomotive team, only on a different train...Train PM2, a long manifest freight which departed Portland, Maine in the morning and will arrive Mechanicville, New York in late afternoon.

The Salmon River forms the border between the state of Maine (to the left) and the state of New Hampshire (to the right).

PM2 is in high notch as the thirty-three car train with three units hauling must pass by the lens of my camera before 50 seconds elapses.  Any video over 50 seconds will not upload to the blog. 

Let's check out the action on this video.  Simply click on the white arrow once...and then a second time when the white arrow appears in a red background circle to watch the video.

Here is a lower angle perspective.

The train passes by the F.B. Hamer building, named for my father, Fred.  Frederic Brian Hamer would have turned 99 years old this November had he still been alive!  Happy Birthday to you, dad!  Mom would be 102 on December 1st if she were still with us.  Happy birthday, mom, as well!

We check out the video action once more.  Click on the arrow twice.

Under different lighting conditions the manifest freight highballs across the borderline bridge.

With a variety of cars in the consist, the train is heading behind the legion hall and will be crossing Boundary Road on the outskirts of town.

Arriving North Dover, the train travels beneath the giant Holy Spirits Distilleries complex...a play on words for this Catholic School teacher.


The train is inbound through the outskirts of North Dover on this video.  (Click twice on the arrow to view.)

Some stills taken with the camera and not snipped from video.
This is the legion hall on my layout.

A boat docks up at the legion hall.

Even though the layout occupies a room of diminutive size (11'x13')...

...I have tried my best to pack in much detail in the various scenes.

This scene I share with you today is but one of some thirty or so photographic areas of the layout.

It is fun running a variety of trains indoors, especially during our non-garden railroad season.  My model railroad skills were very much in their infancy when I built the layout as indicated by the stones in the stone arch bridge I carved by hand.  

Even the bluebirds get in on the action!  The Salmon River Bridge was quite the challenge to build as there are curves in the arches and the track is on a curve as well!  Yikes!  Stan Conley assisted with the design of the bridge and, even though it shows my earlier skills as a modeller, it is very dear to my heart!

Thanks for taking the time to check out the Salmon River area of my Boston and Maine/Maine Central model railroad!

Recent Modelling

Over the next couple of postings I will take a little bit of time away from the railroad to show you the latest project I am spending time on.

The machines are O-scale offerings from Sierra West.

Each machine took many, many hours to complete.

Many were made up of tons of smaller detail parts.
The instructions for each machine were documented very well.

Then it was on to some of the castings.

I'm glad this is O-scale and not HO or N!

Modelling in a different scale than you are used to is rather rewarding...especially when it is bigger!

For the machine shop, I have simply taped the machines in place for the time being.

Eventually, I will create the main drive in the rafters and run belts to them!

The detail parts are exquisite.

I have glued the machine engine and boiler in place now.
I scratchbuilt the coal bin and painted and weathered the hearth.

I placed a single O-scale figure in the scene to add dimensionality but he will probably end up somewhere outside when I go to create the diorama.

I'm satisfied so far...but there is still so much more to do!

Another view of the machines themselves.

Let's Visit the Archives From 2006

Visiting My Good Friend, Bill "Sn3" Scobie
and his "Rio Grande Southern" Railroad

Yes, we journey along with Mr. Peabody and Sherman in their infamous "wayback Machine" to visit a train operating session at a good friend's house about 25 minutes from my home.

Click on the images to enlarge them, but you will have to hit the "back arrow" key to return to the default look of the page.

Our friend Bill Sn3 Scobie is not only a master model builder...he is a master "empire" builder. And, what an empire he has in his sprawling basement in Aylmer, Quebec. The five pictures included in this report are but a few examples of the wonders you see when you enter Bill's basement. The lengthy trestles seen in two images are both exemplary pieces of engineering and the close-up of one of Bill's locomotives gives testimony to his magnificent modelling abilities. One must take note of Bill's rolling stock...all prime examples of a craftsman's dexterity. Bill often makes these fantastic creations at a table set up during Railfair where the public can learn more about the great things that can be done in this hobby. He is certainly a tremendous ambassador on behalf of us all! Yes, any glorious trestles dot the countryside spanning both canyon and cut. Bill is mulling over the idea of manipulating one or two of his bridges that have stood in place for many a year. Yes, just when you think a scene is complete, your mind plays games with you...and before long you've ripped out months of labour to begin anew! Haven't we all been there? Indeed, the Friday Night Group was privileged to make a visit to Bill Sn3 Scobie's fabulous Rio Grande Southern RR last evening...and what an evening it was. Bill's mode of operations is developing nicely as the layout stood up to the challenges and rigours of a large operating session. While it takes the better part of 45 minutes to traverse the layout with a passenger train, as Stanley will attest, some of the lads were given the controls of longer freight trains and they had to await meets, conduct "drops and lifts" in various towns along the route and clear the road for passenger trains. Some of the boys were out on the road for a full two hours or more! When double headers are required to tackle the grade, a second engineer with a second throttle couples onto the lead locomotve and the two crewmen must work in careful tandem as was done on the real railroad! If this is what Colorado narrow gauge is all about...then count me in! Chris and I brought along our digital cameras (I wish I had brought a tripod...oh well, next time) and we were feverishly searching out photo locations while keeping ahead of the trains...not unlike true railfans. On many layouts you have to turn a corner to find a new photo shoot...not on Bill's. It seems that every foot or so along the route you discover yet another railfan location...that is if you are prepared to climb the rugged mountainous terrain! Bill, you have a masterpiece here! No other words can describe the layout. It is a brilliant piece of artistry...and a joy to operate. On behalf of the Friday Night Group, I wish to extend our appreciation for allowing the ten of us to visit and run trains in the majestic southwest! ...and thanks for extending an invite for a return visit. I know that the few boys in the group who couldn't make it out for this particular evening were very disappointed, so they'll be excited to hear that we'll be visiting again sometime in the not so far off future.

Please thank David, Doug and Fred for giving up their Friday Night to help welcome us to the Great White North Division of the Rio Grande Southern. Cheers, Mike

Thanks for taking time out of your day to check in on my blog!
All the best in model railroading!

Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 

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