Thursday, October 20, 2016


It has been said you can never have enough staging. No truer words were ever spoken if you have operating sessions.

I started a never ending project to increase my staging in order to lengthen my coal drag, tank sweeper, and now the new Millville sand hog. It would have been nice to be able to add 2 more tracks but I can only do that by making it impossible for operators to get to Westville from Woodbury (getting past the narrowest point in the aisle). So I did the next best thing and lengthened the 3 existing staging tracks to squeeze in another 21 car capacity.

Sounds simple doesn't it? Well I did it but it required an S curve of about 5" radius. Ordered some more track rerailers and track bumpers. When they came in I suddenly realized I could dump cars off the layout on the under-layout side in the extended portion. So I cut (and painted) some thin wood to solve that problem but then had to screw them in through a tangle of under-layout track wires.

Even though the sharp radius didn't add inter-track car swiping I failed to test the closest track and found that 50' cars were swiping the corner of the aisle side track guards (1x4). Out came a jigsaw to remedy the problem and once I rerailed about every car on the 3 tracks of staging everything is now copacetic.

I found an area to add a staging track on the other end of the line. It will be a difficult (inaccessible) install. But it needs to wait for a new last minute project. I got an offer to do a magazine cover shot IF I could improve on the quality of a few shots I submitted. Unfortunately I may have reached the limits of what I can do with my 8 meg point and shoot camera so I enlisted a friend, who although an amateur photographer, has a good SLR and a lot of lenses. He has never taken model train pictures before so I am waiting with bated breath to see the results. (He must have taken 200-300 shots!) Stay tuned!

Friday, October 14, 2016

N Scale Magazine - The PRSL - the Millville & Penns Grove Branches

My second article (in a series of 3) was published in the Nov/Dec issue of N Scale Magazine.

This article covers my home layout and it's attempt to cover the section of the Pennsylvania - Reading Seashore Lines from Camden to Woodbury and its off-layout extensions to both Millville/Vineland and Penns Grove/Deepwater.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Birthday Vacation - Sight & Sound Theater and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Since I was passing into my next decade of life, my wife and I took a birthday trip out to Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster to see the Sampson production. And since it was my birthday, I got a major say on the trip itinerary:
.          Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania (PRR T-shirt),
.          Strasburg Railroad,
.          3 railroad gift stores, 
.          and a hobby shop (X-Acto blades)!

We will start with the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum, one of my favorite places.

Tons of engines:

Some rusting away in the yard:

N5C Cabin 477947:

Found out the Reading had 2 round end observation cars and that they ran their premier passenger train with one on each end so the train did not need to be turned at the terminal:

They also had 2 great model railroads and I got to have a friendly chat with Bill, one of the model railroad volunteers:

Moving to the Strasburg Railroad: They were running a 2-10-0 decapod they got from the Great Western RR in Colorado: