Wednesday, February 15, 2023


 I joined the New Jersey Southern Model Railroad group last year. They have N-Trak, T-Trak and I think some free-mo modules. I haven't built anything in a while, so I figured I would participate by building a T-Trak module.

T-Trak modules usually come in 1', 2', 3', and 4' modules. One footers are a way to especially get younger modelers involved. Easy start-up and the opportunity to finely detail a small module. One of the club's senior members makes some of the bases and gives them to the younger 4-H club members to get them started in the hobby. (Kudos to John Kern!)

Not one to be content starting with a 2 track one foot module I figured I would do a 3 foot multi-level module. So here it begins:

More paint, Sculptamold, and let the scenery begin!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The 4-H Visitors

 Met some relatively local folks at the Egg Harbor (NJ) 4-H train show last month and invited them for a visit.

Bill Repholx showed up bearing a gift: a Reading Caboose he had painted (and manned).
It looks like the Life Like NE caboose I currently had (the bottom is different) but is a great upgrade over my existing caboose.
It will look great bringing up the rear of the Reading coal drag that supplies the Atlantic Electric Deepwater Power Plant on my Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines.
He also brought some old LifeLike FA's he painted to run.
Those of you who ever had old LifeLike F's or FA's know that they can pull 100 car trains up a 90 degree incline.  :)

Hopefully you will be able to see them next week if  Ken Richter posts the video he made.
Ken has an eye for the camera. I marvel at his work, especially since it was done in a crowded room under low light conditions.
(Also keep an eye out for Ken's EL Alcos in the video.)

Citizens of Troy could only wish the Greeks had been so generous with their gifts.

Couldn't Resist

I don’t even drink alcoholic beverages but they were just so “cute”!
There goes my serious modeling out the door.

In fairness, my DuPont shorty tank car was so lonely.

And while we are in fantasy mode, I also assembled the Metal Earth Freight train

Friday, February 18, 2022

Perfect Storm - Part 2 - 1 of 4

After a long arduous journey my 3 part series made it into publication in the January through March 2022 issues of the free on-line Model Railroad Hobbyist Magazine ( The February issue showed the layout as it was about a year and a half ago.

Scrunching the pictures into the publication loses some of the clarity so I reactivated my blog to display the photos closer to full size for those that may be interested. Click on a picture and you'll be able to see the photos almost full sized. For the magazine text go to the on-line publication.

Title Page photo from the Bill Lane Collection

1950 PRSL freight schedule order (through Woodbury)

Staging yard ready for operations

Destination Terminal Staging (Cars held for a Waybill cycle)

WY841 coal drag leaving Camden

WY841 through Woodbury

Philly transfer arriving in Camden

Perfect Storm - Part 2 - 2 of 4

Baldwin B12s were the only PRSL diesel yard switchers on their roster and had long useful lives in southern NJ.

The Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company sent their aging steam locomotives to NJ to die, an intermediate stop on the way to the scrap yard. Here a PRR K4 4-6-2 Pacific takes on coal. In just a few years the water towers would be torn down, and the coaling towers would become dilapidated monuments to the bygone age of steam. 

WY843 Delivering sand and concrete to Buzby Brothers Cement

PRR H30 Covered Hoppers
WY33 Empty Sand Hog heading south

This is the drops/pickups switch list for WY27 the Millville Local. We originally ran a standard four-cycle Waybill card system but as the train sizes grew, the operating crew became less happy with handling a large stack of cards so I transferred the card cycles onto a spreadsheet, copied them to a Microsoft Access database and using SQL generated a switch list for each train. Now we can handle up to eight waybill cycles for cars being shipped off line and eventually returning on-line.

 WY27 heads south through Westville with time-warped PRSL GP-38s in the lead.

Perfect Storm - Part 2 - 3 of 4

 WY51, the Salem local, passes Broad Street Lake in Woodbury

WY51 working the icing tracks in South Woodbury

 WY79, the Tank Sweeper, southbound through Westville

WY79 serving the Texaco refinery in Westville.

Soup’s On!  Or soon will be.  The Camden local slides by the RCA spur to Campbell Soup to deliver another cooled load of local vegetables.

 WY840 is now straggling home with empties. It had to cross over three tracks in Woodbury to continue right-hand running back to the yards.
The Millville Local, now designated WY26, drops a loaded coal car at Barry Bros. Fuel in Westville. Most spurs along the double-tracked main line are, as on the prototype,  conveniently trailing-point sidings.
A box car is used as a spacer to keep the engine's weight off the coal yard's wood trestle.