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Broadoak
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These three photos are of my U shaped HO scale switching layout. If there is interest I can post loads more pictures and tell you all a bit more about it. It is a point to point layout with the two points being Colonel’s Crossing and Benson.

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Sure Peter----fire away

Perhaps a trackplan also?


Herb  :old dude:

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We love pictures. And as Herbeeside mentioned, show us a trackplan if ya got one. :)

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I don’t have a scanner so I have taken a photo of a sketch.


However sometime ago I did take some shots looking straight down which with the plan will give a good idea of the track layout.


The photographs start at Benson at the top of the plan and work round to Colonel’s Crossing at the bottom.


The layout measures 8’ x 8’ x 10’ with CC being on the longest board.


The location is south west Arkansas and the two fictitious short lines have connections with two class 1 roads the SP and RI. The period modelled is around the mid 1970’s. (this is flexible sometimes up to the late 1980’s)















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The first scene is at the Western Mining’s bauxite loading facility at Colonel’s Crossing. This part of the layout used to be exhibited. Now it is retired and forms part of my home layout .The rocks in the back ground used to hide the fiddle yard when the layout was exhibited.


A pair of SP F7s have just brought in an empty ore train and they are waiting in the siding next to the loader while the crew take a meal break. An ex DRGW SW1000 now on the Interstate & Western ( my fictitious short line) roster works the ore cars through the loader.

Last edited on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 01:05 pm by Broadoak

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The SW1000 pulls the loaded cars over the grade crossing by Colonel’s creek watched by two workers from the lumber yard taking their mid morning coffee break.

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The SP F7s are coupled up and doing a brake test. It’s rather odd but when I used to exhibit I was the only one who choose f units my fellow operators always choosing a road switcher, an SP SD9 being the favourite.



The back scene I painted using acrylics and is supposed to be rolling hills covered in lush forest.

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The coupler pin has been pulled but the switcher will give a bit of rear end assistance when the F units couple up at the other end. The switcher will push the cars as far as the siding into the engine house where it will drop off the back.

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The throttles are notched up as the loaded ore train leaves Colonel’s Crossing for the SP main. It is seen passing KAP Lumber’s yard, they are forestry and agricultural contractors hence the varied collection of tractors.


The wooden water tower in the background is owned by a local preservation group who run the odd steam special at weekends. (Well they do if any visitors bring steam power with them, I only have diesels myself)

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An ex Peoria and Western GP 38-2 wearing the ill fated “ Kodachrome” merger scheme arrives with a cut of empty ore hoppers. The locomotive is working off horse power hours on the SP. The ore cars will be left in the siding next to the ore loader over the weekend and the GP 38-2 will take a grain extra back to the SP main line. However before its departure it gets a quick check over by the resident I&W mechanic whilst standing over the inspection pit.

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Thanks, Peter

I especially like the painted backdrop--well done! :thumb::thumb:

Track arrangement looks like it can give hours of switching.

All around a splendid job!



Herb:old dude: (who can't even paint a blue sky without clouds)

Broadoak
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Thank you for your kind words Herb they are much appreciated.

You are right about the switching it is a lot of fun.
As I’ve got older I enjoy operation more and more.

Last edited on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 05:24 pm by Broadoak

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Peter

  Nice stuff! Is that a locomotive hoist in front of the engine house in thee first picture. You have given me a great idea for my engine house even though minne is On30. Really looks good.

                                                                                           Clif K

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Thanks Clif, the locomotive lifting hoist is an OO scale kit by Ratio no 545 about £18 over here. The photo shows it a bit better to give an idea of its size. I’m sure you could use it for ON30. These things vary in size in real life don’t they.



Incidentally I use it on the layout for repairing bad order cars. It’s a good excuse to have a variety of freight cars.

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An I&W GP7 with a low nose resting between assignments. The model is a blue box Athearn that I’ve chopped the nose on and although the dynamic brakes are not needed on our road they might be useful if the loco is hired out to another road.


In the background is an impulse buy, she is a little modern really. A Cotton Belt GP60. Another Athearn with added details. The Cotton Belt (St Louis South Western ) really did run through Arkansas, the area I’m modelling.

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The Cotton Belt GP60 road switcher rumbles past KAP Lumber’s yard and the depot as it arrives at Colonel’s Crossing with a cut of empty pulp wood racks. The loco is new and on a running in turn. She will return to the SP main later in the day with a train of loaded bauxite ore cars having left the pulp wood cars at the team track being loaded by trucks.
This is as modern as I get with my loco fleet.




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An I&W SW1 at rest one lunch time in the shade of the Farmer’s Co-op elevator at Colonel‘s Crossing. The small pick up truck belongs to a local farmer who is collecting some bags of feed for his cattle. The covered hoppers being loaded at The Western Grain Co’s elevator will be made into a train after lunch then taken to the I&W- SP interchange by the SW1.

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A close of a UP hopper taken one evening on the Arkansas Feed’s track waiting to be picked up the next morning for the early road job.

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Another atmospheric picture of a covered hopper spotted at the Continental Grain elevator, taken on a summer‘s evening. The Fordson tractor is a Matchbox Toy and almost as old as me, but probably in better condition. Much of the grain shipped from here is destined for export via the Gulf ports.



The background is a pen and wash drawing I did on cartridge paper and pasted onto the back scene.





A busy place always is the Bantex Box Companies factory, using locally produced lumber they ship out bespoke wooden boxes all over the states. Next to them is R E Lee Farm Supplies and next to that the Farmers Co-op. This siding is also a head shunt for the Continental Grain Co so when loads arrive for them it creates many switching moves, which is what the layout is all about. It all helps to make this a very interesting layout to operate, which as I‘ve grown older I enjoy more than ever.

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A couple of pictures of AD&N CF7 No 1513 arriving then switching cars at CC, it is an Athearn model. When I took it out of the box the front truck retaining clip fell out complete with the wheels and gears. I put everything back and securely clipped the cover back and it has been fine ever since if a little noisy.


The Santa Fe rebuilt 233 CF7s at their Cleburne, Texas shops between 1970 and 1978 then in the early 80s started to phase them out. They have since proved very popular with many short lines. They are a tad shorter than a GP7 so ideal for a small layout.


In the clean condition the model is in now I assume it is working for The Ashley Drew and Northern who had two, on a run collecting pulp wood or board to take back to their own road at Crosset, Arkansas. The road is closed now and the CF7s sold off, they were in rather run down condition at the end I think.

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An I&W SW1000, the yard goat on this occasion, works a night shift switching cars at the Trisco Flour mill. Always a busy place with inbound cars of grain being unloaded and full cars of milled flour being loaded and then shipped out. These activities go on for twenty four hours a day seven days a week throughout the year.

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A TVRR Alco S-2 rolls across the grade crossing at Benson during a switching session. The Talbot Valley Railroad is another fictitious short line.


The model is an Atlas and is I think the best running switcher you can buy. There are some with better details and so on but nothing runs as well as the Atlas, in my opinion. That is using an analogue feed back controller, I don‘t have DCC.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 01:50 pm by Broadoak

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The TVRR S-2 running over the grade crossing by the store at Benson whilst switching the Trisco Flour Mill spur. I’m afraid I can take no credit for it at all. The picture was taken by, and then enhanced on his computer by an old friend of mine Andy Knott on one of his visits.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 01:51 pm by Broadoak

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An I&W caboose and a Pilsbury hopper at rest outside the Continental Grain Co’s elevator. The elevator is a scratch built structure consisting of a plasticard shell and covered with thin plasticard corrugated sheets and cartridge paper. It was scaled up from an N scale plan based on a prototype in Minnesota.


The I&W make use of a caboose on some of the road’s small branches that don’t have a run round loop. It is easier for a man with a radio to stand on the veranda of a caboose than hang on to a stirrup on a box car when leading a train with the switcher pushing a cut of cars along several miles of rural branch line. A wonderful thing the imagination.

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A couple of pictures of a Rock Island GP18 wearing the livery she was delivered in, in the early 1960’s. The gondola was filled with agricultural limestone and has been delivered to the Talbot Valley Farmer’s Co-op.



Note the blue Amador Central boxcar, a shortline in California, whose entire locomotive roster was a couple of Baldwin S - 12 switchers.

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Here we see an MP SW1500 on a visit complete with a molasses car in the industry spur at Benson around 1985. In reality the real locomotive was quickly repainted in the normal UP lettering.

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Here we have a Mopac switcher in dark blue with the earlier buzz saw logo. This is a much modified Athearn model with full length handrails, air horns on the cab roof, drop steps, modified headlights and spark arresters.
She is seen pulling a Pennsy steel gondola and about to cross over the grade crossing at Benson.
Later that same morning we find her rumbling over the grade crossing this time with a Rock Island box car from the flour mill head shunt in tow.

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Peter, great photos of a slick, little layout. :thumb:

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This time we have two views of an RI 1200 hp SW9 switcher in as delivered condition working at Benson. They only had five of these on their roster. Another “Honoury “SW 9 was re-built using an E-8 engine in an SW chassis and was added later. Note the all weather cab window for working during the winter in places like Chicago.

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This view shows another RI SW9 in the austerity maroon image of the mid 60’s pushing a box car over the grade crossing at Benson. This is the fireman’s side and this side is not fitted with an all weather window but the driver’s side is. You can also see the canvas radiator blind.

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These two pictures are of a chop nosed GP9, the Rock only did two nose jobs on their first generation geeps as they reckoned they where an unnecessary expense. The number on the loco is wrong, changing it is one of the jobs I’ve never got round to doing, it should be 1275 or 1321. You will note it has spark arresters and a winterisation hatch over the radiator cooling fans.
She has just spotted a couple of covered hoppers at the elevator and is making her way to the minimal engine facilities at Benson to take a lunch break.

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Colonel‘s Crossing and it is county fair day. Some of the agricultural pageant entrants have arrived by rail on this pulpwood flat.



This is the machine that brought the tractors to town, isn‘t she gorgeous? It is a standard gauge three truck Shay.

In reality an old friend of mine Andy Knott came up for a day of operating and taking pictures of some of his locomotives because at the time he didn‘t have a layout at home. Andy took all the pictures.


 

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An Alco RS-11 hi nose switcher in Delaware & Hudson livery at Colonel’s Crossing by the team track. This is another of Andy’s models, he is an eastern roads fan.

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This picture illustrates (I hope) that you don’t need a loco to make an interesting picture. The addition of the pick up truck I think makes the picture.

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A general elevated view taken from next to the flour mill at Benson looking towards Arkansas Feed Co’s premises. The Alco RS11 is seen arriving with a short mixed freight. The truck is going to pick up another load of bulk chicken feed from AFC. The structures tend to disguise the fact that the track curves through a pretty small radius here, but it‘s not so noticeable when operating the layout.

The red brick building in front of the Arkansas Feed Co’s premises was a temporary affair it has now been replaced with a more appropriate structure.

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Andy Knott (fellow Two Sisters operator and the guy who took these photographs) comes up from time to time to play trains. He has only a small layout at home so it is a good way of giving his locos a bit of a gallop.

He is the owner of this all singing and dancing Conrail GE B23-7 road switcher. Two wires connected by crocodile clips to my DC set up and we had the benefits of full sounds etc.

No 2810 about to rumble over Colonel’s Creek with a small pulpwood train.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 01:57 pm by Broadoak

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Another of Andy’s DCC equipped locomotives an Alco RS in Delaware & Hudson colours. I lightly weathered the trucks and lower sections for him to match a photo of the locomotive in a book he has. It is the only one like this on their roster.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 01:58 pm by Broadoak

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If you are a little sort of space (as most of us in the UK are) and need an industry that takes up very little room this idea may appeal to you. It is an auger fed powdery substance loader for want of a better description. On my layout soda ash is brought in by truck then tipped into a pit (covered by wooden boards when not in use) and then loaded by the electrically driven auger in the elevator.

The model is a few bits of plastic from my scrap box and a kiddies drinking straw. Easy to make and gives another reason for spotting a car at a team track for instance.

The Western Mining ore loader in the background is scratch built with plasticard and brick papers. It is generic rather than a particular prototype using features I liked and designed to suit the space I had available.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 01:59 pm by Broadoak

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Peter

I think that you did a great job on the underside of the D&H loco!



Herb   :old dude:

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ebtm3 wrote: Peter

I think that you did a great job on the underside of the D&H loco!



Herb   :old dude:



Thanks Herb, I’m glad you like it.





I don’t have an airbrush or anything sophisticated like that I just use washes of acrylic paint. I start off lightly and build up a thin wash at a time, I like to think this is how it happens in reality.

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A view you can’t normally see on the model, because it is hidden by the back scene (removed for a track cleaning session). A small loading dock at the Medusa Cement Co’s siding at Benson. Another little item made from odds and ends in the scrap box built in an evening.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 09:48 am by Broadoak

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GE 23-7 four axle switcher spotting cars at Benson. The large building ( Redwing Milling) is a scratch built grain elevator complex made from a plasticard shell covered with corrugated iron sheeting. I re-scaled an N scale drawing in a magazine of an actual prototype in Montana. I painted it white originally but it looked a bit too stark, I think it looks better in this more muted shade.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:19 pm by Broadoak

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Another unusual view taken from the grade crossing at Benson looking towards Arkansas Feed Co. GE No 2810 is switching a cut of cars in the loop. Andy took this picture using a good quality compact camera. There isn’t room for an SLR in this siding at the back of the layout.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:20 pm by Broadoak

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Another one of Andy Knott’s locos this one is brand new and not fitted for DCC unlike his other locos. (It was at a price he couldn’t resist, about £20.) It is the latest version of the Bachmann 44 tonner with a central motor instead of the two separate powered trucks that they used to have. The plain yellow livery is perfect for an industrial or fictitious short line.
The 44 tonner is seen switching cars at Colonel’s crossing. The structure on the left is scratch built in plasticard and thin card from a plan (probably Chris Ellis) in Scale Model Trains magazine many years ago. The building next to the UP box car is a freelance structure that I made to fit the site. The buildings in the back ground are actually pen and wash drawings on cartridge paper glued to the back scene.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:21 pm by Broadoak

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The little 44 tonner certainly gets about, it is seen here spotting a CNW covered hopper at the Medusa Cement facility in Benson. It is exactly as purchased, it has not been weathered or anything yet.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:22 pm by Broadoak

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The little house next to the grade crossing (an inexpensive plastic kit of unknown make) the owner of the house is not only a vintage tractor enthusiast but a rail fan as well. The tractor is the famous Waterloo Boy. This was a two cylinder tractor that ran on kerosene the company that made them are better known as John Deere.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:54 pm by Broadoak

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The Talbot Valley Farmer’s Coop property at Benson. The box car is being loaded with farm produce, probably melons. Seeds, fertiliser, and farm machinery are all delivered here with vegetables etc being out bound loads. The switcher crew are seen taking a short coffee break. The little Atlas shanty was the first American building kit I made.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:57 pm by Broadoak

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Alot of great looking photos with some nice little details.

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Thanks for your kind comments Lynn, I must admit it’s fun to set up and photograph small scenarios. It seems to add another dimension to the hobby.



Benson and R E LEE farm supplies are taking a delivery of bagged fertiliser delivered in a Meridian & Bigbee (a real shortline in Mississippi) boxcar.


The building behind the freight car is a Walthers Cornerstone kit, lightly modified.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:57 pm by Broadoak

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The Arkansas Feed Co structure at Benson. It is a low relief model that is an amalgamation of the features of several real buildings. It is a plasticard shell covered with thin strips of paper to represent wooden planking.


The tank car is spotted temporarily there during a switching move.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2015 04:58 pm by Broadoak

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In the early days of building the layout a look at a Rand McNally map revealed that Mopac were all over Arkansas like a rash, so I have always had a couple of Mopac switchers in my collection. Coming more up to date we see the UP taking over the Mopac track. I have always been an admirer of UP, they generally keep their locomotives clean and they photograph well against my predominantly green scenery.


So I was easily seduced into buying a UP road switcher, the not so common GP40x at a bargain price at an exhibition I did at Northampton.


The UP had six of these 3500 hp locos that arrived in 1978, they look a bit different to a normal GP40 because of their trucks and flared radiators.


Note it wasn’t until I downloaded the photo onto the computer I noticed one of the handrail stanchions was not secured properly, now done with a touch of ACC glue.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 11:10 am by Broadoak

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Having got a GP40X what I needed now was a standard GP 40 -2 for a comparison. Luck was on my side when I visited an exhibition in Armitage in Staffordshire and bought a UP version along with a couple of tractor units at a very attractive price.



UP 1349 spotting a Rock Island covered hopper at the Farmer’s Coop elevator at Colonel’s Crossing. The elevator is a lightly modified Con-Cor plastic kit.



Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 11:12 am by Broadoak

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A CNW covered hopper is spotted at the Medusa Cement un loading facility. A fairly heavily weathered Atlas model. I find these such a versatile model taking up less space than the bigger ACF types allowing a few more cars in a train.



The long grass and vegetation in the foreground is made from a cheap shaving brush bristles and tinted with acrylics.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 11:17 am by Broadoak

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This photograph shows the differences of the radiators on the GP40-2 nearest camera and the GP40X with the flared ones.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 11:28 am by Broadoak

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A Conrail B23 - 7, here are a couple more photos of the locomotive working at Colonel‘s Crossing.


The model is a visitor on my layout, it actually belongs to Andy the guy who has taken the photographs.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 11:46 am by Broadoak

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Here we have a Rock Island covered hopper at the Farmer’s Coop. The roadway serving as the other team track at Colonel’s Crossing. The road surface is three layers of card glued down and allowed to dry thoroughly. It was then painted with several coats of emulsion paint tinted with drawing ink and water colour paints giving it a flat slightly textured finish. A black fine line pen is used to represent the joins and cracks in the concrete.



One of the industries served by CC is drilling mud which arrives by truck and is then loaded into box cars. The important thing with a team track on a model is it is so versatile and needn’t take up too much room.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 11:48 am by Broadoak

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An SP SW1500 in as new condition so it is obviously brand new, sits next to the Farmer’s Coop and team track at Colonel’s Crossing. The truck is picking up some fertiliser and seeds for a local farmer.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 12:06 pm by Broadoak

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A faded bankruptcy blue RI covered hopper sits on the team track at Colonel’s Crossing. The Pennsy steel gondola next to it has a load of agricultural limestone waiting to be collected by local farmers to spread on their land to improve the soil quality.



The CAT loader is for the pulp wood flats.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 12:07 pm by Broadoak

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The rock formation hides a sharp curve behind it. It is made of polystyrene blocks roughly cut to shape then covered with old pieces of cloth soaked in poly filler. When this was dry more poly filler was added with a spatula and then carved when dry. The whole was then painted with several washes of emulsion paint and acrylics getting darker with each wash. When dry it was lightly flicked over with a dry brush. Then it was covered with ground cover and some cheap trees that had been covered in pva then dipped into various coloured flocks were added. The structure in front of the ore car is a disused ore loader made from odds and ends from the scrap box.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 01:54 pm by Broadoak

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A few of the details at the loco re-fuelling and sanding facilities at CC. They are very minimal really. A small open engine house, out of shot to the left. A scratch built sand drying house and an inspection pit between the tracks in the foreground. Tools on work benches and an EMD prime mover under the blue tarpaulin. (Kitchen towel soaked in pva then painted when dry, finally a flick over with a dry brush) The grounded reefer is a tool and spares store.


It is assumed that freight cars are repaired here as well. This gives an excellent excuse for all sorts of cars to turn up on the layout from time to time.


This time we see a Rock Island SW1500 idling sitting over the inspection pit.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 01:55 pm by Broadoak

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A view photographed from the flat roof on top of the flour mill at Benson showing the two UP geeps coming out of the flour mill head shunt track. Between the house next to the crossing and the large grain mill can be seen a modified Ratio provender goods store. It now has much shorter legs and is painted to blend in with the grain mill. The back scene is painted with acrylics and has pen and wash drawings of suitable structures glued to it.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 01:37 pm by Broadoak

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Here we see the UP GP40-2 about to roll over Colonel’s creek before coupling onto a westbound freight. The bridge sides are hardboard covered with a thin layer of poly filler, scribed and then painted with water colours.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:09 pm by Broadoak

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Rock Island U33B rolls over the grade crossing at Benson. These were the heaviest four axle switchers the Rock ever owned and were intended for pool service with the UP at North Platte. I bought this model second hand in very damaged and tatty condition and with a wide fly wheel less motor. I cleaned it up straightened the hand rails and added more details and then weathered it. I lastly fitted a conventional modern Athearn motor and it has performed perfectly ever since.


Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:13 pm by Broadoak

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No 286 shows off its profile having spotted some cars in the flour mill head shunt. The tall cylindrical structure at the back seen behind the telegraph pole is a vertical tank store for fertiliser at RE Lee farm supplies. Another concoction from the spares box, and an excuse to spot a tank car from time to time. It is another model that takes up very little room if you are a bit pushed for space.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:14 pm by Broadoak

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Peter, I came accidentally across this thread and didn't stop reading until I had seen all the 7 pages. Your layout really catches the spirit of "every day's work" at a railroad, nothing spectacular, but full of operational possibilities, filled with the right details and superb photographed.

Michael

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Thank you Michael for your kind comments. I have found as I’ve got older I enjoy the actual operation far more. It’s easier on the eyes as well.



A picture of the Atlas Lumber yard kit. It has merely had a few figures strategically placed and loads more timber added to the racks. It is a mix of balsa wood and thin card tinted to look like freshly cut lumber, mostly sourced locally.


Behind the building itself they make roof trusses and customised window frames that are shipped out in boxcars. It is assumed that locally sourced lumber is brought in by truck to make these items.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:24 pm by Broadoak

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A photograph showing Andy’s Boston & Maine U-Boat on a visit in the head shunt at Colonel’s Crossing. It is another one of his all singing and dancing DCC equipped locos.


This side view is taken looking from the back of the layout towards the front.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:26 pm by Broadoak

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A couple of pictures of an SW1500 no 1318 wearing the UP livery with Mopac lettering which it wore for a short time. The model is an early Athearn that has a fully detailed cab and was made by the late Mike Scott. I bought it from him some years ago at an NMRA meet. The switcher is seen working the yard at Colonel’s Crossing having brought in a train from Hope AR. I read somewhere these locomotives could be very hot to work in during the Summer due to the large area of glass, a bit like a greenhouse I should think!

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:28 pm by Broadoak

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This beautiful Green Mountain Alco RS1 is another of Andy’s models this one is not DCC fitted. He bought it when on a visit to the States. I think the livery suits it very well. She runs as well as she looks. In the first picture she is seen in the yard at Benson, the scenery could be anywhere really. The second shot shows her just leaving the flour mill head shunt behind the service station. Then in the third picture she is busy making up a train of pulp wood cars at east yard in Benson.



 

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:36 pm by Broadoak

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A picture taken of an Ashsley Drew & Northern CF7 picking up a load of pulp wood flats from Benson east yard and then departing. She is now dirtier than in some earlier pictures she had taken. I often do this, a little work staining at first then after a while I add a little more weathering. It looks more natural that way I think.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:40 pm by Broadoak

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Here we see the AD&N no 1513 at the back of the Trisco Flour mill, a view you can’t normally see as it is taken from the back of the layout with the camera on the track.I must admit I rather like the CF7 and so did many real short lines. I was told that in reality that they were not very popular with their crews being draughty and uncomfortable. That is the thing with a model we are able to run what ever suits us and not worry about practicalities.

Last edited on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 04:41 pm by Broadoak

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A few more of Andy’s photos taken on one of his visits.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 10:00 am by Broadoak

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The yellow as yet undecorated 44 tonner at Colonel’s Crossing.




The other two are of an EMDGP38-2 and caboose lettered for my fictitious short line but owned by Andy. I must admit the caboose lives on my layout permanently.


The geep is about to enter the tunnel at Colonel’s Crossing which in the days when the layout was exhibited hid the fiddle yard. The second picture shows her working Benson west yard.

I regret these photographs have been lost.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 03:48 pm by Broadoak

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I'm not a fan of modern diesels,  but the weathering on the D&H unit certainly looks realistic.


Herb  :old dude:

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I’m glad you approve of the weathering if not the subject matter Herb.





I am afraid I don’t own any steam locomotives just the ordinary diesels. When I started modelling American practice some twenty years ago now, I couldn’t afford brass, so it was diesels for me. That said the very modern stuff does little for me I much prefer the first and second generation diesels.

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Peter,

This is my first look at your layout....Awesome.

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Many thanks for your kind words Dwyane. I am especially pleased that a non American has produced a layout that an American fellow modeller approves of.



I&W GP38-2 rolling across the grade crossing at Colonels Crossing.



A pair of I&W geeps emerging from the tunnel at Colonel’s Crossing.



Working the east yard at Benson.

I regret these photographs have been lost.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 10:12 am by Broadoak

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Finally a couple of shots of the geeps laying over at Benson east yard.
I regret these photographs have been lost.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 10:09 am by Broadoak

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These photographs were taken many years ago before I re-painted the back scene to look more like lush forest covered hills.



Another of Andy’s locos on a visit, a Boston and Maine Geep working in the Benson east yard making up a pulp wood train.



The 60 ton GEC loco was a conversion given to me on my 53 rd birthday by my old friend Bill Gates. No not that one, this is the real Bill Gates from Southport Lancashire of the Alameda and now Modesto fame. Two superb models made and exhibited by Bill, who sadly is not active at the moment following a serious illness.


I think Andy doctored the flashing roof top beacon in Photo Shop.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 10:21 am by Broadoak

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Bill also gave me the Alco on my 57 th birthday when he came to stay for a weekend. A superb runner and one of the best switchers you can get I think.



Another view of the 60 tonner, that in reality is a cut and shut 44 tonner that Bill made for the Talbot Valley Railroad. It has a back woods look that I rather like I must admit.


It is used mainly for MOW tasks nowadays.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 10:42 am by Broadoak

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The next shot is without a locomotive but a picture I like, as it seems to have a sort of atmosphere about it somehow. A close up showing the bodged provender store kit. The RI covered hopper is a rather crude early Bachmann model that I’ve had for years and weathered carefully to make it look more presentable.



An atmospheric shot of a Great Western Malting Co covered hopper catching the last of the evening sun. She is waiting to be loaded at the Continental Grain Mill’s elevator at Benson.

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 09:25 am by Broadoak

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A few pictures taken recently with my new camera.


The first three show a bog standard GP7 with a high hood and train heating equipment. The fiction is that she is used for diner trains in the holiday season. Though to be honest I’ve never seen one on the layout.




She spends most of her time doing straight road jobs and her regular crew like to keep her clean. She is seen here working in the yard at Benson. The model is actually a blue box Athearn that has been re-painted and detailed.

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 09:29 am by Broadoak

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The next group of pictures feature a very strange beast indeed. The prototype exists only in my imagination. It is a much modified blue box Athearn GP7 fitted with an SW7 switcher cab and a much lowered short hood. It is supposed to improve visibility for the crew when switching. It is unlettered and un weathered at the moment and is another job on my to do list.



The fiction is it was modified in the I&W own workshops and is now to GP18 specifications. The locomotive is seen working at both Benson and Colonel’s Crossing.



I got the idea from Conrail who did a similar thing to some of their Alco road switchers.

The photographs no longer exist and the model itself is now in the USA.

Last edited on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 10:46 am by Broadoak

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Actually I have two more chop nosed geeps on my roster both based on blue box Athearns. The orange coloured no 6 was my first attempt at any sort of modification in fact. It was loosely based on a picture of a GP9 on the D&I railroad in South Dakota that I found in the 4th edition of “American Shortline Railway Guide”.




The first picture taken some ten years ago shows no 6 pushing a covered hopper into the Benson east yard team track. Note the awful deciduous trees now gone, just leaving their stumps. Also the green coloured elevator has been moved to a new location at Colonel’s Crossing. In the second picture the geep is seen spotting a car at the team track.

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 09:32 am by Broadoak

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The TVRR chop nosed geep no 8, I did some years ago as well. This isn’t based on anything really. It is another blue box Athearn concoction with a GE cab, chopped nose and Paducah style air filter yolk. Since the photos were taken some six years ago there has been a change and it now rides on GE trucks. It is assumed both locomotives were re-built in the I&W workshops at Rosston. This incidentally only exists in my imagination. I’d never get planning permission from the household authorities to build it! She is seen in the first picture pushing a Rock Island covered hopper at Benson. Then in the second she is pulling an SP covered hopper out of the yard at Colonel’s Crossing.

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 09:34 am by Broadoak

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I remember seeing Colonels Crossing in rhe Continental Modeller years ago. Along with 'Armadillo Flats' (I think it was called) also featured in CM years ago it is what inspired me o cross to the 'Dark Side' and take up American HO. much to the dismay of my NE modelling OO and Protofour club colleagues.

Good to see it in it's setting as part of a full layout.

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You have an excellent memory Captain, Colonel’s Crossing was the layout of the month in CM in October 1992. The layout was exhibited at the NMRA convention at Stafford that year.


I must admit I’ve never had any regrets about going over to the dark side. In fact quite the opposite, I couldn’t have a freelance short line if I modelled British practice.

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These rather poor quality photographs of the other grain loading auger may be of interest to anyone wanting a small unloading facility. Like the other one it is generic rather than a specific prototype and made from odds and ends in the scrap box.



Whilst taking the pictures I got in a few shots of an I&W GP7 that is used on the leasing fleet, hence the train heating equipment. It also gives some idea of the size of the little grain loading auger.

I very much regret all the photos have been lost and as this part of the layout no longer exists cannot be re-taken.



 

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 09:35 am by Broadoak

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I had a wander round Colonel’s Crossing the other evening and found a little I&W EMD end cab switcher shoving a cut of empty ore cars through the loader.


Taking advantage of the available light I took a picture of it with my wife’s compact camera.


Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 09:42 am by Broadoak

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I am planning an exhibition layout, 4ft length boards by 30" wide. 24 ft length running back to a storage yard. It's going to be set in a small town built round a grain elevator and food processing plant somewhere on the border between Kansas and Missouri. I am tempted to make it part of an independant  'short line' that runs between two BNSF routes. That will let me model some BNSF trains that have 'running rights' and also any loco that takes my fancy that would otherwise be too old for present day BNSF.

I still take Colonels Crossing as my original inspiration though, good to see it's still in business :)

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I am pleased and flattered that CC has given you inspiration.:bg:


I like the sound of your planned layout, it all sounds very interesting. I like the sound of the independent short line, it will give you more operating scope.


Where in the UK do you live? If it is anywhere near Northamptonshire you are most welcome to visit and have a drive.

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Unfortunately I am in North Yorkshire but if I am ever down your way I would certainly kine to come and have a go. :)

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On a rather cloudy and dull morning at Benson East yard I found a Cotton Belt GP60 idling in the lead to the cement loading facility. I managed to get a few more shots of it making up a train to take to the SP main later that day. This is another Athearn blue box model that I have super detailed. Originally it came with its own sound system, it growled when going backwards. Now having done a bit more work and got a few more hours on the clock it runs quietly and sweetly.










Last edited on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 11:49 am by Broadoak

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Here we see I&W no 4 an EMD SW1 pushing a tank car with a load of corn syrup near the Continental Grain Elevator at Benson. It is a very early Walther’s model that they released before the model was ready I think. It originally had the rear truck driven by a piece of clear plastic tube, which was useless. I removed the tube so she now only has one truck powered. It runs very well but is not very powerful. Despite all that I still like it and think it’s an attractive looking locomotive.







Last edited on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 11:50 am by Broadoak

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I can relate to "it came with its own sound system" :)

Now that I've got hearing aids in both ears, I might have to do some work in that regard myself!

Then again, might be a good place to reuse the dead hearing aid batteries--L:



Herb  :old dude:

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I take any new rolling stock up to the club layout and leave it running round and round the test track for a few nights, it beds everything in lovely. That's one thing you can't do on an 'end to end'

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A couple of pictures of the TVRR 70 tonner working at the Arkansas Feed Company siding. The RI covered hopper is loaded with chicken feed which will be delivered directly by rail. Chickens are big business round here.



The model is a re-lettered Bachmann Spectrum with two powered trucks.



 

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The Talbot Valley no 9 an RS1 is seen kicking cars round the yard at Benson.







The crew and their SSW GP60 having had a short break head out of the Flour mill lead and off to Colonel’s Crossing to pick up a train of empty box cars. Passing the idling RS1 in the loop at Benson on its way.



That brings things up to date now. Andy is due up later this week and we will probably have another photo session. If we do I will post any new pictures in due course.



I hope you have enjoyed the tour.

Last edited on Sun Nov 14th, 2010 03:07 pm by Broadoak

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My old friend Andy K came up last week for a day of playing trains and taking photographs.

This selection shows my I&W Alco S2 an ex DRGW switcher which is one of my oldest locos. She is seen working in the yard at Benson and then later that day in the yard at Colonel‘s Crossing.







I regret these photos no longer exist.

Last edited on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 11:52 am by Broadoak

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One of my all time favourite locomotives the GM SD7 Cadillac, it’s not state of the art I know but a twenty odd year old blue box Athearn. It was purchased with working the ore trains in mind in the days when the layout was exhibited. It has always run very well if a little noisily and was like this when bought. Now despite some fifty odd exhibitions and many hours of work at home it still growls in a most realistic fashion.



I regret these photos no longer exist.

Last edited on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 11:53 am by Broadoak

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A few pictures of my friend Andy’s D&H Alco, a DCC fitted model.


She is seen working the yard at Colonel’s Crossing.










I regret none of these photos exist now.

Last edited on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 11:54 am by Broadoak

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A few more pictures of the D&H Alco RS-36 working around Colonel’s Crossing.



















I regret none of these photos now exist.

Last edited on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 11:55 am by Broadoak

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This is one of my Alcos, a Century 420, it’s a Lima model that has been re-motored with a Mashima can motor. In its original form despite having a five pole motor and twin flywheels it ran appallingly, more like a Triang X03, so that re-motoring was a must. She is seen working in the yard at Benson outside the continental grain company elevator, I always think these look rather elegant.

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This selection of pictures features the older of my Rock Island SW1500 switchers in the bankruptcy blue livery seen working in the yard at Colonel‘s Crossing. The actual locomotive no 947 was a slug mother and worked at Armourdale yard.



I use mine for transfer freights from the RI interchange which exists only in my imagination. The model itself is an early blue box Athearn with added details.

I very much regret these photos no longer exist, nor does the layout so they cannot be replicated.

Last edited on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 11:45 am by Broadoak

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More like what a d-cell  should look like! Now if it was just a Baldwin-----:)

You have an impressive fleet, and the paint and weathering is top notch.

Thanks for sharing all the pictures with us.

Herb

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You mention Baldwins Herb, I only have one on my roster so here are a few pictures of it. All taken of her working the west yard at Benson. It is a Southern Pacific S12 that was modified to work 24 hours a day in the yards in San Fransisco. In reality they were traded in I think but I assume one was kept and used in Arkansas. I think its regular crew are fond of it and keep it clean and tidy. The model is a much modified Athearn with a Mashima can motor. I must say I like it as it makes a change from my mainly EMD and Alco switchers.








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I have a soft spot in my head for Baldwins, as they were made about 15 miles from where I live. My favorite Baldwin is the VO1000.


Herb  :old dude:

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I have been sorting through my photograph files and have come across a few that have not been seen before. They are in two sections the first group were all taken at Colonel’s Crossing. As things have quiet on the picture posting front I thought you might like to see these.



Part of the original loading bay at the side of the bauxite ore loading plant which is no longer used and is now derelict. It is made from odds and ends in scrap box.



A view showing the sand drying hut and inspection pit at the engine house. The hut was scratch built using a plan in Model Railroader magazine of a BN prototype.

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Love the Decay in the old loading plant.

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I’m glad you approve Captain










A selection of shots showing KAP Lumber’s yard next to the grade crossing. They are forestry and agricultural contractors, hence the variety of tractors in the yard.



The office building is a kit of a building site office, but I can’t remember what make it is. It is a depository for all sorts of junk as like most farmers they never seem to throw anything away.

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Andy’s Green Mountain Alco RS1 working the yard at Colonel’s Crossing.

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Rock Island covered hopper at The Farmer’s Co-op. The little red pick up is an inexpensive Model power die cast model.

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I just got caught up on this thread. A very impressive layout you've got Peter! I also like your collection of motive power, all very nicely finished. I'm also a big fan of the SD7, (It's the only N scale engine I have after selling off the rest of my small scale stuff).

Looking forward to further updates!


-Cody

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Cody thank you for your kind comments.


The last selection of photographs are all of the Benson end of the layout.



The service station behind the store with a tow truck and the John Deere tractor receiving attention. The lead track to the flour mill runs behind the corrugated iron fence.

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The driver of the white car has chosen to ignore the No Parking sign outside the Medusas Cement Co’s office.

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A Rock Island boxcar being loaded with melons at the Talbot Valley Farmer’s Co-op.

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A couple of roster shots of a UP and a Cotton Belt boxcar spotted in the yard.

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A Rock Island SW 9 arrives with a small train early one morning.



Later that same morning a Mopac end cab switcher shoves cars around the yard while making up a train.

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A modified Athearn end cab switcher still wearing the attractive Great Northern livery is seen working a cut of pulp wood racks in the east yard.

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A BN SW1500 with a short pulp wood train is seen in the loop at Benson West yard.

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A visiting CF7 is seen tied up for the night in the east yard. She will depart for Hodge LA at first light with a train of pulp wood racks.

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Looking good as usual!

The BN switcher is a nice one, I've never had any BN green in my roster but I've always liked them.

-Cody

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Thanks for showin all the photos Peter! Your attention to detail is a joy to wander through.

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Thank you for your kind words Russell, they are much appreciated.




It is nice to think that the layout is acceptable to folks in the States.

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What the #&&%@~>>% do you mean acceptable?

Your modeling, your paint jobs, and your photography are first rate


Herb  :old dude:

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Thanks for the kind words Herb.





What I meant was I have never been to the States so my impression of what the railroads are like come from reading books, looking videos and DVD’s and watching television. Most of my research was done 20 years ago before the advent of computers. I must admit I enjoyed finding out all I could as much fun as the actual modelling.



Now old age is creeping up on me and I enjoy operating as much as anything.

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I bought a couple of second hand freight cars the other week at a show I was exhibiting at, an SP bulkhead flatcar and an IC box car. They were made up and fitted with KD’s. I thought they looked a bit too new and shiny so I weathered them both using simple acrylic washes. I then took a few photos of an operating session featuring these 2 new additions to my freight car fleet.


The locomotive featured is an old blue box Athearn that I have customised for my fictitious short line the Talbot Valley Railroad.















 

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I have been playing with the layout using a pair of end cab switchers for a change. As usual the locos featured are all Athearn blue box jobs.




The assumption being that the company like to give locomotives that spend much of their working lives at slow speeds in the yard, a chance to stretch their legs on a run now and again.



.

The two switchers arrive with a tank car of diesel fuel and an empty pulp wood car.





They leave the pulp wood car in the loop and run round their train. The orange low nose geep in the background will work an ore train later in the day. The crew are in a local diner having a meal break.













The two switchers spot the pulp wood car at the team track where it will be loaded directly from a truck.

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I was having a clearout in the railway room the other week when I came across a file of articles from The Rock Island Technical Society. I was a member of the society in the early 1990’s at the time I was exhibiting Colonel’s Crossing. It was a report of an experiment carried out by the Rock in March 1978 which made interesting reading.

A typical freight car in 1978 averaged 1.134 loads per month, covered hoppers a little more at 1.25. The experiment the Rock carried out gave a figure of 25 loads per month, a significant improvement.

The scheme that the Rock tried out tested the feasibility of operating a train capable of competing directly with trucks in the short distance grain hauling market.

The train operated for three weeks out of Muscatine Iowa. On each of its daily runs it delivered empty covered hoppers to grain elevators in Keota and Ainsworth. It waited at each elevator until the cars were loaded and then returned the loads to Muscatine for spotting at the Grain Processing Corporation plant (a round trip of 104 miles).

Originally it was intended that each train would consist of ten 100 ton covered hoppers but as the Rock wanted to use existing equipment only found that 100 ton covered hoppers weren’t always available, so on occasion used 60 or 80 ton versions instead. Power was a GP7 or GP9 and as part of the route was on a poorly maintained branch line speeds were as low as 5mph in places. The crew consisted of three men, an engineer, conductor and brakeman and the whole days work had to be completed in 12 hours.

The experiment was not repeated due to various complicated reasons as at that time the Rock Island was facing bankruptcy.

This sort of simple operation could make the basis for a layout as all that is needed is a switcher and two or three of covered hoppers, all named for the same road.

I have tested a version of the Rock Mini Train on my layout at home. My version uses SW1500 switchers which run on flexi coil trucks so are fine for this sort of road job.


RI SW1500 no 947 is seen passing KAP lumber’s yard as it arrives at Colonel’s Crossing with a train of empty covered hoppers.



The train pulls into the run round loop and the SW1500 power uncouples.



One empty car is spotted at William Archer’s Elevator to be loaded grain. The other is spotted at the Farmer’s Co-op Elevator.

The crew of the loco take a break in the local diner while the cars are being loaded.



When both cars are loaded the SW1500 makes up a small train and heads for the Grain processing plant ( Flour Mill ) at Benson.



The train is seen arriving in the west yard at Benson.



The full hoppers are spotted at Flour Mill to be unloaded.

The Rock was not the only road to try out a short haul and short train experiments. For example The Illinois Central RR tried the idea in both the 1960’s and1980’s. The Reading RR had tried the concept under the name of “Beeliner” service in the 1960’s. Conrail also instituted 16 mile haul with a unit coal train in the 1990’s.

Peter M

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Having thoroughly enjoyed running and photographing my version of the Rock’s experimental short haul train.

I thought I would do a bit more “what if “ modelling starting with, what if the Rock had tried out the scheme at an earlier time. So it is repeated the operations but using different locomotives and stock.



RI SW1500 switcher is seen emerging from the tunnel mouth and rolling past the engine house at Colonel’s Crossing with a train of empty covered hoppers.



The empty grain cars are spotted at Archer’s elevator and the crew take a break at the local diner while the loading takes place.



The train is now seen in the head shunt for the flour mill at Benson. The cars will be left there to be unloaded, and for the crew the end of their working day.

Peter M

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Having tried an earlier period I thought why not try the scheme assuming other roads had used a similar method starting with the Santa Fe.



I don’t have any SF yard switchers so the power for this unit train is a GP 50 here seen loading grain at the Continental Grain Co’s elevator at Benson. The locomotive is a detailed blue box Athearn that is well over twenty years old. It has performed faultlessly at well over 50 exhibitions and is used regularly at home were it still runs as sweetly as it ever did.



With my Union Pacific version we are back with a yard switcher but one that is running on flexi coil trucks so is quite happy at the higher speeds needed on a road job. This locomotive is wearing a livery it only wore for a short time when the UP first took over Missouri Pacific. It was soon re-painted with UP lettering and looked like the rest of their large fleet of yard switchers.

The model is another super detailed blue box Athearn.



With its air horns blaring SP SW1500 rolls over the grade crossing with a train of covered hoppers full of grain. The Sp train is heading for the Flour mill at Benson.



The SP train is next seen passing the engine house and repair facility at Colonel’s Crossing on its way to the flour mill at Benson.

Peter M

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Interesting concept--both from the prototype and the modeling standpoint!

Definitely something to mull over. Any way to condense the problems that caused it to fail on the Rock?


Herb 

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I have posted the reasons for the demise of Colonel’s Crossing in a post about layout heights in the Diorama Section.



These two pictures show what the layout looks like now that CC is no more.







Peter M

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I have now extended the Benson baseboard and laid the track. It has been thoroughly tested for good running and switching moves tested out. It was then painted and ballasted.



I have spent some time trying the structures in different places but now I think they look about right. I am trying to get a spacious feel that seems typical of North American yards.



This how it looks at the moment with the structures roughly in place.



More testing with regard to the operating potential needs to be done.





A few pictures to illustrate progress so far on the Benson extension.


Note: the green areas are simply acrylic paint to indicate areas to be covered with a scenic dressing.









Peter M

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My old friend Andy Knott took a few photos on his most recent visit of his UP big road switcher mu‘d up with my GP40x. It’s the model he won last year in the raffle at the Trent Valley North American show. This is only the second time it has been out of its box. It is a superb model but I suspect like most modern models rather delicate. I’m not sure how well it would stand up to the rigours of exhibiting.

It brought in a mixed train which an elderly Alco S2 spotted at various destinations in the yard.







Peter M

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The power consists second locomotive is an EMD GP40X, they have left the train in the yard while the crew take a break.



The real work of spotting the cars in the train is being done by this Alco S2, one belonging to the fictional short line Talbot Valley Railroad.

Peter M

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A couple of shots showing Consolidated Elevators structure in the new yard at Benson East and pulp wood loading at the team track.

I am still testing the positions of the structures when I’m happy they will be let into the yard surface.

Peter M

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Some more photos of a test session checking out some switching moves.



I am happy with the track formation now it makes for some interesting switching moves.



There is still much fine detailing work to do of course.





Risking life and limb standing in the four foot as I&W #1 rolls into Benson with a train of empty pulp wood flats.



A view looking towards the new extension.





The short train passes the east yard as it heads into the Benson West yard throat.



Peter M

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As usual, Peter---very nice work and photography !!

Looks like quite a few hours switching pleasure is ahead for you.


Herb 

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Thanks Herb




Passing the original Midas Cement Company buildings and plant on the left of the picture.





#1 is seen shoving the cut of empty pulpwood cars into the team track siding.



When the cars are spotted they will be loaded directly from trucks who have brought in the lumber from a local forest.



 



Peter M

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Man, I love those old Alcos. While I am a steam nut, I can appreciate the old dismals and even own one myself. Great photos here. Peter, why not post some operations in the operations forum? You seem to be having lots of fun, keep on!

Woodie

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Thanks Woodie, I will do as you suggest and post some on the operations forum.





The I&W end cab switcher collects an empty box car from Bantex Box Company premises. The car was used to bring in ready cut lumber used in the manufacture of custom made wooden boxes.




The little loco then couples up to the empty Welch Grain covered hopper that has


discharged its load of wheat at the Trisco Flour Mill.





#1 then makes up its small train in the loop, does an air test for the brakes and is then ready to depart for the SP interchange tracks.





Sets off out of town past the yardmaster’s grounded caboose for the interchange. ( fiddle yard )



Peter M

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Haven't been through here in a while. lots of pics to look at. i did notice right away those road diesels look huge on your layout. :)

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Yes you are right TGB they do look too large. The GP40-2 is mine but the six axle power belongs to my old buddy Andy Knott and was on a visit. Also of course it's way too modern for me, I'm a first generation fan.

Peter M

Last edited on Mon Sep 17th, 2012 12:12 pm by Broadoak

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I posted a link to trainboard.com. A modeller there is planning a slightly larger shelf style switching layout, I thought your layout might be a good resource for him.

http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?144528-New-MoPac-layout-shelf-layout-end-to-end/page8

Last edited on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 04:23 pm by Traingeekboy

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I am afraid I am going to boast now.








An article I wrote some time ago has now been published in the May issue of The Continental Modeller as the Plan of The Month.







One of the excellent photographs taken by my old buddy Andy Knott has made the front cover.







I must admit Andrew Burnham the editor of CM has done an excellent job, I am really pleased with it.




It is rather timely in that Colonel’s Crossing is no more having been dismantled some time ago. However the Benson part of the layout still exists and has in fact been extended.







Peter M




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Congratulations Peter!


Herb

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Many thanks Herb.


Peter M

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Great job Peter !

Just took 'the tour' !

Cheers

Si.

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My old buddy Andy Knott came up the other day to fix my ailing computer, as usual he brought a few locomotives with him for me to weather while he worked on the PC.
We found a photo of the GBW Alco RS-27 loco and I tried to replicate the weathering as closely as I could. Andy took some photos of it running on my Benson layout.
Having photographed the loco he retouched the picture adding telephone wires and particulate emmisions, smoke to you and I.



Peter M

Last edited on Sat Jun 8th, 2013 07:12 pm by Broadoak

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A few more pictures taken on Andy’s last visit.

The RS27 he bought second hand and already had some rather poor weathering done to it. I have tried to improve with a few thin washes and a little work with a dry brush. Like all his models it is all singing and dancing, with lights and sounds.



An un-retouched picture of the GBW Alco RS27 rolling over the grade crossing in Benson west yard.


Another view of the GBW Alco showing the other side of the loco.


316 passing the general store, the lights have been re-touched.


316 in the east yard by the weigh bridge office.

Peter M

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Arkansas Feed Co a picture taken on a Sunday morning with no activity at all.


A D&H Alco# 404 on a track of the fiddle yard.


D&H Alco #5023 on the pulp wood loading track, the man on the front porch seems to rolling a cigarette.

Peter M

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Volvo pulpwood loader in the east yard.


View of the two track fiddle yard which just looks like part of the yard.

I’m rather pleased with this as it works well but is unobtrusive. The smaller original Benson was L shaped and had a fiddle yard hidden behind a scenic break. It looked fine but was not very practical for making up trains.

Peter M

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I was having a tidy up in the railway room and I came across these black and white photographs taken of the Rock Island taken in the 1950's.








Peter M

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It's a long time since I posted anything so I thought a few pictures using my new camera, just trying out its capabilities might be of interest. I'm very pleased with it so far given its modest cost, it was on offer at half price.

The photos show an EMD SW1500 wearing Missouri Pacific livery which it carried for a short while when the UP took over Missouri Pacific. The loco is seen pushing cars around Benson West yard one morning.








A St Louis South Western, better known as the Cotton Belt GP60 is seen lurking in the yard at Benson. These powerful four axle road switchers were used mainly on high speed piggy back trailer service trains.


The brakeman is seen getting train orders from the yardmaster.

Peter M

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Nice photos Peter. Great work and good to see more anytime. These last photos should interest my buddies Mopman and Dave C...Mop is Mopac (what will he think about the SW painted in UP colors??) and Dave is Cotton Belt. Your new camera is doing great, certainly does the job but then it has great modeling to document.

Woodie

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Thanks Woodie, you are too kind.

Peter M

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:glad::moose::moose::moose::moose::old dude:

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My old buddy Andy Knott came up a few weeks ago and brought with him his latest acquisitions. He took a few photos of them working in the yard at Benson.
They are all Atlas models with lights and sound.






Peter M

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I must apologise the B&A locomotives are simple DC only. Andy bought them in the States when visiting some years ago. They are Atlas models so I did get one thing right. Put it down to a senior moment.

Peter M

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Hi Peter

Top notch as usual !

Esp. love the low-angles, with your super-real concrete-seams !

Nice pickup !

All the best.

Cheers

Si.

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It has been a while since I last posted any pictures so here are some recent ones I have taken of a few operating sessions.

Interstate & Western High hood GP7 #7 is seen arriving at Benson and passing Arkansas Feeds mill with a Hubinger black tank car. She spots the car in the east yard, then makes her way to the Trisco Flour Mill to pick up some loaded box cars.
An Athearn blue box model with a few added details.

Not the prettiest locomotive maybe, but I find them very attractive in a no nonsense workman like way.







Peter M

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The Santa Fe GP50 #3814 I won in an NMRA raffle and although it is not a road I had any particular interest in, I must admit it grew on me. So I bought some detailing parts to finish it off. To justify its appearances on the layout it is assumed it was working off horsepower hours.
The three shots show her with an incoming grain train at Benson.





Peter M

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The GP38-2 #2375 in Kodachrome colours I bought second hand and although rather bright I like it.
Because so many locomotives were painted in the colours of a merger that never happened someone suggested SPSF meant “shouldn't paint so fast”.
Here we see her working in the west yard at Benson.







Peter M

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It is probably not generally known but the Rock Island Railroad virtually invented the road switcher with the Alco RS1. It is a concept that today dominates the industry.
It began simply enough with a request to Alco for a 1000 hp switcher on a lengthened frame with road trucks and room for a short hood behind the cab. The engine end being considered the front, as per switcher practice.
The first unit called an RS1 for road/switch 1, was delivered in March 1941, followed before the outbreak of war (for America) by three more.
The original four were requisitioned by the War Department for urgent use overseas.
My version is lettered for the Talbot Valley Rail Road and is an Atlas model.

She is seen shuffling cars around the yards at Benson.








Peter M

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great looking loco's, Peter :2t:

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Thanks Dwyane, Alco locos are very popular over here.

Regards Peter M

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The next locomotive featured is a bit like Marmite I think, you either love it or hate it.
So we have what is not the most attractive locomotive it must be said wearing one of the prettiest colour schemes.
The BL2 was a strange beast and when the Rock originally purchased them they were without steam generators. These were installed and the locos used in Chicago suburban service until 1953 when sufficient GP7's were available to take that over.
In the condition that the model is in, without the boiler installation they worked in the Cedar Rapids division on freight.
The BL stood for branch line and due to the lightly built frames could not be used in lash ups.
I must admit I find them rather attractive but I'm not sure why really.

The model an early Life Like example was always popular in my exhibition days in the early 1990's because people had heard of the Rock Island Line.

Here is a selection of pictures RI BL2 #429 shuffling cars around Benson.










It is odd but after taking the photos this loco has started making ominous clonking sounds which apparently is caused by the gear train breaking up. I'm told this model has a reputation for suffering with this fault, I suppose I'm lucky the problem has only just arisen.
I have solved it by replacing the trucks with some Athearn ones I had in stock, that are practically identical.
It now runs better than it has ever before.

Peter M

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A selection of pictures showing a Life like Rock Island SW9 #775 and the BL2 #429 making a welcome return to Benson.
The original Life Like trucks fitted the Athearn side frames perfectly as I suspected they might.

Life Like really did copy an awful lot from Athearn it would seem.














Peter M

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Southern Pacific #3897 is an EMD SD7. These handsome locomotives are known by the crews as Cadillacs because they are so comfortable. She was used on the exhibition layout to haul ore trains, nowadays she is used on general transfer work.
The model is an Athearn blue box model with an ocver scale width hood and growls most realistically, it always has from new. Despite being rather noisy she still runs smoothly and slowly.
I must admit I rather like the profile of these machines and find them most attractive.








Peter M

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SP SD45 #8803 is another locomotive that could be found on ore trains on Colonel's Crossing in its exhibition days. Now she is used to transfer freight trains from The I&W to the southern Pacific main line. These massive machines were fitted with a 20 cylinder diesel engine.
The model is another Athearn blue box model with a few added details and weathered to look well used.












Peter M

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Really nice detailing, those older Athearn locos are still the best! Thanks for keeping us informed and we can always use more photos.

Woodie

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Thanks Woody, I have some more pictures in the pipeline.
I like the old Blue box Athearns, much more robust than the current stuff, less expensive too.

Happy New Year All

Regards Peter M

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A Great Northern EMD GP30 #3016 still wearing a coat of Omaha orange and Pullman green, and looking very pretty to my eye arrives at Benson with a small train. I know the GP30 shape is not attractive to all but I rather like their Humpty Dumpty appearance. On March 2 1970 GN became part of the Burlington Northern the result of a merger with Burlington, Northern Pacific, and Spokane, Portland and Seattle. Many locomotives still carried the old livery until they went into the shops later and emerged wearing a coat of Cascade green and black.










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#3016 spots the empty pulpwood flats in the loop and uncouples the GM&O covered hopper which it propels to the Farmers Co-op elevator in the east yard. It removes an empty Cotton Belt hopper and waits in the yard for the yard goat an GN SW7 #145 to pick up the empty flats and propel them to the pulpwood loading track.
While the flats are being loaded the GP30 runs to the west yard and collects an empty Burlington covered hopper from the Continental Grain Elevator.

Peter M

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When the flats are loaded the SW7 switcher pulls the cut back into the main loop and uncouples. The GP30 backs onto the pulpwood cars with the two outbound covered hoppers and departs for Hope.

Peter M

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Here is an example of a BN SW1500 #307 wearing the cascade green and black, probably more practical but not so attractive as the old GN colours. She is seen arriving at Benson with a minimal train in tow.
An Athearn blue box job with added details and work stained.







Peter M

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Great photos, Peter!! :2t:

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Many thanks Dwyane, I'm glad you like them.


Peter M

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I have drawn a very rough track plan of Benson as it is now.


Peter M

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Just caught up on the latest pix Peter...

...the big SP is a MONSTER ! ... Nice !

Great to see your new trackplan...

...Can figure out some of the switching moves better.

Fab close-ups !

Cheers.

Si.

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A few shots of an I&W ex. DRGW Alco S2 end cab switcher in the yard at Benson.

Peter M

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good looking switcher  :2t:

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Yes Dwyane, not very well detailed by today's standards but a superb performer. One of the best I think, plus of course it's an Alco.

Peter M

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By way of a change I have taken a few pictures of a couple of my smallest switchers going about their daily jobs in the yard at Benson.
The yellow switcher TVRR# 43, another 60 tonner is an ex Bethlehem Steel loco and is used mainly at a local feed mill where she spends her day switching car loads in and empties out.
She is seen here working in the yard at Benson following a major service.













Peter M

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Couple of good looking switchers, Peter.

Please take this as a helpful suggestion, rather than criticism, but the hood end coupler on 105 looks like it could benefit from a dose of Viagra.

Just trying to straighten things out---

Herb

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Yes I can see what you mean Herb, it does look a bit droopy.
It works fine and probably looks worse in the photo than it is in real life.
It doesn't foul on the magnets between the tracks so I think I will leave it for now.
Just goes to show you guys are really paying attention.

Kind regards Peter M

Last edited on Fri Feb 27th, 2015 03:47 pm by Broadoak

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Hi Peter.

You should be careful.

Any snails crossing the tracks...

...might get scooped up, blocking the 'air-hoses' !

Could be a DISASTER for yard efficiency.

Cheers.

Si.

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The 60 tonner TVRR #53 was given to me on my 53rd birthday by my old friend Bill Gates. He did the conversion from two 44 ton bodies that he cut and shut and added some more details. This gives the little loco a backwoods look which I find rather appealing. She spends most of her time nowadays doing MOW work at weekends.

















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I like the looks of Diesel #53.
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Good looking #53 switcher, Peter.

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Thanks Dwyane, she is a lovely model and a pleasant change from the normal locos I use. She is only used for light work of course.

Peter M

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A few pictures of a recent operating session featuring a pair of SP F7's. I know they are not overly popular with everyone but I must admit I have a soft spot for them.
We see them arriving light engine from the SP interchange to pick up a load of pulp wood bulkhead flat cars.











The models are Athearn blue box examples with added details, #6352 in fact is a dummy. The powered one has a huge weight inside the body so runs very well indeed.

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Having done a brake test the two F units head out of town to the SP interchange.

Peter M

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A few pictures of an SP SD7 in the yard at Benson shuffling a Pennsy gon loaded with limestone used by local farmers to improve their soil structure.

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Here we have a few pictures of an SP Baldwin S12 #2143 she has extra lights at the front and rear to allow 24 hour a day working in the yard at San Francisco.
In reality the Baldwin's were traded in against more modern power.
On my model I have assumed that the SP kept this loco for interchange and light work in south west Arkansas.
The model has been modified with lots of added details, it has also been re-motored with a Mashima can. I like her because she looks a little different to all my EMD end cab switchers.

Peter M

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Good Looking SP Loco's, Peter

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Those are nice prototype pictures Peter, do you have any of the models themselves? :cb:

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Thank you Dwyane and Ken, you are too kind.

Regards Peter M

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Even though I model funky narrow gauge, I just love those SP paint jobs. Especially the "bloody nose" F7's. I agree with Ken, when are you gonna post some model photos?

Woodie

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Thanks Woody, I think the SP colour scheme is my favourite too.

Regards Peter M

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A couple of SP locos at rest in the west yard at Benson.






Peter M

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A few more pictures of the two F units on a recent visit. I think they are a very elegant looking machine to my eye.











Peter M

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A few more random pictures for those of us afflicted, including an assortment of SP power at rest in Benson west yard. I don't know the proper collective noun for a collection of SP locos, could it be a delight?










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#2638 an SP SW1500, a model that featured on the front cover of the Continental Modeller way back in October 1991 when Colonel's Crossing was the layout of the month.

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A lot of Nice SP photo's, Peter

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Thanks Dwyane the SP was the first road I found interesting, it was the colour scheme I think.
I like their types of power as well.
I can't get enthusiastic about modern diesels and double stacks I'm afraid.

Peter M

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With this selection of pictures we come a little more up to date with a DRGW GP60 #3154, she was used for the Ski Train during the 96-97 season. She is seen arriving at Benson with a short mixed train consisting of empty covered hoppers and an empty boxcar for a load of specially cut lumber.









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The crew of the GP60 take a break for beans, having uncoupled from the train and parked the locomotive on the track next to the servicing facilities.
At this point an SP SW1500 #2638 yard switcher, waiting by the yard master's caboose arrives to spot the individual incoming cars.
















Peter M

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Nice looking GP60, Peter

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Thanks Dywane, as you say a nice locomotive if not wearing the most attractive livery.

The SP switcher pulls out a full UP covered hopper of corn and then spots the two DRGW empty hoppers at the Farmers Co-op.
The Rio Grande box car is spotted at the team track ready for loading with cut lumber that will be brought in by truck.















Peter M

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The SP switcher then goes to the Midas Cement Co unloading facility and picks an empty ATSF covered hopper and an MD&W boxcar loaded with bagged cement on pallets.
It then starts to make up a train in the main loop for the GP60 to take to the SP main line. An SP SD7 will head the consist as it saves having to find a path for this loco to get back to the SP.

















Peter M

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While enjoying a recent operating session I took a few more photos of my elderly Athearn Blue Box SD45. I have now added sunshades, screen wipers, mu hoses and a plough, not the correct one but all I had to hand. The loco looks a bit more work stained as well having given it a thin wash of grimy black.









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A lot of great photos, Peter :2t::2t:

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Thanks Dwayne there are a few more photos of this session to come.

Peter M

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Great shots Peter!

Alwin

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Thanks Alwin, I'm glad you approve.

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Good looking engine, nice weathering job on it

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Thank you George, I must admit I rather like the SD45's they look very powerful to me. I have tried to make it look as if she had been pulled out of a mid train helper set.

Regards Peter M

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Every so often I give all my fleet of locomotives a check over and a bit of a run.
This geep was one of the first road switchers I bought some twenty odd years ago and it runs as sweetly now as it ever did.
It is a Blue Box Athearn that I have chopped the nose on, the fiction being it was re-built in the fictional Interstate & Western's workshops at Rosston to a full GP 18 specification.

In the following sequence I&W #6 is seen arriving at Benson with a train of empty pulpwood flats, then laying over at the west yard engine facilities.
Having seen the amount of debris left on the deck of real pulpwood flat cars I added some sawdust on the models to replicate the real thing.















Peter M

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The model featured this time is a Mopac EMD SW1200 end cab switcher made from an early Athearn BB kit with added details. I know the fuel tank is not quite right it should extend downwards and outwards more. Also I have now seen a colour photograph of an actual Mopac switcher and the trucks on some examples at least are the same colour as the body.
I have gone back in time as well in order to use some freight cars with roof walks that don't often get an airing. I bought these years ago when I first got into modelling the American scene. They are a mix of Bachmann ready made and Athearn shake the box kits.
It is assumed the SW1200 brought the train in from Pine Bluff via the SP interchange.










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More great photos, Peter :2t::2t:

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Broadoak wrote:
Thank you George, I must admit I rather like the SD45's they look very powerful to me. I have tried to make it look as if she had been pulled out of a mid train helper set.

Regards Peter M


Yup, she looks like a real brute, all power and business but some how in an elegant way.

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Thanks gentlemen there are a few more photos to come of this set.

Peter M

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I always enjoy seeing your pictures Peter. Nice stuff!

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Thanks Ken, I appreciate that.

Regards Peter M

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I have been given a CD of photographs taken when Colonel's Crossing was still connected to Benson before being dismantled a few years ago. The photos were taken by my old buddy Andy Knott who is also the owner of the eastern road locomotives featured later.





The first two show a bankruptcy blue Rock Island SW1500 #947, an Athearn BB with added details rolling past the depot then the grade crossing at CC.







TVRR Alco RS1 trundles over Colonel's Creek with a covered SF hopper in tow. The John Deere van driver is keen to get to his next job.
The RS1 and train are now clear of the crossing so the JD van driver sets off to repair a broken down tractor at a farm nearby.

Peter M

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Wonderful photos Peter

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Thanks Dwyane, but my old buddy Andy Knott took the photos, I just supplied the coffee and the layout.

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Another couple of shots of the bankruptcy blue SW1500 #947.





Here we have another RI SW1500 # 942 this time wearing an earlier livery rolling over the grade crossing. Then at rest under the heavy lift equipment at the small engine house.

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A few more photos of Colonel's Crossing this time with a guest locomotive, a D&H Alco RS36 #5023 seen in the yard and passing the depot.










An aerial view looking down the yard from the tunnel end, bottom left. This originally hid the fiddle yard. The picture gives an idea of the track layout.

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D&H Alco RS36 #5023 standing on the team track by the Farmer's Coop elevator while the crew take a break for beans.



The Alco RS36 is working a cut of bauxite ore cars through the loader. The brakeman takes the time to roll a cigarette.



An aerial view of the Alco as she pulls the cut of ore cars through the loader.



D&H Alco C424 #452 about to collect a cut of loaded ore cars.

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A view showing the small engine house and tunnel mouth at Colonel's Crossing.
A Talbot Valley RR Alco S2 is idling standing over the inspection pit.
Note the sophisticated point control, piano wire in tube and chocolate block connectors for knobs, it's never failed in well over twenty years use.



Window cleaner at the depot at CC now used as an office by the freight agent.



An I&W GP 38-2 emerging from the tunnel that originally hid the fiddle yard when the layout was exhibited.



A pair of I&W geeps wearing a later colour scheme roll out into the sunshine from the gloom of the tunnel.



A general view of part of the loco servicing facility at CC. The two geeps are not mine in fact but belong to my old buddy Andy Knott who filmed them on a visit.

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A few more Alcos C424's for fans to enjoy the first two photographed in the yard at Colonel's Crossing. The next two on the joining section between CC and Benson and the last one taken in the yard at Benson.











Peter M

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A few more pictures taken before CC was dismantled a few years ago.



UP GP 40-2 #1349 is picking up a cut of ore cars from the storage track at Benson on the joining section to Colonel's Crossing.





A couple of shots of the joining section showing an SP SW1500 #2458 heading towards CC passing the caboose of a freight going in the opposite direction.



#2458 is seen again tied up outside the Farmer's Co-op at CC one lunchtime. The dusty pick up truck is collecting some sacks of animal feed.

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The last three photographs of Andy's relating to Colonel's Crossing.





The last two pictures are of Benson when it was joined to CC. No locomotives but I think they are still attractive.

Peter M

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The Alco visitor this time is from a genuine short line called Delaware Lackawanna who run a freight service from Scranton PA to Carbondale and to Mount Pocono.
The model a C420 belongs to my old friend Andy Knott who bought them from a model shop in the USA via E-bay. He brought it up a couple of weeks ago to have a run on my Benson layout. It is DCC fitted as are most of his locos.











Peter M

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Good photos as usual, Peter

Also, I changed over to piano wire control for switch control, except a couple that have to be controlled from two locations--never bothered to try to find a solution for that with the wire control.

Herb

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Nice looking loco you and your friends have, Peter

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A Lake Superior and Ishpeming Alco RSD 15 a 2400 hp road switcher, these pictures show why they are known as alligators by rail fans. She is seen here working in the yards at Benson.
The model, a Broadway Limited example is another of Andy's second hand purchases from the States. It is in the throes of having the hand rails painted to match the base body colour.
Alco built 75 of these switchers and the ATSF bought 50 of them. The LS&I purchased seven of these locomotives from the ATSF when retired in the mid 70's.









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It has been a while since I posted any pictures of activities at Benson, a terminus on my fictitious short line which has connections with two real railroads.

This recent operating session featured a Rock Island SW1500 yard switcher and U33B road switcher.













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My old friend Andy Knott came up for a visit the other day and kindly gave me a pair of EMD geeps painted by him in a different I&W colour scheme that he did some years ago.
The following sequence shows #381 arriving with a cut of empty pulpwood flat cars.















Peter M

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Peter,

Great looking I&W loco

Broadoak
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Thanks Dywane, Here are a few more few more photos of the other I&W geep without the dynamic brakes seen lurking in the yard at Benson then leaving with a small freight for the SP interchange.















Peter M

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It is sometime since I posted anything about Benson, so I thought I would
photograph a recent operating session. It features a Rock Island pulp wood train, the pulp wood will eventually be delivered to the Continental Can Co. in Hodge, Louisiana. We start with a chop nose GP9 arriving with empty pulpwood flats and a covered hopper of grain and uncoupling in the loop.
The geep ties up on the track behind the yardmaster's caboose and the crew take a break for beans in a nearby diner.
The model itself is a Lifelike example and like the BL2 of mine is beginning to show signs of problems with the gears in the trucks. It is OK at the moment but I fear in due course new innards will be needed.









Peter M

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A bankruptcy blue RI SW1500 end cab yard switcher that has been idling in the flour mill head shunt collects the loaded pulp wood cars from the siding in the west yard. It the spots these in a siding next to the east yard. It then collects the inbound empty pulp wood and loaded RI grain car. The grain car is left in a siding next to the east yardmaster's caboose. The empty pulp wood cars are spotted in the loading track. The RI grain hopper of wheat is collected and delivered to the flour mill where it will be processed.










Peter M

Last edited on Thu Mar 31st, 2016 02:06 pm by Broadoak

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Shows that you can have an enjoyable time switching (shunting) cars on a smallish layout.

As usual, Peter, well done!

Herb

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Thanks Herb,









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Running with the long hood forward the RI GP 9 heads past the east yard on its way to Hodge Louisiana.

Peter M

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As I have not posted any pictures for some time I thought a few of a recent session might be of interest.
The locomotive featured is a super detailed Athearn Blue Box job SW1500 # 1318 wearing Mopac livery.
She is well over twenty years old now and has seen plenty of use in that time but she still runs as well as ever.

She is seen arriving early one morning with an empty UP box car and a UP caboose. The articulated tipper in the foreground has just delivered a load of grain hence its dusty appearance. The pulpwood flats are waiting in the west yard to be loaded.















The Mopac switcher pulls into east yard at Benson and uncouples from its train.

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The switcher then rolls down to the Medusa Cement facility and collects two cars full of bagged cement for eventual delivery by truck to individual building material suppliers. The cars are then spotted on the entry track at the west yard.

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The inbound train is then pushed to the full cars so that the caboose can be coupled to the rear.





The empty UP box is now propelled into the Medusa cement Co siding to be loaded with bagged cement.

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The Mopac SW1500 then collects the out bound train and pulls it into the loop so that the loco can run round the cars.









Peter M

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Good Looking Loco and cars, great photos

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This is a great thread, the modeling is superior! I may not be a diesel/modern fan but your work is very inspiring. Thank you.

Woodie

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Keep your eye on the fill in the first pix. that corrugated wall doesn't like  like enough to hold the roadbed back with those heavy cars trundling past.

Just a suggestion, Peter! You are a champion in packing a lot of interesting, good looking railroad onto a shelf! Keep it up, please!

Herb

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Peter, your work is always of interest. Thanks for all the new pictures to drool over. :glad:

I grew up in Missouri and worked for a while as a contractor to the UP so those are dear to me also.

Kudos and mooses on the model making.

:moose::moose::moose::moose::moose:

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Wow, amazing work!

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Thank you for the kind words gentlemen.

Herb, I'm not sure what you mean by fill and the corrugated wall, it has always been like that.

Regards Peter M

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Just kidding you--in the real world there would be concern that the wall wouldn't be strong enough to keep the roadbed and supporting ground --unless it was solid rock--from caving away. Must be stable enough if you haven't had a problem <grin>

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I should have known Herb, sorry, a senior moment on my part.

Kind regards Peter M

Last edited on Sat Aug 13th, 2016 06:28 pm by Broadoak

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This will be my last post on this thread.


After a great deal of thought I have decided to give up my internet connection.
I live in a tiny village and the use of aluminum wire in the telephone system causes all sorts of problems. Of late as the cost has gone up the service I receive has got worse, being very slow and often unusable.
As my only income now is my pension I think the money saved could be put to better use elsewhere.
I have enjoyed posting pictures and accounts of my layouts and will keep the PC for keeping and downloading my photographs.
Thank you all for the interest you have shown in my efforts over the years.


Regards Peter M


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Hi Peter

I know EXACTLY where you're coming from.
I live in 'London', but in fact in the country, right on the very edge of Greater-London.

I REFUSE TO PAY BRITISH TELECOM FOR A CRAPPY PHONE LINE & INTERNET !!
( read:- British TeleCON !! )

They are happy to lavish MILLIONS £££ on glitzy T.V. commercials featuring Hollywood movie stars...
...but can't seem to be able to put up a few new wires !

They promise the Earth & deliver NOTHING !
Check for speeds in your area, they say, YEAH RIGHT !!

I have as a result used a cellular system for Internet, for some years now.
Back in 2008, it was a tad expensive, but still WAY CHEAPER than a British TeleCON line-rental & Internet deal.
NOW it is in fact 'cheap as chips'.
Not good for Playstations(TM) or Netfix(TM), But I don't have time for that jazz anyhow, Too many cool models to make !!

Peter, in all seriousness, I have here TWO unused cellular-internet devices, which are compatible with Orange/T-Mobile, who are now called EE.
You've probably seen them, size of a cigarette-lighter, no battery, just plugs into the USB socket on your computer, software is in the device already.
If you can get an ( Orange/T-Mobile ) EE cellphone signal where you are, the device will work pretty well.
I would be more than happy to send one to you by Royal Mail for you to check out !!
It's so small it would go in an envelope for £1 First-Class post, I'll even pay the £1 !! since seeing Two Sister's Farm is worth a hell of a lot more than some stoopid movie !!

With a 'SIM-Card only deal' (you supply the device), from the local EE-shop, you should be able to buy enough data to use Freerails & other things quite a bit, for just £1, and top-up online easily when needed.
If you don't need the Internet much, you don't pay for it, simple as that !!
For Googleing, Freerails & hobby use alone, who actualy needs zillions of gigabytes per month anyway ?
Worked fine for me for years.

Peter YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE FREERAILS !!
Especially due to the crappy service & overcharging of British TeleCON !

Send me a PM with your address.
The device is in the Royal Mail to you pronto.
If you don't have it, it's going to landfill, I don't need THREE of the damn things !!
Check out the cost of the SIM-Only situation with EE, their 'minimum amount situation' I think you will find is very good for 'light users'.

I just put the USB-cellphone device in an envelope & stuck a stamp on !!
Am waiting for it's new owners address !!

:moose:

Si.

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Peter, Enjoy your layout and photos. Sorry to see you go but I understand all to well living on a pension myself. Not sure if in the UK there are senior citizen centers or libraries that offer free internet, but a thought to check out.

Good luck, bye.

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No goodbyes & good lucks needed !

Peter should have his new 'wireless' non-British TeleCON system in a few days.

I hope !

:moose:

Si.

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I hope that Si's gizmo works for you Peter. 

We certainly would miss you IF you leave--

So please don't!!!

Herb

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Si. wrote: No goodbyes & good lucks needed !

Peter should have his new 'wireless' non-British TeleCON system in a few days.

I hope !

:moose:

Si.
Any word on Peter. Did he got some internet access.

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H Dwyane

I don't think Peter has been on Freerails since his message.

I do hope Peter will get back in touch, regarding the connection suggestion.
The solution worked for me & as I said, I would be more than pleased to send Peter the spare hardware I have.

So Peter, when you check in, get in touch, we need to hear what you think.
It would be a great shame to loose you & for you not to have decent web access, due to the B.S. of British-Telecom !!

:moose:

Si.

P.S. Peter, if EE (T-Mobile/Orange) doesn't have a good signal in your area...
...the hardware CAN in fact, be made to operate on ANY cellphone network.
The minimum data deals ALL of them have these days, are extremely affordable as well.

:moose:

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I am pleased to say that I am once more back on the web.

I have got rid of the BT special deal, about £40 pounds plus per month for 12gb per month, this includes the line charge and then it was only working 50% of the time.

Now I am with Vodaphone which is high speed unlimited, with no line charge and comes with a discount at £20 per month. (my wife has a Vodaphone phone)

Seriously though, it is very good to be back.

Peter M

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Hi Peter ! :wave:



WELCOME BACK DUDE !!

We missed you. :P



Vodafone sounds like a pretty good internet deal ...

... greedy British Telecon can get knotted. (_!_)



I see some of your photos have disappeared from earlier in the Thread. :f:

Something to do with your photo-hosting no doubt.



Anyway, how's the slightly slimmed down layout going Peter ? ???

Are we going to have some more HO ops. pix. ?? :bg:



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



Si.

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Thanks Si,

I've not done a great deal of work just added a few details. Spent a lot of time operating though which I really enjoy.

Regards Peter M

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Hi Peter

Are you the Peter who used to be in NMRA-BR and who I gave some advice to om location etc of your railroad back when you were exhibiting it. If so I am still modelling the Pacific Northwest shortlines. Have a look at my thread "Diesel Forest Railroading in HO" -it might be familiar

Best wishes

Alan
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Yes I am Alan somewhat older and hopefully wiser now.
I will certainly have a look at your thread.

Regards Peter M

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While I was without a web connection I tried a small experiment which frankly didn’t work as well as I hoped it would. The fiddle yard on my shunting plank is about four feet long and 8.5 inches wide it has three straight tracks leading from a three way point at the right hand end. The two middle tracks have a cross over at the left end. It sits at eye level when I am sitting at my desk using the PC.
I drew a typical feed and seed merchants premises on cartridge paper and glued it to some thin card. This I pasted to the back scene to give a  low relief background for the trains. I was now able to sit at my desk and shuffle cars up and down using the station area of the plank as a fiddle yard. I will post a few photos to give an idea of what it looked like. Here are the first by way of an experiment.

A few shots of a Mopac EMD SW1200 (The fuel tank should be extended outwards and downwards more) end cab switcher working in what I called Broadoak yard. The locomotive is a much modified Athearn Blue box job and is now over thirty years old but still runs very well.













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There follows a selection of photographs of some the various locomotives and cars that have worked the Broadoak yard area at one time or another.
They are in no particular order but show that anyone who is starved of cash or space could with a minimum outlay build a small switching layout.  You only need a small baseboard, some track and a hand drawn/painted backscene to make a start. You could probably download some suitable material for a backscene if you didn’t want to paint it yourself. All very basic I know but it works, the cars and loads have a destination and purpose which makes operation that bit more realistic.











Peter M

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A selection of pictures featuring an SP Baldwin S12 switcher that was built for working in San Francisco. In reality the SP traded them in for more modern power, but with modeller’s licence I have assumed this one is working out its days in south west Arkansas. The model is a basic Athearn blue box job with added details and modified headlights and is fitted with a Mashima motor.












Peter M

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These photos show that a small area at the front of the baseboard represents a sort of team track that allows trucks to bring in pulp wood to be loaded on bulkhead flats. The switcher then takes these to the interchange sidings (in my imagination) where they are made up into a larger train for onward shipment to the pulp mill in Louisiana. The team track can be used for any other loads in or out that take your fancy, it all helps to givethe model a reason to exist.











Peter M

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A few photos of one of my favourite roads this time. The Rock Island, a chop nosed jeep is captured shuffling cars around Broadoak yard.









Peter M

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A locomotive that is not to everyone’s  taste I know, I am posting some more photos of my pair of SP F7’s. I really like them, they have a certain grace about them to my mind while still looking purposeful. I suspect if you asked anyone who is not a railroad fan what an American diesel looked like this would be what they described.
The fiction being that the I&W are considering purchasing them from the SP for the regular pulp wood trains to the mill in Louisiana. Just like the real Louisiana & North West Railroad did in fact.











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Always a popular subject for a picture we see a TVRR Alco S2 switching grain cars at Broadoak yard.

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A Rio Grande GP60   working  in the yard at Broadoak, probably working off horse power hours. Not an easy locomotive to photograph, without a bit of gentle weathering, they look rather flat and don‘t show a lot of detail.











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An ex Illinois Central U-boat on test switching the yard at Broadoak. The I&W are considering purchasing the locomotive with a view to re-building it in their workshops at Rosston then re selling it to another short line. (The more observant will notice the addition of a fuel filler in the third photo.)
The workshops at Rosston are all in my imagination of but make a good excuse to run almost anything on the property. Your own imagination is one of the most useful tools a modeller can have I think.










Peter M

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Another locomotive seen here at Broadoak, is one that has been recently purchased from the BN. It is an EMD SW1500 end cab switcher which when photographed was still to be lettered. This will become one of the I&W switcher fleet as they are a versatile locomotive being equally at home switching a yard on doing a road job. This makes it ideal for hiring out to other shortlines as well as working in the I&W yards at Benson







Peter M

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A couple of shots of a very grubby SP SD45 making up a train of pulpwood flats. She looks as if she has just been pulled out of the middle of a helper set which would account for her grimy appearance.







Peter M

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A group of SP power working in the yard at Broadoak featuring the grubby SD45 and very clean SW1500.After the SD45 departs for the SP main line an SP GP60 arrives to take out another load of grain cars which the SW1500 has just made into a train.






Peter M

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Hi Peter, you can't beat the older locos from the US, I noticed in your 291st post your two SP FA/B locos, my late uncle left me his train collection, had 15 locos and they were like your loco's. I don't know what a lot of them are as some of them don't have hand rails and want to get the right ones, some need a bit of TLC, could you tell from a pic ??

He had an Athearn F7/A  and Santa Fe life like F/A loco , I decided to buy two more, one an Athearn F7/A powered switched the shell for my Uncles and bought a F7 powered chassis, four powered units, had two F7/B unpainted shells they be painted to Santa Fe colour scheme. 

I am not sure if I will model the El Capitan or Super Chief, have only painted the two B units in under coat, turned out ok , soon will buy the right silver paint to spray the to locos and decals as well.
 How long is your layout, what I have seen so far is very impressive indeed, I be happy to just finish my layout just to run train, scenes to come later.

Happy Easter,

Tony from down under.

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Tony the section the recent photographs have been taken on is only temporary and is about four feet long and is called Broadoak. The main permanent is layout is called Benson and is thirteen feet long.
Happy Easter,

Kind regards Peter M

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You will be relieved to know that this is the last post featuring photographs taken on Broadoak experimental part of the UK shunting plank.
It has now been changed back into a more appropriate English backscene.
It made a change for the period while I was without an internet connection and provided a different background for taking pictures of some of my stock.
This last selection features a couple of my favourites, the SP liveried Cadillac and the clean SP SW1500.











Peter M

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We now move back to the Benson layout itself having concluded the Broadoak experiment.
Firstly we find a DRGW GP60 making up its own small train in Benson east yard, there being a shortage of yard switchers that day. The DRGW geep is seen collecting an empty liquid fertiliser tank car from the premises of R E Lee Farm Supplies. Having made up a small train the loco leaves the yard past Arkansas Feed Co and heads for the SP  main line.









Peter M

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A Sunday fix for all you Alco addicts, these photos were taken recently by my old buddy Andy Knott on one of his visits. The locomotive featured is an ex CP Alco C424 but now on the Morristown & Erie roster. She is seen arriving with a train of loaded covered hoppers.














Peter M

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As the Alco pictures have proved to be popular I thought a few more might be in order. Here we she  the loco running into the west yard loop.










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By way of a change here are a series of pictures of BN end cab switcher, still wearing the attractive Great Northern livery, seen shuffling cars in the yard. Although a relatively small layout it is fun and interesting to operate and by taking a few pictures at the same time adds a new dimension.







Peter M

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The loco featured this time is a little more up to date an EMD SW1500 she was purchased from BN and then checked over mechanically in our own shops. Finding all was well a coat of black paint on the cab sides hid her original identity. She was then put to work switching at a large feed mill.The I&W logo on the cab is plastic and is easily removed. This is used as some customers don’t want their customers to know the locomotive is leased to them. Complicated but it all makes sense to me, see what I mean about imagination.












Peter M

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This is a second hand loco that Andy had acquired seen posing around Benson yard.  Then leaving town past Arkansas Feed Co and the yardmaster’s grounded caboose. A bright attractive livery I think.
















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A few photos Andy took a few weeks ago of his Morristown & Erie Alco C424 working in the yard at Benson.












Peter M

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 Hi Peter :wave:



AWESOME mooodern motive power pix. as usual !

Great photography of a great layout !! :!:



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



I know you have re-worked both your original 'Colonels Crossing & Benson' ...

... & 'Shunting Plank' into this NEW format version of the layout ... ( I think ? ).



Do you have a rough sketch of the trackplan at all Peter ? ???

You always seem to have maximum switching potential in your builds.

NICE !  :)



:cool:



Si.


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I’m afraid Si this is the best I can do with regard to a plan. The layout is fourteen feet long and two feet narrowing down to 18 inches wide. The two back tracks on the right hand side serve as a fiddle yard. This works well as they look like a couple of tracks in the yard. I hope this makes sense to you.





Kind regards Peter M

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Here are a few pictures of a pair of F7A’s still wearing their SP livery but now on The I&W short line roster.

They are the power on a pulpwood train on its way to Louisiana and the Continental Can factory there.















An I&W Alco S2 is seen pulling a couple of box cars.

Then again passing the Arkansas Feed Co. premises pushing a small cut of covered hoppers in the yard at Benson.

Then we see a close up of a pneumatic trailer of chicken feed pellets for delivery locally.

The trailer came with a much more modern tractor unit which I felt was not right being far too modern.

So it is now pulled by a White Freightliner tractor unit with a V12 Detroit Diesels engine, which I think looks better for my period

Peter M


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Some more photos for the Alco-holics this time taken by me on Andy’s last visit.

This time there is a bonus with some photos of a Delaware & Lackawanna C420 switching cars at Benson.

I also managed to get a few shots of the Morristown & Erie Alco working in the yard as well at the same time.















Peter M


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Peter M


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Another fix for the Alco-holics this time featuring the Morristown & Erie C424 seen lurking in various parts of Benson yard.

These are more of the pictures I took on Andy’s last visit, but it is one of his locos, the usual all singing and dancing job.




















Peter M


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We come now to the end of that Alco session, I am sure there will be more, Andy seems unable to resist them.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

So the last couple of shots show the two Alcos tied up while the crew head off to a nearby diner for some beans.










Peter M


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A typical mid week scene at Benson, nothing exotic just TVRR geep #8 working in the yard. 

She has been rebuilt in the I&W shops at Rosston to a full GP18 specification and is now 1800 hp.

She is joined later in the day by an SP SD45 looking slightly less than immaculate on a train of empty boxcars that will be loaded with lumber.










Peter M



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