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