Monday, April 13, 2009

I have recently started posting my blog entries to my blog at as well as to this blog. is a great site for anything N Scale. I especially enjoy the forum. Everyone so far has been kind and helpful. I recommend the site wholeheartedly.

So check it out:


Today was a long day of rail fanning at the end of a three day weekend of train nerding and celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

The friend I went train shopping with on Saturday and I went out looking at local rail operations to get some ideas for our layouts. I didn't think to pull out the camera phone until we had left some of the really cool spurs, but I think i still got some good engine shots.

The following two pictures are taken in an orchard just outside of Shafter, California. The first looks back toward the industries serviced by the spur and the second looks toward a siding in the orchard and eventually to rejoining the UP mainline upon which the Amtrak also moves through the valley.

When we returned to town we went to the older area of downtown and saw a few interesting things.

The first pic is of an old paint scheme Santa Fe engine heading east on the BNSF line, probably toward the Tehachapi Loop.

Below is a "bloody nose" Southern Pacific engine sitting on staging track downtown. Note that the road number is written in UP style and colors.

Lastly, I didn't know that Railroad Police cabooses even existed, but here one is. Note that the taggers were not afraid of railroad law enforcement.

All in all a good day. I have a lot of good ideas about sidings and industry from the trip around the valley.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Track Plan.

So, yesterday a friend and I visited five model train stores in southern California. I got pretty excited about my layout and purchased some flextrack, roadbed, and a couple of cars.

That experience led me to a track plan. I chose a track plan by Atlas and I am modifying it to meet my needs.

Above image from:

Pictured above is the layout. I will be expanding a long run out to the left which will include an up-and-over crossover on a mountain. Also, I will add an extra spur at the top right which will service an engine house.

Tonight, I laid out some track. I do not actually have a parts list for the plan, but I do have a bunch of parts left over from a plan I had to give up on a couple of years ago. I laid it out to the best of my ability by looking at the plan and matching things up.

You will no doubt notice that the bottom of my plan is considerably different from the plan. I am not sure whether I like it or not. I will make a decision on it before I start putting down any roadbed.

Speaking of, I decided to go with the Woodland Scenics Roadbed instead of cork. Time will tell if that was a good choice.

Here are some pics of the track laid out. There is an issue with disconnected flextrack that will be repared when I lay the track for good so please forgive that sloppiness.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Slow Ride.

So, I haven't had the time or money to work on the railroad much lately. However, spring break is coming up next week and I hope to decide on a trackplan and get to work laying roadbed.

A few days ago I laid some track out on the board to get a feel for what I want to do and I am pretty sure it is going to be made up of double track around the outside portion and a small town on the right side. I am loosely basing the plan on Northern California, though I am freelancing for the most part. I want to be able to make it what I want it to be without being tied down on ballast color, correct rolling stock, etc..

I also need to construct some way of keeping my cats off the layout. I am thinking maybe I will put removable lexan on the side and front. I need to figure out a way to secure the lexan while still being able to remove it easily. If anyone actually reads this blog, and has an idea, let me know!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Train Show

This weekend I glued the foam to the board. It is now well affixed and ready for a centerline. So, now I have to commit to a trackplan.

Also, this weekend I went to the annual local train show at the fairgrounds. It was pretty sweet. A couple of years ago I went to this show and there was very little N Scale to see. This year, nearly half the show was N Scale. There was plenty to look at and a lot of great ideas. I really should have taken my camera, but I didn't think of it before I left for the show.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Today, I finally got around to trimming the 2" foam upon which the model will be built.
I wanted pink extruded foam which is apparently easy to find in some parts of the country. In my neck of the woods - impossible. After having several hardware store guys (including a friend of mine) stare at me like I had asked for the results of an alien autopsy, and visiting multiple stores, I decided that extruded foam must not be part of the building code in California. So, I went with insulation foam that I have used before. It crumbles a lot, but it will do.

I thought that I had plenty of Liquid Nails, but I am out. While the foam is trimmed and ready to go, it is not yet securely attached to the door. Maybe tomorrow or Tuesday.

This is the foam I am using.

The foam on the door from the end.
Close up of the foam on the door.

My kitten checking out the crumbled foam before I vacuumed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Today, I nearly completed the benchwork by buying and putting together wire shelving and placing the door on top. As you can see in the pictures, the foam for the top of the table has not yet been added, but is ready when I get the time. Hopefully the foam will be installed one evening this week.

Here are some pictures of the simple train table. Notice, my cats are very interested in the new structure.