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This blog presents my thoughts, information and activities in my model railroading world.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Laying cable for railroad signal

These photos from about 1920 show the process of laying cable for railroad signals.  Presumably some sort of ditcher was used to create the trench the cable is being placed in.  There is no indication of the location or railroad involved.


The flat car has some low sides and stakes.  I always find it fascinating that the workers of this era were always well dressed and wore hats.  The cable is being unreeled along the tracks.


The cable has now been strung along the trench beside the tracks.  Above and to the right is what looks like the cable train.  These cables were usually well sheathed to endure weather and wet conditions.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Blacksmith shop model start

I have been working on my blacksmith shop model.  The walls are being done board by board with each individual board getting a coat of gray paint, which is then sanded slightly when dry.  Then I use a single edge razor blade to create grain texture along the whole length of the board.  Last I dip them in my ink & alcohol mixture.  These boards are glued to the framing which you saw in my last post.  The framing inside is important as the wide and open front door will provide a fairly good view of the interior.  I installed one window in the right side wall.


I plan to install a fairly detailed interior which hopefully will be visible.  The structure will be near the edge of the layout so I think viewers will be able to see the interior.  I have yet to add the storage shed on the right rear.

The handles on the front doors were made from thin paper strips folded over a small strip of wood  to a "U" shape with flares then glued to the doors.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Vintage screw-jack locomotive hoists

These are some photos of vintage 1919 era screw-jack locomotive hoists.  The hoists were designed for unwheeling steam locomotives in division repair shops or similar facilities.  They were less expensive and easier to use than pits.


 Above is a four-jack solution.


And here is a six-jack solution.


Here are some photos of the jacks with the covers removed to show the screw worm.


The screw-jacks were also used for passenger cars.

These jacks would be very easy to model.

Also, I have started work on the blacksmith shop.  So far I have only built the floor and two wall frames for the main structure.  There is as yet no siding applied to the framing.


The two sides are the right side and the rear.  There is a window opening in the right side and two doorways in the rear wall.  The left door leads to a partially fenced yard in the back that was once used for horses being shoed.  The right door leads into an attached storage shed.  The floor is made from card stock.  The front will have an open double door so that the interior will be somewhat visible.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Bolton railroad yard Baltimore Maryland

This photo shows the Bolton Yard about 1916 or so.  It was owned then by the Pennsylvania railroad and used for freight.  It was not far from the Baltimore harbor.


The yard appears to hold mostly boxcars.  At the very left is a hopper car sitting on a trestle for what looks like a coal dump. The city of Baltimore can be seen in the background.  The railroad signals in the yard are semaphore signals.

Per the comment, I did not look closely enough at the photo.  There are reefers there and the yard had a produce freight house in addition to several coal yards.

My next project.

My next project will be a blacksmith shop which once included shoeing horses and now is primarily used to make or repair equipment and parts for the surrounding businesses.  About 40+ years ago I moved to a small mostly rural suburb just beginning to expand with housing developments.  The little town still had a blacksmith shop at that time - now long gone.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Diner model complete

I have completed the model of the diner.  It was a fairly simple job.  The diner is 40 feet long with a rear addition for the kitchen.  The food in this diner is not bad, but it is the only place around to get something to eat so it does a good business.


The signs were all obtained from the Internet.


There will be some additional litter around the back door after the model is installed on the layout.

Next task is the tough one of figuring out what to do next.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

A sea of derricks

I ran across this old 1918 photo and thought it tied nicely into my recent hoist and derrick company model.  This scene was at the Hog Island shipyard once near Philadelphia - now long gone.  That is a lot of derricks.  This industry would have kept my hoist and derrick company quite busy, but by 1939 - the era of my model railroad - Hog Island was no more.


Apparently it was a "booming" shipyard (a bad pun).

My diner model is close to complete and will be posted in the next day or two.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Vintage diner model start

The process of constructing this diner model has been slow as I have been involved in several family activities - something that takes priority over building models.  The diner is partially complete lacking a roof and various exterior details.  It is all wood construction.


The diner is fashioned similar to a railroad car as were many early diners, although few were actually built from railroad cars.  I have added an interior although it will likely be hard to see since I will not be adding any lights.  For that reason the inter detail is somewhat crude.  I have added some figures sitting at the tables as they will be fairly visible.


With this higher level view the interior is easier to see.  


The above view shows the roof sitting on the diner - it is not yet attached.  The only commercial parts in this model are the figures and most of those are cheap plastic figures such as Plasticville.  Their legs have been amputated since they are sitting and the legs are not visible.  I did use commercial wood scribed siding and a commercial curved passenger car wood roof.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Steam shovel loading gravel

The photo below shows a wood sheathed steam shovel (make unknown) loading gravel onto a traveling hopper on a field conveyor, which will then deliver the gravel load to the distant inclined conveyor, which will carry the gravel load up to what I believe is a gravel washing plant.  It appears that there is a rail line along side of the gravel washing plant with a string of gondola cars.


The steam shovel appears to be sitting on a short piece of unconnected track.  The photo is about 1916.  This would make a nice scene along a model rail line.

Next Project.

The factory workers in the industrial area I am modeling on my layout extension are unhappy that there is no place nearby for them to get lunch so my next project will be a small vintage diner.  What I think will be a nice simple project.