Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Track gang reaches Essex Junction

The track gang has reached the outskirts of Essex Junction, Vt. Of course, Essex is situated on the former site of White River Jct. so perhaps this post should be titled "Track Gang reaches this corner of the basement....again."
I've spent a number of hours over the last few weeks of evenings finalizing the Essex track arrangement. While there will be some compromises from the exact prototype arrangement I think it will capture the spirit and look of the place. 
Commercial turnouts, even "curved" Micro-Engineering no. 6 turnouts, don't allow for a fluid enough geometry to look right and maximize the track arrangement so I'm planning on handling a fair number of turnouts in this section - the first of these is shown here - a curved no. 6 (and 3/4 or so!) left hand. One leg will form part of the Essex junction yard/wye trackage, the other leg will be the lead through the fence and into Fort Ethan Allen. (note the photo was taken before the throw rod was installed!) 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! Goals for 2017

Happy 2017! Whether you're a first time visitor or a regular reader of this blog here's hoping 2017 brings you nothing but health, prosperity and happiness. 
I didn't offer a "Goals for 2016" post a year ago - good thing since 2016 was a strange year in many ways. As I reflect on the modeling accomplishments for the year I find I really didn't accomplish a great deal model railroading-wise. It didn't help that two large work-related projects sucked up a large number of evenings and weekends - luckily none of those are on the horizon for this year! 
But there were some victories. I finished the Demeritt Cannery. I also got well along with a major rework of the end of the main peninsula, which has included rearranging a fair amount of track, repositioning two towns, and replacing White River Junction with Essex Junction. 
So, with 2016 firmly in the rear view mirror here's the list of model railroad goals for 2017:
1. Complete all the basic track, wiring, fascia etc.. between Essex Junction and Bethel. 
2. Structures completed in Waterbury
3. Host at least four operating sessions (I'm somewhat red-faced that I didn't host a single "formal" session in 2016!) 
4. Complete all "open country" scenery (including the two rivers that are currently Masonite surfaces.)
5. Complete backdrops.
6. Essex Junction train shed complete
7. "Ambassador" consist complete (some of these cars have languished in semi-completion for almost a decade!)
8. Install decoders in my CV brass steam locomotives and C-Liners. 
9. Get CV 2-8-0s and one 4-8-2 painted and weathered. 
10. Weather ALL rolling stock on layout. 
11. One new blog post a week (on average)
12. Video updates at least once a month. 
Bonus goal: Make something of a dent in the collection of unbuilt resin freight car kits. For this "stretch" goal I'd say averaging one car completed a month is enough to be realistic without being unachievable. (But don't look for any completed freight car reports until goal #1 above is complete!)  
Obviously, there are other things to get done model railroad wise - and there's always the strong possibility that something that looks more interesting and fun, or life itself, will intrude on checking off the items on this list.  
How will I do? 
Tune in next December 31st to find out!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Here's hoping these trees get to their final destination before Santa's arrival!

Safe travels, and a blessed holiday season to all our friends - Marty and Christine McGuirk

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Swing... and a miss!

Sometimes you can find an old vintage photo of a scene, and then either go on location or do a search on Google maps and instantly recognize most of the key structures etc...
That was the case with this post from a couple of weeks ago where I found the old Perry granite shed was still sitting in Waterbury relatively intact.
Sometimes, things don't quite work out as well.
Take for instance, the Eldredge* Woodworking plant. It showed up in the Wordless Wednesday post from December 14 - and in the 1938 aerial photos of Waterbury mentioned above.
Here's what Google street view reveals the building looks like today:

The structure that was immediately adjacent to the track in the photos from "back then" is either significantly changed or just .... gone.
I guess sometimes you just strike out...

*Determining the proper spelling of "Eldredge" has been problematic.
The Central Vermont Railway engineering department plats clearly show it as "Eldr-i-dge." While the Sanborn Map spells it "Eldr-e-dge."
Yikes! Which was correct! Historians tend to be fairly anal about the spelling of surnames...besides, I needed to make a sign for the model!
The History of the Town of Waterbury, which has proven fairly reliable, references a number of folks with this surname. Since it spells all of them "Eldredge" that's the spelling I've chosen.