railroading

June 23, 2019

NoOpsLog – FEC – 6/22/2019

t happens – we were in mid-ops on Ken Farnham’s fine Florida East Coast. I was dispatching, had three trains southbound trains moving towards Palm Bay. The local was out of the way. Another one was done early and could run home. JB was working the yard with a team that was having a good time. The other shed was packed with engineers. And then the layout shut down. There was a short and every attempt made to fix it blew yet another fuse. It happens. I’ve had my own Cuesta Grade conk out. Our club layout, the LM&O, has […]
September 17, 2019

LessonLog – LM&O – 9/17/2019

‘m trying to get my Cuesta Grade back up after two years of inertness. The yard switchers I got running at the club a week ago – took some coaxing but eventually they were moving smooth. The steam engines I had real concerns over. Their motors were a bit more buried – no popping the shells and thumbing the armatures of these brutes over. I got the Salinas switcher running after pushing, coaxing and cursing at the club Monday night. I was using the main at Martin. At first it was sputtering progress. And then, suddenly, she was running like […]
July 14, 2020

BuildLog – TBL – 7/14/2020

ow crazy design can be. Steve Raiford (my chief designer and wet blanket) and I have been going round and round about my upcoming Tuscarora Branch Line. We want it to do this, we want it to do that. Pretty involved for a small 2X4 foot layout with one passing siding. Now it’s got coal loads-in/loads-out, Pennsy signaling, a real coal-hauler look and feel. And then we started talking about the simple panel to drive it. Originally, of course, the old stand-by, toggle switches. Then we figured what would really be cool is if we lined the toggles above the […]
July 19, 2020

Coal Railroading (Review)

ven though I model the Southern Pacific in the Central California Valley, I’ve been thinking of making a smaller “fun” layout, one I can fire up casually and run without trouble. You can see more about that decision (and the plans) HERE. But in a nutshell, I’m moving my action to Western Pennsylvania (in the made-up town of Tuscarora). I’m going to be running a very short line with coal getting hauled to a powerplant, with local switching and even a tower operator (big plans for a small space). So we’ll see how this comes out. While picking up preliminary […]