Wednesday, August 29, 2012

test fitting and cutting track

Work has commenced on my new module.
The west side board has been constructed, and I've cut and test laid the track on to it.
The picture shows it from the center at the bottom, with the most westerly turnout situated towards the back of the picture. The spur leading the the GERN warehouse visible to the right in this perspective.

I've not fixed any of the track yet, as I still need to drill holes for feeder wires, and turnout actuating mechanisms etc.  That's my next job.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Atlas Super Track code 83

I've started construction of my module 'Wolter Springs'.
As I am building these near my place of work in the Netherlands, I had to go and look around for a place where to get US model railroad supplies. It turns out that in the Netherlands, the model railroad hobby has seriously suffered from all the modern game computers etc, and arts and crafts materials etc are hard to find. Those shops that do stock items, have the big european brands. I found two shops however that sell US model railroad in the country, but none had track in stock that I needed. 
I therefore ordered track turn outs from germany (sort of next door) from . 
I went for the Atlas Supertrack no 6 turnouts.They were about 10 euro's cheaper each than the equivalent Peco switch.  I have to say they look pretty good. They have a metal frog, with is 'browned' already, I just need to paint the rest of the rail to blend in. They also have a small round hole which is intended to take a screw together with an atlas switch motor kit to be able to provide an electric supply to the frog. Currently it is electrically isolated from the rest of the turnout. That detail is not very subtle , and I'm intending to fill those with solder and attach a wire from the bottom , then trim them straight to blend with the tie, make them less obvious, and will enable me to power the frog. 
Another detail that I like, is the fact that the throw bar is molded such that it can be actuated from either side of the turnout, just trim away the side you will not use. This is unlike many other makes, where it is situated on one side only, leaving you no choice. 
I like these turnouts, and I would recommend to give them a closer look. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

New caboose

I had nearly forgotten about the fact I still had one on back order, but recently my second caboose that I ordered last year got delivered the day I returned from my family holiday.
This is another Athearn Genesis caboose of the SP, C50-7 type and carries the Gothic type face for the name and numbers. Here's a factory picture of the unit. This will now enable me to add a caboose to two of my trains. I will still order more in the near future, but I'm going to make those the C50-9 version, being slightly newer (it was the last caboose type the SP ever ordered until the use of cabooses was discontinued by the large railroads).

Athearn Genesis Mechanical reefer model with sound

Sound has been an addition to model railroading in the recent years. This has mainly focussed on locomotives.
Athearn now announced a freight car (reefer) with sound. See below video.

UK FREEMO : modular railroading in the UK

If you have little space to build a permanent layout, you might consider building a module.
You could use this module as a stand alone layout, or take it to a local group meeting, and join it up with others and enjoy the hobby in that manner. You might also consider building a module next to your existing layout, for above reasons perhaps.
for many, the question is where do you start. Which module standard should I work to, etc etc.
Recently, in the UK, there's an increase in activity on building modules. This is in no small part due to the activities of a few existing modular layout groups, most notably the guys from RS Tower.  A lot of work has also been put in by some members of the NMRA (british region) to come up with new (updated) standards, and these have recently been published. They are compatible with those of RS Tower, which in turn have incorporated some of the ideas used by the USA based 'FREEMO' standards, and the European (originally German) FREMO standards.

Because of this increase of activity, there's a need for a place that is fairly independent, where people can share ideas, ask questions, get help in their modular railroading activities. For this reason, a new forum has been launched, currently simply called 'UK FREEMO', but is currently covering Freemo, RS Tower, and NMRA-BR standards. This is partly, because these are the most popular standards in the UK at this time.
If you are interested, I'd suggest you join the forum (it's free), and become part of a growing part of UK based model railroading, with a bias on North American prototypes.

The web address is: