The Woodstock Model Railroad Club invites you to come along with as together we build an empire. Stay tuned for progress updates, tips and techniques. All comments are welcome. Email

Saturday, January 24, 2015


On my work bench, (dining room table), are some new cars from the club, and some I had not made out car cars for. One car needs mending and they all need waybills, my wife calls this my HOMEWORK. Yes I have to install a new ceiling fan too!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sunset Train

Sunset, like Tuck, it's sister city, really isn't there, just the track towards it. This track holds 10 pieces of rolling stock, which while there, with their paperwork, are for all intents and purposes,  off the railroad.  When the Train Order Card for Sunset comes up again, these 10 cars will return, to be replaced by 10 others. These 2 locations are essentially visible staging yards, where any rolling stock can be sent.

Train in Sunset with Card Sets on the Sunset hook
 Rolling stock on track to Sunset. I think they add visual interest to the scene.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Testing the wye

oops train is too long
Got a picture of Glen testing the wye.  As can be seen in the picture, his train was to long. This may be a repeating problem.  We need a visual to take out the guesswork. Some kind of length markers on the front track like two rocks, get your thinking caps on. As this is on the lift part of the wye, it needs to be small yet noticeable.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Oh what a night. Lots of activity, lots of talking, lots of running, and a couple of visitors to boot. Ralph added Lilly pads to a pond on the branch line as Jim tried to find time to re-track the yard at the cement plant.  Glen finished up around Cities Service and O.L. King Coal, even adding vehicles and people to the scene, and he still has time to build card boxes and work on the model of the Woodstock station. (hope he writes a post on this unique structure). Bill used some trees to hide the area where the track ends at the wall in Sunset. His warehouse, named Harbour Freight, was test fit. Bill also cleans the track, on off days, finished painting the fascia, and cleans up, jobs not always noticed but appreciated.
a place a frog wants to call home

new industries

the business just opened and there on break

Harbour Freight

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Scratchbuilding Supplies

Scratchbuilding is a model railroading technique where you build an original structure or add to an existing structure using whatever materials you may have on hand. Some examples are shown in the picture to the left. Cereal or similar cardboard boxes can be readily used for walls, roofs, etc. but may need to have inner supports glued to them for additional strength. The deconstructed clemmentine box more readily available around Christmas provides thin wood sides, a hardboard bottom and angled solid wood corner pieces useful for strengthening inside corners and holding them square. Remove the staples more carefully than I did. The yogurt container at the top can be used for glue or paint when scenicking. Don't put paint thinner in them as it will soon eat through and leak.  Using materials such as the above saves our landfills, too.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Train to Tuck and Back

When the Train Order Card for the train to Tuck is selected 8 pieces of rolling stock will be picked up from Elsewhere and swapped with the 8 pieces of rolling stock at Tuck. The Car Card sets will be left at Tuck on a hook, and the ones on the hook will go with the picked up rolling stock to Wellington. The Car Card Sets are added to the ones at Wellington and the Train Order Card is put in the back of the Train Order deck, in time order. The Train Order for Sunset is handled the same but it runs from Wellington to Elsewhere, and it has 10 pieces of rolling stock.  All Car Cards used with these trains will have Waybills in them, it does not matter if they are pickups or deliver ones.
Tuck Train heading west to the junction at Springbank

switching Tuck

Car Card sets are exchanged

Tuck Train arrives at Wellington

Train Order Cards

A Train Order Card will be made up for each train to be run on our layout. They will be stored in a predetermined order and picked from the front of the pack in that order. A divider card will be placed at the back of the pack so that cards returned are put behind the divider. As some trains will be completed faster than others, you will have to place it in order, by time.  The operator may then select the next Train Order Card. The card will relay the starting time (just a way of keeping the cards in the same order), the starting location, the ending location, and any key instructions (this may be on the back of the card).
At the start of the session, each operator will pick a Train Order Card from the front of the pack, and run that train as instructed, keeping the Train Order Card with them, until the run is completed.  If the run is not completed, the Train Order Card will be placed on top of the car card sets, and placed with the Train Order Cards. When a new session is started, or when the next operator is available, that train will be completed. Operators should try to end incomplete runs at a logical point, eg. the start of the next town.
Operators may swap cards, or wait for a run that they want, but the trains should still be run in the proper order. This may come up if someone only wants to run a certain type of train or a novice operator might want to run a non-switching type of train. The order the trains run may need to be changed or switched to control traffic flow or realign the amount of rolling stock in one yard or another.  We may also find it necessary to limit the number of trains running at one time.
A list of suggested trains, in no set order.
          Branch Line Passenger -- Lincoln to Northdale and back. (turning on the wye). This train may be run Easr from Lincoln around the mainline lower loop and then West back to the branch line.
          Herons Landing Passenger  --- Herons Landing to Wellington and back. This train will either back into Wellington or be turned on the turntable and when returning to Herons Landing it will be turned on the lower loop before returning to it's storage track.
           Wellington Passenger  --- Wellington to Herons Landing and back. This train will be turned on the lower loop before returning to Wellington, and as above it will either back into Wellington or be turned on the turntable before returning to it's storage track in front of the Wellington Station.
            Log Train --- Ortona (ore yard area) to Ridgewood, then to Miller and back. This train will deliver loaded and empty log cars as required. It may also haul freight up the switchbacks.
             Miller wayfreight --- Miller to Northdale and back.  This train will switch the interchange, Miller and Northdale.
             Elsewhere wayfreight --- Elsewhere to Wellington and back.  This train will switch all towns on the mainline as required. The operator will rework the waybills at Wellington and Elsewhere as required. The operator will also make up the train, selecting pickups and delivery Car Cards.
              Wellington wayfreight --- Wellington to Elsewhere and back. The same as the above but in reverse.
               Tuck through freight --- Elsewhere to Tuck and back.  Take eight pieces of rolling stock to Tuck (with Car Card sets) replace the rolling stock at Tuck, and return to Elsewhere (with the Car Cards sets for the returning rolling stock).
                Sunset through freight --- Wellington to Sunset and back.  Same as above.

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff, Jan 13th.

Bill showed off the decal job he did on his engine, nice.  Shell storage tank had been set into the harbour scenery and painters worked on the fascia.  The switch control was wired in for the tail turnout on the wye and switches were added for the caboose and passenger tracks in Wellington.The area for the coal and oil dealers was levelled and painted. The first ore train was run out of thr Ortona Yard to Elsewhere.
Note --- be sure to check out the updated ore train and coal drag posts.
decal job

storage tank

painting the fascia

new roadbed ready for track

turnout control for tail turnout of wye

passenger and caboose track for Wellington

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Out of the mouths of babes

I forgot to share this quote, I think it's great.
A young lady visiting our railroad during the open house gave us a great complement.  As viewing the layout, with the look of awe on her face, said, in a loud voice "I want to work here!". I guess we have done a pretty good job. I think she was one of Toms Granddaughters.

Special Yards and Sidings

    The yard in Lincoln (behind Polar Ice. It is actually the branch line interchange. This yard is to be used for rolling stock going or coming from the branch line on or off the mainline.  Any of these tracks can be temporally for switch at Lincoln.
    The yard in Herons Landing. The back two tracks are for tank cars going to Coastal Oil only. The front track is to store the Herons Landing passenger train only. Any of these tracks can be temporally used for switching operations at Herons Landing, but not for storage of other rolling stock.
    The yard at Wellington. The back track is not to be used to store rolling stock - It is a switching lead! The siding in front of the station is for storage of the Wellington passenger train only, with the short track behind this is a caboose storage track only.
    Track one (front track) to the Wellington turntable. This track is isolated and can be powered on and off. This is the track to be use to load engines onto the layout. First turn off the power, load the engine on the dead section of track, then turn the power on and run the engine. This will eliminate shorting out the system while putting your engine on the tracks
    Elsewhere programming  track. Not only used to program engines, but also to load engines onto the layout, as above. Use the dead section of rerailers.
    Elsewhere yard. Two tracks of this yard must be left open, probably tracks 4 and 5 (the back 2 tracks as these have the best alignment to the turntable, one to receive incoming trains the other to run around your train. At no time is the yard a storage area for engines, idle engines should be in the roundhouse,  attached to a train waiting for you to run, or stored in the new lockup.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Hot off the presses. The Huff And Puff Gazette reports that with the right of way chosen, construction has began to connect the Island branch railroad with the branch line to Miller.  This new track will mostly affect Northdale with some citizens concerned about the changes to their sleepy harbour town (up until now it was just a small yard and a car float dock). The car float operators were quick to see the writing on the wall and have already pulled up stakes.  Already a station has been built (I bought it for 2 bucks at the train show), and a new dock and warehouse are in the works.  With the track in place and the station location chosen, we can see a road from the station leading to the shelf behind the wye giving rise to a small rural village. There is also a chance that the ferry may build a dock close to the Northdale station. To join the code 100 rail, coming from Miller to the Island branch code 70 we spliced in a short section of code 83.  Rail joiners were put on one end of the code 83 track, the ends of the rail joiners were flattened, slipped under the code 70 rail and soldered to the bottom of them.  This raises the code 70 rail head to the same height as the code 83.  The same was done between the code 100 and code 83 rail. The bay gets a new bottom in the form of a quarter inch white piece of plastic. We will follow this story closely.
code 83 splice

cars cross the transitions just fine

Northdale station

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff.

The first Tuesday of the month is or business meeting night.  It was also noted that we need time to work on the layout while people aren't running, so it was adopted that the first Tuesday would also be a working night as needed. The one and only key was talked about and we decided that I would keep it with Glen as a backup. If you need it call me, or Glen.  Another topic was that we have many passenger trains but the layout was built for only three. As an after thought, we could have a passenger train night, might be fun.  As a solution to this wonderful excess of equipment  and the need to have a lockup for equipment, Jim is going to bring an equipment storage shelving unit that is lockable.  It may be put in the office or under the layout, out of sight. Speaking of the office, we moved the desk and put in the work table, thus allowing a clean up of the lounge area. We decided that we will try and have the card system up and running by the end of March in time for the April train show in Woodstock.  The warehouse and dock at Northdale, the coal dock at Miller, and the gas and coal dealers in Miller were all accepted and construction is underway. A siding in Wellington for a work train  is also a go.  It was pointed out that three problem turnouts need attention.  We have yet another uninsulated switch at Herons Landing, a wye in Lincoln giving problems, and power problem on the main at Valleyview.  We, well Trent pointed out that the frog rails on a switch in Wellington are so close together that metal wheels short across them.  Our first solution will be to paint part of the frog with nail polish and see how that works.  With all this some running was done and new equipment was brought in.
Bill's flat car loads

Trent's critter

Jim's container barge

Jim soldering feeders at the wye

Monday, January 5, 2015

Starting a New Year

Ralph has started painting the fascia as more work is completed on the wye. Glen brought in an oil dealership and we had our second open house, not bad for the fist week.
track and road bed installed on the wye

Oil dealer and coal dealer

fascia painting

open house went well