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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday fun.

Lots of work on the Miller area. More ground cover added and all the tracks and turnouts cleaned and excess ballest removed. Feeder wires were also added. A test showed much improved operation.

John and Ralph work on the branch

oops, wonder how long until Trent sees this.

               WELLINGTON IDEAS
Well we got to thinking about the upcoming changes to Wellington. I will list some problems that have been mentioned. Passenger service in and out of Wellington are poor at best, it would be better if they could get back on the mainline without backing up. It is hard to switch Zorra Cement and the turntable would be better at the other end of  town. What if we move the coal mine to Tuck and then take away the mountain and level the old coal mine area, we don't run coal unit trains anymore in fact we never ran the IN/OUT as designed anyway. Moving the coal mine will not cause down time on the mainline, just some mess. Later Zorra Cement will be moved there with a rerouted mainline going through the middle of the plant? Next we lower the old cement plant area down to the return loop level and expose the loop track and the hidden turnout by removing the end of the mountain, no down time for this step either.  The return loop would be double tracked with 2 sidings to hold passenger trains. The station would sit behind or inside the loop, with a platform across all 4 tracks. The passenger train can just go around the loop and back out on the upper mainline. Town buildings would be put behind the station. This also gets rid of the track ramp up to the cement plant. The mainline for freights into town will be on the aisle side of the turntable, after shifting it over or moving it. All of this will be talked about on work night, see you there.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Friday Fun

 Change is the name of the game and here is a turntable and engine house being worked into a corner of Lincoln. This will house a switcher to work the Lincoln and Miller yards to take rail cars to and from the branchline which itself has just received new heavy duty rail. Business is booming on the Huff and Puff
This past Friday saw members Bill drive down from St.Marys as usual and Jim Long drop in needing a "railroad fix" after being away on a farm "holiday" near Kincardine. 
If you look closely, you can just make out Jim's BNSF consist thundering down into Tom Smith tunnel heading for the Lincoln reverse loop. No control problems here but we did have a brief layout power loss which we now know how to correct. Thanks, Jim

Now this is hard to believe!! Bill is actually running his 0-6-0 pulling a passenger train of 4 vintage cars rather than his usual two B&0
giant articulated locos hauling at least 35+ hopper cars. The 0-6-0's decoder actually says "board" when it stops at a station. No excuse now for the miniature passengers to miss their train. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff

Three new turnouts will be installed in Valleyview as indicated by the flex track in this view. The crossover will enhance switching and allow passenger trains to pass switching freight trains. The upper turnout is for the new freight company.

Work continues on the branch line with some of the rock put back into place.  All the new track is in place. But we have identified a couple of places where it needs to be adjusted. John has tried all the new track on the branch with good results, some cleaning required.

Tate had his Mom wear the conductors hat as she is still learning the ropes. She has commented that she had no idea there was so much involved in model railroading.

Don and John discuss progress on the branch line.

Looks like a couple of trains have arrived at Springbank at the same time. Don and Doug will have to wait until Mike and his son finish switching. Some time soon we need to try having a switching crew at each town. A lot of freight was moved during the session with a few new engines tried out.

Glen works on the area for the new branch line turntable. This 9 inch turntable will only handle small the small engines working the branch.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Another humid night with more DCC problems, I think we are send back at least 5 controllers to Digitrax.

John brought in a bag full of people so Lincoln was the first town to get a population boom. I like to try and pose people in natural positions, like several people talking out side a store, or some people obviously watching some construction project. Don't worry the blue truck is just holding up the people until the glue dries.

Work continues on the branch line with the last of the code 100 rail laid. There seems to be a general agreement about the new turntable at Lincoln which will be used to turn branch line switchers. John is seen here working on the track to the spar tree in the logging camp.

Northdale is growing, the Pier is open for business as well as the new National Freight Lines terminal next to it. Both of these sidings have 4 or 5 car capacities. When the construction on the branch is completed it should be a busy place. At that time we will try having an operator stationed at Lincoln to switch both Lincoln and the branch line. As Glen stated in his post, no model railroad is ever finished, so looking forward a cross over will be installed in Valleyview and a siding for the Western Freight Lines building is in the works.

The pier and the terminal both need to be detailed yet.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday fun

Ralph, Don, Glen and John all worked on the branch line. The shore at the harbour was painted, track was ballasted and more code 100 put in. Got pictures of our new buildings. Trent brought a female guest up to run his train and got a lot of ribbing especially about the pink car.
John working on the branch

new turntable location?

Western Freight Lines freight shed

Ralph and Don hard at work

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tuesday Night at the Huff n' Puff

Larry had the night off thanks to Connie's birthday [the right choice, Larry].  New member Tate and his dad were doing some switching with Tate's new CSX diesel when dad asked me how long it took to get the layout to its present state. I had to think about that so this blog is dealing with memories, good for all of us to consider. Picture 1 shows basic construction underway in March, 2013 with one reversing loop in front.
 Layouts, of course, are never done and changes began from
the very beginning as new ideas got thrown out on the table
[no pun intended]. Picture 2 is looking across what turned out to be the community of Lincoln with the branch line forming up behind and what became the Wellington yard in the back-ground. This shot was taken in December, 2013. Most of the construction took place on Tuesday nights with additional sessions as members were available.

Picture 3 shows the Springbank yard as it was in March, 2014 with the start of the oil refinery in place but not much else. Larry Brinker painted all the layout backdrops which got better and better as the layout progressed. Impressive use was made of appropriate cutouts which Larry melded in with his backgounds. One showing a background refinery was later placed behind the structure shown and added significant realism to the scene. Another mainline track runs just below the photo.
 Picture 4 shows the branchline that serves a logging area under construction in July, 2014. Remember that I said a layout is never done??  Well, the branchline is currently under reconstruction. There's nothing like operation to show up where improvements are needed. 
Incidentally, Tuesday night was Tate's dad's first go at switching. He did amazingly well and went home totally exhausted. Tate, as a usual youngster, was fine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Friday Fun

Some of us are available to run on Friday afternoons when the railroad scene is a lot quieter than Tuesday nights. That's when one can think through their switching moves with more logic and less pressure when other passenger trains and/or local or through freights are "still in the yard."  The only thing on the schedule besides switching last Friday afternoon is shown to the right; a B&O double header
chasing its tail around the Zorra Cement reversing loop.

Here's a shot of the same double header rolling west across the viaduct above Heron's Landing with a 39 car freight and a green light [thanks Don P and Jim F.].
At the same time, with additional runaround tracks now in places,
meaningful switching was also happening with only occasional appearances of the thundering monster to disturb things. If you are available on Friday after-noons, free free to join us for fun and fellowship. Call Glen at 519-
539-2403 to make sure we are going to be there on any particu-lar Friday.   

Sunday fun

A few of us ballasted sections of the branch line. A track crew shed was installed on the lower loop and a freight shed was added to Northdale. The 2 sidings to the shed and the pier were then repositioned. Glen brought in a 9 inch turntable which he thought would work either at the end of the yard in Wellington,  working in the sanding rack and engine shed, thus giving the railroad a diesel facility. Don thought it would work better at the Lincoln end of the branch line, because you could not use it to turn double headed engines at Wellington, hmmm.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A different scale

By Mike Lafond
Track Owner:Mike Lafond
Live Steamer/ Father: Paul Lafond
The track is all home made with 1/8 by 3/8 cold rolled steel.  There are two generations of track design.  The first is largely hand made with slots cut in the ties for proper gauge.  This caused a derailment issue on Friday because track movement had caused a tight spot in one location and a lose spot in another between the steel slotted ties.  The second generation of track uses laser cut steel roadbed with the rail welded on.  Very reliable, but it doesn’t look much like track.
Garden size model railroads are anarchy when it comes to scale.  All the various scales of garden railroad run on one gauge of track and that is 1 ¾”.  This is standard gauge for 1:32 scale trains.  Simple right? Well, not so fast.  1:32 scale standard gauge trains have been popular in Europe for a long time. When people wanted to run narrow gauge trains instead of staying with the scale and creating an appropriate gauge track like for instance HO is 1:87 scale and so is HOn3, they made the scale larger and stayed with the gauge like for instance HO and On30.  Unfortunately, the early days of mass garden railroading were for the most part ruled by LGB (a German company) who modeled European narrow gauge trains that used a scale of 1:22.5.  This was fine for what they were doing, but when demand for North American narrow gauge prototypes began to build they offered a small 2-6-0 steamer to the same scale as their other products.  This set in motion the anarchy that was to become garden railroading, because the 2-6-0 was to the wrong scale for the gauge, it should have been 1:20.3.  If it had been built to the correct scale the loco would have seemed quite large.  Demand then began to grow for standard gauge North American prototypes.  However many people had a hodge podge of European /North American  LGB narrow gauge equipment and didn’t want to just dump it all and replace it with what at the time was virtually non existant 1:32 scale models, so Aristocraftjumped into the market with 1:29 scale standard gauge models.  These are standard gauge models made to a strange scale so that the models are close enough in size to that of the narrow gauge trains that the two can be run together without the size difference being jarring.  Eventually demand grew from purists who wanted true scale standard gauge and narrow gauge trains.  These are now both well served markets and the people who bought the odd scale stuff are out of luck as both companies (LGB and Aristocraft) have gone out of business.  
This is where Mike’s and Paul’s equipment comes in.  They are running 1:20.3 F scale 3 foot narrow gauge trains modeled after Southwestern US prototypes.  Mike’s train consists of highly modified Bachmann ten wheeler that is battery powered, radio controlled DCC.  The only parts on the loco that haven’t been rebuilt are the domes and the headlight.  The two passenger cars are completely scratch built from laser cut polystyrene.  The trucks are completely scratch built as well.
Paul’s  live steam loco is a 4-4-0 made by Accucraft.  He modified it with radio control so that he can control the forward/reverse and throttle.  It is butane powered, and runs about twenty minutes on one fill.  He also has a live steam 2-6-0 and a Bachmann battery powered K-27.
adding water
Mike loading cars
live steam 4-4-0
Paul shutting engine down
Mike's 10 wheeler
scratch built passenger car
scratch built baggage car

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Work night went well, the turnout at Heron's Landing was installed and tested.  More feeders were added on the branch and it was decided at the meeting to replace more code 70 at the logging area. We voted in our newest member, Mike Lafond and put him right to work on the track cleaning crew, baptism by bright boy, so to speak. More rolling stock was added to the roster and all the car cards were brought up to date. Don brought in a few building which were test fit in empty locations, more on them when they are installed. Don loaned a super snapper for a trial and if it works the club will buy one. Thanks everyone for jobs well done.
Springbank Snow Countess, top butterfat producer

more rolling stock

new run around

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday report

Over the last 2 weeks all the new track has been laid on the Northdale branch. It is now code 100 track for allbut the ore yard and the last logging switchback. A test run was made on Sunday with out a derailment. A few more feeders need to be added, the rail painted and ballasted. We will probably test it for a while before putting the scenery back in place, good job to all that have put effort into this project. There is also 2 signaling projects in the works. The high line turnout at Warwick has the signals installed already, and signals for the upper return loop will be next. Other jobs for Tuesdays work night include adding a turnout in Heron's Landing and adding feeders to the caboose track in Wellington. We are also going to test out a snap power supply for all the remote turnouts which will keep the turnout motors from over heating.
Glen takes his street car out for a run

track on the branch is down

signals for the turnout at the end of the upper loop