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, November 30, 2015

Sunday fun

With energy supplied by my wife's lemon bars (many thanks from the crew) we started plastering the upper loop. The inner wall, the gap, the different levels and road, plus some of the outer wall were applied. Glen also made a tunnel portal, template for the hole in the wall. Great progress on the land forms around the town area. Tuesday should finish up the remaining plastering.

This long stone wall will be broken up by a lot of buildings. A hillside breaks it in the middle with a bit of greenery. We will also add vines to the wall.

The first section of the outside wall is in place.

The gap is also plastered on both sides of the track.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trial Run

After making up all the new cards, I ended up with 32 cards for Monday, 34 for Tuesday, 29 for Wednesday, 30 for Thursday and 27 for Friday. Not to bad. I then picked Tuesday and started picking cards until I had a train of 15 cars (it should have been 13 or under, but 8 cars were for the interchange). It took 8 trains to run all of Tuesdays requests using trains of 13 or under.

This is the first train I picked. The train order had my train leaving the Wellington yard with 14 cars. There was only 2 covered hoppers in the yard so that was all we could deliver.  The first drop/pickup was 1 box car for Woodgen. The train then departed for Valleyview where it was to drop/pickup 3 box cars at the Warehouse, 2 covered hoppers at the Silos and then switch Cliff's Junk Yard with 1 gondola. The next drop was at the Miller Interchange Yard in Lincoln. There we left 3 tank cars for City Services, 2 box cars and 3 flat cars for the Miller Sawmill. The cards for these cars were left in the box marked Branch Line Deliveries. After picking up any cars and cards for the mainline our train continued on to Elsewhere. The cars were put into the yard and the engine was turned.  The cards were placed in the back of the Tuesdays box.
This train was not actually run on the layout, just in my mind, but it shows the concept very well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Card System

I have been discussing this system with our members and have had only positive input so I will continue working on it. A couple like it so much they are interested in using it themselves.

This car forwarding system would be based on industry requirements instead of rolling stock. Cards would be made up for each industry. Lets use Zorra Cement as an example. The weekly or daily needs would need to be decided. Say 1 hopper of coal per week, 1 covered hopper a day to Cyclone loaders, 2 covered hoppers per day to the silos and 3 box cars a day to the warehouse.  So if the week is 5 days long, the cards for this Industry would include, 1 card for 1 hopper of coal, 5 cards for 1 hopper to the cyclone loaders, 5 cards for 2 covered hoppers for the silos, and 5 cards for 3 box cars to the warehouse. When someone delivers say 3 box cars to the warehouse siding, they also pick up all the cars there, so no siding will ever be full. This will also eliminate stranded cars. Even though Zorra takes 16 cards, there are 4 delivery spots there. A place like Cliffs Junk Yard may only have 1 card for a gondola of scrap. 
With this system specific cars are not required, eg. If a box car is needed, anyone will do, no more miss-placed rolling stock or looking for a specific car number. The team track would have 5 cards, 1 for each day, they will say, 1 car load, so just about any car could be used, same with the harbour Crane. Places like the coal mine, the stock yards, the refinery, the ice house, the coaling towers, the coal dock, the coal dealer, Oxford sand And gravel, and Coastal Oil, only need 5 cards, 1 for each day, with multiple cars on each card. Others using 2 types of rolling stock may need 10 cards and so on. I estimate About 53 cars are needed for each day, so our card holders will still work.
 Train crews will select enough cars to make up a train of about 8 cars, until all the cars for day 1 are done. When trains are completed, the cards will be returned to the back (behind a divider card) of the day 1 box. Cards in a box can be shuffled to add variety. In some cases 1 card may list 2 types of rolling stock, eg. 1 box car and 2 covered hoppers to Mutual Grain I made up a set of scrap cards for day one. At an average of 10 cars per train it would take 8 trains per day. When I picked random card for each train of about 10 cars the results were quite interesting. Never did a Train switch all towns, 1 only went to Lincoln. The quantity of cars delivered will be varied for each day to add variety. What I see good about this system is - its simple, no sidings should be full because you take away all the cars on that siding, it's logical, if a location ships a box car they also need 1 to load, train consists and industries to be switched are never the same, volume shippers get multiple pieces of rolling stock, only car types are important, car numbers are not used, no rolling stock gets lost, it doesn't matter if 2 cars have the same Numbers. One set of boxes will service Wellington and Elsewhere. What's bad, if you swap box cars at one location how do you remember not to use it at the next location, is that important, it could be empty going to be loaded? Someone could put Mondays cards in Wednesdays Box, but they will have the day at the top so not hard to sort out.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dispatching a Throttle

how to dispatch UT4R throttles.
I asked this question on MRH and this is the answer I got.

While un-plugged press and hold the DISP button.
Keep holding the button down and plug in.
You will (Should) get a solid red light.
Your now dispatched.
Un-plug and select a new loco. there is no need to turn the dial while your plugged in. The DISP key does the de-selection internally.
Also keep in mind the DCS system has internal ops Switches that you may find useful, but be carefull especially if you have a whole lot of engines consisted together.

Ops Switches 36 through 39 will give your command station a lobotomy. You may want to check also that ops switch 44 is set to closed which will give you the max 120 slots.
Diamond River Valley Railway Company


We could use this idea on parts of the hill on the upper loop.
This is used with permission. Tom Patterson uses this method to make a hillside of trees.

I use black polyester fiberfill that I purchased in bulk to make the trees. The photo below shows the "trees" ready to be sprayed with adhesive and covered with ground foam.  The trick here is to pull off a hand-sized clump, stretch it out into a thin line of fiberfill and then then gently bunch the fiberfill together. As you can see from the photo, each "tree" has a unique shape. I grab the tree in the center with long needle nosed pliers, apply adhesive, and then hold the tree in a coffee can half full with ground foam. I shake the can so that the ground foam covers the tree. By shaking the can and the foam around the tree, instead of dropping the foam into the can, the tree tends to maintain its unique shape. I use Woodland Scenics Medium Green and Dark Green coarse turf and Flock and Turf Spring Green Coarse foam for the foliage.

finished trees mounted on tooth picks
Tom Patterson
Modeling the free-lanced Chesapeake, Wheeling & Erie Railroad, Summer 1976

Water Colour

Rick Owen has loaned a painting to the club. He was lucky enough to pick up this water colour by Duane Fenwick in Burlington, at a church bizarre. It will hang in our office. Thanks Rick.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff

A few of us got there early. The wiring on the upper loop was completed.

Ralph and Donald replaced more of the rock wall on the branch.

Trent and Jim positioned Heritage Furniture at its new home in Wellington.

As most members had now arrived, we started operating. First order of business, attack the goody tray supplied by Rick, thank you.

Because everyone was held up, there was a lot of congestion in the main aisle until a few trains got going. Taylor took out his rotary snow plow of a test run. He thinks the snow will be heavy this year and wants to be prepared.

Today I will follow a way freight operated by Glen, who had left Elsewhere earlier. When I caught up to him, he was spotting a flat car of pipes at the Harbour  Crane.

His next stop was Lincoln, always a busy spot, so busy in fact that we plan on having a switcher stationed there to do most of the work. Glen is moving a load to the Miller interchange yard for the branch line to pick up later.

As Glen switches the stockyard Don is held on the passing track.

Now that Jim has cleared the turnouts Don heads out to Springbank, told you Lincoln is a busy place.

Arriving at the end of his run, Glen spots empty stock cars in the Wellington yard.

Glen shows a friend, Eugene the layout, who snapped a lot of pictures to show his friends.

Another visitor, John watches the as Don and Mike switch Lincoln.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thanks for the invite Larry

Back in 1970 I had an industrial accident which caused me to feel quite sorry for myself .Fortunatly I had a neighbor who lived across the street who invited me to come and assist him in building his model empire. This is when the model railroad bug finally got me . My preferred scale is HO and my favorite part of the hobby is building structures, mostly bridges but I will not back away from any project. I have built several compressors for fellow modelers has well has paint booths complete with exaust fans to the outdoors, many of these items are still in use today. One of my best remembrances is when I was approached by a local high school to teach a course in model railroading has a night school class for several years. It was quite a treat to be paid to do what I enjoyed so much. I model in the transition period of late steam and first generation diesel I prefer to model CP units and I have named my branch has the Ontario Great Lakes Railroad, OGL for short.. In 2012 I aproached a friend of mine to see if he might assist us in supplying a location for a club layout and he gratiously offered the site that we now use .


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

The night started with a problem solving exercise. There was no power to Wellington, Elsewhere and the loops. Knowing the last section wired was the upper loop, the power feed to block 2 was removed. We now had power everywhere but the upper loop, so there must be a short in that section. Under the bench work I go. It's hard to figure out where you are under there, but a set of backward wires was found. With Glen as my eyes above the layout we found that a turnout was wired backwards, problem solved. By then most of the members had arrived and we started the nights ops. Our operating sessions are are not organized as yet so operators make up a train and run it. After the construction is finished we will try to set up a system of train orders.

A couple of buildings with local business signs.

Trent, Tate and Don all switching Heron's Landing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Work night at the Huff & Puff

Well we're in the black for next year, and that's a good thing. A short meeting to discuss on going projects that need to be completed, and off to work we go. Glen and Jim had done some scenery work at the cement plant, and that continues. With the reduction of coal traffic, oil, cement, and grain are now the major shippers on the layout.

 As Jim, Donald and me add more feeders, Mike and Trent start ballasting the upper loop.

Some of us dress up for work night.

Tom (who we ellected as president because he was late for the meeting) is hard at work on the branch line.

Almost everyone worked on the line to the power plant. As the traffic to the power plant has been drastically reduced, 1 siding was cut short and joined to the other one forming a run around. This will let operators pull in the coal cars and then run around them to drop them off, instead of having to push them all the way down the siding.

The ties were left in place to represent
abandoned track.