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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

The main yard at Ortona has had some scenery added between the tracks. Peter and I may have went a little overboard with the bushes between the tracks.
The town of Ortona was done last Friday by Glen.
The town has a station, a wharehouse and a oil depot.
The town of Lakeview has started to take shape.
It will have a coal dealer, a freight house and a few town buildings. The station is in front of the sawmill. There will also be a dinner and a ferry service there.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Points to Ponder

As the new year begins and operations return to normal we should consider the direction we want to proceed. Continue our grab a train and go approach, knowing someone else will correct switching mistakes and set up trains for us, or do we want to help take ownership by learning how the layout operates and why each operation is important, and should be done correctly, for the enjoyment of everyone? If you prefer the latter, read on.  Some of the ideas listed below have been discussed before and some are new. All are designed to be educational, spread out the work, and help each member avoid mistakes, that we all make, from time to time.

Verification of rolling stock locations. Have a list at each town listing industries and the rolling stock that should be at each one. At the start of each session members will be assigned a town to check. This will get all members not only to know industries and their location but also emphasized the importance of proper spotting of rolling stock. Any errors will be corrected at once, before sessions begin.

Verify consist. Operators should do this, when picking up a train and after switching each town. If it is wrong, correct it. This will help eliminate switching errors.

Designated start time. Do we want to have a start time, e.g.. 6:30 or 7:00, or when enough members are present? No specific time.

Dispatcher. Do we want to have trains dispatched in a logical order? They could also control train movement. Operators have to ask the dispatcher for clearance to proceed to the next town. The Dispatcher should ask things like, have you verified your consist, or do it for them, are you east or west bound, are you switching the next town? We should not have 2 people switching in the same town.
  First comment from our dispatcher friend, Gary. "Stagger train starting times to vary operations and congestion on the railroad."

Do we want to identify yard tracks by, putting a number on a piece of plastic glued to the ties of each yard track, or a sign post, or an illustration of the yard on the fascia?

Two man crews. Theoretically we could double our membership. What is the advantage? Experienced members could help newer members. Two people checking switching moves and departing consists. Camradery. Foster new ideas. A new member can join a crew without having to buy all the equipment at once.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

The heat is on, Merry Christmas to us!

Scenery continues to be applied to all the new areas. The ballasting is complete, so get out the Brite Boys. A lot of the wiring has been hidden in the open areas of the layout.

What's left? Finish the scenery, clean the track,  paint the fascia, and hang the curtains. Train orders for the branchline need to be made up and printed, and some changes need to be made to the mainline train orders also.

The Sawmill area is complete.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Friday fun

The log pond area get some scenery.
Lincoln Station with 1 of Glen's trees.
Dave Bears
Part of the logging spur
Old Ortona
The tool storage area Larry created.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

CP. Honours military.

Canadian Pacific honours Canadian, U.S. military with special locomotives

Canadian Pacific (CP) unveiled five specially painted locomotives on Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the U.S. honouring the culture and history of the armed forces. The five Electro-Motive Diesel SD70ACUs will take the message of military pride across the CP system.
Go to CP's web site or Google CP7020, Joseph sent me the link, I think he is drooling over the thought of theses coming out in HO scale.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

The next 2 weeks the Tuesday night meeting will be on Monday night.

Lots of goodies, thanks Rick and Glen. I guess the statement "behind every good man, there is a good woman " applies here.

The area under Ortona has been reworked by Larry to hold the vacuum cleaner, extension cords and tools. He had also, previously build a sliding box for extra track.

Glen has been putting in extra hours adding scenery to the new areas of the layout. All the trackwork is now operational, but it needs to be cleaned in some areas, and some turnouts need over center springs and adjustments.

All the rockwork in the spar tree is completed. The wood retaining wall slides up for access to the tunnel. Removable log loads are stored at the end of the spar tree siding. Also note the 2 bears, lazer printed by Dave, in the mouth of the cave, unpainted as yet.
Dave also printed and painted a log unloader for the sawmill.
Elsewhere now has a background of building flats, as does Ortona

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Thursday morning blues

Enduring 48 deg. Fahrenheit temperatures, Glen and I glued down some scenery. I notified Bill about the heat.
Behind the sawmill 

Static grass behind Lakeview 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

Now you see it.
Now you don't.
Old #9 on it's return trip on the logging spur.
The gangs all watching the inaugural trip on the branchline! 
Backdrop buildings being arranged at Ortona. 
Yes the branchline is operational. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Friday fun

Glen tried out a static grass applicator. The park with his wire tree has a fine grass application, where as the areas below are a courser product. Be sure to check it out at Northdale.

 Donald started ballasting the Ortona yard, Tom added more, and Glen glued it down.
Glen added and painted the side of the hill on the logging spur. With the occasional shout out, "Larry M. Could you please make a piece to plug this hole?" Larry has been the go to guy for cutting odd ball pieces to fit in here or there. He also said he may go up and finish the last section of fascia.
Rob has taken up residence in the trestle area. Fitting in rock, which Glen then mugs in. Rob also glued down the trestle and tracked it. Yes the logging spur is completely tracked and wired.
I finished putting track in the sawmill area and wired it up. Some ballasting and scenery were also completed. Scenery behind the sawmill has to be completed before it can be installed.
On Tuesday we will test run the branchline after some track cleaning. Then we will start on a general clean up, as all the sawing and drilling will be completed.
Well MIKE, the final tests of YOUR idea, exciting eh!
So what's left?
Lots of cleaning.
Lots of scenery.
Lots of Facia painting.
Lots of sorting and storing tools, scenery material, wood, and wire.
Lots of garbage removal.
Lots of curtains to be hung.
Lots of enjoyment of what we have accomplished. Thanks to all.
Our biggest and longest project since the original construction. Hmmmm, what's next?

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

After a short meeting we continued on with our work night. It was nice to see Tom could make it to the meeting.
Almost all of the fascia was cut and installed. Two bottles of ballast was put down, and rock work around the tunnel progressed.
All of the branchline was hooked up and it tested out OK. It was then disconnected so ballasting and wiring can continue.

Busy as beavers, we were. Now thats how work gets done.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday fun

With the scenery completed behind the trestle, Rob erected a stone wall at the Ortona end and refit the trestle. Peter did some ballasting and soldered up some feeders we had missed. Glen mudded in scenery along the logging spur. Most of the track was laid in the sawmill area.  Don added white highlights to his silicone waves, and reminded us that it is time to pay our dues. Jim did some running and moved cars not in the correct locations. He also had to arrange the train orders out of place.

The log pond was cut out and the removed piece was used to make a hill.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

All of the newly wired areas, on the branchline were hooked up and no shorts were detected. Before we jump into ballasting, we should run some trains on the branchline to see if all is well.
The logging spur trestle area received some rock castings and gaps were plastered in. The trestle was adjusted to the new levels, but awaits finishing touches on the scenery behind it, before it can be permanently installed and tracked.
Since members finished up running early a few areas that were not directly on the roadbed, were ballasted, to support them properly.  What I'm talking about is, sometimes the roadbed has small dips of a few inches long and the track naturally finds it's own level. Rather than forcing it down we fill under it with ballast, creating a small fill area. We will start ballasting the mainline, waiting to glue it down until everyone is done running so as not to short out the system.
Rob and Larry installed the fascia on this new section of the branchline.  The dark wood retaining wall will be surrounded by rock castings, but will remain removable to access the track in the tunnel. We will try to get all the fascia up, finishing up the woodwork, so we can clean up.
A fence was installed around the coal mine property.
A tree grows in Northdale. Glen tried his hand at making a wire tree. Estimating it took 20 minutes, that's 3 an hour, so it will take him ..........

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Friday fun

Sidings added at Miller, Lakeview, and the gravel dock and all of the installed track now have had feeders added. The only track not put in yet is in the sawmill area, which is waiting for completion of scenery behind it.
The stone wall was added to the port area.
Ballasting on the branchline.
Plaster added to the trestle area.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

On one front the logging spur was wired, as far as it has been installed. At the same time the placement of the trestle was finished and the trestle was removed to add in the drywall mesh to support the first layer of plaster. In another area the town of Northdale was laid out. The problem now is all of the construction is in 2 small areas and that the areas in the back have to be sceniced before areas in the front can be worked on. An example of this is the sawmill area and the Harbour cannot be installed until the track at the coal mine, the upper and lower mainlines, are ballasted and scenery is completed. Compounding this is the ballasting can't be done while the system is on. We may have to schedule a work day or two.
So far we have no problems with any of the new construction. Moving forward we can ballast areas like Ortona and parts of the branchline, because they are not on the system as yet. Once the feeders are done on the logging spur, we can start ballasting and adding scenery to it. We need to finalize the sidings in Miller and Lakeview, so they can also be wired and ballasted. This would at least finish the trackwork, and wiring, for the most part.
Northdale buildings we set up and roads added.

This photo shows the cut back area of the logging spur which enabled the tunnel to be shortened.
The trestle area prepared for plastering.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tree Time

Now that the re-novated layout area is close to
completion in terms of general
construction and track placement, 
scenery planning
is underway. 
Trees are a key part of making the layout land-
scale more rea-
listic. The ever-
green trees in the picture are made from commercial filter material on readily available skewers. The deciduous tree is twisted floral wire
for the trunk and 
branches with 
foliage clusters added glued to the branches. Now to find the time to make many more trees

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Friday fun

Well let's say, looking back at Friday, a day that I had to leave early. So I will post what I can remember seeing being done.
The first thing I noticed was the roadbed for the logging line was already painted and ready for the track. But while taking that in, I noticed that the grade was not a steady climb, but rather, apparently had undulations in it. The group gathered and decided that it only added to the realism of what a logging spur would look like, and would have no consequence on any trains using the spur. With that decided, work commenced on securing the trestle base and track laying. As the track was laid around the curve below the spar tree, it became obvious that the benchwork could be narrowed allowing for a shorter tunnel below it. With agreement that the shorter the better, part of the spurs benchwork was narrowed, and the track in the tunnel adjust a little, thus moving the exit of that end of the tunnel back about a foot. I had to leave before this was completed.
Don took up the job of checking how the stone walls at Lakeview's harbour would effect the gravel dock. After some adjustments all looked good, so he gathered up the walls to take home and add gray primer to them.
Larry was also, after yet another trip home, this time to get his glue gun, proceeding to replace missing footing beams on the trestle, and to level it up. It was also decided that the dip of the roadbed at the junction of the trestle, could be looked after while ballasting.
All the while Glen was climbing around the Lakeview and sawmill area applying a base coal of paint and scenery.
I almost forgot Sparky. Jim had added wires to connect the bus wires of section 4 (all of the branchline after it leaves Lincoln) to the Quad unit, temporarily connecting them to check for shorts. Non were found. He then continued adding feeders to section 4. It should be mentioned that secton 3, the rest of the branchline to Lakeview has feeders and a complete set of bus wires. All that remains to be connected is the sawmill area and the siding in Lakeview. So in summary, when the 2 sidings in Ortona, the gravel dock, the 4 or 5 sidings in Lakeview, and the logging spur are laid and wired, the electrical part will be completed.
After some test runs on the branchline, the fascia and scenery can be installed. Maybe our present for Christmas will be a completed layout, I'll have to put a ribbon and bow on the door.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tuesday night at the Huff and Puff

As the Lakeview area takes shape, buildings were brought out of storage, to see what we have. The Sawmill was temporarily set up to figure out the track arrangement, and we found room for a small collection of buildings to complement a ferry service area. Don painted a water surface for the port area, to which we added the ferry dock and and the gravel dock. A stone wall will be added along the water area.

We had a visitor from California, Ashley who is Peter's daughter.
A crew worked on supporting and grading the logging spur.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday fun

It appears someone was at the layout as all of the rock work was completed around Lakeview. Glen finished up painting the roadbed today.
Reworked the throat of the Ortona yard, which required some of the rest of the tracks to be adjusted. Got a lot of the feeders in Ortona and Miller put in.
The trestle on the logging spur was situated and some of the approaching benchwork was installed.
The trestle is a bit smaller than before but will still look good. Once the correct grade up to this area if worked out, we can lay the roadbed and track up to the trestle.
Don took the plastic sheet for the harbour home to paint and we have cut a stone wall to finish off the waterfront, once it is reinstalled.
Ruby and Leo came up for a visit. Leo is working in On30 now.