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

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Creating a digital copy of a track plan

 I drew out a track plan at 1/4 inch to a foot. The front, eastbound track is black, the back, westbound track is red and the branchline is blue. The benches are green.

A photo was taken and loaded onto my old PC. opening it in Paint. The first thing I did was add all the town names in 16 pika and the industries in 10 pika text. Printing a copy shows how dark it prints out.

Next using either the eraser, or the select and delete functions, I deleted all the open space around the benchwork. This turns it into a white space.


Next, using the same functions, I selected areas with only straight track or the bench edges, erasing sections but leaving references at each end. It is then a simple mater of selecting the proper colour and the straight line function, to replace all the erased pen lines with nice straight, printed ones. Curves were done with the curve line function. All the industries were also redone. All this erasing removes all of the graph paper lines so they are carefully added to the outside of all the benches.

The results are a nice clean printout. As it is saved it can be altered at any time, without having to redraw the whole plan. Copies can also be made for other members.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Layout track plan

 The first full plan of our layout. Not all the industries are drawn in and others are not named. Some mistakes on the colour of parts of the 2 sections of the mainline. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tuesday meeting, Oct. 26, 2021

 The financial report swaps accepted as read. Money from sales at the Train Show, was added to the account.

Applying for grants was also discussed. Because of all the red tape, it was tabled for now.
It was agreed that our dues would remain the same and that a limited number of new members would be accepted.
Prices on 14 gauge bus wire will be looked into, and purchased.
No decision on having more sessions per week was made.

Recent changes to the layout, were briefly highlighted.
Some wording, as it applies to car cards, train orders, and the blog, was decided. The 2 double ended yards will be referred to as READY yards, setting out rolling stock will be called SPOT or DROP, picking up rolling stock will be called PICK.
The need for a passing track at the gravel pit was thought to be a good idea, as was another idea for removable loads on flat cars, more on that later.
Ideas for an operating system were floated. Even through the actual choice between Train Orders or Car Cards was not made, we agreed there needs to be more variety in switching rolling stock than just DROP and PICK the same type of car. Some want the piece of rolling stock identified e.g.. AAR and number. To only DROP  or PICK would add
 variety, as would dropping and picking different types of rolling stock at the same
 industry. Spotting rolling stock, say over an unloading grate, putting incoming rolling
 stock at the end of the siding, and multiple industries on one siding are other good ideas.

After the meeting, wiring continued and foam was added to create hills.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tuesday night at the RHR Oct 19

 Several people were on wiring detail, adding feeders, connecting feeders to the bus wires, as seen in the picture below, even connected one block to a quad unit, and run an engine! For those that don't know, ever piece of track will have a set of feeder wires or a few hundred feeders. At the same time single or double ties are being used to fill in gaps between 2 pieces of track. We have found a couple of cases where the moulded spikes were not removed, causing the track to have a bump. These have been replaced. We found 1 case where the tie ends were not trimed, where 2 tracks join onto a turnout. This causes a bad alignment. Four more rerailers/Road crossings were also installed.

An access hole was cutout beside the passenger tracks in Woodstock. The bench frame was adapted to support the perimeter of this cutout. We tested hiding it with tall buildings.

I hesitate to say this, because I know we will have to remove sections for scenery and other trackwork, but the mainline track is complete!!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Friday fun at the RHR

 Found 4 more rerailers, in a box of track, so 3 are being installed in Hunter. The reversing/loading track was installed with required insulators and a rerailer. It still has to be wired and checked.

 The new storage yard in Wellington was also started.

The gravel pit sidings were located and installed.

Two former members came for a visit, from St. Thomas, nice to see Leo and Ruby. Leo is working on some On30 structures for his own layout.


A few ideas were discussed with some members. First the use of timers at all stations, to have a set time to load and unload passengers. Second was weather to use AAR codes or our short forms for car type entries on our train orders e.g.. XM and LO or BC and CH, for box cars and covered hoppers. Third was to have more than 1 industry per siding. Fourth was the use of the combination of brown water towers and yellow stations, on the back mainline (which will be referred to as the eastern division) and green water towers and red stations on the front mainline (western division) to help separate the 2 mainlines. NB. a light and dark ballast would also help. All of these subjects will be drought up at our meeting. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Tuesday night at the RHR

 New yard for Wellington/Woodstock. Because we are leaning towards breaking down many of the trains that have been run, we need more yard storage. A new 4 track stub ended yard will be installed off the end of the Wellington ready yard. That will make 8 storage tracks in total. The engine reversing switch, between Elsewhere and Wellington, was also worked on. It was also decided that this would include a power control engine loading track, with a rerailer.

Thames River Bridge is being installed, leaving only work on the stream near the Coal mine and some trackwork at the Elsewhere yard, to complete the mainline.


Work continues. Another 2 bus wire runs were installed, as were a host of feeder wires. In the background, members prepair for the Woodstock Train Show on Sunday.

The email about what kind of operating system, can up in discussion many times. Preference was all across the board, from the old individual car cards, because of it realism, to the Train Order system, because of its simplicity. It remains to be seen where the debate will go. The biggest problem with a complicated system is the constant correction of switching errors, and simpler systems lack realism.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Train ops.

 Listed from the easiest to the hardest. If you want some say in our operating sessions please reply.

I like train order type 1 it is self correcting, somewhat realistic and has traffic control

Pre-set trains like the log train, passenger train, and coal drag, remain for all the ops listed.

Opportunistic switching.
Make up any train you want with available cars in the yard, not longer than 6 feet. Travel around the layout, imaginering your loads and pickups as you go, switching at any or all locations you want. At the end of the run, all cars are stored in the main yard.

Pros nobody has to make up trains
           No paperwork
            No checking and correcting rolling stock
            No specific amount of rolling stock types
             No card box's needed
            No pre planning
Cons no control over trailing switching only
           No realism, unless you have a good imagination.

Train Order system type 1, with only set outs listed, where you set out specific cars, but pick up everything there.

Pros somewhat realistic
           No checking and correcting rolling stock
           Trailing switching only
           Only 1 piece of paperwork
Cons some paperwork required
           Some card box's required
           Trains need to be made up per train orders
           Need correct amount of rolling stock available
           Pre planning required

TRAIN ORDER system type 2, with Set out and pickups listed, where you set out and pick up like cars.

Pros  more realistic
          Car forwarding possible
           Trailing switching only
           Only 1 piece of paperwork
Cons some paperwork required
           Some card box's required
           Trains need to be made up per train orders
           Need correct amount of rolling stock available
           checking and correcting rolling stock
            More Pre planning required

Car cards listing all car information type 1, or car type only type 2, with either a pouch for destinations, or double sided for set outs and pickups.

Pros very realistic
Cons lots and lots of paperwork required
           lots of card box's required
           Trains need to be made up per cards
           Need correct amount of rolling stock available
           checking and correcting rolling stock to location
           No trailing switching
           Pre planning require

Funny how the simplest system has the most Pros and the least Cons.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Reversing track

 Reversing, return loop, program, track. Quite a mouthful. The main component of this idea is a peco turnout with an electric throw motor, plus a Twin Micro Switch, also called, 2 single pole, double throw switchs, which was probably used for signals or frog power. We, however will use the 2 SPDT switch to reverse the polarity of the turnout, yellow circled,  and the tail track. Gaps, blue lines, will isolate the turnout and tail track  from the tracks coming from the 2 yards, note, in conversation about this idea, it was suggested to have the gaps at the throat of the turnout, at least 6 inches away. The tail track will also have a gap so the far end of it can be isolated, so it can be turned off and on, to place engines on the layout. A rerailer, black, will be installed to help with that. This loading track could also be used to program engines.

How it will be used. The 2 yard tracks which feed this reversing track, will be the mainline through these yards, in other words, always left open. If a train is brough into Wellington, it would be dropped, the engine would run past the Wellington yard, go around the Woodstock loop and into the Elsewhere yard and into the reversing track, throw the turnout, back into the Wellington yard, facing in the opposite direction. Reversing this procedure for Elsewhere. No turntable needed. The tail track could have a water tower, coaling tower, etc. For decoration and or operations.

Friday fun, Oct. 8th.

 As always there was a lot of scenery being added, rerailers/Road crossings being installed and track adjustments, going on in the background. A siding was found with feeder wires installed, but it had not been located into its final position as yet,  adjustments were made, as required. So a reminder to people installing feeders, most of the sidings have not been put into their final location yet, so only wire the mainline and passing sidings. An effort will be made to have the sidings put where they should be to avoid confusion and extra work.

Looking at our supply of stations, it was found that we have yellow and red sided types. So all the mainline stations on the front mainline are red and all the rear mainline stations are yellow.  This may help distinguish the 2 mainlines as being separate from each other. Of course, the white Woodstock station will be used between the Wellington and Elsewhere yards. In fact that loop area will be known as Woodstock, so as many buildings as possible, with a Woodstock reference, should be located there. As there is no sidings there, factories like La France and Bingham the Mover will be located at other towns on the layout.

Industries in Tatham and their sidings were put into place.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Tuesday night at the RHR

 After building shelves, to support the electronics,  the first quad unit was installed. After adding the bus wire holders the first run of bus wires were also added. We are now in the early stage of soldering feeder wires to every section of track on the mainline.

In the Thames River area the overhead road bridge was test fitted and the river bank received the base coat of paint. This river bridge and the ones by the Coal mine, require a lot of scenery to be completed before the bridges can be installed.


Elsewhere yard now has all the track and turnouts in place, final adjustments and mainline alignment are still required. Well that's only partly correct, because we are installing a turntable which will require a turnout from both of the Elsewhere and Wellington yards.

The passing track in Fidler was laid, and the industries were test fitted as a start to laying out the town's sidings, the last ones, on the mainline,  to have all of its sidings positioned. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Friday fun at the RHR

 With the decision to not have a steelmill, in Hunter, 4 other industries were located there. Buckley Mills is the only industry at the fire door exit, so as not to block access to the fire extinguisher. As there is a lumber mill backdrop there a siding was put in to service it. La France and Schell industries were added to the furnace end. All the tracks were also laid to these industries.

To increase the gravel traffic, a siding was added to Springbank. It will service Zorra Cement. Road access was added with the use of 3 rerailers.


All the sidings in the harbour area of Lincoln were installed. Because of 2 oil backdrops, we are considering adding a siding to service them and the expanded City Services, oil depot.