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 B&M Eastern Route progress

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 01/31/2008 : 8:10:46 PM
I'm modeling the Boston & Maine's Eastern Route in HO standard gauge in my 207-year-old house's attic. The attic has its pluses and minuses - plenty of space, just up the stairs and finished, but the combination of the sloping ceiling and a 36" minimum radius meant I could only do an around-the-walls plan. Also, it can get a bit hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

The layout incorporates my Rowley MA modules, presently the only finished scenery, in the rural northern half of the attic. The southeast corner is where I'm building my compressed version of West Lynn, MA including the General Electric River works and the West Lynn creamery.

This photo shows the mainline curve passing the future creamery (spur under the file) and the Saugus Branch (long staging tracks) coming in from the left. I'm spiking rail on the branch, building the switch comes next. The flying plywood is actually pretty rigid with the flange below and the backdrop partially installed, it will get better when I bring the backdrop around to the left edge of the photo.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Orionvp17 Posted - 08/30/2018 : 9:40:07 PM
And here I thought I was making progress by "completing" a couple of hand-laid turnouts and drilling the holes for the Tortoise actuating rods for the throw bars....

Nicely done, James! Nicely done!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 08/30/2018 : 9:35:20 PM
Bumped this by adding one of my build threads to my index on page 1. Also saw an old post with a turnout count, which can be a rough estimate of layout complexity. As of February, when I finished the Downtown Newburyport track, the Eastern Route's turnouts were:

74 fully operational (9 commercial, 56 hand laid, 9 came with the piece of the old MIT club layout),
2 hand laid awaiting mechanisms (inside GE River Works),
10 not begun (5 in GE River Works, 5 on the future Oil Spur peninsula),
86 total.

In May 2010, I had 31 working of an expected total of 80. GE and Downtown Newburyport both got more complicated as I finalized their designs.
Mike Hamer Posted - 08/27/2018 : 7:01:47 PM
James, I really enjoy the look of the lights from the signals working in tandem with the headlight on the locomotive. I truly feel I am trackside railfanning the B&M!
Frank Palmer Posted - 08/27/2018 : 09:36:30 AM
You're a busy man.
jbvb Posted - 08/26/2018 : 10:44:25 PM
Well, 2 1/2 months, time for an update. I went to Thailand and rode trains. I went to Kansas City and rode trolleys on the way, in K.C and on the way back. In between, I harvested hay, wheat & rye, started learning to operate a Pettibone Speed Swing (12"/foot) and made a lot of progress on 5 Strong St. I also shot a photographic layout tour which I'm slowly uploading to Flickr. And tonight I started putting Rowley and Rowley River back in the layout. They will be getting some touch-up for Rowley's 30th birthday next spring. But prep for the NER Mahwah convention (erielimited.org) takes precedence - two clinics and one contest entry.
jbvb Posted - 06/05/2018 : 10:00:01 PM
Thank you, Mike, Pete, Mark. I've been working on/around the layout, but nothing really photogenic:

1. Installed cellular blinds w/cords in the south-end windows. I chose a bluish color not too far from my backdrop's sky color. It is less noticeable, but also blocks more light than the plain white ones I've used elsewhere in the house. My goal is less heat transfer (either way) and less UV.

2. Cleaned up the whole attic floor, then vacuumed & cleaned the track for visitors from CA. They'd found me via the NMRA Layout Directory, which I would recommend to anyone else who likes the occasional visitor (if nothing else, the prospect of showing the layout is an incentive to get off my duff).

3. Got serious about my "What have I learned from contest judging" checklist for the Structures AP. The last burst of activity had been gas & electric meters, this time it's doorknobs and stink pipes. And detailing High St. across the bridge. Then I'll put together a folder on each structure (or maybe make an HTML page with links to plans, prototype photos, build photos etc.).

Apropos of that, has anyone ever seen an HO scale casting for a roof drain? In warmer clients, they connect downspouts to scuppers at the parapet, but in Northern New England it's more common to put a domed cast iron grating over a drainpipe that runs down inside the heated interior of the building. Usually 4" to 8" diameter on the bottom.
MarkF Posted - 05/21/2018 : 6:42:47 PM
Nice looking shot James! All the details combine to make a great scene.
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/21/2018 : 10:31:26 AM
Nicely done, James! Nicely done.

I need to get things to this point! <sigh>

in Michigan
Michael Hohn Posted - 05/20/2018 : 10:57:47 PM

Thatís a great scene in every way. Details like the switch stand really complement your excellent track.

jbvb Posted - 05/20/2018 : 9:49:06 PM
Thank you very much, Blair. I have a little feeling for your native corner of PA: I've seen a lot of old roadbeds off in the woods around Scranton and Reading, though I've never taken a hike on any.

Things have been busy with outdoor work, Hub Div. events, Seashore track work & operations etc. My modeling time last week was a break from structures: building and installing more Rapido switch stands for Newburyport.

Each sprue will build a Ramapo #17 (high, pre-1960), a Racor #17B (high, post-1960) and a Racor #20 (low) stand. I can use all of them, but I have to make B&M-pattern targets from brass. Also, the sprue only includes one lamp molding (I'm not complaining, these were manufactured incorrectly so Rapido gave them away at the BigE this year).

I'd painted the lamp's roundels on an earlier sprue, but this time I looked through my stock of MV reflective lenses; the LS 220 (red) & 221 (green) were about the right size. I drilled a dimple in each roundel out to #50 and Goo'ed four MV lenses in place. Then I spent a while playing with pictures.

Verdict: The reflected light can be seen, but you have to look (left side, just past the signal), but not conspicuous more than a foot from the audience. I will move this to a more visible location and glue it in place so it doesn't get vacuumed away. And I will build future switch stands like this batch, with a spike for a lamp.
BlairM Posted - 05/13/2018 : 5:30:07 PM
Originally posted by jbvb

This trackwork is really a nice junction, I like the look of the stained ties and dark ballast, it really does have the new england look. This particular photo really gets me witht the process and I am impressed how you move boldy forward through and beyond the turnout with the rail and then fill in the rest later; I know this is a traditional method, but it is still something to actually see it in progress.
This is really ancient stuff, goes back to the beginings of the hobby when you had to know how to do all of the handlaying if you wanted to be a modeler.
I really like seeing how the ties precede the rails just as in old prototype. The warm color of the stained wood really sparks a feeling for me that is a mix of pure nostalgia from prototypes, old-fashioned modeling and memories of some of my early wood modeling in scale.

I love your photo of the turnout in the woods, that is the sort of railfanning I did as a kid, I grew up in Northeast PA where a lot of the duplicate routes were abandoned and you had to use imaginiation to see the railroad back in time past the trees.

Nice work.
jbvb Posted - 05/12/2018 : 10:40:41 PM
Bump: Searching for details of how I'd built something, found some typos. Progress continues on 5 Strong St., more pictures Sunday.
jbvb Posted - 05/01/2018 : 12:26:32 PM
It appears that capacitor purchasers tightened up their specs and improved their testing in the fallout. At any rate, I had a 10,000 uFd cap, bought for this purpose, and I just piggybacked it onto the non-component side of the PDC-1. That gave considerably more oomph, but not enough to make all buttons '1-push' reliable. Next time I feel like crawling under the layout, I'll look closely at the mechanisms. It probably doesn't help that Draw's west throat uses three kinds of twin-coil switch machines.
deemery Posted - 04/26/2018 : 3:50:12 PM
I had a computer that suffered from unreliable capacitors. (either HP or Dell. After that, I decided cheap Windows boxes weren't worth the hassle :-)

jbvb Posted - 04/26/2018 : 3:30:47 PM
After a busy couple of weeks catching up and turning the debris from March storms into next winter's firewood, I had some time for the RR last night. Those of you who've operated here know the Draw staging's diode matrix didn't always throw turnouts completely on the first button press. I went after that.

The first problem was some 'tinned' bus wire I'd used, resulting in many cold solder joints:

Using magnification as I tried to re-do the bad ones, I realized the tinning was solder with a higher than normal melting point. But the diodes survived re-soldering with my 100W gun on the three old wires that remain on this side.

I replaced all four 'tinned' wires that had been on the diode side.

It works much better, but still takes multiple pushes for some turnouts. Next I'll look at my Miniatronics PDC-1 capacitive discharge unit - its 10,000 mFd capacitor should be plenty, but it could have been on the hobby shop's shelf long enough to date back to Nichicon's 2001-04 era of unreliable capacitors.

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