Blog

This blog is limited to articles; random photos or quick updates are posted to the FaceBook page.

Blog entries from August 2017 and earlier have been migrated from a former site and many of the images are incorrectly linked. These may be repaired over time.

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The American Viscose Company, at Lewistown on my PRR Middle Division, was a manufacturer of rayon. It once employed over 3,000 people and eventually closed when Hurricane Agnes flooded the plant in 1972.

One of the raw materials for the manufacture of rayon is sodium hydroxide, more commonly known as "caustic soda". To prepare waybills, I used the Waybill and IndMan (free) applications from Shenware and the industry database (also free) from the OpSIG, I got a list of providers of caustic soda. One was Hooker Chemicals in Wilmington, CA.

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Today the missing link -- the scale track at Lewistown -- was installed.

This short piece of track, including two gauntlet turnouts and a gauntlet track, were built on the workbench due to its location on the model railroad. It was part of my presentation for my Model Railroad Engineer - Civil AP from the NMRA.

Civil AP

As of August 21, 2020, my Model Railroad Engineer - Civil AP was conferred. Six down; one to go.

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Six Sinclair Refining Company tank cars came through Lewistown yesterday. As of 1950, Sinclair maintained the fourth largest roster of tank cars in North America (Interchange: Ownership of Tank Cars in 1950). They frequented Pennsy rails and Sinclair had a facility in Altoona, Pa.

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Members of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) are likely familiar with the Achievement Program (AP). The program is kind of like earning Boy Scout badges... you complete a number of tasks in a category and the reward is a certificate. At first look it can seem daunting, but when you really think about it, you are going to accomplish most of the tasks anyway just by building your own model railroad. What follows is my strategy towards gaining the MMR status.

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For the past 10 years, my model railroad plan was hand drawn sketches supplemented by what is in my head.

I've always wanted nice, clean drawings for the web site, and "a" drawing with specific features is a requirement for the NMRA AP in Civil Engineering. Makes sense to knock off both with one effort!

Using MacDraft, I now have the first revision of drawings completed and have updated the Description and Design page accordingly. Future revisions will include some cleanup and the addition of more scenic elements.

Take a look!

 

It's been a very productive quarter on the Middle Division. We are getting closer and closer to completing the missing link -- the scale track at Lewistown. Once completed and installed, the yard will connect with the branch and we can start looking forward to operations!

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The Middle Division received four EMD F units yesterday. Though ordered only two years ago, I've been waiting for these spotting feature combinations for years! Thanks to Broadway Limited Imports, two vacancies in my motive power roster have now been filled.

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Found a great solution for offline staging/storage of rolling stock... This cart from Michael's has ten drawers, each of which can hold 10-12 transition era freight cars. That's 100-120 overall! Being on wheels, it can also be wheeled easily around the train room. A layer of bubble wrap protects the cars and keeps them from jostling about.

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