bob martin

This past Sunday we lost a good friend, Robert "Bob" Martin of Emigsville, Pa. The following is from the York Daily Record:

Robert E. Martin, 74, died Sunday, December 18, 2016 at home. He was the husband of Carole L. (Moyer) Martin. Mr. and Mrs. Martin were married for 51 years on August 21, 2016. [Ed. Note: Carole's father, John Moyer, was the fireman on GG1 #4876 leading the Federal Express when it crashed into Union Station in Washington, D. C., on January 15, 1953.]

Born April 18, 1942 in York, he was the son of the late Robert C. and Mable I. (Plymire) Martin.

RRampmeter

Another tool that I added to the fray was a RRampMeter from DCC Specialties. I saw these in use at several open houses during November and I immediately recognized its benefit.

Although initially released for use for measuring track power directly off of the tracks, everyone seemed to be using right at their command stations and boosters.

The RRampMeter, inline with the power bus, displays voltage to the track as well as current draw in amps. With the RRampMeter you can tell when you are approaching max amperage on the power bus.

I purchased one, and mounted it, but modified my wiring so that I can move it between command station and boosters with little effort. I may eventually add additional RRampMeters on the boosters.

A recent thread on the Atlas Forum asked "What model railroads inspired you?" It challenged readers to recollect before responding. Responses were typically in list form, but I'd like to share my list with justification, in no particular order...

Without a doubt, I can point to Bruce Chubb's Sunset Valley Lines as my original inspiration. As a teen, I was glued to the series in Model Railroader. It was my first exposure to the concept of "operations" on a model railroad.

Allen McClellan's Virginian & Ohio is probably on everyone's list. I was late to the party as I was not a Railroad Model Craftsmansubscriber at the time, or perhaps that was when I was at college and my hobby was boxed up. In any case, it was in the late 1980s or even the 1990s that I was enlightened by Allen's work. His "beyond the basement" approach opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.

PSX

While preparing for my open house in early November, I was experiencing some trouble bringing the system back online following a short. I would clear the short, but the Digitrax system would continue to report a short mode.

I finally found that if I took my A-A lashup of Walthers E8 diesels and tilted them off the rails for a moment, the system would return to service. I figured it was something amiss with the E8's.

I am looking forward to a full weekend of benchwork construction this weekend. My suburban is already loaded with the wood. The cool basement will be welcome given the heatwave the east coast is currently experiencing.

One of my favorite photos from the N scale layout... staged traffic on the Sherman's Creek bridge at Duncannon. The new HO layout will have a similar bridge just west of Lewistown.

Several months ago I started listening to several podcasts related to model railroading. They are actually quite enjoyable. One that I listen to regularly is Lionel Strang's A Modeler's Life. They interview model railroaders and bring out their background in the hobby. Reflecting on my own past, I decided to share where I got my start.

Born in 1962, I got my first train set at a very young age... no later than seven, but I really don't remember. The HO scale set included a Mantua GP in Reading yellow and green livery. Many years later it would take a nose dive off the layout due to a sibling which resulted in breaking the short hood off.

The first layout was on a sheet of plywood laying on top of a pool table. From an Atlas plan book, it was a basic figure eight with the Atlas pier set. Never got to scenery and, quite frankly, I don't remember running in much.

Had a very interesting discussion on several mailing lists as of late. Was asking for clarification on the use of telephone booths and clearance rules on the Milroy "Branch" for planning my operations, I made some very interesting discoveries...

The Employee Timetable for the Middle Division for 1954 breaks out the territories under ABS and MBS operation, and spells out clearance cards and train order protocols for same. But the Milroy "Branch" wasn't listed among them. So what authority was required for operations?

Turns out the Milroy "Branch" wasn't a "Branch", but a "Secondary". It's an important distinction, as the Definitions section of the Book

Open up nearly any coffee table photo book on the Pennsylvania Railroad and you'll see references to Red Bank, South Amboy, and Bay Head Junction. These locations are known for being the last pasture for steam, as well as diesels that have fallen out of favor, like the Baldwin BP20 passenger sharks. However, I've lacked an understanding and appreciation of how and where these locations fit into the Pennsylvania Railroad system.

I now know that they are part of the New York & Long Branch (NY&LB), a railroad jointly operated by the PRR and the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ). Unlike most PRR affiliations, however, they aren't documented in regular PRR documentation, like the employee timetables or regional maps. Perhaps that's what led to my oversight.