Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement

Archive for April, 2015

Despite appearances, I have been working…

I will admit, having no updates since last October some six months ago is not doing many of you any favours.  Allow me to bring you up to speed.


Fast Tracks Skeletons for Port Alberni Yard

In my hand is the cumulation of some hundreds of hours worth of work.   Many evenings and weekend mornings building these at my workbench, plus a few made elsewhere over these past six months and they are all done!  Unless anything serious goes wrong, I won’t need to make another turnout for this layout.
Over two dozen functional turnout skeletons (as well as two more non-functional scenery turnouts, not shown) which need a wash and to be glued and spiked to the quicksticks, and then the Port Alberni yard can be laid in it’s intended trackplan.  Speaking of which, the trackplan was finished up on the computer in a program called Empire Express some time ago and printed full size.  Cam and I have been trying to figure out how to transfer it to the benchwork, and my ever-so-smart wife said I needed graphite paper.  Sure enough, a couple art supply stores in Calgary stock large sheets of the stuff, at exceedingly reasonable prices: $1.80 for a 20×26″ sheet.  Works much the same as the carbons of ye olde time.  Place it between what you want to copy onto and your pattern, draw over the pattern and the paper leaves marks.  Works for me.  Except I have a temporary staging yard occupying the benchwork.  Well, as of a few nights ago, make that ‘had’ a staging yard.  Some judicious use of a soldering iron and a pair of nippers and the yard is gone. Track laying will commence rather soon…

Other updates:

Plywood Division

Benchwork Extension into Plywood Division

I decided that the track plan for the plywood division wasn’t quite up to snuff and decided to extend the benchwork for it around the corner and into the stairwell.  The trackage to the prototype was such that a train would continue out of the south/timetable west end of the yard past the depot, then into a short siding to allow the locos to run around the train, and push the cars into a facing point switch and the two tracks. Those two tracks are in the stairwell, with the runaround track where the staging was going to be.  The engineering of the extension had to take the drawbridge into account which thankfully clears with about an inch of space.

Another update is for Courtenay.  We weren’t happy with the number of moves needed for turning a Courtenay train and decided to do something.  We’ve extended the siding track around the corner and it’s now long enough to account for a standard length train.  Unfortunately the spur for the CP Express building at Courtenay is now single-ended as a result, but an acceptable compromise. The tail track is still long enough for a pair of locos, the water car and caboose.


Work continues on these.  All shells have paint and most decals applied but still needing more, like frame dots, warning labels, etc. Work on the chassis still needs to happen in addition to decoder/lighting installs.

Pole loads

I’ve spent more than a few hours at Kevin Pyle’s drill press and have made quite a few poles.  Sadly, only enough for about half a car’s worth!

And on a last note:

SUPERTRAIN, Canada’s largest model train show, is an event which I assist in organizing, happened a couple weekends ago.  This year, the show was held only a few minutes walk away from my house and I took the opportunity to host an open house for a few friends visiting from out of town.  Was surprised when they brought a few other friends.  I’m rather proud that I had manufacturers (well, at least their reps) galore looking at my layout.  Scott from Bowser, Matt from ESU, Jeff from Prairie Shadows, Dan from Rapido Trains, Grant from Southern Alberta Rail, and always, Michaelea from Sign Reflectionz.  Cam, Mark Kaluza, Josh Anderchuk and Matt Soknacki were also there and fun was had by all.  Next year guys, the trackage will be completed!