Thursday, 24 January 2013

Operating on Canadisle Rail

For several years now, I've wanted to go and see one particular layout here on the Island.  This past Sunday, I got my second chance.  I was invited to an operating session last winter and had to decline, but this time I was able to go.  Four of us met in Charlottetown and made the trip to Kensington.

Derwin Cole more or less models PEI locations with fictional town names.  His layout really is quite nice, well detailed and fun to operate on due to all the switching opportunities.  All in all I was thoroughly impressed, not only by his layout, but to discover that others in this province shared my interests. 

His layout is DCC equipped and many of the engines have sound which makes for a really nice setup.  Basically the layout  is a "U" shape with two yards at either end.  Each end develops into an "bulb" shape to allow for continuous running from one end to the other.  As for the operating sessions, he uses a computer generated waybill system to create the orders for each train.  Everyone is given a set of orders to complete for the first leg of the session.  After a short break, everybody switches trains and runs for a while longer.  

 Ashtown Yard

 Engine Shops

Town of Shellville

 Level crossing in Shellville

During the first half, I was engineman on a mainline freight led by CN 2001, a C630M with sound.  I was to depart Ashtown yard after my train was built and head for Shellville to drop off half the train, where my replacement crew would be waiting  to take the train back to Ashtown.  Of course, there was lots of waiting along the way, first, as the train was built, and later with meets at passing sidings and for obtaining clearance from the yard master.

 CN 2001 awaiting the dispatcher's clearance from Ashtown

Waiting in the hole for the local to pass 

 Grade Crossing in Shelleville

As for the second half, I was assigned to the local, hauled by CN 8196, a S-4 by Atlas.  My duties were to set out cars for CN 2001, returning from Shelleville to Ashtown.

From front to back Cold Storage, Jay's Clays and Armstrong Industries.

I'm told that he is not very far from expanding his layout into the next room.  Everyone there seemed to be trying to give him ideas as to how to do it, but I'm sure that whatever he decides will look great, judging by the work shown here.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Overland Brass RSC-14

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of being invited to an operating session up in Kensington on Canadisle Rail, a layout which I have been hoping to see for several years.  

This locomotive belongs to a friend here in Charlottetown, which he recently acquired.  It is an Overland Brass RSC-14 lettered as CN 1750.  This model has DCC and sound.  

Here, 1750 rests idle in front of Derwin's fantastic model of the station in Kensington.

 Here is a photo of the station prior to 1989.

New Carlisle in 1991

I am always on the look out for photos of the railroad from both PEI and the Gaspe, but particularly the Gaspe.  I came across this neat postcard the other day:

This is just a photo of the photo, as I plan to get this scanned, blown up, and framed someday soon.  The back reads "The last rays of a bright setting sun illuminate this station scene at New Carlisle, Quebec, July 1, 1991.  Westbound VIA "Chaleur", with F40PH-2 6412 on the head end, is about to get underway with a fresh crew.  CN local from Chandler, powered by M-420 units 3527 and 3570, it tied up for the night.  Photo by Ted Wickson." 

I really was happy to find this photo, as I expecally like to find photos from New Carlisle, as I have spent o much time there.  Although this photo was taken a little over a year before I was born, this scene was the norm from the late 1980's until CN left in 1998.  This is exactly how I remember the yard, full, mostly with empty boxcars and a few CN engines hanging about.  You can see the tracks from my grandparents deck and I used to run out to watch the "new" F40PH's or CN freights roll by, mostly with M-420's as shown here.   I sure miss those days.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

3624 in HO Scale

I made it home from Toronto with a small fortune in on sale rolling stock, detail parts and fishing supplies two days later than expected due to the storm.  I was also able to get the final parts needed to finish 3624.

The base model was an Atlas-Kato RS-1, which was heavily modified with a mixture of Miniatures by Eric and Details Associates parts, as well as resin louvers and scratch built bits.  The fuel tank was completely scratch built.

Hopefully, this is the first of fleet of half a dozen or so RS-18's and eventually several RSC-14's to roll off the bench.  The second, 3709, is days away from completion.  Regardless of the locomotives I will acquire, sell, or build, this RS-18 will be without a doubt my most important engine for obvious reasons.

Here's a shot of the front end (yes, these as well as the as delivered GP9's were set up to run long hood forward)

Read end

Passenger service...or showing off my new (also first) Rapido sleeper coach bought on the trip.

Here's Gramps in the cab of 3624, on his last run up the Gaspe after 39 years of service.

Train 594's crew (engineman, conductor and brakeman) as well as the superintendant and other "suits" from the Campbellton offices pose for a shot at Campbellton, NB.  Note the transfer van to the left and the chain link wood chip hopper to the right.

I'll post some railfanning photos and videos from the trip over the next little while.