Saturday, 7 March 2015

Operating in Saint John

Several weekends ago our group made our annual trip to Saint John.  Some of the guys have gone over every year since 2004. This was my second trip.  Last year we viewed Lou MacIntyre's Hampton and St Martin's Railway, and operated on Doug Devine's Island Central and Steve McMullin's Carleton Trail.  This year we skipped Doug's and operated at Lou and Steve's.  This was the first time I had operated at Lou's.  For the number of tracks, it runs very, very well.

Here is an overview of Lou's layout.  You can see most of it from this angle.

Derwin and Mark look like they are up to something...I think someone might have let one go here.

Ed, Chris and I (Lou MacIntyre photo)

Derwin and Ed (Lou MacIntyre Photo)

I wanted to understand the carcard system better, so I watched how Chris worked the yard for a while. (Lou MacIntyre photo)

One particular car card in the yard caught my eye.

Chris, Derwin, Mark and Lou in the yard area.

Lou's scenery and buildings are second to none. Most of the buildings are Bar Mills kits, or scratchbuilt.  Almost all are wooden, with very few plastic structures around.  The trees are a mix of astilbes and spirea.  His use of spot lights also highlights various areas on the layout.

As soon as I was told that there was a passenger run, I grabbed it, and that was my run for the morning.

Always nice to see this sleeper in the consist.  I also have this car, but it is in gray and black.

This was to be my meet for 8:45 AST at Hampton, NB.

Both trains ended up leaving slightly ahead of schedule, after exchanging express boxcars.

Next we headed over to Steve McMullin's.  Steve has a pretty big layout which is very well done.  It depicts fictional operations in Carleton County, NB in 1968.  His freelanced road is the Carleton Railway.

This is the second time I operated at Steve's. It was a much more enjoyable experience this time around, as I finally understood how the car cards work.  I may even give them a try in the future.

Steve and I taking a break (Scott Jay photo)

Steve planted these potato fields one plant at a time.  I think that's what got him through his PhD.

Steve's layout clearly goes to show that two tier layouts can work.  He has the switching areas offset so no one is on top of each other for the most part.  Wide aisles also help a lot.

Ed ran the yard again this year with military precision.

The two levels are well illustrated in this photo.

A Carleton freight rolls past Route 105.

One of my favorite shots on the layout - Hawkin's Corner.

They say the yard hasn't been this plugged up in years.  That begs the question of where is our trusty yard engineman.....

That's right, Mears chose to run a mainline for probably the first time ever.

 Somehow Derwin even worked his way into the yard for a while.

Crossing a small river on the upper level.

Having a meet with the CP throughfreight.

You will notice that much of Steve's rolling stock and locomotives are labelled for the Carleton.  Each letter is an individual CDS dry transfer.


  1. Great photos, Taylor! It's nice to see a photo of you too.

    I'm pretty sure I have one or two Carleton cars in my collection... from one of the Saint John train shows.

  2. Thanks Steve. Its funny those are probably the only photos I have of myself in a train room...ever.

    If I ever see a Carleton car up for sale I would surely buy it. Other Steve is running low on CDS lettering though and Ozark Models has re-released just about everything other than the set he needs.

  3. Great photo-laden ops post, Taylor. I'm with Chris on that one - I'd rather stay in the yard.

  4. Depending on the layout I would as well. At Derwin's I usually run a freight train but at Scott's I always run one of the two yards.