Engine Terminal

Engine Terminal
Two leased N&W SD35's bring WB-31/32 into Nelsonville.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

US&S T-21 Switch and Lock Movement

At the end of last month, Mike Burgett posted pictures of a switch stand he recently added to his beautiful C&O's Alleghany and James River Subdivision. But this wasn't just any switch stand- it's a model of a specific Union Switch & Signal hand throw switch mechanism for an electrically locked, hand operated switch used by the C&O in CTC territory from the mid-1940's right up through CSX. As Mike describes it "a US&S style T-21 switch and lock movement equipped with a SL-21a force drop electric switch." It's available from Shapeways and is exactly what I need for a number of locations so, of course, I had to order a bunch.

These switch stands are used in locations where the dispatcher controls the locking mechanism but the turnout must be thrown in the field. Turnout 361 to the spur at Logan is one such location and the photo below shows the lock on the dispatcher's panel.

The photo below shows the mechanism installed at the turnout.

Crews working BC-10/11, the local to Big Chimney and back from North Pierce, have to call the dispatcher to unlock the turnout to the spur at Logan. Once their work is complete, they need to inform the dispatcher that the turnout is lined for the main and ready to be locked back up. If they leave without lining the turnout for the main, the dispatcher won't be able to lock it up. And when the turnout is unlocked, the dispatcher can't line a route into Logan from either direction.

The photo below shows the mechanism installed at the west end of the short passing siding at Summit Springs. Both ends of the passing siding are electronically locked, and the crews working either mine at Summit Springs must call to get them unlocked.

The last example is the crossover at North Pierce from the main into the yard. 

Crews will now be able to distinguish between dual control turnouts and electronically locked, hand operated turnouts simply by looking the switch stand. A big thanks to Mike Burgett for the heads up on these.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Sneak Preview

Progress has been made on the sanding tower at North Pierce. Stairs still need to be added to the platforms and the sand delivery piping needs to be completed. Below is a sneak preview.

Additional details are being added to the engine service facilities here and, obviously, the concrete platforms need to be weathered. It is, after all, 1976 and there will be a bit of fuel spilled on them. Once some of this additional work is completed, I'll do a post covering the entire terminal area.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Finishing Stuff- Part 3

So in addition to everything that I mentioned in the first post about finishing things, there are a number of other freight car projects yet to be completed. Another one of my summer projects was three covered hopper cars for the home road. These are Accurail cars that came with dimensional data and have been ready for weathering for over a year now.

The ends have been left off to make it easier to weather the slope sheets and the backside of the end frames. 

Along with the Athearn gons that have been converted to pulpwood cars and the two Tichys, there is Walthers 60' pulpwood flat in the paint shop. In the photo below, you can see a sister car in the background. Also in the photo is an Atlas 60' auto parts boxcar that will see service on the K&LE.

There are also two boxcars that are ready for final weathering. The PC car is a Tangent model and the SAL FGE car is from Moloco.

And there are still two more Bowser wood chip hopper cars to paint and letter for the home road. I really am going to finish all of these projects before I start something else. I really mean it this time...

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Finishing Stuff- Part 2

In addition to the two Tichy pulpwood flats that were rolled out last week, I managed to get the three new cabooses finished. So yes, progress is being made on the long list of projects.

The C8's are the newest cabs on the railroad and were delivered in August of 1974, . They were manufactured by International Car Company and are basically the same design as the Soo cabooses of similar vintage. Spotting features include the single windows on the sides and ends along with square windows in the cupola ends. 

Minimal weathering was applied as these cars have only been in service for several years and primarily on mainline freights. Additional details include firecracker antennas, cut levers from Plano and small jewels for lights on the ends.

These three join the two C6A's that were added to the fleet last June and should help make the caboose tracks at North Pierce and Nelsonville look a little more like, well, caboose tracks! 

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Couple of Tichys- finally!

Way back in March of 2017 I posted about tackling a couple of Tichy pulpwood flatcars. Roger Sekera commented that these kits have long been in the "pay someone else to do them" class. As Roger is an extremely accomplished modeler, his comment left me with a bit of trepidation. Well, two and a half years later- and after a  number of fits and starts- it turns out he was right. 

The challenges with these two cars are almost too numerous to mention. Starting with the weight, or lack thereof, and ending with the trucks that didn't work, these cars almost didn't make it onto the railroad. Fortunately, I got a little inspiration along the way.

Just as I was beginning to tackle the grabs irons on the ends that make up the ladders,  I came across the car that Allen McClelland built for the V&O. The picture below shows the car in Alloy Yard on Gerry Alber's Deepwater District.

Note that Allen skipped the individual grab irons and added a ladder instead. When I mentioned to him that this was a neat addition, he replied it's one of the benefits of proto-freelancing. Within reason, we can decide how our freight cars are equipped versus having to follow a specific prototype. Note also that he included a steel plate on the ends for the reporting marks. This wasn't included in the kit or even mentioned in the instructions.

Allen also scratch-built a removable pulpwood load for this car. After cutting about 4,850 little stubby sticks and realizing that they would make up about one-one hundredth of the load, I bagged that idea. I added lead shot underneath the car for weight and will run it as an MT.

So here they are- the next two shots show the completed cars. 

I added some pencil shavings and sawdust to the decks and called it a day. And while I'm pleased with the results, I can assure you there won't be any more of these cars on the railroad. Unless, of course, I pay someone else to build them for me.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

FPS 1218 on the Move- Again!

After spending a brief period on the CWE, FPS 1218 hit the rails and headed for the K&LE. Big El is shown in the photo below out along the K&LE mainline somewhere east of Undercliff Yard.

There's just no telling where Big El might show up next. Of course, it has to be found first...

Monday, November 11, 2019

Found Foot

As I was re-staging the Sand Fork Branch the other day, I noticed that one of the feet on the conveyor to the South Branch Loader was missing- see the photo below. I looked around the immediate area but it was nowhere to be found. It was probably knocked loose during the last op session. Given its size, I was doubtful I would ever find it.

Earlier this evening as I was shuffling empties through Big Chimney, I noticed something silver in one of the cars. Sure enough, there was the missing foot- see the photo below.

So the found foot will be reinstalled along with the railing on the safety platform in the middle of the bridge at Nelsonville that I knocked off. Again.

And something else was found right after the last session. Suffice it to say that it wasn't a piece of CWE equipment. More info on this later.