Engine Terminal

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

A Special Flatcar

This past December, Patrick Tillery stopped by to see the railroad. He was in town to visit family and we had a nice chat about coal haulers, the Short Line, and railroad modeling in general. Patrick is a close friend of Stuart Thayer, one of the founding members of the CWE operating group, and Stuart helped arrange the visit. Patrick is also a very fine modeler and you can see some of his work here on the Appalachian Railroad Modeling website: https://appalachianrailroadmodeling.com/models/ln-models/.

Fast forward to last week and a package arrives in the mail. In the box is a fully assembled Tichy pulpwood flat. It even has the plate for the ACI label and the plates on the bulkheads for the end reporting marks. All of the features that you would expect to find on one of the CWE pulpwood flats are included as you can see in the photo below.

The car is Patrick's work and it is beautifully done. Next up is decals and weathering, and then it's on to work on the railroad.

Thanks again for the nice gift, Patrick.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

No.'s 149 and 150

Back in November of 2013, I posted about a renewed effort to get more hopper cars on the railroad. You can view the post here: https://cwerailroad.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-renewed-effort.html. As I've commented before, coal hauling railroads just seem to eat coal cars. There are never enough and you can always use more than you have. Combine this with the fact that each one must be painted, lettered and weathered before entering service and it's enough to make one abandoned the proto-freelance concept for some railroad with a plentiful supply of RTR cars.

Then in February of 2014, I made a post about the 99th and 100th hopper cars that were added to the fleet. You can see that post here: https://cwerailroad.blogspot.com/2014/02/nos-99-and-100.html. Since then, another 50 cars have been added to the roster. The photo below shows numbers 149 and 150. 

This total doesn't include the eight Train Miniature cars or the two Athearn quad hoppers that were retired during this period. It also doesn't include the 10 Ortner cars that have been painted and lettered for the home road or the 18 DEEX cars that were weathered and placed in service. 

It often seems to me like I'm not making much progress towards adding rolling stock to the railroad. Perhaps it's because most of what has been built has gotten lost in the never ending sea of hopper cars...

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bring on the rolling stock!

The final tracks have been laid in the west end staging yard. All of the Tortoise switch machines are in and hooked up and feeders have been run to all of the tracks. The photo below shows the results.

There are twelve tracks capable of holding trains and a shorter track that can be used to store protection power. The LV 628 and EL SD45-2 in the background are sitting on track 13.

Changes have also been made to the east end staging yard in anticipation of future expansion out into the crew lounge. The biggest change was removing a section of the upper staging yard that was over the ladder for the lower yard. The picture below shows the results.

It occurred to me that I would never be able to get to those turnouts when they need some tweaking with the upper staging yard built over them. And they will need some attention at some point- I've already learned that lesson. The expansion plan calls for the upper staging yard to be approached from the other end, so there will be plenty of room to make up for the lost section above. The upper yard could also have the ladder start at the west end above as there is room along the far wall to extend the shelving.

Another addition to the east end staging yard can be seen above- an LED strip. During the last op session, Randy Seiler suggested adding some LED's in order to improve visibility. He was kind enough to give me a 4' section and the results can be seen below.

Given the intensity of the light, it's almost impossible to get a good shot with a cell phone camera. But suffice it to say that the strip will provide more than enough light for the crews to see their trains. Thanks again for the tip and the strip, Randy.

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!