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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 01/31/2008 : 8:10:46 PM
I'm modeling the Boston & Maine's Eastern Route in HO standard gauge in my 207-year-old house's attic. The attic has its pluses and minuses - plenty of space, just up the stairs and finished, but the combination of the sloping ceiling and a 36" minimum radius meant I could only do an around-the-walls plan. Also, it can get a bit hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

The layout incorporates my Rowley MA modules, presently the only finished scenery, in the rural northern half of the attic. The southeast corner is where I'm building my compressed version of West Lynn, MA including the General Electric River works and the West Lynn creamery.

This photo shows the mainline curve passing the future creamery (spur under the file) and the Saugus Branch (long staging tracks) coming in from the left. I'm spiking rail on the branch, building the switch comes next. The flying plywood is actually pretty rigid with the flange below and the backdrop partially installed, it will get better when I bring the backdrop around to the left edge of the photo.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Orionvp17 Posted - 07/14/2020 : 5:55:36 PM
Nice article and photos, James, but you've already heard that from me.

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 07/14/2020 : 5:34:01 PM
Thanks, Bruce.

While we still hoped to hold the 2020 NER convention over Columbus Day weekend, I wrote an article about the Eastern Route. The convention focuses on operations, so I photographed what will be the next trip of the 'Boston Freight' and wrote it up. Coupler editor Jeff Paston squeezed the article, my track plan and eight photos into three pages. A PDF may be downloaded from the NER website:


The convention has been postponed to Columbus Day weekend, 2021. See millcity21.org for details.

I was working away on power feeds for the River Works in-plant track when I heard violent thunderstorms had dropped a tree on Seashore's overhead. I was already planning on driving up tomorrow, but now I'll leave earlier.
Dutchman Posted - 07/12/2020 : 1:10:37 PM
Your neat wiring makes me jealous, James.

I love the vintage photos.

jbvb Posted - 07/12/2020 : 11:07:14 AM
Thanks, Pete and Michael. I showed the video to a few FB groups and it drew quite a few views.

Just short of a month since I last posted, which has included haying season and a good deal of track work at Seashore. But I have made progress on the layout:

I finished two turnouts on West Lynn's GE River Works in-plant railroad. These were built about 2013 and spiked so the Lynn Goat could switch GE's receiving tracks beside the future Building 41. Now they have mechanisms, wiring and gaps, making 58 complete hand-laid turnouts on the Eastern Route. Further in-plant construction awaits deciding whether I want to do girder rail and single point turnouts.

I also got out an undecorated 1st generation Bachmann GE 44 tonner I'd bought years ago. I will lube and clean it, but of course the first photo I found of a River Works loco was a 45 tonner (B&W too). I do recall seeing a 44 tonner there in the 1960s, but can't say whether it was painted light grey or light blue.

I did find some useful photos, put up by the Museum of Innovation & Science in Schenectady, NY, resolving a bunch of questions:

1. Enough to build the quick-n-dirty pedestrian overpass built as the USN Gear Works was going up behind the photographer just before WWII

2. GE property fence and track gate.

Plus an interesting oversize load and a nicely maintained late-model SW-1 in 'over the road' paint.

Note the differences between the 'roll out' publicity photo and the 'actually handed off to the B&M' photo earlier in this post. Clearly I can get a lot lazier about special loads for my flat cars.
Michael Hohn Posted - 06/13/2020 : 8:26:19 PM
Now THAT was excellent, James. Terrific look at your layout. Itís neat seeing your work in context.

Orionvp17 Posted - 06/13/2020 : 2:17:09 PM
Nicely done, James! Cool video!

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 06/13/2020 : 12:30:19 PM
I got around to uploading the video of an all-stops RDC local westbound cab ride: https://youtu.be/iEsj2GfeUaI

This was the main part of my first on-line modeling presentation to HUB Division members. Since then I've set up a USB web cam on a cord which does auto-focus. This should be pretty good for modeling demonstrations and points-of-view on the layout that aren't available to 1:1 eyes.
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/17/2020 : 8:55:26 PM
Sounds Good to me! I wasn't worried about wear as much as I was about dirt, which seems to have an affinity for plastic wheels....

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 05/17/2020 : 8:41:58 PM
Thanks, Pete. AFAIK all Lindberg wheels were plastic, acetal I think. It won't get much mileage unless a bunch of big layouts ask me to go on tour (sadly unlikely these days), so wear won't be an issue. But if it looks like the camera can handle a night run, I will be adding a nice bright LED headlight and probably different trucks (I saved the box).
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/17/2020 : 8:26:19 PM
Cool! Interesting design, and well executed. Are the wheels plastic, and is that a good idea?

in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 05/17/2020 : 8:14:16 PM
The frame/platform of the camera car is .025 x 1" stainless strip from K&S. I got my trucks' bolster height with a caliper (I'm a sucker for Lindberg, shows my age, but I've never found a prototype car using 'National Timken') . The angles were bent with a 'hand seamer' (sheet metal worker's tool).

Trucks and coupler are attached with 2-56 screws. The body bolster is .040 atop .125 x .100" strip.

The camera is attached with a 1/4-20 flathead machine screw; I turned the head down in my lathe and sawed off excess length.

My previous cab ride videos were plagued by rocking, so I designed it fairly rigidly side-to-side. It hasn't rocked at all so far. The springing of the Lindberg truck is just right; the weight of the camera compresses them just a bit, so no bumps at turnouts either.
jbvb Posted - 05/17/2020 : 7:38:06 PM
So after spending 7 long days acting like a much younger track gang foreman, I spent some time on my layout. I've shot a couple of videos with this older 1080P camera (GoPro wannabe), but this is the first with the depressed center camera car I built:


Tools will be put away and things cleaned up before my next attempt.
Orionvp17 Posted - 05/03/2020 : 10:34:39 AM
Nice catch, James!


in Michigan
jbvb Posted - 05/02/2020 : 10:37:02 PM
Thanks for the pictures, Phil. I think if I can get the tape positioned right, I might just paint the angle - it looks no more than 1/8" thick and two coats should do that.

Last night I picked up another long-untouched project. I need to model Bolles Motors at the corner of Winter and Merrimack Streets in Newburyport. I remember my family buying cars there, but the building was demolished and replaced before I knew I wanted to model it:

I found descendants of the dealership's owner, but all they had was the above, which I think was scanned out of a City Directory. Then, looking at a built-up Wallschlager Motors, I thought I saw in its bones an acceptable stand-in. It was assembled with CA, so it only took a little flexing to re-kit. And then it sat for most of last decade.

Last night and tonight I spent a while sawing and gluing. I don't have room for the raised rear portion with the 2nd floor repair shop, so the front and left sides of the original building will be all that's really visible. The back and right side walls are up against the depot's retaining wall.

Note to self: You'll be wanting the vintage highway sign down the road.
Carrie Creek Posted - 05/01/2020 : 3:14:35 PM
James, I have been thinking on your asbestos slate shingle corners. Here are some pics of mine:
a close-up about 8"

distance at 5'

straight on corner about 3'

I am thinking running a tape down each side a distance that looks good. Then taking a small dab of window glazier putty and roll a small rope and press into the joint using the tape edge as a guide. Nice thing about the putty it is paintable and will blend together.

Anyway it is an idea, use if you think it will work.

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