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Re: Back into model railroading, part 5

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  • jmac_han
    Happy February, Fellow Valeasians, I hope that the February blues haven not struck. I have to admit that I am pining for a sunny destination getaway. I had a
    Message 1 of 64 , Feb 5, 2011
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      Happy February, Fellow Valeasians,

      I hope that the February blues haven not struck. I have to admit that I am pining for a sunny destination getaway. I had a taste of cruise vacation life last November for a quick 3-day Disney Cruise to the Bahamas. Of course I spent several days enjoying Walt Disney World both before and after the cruise. November is a great month to travel to Florida, by the way. Fewer kids and smaller crowds at the attractions, ie. no lines.

      It is sunny and the snow is sparkling outside so I don't have a craving to work on the layout. Still, I did hop in to the car and make my first visit to a local hobby shop in over 5 years. Hobby House Inc. is located about 15 km (12 miles) from my home by car and only 4 km (3 miles) as the crow flies across the Ottawa River.

      My first impressions were very positive. I expected a run down and poorly organised shop, along the lines of several stores I had the misfortune of visiting during the last years of my VECRR activities. Hobby House was bright, clean, extremely well stocked, had a coffee machine at the entrance and the owners greeted me in French and English. I just had to buy something!

      The store caters to the HO and N crowds, lots of selection and DCC items in stock. Detail parts and scenery materials were in abundance. obviously there was no Z nor G scale to be seen, and I didn't expect as much.

      However, there was an interesting lot of HO street and yard lights on sale. These sets were made and distrubuted by Walthers and came with a nice plug-in base so that all of the various styles of lights could be interchanged of left off the layout. There is a little cap in the shape of a manhole cover to fill in the hole. Very slick!

      I learned many moons ago that if I ever came across a sale or an interesting item, I had better leap at the chance to pick them up or forever regret my loss. I followed my guideline and picked up 5 yard lights and 3 double sets of street lights. They were on sale and I left none behind!

      I have already found spots for all of the yard lights (temporarily in position) and I still have to find homes for 4 street lights. I will not have a problem using them around the tavern and on the upper abbey section of KvSB.

      I suppose my next step is to separate the two sections and upgrade the wiring since there is no point in doing any more scenery work until my trains run reliably over all the system trackage.

      Enjoy your trains,
    • jmac_han
      Good evening, fellow Valeasians, My fertile imagination has taken firm hold and won t let go! Following many hours of Web and eBay searching, I have discovered
      Message 64 of 64 , May 31, 2011
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        Good evening, fellow Valeasians,

        My fertile imagination has taken firm hold and won't let go!

        Following many hours of Web and eBay searching, I have discovered that my Liliput engines and rolling stock, although Era II and III, would still be right at home on the Mariazellerbahn shortline in Austria.

        In fact, Roco and Lilitput both produce passenger sets for the Mariazeller railway. Roco offers a starter set with an electric locomotive while Liliput offers a Bo-Bo diesel locomotive and a separate 4-car passenger set.

        My research has shown that fiction sometimes converges on reality. The key theme of the KvSB is the Abbey that sits atop the highest elevation on the layout. It is also a popular pilgrimage destination in addition to a fine brewery!

        Mariazell is also a pilgrimage destination and the main reason that the Mariazellerbahn exists.

        So I got to thinking...

        I happen to have the Roco OBB electric loco and 4 Mariazellerbahn coaches from Euro Bahn Ottawa. I picked them up for a song from Charles Belair thinking that I would eventually find another home for them.

        Just for the fun of it, I placed the MZB coaches on the KvSB mainline. They look terrific in front of the KvSB station. They will not negotiate the curves beyond Neuburg. The Roco locomotive does not have the tight turning radius that the Liliput diesel has, and it has a pantograph (I do not want to have catenary on the layout or, should I say, there is no room for catenary on the layout).

        The Liliput MZB diesel is Era III vintage...fits with my design. The 4 coaches are also Era II - IV so they work as well.

        My imagination came up with the notion of an interchange between the OBB narrow gauge railway and the short wheelbase Liliput and Bemo rolling stock of the KvSB. The track arrangement will allow me to run an OBB passenger consist of 1 baggage and 2 coaches pulled by the Liliput OBB diesel which I will convert to DCC at some point, assuming I can get my hands on one!

        There is no place to turn the OBB loco but there is a passing siding and other options that would allow me to uncouple the OBB diesel, run it into a spur, then shunt the passenger consist past the OBB loco which would then recouple with the consist for the return trip off the layout.

        That's what my overactive imagination has come up with...an imaginary interchange that uses a 5-foot section of KvSB mainline but has nowhere to go but off the layout. This is more like adding a diorama to an operating layout but why not? It makes for good photo opportunities and some operational fun.

        All that is left is to see if I win the auction for the OBB MZB diesel locomotive and if that fails, I have already found an Internet store with a new unit.


        Well, gang, I have reached the 50 post milestone on my "Back into model railroading - HOe" saga. In the space of 5 months I have reached several milestones:
        -built a new HOe layout,
        - converted 4 locomotives to DCC,
        - installed 30 or so lights throughout the system,
        - installed constant lighting in a 6-car passenger consist,
        - added DCC off-board synchronized sound for diesel and steam effects,
        - done a large amount of housecleaning and sold off a large quantity of surplus items,
        - kept up a running commentary on my progress.

        Sure there are some minor projects left to finish but it is time to move on.

        I have spent the past week doing some very heavy lifting in the back yard rebuilding my patio and leveling my shed in preparation for my long-planned garden railroad.

        I'll keep you informed as things progress <smile>.

        Thanks for being part of my model railroading universe. Hope you have a wonderful summer. Drop me a line, let me know what projects you are working on.

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