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  Weekly Photo Fun 8/05-8/11/2022
Posted by: Charlie B - 08-05-2022, 06:58 AM - Forum: Shutterbug area - Replies (3)

It's time to get serious about rail defects. The Sperry Company is waiting for track.    

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  Rainbows in the Lehigh Valley Gorge
Posted by: TMo - 08-04-2022, 05:27 PM - Forum: Layouts - Replies (7)

Here we go....  my thread on this forum for my model railroad.  Hope to add to this - paralleling my website devoted to the same subject.

I'll start at the beginning in Armstrong fashion by filling out the Givens and Druthers:

This is the “Givens and Druthers” that the late John Armstrong used when designing layouts for people. It’s a very useful way to clarify your thoughts about what you want to do with yoThis is the “Givens and Druthers” that the late John Armstrong used when designing layouts for people. It’s a very useful way to clarify your thoughts about what you want to do with your model railroad.

Givens and Druthers

"Rainbows in the Gorge"
Scale:  HO
Gauge: Standard

Prototype: The section of the ex-Lehigh Valley mainline running between Jim Thorpe through White Haven, PA, now known as the Lehigh Valley Gorge.  The trackage rights were owned by Conrail, but the Delaware and Hudson also had rights on the same tracks during the period I'm modeling. 

Era: Summer of 1976
Region: Lehigh Valley Gorge
Railroad: Conrail and Delaware and Hudson


The layout runs around my office, which is a wierd space in my basement.  Diagram is below:


Governing Rolling Stock: Primary trains running through the gorge included the Apollo TOFC trains on 89' flat cars.  I also run a coal drag and a local cement train running from Allentown to Wilkes Barre.

Relative Emphasis: (move the V)

Track/Operation .................................................. ..Scenic realism
Mainline Running .................................................. ........ Switching

Operation Priorities: (rearrange as required)

1. Main-Line Freight Train Operations

Typical operating Crew: ___1___

Eye Level (Owner) _63__In.

Add to this any features required or intolerable (e.g. duckunders, multiple levels).ur model railroad.

Features include sharp turns and grades running at around 2% - 2 duckunders were deemed necessary to allow the office to function.  Eye level operation and freedom below the layout for storage and access.  I wanted to store trains on the lower level and have them magically appear on the upper level using a tunnel (there is one in the gorge at Rockport) and some cleverly disguised buildings in the town of Hazleton.

Next post will be my track diagram (circa 2006 in pencil).

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  In The Belly Of The Beast (2)
Posted by: Schraddel - 08-03-2022, 07:04 AM - Forum: HO Modeling - Replies (3)


some months ago a friend of mine came to me and put this onto my workbench:

[Image: dsc09254a0uhp.jpg]
There was an old Athearn SD?? of which he has upgraded the shell. But the motor was still the old one and in this case it was not running well. He also gave me a Kato motor and asked for replacing the Athearn motor with this one.

[Image: dsc093283fuvb.jpg]

[Image: dsc09326fvuzf.jpg]
Although the Kato motor was smaller as the Athearn one, it does not fit.There was some milling required on main frame and ballast weight.

[Image: dsc0932562uxx.jpg]
He asked also for my 3-point suspension for Diesels whis i made here.

[Image: dsc09323gxui2.jpg]
Funiculi ...

[Image: dsc09324qiul8.jpg]
... funicula ...

[Image: dsc09329u7u2j.jpg]
The Kato motor in his milled bed in the main frame.

[Image: dsc09330vtuhq.jpg]
And the counterpart the weight.

[Image: dsc09331f6uyr.jpg]
The drive shafts has been to configurated new. Here the shaft diameter was reduced in diameter.

[Image: dsc093320qu5p.jpg]
The was made because the shaft was elongated by the means of an aluminium tube.
As the old Athearn motors have shaft diameters of 2.4mm and the Kato has only 2.0mm, a reducer also was made out of an piece of aluminum tube.

[Image: dsc093331au9y.jpg]

[Image: dsc09334v9uhi.jpg]
At least the Kato motor fits inside. It has a much smoother running as it's precedessor.


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  Train superstitions
Posted by: ChooChooCharlie - 08-02-2022, 07:56 PM - Forum: Upper Berth - Replies (2)

I just found a train superstition I've never heard about and wondered if anyone else had heard it either -

Apparently, if you blow across each shoulder when you cross tracks it gives you good luck.

Would love to hear any other train superstitions! There must be some really old ones out there.

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  Log cabin
Posted by: ezdays - 08-02-2022, 08:54 AM - Forum: Scratchbuilding and kitbashing - All Scales - Replies (14)

I think I have watched every episode of "Barnwood Builders". That's a show where they take down old log cabins and barns, and rebuild them somewhere else. I was looking at Deano's barn and got a thought, "I've seen barns like that on that show". I don't know where a log cabin would fit on my layout, (I already have a barn), but I sure would like to scratchbuild one. I have surgery coming up next week and I'm not suppose to be active for a few weeks after that, so I think I'll have the time to do what I'm thinking.

Just curious, has anyone done anything like this, or are there kits anywhere for log cabins?

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  Minuteman Scale Models/Scalecoat paint
Posted by: twilight - 08-02-2022, 06:21 AM - Forum: HO Modeling - Replies (2)

Hi, it’s been awhile since I posted here, but I have a question about Minuteman Scale Models, are they still in business? I placed an order with them in April for some Scalecoat paint and I am aware they have been having supply chain issues. My last email that was responded to was in June said the last chemical to make one of my paints I ordered had finally arrived and my order would ship shortly. Well, it’s now August and I have nothing from them. Additional emails have not been responded to, nor has a phone call. I can’t find any news about them being out of business on the inter webs so I figured I’d post a question here to see if anyone may have some info or has experienced the same issues.

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  In The Belly Of The Beast (1)
Posted by: Schraddel - 08-01-2022, 10:39 AM - Forum: HO Modeling - Replies (5)


this time a Cab Forward from Intermountain was put onto my workbench: https://intermountain-railway.com/ho/html/59002.htm

Damage report: Loco does not move, sound and lights are doing. It seems to be an mechanical problem.

Testing the loco in mute mode: motor is reving but no movements at the wheels. The fault must be anywhere in the drivetrain.

[Image: dsc03458iikp1.jpg]
For this i started demounting the loco. After removing some details at the boiler, some screws became visible and this allowed to take off the upper half and the cab.

[Image: dsc03459x3j15.jpg]

But not complete because there were some wire connections. As the SP has a lot of special headlights, it not a good idea to disconnect them. Let's make a workaround.

[Image: dsc03460gqkbr.jpg]

At the rear end in the the smokebox this wire wad was visible.

[Image: dsc03461oij33.jpg]

Front end too.

[Image: dsc034623ykrg.jpg]

After removing some tape more screws became visible and after removing these, the upper half of the ballast weight could be lifted out. This allowed a first glance onto the drive train. And of course of more screws.

Turning the motor gentle at the flywheel, no jamming, no cracks at all and the shaft and the universals were firm. The fault has to be searched further down.

[Image: dsc0346307jt3.jpg]

And here too, after removing motor and shaft, more screws.

[Image: dsc034643cjls.jpg]

After removing theses screws, the lower half of the weight could be lifted out.

And guess, more screws. Ather removing these ones too, the lower half of the boilder and running boards was revoved.

[Image: dsc03465nikla.jpg]

But before the articulated joints between the two group of drivers has to be removed; screws Goldth

[Image: dsc0346602kb3.jpg]

Now more test could be made.

The axle gear box of the rear group was o.k.

And the one of the front group was also o.k.

The fault must be within the transfer gearbox.

[Image: dsc03467szjst.jpg]

Next step is to remove the transfer gearbox.

(to be continued)

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  Athearn RTR Loco Stalling
Posted by: tompm - 07-30-2022, 06:03 PM - Forum: Engineer's Technical Workshop - Replies (3)

I have an Athearn RTR DC GP40-2 loco that is stalling. I have had the loco for about 2 years and only had it out of the box to test it. About 2 months ago I got it out and an it with no problems. I have run it occasionally since then. For about the last two weeks I have not run the loco and when I did so tonight it started stalling. 

At first I suspected track issues. Track was cleaned and still having problems. Second GP40-2 runs fine.

Inspected loco and found bottom of gear boxes wet with lubricate. Cleaned this up. Cleaned wheels. Still having issues.

Removed shell. Found "wet" lubricate in many places. I could see the gears they appear to be very wet.

I need suggestions as to what to do next.

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  Weekly Photo Fun 7/29 - 8/4/22
Posted by: bdw9535 - 07-29-2022, 03:34 PM - Forum: Shutterbug area - Replies (6)

Conrail's WPMA-40 must of had a light day, as this was the only CR action to be found this afternoon.



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  weekly Photo Fun 7/22 - 7/28/22
Posted by: bdw9535 - 07-22-2022, 06:25 PM - Forum: Shutterbug area - Replies (8)

WPMA-40 makes its return trip back though Whiskey Point, on this hot and muggy Friday night.



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