Monday, March 2, 2015

February 28 work session

We wrapped up the month of February making more progress on several projects. Otto applied a base coat of gray and tan paints to the concrete area around the chemical loading tracks in Niagara Falls. Areas around the platform and some of the siding was also ballasted at this time. Already the scene looks more finished! Otto is planning on kitbashing or scratchbuilding a large, modern steel structure to go against the backdrop behind the loading tracks to complete the scene.

Joe C., Charles, and Elliot installed Tortoise switch machines for the two freight sidings off the running track in Niagara Falls. Joe wired up power to the sidings, which completes last of the trackwork in Niagara Falls.

David S. applied a second coat of joint compound to hide the screw holes in the Irondequoit fascia. These were sanded smooth, and a white primer was applied by Collum and Otto. This will be sanded smooth before the final color is applied. A deep green color has been chosen for the fascia color, which will help make the Irondequoit scene look even more finished.

That evening, a dozen RITMRC members traveled down the Thruway to attend a special invitational operating session at the Model Railroad Club of Buffalo. The club road is the Buffalo Central, a fictional line that runs between Buffalo and Pittsburgh, though they only model the "southern half" which is "somewhere near Pittsburgh." After dining on pizza and chicken wings (a traditional Buffalo delicacy), we received a brief tour to familiarize ourselves with the physical locations of the railroad. We were quickly paired up with experienced operators and the operating session was under way! We all had a lot of fun and we thank our friends in Buffalo for allowing a bunch of trainees to mess up their railroad. We hope to do it again soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February 21 Work Session

We made progress on several fronts during our February 21 work session. Matt Glazer made some repairs and fill-ins to the ballast in Irondequoit Yard. We're also pretty sure he didn't glue a turnout shut in the process. Nick installed concrete paving for the engine house in Irondequoit, using more of the black styrene sheets as a base. An inspection put had been previously installed on one of the tracks, Nick was careful to work around it.
Otto messed around some more with his scratchbuilt bridge abutments and retaining walls that will carry Route 104 over the north end of Irondequoit Yard. The next step will be to scratchbuild a bridge and model the approaches.

Elliot and Joe C. made some repairs to the main line that is hidden away inside our "magic trianngle" between High Falls and the hidden Geneva block under Albion. We didn't think anyone could squeeze in there, by Joe proved us wrong.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

February 14 Work Session

We tackled a number of projects at our special Valentine's Day work session. Alex made some repairs to club cars, and then began to catalog the full inventory of club-owned equipment and "mystery" cars without identifying dots. This catalog will help us better understand how much stuff we have on hand, and possibly identify the owners of the mystery cars.

Collum, Joe, and Elliot worked on fitting in the last piece of masonite for the backdrop behind the Erie Canal in Lockport. After a little cutting, fitting, sanding, and filing, the piece was finally installed. A preliminary coat of mud and taping for the joints was applied. While we had the drywall mud out, Matt covered over the screw holes on the permanently installed fascia in Irondequoit.

Nick and Otto worked on adding concrete paving to the unloading tracks at the chemical plant in Niagara Falls. Risers made of .080" stock were used to support sheets of .040" black styrene sheets. The black was chosen as a better base for the simulated concrete. If the paint ever becomes scuffed or damaged, only black will show through, not the usual white. They completed most of the area before running out of materials.

Spencer spent most of the day wiring up the Tortoise switch machines that were installed in Albion during a previous work session. Power was connected and the accessory numbers were programmed by the end of the day. Matt tackled a surface-mount installation which was required because there was no clearance below for the switch machine at the east end of Albion siding. The Tortoise will be hidden inside the Ontario Foods warehouse, connected by a long throwbar that will reach under the building and hidden by scenery.

Otto took more measurements for the highway overpass he is building at the north end of Irondequoit Yard. Parts to complete the project were ordered and should be delivered in time for the next work session.

Some of our members took the day off and went to the Hamburg Train Show, sponsored by the Western New York Railway Historical Society and hosted at the fairgrounds just south of Buffalo.

More photos posted to our Facebook fan page. Check em out!