finally, the local is dropping off a delivery at D’Amato Supply….Looks like the roofer needs to be called out
So, currently, I have 5 Micro-Trains cars, 2 Fox Valley boxcars, an Intermountain reefer and a BLMA hopper.
Looks wise, the BLMA hopper is an 11 out of 10. When I finally get around to weathering my cars, this might be one that I can’t touch. It looks perfect. When I run it, I would say that it is a 9, the scale wheels look great, it couples well, but if there is a piece of ballast or an issue with a ground throw, it will hit the ties. This does not happen often, but it can.
The IM reefer looks great, I would say a 8.5, runs well, couples well, no complaints. I have not had issues with the axles being warped like other people. My kid did run it off of the layout back in December and broke a stirrup, too bad IM does not make them a separate item like Micro-Trains does. So far, I just turned the car around so it is hidden, but I am leaning towards buying a BLMA stirrup kit…
Micro-Trains, the Cadillac of N Scale…these cars are a 7 to 9.5 in the looks department. Some, like my 40 ft hy-cube just sit too high, while others, like my Golden West bulkhead flatcar have their trucks and couplers painted the same color as the car! I have yet to see a real freight car with blue trucks and couplers. That being said, they couple on the first try and do not derail unless I run them through a closed switch, a total 10 in operation.
That leaves Fox Valley, a 9.5 in the looks dept….etched brass, great graphics, if they had extended coupler boxes, they would be a 10. They track well, they just have one odd issue. they don’t like to couple or uncouple from anything. to couple them, I have to make sure that the couplers are centered, and I have to put a finger on the roof to hold them still. These come factory equipt with Micro-Trains body mounted couplers, the same ones as the BLMA hopper that I love to use. But for some reason, neither one likes to couple to anything, and on both ends….a 5
Operating the layout was one of the main things that I wanted to do before building the layout. I really wanted something that I can operate realistically, and as a puzzle as well. The next to last plan that I drew up was basically a large Timesaver. By moving the switch that created the switchback of the Timesaver and placing it on the main, I still had the same number of sidings.
I also lengthened all sidings, so I could use the 2 sidings and the main on the East (left) end like an Inglenook puzzle. I can also set up a train with the same types of cars that are already spotted and switch them out. After I have buildings, I will be able to spot cars at the doors for more of a challange.
The south (rear) siding on the east (left) end will be a warehouse, and the north (front) siding will be a Walthers ADM grain elevator (re-lettered to a local name) to help break up the view. On the west end, there is only one siding and it will be a liquid feed plant. These plants tend to have tank cars and covered hoppers. I will need to build an office, warehouse and tanks. I have placed a pair of Floquil spray can caps (at least those were useful) and a 35MM film canister as temporary tanks. I plan to put the tanks between the main and the siding and the other buildings on the other side of the tracks.
I only started this layout this week, and have seen a lot of progress. Until the layout and track is painted, I am stuck. After the track is painted, I can ballast the track. I am also thinking of a road on the west end with it leading into the parking lot of the grain company.
The 2 mile hike up the mountain with the “CG” gave us a unique perspective of the Casa Grande Valley. It also shows how often the Borg runs their freights through, and how much I wish that Tunnels were pulling them. Getting up, out of the valley was a fun experience, and it shows that my compressed track plan really does not give the sense of how large this small city is…Do I continue with my 8 foot plan or stretch it out for a longer run?
This morning, right after sunrise, I went down to the old Sunset Route. On the west end of town is a small yard used to store cars, the typical UP local was switching cars with a pair of GP40-2’s for power (I have posted pictures of the locos on here already. one is an old repainted SP unit). I went further down Cowtown Road, and found some survivors, please enjoy the pictures. I am surprised to see ex 7658 with that decent of a paint job, She was built in 1980 and has not had a paint job in over 20 years.