Pigs on the A&S

I recently decided that my layout needed some TOFC and COFC  in order to really look like the D&H.
Now that the highway overpass had been raised, and inspired by MC’s Allagash photo and some prototype photos from my era, I ordered some Athearn trailers for the project.

Ken Karlewicz

“Modeling a sense of place”

An important milestone  was reached on July 26, when my layout upstairs turned two years old.. Don and I met the week after, for work session #42, which brings our work time together to ( 84 )- ten hour days on the layout. Our work schedule originally called for the installation of new  “ fill “ track lighting above Central Bridge and Cherry Valley ( now discontinued at Lowe’s and Home Depot we sadly learned ) so  we moved  to  plan B.
Cherry Valley, which had been the workbench during most of the layout construction, has slowly been coming to life over the past few months, so we decided to extend the riverbed along this area 

Rip Rap was added to areas prone to erosion and we also made a trip to a
local site, to collect the appropriate “boulders” for this purpose. 

Structures above are by Rich Cobb and the 502 was done by Bob Harpe  

The overpass at Frog Hollow was also raised and now allows for TOFC and Allagash woodchip cars. While removed, styrene curbs and gussets were  carved, painted and weathered, then added along the roadway  area of the bridge, which really makes a big difference.

Down in Cherry Valley,there will be a few houses situated on a small hill near the freight house, whose backyards will face the yard.

There is lots more to do down the road of course, but here
is where we are at the two year mark!

Hard to believe but my story

“Modeling a sense of place” will be the cover story in MRP 2019!!

Hope you guys  are all having a great summer!!

"Inch At A Time"- Chapter 25 Birch Trees

While clearing out last years dead growth from the gardens - I noticed the "Butterfly Bush" flowers had possible uses as tree structures, in particular, birch trees.

Since I, and some others of you, model the anthracite area (NEPA) We NEED birches as background, middleground and foreground models.  I did come up with a way of modeling the middle ground trees (photo 3) a few years ago but, until now, hadn't come up with a way to make foreground models.  The butterfly bush flowers looked like they had possibilities. (The distant trees are painted on the back drop.)

You'll notice in photo 1 (taken in Lansdale, PA) and photo 2 (my back yard) that unlike oaks, maples and other deciduous trees birches are thin bottom to top.  This is a plus since it's not necessary to add thickness as you would, say, to "super trees".  I simply cleaned off the flowers, painted the trunk and branches white, added Polyfiber very sparingly and, after a dose of (cheap) hairspray, added some ground foam foliage.  I painted the black markings on the trunks afterward.

Enjoy, Wayne Sittner


Reading Blue Mountain & Northern RR Track car trip

The North American Railcar Operator Association sponsored a track car trip on the Reading Blue Mountain & Northern and Bill "Maddog" Kozel was there.
The 2-day excursion starting in Pottsville, and returning each day. We traveled to Good Spring with side line trips on one day, and to Haucks the other day.

Fine Scale Miniatures #215 Mackenzie Milling Company

Bob Chase has been working on Fine Scale Miniatures kit, Mackenzie Milling Company. Looks like he's been doing great work!

1980 CR to 1960 DL&W

Over the weekend I took a bunch of photos for Tony K. to use in his upcoming book on engine terminals.  These show just how the layout can transform from (in this case) 1980 CR to 1960 DL&W.  The sand facility changed in minutes from LV in Coxton to DL&W in Bangor.

Wayne Sittner


Frank Adamec's Revisited 2018

We had a great time at Frank Adamec's the other night. Frank and John inspecting the Mechanicville Shops.
 Where the modern coal dump will go for the steam excursions.

 Brad working the "Mill Job"

 Shops and turntable.

 Caboose track and power line up.

Fast freight passing a Guilford train.

 LED staging lights.

Steam excursion over the Mechanicville Hudson River bridge.

B&M power in the Mechanicville ready tracks.


D&H Visitor's

Saturday morning coffee and ALCO's with Aaron. I used to ride on 5006 with D&H yard crew Mechanicville when I was a kid.

Aaron has "Chop noses and will travel!"

Working on a grade crossing. Trying Fast and Final wall patch onto of cork sheet. We'll see how this works out, good start anyway.

 New bridge abutments and my modified cover bridge.

Working a laser cut home, to fill the space near the station. The station was a diorama I built in a Buffalo hotel room years ago when I worked for the railroad out there. It doesn't really fit the whole Vermont themed layout, but I'm proud of it and making it fit!

Rob Dennis

Rob Dennis, trackplan..well kinda..

Bob Sprague did my trackplan for years ago, he's a great guy and loves designing them. Most of you have seen his trackplans in Model Railroader for at last 10 plus years.  I have changed a few things but the basic design is the same. It's always good to have plan! Below is the link to his website.


Ken Karlewicz, Youtube update!


Here is my latest YouTube Video
Hope you have a great weekend..

Ken Karlewicz


I launch early tonight from Hinesburg again, heading north into Quebec acting on a hot tip from Frank Jolin that a 394 detour is arriving at St. Jean to pick up its CM&Q pilot for the trip to Lennoxville! With St. Jean being several miles west of Farnham I usually have enough time to drive up and meet 394 in Farnham before the train disappears into the woods heading east. I say “usually” as the last attempt was a failure, “don’t we know.”. Arriving tonight the same track outside of Farnham is in the same condition as the last visit..............empty! Jeesome Crow! As I cross back over the grade crossing I see snow spilled onto the edge of the west side of the road where rails cross. Ah Ha! I think, 394 has given me the slip! Evidence shows am eastbound train passed over this crossing recently, I bet it was 394. Without further contemplation I head north for the Sherbrooke Autoroute where I can zoom along to my destination, Sherbrooke and be ahead of them in time to set up.

The roads are in good shape tonight and I decide ( a poor decision admittedly) to check out the bridge at Eastman for the reflection and listen to see if I can hear 394 pulling the grade to the west. The location is literally a minute off the autoroute. I pull in, get out and see the reflecting pool covered with fresh snow, and I can hear EMD diesels west of me, 394! I was correct! I jump back on the autoroute and radio picks up the talking equipment detector just west of Eastman going off! I’m shocked, 394 is already over here, right on my tail! Holy Cow! The detector gives the axle count among other info...................218 or so axles and I’m left thinking no wonder they are making good time, they have a small train. I don’t think I will beat them to the station in Sherbrooke but, already out here, two and a half hours from home, I’ve got to try!

I make such a statement because rte. 112 “Rue King O” going down through Sherbrooke easily rivals rte. 7 going through Rutland, Vermont for the most stoplights in the fewest miles of road! But.......my working hours are my advantage tonight! Amazingly, every stoplight stays/turns green for me! I turn right onto Rue Belvidere South then right into the station parking lot. Let’s setup I think! As I put the lighting together at the trunk there are surprisingly no air horns off in the distance. Maybe thirty min. later I am hearing air horns as I am spotting the last two lights where I have to cross the tracks to place them, one doing double duty as my mark, and stroll back (quickly) past the civic and up to the overpass. Temps are in the upper teens and dropping with a west wind. Now atop the overpass I see headlights in the distance and I’m feeling very lucky having pulled this off. The test shots look fine, my mark is a bit off, too far back but I figure I can crop the bottom of the view.

394 pulls up into the yard and stops well below the ex-CP station. This is odd I think. Nothing happens for a couple minutes. Now the headlights blink as the conductor gets off, and the power pulls towards me. They must have a setout to make I conclude as the leader slowly rolls past the station and into the scene. I’m watching over the top of the GR as number boards become visible........I read 90?? and it hits me..........this is the host railroad! Central Maine & Quebec! This is train 2 heading to Maine! BLUE BARNS! Up past my mark comes 9011 and the lighting does good! Under and then well beyond the overpass goes the head end. I’m ecstatic! Realizing I’ve hit the jackpot! The Blue Barns are making a lift here! The 9011 backs down into the yard, pulls back out and returns backing down onto its train below the station. I conclude..........LIFE IS GREAT!

I look over to my left at “this blocks” Timmy Hortons, and the lights are on! Once CM&Q train 2 departs, it’s time for a Latte, LOL! Absolutely! The train crew however, was well ahead of me! After several minutes the 9011s ditch lights go out, a crewman gets off, and I watch as he walks over to..............Timmy Hortons! The crews going for coffee! The crews going for coffee! I forget about plans for the Latte and realize..............this is the perfect opportunity to spot my mark where I want it, closer to the overpass. Train 2 is not going to move. And that’s what I did. Back atop the overpass, I watch a few minutes later as the conductor returns, 9011s ditch lights come on, a couple toots on the air horn are heard and I think..........get this right. The evidence is attached as 9011 came past one more time. This was the best I thought. Shot in Sherbrooke, Quebec on February 6, 2018 at 23:37. 1/500 @2.8. Special thanks to Frank Jolin! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2018;

Gary Knapp


Vermont Sugar House

Based on a "real" Sugar House in Vermont, nice little kit. I used a real green stain I had left over. I changed around the roof a bit, to make look like it was added on to, I couldn't stand the seam in the roof line. Chopped a few chords of wood. Added a few details, needs to add windows and place on the layout.

Rob D