One Evening Project

This installment might have made a great "One Evening Project" for MR years ago. In all honesty, it didn't take much longer. I've been gradually filling in my engine house area with typical piles of (correct) random stuff (re: Chap 4 "Racks"). I've taken many slides at engine houses over the years of this type but, the pictures I got in Milford on the CACV last week were perfect for my prototype inspiration.

Everything you see modeled was made from materials I had on on hand: The bin, pallet and brake shoes were built up, of course. The coupler knuckles are old Varney; still oversize but, they look like they belong given the size of Kadee's.

Hope you all enjoy.

Wayne Sittner


The night of May 21 found me back in West Brownsville on Main St., lighting all set up, and doin' my thing, waitin' for a train. After spending four hours at a photogenic location and listening to Coast To Coast AM on the radio, I thought a move was in order, and relocated to the top of the street around the church again to catch the jobs I had witnessed the past two nights. Unfortunately for me, I failed to consult with the dispatcher on this move, and instead of shooting trains passing the church, or my original spot, got to watch, as inbound loads came past me. Ha,ha,ha! With CSX power. A later opportunity with CSX at the church became so fogged in the headlight glare was overwhelming. As dawn arrived my intuition proclaimed that "maybe" it was time to move on, at least for now. And I agreed, knowing the dangers of becoming attached to a location and getting "the shot", at the expense of time spent elsewhere. After all, this street running trackage, for all its attractions, was not the only game in town! The PA. State Park I had been cornered into camping at, Ohiopyle, was nicely located halfway between West Brownsville and Mance Curve on Sand Patch! What could be better, than a Saturday evening on Sand Patch at the Mance Post Office? Driving in from the Subway at Meyersdale that evening I was listening via the car scanner as the dispatcher inquired of the Connellsville helper crew how much longer they were available. It seemed there were several eastbounds coming up the west side that had power problems, or were over tonnage or late running. The helper conductor replied they were good until........(I forget the time given) hours, and obviously pleased with this news, remarked how there always seemed to be work for them to do. The dispatcher was pleased with this news of their availability, humorously agreeing with their appraisal of the situation, and started lining up a couple trains down the west side of Sand Patch to stop for the helper. Also pleased with this news was Gary! As I had planned on setting up to shoot eastbounds going past the Mance P. O.! Two years ago when I visited this spot ahead of Memorial Day weekend, I saw very little traffic at night. Tonight, two eastbounds come by in the gathering dusk as I'm enjoying my Veggie-Delite on the picnic table. Owner Dave Snyder told me whenever I'm visiting to make myself at home, and I will, thank you Dave! Having shot from the porch before here, the lighting goes up quickly in the dark. And when I say dark, I mean DARK! Not a light to be seen anywhere. The double track main line off to the right is a ghostly image at best. Three eastbounds come by one hour apart, from 22:30 on, then a lull for two and a half hours with only a couple westbounds coming by on track one. The space of time with no eastbound trains leaves me wondering.......was that it? LOL! The longer the time goes on, the better my chances for another eastbound. Then it happens! The scanner erupts as a westbound is calling out the next signal below me, quickly followed by an eastbound identifying his train symbol then......... "green at Manila with 4082" then silence! "Manila" is just outside the east portal of Sand Patch Tunnel, maybe a mile away upgrade. Quickly in position behind the 5D, the w.b. train climbing toward me can be heard clearly, I do a test flash to make sure all is well with the lights. It is now I stop and ask myself.............4082?......4082? What the heck is that? I don't believe the rebuilt SD 40-2s CSX is doing in the 4000 series run up this far in the numbering system yet. We will find out shortly I conclude! From my camera position I can step back and look 90 degrees to the left as the westbounds headlights appear in the dark rounding Mance Curve, making short work of Sand Patch with a lighter than normal train of containers! They pass by at track speed, leaving me waiting, watching.........outside the porch its pitch black, the shadowy containers keep going by on the far track. Finally headlights glint off the passing containers, I fire off an awareness flash for the crew and settle into a crouch behind the camera. Headlights appear and I don't hear a thing until the cab is nearly in position, then with a flash watching through the lens, the image is captured, reflecting for a split second back through the lens...........red/yellow, KCS colors! Instictively I jerk my head up to look, at headlights passing by in the darkness! LOL! Then returning to the image, Kansas City Southern SD 70-2s! At Mance! A first for me shooting this paint scheme! Remember my past remark about departing Lawrenceburg, Indiana after two days and not staying a third, and how it would prove to be a beneficial decision? Here at the Mance P. O. several nights later, I reap the rewards of that decision! The traveling flag even frames the Kansas City Southern spelled out on the hood. Not bad timing with the 5D shutter in pitch darkness! After capturing this image, it was time to sit and have some tea in gratitude at Mance for Gary! What a location to catch this power in! Shot on May 22, 2011 at Mance, Pennsylvania with the 5D and Nikkor 14-24/2.8 lens set at 14mm and f2.8. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2011;



The Corner Store

We are on the corner of East Main St. and South Walnut Ave. in La Grange........its early Saturday morning. This view has been a favorite of mine since my first visit four or five years back when I set up here after arriving and what do you suppose came by that night? An SD 40-2 leading! Holy Cow! Tonights power is more modern looking, another C40-8W, the 7781 with its wide cab and dark paint scheme add to the mysterious setting. The brick house with columns up the street is ex-Mayor Elsie Carters home. I wait and wait here tonight after moving the lighting, step ladder and traveling flag down the street from the far corner where I shot the 7817 passing the 1887 Corner Store. My patience is rewarded when 7781 comes up the street with a northbound after six a.m.! This is cutting it close, as you can notice the sky getting bluer! To capture these two views little more than three hours apart leaves me ecstatic. For me, it dose'nt get much better than this, and I conclude, thinking to myself...........yeah, I guess I can head back to the campsite now. Only eight miles away, it compliments the aura surrounding La Grange to me, by being the best campsite I enjoyed during the trip. SHot on May 14, 2011 at 06:06 in La Grange, Kentucky with the 5D and Zeiss ZF 35/2 lens set at f2. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2011;


July Train Day

Me and Timothy Towle working on grading the roadbed at Meghans crossing.

The short bridge all decked and ready to be installed. We just need to sink some pilings and retaining walls.

Rick Towle, his son Timothy and Bill Bibby visiting at the end of track. We got a few more feet of track built a little later when Bill asked how I go about getting the rail to curve, how I get the right gauge, how I figure tie spacing and how to line up the ties crosswise.

Leased GE 70 ton switcher (temp SAR #1) in the Mechanicville engine terminal before heading to the Round Lake Paper Mill to work as a plant switcher.

B&M 309 working the north end of Mechanicville yard with 37 coming up the main to DB cabin.

MBTA 1012 pullung #37 the Adirondack through XO.

Enjoy, Brad Peterson



Still Some Pride Left.....

The Saratoga Car Dept used to have a full time staff 24 hours a day, but that was before CP Rail cuts. Now just a few men left for running repairs. D&H 35799 is SC-1's caboose in Kenwood, it was sent to Saratoga for inspection and to fix the stove for the coming winter. Looks like the boys got the paint out and did what they could for an old friend. The script is a vinyl decal.

Rob D


Old Railroad Men

Larry LaFarr engineer (deceased), Roland Gebo, clerk (deceased), Jimmy Martucci, Yard Cond (ret), Me (ret), Dave Gosselin trainman (quit), Mark Terry trainman (quit now prison guard, Ron Guard Trainman (now engineer)
Going by the ex Long Island Alco and long sleve shirts, I'd say it was fall of 1977 in Fort Edward.

Jim Lafayette

Nielsen Ready Mix

The prototype for my next addition to the layout: The ruins of the Nielsen Ready Mix Concrete plant. (Kingston/Town of Ulster, NY) I remember when this was a going concern but, that had to be over 30 years ago. It was neat then but, still picturesque. I real challenge to model in this state. I've done the drawings and have started to cast plaster sections for the walls. (ten pieces per pour in three sizes) It seemed a logical modeling technique since the original buildings followed that construction approach using form cast concrete. Getting the colors, the staining, overburden and overgrowth is intimidating.

It actually took a couple days to assenble the 45 to 50 castings I made. I couldn't help thinking it was like building with one of the block sets I had in my childhood. All came out OK and today I got an initial coating of acrylic stain mixed and worked in. Next come the styrene details I want to add and the work on the setting. I'm feeling pretty confident now that it will turn out.

The old trailer started as a CMW. I altered it to look like one that was used for storage at a quarry I frequent when visiting in CO. Figured it'd be a nice scenic accessory at the concrete plant.

I got the area of the bins finished for scenery. I made it removable from the layour but, it blends in well. There are still a lot of details in sah-reen mthat need to be added to the other section. No question anymore about whether I'm modeling it as a ruin. For those who were corious about the plastaar castings I made, here are a few leftovers. The sizes I made were: 6X20X2', 7X20X2' and 7X25X2' (HO).

Thanks for bearing with me and sharing your comments throughout this project. Living in "Waterworld" for the past few days gave me the time and inclination to paint and install the background. Because the area around the plant was so overgrown when I was researching, I couldn't get any overall shots of the setting. The background is done from memory but, I assure you, it's pretty close.

Have a great weekend,
Wayne Sittner

ALCO Plant Going Going....

The former ALCO Locomotive Works in Schenectady in the process of being taken down.

Bill Kozel

A Day Amsterdam

Long ago we used to railfan out in Amsterdam and eat at Russo's, Armand found an oldy, but a goody!
Phoebe Heise, Richard Heise, Richard Heise II, Richard's Friend, Armand Choiniere, Justin Couture, Rob Dennis and Bill Ensinger



Sunny Monday

Last Monday I Spent most of the day working on the yard. Nice day to do it as it wasn't to hot. Around 11:00 I ran down to the post office to pick up some packages and shoot the breeze with co-workers from the park. Before exiting #4211's cab I could hear the North End Dispatcher giving #252 with a SOO leader permission onto the siding at 35. Ah ha! So I went home and finished up the lawn and went down to Delanson around 4:00 to check the signals at CPF 499. If there lit then there is a southbound coming from Mohawk Yard in Glenville. They were..So I decided to relocate to Gage Road and by 6:30 I could hear the distinctive horn of a SOO unit blowing for Cole Road north of me. Around that same time Northbound counterpart #253 could be heard also blowing for Youngs Road south of me. For a second I thought I was going to get skunked but with a 10 MPH speed restriction for the Controlled Siding I figured I would be okay otherwise I might be blocked by the NB passing the SB. Luckily #252 showed first and was on the Main. The Dispatcher held them short of Gage Road so the #253 could pass. With a long train you can block Youngs Road if you hold a Southbound at CPF 503. ("Correct me if I am wrong Rob"). After I grabbed #252 I decided to relocate to Central Bridge. After about a 20 min wait #252 came through on a 10 MPH speed restriction for work being done by the Schoharie Creek bridge. After #252 passed I called it quits and headed home.

Dean J. Splittgerber
Duanesburg, NY