D&H In Fort Edward

We return to the station in Fort Edward, NY tonight for the encore appearance of D&H 7303 & 7304 returning northward from Saratoga, NY. I had just enough time to celebrate my photo earlier of the southbound move with 7304 leading, with a cup of tea, before I went back out from the car to move the step ladder, light stands and flash units across the street to the east side of the station. In all maybe one hour and a half had passed. Then test shots of the station and tweaking the lighting some more. The signals are out of sight behind me here, hidden by trees and brush, so I did not know D47 was headed back my way until I heard a single blast of 7303s air horn! They sounded like they were coming down Ganesvort Hill nearby!
As this was Saturday morning early, I was hoping they had not changed locomotives, as what engines they had returning tonight would likely work into the next week on the job as D47 does not “normally” work weekends. My plan was if D47 kept the two D&H engines for power was to invite Greg Klingler out again next week to pose for me.  It is quiet enough to allow me to hear the hollow low pitched rumble as D47 crosses the two open deck bridges across the Hudson River, onto and off from Rogers Island. With no grade crossings in between to give their presence away, the only indication a train is coming is the headlight glow above the tree line. Then the grade crossing signals activate, D47s engineer starts blowing for the crossing just below the station and around the curve comes a mass of headlights in the darkness.
It is not until the lead engines pilot plow passes my mark and the flash lighting reflects back that I am relieved to see Champlain Blue! Whoa! 7303 & 7304 are still together into next week! There will still be a chance to get together with Greg next week perhaps! Not that this photo is that bad! Here is 7303 leading, getting her turn for adoration! LOL! Afterward I am full of gratitude to CP for combining the last two D&H painted engines on the roster. Still in my neck of the woods and operating at night! Shot in Fort Edward, NY on December 5, 2015 at 03:38. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed. Special thanks to Gordy Smith for the heads up!
Gary Knapp

Frank Adamec Update

The new 4 x 8 foot engine terminal is in! Designed by Brad Peterson, Frank worked all fall and winter on creating it. Featuring a 180 foot DCC turntable from Walthers,  Diamond Scale fueling rack and a kitbashed back shop.

Operating DCC BLMA search light signals are next!

End of a era, Steve Lamora's Southern Adirondack

My section of the Southern Adirondack is coming to an end .The layout is 8 years old is the fourth layout in 16 years in our house but we have outgrown the house and time for a bigger basement. The new layout I will be going back to the Fonda Johnstown And Gloversville.  Here are a few pictures of the layout and what I had finished.

Wednesday Night Op Session October

The Wednesday night group had a Op Session at Brad Peterson's house back in October. Rick, Blair, Jim and Brad are getting power and assignments ready in Mechanicville yard. 

The D&H 4071 was a Atlas RS3 I painted over 15 years ago, Brad bought it from me, decaled it added a decoder and got her running again!

NYAR 300

NYAR 300 in consist on ACWR on 2/23/2016, Pinehurst NC:

Rob Gould's DCC Corner

After about with short circuits this winter I decided it was time to evaluate my DCC system.  Overtime my layout grew but my Digitrax system did not.  At any given time my layout had 39 locos & 5 of those had sound. If I was running 3 trains at once that might be 8 or 9 locos at once.  Also I went  from 3 small staging yards to 3 big staging yards.  Clearly I needed a booster.  My thought was that the current draw from the larger layout with more locos and a longer track bus was part of the problem with short circuits.  Some DCC systems are fooled into to thinking the large current draw upon power-up is a short circuit when the system is trying to recover from a real short circuit such as a derailment.  Digitrax makes boosters and circuit brakers.  Most of the articles I read about enlarging your DCC system point out that you may not need a booster but rather a circuit breaker.  I decided to add both.  I added an 8 amp booster and 2 circuit breakers that have 4 districts per unit.
The hardest part was deciding how to divide the layout into isolated blocks with double gapped rails.  Only slightly less harder was getting over the fact that I removed dozens of insulated rail joiners when I converted to DCC.  Now I was putting some back in!  Here are some thoughts on dividing the layout up into blocks.   Choose areas that you can see such as the end of a staging yard and make that its own block.  Make blocks where locos tend to congregate such as a shop scene or industrial area.
I choose 7 blocks and thus have 1 spare circuit breaker for expansion.  I located the booster as far as possible from the command station.  Also I added a new powers supply which handles the command station and booster.  It is interesting to note that each breaker needs its own power supply separate from the command station/booster power supply.  You may want to consider a toggle switch which could shut off areas such as a diesel terminal when not in use.


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I wish you success in life while navigating through 2016! May 2016 be a good year for us all.
Please enjoy the attached photo! Finally............the winters first snowstorm arrived in my neck of the woods December 29th and 30th. On cue, the NECR ran northbound 323 with New Englands only Tunnel Motor, NECR 3317 leading the night with the most snowfall advertised! Wanting to take advantage of the opportunity, but remembering the Vermont Highway Departments policy of not maintaining roads overnight during winter storms, the nearby gazebo in Waterbury suddenly became attractive again! What better place to shoot a passing train in a snowstorm than a gazebo? Plus it is only some twenty miles away from home, most of it Interstate driving. Once I reached the Interstate it was an entertaining drive over to Waterbury in the middle of the night. I found very little competition for space on the Interstate and was able to maintain a forty mph speed. In little more than thirty minutes I was off I89 and driving through the downtown to pull in beside the gazebo.
Temps are in the low twenties as I set up the lighting with maybe three inches on the ground. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters security came by but kept on going after they saw me! In the heavy snowfall, maybe an inch an hour, I placed a zip lock bag over the flash units. If you don’t, the flash heads get snow covered, reducing the light output! Any snow buildup can be easily shaken off the plastic bags if needed. Meanwhile, some ten miles away southeast of me, 323 & 324 were meeting in Montpelier Jct. 323 with 3317 was in the passing siding, waiting for 324 to switch out a salt storage shed and leave town before they could come out and head towards me. This sequence takes quite a while and it seems like I have been set up and ready for an hour or more before 324 has departed and 323 is headed my way. I alternate positions between kneeling on the gazebo floor looking at angles and composition/test shots, (the preferred activity) and sitting in the car five feet away drinkin’ tea.
The drivers side window is left cracked open two or three inches to facilitate listening to the scanner, and predictably, snow builds up on the inside and armrest of the door but it’s worth it. Once I hear 323 has departed Montpelier Jct., I give ‘em a few minutes then find my spot on the gazebo floor again to kneel on and wait. Around me the streets are busy with pickups and small tractors clearing snow, thankfully none are equipped with those roof mount rotating yellow beacons which set off the flash units when their light hits them. So far, no one has ventured into the parking lot next to me to begin plowing either! The snow flying in the air dampens my hearing, and I don’t pickup the sounds of EMD exhaust as 323 comes down Slip Hill, but I hear the engineer laying on the air horn for a little used grade crossing! Maybe 1/8 of a mile away headlights round the curve, silhouetting the swirling snow. I fire off the lighting, and down the tangent track comes 3317 at thirty to forty mph.
3317s cab rolls by, it’s in the gazebo window and just as quickly gone! The flash lighting and the GRs leaf shutter capture the dramatic image amid favorite conditions for me! The difficulty presented in getting on location at night in a snowstorm are more than compensated for with images you have a chance to capture. By the time I have come back down from cloud nine and packed everything up the snow has changed to freezing rain! Nasty stuff if you are driving on bare pavement, but............the plows are not out at night here so it falls on packed snow! That’s a horse of a different color and the slow drive home is uneventful. Shot in Waterbury, Vermont on December 29, 2015 at 04:25. Special thanks to Ed Ferguson! Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.
All The Best In 2016;
Gary Knapp