Model Railroader Aug 2016

Item #MRR160801

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Making steel along a Pennsy branch line
My Pennsylvania RR-inspired Waynesburg & Washington RR started as a 17 x 18-foot HO scale layout set in the rolling rural landscape of southwestern Pennsylvania. Two of my distant relatives served on a committee that determined the railroad’s route. While the prototype W&W was a narrow gauge line that ceased operations by the 1940s, my version survived into the 1950s as a standard gauge Pennsylvania RR branch line.

Aligning track on moveable benchwork
by Gerry Leone
As I planned my new HO scale Bona Vista RR, it became painfully obvious that the mainline track would have to cross a 4-foot doorway opening. On two decks. I toyed with the idea of having the upper deck lift up (drawbridge-style) and having the lower deck drop down, but that just seemed to be too much of a hassle – the railroad spans two rooms and I’d be in and out of that doorway half a dozen times in the course of an operating session. The best solution, it seemed to me, was to build benchwork that swings open on a hinge, just like a door.

Upgrade a plaster freight car kit
by Mont Switzer
Plastic kits have long been a staple of model railroading. Though attractively priced, kits often feature molded details, a basic brake system, and simplified lettering. However, with a bit of work and a few detail parts, freight car kits can be turned from simple to stunning. In this article, I’ll show you how I took a stock HO scale Accurail 40-foot refrigerator car and modified it to better match a Burlington Refrigerator Express prototype.

Build a simple structure from leftovers
by Pelle Søeborg
Many of us have boxes of leftovers from kits and scratchbuilding projects. You know, the ones filled with wall sections, doors, windows, and vents, among countless other items. When I needed a trackside structure for my new HO scale Union Pacific layout, I looked in my parts boxes instead of buying a new kit.

Scratchbuild a wood trestle and truss bridge
by Don Ball
Spindly wood trestles crossing mountain gorges have ­always fascinated model railroaders. In the early days of railroading, it was the cheapest way to get a railroad across a river or valley and on to its destination. Railroads could, and often did, come back later to fill in the area under the trestle or replace it with an iron, steel, or masonry substitute.
When the Stockton & Copperopolis RR was building south from Stockton, Calif., the Stanislaus River Valley was the chief obstacle in the path to Oakdale. In a few weeks in the fall of 1871, the railroad bridged the river with two 150-foot Howe truss bridges and more than 500 feet of approach trestle.

7 helpful hints to build better bridges
by Mark Dance
The Columbia & Western Ry. is an N scale model of the Canadian Pacific’s Boundary Subdivision as it existed in 1970. [The layout was featured in Great Model Railroads 2016. – Ed.] The CP’s path through the mountains of southern British Columbia required massive bridges to get the rails across the lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks of the area. I knew capturing the character of the prototype would require modeling many of these impressive bridges, even though I’d never built a bridge in any scale.

Railfanning the Colorado Rockies
by Dave Rickaby
While some model railroaders hew closely to a prototype, and others follow their own freelanced plans, John Mellowes walks a middle path with his HOn3 Rio Grande Summit Line. John’s fictional railroad is set in southwest Colorado around 1940. Although John likes the Rio Grande Southern, his layout is primarily based on the operations of the Denver & Rio Grande Western.
John was introduced to model railroading by his dad, who had a large O-27 Lionel layout. When John bought his parents’ home in 1976, he started to build his own layout. This layout, and the one his father built in his new home, were open for tours during the ­National Model Railroad Association’s 50th national convention, which was held in Milwaukee in 1985.
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