Model Railroader Nov 2016

Item #MRR161101

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Description
Electrical troubleshooting
by Don Fiehmann
In this article, we’ll look at nine ways to diagnose electrical problems on a model railroad. Some are hands-on solutions, while others rely on the expertise of others. Using one or more of these approaches, you should be able to diagnose almost any problem on your layout.

Santa Fe through Southern Oklahoma
by David Kampsnider
As with many model railroaders, my interest in the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. was sparked by photographs of bright red-and-silver warbonnet diesel-electric locomotives fighting up Raton or Cajon Pass. However, it wasn’t until I moved to Denver in the 1980s and joined the Santa Fe Ry. Historical & Modeling Society [Visit the SFRH&MS website at www.atsfrr.com – Ed.] that I found my modeling focus along a different mountainous Santa Fe main line. I set my 26 x 30-foot HO scale layout in the Arbuckle Mountains of southern Oklahoma during the Santa Fe’s steam-to-diesel transition era.

A room-sized plan for a 1960s coal railroad
by Christian Javier
Snaking around the walls of a 15 x 15-foot room and spanning two decks, this N scale track plan focuses on hauling coal through the Appalachian Mountains. The inspiration for the plan are two branch lines of the Interstate RR, a coal-hauling short line with connections to other Class 1 railroads in the South. The plan offers coal operations, an interesting prototype, and the opportunity to model mountain scenery.

Superdetailed scenes along the Blue Ridge & Allegany
by Lou Sassi
Ron Hale grew up around railroads. A grandfather and an uncle were both railroad men, on the Pennsylvania and Norfolk & Western, respectively. During his childhood in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., Ron spent a lot of time railfanning with his dad. He was inspired by the Southern Ry. at Ivy City Yard and Alexandria, Va., as well as Western Maryland Ry. trains in Baltimore. A freelanced interchange between those two roads is the main theme of Ron’s HO scale Blue Ridge & Allegany Ry.

Build a curved passenger platform shelter
by Douglas Kirkpatrick
As a member of the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders club in Vienna, Va., I noticed that the passenger platform between tracks three and four at Salisbury station was devoid of any structure to protect the paying customers. Part of the reason it hadn’t been built may have been because the tracks there make a sweeping curve, requiring a scratchbuilt or heavily kitbashed structure to fit the platform.
 I decided it would be simpler to build a structure from scratch. I fabricated two distinctive shelter supports: a peaked design and a flat-roof butterfly design. I temporarily installed both supports on the platform and sought feedback from club members. The club selected the peaked roof design.
 Since any type of equipment from heavyweight passenger cars to modern-day Amtrak Superliners can appear on the railroad, I paid special attention to trackside clearances.

How to weather a modern unit coal train
by Pelle Søeborg
On my former HO scale Union Pacific Daneville Subdivision layout, I had a 30-car unit coal train consisting of Athearn Johnstown America BethGon Coal Porters. When I received the cars seven years earlier, I gave them a light weathering coat to match the relatively clean prototypes I’d seen on trips to the Midwest.
During a recent trip to Nebraska, I noticed the full-sized cars had become much dirtier. They’d also had yellow reflector stripes added, as mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). I thought it was time to update my coal train to a more contemporary look. The update involved three things: A second layer of grime to the carbody, adding yellow decal stripes, and enhancing the coal load. To make the 30-car task more manageable, I worked on five cars at a time.

Quick and easy utility poles
by Pelle Søeborg
As I continued work on my new HO scale Union Pacific layout, I noticed one thing was missing from my model railroad: utility poles. To my knowledge, there are no modern poles available in HO scale. Scratchbuilding insulators and cutouts was one possible solution, but that’s not how I wanted to spend my hobby time. Instead, I used readily available kits and parts to make realistic utility poles that were quick to build and easy to mass produce.
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