Friday, February 7, 2014

New England Free-Mo at the Amherst Railway Society Show - January, 2014

I got to spend a day with the New England Free-mo group at the Big E in West Springfield. I spent part of the day looking at the hundreds of dealer tables and dozens of other layouts, but the Free-mo folks drew the most interest from me. They've put together a great group of people and modules; if I lived a little closer to Boston, I'd be spending a lot more time with them.

Here's a video of their layout taken by Mike M. This group has really come a long way in only a couple of years.

I'm sure as time goes by, I'll have a lot more to say about this group too.

NMRA Module

I wanted to publish a few photos of the NMRA-standard module I built for the Allegheny Western Lines meet in August of 2013. The module was completely barebones for the meet, but functioned properly (more or less) during the meet.

The concept is a gravel pit (Valley Aggregates) with a single siding for loading the crushed stone. There's still a lot of work to do with the module, but I'm happy that I was able to build something that actually met the NMRA standard and worked within a setup.

Here's the module before the wiring was completed.
This is the module being completed as it's placed in the setup.
All ready to go!
Two New Haven RS3s pulling a (mostly) New Haven freight.
A New Haven Alco PA pulling an Athearn passenger consist. I'll make the cars more "New Haven-like" in my spare time.

Allegheny Western Lines

I would be remiss if I didn't take some time to thank the Allegheny Western Lines group out of Fort Washington, PA (near Philly). I got to spend some time with them in early 2004, before moving to Florida. Since returning north, they've been more than generous to allow me to operate on their NMRA standard modular layout several times at Greenburg shows in Edison, NJ.

In August of 2013, they were kind enough to allow me to bring a module to their setup. I have photos and descriptions of that module in a separate blog thread, but I wanted to include some photos of the 8/13 setup.

An overview of the setup, including (to the right of the photo) the ingenious lift bridge that allows members to enter the inside of the layout without having to 'duck under' a module. When lifted, the bridge turns off power to the surrounding modules.
An industrial module set.
Chris' "Ever-Expanding" yard.
Another industrial area.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Naugatuck: First Two Modules

The first two modules of Naugatuck to be built. Designed so that additional modules may be placed in the middle of the configuration, allowing the siding to grow as needed.

Each module is slightly over 4' long and 2' wide. These drawings are presented as schematics, not scale drawings.

I'll have more information about construction, structures, etc. as soon as I get a clear weather day to start.

Naugatuck Chemical Module

First draft of the Naugatuck Chemical module. Naugatuck Chemical was a large complex, situated at the south end of Naugatuck. It was (I believe) the first industry that appeared after Beacon Falls.
The draft is a schematic, it's not intended to be a scale drawing of the module. Free-mo module is 5' long; two sidings (approximately 5 spots) for tank cars, one siding, (expecting only 1 spot) for boxcars (packaging materials, finished goods) and gondolas (machinery, etc.)


I'm accumulating online sources for this project. I'll add more as I continue to find them. Here are the links I've acquired so far:

1954 USGS Maps
The Official Free-mo Standard
Modeling the NH
The New Haven Railroad
New York, New Haven and Hartford Photo Collection (UConn)
Naugatuck Chemical
Naugatuck Historical Society
New Haven Railroad Historical Technical Association
UConn Railroad History Archives>
New York, New Haven Hartford Railroad Valuation Map Index

Working On The Railroad

I'm hoping that this blog will allow me to chronicle construction of my model railroad. I intend to model the Naugatuck, Connecticut area (with some modeler's license) using the Free-mo module standard. I do expect to build a few non-Free-mo standard pieces to allow the modules to become my home layout. I'll be highlighting the module planning and construction as well as scenery, tracklaying, electrical, structure construction as well as rolling stock selected for the layout.

Naugatuck, CT Railroad Station

Much to build and plan -- so here's to starting!