Amherst Show, West Springfield MA

20,400 people, so Sunday was slower than Saturday. I enjoyed it; after a bunch of time spent fixing track and organizing dinner on Saturday, Sunday was more relaxed; I ran some trains, operated our ball signal while being the Diamond operator and talked to a lot of people. Although there wasn't room for crowd-control ropes on my Rowley (MA) modules they didn't take any damage. Some kids had a lot of fun, both members who were operating and visitors to the show.

Bridging the Gap

Years ago, on the Central Iowa Railroad Club layout, some temporary scenery was put in place in a location that was eventually going to play host to a large bridge. The structure would be modeled after the C&NW's crossing of the Des Moines River just west of Boone, IA, though it would have to be scaled down quite a bit to fit on the layout. On Thursday, the bridge was temporarily placed in its future permanent home... (lots of pictures)Collapse )
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I am so looking forward to April 1...

... even though I'm not at all sure how "healing tendon repair" will progress to exercising it. The knee immobilizer is uncomfortable enough that I really don't enjoy sitting on anything other than a bed or couch (long way) for more than 10 or 15 minutes. But this weekend that worked out well, as sitting in front of the computer or reading lost out to standing in the attic, leaning over my layout building track. Since mid-week I've gotten three of the staging yard tracks connected, with four switches laid and ready for wiring. I posted a couple of pictures on railroad-line:

Sunday afternoon my eldest came over and worked on the wood pile - I couldn't help with the chainsaw but the crutches have boosted my upper body strength, so I split a lot of green oak and felt fine afterward.
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Penn Central E8 4300

Thought I'd share my latest project.

This is a Proto 2000 E8 that is being modified to represent Penn Central's E8 #4300. 4300, originally PRR 5700, was one of only two E8s to have dual headlights. PRR was experimenting with oscillating headlights on their Es. Unfortunately, the only E8 I could get my hands on...was a New York Central unit, which had a single headlight. (Originally, I was going to build the unit as NYC, but with PC worms on the nose.)

Another E unit, an E7, was purchased at a yard sale. This gave up its nose door and the Mars light circuitry. Originally, the plan was, to drop the E8 body shell onto the E7 frame and be done with it. Unfortunately, that's impossible--the indents cut into the weights interfere with the side doors. Swapping the weights over was a pain. But, that was child's play compared to swapping over the running gear!

But, with that done, tested, and put back together, it was time to start the body work. Removing the nose doors was easy--a little gentle pressure freed the E7's door. But, getting the E8's operating door out was harder. There's a clip which has to be removed first. A little gentle filing had it fitting perfectly.

While I was at it, I removed all of the grab irons, handrails, and roof lift rings. These will be replaced with more durable wire parts. Also removed, were the rings around the portholes. The real 4300 had its portholes removed by PC time. It shouldn't be too hard to plug up the portholes with the original window 'glass' and some putty.

But, one thing that's staying, is the Mars light. The real 4300 didn't have it--instead, it was covered, and the lower headlight used instead.