Posts

HBR History and Layout Background

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A little background on the prototype: The Hudson Bay Railway (HBR), owned by Omnitrax, took over Canadian National’s lines to Flin Flon (Flin Flon Subdivision), Lynn Lake, Thompson and Churchill Manitoba in 1997. These lines were built to access northern Manitoba’s mineral wealth and forest products. The Flin Flon Subdivision was completed in 1928, the line to the Port of Churchill in 1929, Lynn Lake in 1953 and Thompson in 1958. Another line to Snow Lake was built in 1960 and abandoned in the late 1980’s. Major traffic generators for the northern Manitoba lines include outbound concentrates and ingots from Flin Flon, Lynn Lake and Thompson, predominantly Copper, Zinc and Nickel. As well, inbound concentrates, mill and smelter supplies for the smelters and concentrators at these mining centers is shipped by rail; raw logs and chemicals going to, and finished wood and paper products coming from the Tolko lumber mill and pulp mill, frack sand from Channing, grain loads going to and grain

RMMBC 2022 is in the books

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Trackwork, freight cars and a switcher in Proto48 by Greg Amer A few of my cars on display GT 0-4-0 in Proto 87 by Rene' Gourley FW&D boxcar in HO scale by Rob Kirkham Soo Line caboose by Larry Sebelley BC Rail tank car in N scale by Timothy Horton Southern Pacific caboose in TT scale by Xen Valoczy Soo Line passenger car in HO scale by Stephan Wintner The Railway Modellers Meet of BC was held this past weekend (May 27-29, 2022) and it was what I would consider a rousing success.  In addition to the on line clinic lineup and layout tours < here >, we had operating sessions,  in person layout tours, "Meet My Layout", model displays and "Meet the Modeller".  We also had group discussions based on era and prototype and Table Top Clinics.   "Meet My Layout", Table Top Clinics and the group discussions were new additions and overall were well received by attendees and may well feature in future meets.  I presented a table top clinic on weathering

MRH Article on modelling the QIT

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I'll do a bit of cross posting here.  I had an article about building a layout for the Quebec Iron and Titanium Railway in eastern Quebec published in the Model Railroad Hobbyist online magazine.  It has both prototype and modelling related stuff so is a bit of a cross over between my modelling and prototype blogs.  You can find the article link on my other blog here:   https://ageologistchasingtrains.blogspot.com/2022/05/quebec-iron-and-titanium-havre-st.html Alternatively you can go straight to the MRH article here:  https://forum.mrhmag.com/post/quebec-iron-titanium-railway-12353820?pid=1332635156 If anyone actually builds a layout based on the QIT I would be very interested to see their results.

Railway Modellers Meet of BC on line and in person meet

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For the past few years I have been on the organizing committee of the Railway Modellers Meet of BC .  We have worked hard to make this one of the best model railway events that we can.  Over the past 7 years we have continued to work on improving the meet.  We are all proud of what we have been able to achieve over the past years and are looking forward to many more years of presenting the best model railroading has to offer.   We had to scramble to put together an online meet when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.  In a very short timeframe we learned how to put on a Zoom event which went pretty well considering we were basically making it up as we went along.  We continued with the Zoom clinics in 2021, and for 2022 we are going with a hybrid on line and in person meet.  The clinic presentations will be on line while there will be in person events on May 27th to 29th.     It has a lot going on:  Operating Sessions on private layouts, On Line clinics and layout tours, In Person Layou

Now What?

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 A few years ago I learned that CN used "Line Car Control" to explain the layout of sidings, industries etc. throughout their system.  It was divided into regions and sub regions.  I have been looking for this documentation for the areas north of The Pas Manitoba as that is my modelling focus.  I had been unsuccessful in this search.  Until now. Thanks to a very generous acquaintance I now have the Line Car Control binder for The Pas Manitoba Effective May 1986 and a second one effective December 1986.  As well I received a copy of the October 1973 CN employee timetable as well as some other Hudson Bay Railway related stuff.   A nice surprise was a telegraph pole insulator with HBR initials on it, a remnant of the original line construction from the 1913-1929 timeframe.  I will  have to sort out how to properly display it.      While 1986 is a few years after my modelling timeframe nothing really changed during the early 1980's as far as I have been able to determine othe

The Last Auto Transporter

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Previously I have blogged about my CN auto transporter build project.  I have completed 4 cars so far in the CN noodle scheme.  I have a 5th car that I was going to do as a noodle scheme car, but a few things got in the way.   The biggest hurdle to finishing the car previously was that the paint went on rough when I was airbrushing this car.  I elected to try sanding down the paint using 1000 grit sandpaper.  The sandpaper was trimmed to the width of the side panels so I wouldn't affect the rivet details.  I managed to salvage the car without having to strip and repaint it.  The roof and ends are still a bit rough but this will be hidden with weathering.   While going through the Canadian Freight Car Gallery looking for prototype inspiration, I came across this photo < here > that showed one of the auto transporter cars was still in the maple leaf scheme in 1978 - close enough to my early 1980's timeframe to justify having one in the fleet.   After I got the rough paint s

Video Tutorial on Chipped Paint on a Freight Car Roof

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 I have posted a video on how I do my chipped paint effects on freight car roofs.  Fast and uses a few basic tools and paints, it gives a good weathered effect for your fleet. Chipped Paint on a Freight Car

The Pas Yard Diagram

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Sometimes things appear that you never thought you would see.  I was messaging with my friend Mark  about a variety of things when the conversation turned to the track layout in The Pas. He worked in northern Manitoba during my modelling era so has been a wealth of information, both photos and memories, along with talking to his own contacts about the minutiae of railway operations in the region.    He sent a couple of photos that for me are akin to finding a holy grail: track diagrams for The Pas in 1990!  A bit after my era but I suspect there were not too many changes between 1980 and 1990.  Great news for figuring things out in The Pas.  For whatever reason this diagram was in a book for Winnipeg trackage.  You never know what you might turn up in unexpected places.    I can glean some information from photos and observations of my own and others.  But knowing what each track was used for is invaluable information.  Now I can start planning the yard in The Pas  with some certainty

Staining ties for switches

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After my freight car weathering blitz had to take a break due to cold weather (can't spray Tamiya TS-80 indoors due to complaints from management about the smell) I have moved over to preparing ties for the rebuilt Flin Flon yard throat project I started a while back.  I have built a number of switches using Fast Tracks jigs, MicroEngineering Code 70 rail and PC board ties.   Building switches is actually more enjoyable than I expected and will be much less expensive than buying RTR switches.  I decided that staining the ties ahead of time would give better results, especially after doing some reading and watching some YouTube videos.  I painted the switches (rail and PC board ties) with a mix of rust, dirt and black paint.  This is a nice starting colour for rail and the PC board ties.  I have also used spray paint (Rustoleum flat camouflage brown) for this but given the cold weather I hand painted instead.   Ties stewing in their juices Ties being put out to dry.  Don't handl

Now for something completely different - A video!

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I've been playing around with various weathering techniques over the past couple of years, including PanPastels, acrylic washes, airbrush weathering and combinations of all of them.  More recently I have found something I really like - oil pin washes.   I did a quick video on the technique, hopefully it is something people might give a try.  You'll be happy you did.  

Tank car weathering

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Rapido Model Trains recently released their model of the Procor GP20 20,000 gallon general purpose tank car.  This has long been on my list of "must have" models for the Hudson Bay Railway.  Any photo with a tank car in it from the late 1970's to the 1990's was likely one of these cars.  They were used to haul gasoline, diesel and other fuel to various parts of the northern railway network.  They were used to stock the fuel tank farm in Churchill that serviced the barges that supplied communities along Hudsons Bay.  This required massive numbers of tank cars to travel north.   The model from Rapido is very nicely done with etched walkways and nicely rendered fine details.  They are pretty much ready to go out of the box, however I want to try adding some weathering to the cars to better represent the prototype.   One challenge is that there are not that many photographs of these cars in service in the early 1980's, as much due to the cost of a roll of film as at t