Saturday, November 5, 2016

The 42nd Annual New York State Train Show

Well it is the first weekend in November and the Annual New York State Train Show is being held in Syracuse, NY.  The weather is still fairly mild and the train show returned to the Center of Progress building this year, making for a great venue.   I was only able to attend the show today, Saturday,  because tomorrow the Karney family begins our long awaited family vacation at Disney in Florida.  I have posted below some pictures from today along with a link to the Youtube Video highlights of the operators group of the Cornell Railroad Historical Society.  

In other news - the Attic renovation is progressing along.  I was able to start the ceiling insulation and do some wiring of new outlet boxes.   I am really optimistic that by the end of the calendar year the room will be finished and benchwork can begin after the 1st of the New Year.   Enjoy the video and pictures and see you in a few weeks.

NYC FA-1 & FB-1, Models by Shawn Karney

NYC Caboose 1904, Model by Shawn Karney

Piggyback Flats - Models by Greg Dickinson

NKP RS-3s, Models by: Greg Dickinson

NYSW Alco RS-1s.  Models by Steve Avery

B&O Geep, Model by Bob Travis 

B&H Alco Switcher, Model by Steve Peck 

NYC J-1e # 5344 with NYC Budd Passenger Train, Models by Shawn Karney

NYC Budd Observation, Model by Shawn Karney

NYC Alco RS-3 with Yard Transfer, Models by Shawn Karney

NYC Transfer Caboose, Model by Shawn Karney

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mid-September Updates

Well the cooler weather has returned and that has enabled renewed attention to the attic space.  I have restarted drywall work.  Progress is slow but I am getting areas taped and mudded up each night.  I am planning a full day work session this coming Friday to complete the insulation and hard ceiling install.

Pictures to come soon...but in the meantime enjoy some nice Alco street running on the B&H from earlier this summer and a recent picture of the NYC bay window caboose at the NY State Fairgrounds...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blog Restart at 1 Year

Well 1 whole year has passed since I restarted this blog documenting the construction of my NYC themed layout.  Looking back over the past year, one could say that little was accomplished as I still do not have an operating layout, and still have not completed construction on the attic space. While true, it really does not paint the full picture.

 In the past year the walls were framed, insulated, dry wall hung and current status places the attic space at about 50% complete and all of that was completed in about a six month period of time.  This summer has been unprecedented in heat and lack of rain in the Southern Fingerlakes of NY.  As a result, most days the temperature in the attic made it impossible to complete any work, let alone even go in the attic for more than 10 mins at a time.

The weather has broken a bit in the past week and I was able to get right back to applying joint compound to the walls, installing ceiling joists and a few other construction activities.  In the month of September, I am setting a goal to get the ceiling in place and finish the insulation.  That should enable me to work in a comfortable setting through the winter months.  I very much hope that by Christmas I will have some benchwork completed and be able to run some trains.  

So while the past few months did not permit much work to be done in the attic, it did allow for plenty of reading, and adding to my locomotive and rolling stock collection.   I have recently been able to purchase a Proto 2000 Alco PA-1 on eBay, and a Walthers Mainline SW-1 from my local train shop that is currently closing after 20 years.  The prices on both were excellent.  I will need to custom paint the SW-1, so look for several blog posts on that subject as I am toying with the idea of doing a series of video's for that project.  

I was also able to recently revive a Proto 2000 E8, painted in the Cigar Band scheme.  It is missing a drive shaft, but I have a contact at Walthers who is searching the bins for an extra.  We shall see what he turns up!

The long awaited Atlas, Alco RS-3's also appeared.  I had ordered two numbers but only one arrived.  This model is equipped with ESU LokSound and is highly impressive.  An upcoming video will be posted of this model.

On the workbench is a dozen or so DCC installs for my friend Greg and 3 older Atlas, Alco RS-3's awaiting lettering.  Can you tell that Alco road switchers are my favorite?

Add to all of this a half dozen or so new boxcars, hoppers, pig flats and passenger cars and you have a good idea of how I was keeping active in the hobby.   Stay tuned... the weather is changing!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The almost end of May Update

Can you believe it?! Memorial Day is upon us and the month of May is almost over.   This month saw the re-energizing of the attic conversion and some new rolling stock acquisitions.   Here are two more of the latest purchases.  Again, starting to appreciate the TOFC ops more and more.  These flats and trailers work well for the 1950's as well as early 60's, so I get to cover a lot more era with these two particular models from Walthers.  

The attic is heating up again with this mini- heat wave we have had this week, but if it cools down just a bit, I am hopeful to complete some more insulating work.   I have tried to not let a day pass without doing at least one thing in the attic.   Progress albeit in small steps.

I hope everyone enjoys the Memorial Day Holiday and remembers those that paid the ultimate price for our freedom and ability to enjoy life as we know it in the USA.    

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Onward! May 2016 Update

Well despite a very mild winter, not much work was able to be accomplished on preparing the attic space for the layout.  I will spare you the reasons for most of my absence for the past 5 months, but the past two weekends have yielded some much needed time in the attic and we are back on track.  Progress and Onward!   I was able to start to frame in the back corner of the room, thus creating the storage area on west side of the room.  A similar space for storage is going to be mirrored on the the eastern wall as well.  It is not much to look at, but it did enable for me to clear up the center space and organize the room.

The winter months did allow for plenty of new rolling stock purchases however, and a number of long awaited pre-orders have arrived.   I am particularly impressed with the RTR 85' flats cars from Athearn and the corresponding trailers.  I have never been much for modeling piggyback service or TOFC.  These flats might just very well change my mind and they will work very well for when I want to run an early 1960's train.   Here are a few pictures:

Also the Walthers Mainline New York Central Observation cars arrived over the winter.  I was happy to finally pick up two of these cars for my Budd era passenger trains.  

A number of other items have arrived and I picked up some oldies but goodies from a few trains shows as well.  I will try to snap a few pictures over the next few days for another post.

I will leave you with an overview shot of my one stand alone module against the wall.  For not being anywhere near complete, I think it looks pretty good and this is helping me to envision what the room will look like once the room construction nears completion over the course of the next few months.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year!   My apologies for being absent from the blog since early November. I hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season.  I know we did here and we continue to celebrate with joy!  Best wishes to all for a Healthy and Happy New Year in 2016.

Construction Updates:
I have not done too much more with the attic space in the past few months.  Drywall is up on the main walls and partially on the sloped ceiling.  I guess you can say I am not happy with the general look of where the walls and slope come together and so this has essentially stopped my progress.  With the priorities of the Holiday about completed I am optimistic that I will get back into the attic on the weekends. In this month of January my goal is to get the sloped walls into better position and get the hard ceiling in.   I am giving myself a deadline of May 1st to have a finished room so that I can get to the layout construction.  

My layout design is still being inspired by Chuck Sable's,  HO Scale Milwaukee and Northwestern Wisconsin Division as seen in the Rehab My Railroad series from Model Railroader.  I say inspired because I intend on adding a sub level to my layout to double the mainline run and add some time delay elements to my operations, additionally I plan to add a staging area off the main layout area.

A rough sketch of the upper level is shown below.  The red line indicates the main.  Approximate main layout space is 13' x 24' and the additional staging at the wye will add another 10' to 12'  feet but probably only 12 to 16 inches wide.    The lower level will essentially mirror the footprint of the layout space around the outside walls.  While it is a fairly essential element, I have not yet decided where to connect the two levels together.  I know that a helix is not feasible given the space constraints so a gradual grade is the plan.   I am going to work on a better schematic to post for the blog site as time permits.   Also - I will post some pictures in the next day or two of the new models that I have acquired either through gift or purchase over the past few months.  Till then... keep the trains running!