I Just Couldn’t Leave Well Enough Alone…

Remember the wall and the staging yards? Well, that’s just not going to happen the way I thought it was going to.

This winter has been brutal, and as a result I’ve decided that no one should have to go back in the that cold, unfinished part of the basement during an operating session. There’s no polite way to describe what that would be like.

2013-04-04 15.28.04Now, I know that the wall got finished, but we’re going to re-open the part at the bottom of the stairs (the right end of the wall in the picture), and allow the railroad to run across the bottom of the stairwell and into the adjacent “TV room/crew lounge.” The southern terminus of the railroad (Searsport) and the supporting yard will be in there, running above the entertainment equipment. The movement into the next room will enhance the feeling of “going somewhere,” which is a good thing on a small railroad.

IMG_1951The northern end of the line will also receive an interesting treatment. As you may remember, the north end of Corinna is curved in towards a wall. The original intent had been to widen the doorway and put the Bragg Hill quarry area in the unfinished portion of the basement. Instead, we’re now going to build a “closet” there. The line will run into the closet, loop around and come back out along the shortened wall. Also in the closet, beneath the railroad, will be the dispatcher’s desk.

This will all make much more sense once the work is started — and I’ll be sure to post some pictures. The end result will be a much more pleasant experience for operators, which translates to a more fun operating session.

Eventually, my modeling bench will come in from the cold as well, and the back part of the basement will be used exclusively for storage and “messy” projects. I’ll maintain a bench and my spray booth back there as well, so that I can do paint work without smelling up the house too much.


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C&S Forney #6 Is Now Dead Rail!

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Today, I converted C&S Forney #6 to dead rail operation using a Deltang Rx60-1 receiver. I completely removed the Bachmann electronics to make room for a two-cell LiPo pack and other required electronics. The receiver itself is about 10mm X 15mm X 2mm, but the batteries, charge jack, and power switch take up most of the space in the tender.

I chose #6 because it was the worst runner of my Forneys, suffering from electrical pickup problems and a balky mechanism. Not so any more. She runs very smoothly now…

I still need to figure out how to make the headlight work. There are a few function pads on the receiver board, but I’m not sure which one is the correct one in this case — or the what polarity should be.

[UPDATE 2/17/2014] I wired up the headlight LED through a 680ohm resistor and got in to the programming for the receiver. After a couple of attempts, I finally figured the programming sequence out and got the headlight working. For the moment, it’s programmed so that the light is on by default, and the function button on the transmitter turns the light off.

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Growing the Corinna Mill

In a previous post, I gave a hint about what the mill at Corinna Mill would look like. The structure is based on two MTH Granary buildings, butted together. Today, I got up the nerve to cut into a pair of $65 buildings to see if what was in my mind’s eye would actually work — this would either be great, or a $130 disaster!

IMAG0218I started by completely disassembling the “right” half of the mill, removing all the detail parts from the sections that wouldn’t be used or seen in the completed model, and saving them for use in later projects. There are only a few major parts to the building. I was surprised by how much was molded as a single piece — the tooling for this building must have cost a fortune! For instance, the part in the foreground is, except for windows, doors and electrical bits, a single part.

IMAG0219I started each of the cuts by scribing a line with a square and a sharp hobby knife. After several passes with the knife to act as a guide, I switched to my trusty Dremel tool with a large fiberglass cutting disk to hack the end off the building. I had to cut into the end at an angle to avoid damaging the parts of the building I wanted to keep. The interior supporting structure was eventually cut away with a rail nipper.


In the shot here, I’m working on the top part of the building — also a single molded part.

The roof panels were marked and cut similarly. Once all the cuts were made, I snapped off any melted plastic globs, and sanded everything smooth using a large sanding block/foam shaper from Berrett Hill Trains. Then, I reassembled what was left of the first building.


The left half of the mill didn’t require such drastic cutting, as I wanted to leave the end wall in place to use as a support for the roof. It did still require a complete disassembly, to remove and cut the roof panels flush with the end wall. I also needed to sand the edges of the building smooth where the two buildings would be glued together.

IMAG0223The result of the project is shown above. I still need to do the final work on the seams in the roof. The joint in the stone wall is almost perfect, and will pretty much disappear when I repaint and weather the structure.

Obviously, the loading dock also still needs to be added. I had originally thought that a large wooden platform was in order, but the more I look at the buildling, the more I think a poured concrete affair would be more appropriate.


To get an idea of the size of the finished structure, here’s #4 pushing a 30-foot boxcar into the siding, and a view from the far end of Corinna yard, looking back at the mill.


This is gonna look really great once there’s a background in place!


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Progress at Corinna Mill!

There’s been some progress at Corinna Mill today. A second MTH “Granary” building was acquired from The Moose Caboose, doubling the size of the mill building. The two buildings will undergo some modifications to combine the structures, but you can get the idea of the size of the final building from the picture here.

Corinna Mill

In this shot, I’ve already turned the ground floor around to get the door arrangement I wanted, and also removed all of the steps. Covered loading platforms will be added. Also, the roofs will be trimmed so that the two buildings will sit flush together. I’m considering cutting out all of the unseen walls for use elsewhere.

Corinna Mill New Siding

Once the structure site was finalized, the new 150-scale-foot siding went in. The siding will hold four typical cars in the clear, with three spotted at the mill building itself.

As I mentioned, I wanted the mill to be imposing, and obviously one of the primary reasons that Corinna exists.

Corinna Looking South 2 Corinna Looking South 3

While these aren’t the greatest shots, they do get across just how big the mill is compared to anything else in town.

While all this was going on, I also did some work on the roller-coaster of track between the Corinna Mill switch and the “bridge”. I’ve cut away all the supports, and now the sub-roadbed is hanging in space. Next, I’ll sister in some more stable sub-roadbed and install new supports. Hopefully, this will level and smooth the trackwork through the curve and eliminate the derailment and uncoupling problems.

I__O__O__F__Block,_Corinna,_MEWhile typing this post, the Zemanta plug-in for WordPress (a plug-in that locates related information on the web) brought up this image of the Odd Fellows Hall in Corinna that I hadn’t seen before. That’s a pretty cool building, and I may have to figure out some way to represent it…

So, that’s it for today. If all goes well, we’ll get enough snow tonight that work will be closed tomorrow, so I can work some more on the layout…

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