Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where's all the updates?

Well, I have to say I have been pretty neglectful on updating the blog. I had good intentions back in January to keep at it regularly, but lots of other things have kept me busy. This is not to say that there has not been any work on the layout or modules. Luckily, not true, although maybe not as much as I would like (which is usually the case, right?). There have been quite a few of non-train house-projects this year, and then some ramp up in activities with my band (check out Strange Brew), plus a good deal of nice weather that kept me outside more than usual. Anyway, all that aside, here is what has been going on.

My last update showed work in Morrisville installing ground throws. With all those in I moved back to Groveton to get all the track installed, and then all those ground throws installed in the same manner - throwing them from the front edge with extended throw bars. Next I completed the B&M trackage in Whitefield, laying the sidings and tying the mainline into the diamond. I installed the ground throws and also put in some scenery base.

With a lot of track in place, I sprayed Rustoleum Camouflage paint in dark brown to give the track a basic covering. I'll do additional weathering and rail rust later, but this is a a good start, and it not bad even if you never get anything else done. Some pictures:

Rustoleum Camouflage paint for painting track

Groveton with all track in place. Just need to build that paper mill.

The B&M in Whitefield. this siding is for pulpwood loading. Here you can also see one of the laminated layout location signs I made up over the winter.

Further-away view of work in Whitefield for B&M. Two new sidings to the left, pulpwood siding on the right, and the main line to the diamond. All wiring done and ground throws installed.
Next, I turned my attention to some scenery. Although I wanted to keep on the trackwork and get it done as I set a goal, I felt inspired to rough in some scenery in Crawford Notch. This is one area that I want to look mountainous and is the first scene visitors will see when they come in the doorway. Using cardboard strip, I hot glued a basic landform in place, rising to the point where the Maine Central track curves and goes through the notch. I covered this with plaster cloth, then used some sculptamold to fill in areas and breakup any flat sections of foam. Pretty quick, it was all done in 2 sessions, so I don;t feel to bad about the diversion from tracklaying.

At this point I need a basic covering of paint and some ground cover. The actual tree application will take some time, but I knew this and it is really only the other tree-intensive location besides Sheldon Jct.  At least for the November open house it will be quite a different look than last year. Here is the aptly named White Mountains section on the layout:

Got trees?
The start of Crawford Notch, and the end of on-the-layout scenes for the Maine Central to Portland, Maine.

Here starts a transition between Crawfords and Whitefield. The Crawfords station will be on the upper foam section, and trees going down the hill lead to a road scene in Whitefield. The bridge carries the MEC over the B&M which is going to Groveton through a hidden section.

A better look at the road scene to-be. I wanted a good spot for a few structures close to the layout edge, and a grade crossing here with a few buildings on both sides seemed a good spot. Whitefield does have some buildings right at grade crossings like this, so while not an exact replica, it is how the prototype looked.
Next up will be working on trackage in Johnson, Vermont, which is directly behind the camera for Crawfords/Whitefield. this is along the LVRC and is a nice shelf area right now. Need to do a little subroadbed installation and lay track for the talc mill that will be located here. Then track in Sheldon Jct.needs to be finalized. Track is there, but I never really finished it and had the CV industry siding in place. That will leave Lydonville (my useful flat shelf work area) and North Stratford (on an upper shelf, also useful for storing stuff). It is getting closer to all track being in place, but I am behind my goal of getting it in place before summer. But overall, it is progress over six months where I did not get to much time to focus on model railroading.