Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Springfield Report

I'm back from the big Springfield show, and as usual, it was a great time. I did not hear anything about attendance, but it seemed very crowded both days. It was great to see so many familiar faces and talk to those I see maybe once a year. It was also great to meet and talk to those of you who read the blog and enjoy it. I'm glad you are out there following along!

Here are some assorted pictures and commentary from the weekend.

In addition to manning the Free-mo layout and doing operations (more on that below), I did venture out to the show floors across 4 buildings. I did not take too many pictures from the manufacturer booths, but here is one form Rapido showing some of their cool upcoming offerings. 

Got information I needed about LokSound decoders at the ESU booth.

Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine brought along their TOMA project layout (The One Module Approach to building a layout). I also talked a bit with Joe Fugate about his current and future layout.

It will be nice to follow along as MRH shares details on building this layout in their on-line FREE magazine.

Great scenery on the TOMA layout, which is based on the Vermont Railway.

Outside, a live, operating steam locomotive was on hand. It was nice to smell and hear this running during the weekend.

As figure 8 layouts go, and especially those using 3 rail O scale, this one is admittedly pretty nice!

The Free-mo layout was very linear this year, extending 200 feet, and included over 2 scale miles of mainline,  with additional trackage on 3 branches. This view is from my module area, near, but not at one of the ends. It goes all the way down to the just visible banner.
This is the track plan of the layout. The photo above looks to the left, with my module on the branch at the bottom right.

The recently completed FOS Scale Liquor Depot kit installed on the module. Looks like the local PD is checking things out, talking to one of the road crew.
A  new module at its first show demonstrated a clearance issue with a double stack train. Actually somewhat prototypical for a late 80s/early 90s mainline before clearance improvements would require "filleting" the stacks onto separate cars. No problem, as the owner quickly added additional base material to the bridge and the train proceeded without incident!

The weekend included free running on the modules, as well as Op Session time. Trains were made up in select yards and then instructions and a switchlist was provided to each operator. I ran light Maine Central power over to the Cedar Hill yard to pick up my train, a turn that serviced my Woodstown Jct, as well as the nearby Boston Street. Here I am returning with my train coming off the loop that transitions from the mainline onto the branch I am working.

My switchlist. The yard operator fills in the reporting marks of the cars requested by the ModuOps software, and my job is to spot these cars at each industry, and pickup the same number of cars (if they are there) to return back to the yard. My troublesome MEC 564 seemed to work OK throughout the weekend.

I arrived at Woodstown Jct with my train. The Lamoille Valley RS3 is the local switcher which can assist with local switching. This can be done with a second local operator, or solo using the second throttle.

I pulled my train up and let the local switcher work the tail end of the train for the facing point sidings and any cars for the yard side of the mainline.

A railfan talks to one of the railroad employees at the old freight house which now serves as a headquarters building for the local railroad.

With the local switcher having pulled all cars off the train and spotted cars at local industries, my train is ready to depart. the passing siding holds cars that will return back to Cedar Hill yard - No need to take them with me on the turn, I'll get them on the way back. Additional cars for the junction and other industries for the yard side of the mainline will be switched by the local RS3 while I am up the mainline at Boston Street.
Switching at Boston Street includes some street trackage. I've spotted a few cars and will now run around my train to drop the coal hopper at the facing point industry on my way back to Woodstown Jct. Once there I'll add the cars from the passing siding to the covered hopper seen here and return back to Cedar Hill yard.

We set up the Free-mo layout Friday afternoon into the early evening. On Saturday we operated and answered many questions to model railroaders and the public. So by Saturday night we were plenty thirsty. Here is about 1/3 of the gang enjoying drinks and dinner at a nearby establishment. Having fun socializing is one of the great parts about the Springfield weekend.
Looking forward to next year!

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