Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Scenery Work

I have not posted in December, but I have been doing some work on the layout. As in previous posts, I continued work on the Johnson Rt. 15 scene. A cleaned up some scenery areas that were missed in the initial round. I also added a paid of bicycle riders and road signs, along with highway guardrail. Next up will be putting the concrete walls on the highway overpass. That will finish up the majority of the background scenery items. Moving forward I plan to add a gas station to the gravel lot area, finish track detailing and ballasting, add some more trees to the hillside, and finally address the talc mill buildings needed.

A couple of bike rides take a break going up hill. A wash out of the road next to the guard rail is posted with safety cones. The new Pass With Care road sign is installed.

The gravel area to the left will have a small gas station added in the future. And next to the truck will be the concrete sides of the VT Route 15 overpass that crosses the Lamoille Valley track below.
I jumped over to Groveton NH and finished up track ballasting that was not initially completed. It is amazing that if you stop work on something just how long it can sit in a certain state until it gets addressed again! I had roughed in scenery and the paper mill buildings, plus the wood chip pile, but the scene was still not really finished. It looks better now with the ballast, but I need to push forward and add the wood chip unloading conveyor, sone vehicles and people, and some weeds and other details to better finish the scene. I also need to paint the water tower. But at least the ballast is in, the track cleaned up and a new coat of CRC 2-26 on top of the rails to ensure good operation.

The other half of the Groveton scene now has ballast on the track along with rust chalk to the rail sides.It looks a lot better, but I still have more I want to do here.
With the ballast out I figured it makes sense to continue that work and ballast the trackage through Whitefield. I've operated enough to know I am not going to change any track at this point, ad ballasted and rusting up the track will go a long way towards making the scene look complete.

I will also focus on the tree line along the backdrop, to extend from where to stops at Crawfords and continuing all along the Whitefield area. To get that started, I decided o address the harder part of getting the spot where the B&M and MEC tracks leave Whitefield and go through the wall. No actual tunnel here on the prototype so some trees are needed to hide the departing tracks. I got a good start on them and the view is decidedly better from most angles now. Once some more trees go in, plus the Whitefield Plastics building, the entrance to the hidden trackage should be less obvious.

I did the ballast first and let that fully dry. Doing the scenery and trees can be messy, so there will be some vacuum work to clean up things, like the spilled red ground foam on the turnout. The B&M track in the back is pretty well hidden now. The MEC track to the front still can see the hole in the wall, but it is less obvious. There will be more trees added, but the view from this area makes it tough to fully hide.

Looking from the edge of the wall shows the start of the trees to hide the track. The spot here will house a somewhat newer building for Whitefield Plastics, which will receive a covered hopper of plastic pellets on the track to the front. I think in front of the track and around the end will be paved or gravel (or a combination).
I have to identify the building for Whitefield Plastics. I have a number of DPM brick kits and parts, but somehow a brick building here does not seem appropriate. The real building arrived after the MEC stopped running here, and never had rail service despite being nearby the tracks. I am thinking a metal sheathed building is more appropriate.

Next up will be continuing the ballasting through Whitefield and extending the tree line the rest of the way along the backdrop. I think these tasks will do a lot to make the layout look more complete, which is something I want to address for the coming year as the layout approaches 15 years since it was first started.