Steppin' out...

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by doctorwayne, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    ...and if not at the Ritz, at least it's an improvement over their usual duties of pulling way freights. It's an excursion train, out of Mount Forest, for the employees of the Tuckett Tobacco Company, and these two old girls are all dolled-up for the occasion. As the train rolls through the summer haze at Elfrida, on the tracks of the Erie Northshore, they have their train of five heavyweight coaches well in hand.
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    Chronically short of motive power, both the host road and its parents, the EG&E and Grand Valley, have supplied the coaches but have had to turn to interchange partner CNR for the "oomph". Even though these two locos are just loafing as they clatter through town, they'll need every ounce of their combined tractive effort of 56,000 lbs. for the return trip, which is almost entirely uphill, at 2.5% or worse.
    For now, though, the head end crews enjoy the light breeze, as their charges rumble over the bridge at Chippawa Creek...
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    ....the noise momentarily silencing the birds and cicadas, and startling the fish in the creek below:
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    The visitors roll on, slipping across Indian Line. Lead loco 1533, an H-6-d out of Montreal Locomotive Works in 1910, has been recently renumbered (nee Canadian Northern 1325) and will outlive her companion by many years, surviving to this day:
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    A motorist, waiting for the train to pass, is surprised to see a second loco, and surprised even more so when the coaches glide past. At least the train is short.
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    Still rolling downgrade, both stacks are clear, while back in the coaches, non-air conditioned, the heat and humidity have muted the conversations of the holidaying passengers:
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    The engine crews, meanwhile, tend to their business as the scenery rolls by.
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    As the locos burst out of the trees and onto the Maitland River bridge, the chatter in the coaches springs to life, revived by the scent of water in the breeze. The Lowbanks station is only minutes away, where buses wait to whisk the revellers to the sandy beaches and amusement park on the Lake Erie shore line.
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    With throttles closed, and a light reduction on the brake pipe to stretch the slack, the train nears the Lowbanks' end of the bridge. After dropping the passengers, the crew will need to turn and service their locos before heading for a break.
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    Turned and serviced, the locos sit patiently in the summer haze, the thump of an air pump occasionally interrupting the quiet. The crews will have little to do until train time, and while away the hours renewing acquaintances with old friends at the station.
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    The 1383, an H-6-g, is a 1912 graduate of MLW, and despite being the younger sister, will be scrapped in October of 1961. She'll lead on the return trip later today.
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    While the prototypes of both of these locos had similar original specs (63" drivers, 22"x26" cylinders, and operated at 200 lbs. pressure) yielding a tractive effort of 30,000 lbs., all H-6 locos were given a rating of 28,000 lbs, in 1930, regardless of actual specifications, to make the rating uniform for the entire class. The models, though, do differ slightly, with the 1533 (owned by my good friend cn nutbar) unable to move this 5 car train by itself for the return (uphill) trip. I recently purchased the 1383, used, and while it was generally in good condition, it was missing the lead weight from its boiler. Rather than disassemble Mister Nutbar's loco to check what size was required, I simply cast a new weight to fit the available space. After a little detailing work and some minor repairs, I repainted the loco and tender, then put both locos into service for this thread. It seemed logical to me that a single loco of this size would be adequate for the down bound trip, but unlikely that either the prototype or its model could handle such a train on the uphill journey. To my (pleasant):-D surprise, though, the 1383 easily handled the 5 heavyweights, and I daresay could have handled even a couple more. Upon weighing the two (loco and tender, in running form with a full coal load), I discovered the 1533 to weigh 17.5 oz., while the 1383 tipped the scales at 20.5 oz. :eek: It must have been all that extra weight that lead to the old girl's early demise. ;):p:-D:-D

    My apologies to all for the quality of the photos (I'm a bit out of practice :oops: ) and especially for the size: I had to re-size all to get them to go into the Gallery, which is currently experiencing some teething pains. :rolleyes:

    Wayne
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    WoW...That's an excursion I'd like to take....Even in un-air conditioned coaches...!!! :mrgreen:

    Great pics, equipment & commentary...!!! :thumb:
  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Excellent, detailed read. I love the technical aspect of your writing, it's refreshing!
  4. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

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    Doc---You never fail to surprise me---At first I thought I was seeing double,then I thought you changed the engine number---then it clicked in---all that extra cash from dog-sitting so you bought something nice for yourself---good for you my friend---afterall,twin brothers should have similiar toys---Nutbar
  5. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Wayne, thank you for this most enjoyable trip :thumb::thumb::wave:
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, guys. As Mister Nutbar is well-aware, the 1533 has always been my favourite among his many locos. When I came across a similar loco, used, at the LHS, I asked to have them run it for me on the store layout. While these locos were sweet runners even without "tinkering", I'd pretty much decided that I'd be buying it, even before I had seen it run - after all, reworking locos is nothing new to me. Fortunately, she ran well and was in pretty good shape cosmetically, too, although the wrong number. Because there was no original box, I scooped her for a hundred bucks less than a similar loco that did have its box. I can make a box if I need one to transport it in, but she'll be spending most of the time earning her keep on the layout. ;)
    I did end up revising the electrical conduit for the headlight, markers and number board, and modified the bell slightly, so I ended up stripping off all of the paint. The tender got a new "wood" hopper (made from sheet styrene) added to the coal bunker, plus some revised handrails to match its prototype. Raised cab numbers and an etched brass number plate from the CN SIG completed the extra details. Paint is Floquil, with decals from Microscale.

    Wayne
  7. jesso

    jesso Member

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    Very well thought out story and pictures! I enjoyed reading it! Thank you for putting the time and effort into it, your layout, and equipment are all wonderful and make for great storytelling.
  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Nice shots doc! I REALLY like all of the trees in that second photo!
    Ralph
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks, Ralph. Here's an aerial view of the same area:
    [​IMG]

    Just out of frame, to the right, there's a large tree near the tracks, which I removed to get the picture shown in the thread. I simply set the camera on a block of wood to shoot the photo, then "re-planted" the tree. Like the loads in open freight cars, vehicles and the people in vehicles, and details around structures, much is removeable to facilitate picture taking. I purposely placed lineside power poles and telegraph lines between the viewer and the tracks, to make the trains seem more "in" the scene. When a better look at the subject is required, though, the offending items can be temporarily removed.
    Placing the camera directly on the layout can show you scenes that you've never seen, although the results can be pretty "hit-or-miss" when you can't see the viewing screen to compose the photo. Still, a digital camera lets you make multiple attempts virtually for free. ;):-D

    Wayne
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Nice! Very lush looking. Thanks for the additional view!
    Ralph
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Nice! Very lush looking. Thanks for the additional view!
    Ralph
  12. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

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    SLAP FANTASTIC engines, pics and story to go with them:thumb::thumb::mrgreen: , THANK YOU for posting those Wayne:thumb::mrgreen: .
  13. Sarge_7

    Sarge_7 Member

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    Great pics and story Wayne!! I always look forward to your story threads:thumb::thumb:
  14. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

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    Hello Everyone---when the word gets out that there is a special excursion train running on the EG&E,you can be sure it will attract the local train nuts---here's a few more shots taken by one of the regular enthusiasts

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  15. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

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    Thanks for sharing that. Really nice.
  16. jesso

    jesso Member

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    CN Nutbar,
    Please tell your regular enthusiasts that he takes incredibly clear and sharp pictures. I love how the details jump out in the pictures
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    You might actually make me like Ten-Wheelers (my least favorite wheel arrangement).
  18. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Great work, as always Wayne! :thumb:

    I have a question regarding the geography of your layout.... more specifically how you've compressed the distances between Mt. Forest, Elfrida and Lowbanks.

    It seems the Maitland river has been relocated from north of Mt. Forest to the lake Erie shore? It's closer to Lowbanks than Wingham? Not criticizing, just curious.:confused:
  19. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Would you believe that my wife had previously folded the map which I was using? :eek::rolleyes::p
    How about: my around-the-room layout left staging heading north and came back heading west? ;):-D:-D
    To help you get your bearings, (well, maybe it won't) here's a plan view of the layout room - no track plan, though, because I haven't got around to drawing one. I didn't really have one when I built the layout, either, which may be all the explanation you need. ;):-D
    The area in grey will eventually be double-decked, with Park Head above Elfrida, Shallow Lake in the corner between Elfrida and Chippawa Creek, and Mount Forest above Lowbanks and Port Maitland.
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    Actually, the layout started with the premise that the (unmodelled) Elora Gorge & Eastern runs north (generally) from Dunnville, along the east bank of the Grand River, with the Grand Valley paralleling it on the west bank. That makes the aisle area the Grand River, with operators looking west (while trying to keep their head above water):-D. The line splits at the first town, South Cayuga, with the Grand Valley tracks continuing north, around the peninsula, (eventually to the second level of the layout), encountering, in turn, Park Head, Shallow Lake, and terminating at Mount Forest. While the direction, so far, is generally correct, Park Head and Shallow Lake have both somehow ended-up south of Mount Forest. :eek: At least the tracks cross the Speed River before reaching any of the three, although Negro Creek has been transposed some distance, too.
    The other line that split off at South Cayuga, that of the Erie Northshore, also crosses the Speed shortly after the tracks leave town, :eek: then plunges into a tunnel, :eek::eek: only to emerge in Elfrida. With the engine crews thoroughly confused, they're little surprised as they cross Chippawa Creek, then the Maitland River, both far from their proper locales, only to roll into Lowbanks on the shores of Lake Erie. :eek::eek::eek::p The last town on this line is Port Maitland, where there's an interchange with the TH&B. (At least they ended-up in the proper town, located on the shore of the correct lake.) :rolleyes:
    The real story on the geography of the layout, though, is that almost all of the towns have some personal significance for me. The rest were chosen simply because I liked the sound of the names. None of the towns bear any resemblance to their real counterparts, nor does the scenery (what little that's finished, anyway). There'll be an interchange with the TH&B at Port Maitland, and another with the CNR in Mount Forest, but my railroads are all fictional.

    For anyone who's not yet seen it, there's a Layout (room) tour here.

    Wayne