Selecting a subject to model

There are endless options. Thousands of subjects to modeI, different eras. Different environments like industrial, urban or country side.I saw a lot of different and very inspiring scenes, either prototypes or models. So tempting.

I personally think it is really hard to choose a certain subject for a model railroad. There are many aspects to consider. The preferred era, environment,  subject, available space prototype. What a hard task. Who would volunteer for such job? Well, it looks as I will.

 

Yet another book: How To Build a Switching Layout

I got another book. How To Build a Switching Layout by Lance Mindheim. It adds to my collection of Mindheims books.

Lance Mindheim: How to Build a Switching Layout
Lance Mindheim: How to Build a Switching Layout

As the others, the layout of the text is not the best for readability and you get not very much text for the buck. But it is not the quantity that counts, it is the quality. And quality it has. It is condensed to the basics you need to know. I love the Mindheim’s photography and these pictures are one of the reasons for my passion for american railroads.

There are dozens of solutions for every single task in building a model railroad layout. For a beginner like me, it is hard to pick the one to go for. Thus I will certainly use a lot of this book as a guide while building my layout. I think this will be fun!

The Track: Peco Code 83

I got some track. Peco Code 83 Track: 8 yards of flex track and #8 turnouts, one left and one right. I decided to use these large turnouts before settling on a final layout, that might end in a disaster. No risk no fun.

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The freight cars look so much better on tracks :)
The freight cars look so much better on tracks 🙂

These turnouts are large. I knew the measurements before, but the real thing is something different as numbers on the screen.

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50 foot boxcar on a #8 turnout

I made some quick tests about the required clearance for adjacent tracks. It requires about five inch track after the turnout to have enough clearance for the cars to pass each  other.

Required clearance to pass after a #8 turnout
Required clearance to pass after a #8 turnout

I have also ordered some rail joiners. I did not order any isolated rail joiners. Who needs isolated rail joiners in a world of DCC? That’s what I thought. Now, after studying the instructions on wireing the turnouts, I learned: I need them. So the next order will contain isolated rail joiners.

Freight Cars

After buying the Locomotive I looked for some freight cars. I have absolutely no experience with models of american freight cars. Additionally I will do my very first steps into weathering with these cars, thus I looked for the least expensive cars that were available at RD-Hobby. I didn’t want to wait too long, so availability was another parameter. After some fiddling through the online shop, I have ordered this batch of cars:

My first US freight cars
My first US freight cars

 

Green Boxcar CP 79998
Bachmann Silver line: CP Rail Boxcar 79998

Canadian Pacific Railroad 79998. It wasn’t so expensive and I like the design. After unpacking it I wondered about the roof walks. I did not notice them while placing my order. I did some googling and learned, that roof walks were deprecated in the 1960s and had to be removed by 1970. Keep or return? I decided to keep it. I will use it to learn weathering, so it doesn’t matter that is a little “outdated”. In the meanwhile I learned that the Quebec Gantineau Railroad used units like this one until 2011, so it is not as outdated as I thought.

Accurail Kit SOO 177690 Boxcar
Accurail Kit SOO 177690 Boxcar

SOO Line 199690 is an Accruail Kit. I am very interested in the quality of these kits and their assembly, so I gave it a try. The print quality is a little poor. The black logo is a little pale in the upper parts. It has the roof walk. I will keep it too. I saw some pictures of beautifully weather SOO Line Cars, like these at Mellowmike.com. This is a great inspiration. I have to learn a lot.

Accuail Kit Canadian Pacific Railway CP 214023
Accuail Kit Canadian Pacific Railway CP 214023

Another Accurail Kit. The print looks good and I like the “boring” common boxcar color. This is a modern 50ft boxcar whiteout roof walk. Obviously I was able to get something that fits into the modern era plans I have. So I am not a complete fool.

Bachmann Boxcar Railbox RBOX 32416
Bachmann Boxcar Railbox RBOX 32416

The most expensive piece in this order: Bachmann Railbox RBOX 32416. It has moveable doors, yeah!

To add some variety to my roster I got a gondola and a flatcar. Open freight cars like these are very versatile and creating some custom loads adds some interest to the layout.

Atlas Gondola: Boston & Main BM 9080
Atlas Gondola: Boston & Main BM 9080

BM 9080 from Atlas. I learned that the Boston & Main is not existing any more. To bad. But I found some recent photos of this unit that show that is still in use.

Walthers Trainline flatcar TTX 90117
Walthers Trainline flatcar HTTX 90117

A TTX Flatcar. It is yellow and can carry bulky and heavy loads. Perfect candidate for a team track or metal processing industry on the layout.

So far I am happy with my purchases. As these cars are some the lowest priced units I could find, I am satisfied with the amount of detail. They will serve well as a training ground for weathering and to have some cars to switch on my little layout.