This site is dedicated to my model railroad, the HO scale Virginia Midland Railroad. This layout comprises a 10X9 room with two levels. The upper level is about 95% complete and the lower level scenery has just begun.

I do a handful of train shows in the Virginia/Maryland region and go by the name of Virginia Midland Shops.
I also can help you find that freight car/locomotive or other hard to find item.

Email: stctigers@gmail.com
You tube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/Virginiamidlandrr/

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A snow day: Time for some layout work!

The last three weeks have been quite busy for me.  Work on the layout has been nonexistent, except I did get the hole cut in the wall two weeks ago.  I followed up with track and a turnout install on Sunday.   That's been it!  Today, I was fortunate to get a day off of work and I got a few things done on the layout.  Most of my work today was in the garage, beside the helix.  My last post on the lower level track work is here and a great lead into today's post:

Today was track work intensive.   I continued the passing siding through the wall and onto the platform that supports the helix.
Here's the new entrance to/from the helix.  Decided to put a passing siding in to help alleviate traffic going into Battlefield Yard.

Woodchip hopper checking clearances

The view through the hole.

After adding the track in the garage for the passing siding, I decided it was not long enough and wanted to make it longer.  So I added more flex track and curved it make it more than enough.  Work would have continued but I ran out of small screws that hold the track in place.

Test fitting the passing siding 

My door to cover the hole when not in use.

Original plan

My work area on the helix platform.

The long passing siding and through track will now curve around to give me plenty trackage.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Virginia Central Boxcars

I had some custom made Virginia Central boxcar decals made a few years ago and sell them occasionally. I do have the VC running on my layout and it is a real short line that ran in the Fredericksburg area until the mid 1980's.  My entire Virginia Midland line is actually the real VC line from the 1930's!  In the last 10 years, Atlas and Athearn have run green VC schemes on boxcars. Many years ago, Details West even did a VC green boxcar.  I sold a set of my VC decals to Jon Alaniva back a few years ago and he sent me a pic of the complete VC boxcar recently.

Here's his description of what boxcar he used and what he did from emails:

September 2014:

The decals arrived in today's mail. They look good.
I think I mentioned that the Exact Rail Evans-USRE 5277 appears to be the correct car for these. I plan on getting one at the end of the month; unfortunately there are no undecs available, so I'll strip one. The newer water based paints peel off pretty well in a bath of 90% isopropyl alcohol. 
If I remember correctly #1275 has a Superior door, which will save me some work. If I'm wrong, I have a pair of doors left over from an Atlas 5077 that I scratch-built Superior doors for to use for a "standard" sliding door.
I will send you pictures when it's done.

This past January 2017

Quite a while ago I got a set of decals from you for a Virginia Central boxcar. Just thought I'd share with you that I did finish it over the Christmas holidays. It came out quite well.
Removing the door from the ER model was a real pain - the plastic is .096" thick so I quite literally had to cut it out. Doors are from an Atlas 5077. The other modification is to remove the door stiffener on the sill. Other than that I'd say that the ER model was the best starting point for doing the model.

Here is Jon's completed #1275

Here the real VC #1275 ( Sam Beck photo)

These are the Atlas/Athearn/Details West cars that were done.  I've never seen a VC picture of one of these types.
Ex-VC boxcars still running the rails (Curt Beal photo)

Another Ex-VC now MQT 1025 still earning it's keep (Roberto Alaniz photo)

Other types/schemes of VC boxcars

Another number in the red scheme
VC in the early days!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday evening track work

Not a whole lot happens on the Virginia Midland on the weekdays, but I've been trying to get better during the week to get a few things done if possible.  Thirty minutes to an hour is what I try to squeeze in if possible, per day.  Tonight, I continued to get the new trackage down to at least get trains running again.  Trying to get the best possible plan is always fun.  I have not changed much, but the tedious work continued.
Nothing new here just upgrading roadbed and adding a longer Tortoise wire.

Had to move the desk out to get to what I was working on.  It's nice to be sitting down to work!

This is my main work area right now.  Many tools are a necessity for track laying.  

The boxcars are on the continuous run track and a leg of the wye.  The straight track towards the wall will lead to the helix.  That track leading to the helix will also have a passing siding.  

Overall view of the area I'm working on.  The turnout on thr bottom of the pic goes to an industry spur.  I had to move the bridge too.  The background on the right will be replaced also.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New trackage is well underway!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and good start to the New Year!
Spent the last week I'm off completing a freight car project for a client and getting started on my new trackage.  The last couple of days I decided to start on the hardest part of the project, the removable section across the aisle.  This is not an easy straight piece of track that is on a square piece of wood, but an angled piece of wood with curved track.  So, definitely not easy.  I went down to the Home Depot to get a quality piece of wood, cut in a 2' X 4'.  Knowing I would need only a small piece of it.  Turns out, I need all of it because of cutting mistakes and redoing it.  Definitely the third time is the charm.  I also did an adjustment on the track plan.  A passing siding will be added to the trackage which will enhance the operational state of the layout.
The passing siding will end here at the canal.  

Trackage will extend through the wall towards the helix.  This area will be renamed Parker, where there was a passing siding was in the 1920's.

Here is my outline for the removable bridge. It will be more narrow.

The outline in place.  

Testing out with track.  The track will be easy compare to getting the removable bridge correct.

Here is my 3rd try at the removable section.   It's a nice snug fit.  

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The removable section "holder".  These will be painted black to match the fascia.  

Holder on the other side.  The right bracket is really not needed but would look better.  Have I told you how much I hate angles?  Glad I have a nice saw to do all this cutting,  Equipment for the woodworking in MR is a big plus!