Welcome!

This site is dedicated to my model railroad, the HO scale Virginia Midland Railroad currently in construction.
The upper layout is about 90% done with a few scenery tidbits left. I am also in the process of building a lower level to this layout.

I do a handful of train shows in the Virginia 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/

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Post #100: some motive power updates

Well, this is my 100th post here on the blog.  I enjoy this as much as I like getting things done in the layout room.  Got some motive power updates.
Here is 4 of my RF&P GP40's.  the RF&P had 7 of them and I do have all 7 that I have renumbered.  The other three are packed up in their boxes.  A few still need to be detailed.

The view from the other end.  Notice the rear horns and the exhaust vents like the prototype.  I missed a decal on the #121!

Side view of the GP40's.

Here's the Fredericksburg & Northern Neck F3 #46 (Ex- B&A).  I just applied the F&NN logo.  This is an Intermountain loco and runs well.  I installed a Tsunami in it.  This F unit makes me consider turning back to the early 1980's instead of the early 1990's that I model.

Completion of my hidden staging

Had to the chance to get some layout work done this week, since it is my spring break.  This afternoon, I completed the RF&P hidden staging in the garage.  It's one of those things I did not have to do right of way and really did not want to do it in the cold weather, like I did with helix.  The weather was great today and opened the garage door and went to town.  The staging shelf is right beside the helix and uses the same hole in the wall.
With the 90* crossing in the wall, it makes the helix entrance and the hidden easy to co-exsist.

A piece of real rail makes a great weight.  The track to right goes to the helix.
The base of the staging is clamped, waiting for the wood glue to dry.

The track is positioned and the track base is clamped now.  MDF board is easy to work with.

Overview of the work.

Track is laid and ready for a test run.

Typical train in staging: one engine, 5 cars and a caboose.
RF&P GP40 #124 is ready for it's entrance.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March happenings

Well everything is pretty much at a standstill on when it comes to model railroading here lately. The reason, track season has started and these later afternoons are not conclusive to anything model railroading.  I literally have not spend a penny on anything model railroading. I actual need to work on that more!  Well I did get a few items done and ran the railroad.a little. That helps in this busy time. So if you don't see regular posts for the next 2 months, don't be alarmed. Spring break is in 3 weeks so that will be probably my next post time. 
The above are 2 exactrail 5200 boxcars that were BNSF. They were patched and lettered for VMID. Gotta still weather them. 
And here's a shot on some switching in Battlefield Yard. 
Until next time. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eye in the Sky

As you know I recently installed a helix in my garage.  I want somehow to watch it as the train made progress.  After a little research, I decided to get a security camera from Harbor Freight Tools.  This camera easily plugs into the video section of the TV I have in my office.  The cord is plenty longer and installation only took about 45 minutes.  I spent about $30 on it (using a 20% off coupon).  It does it's purpose and I am very thrilled so far.
Hardest part of the installation was installing the camera on the wall.


The helix in the garage with the camera watching overhead.
I watch DVD's occasionally on the this TV.

Closeup of the view.  I need to put the helix in a little better view of the camera.

VC #5:  She is a Kato GP35.  I recently put on a non-dynamic brake cover and covered the middle radiator fan.  Some kind of rebuild.  I was thinking a GP35R?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Busy week on the lower level and a loco back from the dead

With Thursday and Friday off, it gave me the chance to get my room back in order and get away from the layout somewhat and finish a few projects on the desk.  I finally got my VMID U23B back on the tracks running well.  It had been sidelined with unreliability and made it a bad runner.  I could not fit a Keep Alive capacitor under the hood and thus made the U23B to sit on the desk for a while.  In some research for smaller speakers, discovered Apple I-phone 5 loudspeakers.  These speakers are small and sound great.  Getting 5 for $8 on Ebay is a good deal also.  I finally put one of those speakers in the cab of the U23B.  Yes, it's that small.  The #289 is running well and sounding great.  The #289 is special to me.  It's the first loco I installed a Tsunami in.  The Tsunami FDL GE sound is outstanding.

I also have all the track laid for the branch line on the lower level.  This section is directly below Battlefield Yard.  It serves a sand and gravel plant (Spur only) and a propane dealer.  The branch line will be named the Mine Run Branch and is actually a town name on the real Virginia Central Railroad.  There was no branch line there however.
VMID #289 ready to mix it up in Battlefield yard.  She's in original VMID paint.  One of the first locos I painted in VMID paint.
This will be Mine Run.  Don't know if I'll keep it in canal form but it looks good.  Probably will take out the dock.  A simple bridge here will complete the scene.

The look from the bridge to the propane dealer and the trackage back to the mainline. 
An overview of the scene.

Here's the trackage looking from the canal.  It has a run-around track for the hoppers returning to the loading facility.
Another view of the run-around track and spur.  The hoppers are sitting on the spur to the plant.

The end of the line and run-around track.  Lots of switching in this small area. 

Overview of the end of the branchline.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Layout room facelift

Sorry that I have not posted in February yet.  I didn't realize it until I checked out the blog the other day.  I've put in some work on the lower level and now have started on the branch line.  I've also replaced my work desk with a smaller one and moved some things around.  This has taken some time to get organized and it's finally getting to the degree I want it to.  I was off today and did not get much done.  We got blanketed by that east coast snow storm.  It's our biggest snow since the 2009-10 winter.  We picked up just under 12" and it's snowing again now.  We missed another day of school today and I'm off again tomorrow.  We have missed 12 days this year!  I' cannot complain because I've gotten so much done on the layout.
After a good shoveling.  Our biggest snow in 4 years.
My new painting area.  It's part of the old desk and I just put a new top to extend an hold my test track.  Washes and paints are below.  I will have a cover so paint doesn't go on the bottles.
My smaller desk.  You can see the lower level right above it.  The hole in front of the loco goes to the helix.

New storage containers that hold my freight cars.  Also added shelving to hold shoe boxes and containers of model railroading supplies.
This is my newest trackage.  The train is on the mainline and the middle track is the branch line.  The hoppers are on the run-around track.  I decided to do a run-around to enhance operation.  The turnout on the left will lead a spur to another small industry. 

The track to Orange (west).  This turnout leads to the run-around track.  The industry will be in the background.

Another view of the trackage.