Welcome!

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/

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last post of 2014 and a special guest stops by

Well, 2014 is just about done.  I don't do much for New Years Eve these days, but did get to go out on a date with my wife to a movie this evening!  We definitely don't do that enough.  Looking back on 2014, It's been a good year for the Virginia Midland.  All the track has been laid this year and the lower level is ready for some scenery.  Probably the best improvement has been the restructured east end of the layout with the new peninsula.  It really adds to the layout and captures you when you enter the room.  I completed the sand unloading structure and added the support materials.  I still need some more dump trucks, a maintenance shed and more details.  It's good for now.  You be the judge:
Here's a shot of hoppers being unloaded

Here's the scene as you walk into the room. 

From the other side facing the door.

Another view of the unloader.

Yard office and parking area.

Road/crossing leading to the plant.  Perfect backdrop for the road but lots of work to do with it.

Another view

Also, yesterday had friend of mine, Mike Millitelo stop by to see the layout.  He's the owner of the Great Scale Model Train Show  that runs the four big train shows up in Timonium Maryland.  He actually lives about 10 minutes from me.  Mike had never operated a layout before so I got him to switch out Fredericksburg Flats.  He really enjoyed himself.   

Mike Millitelo stop by for his first op. session yesterday.  Think he's hooked!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Op. Session video #1: empty sand hoppers heading back to the mine

In this first installment in a new video series, we follow several sand hoppers on their return to the mine.  The hoppers run from the Virginia Central tracks to Battlefield Yard then west to the Mine Run Branch on the lower level.  I hesitate to show the much of the lower level because scenery is non-existent.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas: new operations Video

Want to wish everyone who checks out this blog a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.  Got a chance to shoot a video yesterday and captured a few trains leaving/arriving in Battlefield Yard.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Break is here!

First I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  I will have a few postings   Spent yesterday working in the train room doing a few things.  The main thing I worked on was hopefully the last track I will ever have to lay on the this layout.  I have been contemplating a spur on the Mine Run Branch for a possible woodchip loader.  Yes, the same one I've tried to put a handful of places on the layout.  The loader is going to be small and only handle a car a week.  The spur is also going to serve as a parking area for the local engine based out of this area.  The whole process took a little long than I liked but everything worked out.
I finished up the evening working on the sand loading facility infrastructure.  Still got a bit to do on that.  One other thing.  I recently past 50,000 views on this blog. (actually, almost to 51,000 now) Thanks for all your support and time reading about my Virginia Midland Railroad!
The new woodchip spur.  The track to the helix goes to the left and the Mine Run Branch continues to the right

The hopper will be a VMID chip hopper.  I'll run the piping off and add trees and backgrounds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: Trailer style

Found a piggyback trailer a couple of weeks ago and I could not believe it's in service just down the road from me.  A local sawmill has a 40 foot Santa Fe piggyback trailer that they have converted to a woodchip trailer.  Here it is in all it's glory in 2014:
Best pic I could take,
 It also reminds of the Rock Island Trailer I saw here in the area at a Local BJ's wholesale club.  It was marked for RFPZ.  The RF&P railroad bought a bunch when the RI was going down
Used tire storage at a local BJ's wholesale club.  Not back shape either!




Monday, December 8, 2014

Progress from this past weekend

Got a bit done on the layout this weekend, but not as much as I hoped.  My layout room is still a disaster from all the work I've done.  I hoped to "straighten" it, but it never happen.  The new area I put in over the summer is a shell of it's former self now.  I've got the scenery just about done.  Should hope to complete this weekend.  The main thing that is incomplete is the assembly of the sand unloader.  The silos are done but the small elevator is not.
Here is the overpass section near the light switch.  Alot easier to scenic when the section is removable.

Little retaining wall I put in the scene.

Super tree painting and drying rack.  These are outside getting their gray paint.  

Here's my rack inside and the tree making has begun!

Here my overpass foam before scenery.  Notice the light switch,


Scenery has gotten a little more vegetation and some rocks (made from plaster) from my old bridge scene.  Just needs some trees.

Another view

The scene in the upper right is complete with a trees and weeds on the small ridge.

The area is starting to come together.

Another view.  Need a few smaller trees on the ridge.

Another view of the ridge.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Break Finally!

First, I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!  You probably have been wondering when my next post would be or maybe I fell off the face of the earth.  Yes I know I have not posted since the end of October but really nothing has been going on on the layout at all.  I started coaching another sport this fall and my 10 hour days have been literally kicking my butt.  Today has been my first day off since Labor Day and I made sure I got some modeling in.  The crappy weather made sure that it was going to happen.  My main point this week is to get scenery on my new peninsula I added this summer.  Being the first thing you see when you walk into the room, it was a priority.  So I tackled that today.
Adding some paint to the area around the sand plant.

Larger view of the area I'm working on.

Sculptamold around the edges of the base of the road.  The fascia board base is a little thick for my liking but it will have to work now.  

The styrene asphalt road on top of the fascia board.  The dark patches are supposed to be road repairs.  I need to weather  the road.  
After letting some Sculptamold dry, I ran a rail cleaning train.  I picked up a rolling track cleaning car to pull behind a loco.  I also build a track cleaning car to pull behind it.  I cleaned the lower level and the helix.
Here's my Centerline track cleaning car I picked up at a show earlier this month.  It needs a little more weight but still pulls the rolling rag around the layout.  I use CRC 2-26 to clean the track.

My homemade track cleaner.  I use WS track dusters attached to the wheels to slide on the tracks.  It's a boxcar frame with lots of weight.  The wooden planks keep the dusters on the track.

Gotta have some muscle to move this train.  VMID SD50 #706 does a great job on this train.  She been weathered finally.

Here's the roller car.  Looks like the track was quite dirty.  The colorful rubber bands are from the kids loom kit (makes wrist bands)  These little rubber bands are perfect for keeping the cloth on.

Back to the scenery work:

Ballast added to the hopper spurs.  Some sand mixed in also. 

Going for a sandy/dirt area around the plant.  Still going to sand it down a bit.   

Ballasting is complete in this area.  

A view from the other end. Hope to get this area most of the way done this week.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A video on some progress

Got a chance to get a video done on the little progress I have made over the last month.  Hope to get some scenery done on the new extension in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Not a lot to show for and now N scale?


This Fall has been quite busy for me and the modeling and the layout has come to a standstill.  This past week I was on the run it seems everyday after work.  I squeezed a few minutes of decaling out this week and that's about it.  That decaling would be on my Ex-KCS SD50.  I put VMID reporting marks on it and patched the red KCS on the long hood.  I wanted to cover up the entire KCS in red but it hard to do with white trim film.  So I'm going with a faded KCS maybe with a stripe across it. This is common for short line units that I have seen. Here's a prototype: BB GP40-3  An example would be this model I did for the Buckingham Branch Railroad:
This was a loco I did for a customer back in 2011.  Based on the prototype still running in this scheme.

I went to a train show last weekend and my sons talked me into a n scale layout.  My oldest had been all over this for about a year now.  I was not sure that he was ready, but I took the plunge and bought a huge lot of Kato Uni-track and loco and a couple of cars.  This past Sunday, we build a "L" shaped layout in their room.
Simple construction and doesn't  take up much space.

Definitely got the Detroit Tiger theme going on in here!
Here the GP38-2 the boys picked out.  Good runner and right now we are sticking to DC.  It can be converted to DCC if needed.
Here are the 2 cars the boys picked out.  Nicely detailed and they run well.

The overall scene.  Got to get some fascia for the background and a few more turnouts.  Not bad for a few hours of work on Sunday afternoon.
Hear is the Ex-KCS SD50 that will be working on the Midland.  The 6 axle power is a new trend on the VMID.  A tsunami was installed in in and being a Proto 2000 loco, it runs and well and is very heavy.

Here's another 6 axle power loco.  It's a Kato mid-production run.  Picked it up at the RPM meet for a great price.  It too will be patched for the VMID.  


Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's October already?

Don't know where the month of September went but it's gone until next year.  I did have the Mid-Atlantic RPM meet in the middle of the month and that was a great time.  Modeling has generally taken a back seat to the busyness of life lately.  Coaching another sport starting in the middle of November does not leave a lot of time to do much in the future either.  I'm also beginning to write my first article for a magazine on my layout.  More on this at a later time.  I have had sometime to do a few things but I've been lazy, I'm preferring the recliner to the the work desk in the evenings!  Hopefully I can shake that this month.

Here is a ice machine I picked up from Nick and Nora Designs at the RPM meet.  

And here's one on the layout.  A must fro a crew shelter.

Here a prototype hopper from the VC based on a picture.  The car is based on one from the 30's., (Pic below)

VC prototype hopper
Here's a VC boxcar based on a prototype pic.  The car is close but not totally correct.  I have had the decals custom done.  Let me know if you want to purchase some.

Finally added some logs to my pulpwood car.  The logs are azalea bush twigs.  They are nice to work with because they are mainly straight.  Sorry for the blurry picture.