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/

Friday, August 28, 2015

Railfanning this week: The Buckingham Branch video


In this video, we find the BB running on their original line, from Dillwyn, VA to New Canton, VA. At New Canton, they shove over the James River to CSX's Strathmore Yard for interchange.  The caboose is for the shove all the way back to Dillwyn on the 17 mile return trip.  The BB is the largest short line in the state of Virginia and got their start here.






Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday: August 27th 2015

These are from a 2008 railfanning trip to the Cumberland, MD, Grafton, WV area with my good friend Gary Mullis.  The shots below are from the South Branch Valley Railroad in eastern WV.  They run a route from Oldtown, WV (interchange w/ CSX) near Cumberland, MD and it runs south to Petersburg, WV.  Like most shortlines, they have some different power.  Beside having a B&O Chessie system GP9, they have their own paint scheme on a couple SD9's.  It's definitely like going back a few decades when seeing their usual assortment of power. 
SBVR #6240 GP9 (Ex B&O and C&O)

SBVR SD9 #180 (EX-DMIR)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chesapeake Valley Sweeteners is getting close

This week has been a fun week for me, modeling wise.  CVS has been a fun build but a time consuming build.  I've got to the point to where I'm going to call it done.  Needs a base and some other details.  Did the weathering yesterday with alcohol washes and some powders.  I'm ready to put some scenery down to complete the St. Just Junction.
Really happy with the brick mortar and how the office turned out.  Need a sidewalk and some bushes!

Just a general wash of grime for the building.  Added a picture of a warehouse for the inside of the unloading shed.

The rest of the building.

Trying out a hopper for the unloading shed.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Throwback Thursday Aug 20 2015

Back to April 2009.  The Buckingham Branch short line had an open house in Doswell, VA and they had a locomotive and their beautiful caboose on display.  Cameron (my oldest) had a great time!
Cameron on poses on the caboose.

Cameron posing in the engineer's seat in BB #3 a GP16.
BB caboose #223 Ex-Chessie System

BB #3, one of their original locomotives

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chesapeake Valley SWEETENERS has finally settled on a name and is nearing completion

Lots of tedious work this week on the facility and the name has changed again.  Decided to settle on Chesapeake Valley Sweeteners based on another "sweetener" plant in upstate NY.  Sweeteners Plus is located in Lakeville, NY and the website has some good shots of the facility.  Most of my buildings are scratchbuilt and when you have a small railroad like me, you have to fit them in the space you have.  I also heard from someone in the MR business that you layout should not look like the Walthers catalog.  Walthers does make some great kits but do some kitbashing for a truely unique structure.
Yep, my work desk is a mess and this is a good size structure.

Painting on the front porch.  My layout is as soon as you walk into the front door so this is convenient.  That's not one of my good chairs!  Settled on this yellow.
Looks good under the lights.  The downspouts will hide the seams.  It will hold 3 tank cars.

The facility as of yesterday.

Today consisted of adding and gluing the roof on and adding doors and windows.

The white roof looks good and I wanted a flat roof on the left to add blowers and such.  Might go with the white flat roof instead.  

Close up of the office.  I still have to add a small awning in the office.  Might do something else.  
The roof of the loading building is huge.  All Pikestuff materials.  
These wood strips will help hold the roof of the loading barn,

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Confectionary facility work continues...

Settled on the final name of the confectionary plant: Chespeake Valley Confectionary, Inc or CVC for short.  Here is the final layout and the walls all are secured together.  Now comes the tough part, the roof for the facility.  Lots of cutting and trial and error.  The color of the building will be close to the yellow already on it.  The mortar on the office turned out well.  Progress will continue this week.

The office end of the building.  The building will be on a base.

I extended the unloading shed a little so a hopper and a tank can both fill under the building.  I may extend it a little more.    

Overall view of the facility.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Progress on the layout: corn syrup facility and woodchip facility buildings

Some progress this week on the layout!  I'm going to focus on mainly the layout the next couple of weeks to try and finish at least the corn syrup facility.  The last two days has consisted of mocking up the corn syrup facilty I had formerly named Valley Sweeteners.  After consulting with my good friend Greg McComas (His Michigan Interstate Railroad) he suggested I change the name to Chesapeake Valley Confectioners (CVC).  This would allow more than just tank cars.  Pneumatic hoppers could also be unloaded.  The facility features one track that goes into an unloading building.  This building could unload various cars such as hoppers and tank cars.  The building can hold two cars.  I was considering adding another track but Battlefield Yard is under capacity now and adding more cars would not help.
My first version of the building.  A combination of Walthers Washington Salvage Yard and Pikestuff walls.  The office building will be cut down to be back from the tracks. 

One of the pressureaid hoppers that can carry loads for the facility.  Already had it weathered and ready to go!

Version #2: Added in another wall with a truck door.  This will be my final mockup.  

Over on the Mine Run Spur, Mine Run Limber is getting some work.  I have the woodchip loader ready to go but wanted a bulding to have the chips coming from.  Thinking about having a inside loading spot?

The spot could have a removable cartridge for one boxcar.  Or I could just put the door on the building and leave it.  What do you guys think?  I find it odd( but not too far fetched) to have the spur go under the chip loader to the building.  Locomotives would never go under it.  The facility would always have enough cars to reach the building.  

Overall view of the facility.  The Apache chip hopper will be patched.  I have 3 of these.  

A little garage I have been working on.  It's from BEST.  Just need the doors and window attached and some weathering.  Even got some shingles for it.   

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Throwback Thursday: August 13th 2015

Favorite railfanning places:
In the last TBT post, I had railfanning pics from the Sandpatch/Mance area, Ex- B&O.  In this segment we will look at another section of the B&O that is in the remote area of West Virginia and Maryland.  This area is along the Potomac River between Cumberland, MD and Hancock, WV and some of the more tranquil and beautiful areas you will ever go.   Here are some shots from October 2005/Spring 2006.
One of the older CSX paint schemes leads an autorack westbound through Hansrote, WV.

A veteran SD40-2 leads a manifest westbound through a foggy Hansrote.

Another westbound in the sun this time coming out of Randolph tunnel.  There are  4 tunnels on the Magnolia Cutoff, all within a about 4 miles of each other.  Notice my 4-wheeler on the bottom left.  The best way to get around! 

Another westbound manifest splits the signals at Doe Gully.  Believe all the B&O CPL's are gone now.

An eastbound coal train crosses Kessler bridge into the Kessler tunnel.  This is the Potomac River.  The train will go from WV, into MD then back into MD in this spot. 
Remember your in the middle of nowhere.  Lots of river retreats are along the tracks.

The westbound Capital Limited crosses Kessler bridge back into WV.  This photo show the Kessler bridge, Graham tunnel through MD, the Magnolia bridge and the signals in WV at Magnolia.


Monday, August 10, 2015

A little scenery and boom it's back!

Yes, tearing up a completed section and putting it back together took longer than I thought but finally it's done.  I'm talking about the track to the helix from BY.  I did the ballast last night because it needs several hours to dry so I did it before I went to bed..  Completed the scenery (grasses and weeds) this afternoon and just put the trees back in order just now.  Now the scene is complete and I can move on to other items.

I find I get really distracted once I get in the layout room.  I have some signals that I need tested that came off the layout last year.  The wires are not marked well so I will be doing some figuring out of them.  I was going to do that tonight knowing all I need to do is the trees for the area I have been working on.   But, I find myself working on a few car cards.  Where did that come from???  I did get to the trees...


The shack is still by the tracks.  Lighter ballast in the new area.  I'm calling it done.

The object of the bridge is help conceal the "hole" to the helix.  

VMID #299 staged for a photo in the new scenery.

Are we hauling coal on the Midland?  Looks that way.  I'm in the process of building a small unit coal train for transfer to the F&NN.  Should be about 6-7 cars. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Progress has been slow as of late

Well it seems that ever since my leak last week (couple of posts ago), progress has been very slow.  Had a few other things come up also.  My wife just got her tonsils removed on Thursday so I've been tending to her and the kids alot.  She is in a lot of pain and I've heard that it really bad when they are removed when you are an adult.  She's a tough cookie but this is kicking her butt.  I also did a small train show yesterday to sell a few excess items of mine.  I've always enjoy the smaller shows and if you have some stuff to get rid of, these are the places.  You also will find some deals for you also.
This upcoming week, I hope to get my butt into gear and finish up some projects.  Plan on completing the scenery that I did my improvements to the helix today.  This summer has only seen a few improvements to the layout.  Took care of my motive power shortage also.  I'm also going to retire the red B39-8 I have.  Let me know if you want to buy it.  It's got the whole 9 yards.  My objective this week is to get the Valley Sweetners building built or at least the frame of what I want.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

TBT: August 6th 2015

More Railfanning:
  My absolute favorite place to railfan, Mance, PA on the former B&O "horseshoe" and Sandpatch Grade.  Spent many days camping along the ROW and taking all the trains that ran over the hill.Few things you were guaranteed in October: cold nights/mornings, unusual power, and lulls in the action!

These are from October 2004. Always hard to get a sunny day up there anything of the year.