Welcome!

This site is dedicated to my model railroad, the HO scale Virginia Midland Railroad. This layout comprises a 12X9 room with two levels. The upper level is complete and the lower level scenery has just begun.

I do a handful of train shows in the Virginia/Maryland region with Makin Tracks.
I also can help you find that freight car/locomotive or other hard to find item.

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

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Another video, this time a tour of the upper level

Decided to do a tour of the upper level of the layout.  I'll get to the lower level in the next video.  Let me know if you have any questions.




Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Another Video: Tools & Tricks of the Trade

Shot another video the other night on tools that make modeling easier and a few tricks that also help you out.  Enjoy!


Friday, April 26, 2019

Latest video is out: 2019 April Update

In this episode I talk about the back date on the layout and a vehicle review.  There is a small section without audio.  It's towards the end when I review freight cars.  The joys of new video editing software!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

An Ops session yesterday on a D&H N scale layout

Finally got a chance to operate on Chris Artale N scale layout yesterday.  He lives over in Madison County to the west and models the D&H in the late 1960's. After a relaxing hour ride over, the crew was treated to an excellent lunch and ops started right after that.  I visited Chris's layout for a tour after a James River NMRA meet a couple of years ago, and the stars finally lined up to operate on it.  His layout is in his spacious basement and only takes up about half of it.  Very relaxed atmosphere by the crew of 8 and lots of laughs.  I've done a few op sessions in the past but this was my biggest one yet, plus it had a dispatcher and operated by track warrants.  All new to me but made it realistic to run a railroad.  Thank you Chris for the invite and a great Wednesday afternoon running trains. 
Beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains coming from the town of Orange.  Yes Orange that I model on my layout.

Awesome entrance to Chris's house

One of my many Track Warrants on the day.
Great handout of the crew with all the valuable info in it.

Inside the pamphlet

Map of the layout.  The staging yard is self staging!

Different trains on the layout
Don runs the yard at Ft. Edward

The entire layout.
My first train was a switching job out of Ft. Edward to the Fenimore Branch.


Lots of switching here at the paper plant.
The locomotive facility at Whitehall Yard.

Feedmill at Ganesevort with Chris on the left and John on the right checking out staging.

My second train was a passenger train 34 or 35.
Whitehall yard takes up the entire backside of the layout.

Here is 34 or 35 waiting at the end of the Whitehall yard limits.

An empty coal drag waits at Ft. Ann.  

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter and spring cleaning

Wow it's been 2 months since my last post in February and really nothing to post on the railroad or the like.  But want to keep my faithful & patient followers updated.  The last post talked about some new power for the layout.  A few more posts ago, I revealed the desire to backdate the layout.  So I have been doing some purging of cars and locos in order to get to around 1987-88.  So all CSX patched cars are gone and most graffiti is not out and about.  Of course those were thrown into my excess pile for train shows and several sold just yesterday at a smaller show.  I also purged some of my loco projects and those also sold easily yesterday.  I will continue to do this until I get down to a only a few projects.  It seems that when I have several projects going on at the same time, that's a turn off for me.   That makes it a challenge of even walking into the layout room to get anything done. 

So Spring Break this week for me.  I hope to get a few more things done and hopefully a post or two!
Go this painted on a warmer weekend about a month ago.  Time for decals and hooking up lights and eventually the sound decoder.  This is a SDP35

Sunday, February 17, 2019

New power for the Virginia Midland

Been working on some new motive power for the Virginia Midland here lately.  Finally had a weekend to sit down and do some sound installs.  I prefer the Tsunami 2's over ESU/Loksound at this time.  I think they sound about the same but prefer the T2 with the plug-in for their Current Keeper.  This gives me reliability in the sound on dirty tracks.  So, since I have backdated the layout some to about 1988, I've got some older power on the layout.  Not that I didn't have older power already! I've always wanted to provide a history on the layout too.  Older paint schemes and patch out schemes tend to be the norm on the Midland.  So instead of having new logos and paint schemes, I'm looking for older ones and ones that could just make do. 
Here are new locomotive projects: Ex-PC H16-44, RS3m chop nose, and a SDP35.  Very random locomotives but all will be headed for the Midland.

Added the Tsunami 2 to this yesterday and she runs and sounds great.  It will be patched and be one of the first locos for the Virginia Midland.  It's use on the layout will be switch jobs and reserve power.

This RS3m started from a shell CMR products shell and I added the details.  It will run on an older Tsunami until it can be up graded.  I need to redo the rear light.  I totally botched it as seen in the next photo.   The paint job will be a green dip job with the older Virginia Midland spelled out.

Definitely have to redo that headlight.  A case of my eyes aren't what they used to be!

My inspiration for the chop nose RS3m: Mike Confalone's Allagash #302.  Photo by MRH/Mike Confalone
My last loco was a Train show find for $50.  I love the short 6 axle power on my SD20-2 (Ex- SD35) so I found this SDP35 ready to be painted for a great price.  Most of the details were already added.  But I'm missing a stanchion for the rear hand railings. It will be in the standard green and gray scheme.

Even had time to try some new weathering products.  These weathering washes are simple brushed on.  Does a great job on brown boxcars since they tend to be hard to weather.  

The Vallejo products I used.  Lighter to darker.  

The other untouched side.