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/

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.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February Happenings

Been over a week since the big train show in Timonium, MD back on Super Bowl Weekend. Last week was a tough week getting over a sinus infection that flared up at the show.  It was an excellent show with over 4000+  through the doors.  Easily, the busiest in several years. A great time and a great show! 
Here we are right behind the main entrance
Sign in the hotel 

The Makin' Tracks 4 Horseman: from Right to left: Tom, Mike, myself and Kevin.
Mike and myself cranked out 10 cars before the show that weekend.  We sold all but 2 of them.  Still have more to come. Let me know if you are still interested in getting one.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Big GSMTS Train Show at Timonium this WEEKEND!

This weekend is the big show in Timonium, MD!  The Great Scale Model Train February show is the biggest in the Mid-Atlantic.  Show hours are 9-5 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.  The weather looks perfect for a train show this weekend, chilly and no snow!  Hope to see you there this weekend!  I'll be headed up on Thursday afternoon to staff the show and help my buddy Mike at Makin' Tracks.  So please stop by and say hi!

All show info can be found here:
Great Scale Train Show Info



Saturday, January 12, 2019

Happy 2019 and snow is on the way!

The Mid-Atlantic region is bracing for a good moderate/heavy snow starting late this afternoon.  Calling for 6-10"+ in my immediate area.  So looking forward to some snow days next week to get modeling done.  It's been a crazy past week with a sick son (stomach problems that come & go for the last 9 months) and my wife cracking a tooth.  Hopefully this coming week is less eventful.   So I'm going to enjoy the snow and get some modeling done in this snow break! Updates will be posted!
A NS test train in ACL livery back in January 2007 in Remington, VA

Friday, December 28, 2018

A little camera work on the layout

If you follow this blog, you will know that I have a camera to observe the helix in the garage.  It tells me whats going on out there when the train traverses levels.  After Thanksgiving, my camera quit working.  No idea why and I tried to bring it back but to no avail.  It was a $30 camera I got on sale at Harbor Freight when I put the helix in.  I replaced the camera with two cameras, at different angles.  One monitors the garage and the other the helix.  The cameras have long wires to connect them to my monitor/TV in my layout room.  Running those though walls and up the layout was the most tedious item of the install.  I finally installed the "corner wire hider" yesterday.  It hides the extension cord and video wires of the camera.  Needs some more paint and it's done. 

Today it's off to Virginia Beach for the a train show down there.  This break hasn't involved much model railroading this year due to shopping, dishwasher install on Christmas Eve and of course family time.  Hoping to fix that trend in 2019 and the few days next week.  Stay tuned!
The old "corner wire hider" Was good but when the new wires needed to be installed, it had to come out.

Wires everywhere!  Testing out the new system.

New corner "wire hider"  Oh course my old blue paint was old and unusable, so a trip to Home Depot to match it.  The lady found the match.  The bracket is two pieces of PVC wood cut and glued together.
The piece installed.  Need some touch up paint and some spackling.  Slowing putting Patriot Chemical back in place.

Closeup of the wiring at the top.  This is hidden behind the valiance.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Hope Santa brings you lots of model trains tonight!  Thanks for checking out this blog and being a faithful follower!  It's been more than a month since my last post???  Wow need to do better than that!  Trying to be like Santa and always deliver!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 18, 2018

300th post and over 200,000 views post!

It's my first post in about a month to this blog and it's also a milestone one.  This is my 300th post to this blog and sometime over this week, I went over 200,000 views on the blog.  Pretty neat and thanks for check out my blog to make this happen!  Not a whole lot happening on the model railroad in the last month.  I've been helping out my buddy Mike at Makin' Tracks: www.makemytracks.com with train shows and we've had the Timonium show on which I posted about.  We also did a show in Virginia Beach and the following weekend did the Neuse River show in Raleigh, NC.  So you can see why it's been tough to get a blog post done or do anything on the railroad.  We pick back up in December and a show list is below.

 I did just complete some cars for a client so I'm clear sailing on the layout now.  At the Raleigh show, I did have the chance to witness the enormous Sipping and Switching modular layout.  It was neat to see so much railroad under one rather large roof!

Also, hope to post during the few days I have off next week but have a great Thanksgiving and be safe in your travels!

Makin' Tracks Schedule:
Dec. 1-2 @ Timonium, MD Greenberg Train Show (Maryland State Fairgrounds)
Dec 15-16 @ Chantilly, VA Greenberg Train Show (Dulles Expo Center)
Dec. 29-30 @ Virginia Beach, VA Greenberg Train Show (VA Beach Convention Center)
Jan. 19-20 Richmond, VA (Raceway complex)
Feb. 2-3 Great Scale Model Train Show Timonium, MD (MD State Fairgrounds)
Feb. 23-24 Fredericksburg, VA (Fredericksburg Expo Center)

They have been in MR a few times and other publications

One LARGE layout!  Yes it goes all the way in the back of the building by the guys standing in the distance.


One of my favorites, a BQ23-7