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/

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reconfigured yard

Well my new Virginia Midland yard has gone through a few changes in the last month.  Now I have to settle on a name for it!  When I last updated you on the progress, I had a 3 way switch at the switching end of the yard.  When I put the 3-way turnout in, and tested it, it worked fine.  Then it never worked.  I messed with it for a few days and finally ripped it out.  I then had to reconfigure it again.  This second option was not user friendly.  I could only switch one car or 2 smaller hoppers at a time.  Switching out a train took forever due to the last switch being close to corner of the room.  All of the above was done with 4 yard tracks.  I finally put in another yard track and another reconfiguration and the final yard track plan was introduced.  I had a operation session a couple of weeks ago and it worked out great.

View from the switching end.  RF&P drop off track is on the right.  The 3 tracks in the middle are the classification tracks.

The white ties represent the fouling points for each track.  The 3rd track has 2 from a earlier configuration.
The other end of the yard.  The spur on the right will be the locomotive shops.
I also got a great deal on a NCE cab04 on Ebay and recently installed a couple of controller plug in's around the layout.
I created a new hopper for the VMID in chopping a Greenville hopper down a little.  Definitely different!
The car is based on the Ilmenite cars that D&H built.  Ilmenite is mined for titanium dioxide used in paint, plastics and paper.
A double door boxcar patched for VMID.  Has to be weathered before it is used in service

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lynchburg Railday This Saturday

One of my favorite train shows is this weekend.  Lynchburg Railday is an annual train show ran by the Blue Ridge NRHS.  It's in it's 34th year.  It's the only train show in Lynchburg/Roanoke VA area.  The model and photograph contests are an added touch and I have to say I won a few times down there.   So if you are in the area or live a few hours away, it's worth the drive.  I live 2+ hours away so it's definitely worth the trip.  Come by my table and saw hello!  Here is more info on the Blue Ridge NRHS and Railday:
 Blue Ridge Chapter NRHS
Lynchburg Railday Saturday Aug. 11th 9am to 4pm

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Operation session on the Virginia Central

I have been wanting to do an operation session on the my layout for about 2 weeks.  I finally got around to doing one today.  Having 2 railroads on the layout, I can choose which one to do.  Usually I choose to do the VC.  It's close to the edge of the layout and most of the time it's pretty quick.  I took some pictures of how it went during the session and it actually took a whole hour to complete.
VC GP35 #3 starts part 1 of it's switching duties.  It has 5 hoppers to take but only 4 fit on the run around track.  The VC had to do some switching in the yard before it could leave.

VC #3 approaches Industrial Drive.  It will cross this road several times today.

Crossing Industrial drive. 

Clear signal at City Junction, where the VC crosses the Virginia Midland Railroad's line to Orange.

After dropping the cars and running around them, VC #3 starts switching out the hoppers.  This is a very tedious switching job since most switching is in the vicinity of the diamond and the signals.

The 2 empties are sitting on the middle track, while the UP (X-Rock) salt hopper is spotted.  Must be getting ready for the winter weather?

Before the VC #3 can get a clear signal to proceed across the diamond, the VM train from Orange must cross heading east.  VM #289 U23B leads a 2 car train to do some switching in Fredericksburg.

Now VC #3 has a clear signal to cross the diamond again.  

 After switching out the first 4 hoppers for the 3 empties, the VC #3 heads back over to the yard to drop off the empties and grap the last hopper.  After spotting the 5th hopper, it graps the empties from Mid-Atlantic feeds and pushes back to the VC yard.  Then #3 graps the grain hopper and boxcar for it last trip across the diamond for today.
Part 2 of the VC job is to switch out Mid-Atlantic Feeds.  After dropping the 5th sand hopper off, it's time to switch out the elevator.  Two hoppers and a boxcar needs to be moved.  
After all the switching, the empties are ready to go over to the VM yard.  In all, 4 sand hoppers, 1 salt hopper, 1 boxcar and grain hopper were delivered.  This leaves the VC with 5 empties to take over to the VM.  The RF&P will take them from there.