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, July 30, 2013

Operational Session with Norm Wolf

Yesterday I had a planned operational session with Norm Wolf on the layout.  He's been wanting to come over for a while now and yesterday our schedules worked out.  He ran the V100 which runs out of Battlefield Yard (BY) to the Fredericksburg Flats industries.  He took 8 cars with him and returned with 8 cars.  Not an easy task but Norm did well.  The flats have 3 trailing industries and 3 that require you to run around your train.  The layout acted up a little but 80% was operator error (running through switches).   You can guarantee that your layout will have some shorts, a derail & a pull apart when you want to show your layout to someone.  It's Murphy's law! This stuff never happens when it's just me.   I ran the other trains that came out of staging to BY and did the switching in BY.  We ran a total of 3 trains on the layout.  The V100, a G200 grain train from Orange and the F&NN local. Here are the pics:

RF&P #124 brings in the rest of V100 train.  Norm had to wait on their arrival before he could head to Fredericksburg Flats.

F&NN power brings their small train (3 cars) into the Battlefield yard.
VMID # 292 is the yard switcher today.  He's making the RF&P's train up and just complete the F&NN train.  The F&NN train is at the top waiting to head east.  The Virginia Central cars sit on track #4.  The Virginia Central was not operated today.

Norm catches up on paper work while the F&NN train passes.  He had to clear up for the train heading east.

The G200 grain train comes into Battlefield yard.  This train came from Orange and power had to run around it's train to get into Battlefield Yard.  Older power leads this train with VMID #256 "the Red Baron".
RF&P #124 has it's train assembled behind him.  The G200 power waits in BY for it's next assignment.  A H/W load sits on the engine track.

Norm finishes up his switching since he has no other trains coming through his switching.

RF&P #124 gets an approach signal to leave Battlefield yard. 
Some of Norm's pics:
It's me switching in BY.

A B&O sand hopper bound for the VC.

The G200 grains train prepares to run around it's train.  The VC depot is in the foreground.  Norm's engine #281 sits in the upper left corner and in the clear of G200.

The BY engine track has a high & wide waiting on it's assignment.

Monday, July 22, 2013

West end signals are installed and working/ other projects

Finished up the last signals on the layout over the weekend.  All my signals are controlled by toggle switches on the fascia.  Since op session only consist of 2 people, I'm the one who will throw them.  I installed 2 Tomar regular 3 light signals and one BMLA searchlight signal.  The 2 Tomar signals are going into Battlefield Yard and the other is right across the track going west to Orange (hidden staging).  The searchlight signal is different and controls trains coming off of the Virginia Central branch line.

The other pictures are other things I'm working on this week:

The two Tomar signals.  There will be another bridge between the signals and the other overpass.  

These BMLA signals are very detailed.  Definitely different on the layout.

Got another Alco, this time a RS1.  She will work for the F&NN and will be patched.  Really liked the black and yellow!  It has a Tsunami in it and was the most challenging one I have ever had the pleasure to put in.

A high and wide load.  Gotta have a interesting load during some op sessions.  Finally got the brass wire I need for tie downs.

A side dump for a MOW train.  Gotta get some VMID lettering on it.

No this is not HO but an On30 Forney getting a new tender.  One more good days work and she will be complete.  Maybe 2 with the paint!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

New operating session partner

Spent a little time in the layout room this evening with my "new" engineer in training.  My oldest son Cameron (7) decided he wanted to run some trains tonight.  My middle son (age 5) got bored really quickly with a switching layout earlier in the week.  Cameron on the other hand picked it up pretty quickly and seemed to get use to slower pace.  I use NCE DCC and the power cab is really easy to use once you get used to it.  Cam picked it up (he's used it a few times before) quite well.

I decided not to use a switching list and we only switched out 5 cars and brought 4 empties back to Battlefield yard.  I just installed a TCS stay alive capacitor in my SD20-2 (SD35 frame) and it runs perfect.  Before it ran like crap even for a 6 axle engine.  I recommend them with Tsunamis!
Cameron blows the horn and slows while backing out some cars

Running a boxcar back to Mid-Atlantic Feeds after the empties have been pulled.

Cameron did not want to block Industrial Drive but he didn't have another option to set the empties for a bit. 
Also completed 2 locos for a customer this week.  MCIS SD22ECO #2290

MCIS SD22ECO #2291