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, December 24, 2013

Want to wish everyone a happy holiday season!

Since we are smack dab in the middle of modeling season and the Christmas time is usually what gets us hooked, I wanted to share a picture from a recent complete scene on the layout.  Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a happy New Year.  I also hope you get some great model trains items from Santa for your layout! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Expansion thoughts

So as I close in on completing my scenery on the Virginia Midland layout, I ponder what I can actually model on the lower level.
  • more rural scenes with less industries.  Definitely a sand loading plant.
  • the sand plant would not be modeled but a spur to the plant would be all I need.
  • bench work is built for the most part.
  • lighting is installed and working
  • reconfigure the RF&P interchange from Battlefield Yard (BY) to exchanging in the main VM siding/run-  around track
  • trains could run out of BY to the helix and to the lower level.
  • Bench work would have to be built for the NS interchange
  • A branch line to the sand plant?
VMID #274 on the On30 track on the lower level

This area is directly under the VC yard.  The helix would bring trains to this area. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow days equal layout workdays

We had our first two snow days of the year.  Not for much but 2 back to back storms that really did not amount to any snow.  I used the time away from work to get some time in the layout room.  I finally got away from locomotive building (even though I have 2 of them ready for decals)and focused on the layout itself.  I decided I want to focus on the team track on the Midland.  This the last spur on the layout that has not received any attention.  Well it got some this week.  Take a look at what it started like:
This scene was dying for some attention!

Was not to happy with these grass mats up front in scenery but they look good in the back.

Used the mats on the other side also.  You can see the seam that I will put some larger bushes on.
Wanted to use a loading ramp but which type?

Looks like a field of grass.  The perfect buffer for the Patriot Industries, a chemical company it's beside.

Decided to use this configuration on the ramp.  This gives me the option of unloading boxcars or unloading say a covered hopper just to the left of the Railbox.
Added the ballast to cover the edge of the mats and the mix for the gravel loading area.

Notice how the gravel lot is slightly darker than the ballast.  Weathered up the ramp also.  Patriot is on the layout now in the background.
A few details brings the scene to life.

VMID #281's conductor talks back the loco to a couple.

The lot is still drying but weeds and and a few more details will complete the scene.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Operational Session at Mike Pulaski's layout

Yesterday I visited Mike Pulaski's layout for the first time.  He has awesome medium size layout in his basement that is about 30' by 20'.  He has staging in his garage and the overhead trains are about 20 cars.   It's doubled decked and has a single track helix.  Mike models the Mohawk & Hudson in the mid 1990's and his layout takes place in NY state.   I enjoyed the op session a lot and would love to have that kinda space.  I ran a local, a through manifest and one of his Finger Lakes trains.  Mike does proto free-lance like I do and we just about model the same time period.  Thanks again for letting me come by!

Lot's of different power on this railroad!  This is a Susie-Q trailer train #555

A grain facility on the upper deck.

Lot's of storage at this grain place.

Another Susie-Q train with a intermodal train.

Another grain facility that my local switched out.

The Finger Lakes train coming out of staging.

A corn processing plant on the lower level.

Last train of the afternoon is my Conrail manifest led by 2 SD50's!

Another view of the train.

A view of the blue SD50's in notch 8.