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/

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Construction starts on West to Orange trackage project.

Yesterday, I finally got started on my replacement of the Mine run branch or the area on the lower level below Battlefield Yard.  I ripped up the track and sub-roadbed to make way for my new trackage.  The new track plan will include a wye, a new entrance from the helix, continuous running on the lower level, a removable bridge and and new industries.  There also will be staging near the helix in the garage.  That's alot of stuff but only minor track changes.  Most of the track changes will be what I tore out yesterday.  Stay tuned!
The new trackage will come from the helix and out the wall behind the propane tanks in the pic.

Clean slate to start planning.

Here's the layout for the new trackage.  I have to contend with the canal which will be minimized by filling it in.  I will still need a bridge.  A siding will extend down to the cars in the distance.  The woodchip loader and possibly another industry will be located there.

This where the removable bridge will be located to span the isle.  The track shows appropriate placement.  This bridge will be the hardest part of the project.  

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mid-December Update

Christmas is real close and it's that time when model railroading starts to begins to take off.  A lot of young kids will get their start in the next few weeks in this great hobby.  My oldest son worried me to death about putting a train around the tree this year.  He will be 11 next week. We have not put the train up in a couple of years but he saw it in the attic when we were getting out the rest of the Christmas decorations.  So I definitely got it down to put under the tree.  It's a Lionel North Pole Express and we have extra track and cars for it.  An actual oval under the tree.  After getting the wiring fixed on the track, it worked well.  Him and sister have played with it just about everyday since its been working.  They do occasionally run trains on the layout.  I definitely need to get them involved more!

I also finished up some aggregate cars for a customer of mine:
MCTR 1472 getting it's finishing touches

2 bay Greenville hoppers by Walthers are a favorite of mine.

VMID #281 prepares them for interchange.

A railfan grab on the street.

VMID #281 continues to switch the aggregate cars.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throw Back Thursday Dec. 1st 2016

SD38-2 #280 was a favorite locomotive of mine and was built in the summer of 2007.  The locomotive was sold at a Timonium show one year and continues to earn it's keep on a model railroad in Rhode Island.  The gentleman's layout was in an issue of Model Railroader too!  I still see the guy at the shows.  He's got a slug painted for VMID also.  Really loved the white face.  Might be the future paint job!

VMID SD38-2 #280

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November Video Update

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving as we head into modeling season.  I did a video yesterday to update what I have been up to the last few weeks.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday November 3rd 2016

It's fall so it's time for a fall-like throwback.  Even though it's 80 degrees today, the leave changing is in full effect around here.  In Mance, PA, home of the Ex- B&O between Cumberland and Pittsburgh, was a place I took a yearly trip in the second week of October.  As most trees weren't even close, up on the summit, the maples were reds/yellows and rest were close.  Never got there during peak colors because the weather is dreary most days and would pick the most appealing days to camp out.  It was quite cold at night with lows in the 30s/40s. But worth it every second when you get pics like this from October 2005:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Another long lost railroad trailer found in the area! A Reading trailer?

If you follow my posts regularly, you know I love to find old railroad relics that are still use today.  I stumbled upon another railroad trailer in the area and it's on the way to work.  Over the years, I've found these two trailers still in use today:

An old 40' Rock Island/RF&P trailer used for old tires at a local BJ's Warehouse and a Santa Fe piggy back trailer used for wood chips are a local sawmill:
Trailer pics

Here's the model of the Rock Trailer:
Rock Island Trailer model

This new trailer I found looks like it's been here a while as I have drove past it for years on the way to work.  It's a Reading trailer and the pic was not easily taken.  It's in someone's yard and I'm not pulling into their yard just to take a picture.  So, the one handed cell phone pic at 35 MPH was called for.  Took 3 days to get the best picture!  Could not find another picture of the exact trailer but a few with diamond logo. I never knew Reading had trailers!
First attempt at the drive by pic.  Darn sign and I need to zoom in a bit!

Second attempt at the picture.  Zoomed in a bit.  Neat diamond logo.

Today's picture.  The sun even cooperated.  Guess this trailer is from the 60's?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

October keeps getting better!

If you follow my last post, this month has not been very model railroad friendly.  It's been quite busy due to normal routines but a sickness all month and a dead laptop seemed to put the icing on the cake but no, we have to add the candles too.  My Badger airbrush that I've had for many years is missing and its a crazy story.  I keep my airbrush and brushes to keep it clean, in our mud room.  The mud room is our utility room leading to the garage from the kitchen. A small room that has a large sink and the water heater in it.  I usually keep the airbrush and other items on the water heater (its about 4.5 ft. tall)  and right by the sink.  There is a trash can between the sink and the water heater.  I believe our new kitten got on the water heater and knocked in the trash.  I found items from the water heater on the floor and sink, The worst thing, I took the trash off on Wednesday so if it was in the trash, it's long gone.  So it looks as if a new air brush is in the works unfortunately.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October is almost over

-As you can probably see, there has not been any posts since early October.  This month has been quite busy.  For most of the month, I've been battling a cold/sinus/allergy pain in the butt.  I'm still suffering from it as I type this.  I just can't seem to shake it.  On top of that, my laptop died about 2 weeks ago.  I finally bought a new one on Thursday.  So instead of just busy, it's busy plus the above.  I have not done anything train related most of the month.  I hope to can get to that a little this weekend.

Next weekend, I'm officially part of the Great Scale Model Train Show staff.  I will be helping out at the show all weekend.  If you don't know about the GSMTS, it's the train show just north of Baltimore, MD.  It's four times a year and this October show is usually the 2nd largest/attended one.  It's easily the largest in the Mid-Atlantic region and the second largest on the east coast behind the Amherst show in Springfield, MA.  Make sure you check it out if you get a chance:

The Great Scale Model Train Show

It's October 29-30 Sat 9-5 & Sun 10-4

Talk to you soon, and hopefully some model train info!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2016 Mid Atlantic RPM Meet is in the books!

We just finished up the annual Mid Atlantic RPM Meet this past Friday and Saturday.  It was a great time with great models, vendors, friends, speakers, layouts and food.  I want to thanks our fearless Norm Wolf for put on a top notch meet.  Also thanks to Bob Sprague, Butch Eyler, and Daylene Wolf for their dedicated work.  These guys and gal are wonderful to work with!  Looking forward to the next one on September 22/23 2017.

Here are all my pics:2016 MARPM meet pictures

Butch Eyler's incredible weathering 

Butch Eyler's

Peter Koehler-Pfotenhauer

My RF&P stuff

Some more of my stuff

and more of my stuff

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Finally time for a September post

Can't believe this is my first post this month but it's been busy.  I've been back to work for the last 3 weeks and the boys are in full swing in fall baseball.  Seems like I need to make some short bursts of modeling if I'm gonna get it in.  I did surprise myself and got some layout work in on the first week of school.  This is on the lower level in St. Just.  Not sure exactly what I have planned for it.

Yes those wires are organized!

Fascia installed

A backdrop and trees will block the view in the hidden trackage.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Awesome pics/video from yesterday and TBT: August 25th 2016

Yesterday, My two sons and I headed due north up to my favorite hobby shop:
Mainline Hobby

It's a long drive but always worth it.  As usual, we do some railfanning along the way.  The Maryland Midland interchanges in the area of the hobby shop which is located in Blue Ridge Summit, PA.  The name is where I got my name for my HO empire.  I've been coming up here for 15 years and one of the first time I did, I stumbled upon the Maryland Midland.  The paint has changed recently but they represented what I wanted in a railroad.  I railfanned them alot over the years and knew the line like the palm of my hand. We lucked out as we found them in Thurmont, MD as we were heading up.  The chase was on once I saw this lashup!:

FIVE Emds on the head end?  Must have a big train.  Turns out that it had 54 loaded cement cars and 2 boxcars for the run up the Catoctin Mountains.

2006 lashup

2016 lashup

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Layout update: scenery is complete on the upper level

Finally finished the scenery on the upper level.  I redid the scenery in the corner the cat destroyed a few months back.  I also completed the last "bare plywood" in the VC area.  This area has been voided of scenery for a number of reasons.  Main reason: it was a repair/maintenance spot.  But it's done!  Now you are wondering what got me into high gear.  I had people coming by to look at the layout today.  Nothing like a deadline to get you going!
Land form for the replace corner near BY.  The foundation is blue foam and the tan is 2" foam.

Basic scenery on the foam.  It's nice to do this where you want then add it to the scene.
Scenery mound in place

Decided to add some rocks.  These were made with plaster and molds.

Rocks have been hot glued in place now time for bushes, trees and the like.

The cabin and the truck have been put back in the scene.  Most of the trees have been reused.

Close up of the cabin in the woods.  Definitely a rail fans dream!

Thought I had completed the final track for this layout and I look like I'm headed down a redo of the lower level.  Not a total redo but one that will make the layout flow.  It includes a lift-out crossing and staging near the helix.  A wye will be put in to have continuous running on the lower level.  I will also redo the town names mainly switching them around.
Rough sketch of the new track plan for the lower level.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

TBT: August 11th 2016

 Bet you never thought I had a paper plant on the layout?  Well here's proof.  The industry turned out too large for the layout and eventually was removed.  Klotz and Patriot Industries are now in this spot.  As for the loco, definitely a odd ball with the Horst air filter on a GP38.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday: August 4th 2016

Old school meets new school, catfish vs. high hood or GE vs. EMD.  Exactly 10 years ago I find myself in Vardo Yard in Hagerstown, MD.  Then, high hoods were the norm, but are very rare these days.  My main appeal to NS is the high hoods.  Man do they standout versus the widecabs!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Another Video: Trains running on the layout

Been a while since I did a video on just trains running.  Want expand it to the lower level but not a huge fan of no scenery running!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Finally an itch to scratch: Modeling time!

Spent the past weekend at the Great Scale Model Train Show up near Baltimore, Maryland and this may have been the thing to get me going.  One of the show owners needed some help manning his tables all weekend.  I gladly obliged and I even had a 2 tables to sell my excess.  I did quite well both days and even found a few great deals.  It was a great weekend and I want to thanks Mike for inviting me and all the hospitality.  I may even be helping out with all their shows in the future!  In case you have never heard of the GSMTS, here's some info about it:
Great Scale Model Train Show

This show is one of the biggest in the mid-Atlantic and is held 4 times a year.  The fall and winter show are the most popular and larger ones.

Look what I found!  My lost work desk and it's clean.

Picked up this kit at the show.  An older Walthers kit.  A kit is always a good thing to get your modeling juices flowing again.

Never put one of these together.

Deal of the show.  Like I need another locomotive! But this one was too good to pass up!  A Bowser VO-1000 that has Tsunami sound, $50!  had to get it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

It's July already?

Here we are in July already and the last two months have been crazy to say the least.  Life has definitely slowed down the model railroading.  June has been one of the toughest and longest, but rewarding months of my life.   Don't know what the problem is but I do have a few items I need to do for a client of mine so I hope that sets the spark.  I did recently get my wireless controller back from NCE and man this thing is great!  I've tried it a few times and is all I expected.  So hopefully July sets a spark for me and you guys will be the first to know on this blog.  Lots of posts, its going on or more posts like this, and I'm still in the funk.   Definitely think it's a funk, but never this long!  I definitely have a million of things to do!  See you guys soon.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Unfortunate surprise in the layout room

As you may know, I have not done much model railroading in the last 4-6 weeks.  Been keeping up with the internet stuff but nothing hands on.  Today, I decided to go in the layout room to at least tidy up.  As I opened the door, one of our cats came running out.  Now I remember shutting this door early yesterday and not opening it until just then.  So I could imagine what she left in my office!  As suspected, she was trying to get into the garage through the hole in the wall.  I also notice several trees to the right of the hole have been knocked down.  Well looked like she had to go to the bathroom (pee) by those trees.   I had small gravel road to the cabin there.   The trees are I guess where she tried to cover it.   Just getting better and better.   So I took the next 30 minutes ripping out all the trees in the corner and a layer of foam.  Looks like it was a small amount of urine.  The latex paint and plastic foam cover helped contain most of it.  So looks like I get to redo that area again.  I was not really happy with some of those trees anyways.   Not the best thing to do when your trying to get back into the swing of things but guess it could have been worse.  Need to look around to see if everything is OK.

 I've never had problems with cats in there until lately.  I'll look to implement keeping the door shut and locked when not being used.  This will keep my kids out when they need a screwdriver or can't find their white glue.
Guess I get to do this area over thanks to my cat Scout!  Now I know she definitely hates me!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Take the time time to thank a veteran when you see one, not only this weekend, but anytime you see one out.  They really appreciate it.

The flag at the Mance Training Camp in Mance, PA during a October 2006 visit.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mid May Post

This year has been different for me in a few aspects.  For the last 16 years, I've coached track and my spring time modeling had been very non-existent.  I gave up coaching last year and I have seem to continue that non-modeling trend.  I'm sure a lot of people have been in the boat this time of year.  There are many excuses: nice weather, yard work and longer days.  I'm guilty of all them.  I also have 3 kids: 6, 8 &10 so they get a lot of my time also. So now you know why I have not been modeling much or posting on this blog!  But, don't fear, most of my modeling gets done in the next few months.  So stay tuned.  I've also want to get a video out.  Here are a few other things:

  • My locomotive sold this past week.  Took long than I thought but still a great loco for the price.
  • I sent off one of my NCE controllers to get wireless installed.  It should be here in a week or two.  Very excited to finally get a wireless controller for the layout.   
  • I need to hookup the NCE antenna to the layout so I can have the wireless controller ready to use when it gets here.  This weekend seems to be low key, so maybe today?

Monday, April 25, 2016

SOLD: VMID B39-8 #808 for sale SOLD

Here it is!  An exclusive sale to my blog followers who maybe want to own a Virginia Midland locomotive.  This is an Atlas B39-8 (same as the B40-8) that is originally in the red GE Demo scheme.  It's been patched for the Virginia Midland in their newest logo and have the following added:
-Tsunami Sound: TSU-AT1000 GE FDL-16 Modern
- TCS Keep Alive (KA2)
-custom horn
-custom weathered
-Kadee scale couplers
-Railmaster speaker

This locomotive has alot it's CV's programmed and runs like the prototype .  The loco is programmed to #808 and the sound will come on the locomotive is moved.  This locomotive has less than an hour run time.  Comes with original box.  This won't be offered anywhere else.  The locomotive is offered on a first come first serve.  Serious inquiries only and they must be emailed to the address below.

Asking $175 plus shipping.  (Paypal or money order only)
Email me at stctigers@gmail.com

The following is a video and some pics of the #808.