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/

Monday, July 31, 2017

And for something different to benefit the layout

As you know, I do a few videos on You Tube and I also have several channels I check out.  Not only do I look for what's on the layout, but what's off or around the layout.  I was watching a video just last week and noticed shelved drawers under the layout.  These would have to be for freight car storage and I was correct.  Eric Miller of SPSF fame SPSF Railway  (make sure you check out his website!) has a very nice layout.  I contacted him and he send me some pictures of the shelving units.

Here is a picture of Eric's drawers (Eric Miller photo)
  So I began to ponder and figure out how I can build one of these.  I only need one for my small layout.  It was nice to have a bunch of excess wood in my shed I could build the drawers with.  Had to go to my local Home Depot to get the 3/4" cabinet wood sides and the drawer hardware.
The first of many drawers

Lining up the sliding parts and leaving enough space between was tough but it worked out.

Wow!  I have some major space to put cars in these seven drawers.  Now to figure out what to use/how to divide up the drawers. 

My stopping point today.  Tomorrow I hope to complete this project and it will require a trip back to Home Depot!
I also finally finished my track laying of staging track by my helix last week.  I have 2 good sized tracks to hold entire trains to run east across the layout.
Here's the end of the 2 staging tracks.  The one starts to run back up the helix.  My helix is made for 2 tracks.

This is what I added to complete it.

The mainline and the Parker passing siding is on the left and the 2 staging tracks are in the middle of the picture.  Still need to power the turnout.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

150,000+ visits milestone

I just realized I had past 150,000 views on this blog.  Visits have really taken off in the last two years. If you guys are like me, a good blog is hard to resist.  When I stumble upon a new one, I can be there for hours! Thanks to all who have visited and I look forward to the return visits.  Thanks for all the emails and comments because if it was not for you guys, this post would not be possible! So lets see where we are in the last week of July:

  • We are past 253 posts. 
  • Last time I did this was at 200 posts and 93,000 views on February 20th 2016
  • Busiest month in number of views is July 2016 with 5374
  • This month is on target to be the 4th busiest month ever!
  • The first blog post was all the way back in December 2010!
Here are the top five posts of all time and they are were the same back at the 200th post!  

#1 2564 views:  From July 22nd 2014:
 Bench work on extension is almost done and bigger horsepower
This was about my extension for my aggregate loader.  Also had some new horsepower for the Virginia Midland.

#2 1607 views: From November 22nd 2012:
 Industry tour on the VMID Part I
This was a start of a tour on the industries on the layout.  This covered Klotz industries.  Don't know if I ever finished.  I redid this this past December with a video series.

#3 1303 views: From December 30th 2011:
The On30 Layout
At one time this blog covered 2 railroads.  I had a On30 layout on the lower level at one time.  Really loved it and it was the number one blog post for a long time.  There are several posts about the On30 layout on here.

#4 599 views: From January 13th 2014:
Scenery Update, USPS frustration and a sketch of the lower level trackage
Scenery in battlefield Yard and USPS madness.  Also the beginnings of the lower level.

#5 421 views: From August 17th 2011:
Detailing late RF&P GP40's and GP40-2's Part I
Detailing RF&P Geeps.  There was a second part to this also: Detailing RF&P Geeps Part 2

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tip Tuesday: a day late

As I have done before, I'm going to go over a tool or two that makes my modeling a lot easier.  I have not done this lately but I'll try to get one out at least once a month.  I decided to get organized years ago in this hobby and it really helps locate and find parts when you need them.

A label maker:

I decided to get a label maker a few years ago based on it was on sale and I could get a little more organized.  I picked up mine a my local BJ's Warehouse where I do lots of shopping.  They have more than just groceries.  I got it on sale for $20.  It's a plug in model so no batteries.  Lots functions so it will take a little exploring and maybe and extra ribbon.
This is the Brother P-touch label maker.  It's an older model so today's model my look different.
Not only can you label your storage drawers but also your storage containers.
Here's one of my storage drawer sets.  It's nice to know where exactly something is.  Probably need to reorganize this.

Labeling storage containers.  Look for the containers on sale about this time of year.  Got these from Home Depot. 

More storage drawers
Not only do these labels work great on storage drawers and containers but they work great on labeling parts of the layout.
Labels on the layout also help with locations, roads and what switches do.  The different size text also makes the label not be overbearing.  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Catch up post from last week and this past week

Last week, our local NMRA did some layout visits in the Richmond area instead of having an official meeting.  We visited 3 layouts, and all three were very good sized.

Dick Munnikhuysen:
Models the Western Maryland Moseby Sub in the 1960's
I believe this is Cumberland Md..  Always loved the WM.

This is Cumberland Yard. The layout goes to a long room through the door on the upper right.
Keith Prichard: Minneapolis and St Louis in the 1960's

My oldest son Cameron went along to see the layouts with me.

Farm scene

Yard scene with the colorful engines
After another layout in Richmond, which I did not take pics, we stopped at Acca Yard in Richmond.  This is CSX's large yard in Richmond.
Cam waving at the southbound train.

Some older power at the engine house

And of course some 4 axle power
Cameron working on the Virginia Central at Rappahannock aggregates.  He's really took a liking to model railroading in the last month.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

250th Post! Video on my batch weathering method

My 250th post on July 4th.  Pretty cool.   Here's a video on how I weather several cars at one time.
Happy 241st birthday America!  Hope everyone has a great and safe 4th of July!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Newest Video is out and it includes a Giveaway!

Just recently I received 1100 subscribers to my You Tube channel.  To celebrate, I decided to do a giveaway for a VMID hopper.  Check out the video for your chance to win.  May sure you watch the entire video for all the details about the giveaway!

Happy 4th!

June 2017 Crossties featuring myself

This is the June 2017 edition of Crossties.  This is the publication done my local division of the NMRA: James River Division in the Mid Eastern Region.  This particular edition has a pic of me doing my presentation back in May:
2017 June Crossties

Besides featuring me, it's a well done and well put together publication and it comes out every even month.