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/

Friday, December 28, 2018

A little camera work on the layout

If you follow this blog, you will know that I have a camera to observe the helix in the garage.  It tells me whats going on out there when the train traverses levels.  After Thanksgiving, my camera quit working.  No idea why and I tried to bring it back but to no avail.  It was a $30 camera I got on sale at Harbor Freight when I put the helix in.  I replaced the camera with two cameras, at different angles.  One monitors the garage and the other the helix.  The cameras have long wires to connect them to my monitor/TV in my layout room.  Running those though walls and up the layout was the most tedious item of the install.  I finally installed the "corner wire hider" yesterday.  It hides the extension cord and video wires of the camera.  Needs some more paint and it's done. 

Today it's off to Virginia Beach for the a train show down there.  This break hasn't involved much model railroading this year due to shopping, dishwasher install on Christmas Eve and of course family time.  Hoping to fix that trend in 2019 and the few days next week.  Stay tuned!
The old "corner wire hider" Was good but when the new wires needed to be installed, it had to come out.

Wires everywhere!  Testing out the new system.

New corner "wire hider"  Oh course my old blue paint was old and unusable, so a trip to Home Depot to match it.  The lady found the match.  The bracket is two pieces of PVC wood cut and glued together.
The piece installed.  Need some touch up paint and some spackling.  Slowing putting Patriot Chemical back in place.

Closeup of the wiring at the top.  This is hidden behind the valiance.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Hope Santa brings you lots of model trains tonight!  Thanks for checking out this blog and being a faithful follower!  It's been more than a month since my last post???  Wow need to do better than that!  Trying to be like Santa and always deliver!  Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 18, 2018

300th post and over 200,000 views post!

It's my first post in about a month to this blog and it's also a milestone one.  This is my 300th post to this blog and sometime over this week, I went over 200,000 views on the blog.  Pretty neat and thanks for check out my blog to make this happen!  Not a whole lot happening on the model railroad in the last month.  I've been helping out my buddy Mike at Makin' Tracks: www.makemytracks.com with train shows and we've had the Timonium show on which I posted about.  We also did a show in Virginia Beach and the following weekend did the Neuse River show in Raleigh, NC.  So you can see why it's been tough to get a blog post done or do anything on the railroad.  We pick back up in December and a show list is below.

 I did just complete some cars for a client so I'm clear sailing on the layout now.  At the Raleigh show, I did have the chance to witness the enormous Sipping and Switching modular layout.  It was neat to see so much railroad under one rather large roof!

Also, hope to post during the few days I have off next week but have a great Thanksgiving and be safe in your travels!

Makin' Tracks Schedule:
Dec. 1-2 @ Timonium, MD Greenberg Train Show (Maryland State Fairgrounds)
Dec 15-16 @ Chantilly, VA Greenberg Train Show (Dulles Expo Center)
Dec. 29-30 @ Virginia Beach, VA Greenberg Train Show (VA Beach Convention Center)
Jan. 19-20 Richmond, VA (Raceway complex)
Feb. 2-3 Great Scale Model Train Show Timonium, MD (MD State Fairgrounds)
Feb. 23-24 Fredericksburg, VA (Fredericksburg Expo Center)

They have been in MR a few times and other publications

One LARGE layout!  Yes it goes all the way in the back of the building by the guys standing in the distance.

One of my favorites, a BQ23-7

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Great Scale Train Show is this weekend!

 Well it's that time of year again!  Model Railroad season is here and we are kicking of the season with one of our big shows down near Baltimore, MD this weekend!  All the info is on the flyer sheet below.  Checkout the website for money saving coupons on admission to the show.  I'll be there all weekend with the Makin Tracks crew so stop by and say hi!
Makin Track Website

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Back dating the layout?

Well, not much time on the layout as usual but still doing some model railroading things like shows and a RPM meet.  The main thing I have been contemplating is a possible back date of the layout.  How far you may ask?  I'm thinking the mid 1980's.  I'm currently in the early 1990's.    Why would you backdate it?  That is the magical question isn't it?  One reason is to possibly get older cars on the layout. Another is to get some older locomotives on the layout.  I've grown on F units in the last year and would like to still have them living out their last days on the layout.  A good friend of mine is a F unit fanatic.  That doesn't help either.  I also want to incorporate a few of the Kadee PS-1 50' boxcars too.  I think it is a great transitional time in railroading.  I have even been "floating" around a way to add a car float to the layout!

What's has to possibly change?

The track work is fine for this change.  The industries would have to be examined but I think most are fine.    I'll have to look at some of the freight cars that might be too new for the era.  Of course, I'll have to buy a few new cars like the PS-1 50 footers but when did 40' boxcars quit showing up in the 1980's?  Vehicles seem to me like one of the biggest time setters on the layout.  I'll have to look at each and figure out which can stay and which will need to be sold.  Vehicles for the 1980's are already a black hole.  Not much is out there.  Locomotives will also have to be looked at.  Most of my power is older but a 1984 short line would not have a SD40-2.  Still would have a lot of 1st generation Alco's and EMD's.  That fine with me!  This would let me incorporate the F units on to the layout.  A RS-3 in VMID paint would be a nice touch.  My GP10 still would be OK on the layout.

This is a easy attainable change for the layout.  Not a whole lot of work.  But is it worth it?  I don't know yet.  More research is need and I'll talk to a few other people about it.  But its definitely an easy change to do!  Let me know what you think in the comments!
How do you not like the many different paint schemes of F units?  Possible paint scheme of the Virginia Midland?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

2018 Mid Atlantic RPM Meet is in the books!

Had a great time at the Mid Atlantic RPM this past weekend in Baltimore Maryland.  I was part of the incredible volunteer staff that help make this meet possible.  I also wanted to thank Bernie Kempinski and all his tireless work in directing this meet.  Also wanted to thank Bob Sprague, Butch Eyler, Kent Smiley, Alicia Kempinski, Mat Thompson, the vendors, attendees, clinicians and sponsors for making this meet happen.

Lots of pictures can be found here:
Mid Atlantic RPM Meet

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Mid-Atlantic RPM Meet next Weekend!

Next weekend is the 5th annual Mid Atlantic RPM Meet near Baltimore/BWI area.  The meet did not happen last year due to our founder, Norm Wolf moving to Utah.  Bernie Kempinski has taken over and has put together a great show next weekend Sept. 20-22!  Some of the biggest names in the hobby will be there such Lance Mindheim, Hal Miller, Paul Dolkos, Butch Eyler, Tony Sissions, etc.
Great door prizes and clinics all day Friday and Saturday!  Make it a great weekend about model railroading!
All info can be found here and it's not too late to sign up:
Looking forward to a great meet!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Boxcar Update: More details, pricing and pics!

In a joint venture, MAKIN' Tracks: http://makemytracks.com/ and myself have started producing exclusive RTR Virginia Midland boxcars. 

These boxcars are various modern Roundhouse kits and most will be double door boxcars.  Combination door boxcars will make up the next biggest group.  There will be limited numbers of plug door and single door boxcars.

These RTR VMID boxcars will include:
-Custom green/boxcar red paint and decals (silver roof)
-Intermountain metal wheels
-Kadee #5 couplers
-Kadee brake wheel
-A different number on every boxcar
-Reflective stripes for modern day modelers (extra $2)

Cost will be $25 for each car plus shipping.  You can also pick up cars from shows we attend.

Email me at virginiamidlandshops@gmail.com for any other questions and to reserve you car!
Combo door VMID #1001 complete!  First one off the line!

Combo door VMID #1001 complete!

Double door boxcar VMID #1004

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Virginia Midland Boxcars

In a joint venture, MAKIN' Tracks: http://makemytracks.com/ and myself have started producing exclusive RTR Virginia Midland boxcars.  These boxcars are various modern Roundhouse ones that are double door, single door, plug door and combo doors at the moment.

These RTR VMID boxcars will include:
-Custom green paint and decals (silver roof)
-Intermountain metal wheels
-Kadee #5 couplers
-Kadee brake wheel
-A different number on every boxcar
-Weathered cars (eventually)

The cars are not ready for purchase yet and will only be when the first 6-10 are complete.  I will post prices and shipping charges here on the blog soon.

Email me at virginiamidlandshops@gmail.com for info on the boxcars.

Here are some pics in the early stages:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Custom Virginia Midland boxcars interest?

I was thinking about doing some custom Virginia Midland boxcars to sell and wanted to see what the interest level is.  These boxcars are going to be modern (late 1970's to the present) They would be green with silver roofs.   They would have the Virginia Midland logo and the VMID reporting marks on them.  I would be starting out with the older Roundhouse boxcars (single door and combo door).  They would be would come with #5 Kadee couplers and Intermountain metal wheel sets. Each car will have a different number and will be ready to run! The price is looking between $22-$25 for each.  I wanted to advertise them here first and wanted judge the interest in them.  They will be a combination of the two cars below.  So comment down below if your interested or email me at virginiamidlandshops@gmail.com to tell me if your interested and how many you would be interested in getting. 
This boxcar shows the logo I will use on the boxcars.  The reporting marks are not correct.  Should be VMID

This boxcar sports the correct reporting marks.  Only thing is missing is the large logo.  This "plain jane"paint scheme may possibly be done.  Let me know!
This is the older Roundhouse shell I will used.  This is a combo door model

This is the combo door kit again.  All cars will be ready to run or RTR!

So please email at virginiamidlandshops@gmail.com and tell me you interest on these boxcars!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Finally, some much needed layout work

Finally got to a good stopping point on work bench projects and turned my focus to the layout.  I'm working mainly on the structures on the Parker area and have turn my attention to the St. Just area just across the aisle also.  Parker is a on the lower level where the passing siding ends/begins.  It's a very rural area and I wanted to keep it that way.  Somehow a huge industry, the OSB plant worked it way in the area.  But it's a perfect industry for this rural area.  I finally painted the main plant building but still have a long way to go with the plant.  The highlight of the Parker area will be the small depot there.  It's 98% done and looks perfect for the area.  I also started to cut foam for the land forms for the area.  These will mainly support trees that will help hide the hole in the wall that leads to the helix/staging.

Foam in place to hold trees that will block the hole in the wall and hide the continuous run track.

St. Just on the the other side of the isle will have it's industry on this bluff.  I will add a retaining wall and an elevator to haul up fertilizer from the tracks.

The OSB plant an it's new paint.  It will be a huge plant when complete.  

The Parker depot looks right at home.  Once the foam has trees, it will be hard to see the hole in the corner.  This will be a very photogenic area.  

Monday, July 23, 2018

Operation series video

Did a little different video this weekend.  Instead of the typical update video, I did an operations video.  The video is several different videos combined into one big video.  It will follow the Orange turn train.  This trains will run from Battlefield Yard onto the helix west to the town of Orange, switching a few industries and meeting a couple of trains on the way.  Sit back and enjoy it and tell me what you think!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Op. Session yesterday

Had a friend email me back in June and wanted me to see if I could do an op. (operational) session on my layout in mid-July.  Now, it has been a long while since I did a op. session here on my layout.  Heck, I had not even ran trains on the layout pretty much the entire year.  So, to get my juices flowing, I decided lets do it.  I did a little track cleaning, even on the helix out in the garage.  I tested out some trains on the helix yesterday morning and they ran great.  I used Tsunami 2 locomotives exclusively and they did not disappoint at all.  Overall, the layout ran wonderfully and I could not be happier.  Wayland brought his son Dan (a CSX engineer) and both ran the entire session.  Dan ran the Virginia Central side and Wayland ran the Virginia Midland in the Fredericksburg Flats area.  Both really enjoyed the layout and in a way, it got Wayland's juices flowing on his layout.  Both were really thrilled of how much action can be put into a small railroad.
Dan (blue shirt) and Wayland figure out their next move.

Still working on their switching moves.  

Battlefield Yard is EMPTY!

A look at the lower level at Parker.  The new OSB plant is to the right and the passing siding is to the upper left.

I really like the lower level lighting when the upper level lights are off.  It highlights the lower level.  Gotta get some scenery going on here!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Weathered Cars for a client

Completed some cars for a client this week and here are the results:
Awesome load in this BN gon.

Ex-SRN now COER 5293

NOKL 816388 

CSIX 210001

NECR 4154

Gotta love for the 2 bay hoppers

My favorite car of the bunch.

BNSF 401711

FXE 873898

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Catch up time...

Been working on some projects/custom cars for clients since I've been on vacation.  Lots of decals and lot of weathering.  Hope to have some layout progress to come right after I'm done with these projects I have had for a while.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a picture of a huge pile of decal backings!
Decal overload!

My work desk during this 13 car project.
Older train testing or back dating????