I need to do a better job…

February 28th, 2014

…of keeping this site up to date.

There really have been a lot of things going on in my model railroading life. I have no idea why I don’t take the time to write about it. I apologize but it will likely happen again.

Last weekend Chris was the instructor at our first of hopefully many Half Nuts Model Railroaders clinics. Chris showed us how easy it is to build a turnout from scratch. We will need a part two to finish them off.

Tomorrow a bunch of us are going to Saint John to operate on and visit some layouts there. We are all looking forward to the trip, some much more than others (hope you can sleep tonight, Chris).

Our operating group has grown in the past year. Most operating sessions have 8 – 10 operators showing up and there’s potential for 2 or 3 more.

It’s been great because I’ve been able to sort out how to operate the BS&T with more than 6 operators. In the past, when we’ve had guests from “away”, I’ve struggled with how to operate the layout with more than 6. It seemed there were always issues with scheduling and traffic. Not saying we have completely eliminated issues, not by a long shot, but there is a little more “logic” to a session. HA!

Time to hit the hay – it’s going to be an early morning tomorrow…

Saint John Visitors

April 21st, 2013

Finally, after several years of visiting layouts in Saint John for operating sessions and inviting them to to come here to return the favour they took us up on our offer. On April 20th Steve, Lou, Bob H. and Bob K. made the trek across the Confederation Bridge (a first for Lou) for a fun day of operating on P.E.I.

As is the case with most operating visits we started the day at Derwin’s on Canadisle Rail.  The guys were very impressed with how much operating can be included in a smallish layout.  Derwin’s layout is about 20′ x 12′ but there is enough work to keep 5 operators busy for hours.

After lunch and another shift of operating on the Canadisle Rail we headed over to the Bayside & Tidewater.  After a brief tour and explanation of the operation the guys picked jobs and the session got underway.

Stevenville-2013-04-20 Lou chose the Stevenville local switch job.  It was one of the busiest sessions for Stevenville in quite a while so Lou had his hands full.


Steve chose one of the wayfreight jobs.  The nice thing about wayfreights is that the operator gets to travel the whole railroad and has a nice mix of running and switching.

Derwin ran the interchange trains, as usual, and Ewen was the Bayside Yardmaster.

The two Bob’s are both in Chappellton right now.  Bob K. is the local crew in Chappellton and Bob H. is running the other wayfreight.

Chris pulled double duty as Tidewater Yard Master and running the Mine train.

We have been having a few challenges with WiThrottle since adding virtual signal panels in Stevenville.  (More about the virtual signals in a future post) Paul Bender suggested that it might be due to a flaky router.  The old Dlink was replaced by a new Western Digital router and it seemed to have resolved the issue since we had no WiThrottle problems at all during the 3 hour operating session.

Weird Things Are Happening!

April 15th, 2013

TDTWe have no idea what’s going on – spring fever perhaps?

Strange things are happening from one end of the railway to the other.  Residents of both Stevenville and Chappellton are reporting folks behaving oddly.

Reports out of Chappellton say that there has been an increased demand for coffee.  Lineups outside of Tommy Drive Thru have been at record highs!

Some folks are so eager to get coffee that they try to cut the line by entering the drive thru in the wrong direction.  This might be one reason why the line is not moving very fast.

Tom, the owner of the drive thru, says business has never been better.  “I hope it keeps up this way.  I am planning an extension to the building and am considering an expanded menu, possibly to include donuts and sandwiches, and this will really help.  I was the first to come up with the drive thru idea and donuts will be another first.  Some people think I’m crazy, and they are probably right, but I think it’s an idea that will make money!”

SV-2-20130414Meanwhile, in Stevenville, reports of dangerous driving run rampant.  Apparently the first report popped up a couple weeks ago but there is no photographic evidence.

Fast Eddie actually managed to knock over a fire hydrant in front of the Loew’s Theater. Thank goodness the matinee had just started and the line had cleared up.  Who knows how many lives were saved due to good timing

This incident did bring one important point to the forefront though.  It appears there is no water pressure in the main water line.  This may be the subject of a future report.

SV-3-20130414Mr. S. Melli Coal must have decided he needed to get off the bridge in a hurry.  Maybe he thought he could take a shortcut to Banjo Bob’s?  We’ve heard Bob’s beans are the best for miles but they can’t be that good!  All we know is that Mr. Coal certainly helps keep the natural gas plant in operation.

Th bridge wall suffered only minor damage.  Local maintenance crews should have the damage repaired within a few days.  Traffic on the bridge will be reduced to one lane until then.

SV-1-20130414Just before press time another report of a driver hitting a fire hydrant came to our attention.  Poor old U. N. Moase, well known for his poor eyesight, swerved to avoid a mattress that fell off of a delivery truck and hit the fire hydrant in front of Banjo Bob’s.  Apparently it was one of the finest mattresses from U & M Mattresses. A good thing for Uie since it provided a bit of cushioning to slow down his car.  He barely touched the hydrant causing only minimal damage to his car and the hydrant.

Rumours abound that employees of the BS&T railroad are somehow influencing residents of these normally calm communities.  Local authorities are investigating but will not reveal the extent of their investigation to this point.  They want to assure the public that whoever, or whatever, is responsible for this rash of odd behaviour will be identified soon.

Rest assured that this reporter will continue to follow-up on this story and will report any future developments in this case.


UMG Module Connection Test

April 3rd, 2013

I’m trying a new module connection method that I saw in Springfield and read more about on the internet.

It’ll gets it’s first real test when we set up for a Boy Scout fundraiser in a couple weeks.

What do you think?

Operating on the Carleton Railway

February 24th, 2013

After lunch we headed to Steve McMullin’s to operate on the Carleton Railway. We probably made a mess like we usually do but we had a great time!

Here are some photos from our afternoon.





Hampton and St. Martins

February 23rd, 2013

We just left Lou McIntyre’s Hampton and St. Martins after a special morning operating session. What an amazing looking layout!  It operates very nicely as well.







New Business in Stevenville

February 20th, 2013


One of my purchases at the Springfield show was a little Bar Mills kit that I got at a great price. In my recent model building spree I decided to assemble this kit. I’ve built a couple Bar Mills kits and found that they are very nice kits to build. This one was no exception.

It’s a very small business by itself  so I decided to pair it up with a background structure to look a little more than it is.

Trying to find vacant space in Stevenville is difficult. I managed to find some space beside the track lead to U&M Mattresses and Picard Packers. It means that local crews need to keep track of which cars are spotted there to make sure it gets put back correctly.

I think it’ll be a great addition to Stevenville.

Tommy Drive Thru

February 18th, 2013


It’s an inside joke but I’ve been planning to build this for a very long time. The problem I had was to construct it so that it would blend with a 1950s theme. A modern day Tim Hortons would look very much out of place.

A new coffee place opened up in Summerside that provided me with inspiration and I had to start working on Tommy Drive Thru. The next step was to find a suitable location. I moved it around Chappellton a bit until the vacant lot across from Der-win Coal and Oil.

A Tale of Woe

February 2nd, 2013

As I mentioned in my last post we attended the Amherst Model Railroad Show last weekend. It was an amazing show and I took lots of pictures and some video.

The woe part of this story began with upgrading my iPhone to iOS 6.1. I was stupid and performed the update without backing up first. Of course this would be the time for the update to fail and I had the restore my iPhone from backup, losing ALL of my Amherst stuff in the process. Arghhhh!!!!

So, a lesson was learned and I’ll never upgrade without backing up first.

I’ll see if I can borrow a few pictures from Derwin so I can tell you a bit more about our trip.

Until next time…

The Best Train Weekend Ever!!!

January 28th, 2013

If you’ve never been to the Amherst Train Show you should make plans to attend next year’s show. It is absolutely amazing. 380,000 square feet of model railroading heaven spread over 4 buildings.