Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tooting my own horn

My first NMRA achievement certificate. Hopefully I can complete a couple more fairly soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The ICR arrives in northern York County

The ICR invades the Carleton Railway??
Carleton Railway management is doing a double take after the recent journey of "Extra 74 West" -- an ICR passenger train -- from the interchange at Millville to the Carleton Railway's recently expanded and upgraded "Nortondale European Resort" in northern York County.
The Carleton Railway recently completed an agreement with the ICR that will facilitate the occasional passenger run from Saint John to Nortondale, bringing with it several well-healed Port City executives looking for a wilderness experience at the friendly railway's famous rural spa. However, Nortondale station agent Huylett Lawson could hardly believe his eyes when the rag-tag train, pulled by two of the ICR's vintage RS-3s, recently arrived at the station. With no baggage car available for the train, the ICR had loaded passenger baggage into two old express reefers quickly commandeered for the purpose. The five decrepit passenger cars in the train--two ancient Osgood-Bradley coaches, a heavyweight pullman, and two smooth-side sleeping cars--look like they are ready for the museum. In fact, upon arrival in Millville, Carleton Railway inspectors insisted on upgrades to the ICR cars to bring the trucks and couplers to Carleton Railway standards before they could continue to Nortondale.
With the new ICR/CR agreement in place, it appears that an ICR passenger train will now appear from time to time on Carleton Railway tracks. In comparison with the Carleton railway's impeccably maintained fleet of streamline passenger cars and FP7 locomotives, the ICR varnish looks like a step into yesteryear. But the Carleton Railway is happy to take in the extra revenue. As railway management commented, an old ICR train pays just as much as a new ICR train. And their wealthy Saint John passengers are providing lots of additional revenue at the Nortondale Resort.
(Translation of the above story: Doug recently culled some old passenger equipment from the ICR--the equipment has now appeared on the Carleton Railway tracks and will from time to time run as an extra to the Nortondale resort. Thanks, Doug!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Millville's new Union Station

This is now the scene in Millville after the construction of the new "Union Station." It is exactly the same place that is shown in my January post below. The massive station hides the entrance to three staging tracks for passenger trains. Freight trains now continue through the Millville yard and enter three staging tracks to the left of the photo (the staging tracks represents the CPR Gibson Subdivision). The new passenger staging made a big difference for the two operating sessions during the "Tracks and Tides 2010" MFMR/NER Convention.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Race Is On!

With the realization that the "Tracks and Tides 2010" MFMR/NER Convention in Saint John is just four months away, I am busily trying to work at several projects that I have determined must be completed before the convention guests arrive to operate and tour the railway.
By far the largest project is a re-configuration of the Millville yard and staging tracks. The three current staging tracks will be used for passenger trains only. I have cut a large hole in the backdrop where the new Millville Union Station will be constructed. It will be a "front-wall only" brick structure of freelance design that will be shared by the CPR and the Carleton Railway. Passenger trains will enter the station enroute to staging. New staging tracks will be added (behind the washer and dryer) for freight trains. I am also hoping to add two additional staging tracks in West Avondale.

A much smaller change was the re-construction of the old tennis court at the Nortondale resort. Since the completion of the new court last fall, I've been very dissatisfied with the old version. With the old court now looking much better, the resort now boasts two championship-calibre tenis courts for its prestigious hotel guests (note also the game of horseshoes just beyond the tennis court).
I've added fascia and am currently adding scenery and ballast between Nortondale and Clarkville (the last totally unscenicked part of the layout) and I am also working to upgrade the four "Monticello, Maine" modules that will be part of the SJSMR display in May at the public show at the LBR.
Information about the May 20-23 convention is available at http://www.tracksandtides2010.org/

Friday, January 1, 2010

Passenger Service Upgrade--Car Cards

There is excitement among the crowd at South Newbridge station as passengers learn that a newly instituted card system will now ensure that first-class trains have sufficient capacity for the passengers at each station who have purchased tickets. Shown below is the conductor's form along with a card listing the number of passengers boarding and disembarking. As the Carleton Railway expands its passenger service, management is initiating a new "car card" system for passenger trains. Designed to put an end to boring passenger runs, crew members will now keep track of train capacity and the number of passengers boarding and disembarking at each station, adding additional coaches as necessary. Card holders have been installed at each of the five passenger stops along the main line (the photo below shows the card holders at Nortondale) in accordance with a recent article in the OPSIG's Dispatcher's Office. Passenger operations on the Carleton Railway will never be the same!