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Let’s Make the Water Move

One of the questions I get asked most when people see my layout or pictures of it is “How do you make the water look like it’s moving”? It’s really a simple process that anyone can do with the right equipment: paint and varnish. This scene is the Mississippi River between Memphis and Arkansas on…

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Car Forwarding is Fun

There are a number of schemes designed to move cars around a model railroad, but I prefer the time-tested 4 cycle waybill popularized by Doug Smith in the 1960s. I have used this system since we began operations on my Bluff City Southern in 1999 with great results. It’s just plain fun, and never the same.

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Adding the Dwarf Signals to Bridge Junction

Here is the diagram for Bridge Junction on Allen’s Bluff City Southern. In earlier blogs Kevin Kizer and I installed the approach signals and the train order signal inside the wye. Kevin, a retired signal maintainer, determined that we needed dwarf signals at the 3 locations marked 1,2 and 3. Location 1 is the lead to Bluff City yard. Location 2 is the lead to the coach yard and location 3 is the lead to the engine service facility inside the wye itself. Kevin said the signals will tell the engineer if the switch is aligned properly to exit the location.

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Private Rail Trip: Part 2

In the first part of this series, I told you about our private car trip aboard the Dover Harbor from Washington to Chicago for out anniversary. This segment picks up with the car having left Chicago heading to Memphis on the City of New Orleans. Janet and I wanted to take this 8-day trip because…

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Great Lakes Getaway Operations Weekend

Every two years since 2003, there is one operating event that stands out for model railroaders across the U.S. It’s the great Lakes Getaway operating weekend. It now features 8 different layouts for 40 invited operators to explore. Each operator gets to select 3 railroads to visit during the weekend. Doug Tagsold and Bruce Carpenter…

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Private Rail Trip: Part 1

For over a year my wife and I had planned a trip on a private railroad car for our anniversary, so we were especially excited to arrive at Washington’s Union Station for the beginning of our adventure. The station sees over 100,000 riders daily many on Amtrak trains and many others on the D.C. area…

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An Operations Weekend – A Different Kind of Model Railroad Event

The public is enjoying watching model railroaders operate the traveling 120 foot by 60 foot portable layout of the Miami Valley Modular Club from Dayton, Ohio. Most model railroad events involve layout tours, instructional clinics and meetings. The Crossville, Tennessee Model Railroad Club in conjunction with the Headquarters Division of the National Model Railroad Association’s…

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