Dick Elwell is a prodigy when it comes to wiring and scenery. It’s rare for a modeler to be carefully skilled in both areas of modeling since they are contrastingly different from one another. Allen Keller describes wiring as regimented and linear, whereas he describes scenery as free form. Dick essentially engineered both the wiring and scenery on the Hoosac Valley railroad. He provides a sneak peek at the impressive wiring and the spectacular scenery.
Trackwork and Operations
In part five of the 10-part Hoosac Valley series, Allen Keller and Dick Elwell discuss the trackwork and operations on the layout. Nearly the entire track is hand laid except for the hidden areas. Prefabricated track wasn’t an option back when the Hoosac Valley track was built in 1959. Allen questions if Dick would still hand lay the track even if he was given the opportunity to choose prefabricated track instead. Dick stays true to hand laying track and explains why he prefers it and lists the advantages it offers. Allen also asks Dick if there is anything he would change about his railroad. Over the years, Dick has changed very little of the main line track plan although he did make changes to offer the ability to walk around the layout. Dick dives deeper into other changes he would make if the opportunity presented itself.
This episode of the Hoosac Valley series concludes with Allen asking Dick what type of materials he uses for scenery. Dick strictly uses Hydrocal in his layout. His response leads us into the next episode on creating scenery with Hydrocal. He offers a tutorial on how to appropriately mix the plaster and water to get the best results and shows how to create a rock formation using Hydrocal.