Bridgton line doors – a temporary post

To illustrate a current thread on the Yahoo! group;-

View shows two scratchbuilt doors. The freight door is Evergreen scribed styrene sheet, and the accommodation door is built from Slater’s Plasticard (or similar) plain styrene sheeting. The white framing on the accommodation door was cut from .010″ sheet in strips.

 

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Seen at the Mickleover Winter meet 2019

The following “new to me” parts were seen at the UK 7mm NGA Trent Valley local groups “winter meet” on the 26th January 2019 at Mickleover, near Derby, and may be of interest to Maine two Foot modelers, particularly those who follow the Bridgton line.

This picture shows the Grandt Line part number 3629 (left), placed against a drawing of the Hetch Hetchy part #8601 from the Portland Products catalogue.

Apart from not having a central mullion dividing the lower panel, it appears to be identical to station doors used on the original stations on the Bridgton line. For the Bridgton modeler it is a relatively simple matter to add this piece compared to scratch-building a complete door and frame.

This picture shows the Grandt Line window part number 3762 (left) described as 30″ x 56″ 6/6 double hung compared to the Tichy Train Group window part number 2006 (group of three) described as double hung window, 38″ wide x 66″ high, with glazing & shades (not shown).

The Grandt Line item is a standard choice for the Bridgton line modeller, but the Tichy part will be a useful addition where larger windows are required.

 

 

 

Top posts for 2018

The editors would like to wish all the contributors a Happy New Year and thank them for their material used in the past year. We also hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.

The most viewed posts (*) for the calendar year 2018 were;-

#1- MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#2– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module.

#3– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module.

#4– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module – Goes West – to New England.

#5- MaineOn2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

#6- MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL.

Click on the blue lettering to visit the topic on another browser page.

This is a rather different listing compared to those of previous calendar years, but it still has a familiar look, with Trevor Marshall’s now dismantled layout topping the list again. This is the first time that all six top places have been filled by layout posts.

Activity this year has been down on previous years, with fewer new topics posted and visitor numbers being slightly down on last year. The overall viewing and specific topic viewing numbers, which are used to produce these end of year rankings, are both significantly lower than those of the last few years.

The nationality of viewers had been pretty stable over the previous years, has seen some ranking changes this year. The USA still leads with some 77% of the 2018 total viewings, but Canada came in second with 4.7% and the United Kingdom slipped to third place with 4.2%, reversing their previous rankings. Next came Australia (2.8%), Switzerland (2.1%) and Germany (1.8%).

The blog has recorded visits from 55 different countries around the globe this year.

We still have more topics and content in-process and may well find errors to correct and additional information to add to existing postings, so keep coming back in the coming year.

Terry,

on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

(*) as recorded by WordPress, using direct visits to the topic/posting.

Farewell to Grandt Line

Grandt Line has been a major supplier of injection moulded parts for US Outline Railroad modelers in various scales for nearly sixty years, but has now closed, and they have now sold the tooling, production machinery and rights to make parts to another company.

This post will focus on Grandt Lines activities and parts to support O scale Maine Two Foot modeling.

The company was started some 60 years ago by Cliff Grandt, an exceptional modeler as well as a toolmaker, who had a hankering for narrow gauge prototypes. From a recent search through the early issues of Finelines and Slim Gauge News, it seems  that one of Cliff’s first Maine Two Foot items was the SR&RL Railcar pedestal axlebox introduced in 1968.

In 1972 following the exit of a previous supplier a couple of years earlier, Grandt Line plugged a major gap in vital materials when they introduced their Two Foot wheel sets to ¼AAR standards, shown below.

Note the Boston lettering on the face of the wheel.

Whilst the majority of the items produced by Grandt Line for retail sales were injection moulded plastic, the company also produced some items in brass mainly for trade customers, such as the door and window sets some of which are illustrated below, which were commissioned by Custom Brass for use in the manufacture of their imported  brass passenger car models in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have subsequently been offered to the retail market in both brass and plastic.

 

In 1982 Grandt Line produced a generic Maine Two Foot freight car truck, moulded in Delrin, and which is still available – one of the staples for many Maine On2 modellers over the years.

 

Other parts produced specifically for the Maine Two Foot rolling stock modeler were the 4 rung ladders for the B&SR boxcars, stake pockets suitable for two foot flat cars and the large nut and square washers used on the ends of truss rods by the SR&RL and WW&FR with scale reproductions of the company lettering.

 

In addition, the company acquired the tooling of the Hetch Hetchy Scale Models concern and re-introduced a number of Maine Two Foot specific doors, windows and other architectural details.

The company employed a number of family members and they decided that on their  retirement that they would prefer to close the business as Grandt Line and offer the tooling and production rights for sale to another supplier.

It is only recently (Fall/Autumn of 2018) that the Grandt family announced that the production rights and tooling were acquired by The San Juan Company in Colorado.

The San Juan Company have made a general announcement of intending to continue to supply parts in the future. In a message posted to the Maine On2 group on the 14th November, Doug Junda (one of the owners of The San Juan Company) stated that they were currently building inventory in California prior to moving equipment to Colorado.

In a general message last week, Doug Junda stated that they had finished building inventory and were now moving the stocks of O scale parts and some related production machinery to Colorado.

We have retained our side bar link to the Grandt Line web site for the time being as it still contains much useful information for the modeller.

Updated 17 Jan 2019 

 

Hetch Hetchy Scale Models – a work in progress

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Hetch Hetchy Scale Models were based in Hamden, Connecticut and run by expert modeler Andy Miller. The company actively promoted their kits for water tanks and logging equipment in magazines such as The Narrow  Gauge and Shortline Gazette from the mid to late 1970’s.

It is believed that Bob Werner of The Hobby Barn arranged for Hetch Hetchy Scale Models to produce injection moulded styrene detail parts for Maine Two Foot and other New England prototypes that were retailed exclusively by The Hobby Barn, and included in a number of Peter Barney’s Sandy River Car Shops kits.

An idea of what Hetch Hetchy offered is given by the listings from the Hobby Barn catalog of the late 1970’s;-


Note that doors 8605 & 8606 are shown upside down in their frames.

Hetch Hetchy Scale Models were a major supplier of parts to SRCS for their Strong Station and similar kits. A selection of the Hetch Hetchy parts from the SRCS O scale Strong Station kit is shown below.

Most Hetch Hetchy parts are noted for their fine detail and the sharpness of their moulding, but the Strong Chimney part is unique for representing an old weathered stack with uneven surfaces as seen in close up below.

 

In the early 2000’s, after a fairly long period of parts not being available, the moulds were acquired by the Grandt Line company and many parts were re-introduced, a few of which are shown below.

 

Here is a partial listing of the Maine Two Foot parts originally produced by Hetch Hetchy which were listed by Grandt Line.

O scale Maine Windows

 

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8401 6 pane 30” x 28” 3761 Kingfield Station
8402 12 pane 30” x 56” 3762 Kingfield Station
8403 12 pane 38” x 86” 3763 Kingfield Station? 
8404 2 pane 28” x 26” 3764
8405 3 pane 28” x 48” 3765
8406 3 pane 28” x 64” 3766
8407 2 pane 18” x 78” 3767 Strong Station
8408 4 pane 38” x 78” 3768 Strong Station
8409 Double 4 pane 78” x 78” 3769 Strong Station
8410 Pool Hall Window 56” x 82” 5 pane 3779

O scale Maine Doors

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8601 4 panel 34” x 7’ 6” 3629 Bridgton style?
8602 4 panel w/window 34” x 6’ 10” ? Kingfield?
8605 7 panel 39” x 7’ 3” 3630 Strong Station
8606 7 panel 49” x 7’ 3” 3631 Strong Station

O scale Maine Details

Hetch Hetchy p/n Description Grandt p/n
8801 Chimney ???? Strong Station
8802 Eaves Braces 3558 Strong Station
8803 Cupola Louvres 3570 Strong Station

 

Rev 4; 27 January 2019

Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Franklin module goes West …..to New England

Our regular viewers will know Bob Harper and his travels with his Maine style sections of his home layout. His most recent adventure has been to attend The Amherst Railway Show at the Great Eastern Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in January 2018. In this post Bob has written and taken photographs showing how the module is packed to withstand the rigours of airfreight and other travels. Bob’s brother, Gerald, also a keen model railroader lives in Toronto, so it is natural for Bob to travel to Toronto, and then drive down to the US venues.

Before the Amherst show, Bob & Gerald took the opportunity to visit Trevor Marshall to view his home layout Port Rowan in Toronto;-

Bob Harper watches as a freight extra rolls out of Port Rowan, and later commented
“beautiful work, and very British in concept, but sadly not portable of course.”


Gerald Harper captures a CNR gas electric arriving at Port Rowan on train M233’s schedule.

Click here to view Bob’s Franklin module and here to view Bob’s Megantic module on new browser pages.

Click here to visit Trevor’s Port Rowan blog on a new browser page.

Click here to view the Amherst Railway show website on a new browser page.

 

FRANKLIN GOES TO AMHERST

After the relative ease of taking Franklin to the Narrow gauge Convention in Augusta, Maine in 2016, I got over-ambitious and planned to do it again, but on a larger scale.

There is an enormous general railway show at West Springfield, Massachusetts, every January, put on by the Amherst Railway Society; probably the biggest show in the US, with 8 acres of hall space and around 20-25000 attendees each year. I got cheeky and asked if I could come, and was welcomed with open arms! Fans of The Simpsons will know that they live in W. Springfield! So I arranged for the layout to come with me to Toronto in late January, and we headed off again over the border (a very tedious experience this time) in my brothers truck.

There was a mighty difference this time compared to the Augusta trip in August 2016; the temperature was -10 degrees Celsius and the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers were piles of ice – great blocks built up along both banks, and the whole way across in places. That said, we were very lucky with the weather generally, given how bad it could have been. Everything generally went smoothly at the show, the layout in particular running perfectly, though we had some difficulty with general arrangements and information. Nearly all the layouts and trade stands come every year, and they all know exactly what to do; so information for new exhibitors was very sparse. As a result, we never found the Saturday evening show dinner, though we didn’t go hungry! Packing up on Sunday evening went smoothly, and then another long drive back to Toronto.

This time, rather than bringing the layout straight back to the UK with me, I decided I would leave it, and the rolling stock, in my brothers workshop in Toronto. This means that I can also take it to the Canadian Narrow Gauge Exhibition at Schomberg, 30 miles or so north of Toronto, on Saturday 21st April, and the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Minneapolis in early September.  Obviously this saves 2 round trips for the layout, and an awful lot of hassle, though I did have a bit more formality with Canadian Customs this time given that it was staying in the country for 9 months rather than 10 days. So now I’m back in the UK, with only exhibition appearances for my Great Western standard and broad gauge layouts until the Autumn.

Is it worth doing? Financially obviously not, but as an experience of a type of show completely different from a British one, then definitely yes. Although there were thousands of people there, the interest seems to be in the trade stands rather than the layouts. There were rarely more than 1 or 2 people watching any of the layouts, but those who did watch Franklin were usually engrossed for a long time. In particular, everybody was fascinated by my full turntable fiddle yard, where complete trains are turned ready for their next trip. Some people use a simple traverser, but a full rotating yard is a completely new experience. There were a good number of people manning the Maine preservation societies stands, and they made up a large part of my audience. It seemed wonderful to them that their favourite lines could actually be modelled in a meaningful way, with smooth and reliable operation and many of the features of the Maine 2 footers modelled in such a small space. So it was greatly rewarding to present such a novel way of modelling in the land of the actual prototype.

Bob Harper, February 2018.

One of the scenic boards being boxed up

Boxing up the fiddle yard, lighting fascia, and curtains

A snug fit in the Ford Mondeo Estate for the trip to the airport.

The whole layout after collection from Canadian Customs on the other side of the pond.

The layout unpacked and set up in one of the 4 halls of the Amherst Railway Show at the Great Eastern Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Note that most photographs have not been cropped and edited purposely in order to show the vast amount of space at this show and venue.

A local New Englander has a go operating my New England layout!

Although there were 17000 people at the show, it was never crowded in our hall, but there was a steady trickle of Maine 2 foot fans from the WW&FR and SR&RL Museum stands coming round to see, and all seemed amazed that such an interesting layout could be fitted in so small a space, and that everything ran so well, with smooth, slow shunting. They were also all amazed by the fiddle yard, especially when they realised that it could turn the whole trains round 180 degrees ready to go out again! So while a lot of cost, work and stress was invested getting Franklin there, it seems to have been a worthwhile educational effort, as it was a completely different concept from all the other layouts there.

One of the many modular layouts in the show; this one shows the fairly common scenic mismatch of adjoining boards.

However this vast layout has a properly planned gradation from scene to scene. Any Exhibition Manager would be envious of the space available!

A general shot showing the staggering size of the show. Remember that this is only one of four halls, though two of them were smaller.

Scenes from an On30 modular layout. The standard of scenic modelling was exceptionally high, though some of the physical details are a little unlikely! Sadly this layout suffered from a seeming inability to run any actual trains reliably, a common fault with this type of communal project.

 

This 0-4-0 2ft gauge loco from the Edaville Railway was in steam outside the main hall, though restricted its action to regular whistle blasts.

Click here to view a short YouTube segment showing this loco at the Amherst Railway show on a new browser page.

I was surprised how quickly we were able to get the layout dismantled and boxed up again ready for the open air trip back to Toronto. Normally it travels in the back of my car, with no extra protection. I’m glad we did not try that this time, as we ran into a blizzard just after we re-crossed the border into Canada.

All the rolling stock and ancillaries came in these crates, which also braved the elements in the back of the truck. The crucial piece of equipment is the power converter, which I bought in Canada. This converts European 230 volts to N. American 115 volts, or vice versa in my case. So everything on the layout (lighting, for example) was operated at its normal 230 volts. This seemed easier than trying to rig up temporary 115 volt lighting, power transformer etc. It worked very well, though got pretty warm after a full days operation. None of my UK light bulbs got broken on the flight either, though I had taken several spares just in case.

The next trips;-

The baseboard boxes and most of the rolling stock have been left in Toronto, so I can go back and do the Canadian Narrow gauge show at Schomberg on April 21st, and Narrow gauge Convention in Minneapolis, 5-8 September. I will then bring everything back finally.

Click here to view the Schomberg show and here to visit the 2018 Minneapolis Convention site on new browser pages.

Top posts for 2017

The editors would like to wish all the contributors a Happy New Year and thank them for their material used in the past year during which the blog received its 100,000th viewing.

The most viewed posts (*) during the calendar year 2017 were;-

#1- MaineOn2 layouts – Trevor Marshall’s Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR.

#2- MaineOn2 layouts – Peter Barney’s SR&RL.

#3- Moe Example – a password protected example showing Moe Mechling’s inimitable styles for drawings and letters.

#4- MaineOn2 layouts – Bill Kerr’s SR&RL.

#5– Maine On2 layouts – Bob Harper’s Megantic module.

#6- Couplers.

Click on the blue lettering to visit the topic on another browser page.

The Moe page was posted to the blog in support of a then current discussion on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group board at the end of June 2017. For copyright and other reasons, it was posted under password protection, with the password being posted to members of that group on June 29 2017.

Yet again, this is a rather different listing compared to those of previous calendar years, with three of the top placings being taken by new topics posted this year, and four of the top placings being taken by layouts, although regrettably only two still exist.

Activity this year has generally been down on last years record numbers, in terms of lower numbers of new topics posted, slightly lower viewing numbers and lower numbers of specific topic viewings which are used to produce these end of year rankings. The number of visitors was up by nearly 5% on last years total.

The nationality of viewers was pretty stable, with some 72% of the 2017 total viewings coming from the USA, the United Kingdom came in second with 7% and Canada placed third with 4%. Next came Australia (3.3%), France(2.8%), Germany (2.1%) and Japan (2.0%). The blog has recorded visits from 56 different countries around the globe this year.

We hope that our viewers have found the site of interest over the last year.
We have more topics and content in-process and may well find errors to correct and additional information to add to existing postings, so keep coming back in the coming year.

 

Terry,

on behalf of the editorial team (Trevor, Matt & Terry).

(*) as recorded by WordPress, using direct visits to the topic/posting.