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.

Advertisements

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

tcsgl06a

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?
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 3; 18 January 2019

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.

Track standards- parallel track spacing for Maine On2

Parallel track spacing can be a problem for Maine On2 (and other scales) layout builders at the design stage, particularly if they need to shoehorn a design into restricted space, as there is not a lot of information around for guidance, but here’s what we have found.

The NMRA Standard for model railroad parallel track spacing is S-8 which can be viewed here. The general view of the Maine Two Foot modellers is that this standard is not particularly helpful as it depends upon interpretation and interpolation, but still does not give clear results for On2. This was so eloquently put by Yahoo! group member Hilary Smith very many moons ago:-

In my reading so far, I have either not come across spacing discussions or have overlooked them. Looking at NMRA S-8 Track Center Standards for Class II (small four-wheel truck diesels; small steam; old-time, logging, branch line rolling stocking stock) O scale standard gauge puts tangent track at 3.75″ (or 15 scale feet) apart, and for a curve of 41.5″ radius, 3.8125″ apart. For On3, tangents are 2.75″ and for 41.5″ radius, 3.375″, proportionally much wider spacing in curves relative to tangents than in standard gauge. Comparing On3 tangent spacing with standard gauge shows that the track centerlines are a full 1″ or four feet closer together, but on curves only 0.4375″ (or 1.75 feet) closer together. So, are On2 cars no skinnier or longer than their On3 counterparts meaning that On3 spacing standards are a good choice? Or should the centerlines be closer still? Thanks for any observations, experience, or advice.

Hilary Smith,  Northern Virginia

 

The post got two replies;-

Terry Smith: The Maine two foot passenger cars can be longer than was common on three foot gauges, meaning that models of Maine cars “cut the corners” more than the equivalent three foot lines. The controlling dimension is the truck centres. I think that three foot narrow gauge cars are slightly wider in general than two foot, but not sufficiently different to make a difference modelling wise for track centres. ie using the On3 data will be OK for On2.

Trevor Marshall:  
You asked about spacing between tracks on tangents and curves for On2 layouts. I think it’s safe to say, as Terry Smith suggested in his reply, that passenger cars are the critical equipment for curves. Therefore, if you have such a car (SR&RL – not, say, Monson, whose lone passenger car was much shorter), you could do your own testing:

1 – lay a minimum radius curve on a surface on which you can draw with a pencil. You can either spike down a piece of On2 flex, or just a pair of rails, directly onto, say, a 1×6 piece of pine.

2 – put the car on the track.

3 – holding a pencil at each end of the car on the outside of the curve, roll the car along the track so the pencil draws a line on your surface

4 – repeat holding a pencil at the midpoint of the car on the inside of the curve.

5 – measure the offset between the track centerline and each line you’ve drawn.

Note that the pencil line will be slightly offset from the edge of the car – that’s built-in clearance for you. If you don’t yet have a passenger car – or don’t want to use that nicely painted model as a marking device – you could always cut a passenger-car-sized piece from styrene or wood (doesn’t have to be exact, but should be at least as large as the car is, corner to corner), add some bolsters from styrene strip under it at the proper locations, and screw some On2 trucks to it. You could even add pencil holders at each corner and in the middle if you like. Build two of them and you can check clearance on the layout before running your real models through. Heck, even add vertical pieces at the ends and in the center to turn one into a clearance car for bridges, buildings, holes in the backdrop, etc.

That’s curves for you. For straights, I have two standards: For transfer tracks, freight platforms, or other places where cars will be spotted adjacent to each other or adjacent to a structure with the intent that plates be dropped between them for the transfer of goods via hand-trucks or strong backs, I use my widest pieces of equipment to lay the tracks as close together as possible without sideswiping. For other places, I’ve spaced tangent track on 3″ centers. This is way more than the minimum spacing required, but it looks right to me – narrow gauge yards tend to have a spare, open feeling to them, and 3″ spacing allows for an O scale figure to stand between cars on adjacent tracks without getting sideswiped. Remember, the minimum is not always the best.

Hope this helps. – Trevor in Toronto

Some time later, the question was asked again, and this time the replies included references to the Maine Two Foot prototypes and other modellers’ experience.  

sizecomp01a

Bob Schlechter: Scaling from the prototype photo above, taken at Bridgton Junction, gives approximately 8′ 7″ to 8′ 9″ as the center to center distance of the two foot trackage to the standard gauge trackage. The photo was taken from the roof of a standard gauge box car looking downward at the trains and trackage giving a good vantage point.

bob02pt01

Bob Schlechter: on my Kennebec Central diorama (above) I used 8 1/2 scale feet center to center. Looks good for prototype spacing but if one is going to do lots of operation and switching you may want it wider to allow for full size fingers to be able to reach in between cars!

 

tcspt01a

Terry Smith: “I used 2½” spacing for straight parallel tracks widening to 2¾” around the curved sections (36” radius) on the Reading iteration of my P&SR (pictured above). I added the extra bit of clearance around the curves because I had a passing loop cum staging tracks that were bent round a 90 degree corner in parallel.
I do not recall having problems with access for manual uncoupling (using a Rix wand for my Kadee’s) or with interfering overhangs/underhangs with the longer rolling stock (coaching stock and Bridgton 34 foot freight stock) or locomotives like the large Forney’s, (B&SR/B&HR #7 & #8), or SR&RL #24 using these values.

 

Bob Harper: I use 3″ spacing on my On3 tracks and 2½” on my On2,  which reflects the difference in width of the real rolling stock – 8′ on the 3′ and 6′ on the 2′ lines. Looking at Franklin on the FAQ’s will show how this looks.

Editor: see the picture above of Bob’s Franklin module where the slight out of focus plus lighting highlight the tracks. To view more pictures of Bob’s Franklin module on another browser page, click here.

Bob Harper continues: Obviously the throw-over of the long On2 coaches is important, but I have found that the critical dimension is the cab on SR&RL #23. This is far wider than anything else (apart from a snow plow?), and my mistake of having the driver leaning out of the side window made clearances even worse! He has since been repositioned.

But another factor to bear in mind is the sense of proportion of the whole scene. Unless we are very fortunate with the space available, we inevitably have to fore-shorten out scenes, and trying to keep a prototypical width while losing the prototypical length can lead to the eye perceiving the track spacing to be too wide. In order to keep the overall scene in proportion, it may be necessary to slightly reduce the track spacing from prototypical standards.

 

Trevor Marshall: I like the generously spaced look of the Maine Two Foot yards, like in the picture below of Bridgton on the B&SR/B&HR;-

tpmpt02a

Trevor continues: I’ve used 3″ centers on my On2 layouts. I find it gives that appropriately “NG” look.

tpmpt10a

Above is a picture showing Enoch Pond station area under construction in the first iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR, which captures the spaced out look between the tracks.

tpmpt05b

This is a rare overhead shot of the Hebron Pond Slate Company sheds and passenger depot on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

tpmtp12a

Trevor continues: – I built a test track board that included both 2′ and standard gauge tracks, side by side, like a transfer yard (illustrated above by the interchange yard at Monson Junction). I lined things up visually – used a standard gauge and 2′ boxcar and double checked my spacing with an engine. I think I left a scale 6″ between the equipment, and raised the 2′ gauge line so that the floors of the cars were level.

What I did NOT do was check the spacing with a 2′ gauge plow. ……..Guess what? They’re a lot wider than other equipment. So, if you can get a plow or mock up the width of one (a block of balsa would do), it’s a good idea for checking clearances.

I think I’d still build the transfer tracks close like I did. Crews will just have to shovel the tracks by hand, or plow when there are no standard gauge cars in the yard.

Editor (18-12-2016): I’ve just found my plans of the Bridgton snow plow #2, which measures 8ft 10ins wide at its maximum – a lot different from the normal 6ft 6in to 6ft 9ins width of Bridgton freight cars and coaches. The model snow plow that Trevor acquired was built from a SRCS kit for SR&RL #513, which measures 8ft 4ins wide at its maximum.

Editor: Here’s a picture of the interchange yard at Snowdon on the second iteration of Trevor’s S&PCRR.

tpmpt03a

For more pictures of Trevor’s layouts click here. Well worth a browse!

If you have different suggestions and/or experience and would care to share it with us then please contact us.

 

 

Custom Brass – SR&RL Boxcar #67 kit, circa 1975.

boxcarx1200ad01

Custom Brass announced their wooden craftsman style boxcar kit with their advertisement in the September/October 1975 edition of the NG&SL Gazette.

 

ebcbboxcarkit01

 

ebcbboxcarkit02

The Custom Brass SR&RL #67 Boxcar kit was typical of what was called “a craftsman style kit”, meaning that compared to today’s (2016) kits, significant cutting, trimming and use of tools to fit details was expected.

The picture above shows the construction style well. The wooden pieces in the upper right are a milled floor (with integral side, intermediate and centre sills), the shaped sub-roof piece and two end blocks. These formed the basic body to which scribed side and end sheathing was applied, followed by plain sheeting for the roof and then strip-wood for fascia’s, ladders and roof walks.

The Custom Brass kit features a bag of black plastic details for the airbrake cylinders, other brake gear and NBW’s, and a bag of brass details for the stirrup steps, queen posts and brake wheel.

Trevor Marshall’s second S&PCRR boxcar, built from the NJ/CB kit

tpmcbbox01

In June 2007 Trevor Marshall posted the following message to the On2 Yahoo! group;-

S&PCRR doubles its boxcar fleet

Hi List:

Yes, it’s true. Until today, my On2 railroad had ONE boxcar – a Sandy River Car Shops kit built by a friend and acquired when he sold off his On2 equipment. I’ve just been too busy building flat cars for the slate quarry.

However, I decided to do something different – one can only build so many flat cars in a row, after all – so a while ago I started work on an NJ International wooden kit (acquired from another friend who was selling off his On2 equipment… hmm: I see a pattern!). The kit was for SR&RL boxcars 67-76, which were 28-foot cars. I modeled it as Somerset & Piscataquis Counties #68.

This was an interesting experience.

The kit included all the basics, but was missing information like how to route brake rods and pipes, and many details like the dozens of NBWs used on grab irons, etc. Plus, of course, a tin roof made of individual panels of thick embossing tin.

I’ve posted a few photos in the TPM-Projects folder in the photos section of the web site. Editors’ note the pictures are shown below.

It’s “finished”, although I’m waiting for some air hoses to add to the ends. The S&PCRR now has TWO boxcars!

Happy modeling…
– Trevor

tpmcbbox02

xx

tpmcbbox03

xx

tpmcbbox04

Originally posted 19-08-2016, updated 20-08-2016.