The Growing Library

As I’ve been researching the period and railroad of my current layout, the next layout, and 1940’s US railroading in general, I’ve seen the need to expand the reference library. So I spent the modeling budget for the next three months on a spate of books:

The recently-weighted boxcars are awaiting Weathering.

Clockwise from the top:

Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice 1941

Reprinted by Kalmback 1975. Most modelers who’ve been in the hobby a while have heard of the Locomotive and Car Cyclopedias. And most folks consider them essential for serious rolling stock scratch building. Those with an interest/education/experience in things mechanical spend hours between the covers. It is a nice book.

And comes with a price to match. I’d seen this copy at The Whistle Stop train shop for the last 18 months, and like everyone else, I’d re-shelved it when I saw the price. I’m contemplating a locomotive scratch-build, and knew I was going to want this book. The shop price was actually about $50 less than comparable copies online, Oh, well, it’s only money. There was an unexpected bonus. General Motors spent some money promoting their EMD FT locomotive:

Two more illustrations on the reverse.

Eat ramen for a month, but if you have an interest in prototype railroading, get the Cyclopedia for your era.

The Mill on the Boot

Murray Morgan University of Washington Press 1982

I bought this book because I’m half-way looking at logging railroads around the Tacoma area in the 1940’s. The book gives the history of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company, a concern that processed timber in Tacoma from 1888 to 1957. The company ran a fair-sized standard-gauge logging road interchanging with the Northern Pacific. I was hoping the book would have some information on the railroad, but doesn’t have enough to be useful.

The Official Guide of the Railways May 1951

National Railway Publication Company May 1951

A monthly publication that substituted for the Internet in the transportation and logistics industries of the day. This copy is an original, but there are reprints from various years available. Books from the 20’s, 60’s, and 70’s are reasonably available, but supply falls off asymptotically as the 30’s and 40’s are approached.

It was an industry publication, so companies chose the amount of space they were willing to pay for. Smaller outfits often have a half-page or quarter-page ad with basic information, but most of the Class 1’s have pages of company information, route maps, freight and passenger timetables, fare information, and often the passenger consists and power for most or all of the scheduled trains. This was a working publication for people who needed to get passengers and cargo from here to there. It is just an amazing amount of information that runs about $40 – $50 a copy. If you can find one near your modeling era, buy it.

American Locomotives 1900 – 1950

Edwin P. Alexander Bonanza Books 1950

The book documents scores of steam locomotives introduced to American rails between 1900 and 1950. Each year features an important or distinctive steam locomotive introduced that year, and many years have several examples. Each entry has a photo, usually a builder’s, an elevation dimensional line drawing or shop drawing, and a brief description.

This was a bit of a flyer, as I hadn’t heard of or seen this book, but the available images looked interesting. It’s a little strange to read of steam locomotives in the present tense, and the author noted in 1950 that “. . . steam will be with us for many years to come.” As we know, in five years American steam would be essentially gone, and have almost completely disappeared in ten.

The book will be a good secondary reference, and I discovered the Pennsylvania RR Class S2 and the Chesapeake & Ohio Class M1. For fans/modelers of the steam and transition eras, the book is probably worth the $20 – $30 price for a good copy. In fact, the book is much cheaper now than it was new. The dust jacket has the original $6.95 price, or about $75 today.

AAR Loading of Commodities on Open Top Cars 1946

I bought this book because it was relatively inexpensive, and it’s an original document relevant to my modeled era. I do not think I’ll find more comprehensive information on loading open top cars in the late 1940’s than this.

It’s notable that the seller enclosed a hand-written message in a card. In a separate envelope. It’s not uncommon for sellers to enclose messages, but this was unusual.

Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History

Donald B. Robertson Caxton Printers 1995

Donald Robertson apparently made it his life’s work after retirement to document every railroad in the Western US that had ever existed with 10 or more miles of track. The other two volumes are The Desert States and the Mountain States. This book was obtained as a reference for logging railroads around Tacoma. The work is a little different in that it documents Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) as well as non-ICC registered railroads. If a railroad wasn’t chartered as common-carrier, it wasn’t required to register with the ICC. This is a large reason why it’s often difficult to find information on company and logging railroads. If folks don’t have to keep records, they usually won’t.

A typical entry includes company information, map (if known), locomotive roster, and sometimes a timetable summary. Rail weight and maximum grade are listed if known. Mr. Robertson did have the habit of listing locomotives by Whyte classification, including electrics and Diesels. This is a bit annoying as electrics and diesel-electrics are commonly referred to by model number, so one has to cross-reference the wheel arrangement with the builder in the roster to guess what locomotive it may be. Overall, if one models US Western railroading, this is a useful reference.

Let’s Run Some Trains!

Enough reading about railroading.

A rake of log flats from the Peninsula waits on the pier.

Moving cars around. The track work on this side of the layout with the longer log flats and steam locomotive requires extra moves. There are five cars to retrieve today, so the train has to be made up on the fuel dealer track, then moved to the main. The boxcars on the team track are mtys set out for the next crew to pick up.

That’s a long train for the NPP, and really more than the layout can handle. But the logging season is in full swing, and it’s good to have a challenge every now and then.









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Wheeler – Osgood Forklift Pt. 2

After looking at how the model was printed on the sprue, I cut the parts apart. The model comes in four main parts with the wheels, body, mast (the upright part) and forks printed on a common sprue. The model is complete as printed, but as they say, what you get is a starting point for what you want.

Modifications included shaving off the propane tank on the rear deck and cutting the forks off the frame (both vertical and horizontal) and setting them at the outer limit of the fork frame. After looking at the stock fork spacing and looking at photos, the wider spacing seemed more appropriate.

The upper tweezers hold the mast. The mast requires some assembly. The forks and mast lift cylinder are printed as separate parts, and must be added. The tweezers were very helpful as a holding clamp. The lower tweezers have the mast lift cylinder assembly. The stock part is just the cylinder, but I added a length of 0.5 mm rod to the bottom end so the cylinder could lift the mast higher. I have prototype photos. I know this is esoteric modeling, but I pay attention to how things work. Little details, even if not consciously registered, enhance the scene. The pages under the plate are the internet-gathered documentation for the project: about a half-dozen sheets of forklift photos and drawings. The model itself comes with nada. But the kit is pretty much self-explanatory.

I noticed that many logging machines had ‘claws’ to keep logs sliding off the forks. I hadn’t originally planned on this modification, but decided it was worth the effort, as it would help set the scene. I made the claws out of 0.010″ wire, and used 0.5 mm rod for the hinge rod. The curves in the claws were formed by bending the wire around a hobby knife handle. The prototype claws are elliptical sections rather than circular, but I figured the wire would spring back enough to get a good section.

Claw assembly complete. I considered modeling the claws open, but the work was fiddly enough that I went with two points of contact. After mounting the mast to the body, the only other details were the exhaust stack and wheels, but they could wait. The next stop was Paint.


Everything shot with Rustoleum Grey primer. Photos of Boss forklifts showed they used Black wheels, which was fine with me. Craft store acrylic Black (which is pretty flat) took care of that. The body and mast were a bit tougher. I prefer rattle can colors, because they are usually widely available, but the color I wanted wasn’t available, so I went with Tamiya TS-34 Camel Yellow, which is yellower than any camel I’ve seen. I overbrushed the model with a couple of coats of craft Saffron Yellow, which was the color I wanted, but the coverage was terrible on the primered model.

Color coat, along with Silver on the exposed hydraulic pistons, and Black on the cylinders. I represented the fork lift chain with 6/0 Black thread stiffened with CA. The fork guides on the mast were dry-brushed with Black. This is as good as the model will look, because Weathering is next.


From photos and inspection I noticed the primary color on outdoor-use forklifts appeared to be Rust. The rear bumper and forks especially did not appear to retain paint long. I have a bottle of Model Master acrylic Rust, but haven’t mastered it’s application. On the other hand, it’s hard to overdo mill forklift weathering. My concern is making applied Rust look more organic than something painted on.

Because the paint is acrylic, water comes in handy. I started with full-strength paint on the rear, mast, and forks, then smudged it with brush-applied water, and blotted it a bit. It’s a work in progress. I brushed very thin Rust on the whole model, then went to the pastels.

A light coat of White with a fan brush, then Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna brushed on with emphasis on the lower body.

After Weathering I attached the wheels and exhaust stack. Forklifts are rear-steering, and the model allows for positioning of the rear wheels at angle. There are rods protruding from the rear wheel wells, and if you cut them to appropriate length you can show turning wheels, an option I did not choose.

So now Wheeler – Osgood can unload timber flats. I had expected to leave the project here, but it doesn’t look right. And it doesn’t look right because it’s a stretch to believe the forklift can reach the top of the load on the flatcar. I noticed this during the build, and considered 0.040″ and 0.060″ styrene for a pad. Some work to do here.

Some One Else Running Trains

A railroad bonanza on 15 May:

On the way to work, a Portland & Western train bringing empties from the Stinson mill through Hillsboro. They must have cleared the facility, as this train went on for a while. It felt like 40 -50 cars, and most trains on this branch run 10 – 20 cars.

Catching up the train heading East on TV Highway (OR 8, but no one calls it that).

The power, taken at 50 mph in morning traffic. It looks like an SD-45 on point, but the roster says 3053 is an SD-40-2 downgraded from an SD-45R. The unit does not have a name. I didn’t get a good look at the trailing unit (aviate, navigate, communicate), but could be GP-39-2’s 2303 or 2311, both of which wear ATSF ‘yellowbonnet’ livery.

Later in the day in Kalama, WA. Columbia river behind the equipment, Oregon in the background. Shot from a gas station downtown. I hadn’t seen the BN ‘Executive’ scheme in quite a while. Kalama is a port on the Columbia river, and has a large timber and grain export business. There was switching going on at the elevators and ships anchored in the roads, but, work.









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When Spiders Attack

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Wheeler – Osgood Forklift

The vast Wheeler – Osgood Tacoma plant of 1948 is represented on the NPP by a Sash & Door factory on a back end of the property. The prototype used wood slab byproduct from mill processes for feed stock, but on the NPP I needed a destination for log flats. Which meant I needed a way to get logs from car to ground.

The usual way was with some sort of crane, but I’ve built two cranes for the layout, and wasn’t keen to build another. Modern operations of this type use a modified front-end loader, but the ‘articulated wheel-loader’ wasn’t invented until 1953. I decided to modify a heavy-duty forklift into a log unloader.

A little arithmetic shows that each log as modeled weighs about 1500 N-scale pounds. Forklifts able to handle this in an efficient manner were certainly available in 1948:

The last is a Unasylva product that evokes Soylent Green in 1930’s┬áSoviet Russia.

And while we’re looking at forklifts, check out this 1940 Crosley example:

I looked at several sawmill documentaries from the period to see if any forklifts were used to unload logs from railroad cars, but didn’t see any. So this will be a bit of a ‘fantasy’ model in that there is no specific prototype, but is plausible.

Because forklift design closely adheres to function, forklifts haven’t changed much externally. The plan is to procure a modern model and change as required. After poking around I bought the Boss H70 Forklift 5T from Baldylox Designs on Shapeways. About $25 to the door brings two models in Smoothest Fine Detail Plastic:

One of the exhaust stacks didn’t survive, but that probably won’t be too important. Should be interesting.


A couple more locking tweezers from Rio Grande. The tool on the right is a light duty awl, usually found in the paper-crafting department of an art supply store. I bought one a couple of months ago because it looked useful, and it is for a variety of things.

Also from Rio Grande are these examples of 60 and 80 mesh sifters. I bought these as part of the ongoing effort to improve my chain-link fence modeling. 60 mesh on the right and 80 mesh on the left. 80 mesh is scale for standard chain-link, but as suspected, the material-to-opening ratio becomes a problem. I’ll mock up some fence using the 40 and 60 mesh screen to get an idea.

Let’s Run Some Trains!

The local arrives with a couple of loads for the warehouses and an mty gondola for the ferry pier.

Spotting a car at Terminal Warehouse.

The warehouse traffic has been sorted, with two mtys stashed for the next crew to pick up. The grade up to the main is such that both handbrakes must be set. The gondola has been spotted on the team track so it’s out of the way and the outbound train can be built on the main. The rake of log cars is pulled off the pier and spotted on the bridge. A brakeman has to reasonably be able to get to the cars: no cuts between cars on the bridge.

I have got myself into a bit of a pickle here. The gondola must be spotted on the pier, but if the flats are pulled into the runaround and coupled to the caboose, there won’t be room for the locomotive to use the tail of the runaround. And there’s still another flat on the pier to be pulled. I ended up pulling the flat and coupling it to the caboose, then spotting the gondola. A lot of extra moves, but the track is what it is. I considered stashing the caboose on the team track, but that involves extra moves with the whole train. On the other hand, it would open up about a car length on the main.

In order to clear the runaround switch so the locomotive can couple on, cars have to be spotted past the points for the pier switch. An extra move.

Pulling the cars through the runaround.

Ready to roll to the second half of the job. That’s not a mirror on the right, but the caboose of the other train.

Someone Else Running Trains

Ears are plugged and mouths are open on the playground as Willamette & Pacific GP39-2 #2308 whistles through the crossing in Hillsboro.

The Westside Express Service commuter train rolls through Beaverton. The train is on a purpose-built track to the transit center about 1000 feet to the left, and the connection to the foreground W & P main is just across the street to the right. When operations commenced in 2009, the units had side skirting, but that lasted about three months, I suspect because common maintenance items like brake shoes were behind the skirts.









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NP Caboose Kit: In Service

After completing assembly it was off to the Weathering station. And while I’d built the models from prototype photos and had prototype weathering to follow, there was a hitch.

The #1231 image is from about ten years later than I model, so I couldn’t really follow that too closely. The #1229 is from 1948, but shows the caboose with the original 28″ end rails. The kit comes with the higher end rails installed during a rebuilding program from the mid 1940’s.

The exact time period of the rebuild is a bit uncertain, with several sources saying that ‘all cabooses were scheduled for rebuilding by late 1946’. Yet I have an image of a caboose with the original railings taken in 1948. ‘Scheduled for rebuilding’ is a bit indeterminate.

I think it’s safe to say that any 1200-series caboose with the higher end rails in 1948 would not be too long out of the shop. On that reasoning I decided to only lightly weather the models.

My weathering method of choice is Pan pastels, and the usual application is with an artist sponge. In this case, I only wanted to show the models some weathering, mostly a light White dusting to unify the model and some dirt along the bottom of the carbody as well as the steps and end sills. My experience with the sponges was that even the lightest loading would be too heavy for what I wanted. Maybe a brush?

I have a couple of 2″ fan brushes I use to dust the layout, and tried one lightly loaded on one of the Bachmann cabooses. It worked well enough to use on the production models. Raw Umber was used to simulate dirt along the bottom of the body and everything below. I did replace the kit brake wheels with brass ones from Gold Medal Models.


NPP caboose kit complete plate

No project is complete until the paperwork is done, and here, cleaning out the Parts plate. After filing the instructions, kit bag, photos, sketches, and other reference material, it’s time to glean what can be salvaged. I think there’s a spare platform railing and some brake parts. I’ll probably keep some of the stick-on part sheets for future parts-making, as stick-on parts can be handy.

Building the Kits

Well, that was interesting. As one forumist said about the (HO) kits: “If you haven’t done one, AMB kits will make you a better modeler.” And so they will. The kits are expensive: the current price is equivalent to a high-quality RTR car, but part of what you’re paying for is the education. But there may be more education than you bargained for. When I looked at the kit I decided that outside the resin castings and end rails, there wasn’t anything I couldn’t fabricate if I had to. And that turned out to be a useful mindset, as a number of kit-supplied parts had to be replaced, either due to part instability or outright loss. Except for a couple of extra corner braces, there’s only one of each particular part. An extra example of a few of the smallest parts would help prevent unexpected tests of modeling skill.

The kits are well-made and build into sturdy models. They have to be handled quite a lot, but no worries about the model coming apart. The stick-on parts do seem to take a couple of days to fully ‘set’ before they’ll stay in place. Of course, as the build progresses, you have to pay more attention to where you put your fingers. I tried to keep the smaller details off as long as possible.

The models biggest weakness is probably the center sill. It isn’t really designed for a ‘working’ model. Next go-round I’d probably fabricate a replacement center sill from styrene with king pin holes suitable for commercial trucks. I can’t speak for the HO version, but the modeler will probably want to take a practiced eye to the instructions, as the order-of-assembly leaves some parts (like the steps and roof details) vulnerable to damage later.

I enjoyed building the model, and most of the time looked forward to working on it. I learned useful and interesting things, and not just about this particular caboose. Like any project, toward the end it felt a bit of a slog, but I think the result justified the effort.

Short of straight scratch-building, these are probably the best models of these cabooses you will find. I’ll likely need a couple of Great Northern cabooses from the same era, and if research bears it out, I’d have no problem buying a couple more AMB kits.

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NP Caboose Kit: Roofs Again

After putting on the ends, the next step was to mount the trucks. I had to re-mount and do a bit of filing to a couple of the center sill inserts, but everything was level.

All that was left was the roof details. And there were surprisingly many.

The kit-supplied details were the roof ladder end and smoke jack. This class of caboose was equipped with the ‘wide’ or ‘narrow’ roof ladder end per prototype, and my examples were ‘wide’. It appeared that one of the cabooses had a combination of the two, but perspective can be tricky, so I shot a picture using one of the ‘fake’ cabooses:

You can see how the eye might be fooled.

The ladder ends are located on a part-sheet. I dipped the ends in liquid CA and applied, and they go on easily. The resin smoke jack was next. I experimented with a few paint combinations, and Rustoleum Primer Grey washed with Silver and dusted with Black pastel ended up on the model. I reamed the smoke jack hole with a 1/16″ drill bit and carved a bit off the mounting peg to make an easy fit. The stays were made from the 6/0 Black thread I’d used for the power lines, and stiffened with a thin coat of CA.

Looking at photos I noticed that some cabooses had an extra pipe sticking out of the roof. I could not find a drawing explanation for it nor could I find anything in the literature.

I dislike modeling things I don’t understand, but in this case, I’d have to go with gizmology. 0.5 mm styrene rod painted like the smoke jack filled the bill.

I’d noted that both cabooses had crew-made cupola sunshades, and I fabricated those from 0.015″ styrene sheet. The sun shades were made from whatever scrap could be found, so I went with Pewter Grey for color.

That was it for the 1231 caboose. Apply the brake wheels and the model is done.

#1231 with the Bachmann product it will replace.


The 1229 caboose required the same roof detail as the 1231, but with the addition of the signal platform railings. I’d made these from 28 ga wire bent to fit, and sprayed with Flat Black. Final fit was a matter of trimming the legs until they fit. I didn’t drill holes, as I figured the chance of breaking something was too high.


Looks the part.

That’s it. Assembly complete, and on to weathering.







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NP Caboose Kit: The End is Near

And a good thing, too. Parts for the next project have arrived.

Somewhat surprisingly, I’ve reached the end of the kit assembly. All that’s left are the end railings and roof details. But before any of that could happen, I had to fix some things.

When I was mounting the couplers, I mentioned that I had to cut away part of the center sill to get the couplers flush with the end. DO NOT DO THIS. What I thought was the end sill isn’t. Those are mounted to the end railing part, which has yet to be applied. If the couplers were left in place, they’d be well short of the required exposed length.

After removing the couplers and filling the hole with model putty. The razor was used to level the pad.

The other issue to address was the signal platforms on the 1229 caboose. I had cleverly used parts from the kit, but on inspection the prototype platforms were much narrower than I had modeled. Back to the shop.

The kits come with two sets of ladder platforms, as this class of caboose had ‘wide’ and ‘narrow’ roof ladder railings, and the use depends on the prototype. Both models have the ‘wide’ railing, so I thought to repurpose the unused parts for signal platforms.

The kit-salvaged part. It looks good, but the actual platform was flush with the car end.

Before I had that idea, I’d built some platforms, so a matter of cutting the ones on hand to the correct width.


Then the ladder platforms.

The platforms come with ‘fingers’ that must be bent to form the supports. The platforms aren’t level on the roof, and the supports are cut a tad long, so some adjustments are required. It can be a little tedious. The supports are rather fragile, and one platform has fabricated supports.

A word about Faller CA. I’d bought some a while ago, but it’s very viscous, and I’m more accustomed to CA that stays where you put it. I’ve seen forums with the same opinion. It has stayed in the tool box.

But the thing about tools is that they work better when used correctly. My usual method with CA is to put a small blob on the plate and use a toothpick to apply. A blob is usually good for about ten minutes before it sets too much to use. With this kit I found that even the smallest amount on the toothpick was often too much. I tried pouring a small amount of the Faller CA in an old paint cup and dipping a toothpick.

Well, well, well. Meet my new best CA friend.

The drawback to the paint cup is the glue fumes are quite noxious. There have been recent articles in the hobby press about using small squeeze bottles with needle tips, and that seems worth a look.

End Railings

Way back about three months ago when I painted the parts, I mounted the sheets on looped painters tape. I generally use this for painting as it’s relatively low-tack and will hold things in place while allowing the parts to be easily removed. But for this kit, the tape wasn’t low-tack enough.

I’ve mentioned that there are a number of very small and fine parts to these kits, and the end railings are high on fragile list. One of the end railings was damaged when removed from the tape, and I’ve been considering what to do with it when the time arrived. It’s time.

The whole examples are in the part sheet, and the damaged railing below. The origin part sheet is below, with the part location directly below the railing. You can see the entire bottom is missing, along with half of the top curve. There are also breaks in the horizontal railings. It’s a mess.

I considered scanning an example railing, making a drawing, and sending it out for laser cutting. In the interests of time and effort, I had a go at salvaging the part. I’d said earlier that I wasn’t going to fabricate N-scale railing, but I guess I’ll repair it. Cutting out the pieces still on the part sheet, I carefully CA’d everything together, and it came out not too badly.

Salvage on the left, normal part on the right. The instructions have the end rails mounted first, then the end sills and grab irons applied. I chose to construct the assembly off the car, and mount as a unit, figuring the added parts would lend stability to the fragile end railing. And that much less handling of the model.

I noticed the railing parts seem to have more relief on one side than the other, compare the left and right examples. But I found that for the ladder to orient correctly required mounting the part as on the right. I spent some time making sure I’d done things properly, but that’s the way it goes on. The railing assembly mounted fairly easily, with little adjustment required for alignment. I found it easier to glue the end sill on the bottom first, and after that had set, align and glue the top. Having the whole assembly together does make the part a bit more robust, and gives the tweezers more to grab onto. I did not add the brake wheel here, as I’m trying to keep parts within the plane of the walls as long as possible.


The caboose steps have been looming in the background for a while. The instructions have them installed prior to mounting the body to the frame, and I tacked a set in place to see how that would work. There’s not a whole lot of surface for the steps to mount to, and much handling of the model to come, so I left them off. My plan was to install the steps after the end sill and railings were in place, so the there would be more surface for gluing.

Caboose steps can be tricky to get right, and the kit doesn’t really provide the kind of positive location I was hoping for. While cleaning the resin parts, it was a little difficult to tell what might be parting marks and what might be needed for locating the part on the model. For a part that is highly visible, there’s a little more guess-work here than I’d prefer.

The major problem with mounting the steps was that the frame and body weren’t exactly the same length. You can see in the photo that there is a gap between the end wall and the frame end. This makes quite a difference. The bottom of the wall interferes with the side on the step, making mounting in the normal fashion impossible. It was either cut away part of the wall, or the side of the steps. The steps were already off the car. This situation occurred on both cars. On the ends that did line up correctly, the steps went in easily. The end result is OK, but just a bit off.

Marker Brackets and Cut Levers

Adding marker brackets was part of the original plan, and they aren’t included in the kit. This seems a little curious, as cabooses must have them, and the kit is no stranger to small parts. I made some out of pieces of part sheet from the kit and the ever-handy 0.5 mm styrene rod. These were made oversize for ease of assembly, and cut down prior to mounting. No dimensions here; just some pieces about the right size.

I agonized for a while over whether to include marker lamps, or metal flags, as the NP used for daylight operation. I did the research, and considered ways to represent markers, but decided not to. It’s another project, and although cabooses are normally rarely handled, it would be another part to potentially break off. It would look cool, but permanent markers would not be correct in all situations.

A few years ago when BLMA stopped selling N-scale cut levers (part no. 404, appropriately), I bought up what stock I could find from the local hobby shops. Because the NPP fleet uses truck-mounted couplers, the parts have gone unused. I was looking forward to adding these items to the cabooses. Except none of the several styles offered from BLMA match the prototype, so I did what everyone else does, and made some out of wire. In this case, the 28 ga wire I used for the signal platform railing.

Because I’d botched the initial coupler installation, it wasn’t really feasible to drill and tap new holes, so I straight glued the coupler pockets to the body. The couplers move freely, but CA isn’t meant to be used in a dynamic environment. Interested to see how this works.

Ends complete. Next is QC, paint, mount trucks, then roof details.

Man, it’s time for a break.

Let’s Run Some Trains!


The local arrives at the mills with a couple of log flats in tow. One goes to Wheeler-Osgood. The crew will also work Cheney Lumber, and has to sort the box cars on the interchange track. The crew has noticed right away that the interchange cars are inconveniently blocked for the work ahead.

Removing an empty gon from Cheney Lumber. The remaining cars will be re-spotted.

The gondola and the two box cars destined for the warehouses have been stashed on the disused spur at W-O. The crew pulls the mtys from interchange, and the first car is going to W-O.

The preferred spot is the second door, to avoid fouling the switch. At times seasonal or customer demands may make spotting at the first door necessary.

The second spur at W-O wasn’t in the original plan, and was only installed in the last year as part of a plan that didn’t work out. But it has added flexibility to operations, so worth the effort.

Spotting the remaining mtys at Cheney Lumber.

Retrieving the cars for the outbound train.

Someone Else Running Trains

Portland and Western doing it’s thing in southwest Hillsboro.

Ex-ATSF GP39-2 #2311 on point with classic SD-9 #1854 ‘Beaverton’ trailing. The train appeared to be hauling dirt.

One of P & W’s maintenance shops on the right.

GP39-2 #2313 ‘Lake Oswego’ brings up the rear.

A Black Day for the Northern Pacific

On 3 March 1970, the Burlington Northern was formed from the merger of the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Spokane, Portland, and Seattle, and Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroads. This date is appropriately marked on the Historical Association’s calendar.












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