Thursday, October 29, 2015

"For your reading pleasure... a quick fix."

If the current dearth of Old Main Line entries has you frustrated, consider getting your B&O fix from some sidebar links under 'Reference Resources' if you haven't already done so. The B&O Historical Society, the B&O Museum and the B&O Network all provide endless information on the railroad and related items. The Old Main Line Photo Tour is a wonderful exploration of the current line with a great historical narrative and some old photos for comparison.

Finally, both Bing and Google provide aerials and street views of much of the OML. Simply type in Ellicott City, MD or Sykesville, MD, etc. to locate the serpentine line. You'll note that Ilchester and Daniels barely exist anymore after once being bustling mill communities.
In addition to the great B&O links here, consider these two books. Herbert Harwood, Jr. is the pre-eminent B&O author, photographer and historian. His 'Impossible Challenge' is must reading for the enthusiast. Also, a trio of local historians has put together a splendid pictorial review of the Old Main Line, and beyond, in 'Reflections of the Capital Dome.'

I'll be back as soon as I can with several track plans for evaluation and some neat ideas for railroad uses of ever-day items, as well as a look at my new, super-duper work bench. And I guess we're overdue for another installment of the seemingly popular feature,'Friendly Fridays,' too. Wonder who it will be?

But for now I have some family responsibilities and a World Series to watch. My team is making its regular every-15-years appearance.
Did you know? Because the KC Royals have a pitcher named 'Duffy,' our Duffy will be known as 'Cespedes' for the duration of the series. She's good with that as long as she gets belly rubs. Let's go Mets!

Monday, October 26, 2015

"Available: One helix frame with legs... like new!"

Shortly after my Labor Day epiphany, Lance Mindheim wrote in his blog about the three basic areas of satisfaction that participants derive from the hobby, as he sees it. Emphasizing the need for self-awareness, Lance opined in his September 12, 2015 entry, "Hitting the Target of Design Success," that it is crucial to honestly evaluate that which we find most satisfying from the hobby: the visual component; the assembly component; or the operating component.

What he didn't say, perhaps because it's so obvious to everyone but me, was that advice and guidance is most relevant coming from those more experienced modelers who share similar levels of satisfaction from those three components. In other words, if you are most drawn to the visual and assembly components, like I am, it may not serve one too well to get all of their direction from those who are most interested in operating, like I did. Duh!

My 6'-3" x 6'-3" helix frame will not be used. The full assembly is available to anyone who is relatively local and is willing to handle its transport. Otherwise, it will be disassembled and the 1" x 3" clear pine will be reused somewhere, somehow inside the train room.

The removal of the helix will allow me to reconfigure my television/crew lounge and provide space for a neat workbench set-up which I'll cover in the very near future.

The reworked track plan is ongoing, but it looks like staging can be achieved by crossing the main line inside the east-end and west-end tunnels and then descend behind screening by 3% to (2) three-track staging yards. Crossovers will be added at the midway point where  the three tracks straighten out. An entry gate of undetermined design is a necessary compromise. Radii are 27, 30 and 33 inches respectively.
Apologies for the overall lapse in entries here on the Old Main Line and for my cancellation as a clinician at this past weekend's MER/NMRA, but family needs have zapped my time and energy. If you are fortunate enough to have/had your parents around into their 90's, you probably understand some of the daily issues that become stress-inducing and all-consuming.

In the meantime, check out Lance Mindheim's musings on the sidebar and see what he says about the areas of satisfaction. Hope to see you soon with some more updates and layout progress.

What has been the overwhelming reaction from both the railroading and dodge-ball communities to my unexpected about-face?