Ramblings of a frustrated armchair Railway Modeller

Hello,
Everyone is entitled to my opinion, so I've decided to enter the blog-o-sphere in order to share them with you.
My focus is the rationale and development of my model railway, but I am likely to wander off topic from time to time.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Fallen Flags and Other Railroad Photos Website II

When I lived in the West Toronto Junction I could wander over to the Canadian Pacific rail yard there and on a couple of occasions I saw some interesting equipment that I took pictures of.

As a rail fan I shared these photos on George Elwood's Fallen Flags and Other Railroad Photos Website.

This old Doodlebug is now used as a Track Inspection Vehicle operated by Sperry Rail Service.

119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" -  front {Ron Hurlbut Photo}
119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" -  front
{Ron Hurlbut Photo}

119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" - {Ron Hurlbut Photo} - detector detail
119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" - detector detail
{Ron Hurlbut Photo}

119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" - right rear {Ron Hurlbut Photo}
119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" - right rear
{Ron Hurlbut Photo}
119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" - left rear {Ron Hurlbut Photo}

119 - West Toronto Jct, Toronto ON - 01/19/02 - named "Bob Owen" - left rear
{Ron Hurlbut Photo}

A couple of other M.O.W. pieces:

MW Eqp 2110-11 - W Toronto Jct, ON - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}
MW Eqp 2110-11 - W Toronto Jct, ON
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Eqp 2110-11 - W Toronto Jct, ON - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}
MW Eqp 2110-11 - W Toronto Jct, ON
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Eqp 2211-45 - W Toronto Jct, ON - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}
MW Eqp 2211-45 - W Toronto Jct, ON 
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Eqp 2211-45 - W Toronto Jct, ON - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Eqp 2211-45 - W Toronto Jct, ON 
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

Fallen Flags and Other Railroad Photos Website I

When I lived in the West Toronto Junction I could wander over to the Canadian Pacific rail yard there and on a couple of occasions I saw some interesting equipment that I took pictures of.

As a rail fan I shared these photos on George Elwood's Fallen Flags and Other Railroad Photos Website.

The most interesting to me is the Brandt Road Rail Power Unit.

MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}
MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - 
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit -  {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}
MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - 
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}
MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - 
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

MW Truck - West Toronto Jct. ON - 01/11/02 - Brant Road Rail Power Unit - 
{Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

There's also this High Railer:

Truck H9901 - W Toronto Jct, ON - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

Truck H9901 - W Toronto Jct, ON - {Ron Wm. Hurlbut Photo}

Monday, September 16, 2019

Creation Myth: The Dance By Ron Wm. Hurlbut

Back in High School English Literature the teacher Ms. Fillmore was handing out an assignment while we were studying C. G. Jung Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious along with The Hero's Journey - Mythic Structure of Joseph Campbell's Monomyth. She mentioned that before the courses were condensed from full year to the semester system there was a different/additional assignment in the course. I forget what the primary assignment was but I chose to do the offered alternate: To write a Heroic Myth. 

Here follows a slightly condensed version that I broke down for twitter.

The Dance


In the beginning there was a nothing. A vast and empty void. Pure and perfect except for its own awareness.

Its awareness made it proud and boastful. So it created the river of time to travel along. It would call out to all awarenesses on the banks of the river to observe its perfection.
This was obviously very annoying. Awarenesses gathered to form a plan to silence the void.

One of them was Catlin. A tiny bit of matter. A subatomic particle which was also pure and perfect. Catlin volunteered to address the void.

The other awarenesses had doubts about Catlin's ability to take on such a vast and powerful foe but Catlin had a plan. The others scoffed but since none of the others had a plan and were frightened of the vacuous entity, they gave Catlin their respect and support.

Catlin went to the river of time and waded in, only to be swept away in the current. The void took notice though and was very upset.

"HOW DARE YOU DEFILE MY CREATION!" Swirling along in the currents and eddies Catlin scoffed. "Why won't you share this wonderful fun?" Catlin enquired.
The void bristled "It is my own personal contrivance on which I ride to display myself and my perfection. Mine alone."

Catlin pointed out that perfection was relative and that Catlin too was perfect and should also therefore be allowed to ride the river of time.
"But" the void thundered "You diminish me and make my creation less perfect with your tiny speck of self a blemish. You must leave."

To which Catlin refused. The void tried to lift and push Catlin out of the river of time but could not muster the force required.

"Tell me" Catlin inquired, "Since I am here and we should get acquainted, what is your name? I am known as Catlin."

The void pondered this and knew itself only as perfection so could only say as much. Catlin suggested "Since we can't all be named as such I will call you Rutherford." and so it was.
Rutherford continued to frustrate itself with the task of eliminating Catlin from the river of time without success when it decided to change tactics. All at once Rutherford stopped pushing and instead pulled Catlin into the void itself. Swallowing Catlin, Rutherford proclaimed "I have won! My creation is now clean and pure once again." Catlin observed however "You no longer are." Rutherford was apoplectic with confusion and rage. Not for long however as Rutherford started to formulate a new plan. Instead of pushing Catlin away and restoring its own perfection, Rutherford would defile Catlin in turn. Creating and binding an infinite number of particles to Catlin. A mass of unimaginable scale crushing in on Catlin. Catlin only laughed at the excursions.

"I am incorruptible and so are we all sub atomic!" and together they all laughed and danced together in a boiling mass. The dancing becoming more frenzied as it collapsed into itself and then exploding outward again. Filling the void Rutherford with matter.
The Dance expands in places and contracts again in others. Inside the void which travels along silently in the river of time. Fin. The Big Bang.




Addendum: I found an article on Impact Lab originally from Medium which fits this Cosmology perfectly. The River of Time exists outside of the Universe. In order to reverse time, the entire Universe needs to swim upstream.

Friday, March 10, 2017

On30 Modules? You'll be sorry you asked...

I'm a Canadian On30 Module Pioneer.

My experience with On30 goes back to ~2000 through the Ask the Bachmann forum and the On30 Conspiracy.

Realizing that I didn't have the time or space for a home layout, it was suggested that I build modules.

The Bachmann forum also got me interested in On30 so I joined the On30 Conspiracy.

A few people asked about Module Standards for On30 and were shouted down with:

St@nd@rds? We don't need no stinkin' St@nd@rds!

So a new Yahoo! Group was spun off to develop On30 Module Standards. Through lots of debate we developed OCUMS (On30Conspiracy Universal Module Standards) which Bobber Gibbs arbitrarily mid-stream changed to OCMODS (On30Conspiracy Module Standards).

But in the end; the OCMODS did not receive an On30Conspiracy endorsement.

A few of us who had worked to develop the Standards re-branded them the On30 Coalition Module Standards (OCMODS) and I put together the website to preserve them. 

In 2003 I presented my first (Still under construction) On30 modules at the Maple Leaf Train Show which was part of the NMRA Convention that birthed the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers (CAoRM).

I even wrote a couple of articles about building On30 Modules for Light Iron Digest, but my best work on the subject are these two articles:
Free-MOn30: Interface Plate Scenic Profile:
and
Interface Plate White Paper:

 
However, without the endorsement of the On30Conspiracy combined with the lack of interest locally I was ready to dump On30 and Modules.

Then Chris Abbott pulled me back in. He, along with Lynn Caron, Don Hamilton and Rob Hupfield were going to build a bunch of On30 Modules with narrow (12" wide) scenic profile interface plates and 4% grades on the mainline.


We presented our work-in-progress Upper Canada & Algonquin Railway (UC&A) at the Ontario Narrow Gauge Show in Schomberg Ontario.

I was also one of the original organizers of the Ontario Narrow Gauge Show in Schomberg Ontario, along with Chris Creighton, Brian Fayle, Chris Abbott and a few others for the first six years. But that's another story...

Then it seemed that On30 Modules became a dead end. I got fed up with the shrinking group and the failure to attract new members. Combine that with my own frustrations with my own lack of progress on my own modules and I found it difficult to proceed.  

My own interests in model railroading were leading in a different direction.

Chris Abbott dropped out of the Module Group to pursue S-Scale Standard Gauge with the S Scale Workshop.
Don Hamilton supported the group in spirit but did not build any modules.
Work and other interests pulled Rob Hupfield away from the group so that he was absent from some showings and work sessions.
Lynn Caron continues to muddle along, I suppose.

I left my big balloon loop module set with Lynn Caron, who was able to find it a new home...

Modular Persuits (appended)

On the subject of Modules, I've written plenty... (Edited on Aug 9, 2018)

Several connected webpages and documents starting here on the On30 Coalition Module St@nd@rds (OCMODS)

I don't want to duplicate what Bob has written on Railway Bob's Module Building Tips except to add a bit to his T-Nuts For Alignment Pins/Bolts 

Using blind T-nuts to help align Module Interface Plates is a great idea. 


From experience, it can be a PITA to get the bolts to start threading into nuts. Cross threading is a real hobgoblin. So, I suggest using longer bolts with the threads filed off the first 3/4" of the end. Then you can slip the bolt into the nut nice and straight and then start turning without having any crossed threads.

This will give you alignment AND make it easy to thread the nuts and bolts together...

Use an even longer bolt and you can add a wingnut for easy finger tightening...

Having the Blind T-nuts on one end of the module and the "sighted" T-nuts on the other will work for N-Track style modules with a front and rear.

For Free-Mo style modules that can be turned end-for-end you have to put a Blind and Sighted T-nut at each Interface Plate as shown in the diagram.

As an addendum I've realized that another quick and effective fastener would work.

A Toggle Bolt like the one pictured here would be easy to slip through the interface plates and finger tighten with a Wing-Nut. The holes in the interface plates can be lined with T-Nuts that have the threads drilled out or tubes that are epoxy glued into place for accurate alignment. Fender-Washers would also be advisable.



 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Frivilous Passtime Part D'oh!

Model Railroading and I have had a life long love/hate relationship.
That light you see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train...
That light you see at the end of the tunnel...




Space/Time/Money are finite as is the amount of energy I can generate.


I started with an HO trainset and then dabbled in On30 and fell in love with Narrow Gauge. However, On30 doesn't fit.

I really got my heart set on HOn42 but that only lead to agony and grief.

I'm stuck in a very deep rut.

If you observe the publication dates on the blog you can see it's been a while.

I've been stuck in neutral, going nowhere fast. If only I could finish one little project it would be a real breakthrough.

I've recently come to a realization that I've got too much junk and it is like carrying around some sort of anchor holding me in the past.

I've accumulated a bunch of HO stuff over the years and almost none of it fits the era/theme/gestalt of what I want to do in model railroading and the effort and expense of bashing and converting everything is overwhelming.


I need to purge as much stuff as possible so that I don't feel so beholden to it and maybe restart with a clean slate.

I started going through my Model Railway stuff and a lot of it I haven't touched in nearly a decade. A lot of it is cast offs from other people from when they decluttered.

There's some stuff that I want to keep for sentimental reasons.

There's some stuff that will hopefully be useful in the future.

However, there's a bunch of stuff that I just need to get rid of.

Some of it I want to give back, other things that I can pay forward and maybe a little that will pay off.

Hopefully, not too much will go to landfill.

May the gods of evilbay smile upon me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rebuilt F-Unit for HV&S

Here's the latest drawing of the Humber Valley & Simcoe Road Switcher
It's been ages since I started this TinGoat project and most of that time it has been sitting in mothballs.

I floated the idea on The Diesel Detailer Forum in the "A naked Cab Unit" thread.

Those guys over at Diesel Detailer have ruined me.

I would never have noticed the sharp angle of the piece between the front windows and the small creases on the top of the nose would never have bothered me, but now I have to sand them out or be haunted by them.

To my eye the F7 shell was good enough as a base to do a little surgery on. Now, however, I can see some of flaws in the original that I'll have to correct.

Of course, I'm not planning to spend another dime on the project and that means I've got to work with what I have instead of getting better ready made parts. I'll exhaust all the bits that I can refurbish, scratch build or fudge.

To start, here a couple of pix of what I've done so far.

Front pilot has been trimmed and GP Porch added.   
There's a lot of sanding and filing required to get these looking decent.

I think that the original Nose MU Doors are too small and I need to make them a little taller.

The Steps need to be plated over and made to look more like the ones on a BL2.

The Number Boards are unsightly and the Class Lights can be removed.

So, I'll start hacking, chopping and sanding everything to a blank sleight and then build back up from there.
Another view of the new front porches. They're mounted on the original Anti-Climber