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  • Topic: A Visit to the Woodland Railway

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    • August 11, 2013 5:52 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      When Bruce was here on Wednesday, he mentioned an invite from Kevin Strong to visit his dad's railroad while Kevin and his family were in town. Since I started in Large Scale years ago, Jim Strong's Woodland Railway has been an inspiration and a chance to visit it again was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. Although it looked like a gloomy day, and we had a few sprinkles, it didn't dampen anybodies spirits.



      Bruce and Jean work the yard at Hemlock Hills 


      Hemlock Hills



      Kevins train pulls into the yard to swap cars with Bruce. Bruce had his Shay and it didn't fit through the tunnel.



      That completed, their on their way.



      Beautifully rebuilt Connie, Woodland Railway #14



      #14 enters Woodland Jct. with 2 double slip switches and a 3 way.






      Bruce and Jean finish up their work while our host, Jim Strong looks on.



      How's that for a smoke unit?



      After a refurbishment, Jim's gorgeous Station gets placed back on the layout. 



      Meanwhile, Kevin places the refurbished Cinderella's castle...........

       


      While I didn't run any trains, I still had a great time just visiting this legend of a RailRoad. 


      Thanks to Jim and Kevin for hosting this. 

      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at August 11, 2013 5:54 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • August 11, 2013 8:18 AM EDT

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      Nice. What a treat!
      Ralph 

    • August 11, 2013 8:20 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Yep, another great visit to the Woodland Railway.   Great fun to see old friends again.

       

      I got a chance to visit the basement, where Kevin appears to be up to experimenting with some new weathering techniques.

      He claims it is really his daughter's work...

       

      Meanwhile, I just can't help but admire all the older buildings out on Jim's layout.

      The whole place just seems enchanting, and it's easy to just sit and watch and listen to the trains go by.

       

      Jim uses painted pennies to show where a car is headed, and each location is color coded.   We started at a green location, and basically picked up every car that did not have green penny on it.

       

      Then it was on to the blue location where we picked up a few cars destined for the lower part of the RR and dropped off some others.

       

      We knew that my Shay would not fit through one of the tunnels, so I had arranged with Kevin to meet at the next passing siding and trade trains with him.

       

      I soon found another tunnel that the stack wouldn't clear, and quickly changed the plan to meet back where I had been working.

       

      Meanwhile, Ray Rogali ran by with his Connie with enhanced smoke.

       

      Kevin arrived with his train, and we swapped cars.

       

      Later, Ray brought out his Pacific - 5 separate smoke generators - including one for the generator, and one for the whistle!

       

      Thanks to Kevin and his parents - Jim and Ruth Strong, for holding this special event.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • August 11, 2013 11:31 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Beautiful place. Thanks to both of you for the pictures.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • August 11, 2013 12:22 PM EDT
      • Tolland County, Ct.
         
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       Kool pics, Thanks for posting. Regards,Ron :)

      ____________________________________

      RRR#2...........Linville Jct. RR

      RRR#2...........Linville Jct. RR

       Live steam.

    • August 11, 2013 12:42 PM EDT
      • Who Ya Gonna Call?, Ft Gay, WV
         
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      How does the painted penny system work?

    • August 11, 2013 3:43 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Bart,

      It's sort of a variation of the Color-Coded Thumb tacks as described in MR July 1965.  Which you probably don't have. ;)

       

      Anyway, each location (town) on the railroad, is assigned a specific color.

      In fact, this location here, is assigned a blue color.   You can see a BLUE marker just by where Kevin's conductor is breaking the train.

       

      Basically, before the ops session starts, you put a bunch of the different colored pennies in a coffee mug.  (Sure, drink the coffee first, if you so desire.)   Then, you reach in, pick a penny at random, and place it on the car.  

      Now, the car has a destination - indicated by the color of the penny you picked out.   When you are building your train, you take everything that is not the color of that location.

      As your train moves along your route, you drop off the cars to the appropriate industries.   On Jim's railroad, this means YOU have to know which cars go where.   It wasn't too bad at the blue station - hoppers went to the tipple, and boxcars went to the freight station there.

      A variation from the article mentioned is to put a letter or number on each thumb tack.   This letter or number tells you which industry the car should go to at that specific location. 

      Personally, I still prefer the switch lists, but this is a fairly easy way to get started.   But, it does require a bit more knowledge of the railroad than switch lists.

      This post was edited by Bruce Chandler at August 11, 2013 3:49 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • August 11, 2013 4:35 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Interesting.   Apparently there have been a number of variations on CCT (Color-Coded-Thumbtacks).

      MR July 1972 had an article entitled "Refinements for CCT Car Forwarding"

      MR November 1975 had an article entitled "Waybills on the car"

      Both attempted to address the shortcomings of the original.  

      Of course all of those were written well before we all had computers available.   It is amazing what one can do today compared to back then.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • August 14, 2013 7:14 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      "It is amazing what one can do today compared to back then."

       

      Yeah, like searching on a disc of old Model Railroad articles and sharing your findings with other people all over the world in a matter of seconds.

       

      Quite amazing!

    • August 14, 2013 9:04 AM EDT
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      Always love seeing photos of the Woodland RR.  Awesome setting with the trees and moss.  


      Ken you need to get a smaller engine so you can run more.  ;)    

    • August 14, 2013 9:07 AM EDT
      • Ottawa , Ontario
         
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      What a great trip down memory lane! If I'm not mistaken I visited this railway during the 1992 Garden railway convention. It was amazing in 1992, far in advance of what others were doing. Great to see that it is still in pristine condition. Hopefully the future will provide an opportunity to revisit it.    

    • August 14, 2013 10:46 AM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      I got to Jim's just after lunch, as Bruce and Ken were packing to leave, so my trains aren't in their photos!  Jim's layout was designed long before F scale (1:20.3) so I took my smallest locos.  It is a gorgeous, complicated layout, with hills and loops that disappear into tunnels and reappear under another loop - Ken's video conveys a little of the complexity.

      Here's a few more pics.

      Woodland Railway #14 was hard at work when I arrived, with Kevin heading uphill towards Hemlock Hills with the afternoon freight.
        
           


      My shortest coach had no problems with the tunnels. East Broad Top #24 (? EBT never had a 24,) is standing in for old #1 until I can get the 2-6-0 in operation.  (It is an old, old Aristo with an enlarged cab and heightened tender and stack, with an old, old Aristo TE mini unit on board.)
      The President's Special resting after the long run downhill.
       
           


      Not sure who's RS3 it was, but it sure sounded good!  He collected all the cars that Kevin had moved and ran them back downhill.  
       
           


      Hemlock Hills, the highest point (and also the easiest loop to traverse with a large train.) The President on his inspection tour passes the tipple.

            


      And finally, here's my Railbus heading downhill - all it could do, as it is powered by a pair of AAA batteries which wouldn't drag it uphill!  

           

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at August 14, 2013 10:51 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • August 14, 2013 11:22 AM EDT

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      Thanks for the pics! I was too busy running trains to break out my camera, and I haven't downloaded the ones I quickly snapped on my iPhone (which are mostly of Andy running the train with his stuffed blue puppy riding in the gondola, anyway.) I had a great time seeing everyone and moving cars around. This was #14's first time out on the railroad in regular operations, after a few years of futzing with control and motor issues which had heretofore made her uncontrollable on the grades. A BBT gear drive and Airwire G2 solved those issues. (Now, all I gotta do is wait for Barry to finish a new run of 2-8-0 drives to replace the one I removed from TRR #3.)

       

      The biggest "drawback" of the colored penny system is that you've got to know beforehand which cars would go where on the railroad when you're setting them out. For instance, the coal mine is at Hemlock Hills, so if you've got an empty hopper sitting in one of the other yards, you wouldn't send it anywhere but back to Hemlock Hills. Once in the yards, you also have to know that flats would go on the lumber siding, box cars to the freight depot, etc. You could do it completely randomly, but then you're just moving cars around without much prototypical purpose behind them.

       

      Dad and I had a discussion after the operating session about working in a bit more of that "prototypical purpose" into some of the car moves, and decided that an interchange track at Woodland Junction was in order as a place to send cars with freight destined for points off the railroad. (Of course, now dad has to build a transfer shed and lay a 3rd rail on the tail of the yard track.) It also makes it so you MUST use the runaround track at WJ to switch that yard. We're still working on how best to switch things there without having to foul the main while switching. Also, not sure about how to transload the coal from the hoppers that would be spotted there; perhaps a bit of modeler's license where the dual gauge track would also lead to a transfer tipple that's off the railroad a ways.

       

      (Anyone who's switched Woodland Junction knows where I get my love of switching puzzles.)

       

      Dad has monthly operating sessions on the railroad during the Summer and Fall, so if you're interested in those dates, send me an e-mail and I'll get you in touch with him.

       

      Later,

       

      K

      ____________________________________
    • July 25, 2014 8:21 PM EDT

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      I'll be back east for another operating session on dad's railroad on August 9th (Saturday). If you're in the area and want to drop by, send me an e-mail.

      Later,

      K

      ____________________________________
    • July 25, 2014 8:49 PM EDT
      • Rio Linda, Cal.
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:

      Bart,

      It's sort of a variation of the Color-Coded Thumb tacks as described in MR July 1965.  Which you probably don't have. ;)

       

      Anyway, each location (town) on the railroad, is assigned a specific color.

      In fact, this location here, is assigned a blue color.   You can see a BLUE marker just by where Kevin's conductor is breaking the train.

       

      Basically, before the ops session starts, you put a bunch of the different colored pennies in a coffee mug.  (Sure, drink the coffee first, if you so desire.)   Then, you reach in, pick a penny at random, and place it on the car.  

      Now, the car has a destination - indicated by the color of the penny you picked out.   When you are building your train, you take everything that is not the color of that location.

      As your train moves along your route, you drop off the cars to the appropriate industries.   On Jim's railroad, this means YOU have to know which cars go where.   It wasn't too bad at the blue station - hoppers went to the tipple, and boxcars went to the freight station there.

      A variation from the article mentioned is to put a letter or number on each thumb tack.   This letter or number tells you which industry the car should go to at that specific location. 

      Personally, I still prefer the switch lists, but this is a fairly easy way to get started.   But, it does require a bit more knowledge of the railroad than switch lists.

      Bruce C. I had to go out to my storage shed where I keep thro old MR. Maz. and look up July 1965.  lol.
      Forgot about that idea. Not a bad way to work drop and pick up..
      I new these Maz might be used some day.  I was going to throw them out yr's ago, but never got around to it. . 
      Thanks for the reminder.. Noel & Jane

      ____________________________________



      Little Rio feather says...One leave train running here and takes a coffee break, may find Koi fishes checking out how deep an Engine can swim when the Swing Bridge is left open. It happen to Big Feather Tweedledum.... Burnt finger Nbr. SA#49
                 Our Video's

    • July 25, 2014 8:56 PM EDT

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      Kevin Strong said:

      I'll be back east for another operating session on dad's railroad on August 9th (Saturday). If you're in the area and want to drop by, send me an e-mail.

      Later,

      K

      Can I come?

    • July 25, 2014 9:10 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      David Russell said:
      Kevin Strong said:

      I'll be back east for another operating session on dad's railroad on August 9th (Saturday). If you're in the area and want to drop by, send me an e-mail.

      Later,

      K

      Can I come?

      You should make the trip, David.   Well worth it.  Although I doubt any of your Amtrak stuff would fit.


      I don't think we'll make it this year Kevin.   Jean had major back surgery yesterday and I doubt she'll be recovered enough by then.   A shame, as we both enjoy the hospitality of your folks.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 25, 2014 9:12 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Noel Wilson said:

      Bruce C. I had to go out to my storage shed where I keep thro old MR. Maz. and look up July 1965.  lol.
      Forgot about that idea. Not a bad way to work drop and pick up..
      I new these Maz might be used some day.  I was going to throw them out yr's ago, but never got around to it. . 
      Thanks for the reminder.. Noel & Jane

      Noel, I never had those issues, but I did get the DVD containing 75 years worth of MR.   Not cheap, but VERY handy to search across all the issues for a particular topic.    I just wish I could get it to work on my tablet.   It's also great since I don't worry about storage space.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 25, 2014 11:24 PM EDT

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      David, absolutely! Most 1:29 stuff fits without issue, but Superliners may prove problematic in a few tunnels with low ceilings. We built them with 1:22 narrow gauge in mind. 1:20.3 definitely has issues.

      Bruce, I sent you a PM. Hope Jean recovers well.

      Later,

      K

      This post was edited by Kevin Strong at July 25, 2014 11:25 PM EDT
      ____________________________________
    • July 26, 2014 7:32 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Kevin Strong said:

      I'll be back east for another operating session on dad's railroad on August 9th (Saturday). If you're in the area and want to drop by, send me an e-mail.

      Later,

      K

      Unfortunately I will be in Oregon, attending my son's wedding. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

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