Vicksburg Terminal - 1st Footprint
Initial progress on building my first Vicksburg Terminal model railroad is slow at best - baby steps... A large part of the delay is conceptualizing in my head how I want it to come together. Over the last several weekends I have spent some time with my father making taking the first steps.
This will be a ceiling railroad with the main level barely clearing the tops of the two doors in the room. I needed a clear picture of where the studs were in the wall to finalize the location of the major structural components.
So we put the new stud finder to work and mapped the walls. The Precision Sensors Profinder 5000 stud finder that I grabbed at Costco is extremely easy to use.
For quick marking, we used sticky note sheets to mark the studs, angling them to mark the center with the bottom corner. Two walls of the man-cave are external house walls and the studs are spaced 16 inches apart. The other two walls have studs 24 inches apart. Hmmm......
I made several design templates on graph paper of the room and made a number of copies to aid the design process. We marked the stud locations in orange on one of these sheets to paint the picture of what we had to work with. This was very helpful to me.
Today, 2-27-2016, was an important day - the first pieces of wood were cut and installed on the north wall. These pieces define the bottom edge of the main level which will rest on top of this support. Additional segments of 1x4 were cut in 7-inch lengths to aid the mounting of Everbilt 12 inch white Magnum Shelf Brackets that will also support the railroad.
Two February Equipment Deliveries
The trip to chase the City of Grenada has kept me busy editing many photographs. I have also edited a video from the trip and am working on another video taken on the IC Beaumont District in 1995. These things have got me behind on my blog postings, including a previous freight car delivery update.
Today, 2-17-2016, a wonderful box arrived with my first Athearn RTR locomotive equipped with the new Tsunami "Econami" decoder installed. This unit is a model of SP SD40R 7372 and is very nice indeed! I looked through my photographs and discovered that I have managed to photograph quite a few of these SP 7300-Series beasts! And the cost including the sound decoder: $139 on-line! I am going to have to set up a test-run session on the Michigan Interstate to review. I am hopeful that the Nathan P-3 horn is improved over previou Tsunami P-3 horn sound files.
I believe I may have to get my hands on more of these! Also included in today's delivery was a single freight car--an Athearn RTC 20K General Service Tank Car decorated as DOWX 3880. I am a big fan of the generic chemical cars and this one conveys that image nicely. The model of DOWX 3880 is placarded "1993" and stencilled "Potassium Chloride Solution".
On 2-5-2016 a shipment of five ExactRail PS2-CD 4427 Cuft Covered Hopper Cars arrived. These cars were ATSF 302703, TLDX 3015, TLDX 3018, TLDX 5425, and TLDX 5469. These cars were the ExactRail January special. There were way too many to choose from, but I managed to select these five.
The Santa Fe car sports the small Santa Fe logo and simple lettering. The video I edited and uploaded documenting a trip in 1992 to ride the AL&M has some footage in Vicksburg. Santa Fe covered hoppers, including the PS2-CD 4427s, were visible in the yard at the time. The ExactRail Santa Fe cars have a support brace across the top of the sides which is a nice feature. This car will compliment nicely the Santa Fe hopper cars already in the Meridian Speedway fleet:
The TLDX 3015 and TLDX 3018 cars are decorated for the Bungee Corporation. Bunge has a grain elevator on the Mississippi River right next to the Vicksburg Freight Yard. There is a scene in the above mentioned video of MSRC GP10 1031 pulling five ATSF open hoppers off the Bunge lead in Vicksburg. Though I am not sure if these exact cars visited this elevator, I thought adding them to the fleet would be appropriate to create the Vicksburg feel for the railroad:
And finally there are TLDX 5425 and TLDX 5469. These cars are decorated for the Louis Dreyfus Corporation in a striking blue-and-black paint scheme. I do have memories of these cars in Illinois Central grain trains which, of course, have a place in my operating scheme. I had to pick up a couple of them!
Good Morning America, How Are You?
Fellow Train Dispatcher and Photographer Blair Kooistra asked me if I would be interested in accompanying him on a trip to photograph the "City of Grenada" photo special. This trip was sponsored by the Memphis NRHS Chapter and would sport two E8A locomotives and 10 passenger cars wearing the famous Illinois Central "Chocolate-and-Orange" color scheme.
I had not considered it before, but a road trip along the Meridian Speedway to photograph this train...I was in!
Along the we we shot a few KCS trains between Doyline and Monroe. We were also treated to some action on the LNW at Gibsland: