Saturday, April 7, 2018

Gn15 Wescott Rwy Update 02

Work on my Gn15 display layout is infrequent, but I am slowly making progress. Here are a few progress photos...

I am working to finish the structure first, then moving on to the bridge build.

Tom Conboy

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Small Layout Track Plan - Valley Minerals

Valley Minerals is based on a dolomitic lime facility located in Desloge, Missouri. Dolomitic limestone (Dolag) is mined and processed at this location and is used in steelmaking. Railroad tracks enter the facility, but I believe it no longer uses rail service for receiving or shipping.

Here is a link with more information about Dolag...

Several possibilities exist for operating this layout. Use the back track for shipping bagged lime. Use the middle spur (3 silos) to load covered hoppers or tank cars for shipping slurry. The front track can serve as a runaround or a spot to offload LPG at the tanks.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wescott Mine and Mill Railway - First Run

Wired and fired up!

Tram loco made from a modified HO scale Model Power Hustler and some dropside wagons from Shapeways.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Wescott Mine and Mill Railway

Tom's Gn15 Layout Update 01

Several months of work included in one post!

(September 2016)

The locomotive conversion is getting closer to completion.  Was tired of the white styrene/BN paint scheme mix, so I went ahead and painted it primer gray.  I still need to add detail parts as well as an access hatch (cosmetic) to the hood.

I am also experimenting with a track arrangement. Not sure I like it, and will probably remove one of the turnouts.  I am leaving this in place on the foam core baseboard for several days and will probably modify it in the near future.  The foam core baseboard is 20" x 30" x 1/2".  The track radius is tight (minimum radius about 7"), but that will not be a problem for this little mining engine and dump cars. 

(October 2016)

Wescott Mine & Mill Railway
Wescott Mine & Mill Railway Logo

Building up the roadbed for the finalized track arrangement. 

This micro layout is not based on any particular prototype mining railway,  but is based on past mining operations in my local area.

Barite (tiff in local parlance) was hand mined and processed by several small (2 or 3 people) mining operations that operated in Washington County, Missouri. The mined barite was carted to market by mules and wagons.  A railway operation was utilized in the 20th century, but it no longer exists.  A couple of video clips exist and can be found in the YouTube link below.

More information on barite mining can be found by visiting these sites:

(February 2017)

I worked on prepping the Atlas code 100 track tonight while listening to the YouTube Model Builders Live show.

The HO code 100 ties are not spaced correctly to represent narrow gauge track in G Scale, so modification is needed.  I noticed a modeling photo of someone* cutting out extra ties and doubling up several of them to give the track a more prototypical look.  It's a visual trick for sure, but I like the effect. This is a tedious process and care must be taken while using a #18 chisel blade to cut out the ties.

The turnout pictured above will be behind the backdrop and out of view (staging/fiddle track).

Once all of the ties have been cut and modified, I will be able to connect and glue the track down.


Track work completed.  Did a test run with a couple of jumper wires connected to a DC power pack and it works! The normal spaced ties were left in place for the bridge track that spans the creek and in the fiddle yard.


*I do not know the name of the person, but I want people to know the idea is not original with me.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wetterau Food Services Micro Layout Update

The Wetterau Food Services Micro Layout made its first trip to a local train show yesterday. It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the experience.

I have also created a new blog featuring the WFS.   I will be transferring several of the build posts from this blog to the new one. Here is the link:


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

An old idea berths again.

A few years ago certain members of the cartel who will remain nameless posted pictures of the Naksup wayfrieght in Canada and the associated car float rail terminal. This concept tempted me no end, and I nearly capitulated and built a car float based micro. In the intervening time a few car float terminal ideas surfaced. I'm sure every one of them was meant to entice me. But I managed to ignore them. Other pressures helped to divert my attention from this. But quite by accident I discovered this, The Saxman terminal railroad
Once again it's an Alaskan car float based terminal this one is small and compact. The car float berths at the dock at the bottom and cars are then hauled around the horseshoe curve and switched to the large warehouse that has a tuning fork track plan alongside it. A couple of team track locations would make for interesting switching problems.
Saxman terminal today, the track appears to be lifted but it's clear where it used to run.
It's an interesting scheme. Motive power for the line was apparently a Trackmobile, available in HO scale. I think you could effective model this in five or six feet in length in that scale. 
But I'm interested in the idea of recreating it in Z scale. It would fit in about 20" x 30"
A 30" x 20" sheet of foam core board would probably contain the entire layout.
I have some Z scale equipment that I'd like to use and create something that would be a different development of a train set based starter layout. I think I have almost all the track I need. I need 2 switches. I'd be inclined to turn the two sidings at the top into a passing siding and hide the run around offstage so it just looks like two single sidings.
The car float bridge can be adapted from a Micro Trains girder bridge (which I also happen to have)
Micro Trains girder bridge. A basis for the car float bridge perhaps.
A big warehouse would need to be built, and lots of trees too.
So, lots of food for thought. We will just have to see where it all goes.

Monday, June 6, 2016

A New Venture

Going to try my hand at Gn15, or better to say 1/24 scale.  I am currently working on a loco kitbash from an old HO Model Power Hustler switcher.  The loco is not based on any particular prototype, but is something generic from several examples of Gn15 locos I have looked up on Google.  I still need to add a front grill plate to the loco, but am still giving some thought on what type of grill I want.  I also purchased the 1/24 scale figure off of eBay with arms still needing to be attached!!

I ordered some side-dump wagons, couplers, and coupling links w/chains from Shapeways.  These are from Tom Bell's TB Shapeways Store.  I am really pleased with how well these printed out items look.  The next step is to add wheel sets, assemble couplers, and paint.

The above items will one day run on a new micro layout I am currently in the process of planning.  It will feature a mining scene from a location close to where I live.  More information will hopefully be coming along in the near future.

Thanks for taking a look!

Tom Conboy