Dartmouth Model Railroad Show

On Saturday November 17 I visited the Dartmouth model railroad show with my two youngest kids. I was pretty impressed with the displays – some really nice work there. The usual vendors were there and I walked away with a 3-pack of container cars and a signed copy of Jay Underwood’s new book From Folly to Fortune: The Firing of James Richardson Forman. I look forward to reading it!

I put a bunch of photos in my gallery but here are a few for your enjoyment.

Here’s a Lego train running around the layout. Note the display screen on the wall showing what the steam locomotive is seeing.

Kevin G took video of quite a bit of the show:

Nashwaaksis Baptist Church Train Contest

On September 9 I had the pleasure of being one of three judges in a train contest at the Nashwaaksis Baptist Church here in Fredericton. Members of the congregation were to make some kind of train and bring it to the church.

All of the entries showed imagination and there were some truly excellent entries. I’ve put photos of the event in my gallery.

I had a great time. Everyone was very friendly and made me and my son Nick feel very welcome. The service was good and the corn boil afterward was excellent. My thanks to the church for inviting me!

Saint John model railroad show pictures

I put some photos I took at last Saturday’s model train show in Saint John in my photo gallery.

As usual the Saint John Society of Model Railroaders did a fine job organizing the event. The usual displays were there, with the SJSMRR modular display front and center.

For the four and under crowd, my daughter liked the O scale displays on the left of the venue as well as Hazen Middleton’s Thomas train and the Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck speeder.

I enjoyed the chance to talk with some old friends, like Bill Linley, Ron Grant, Art Clowes and Tim Dryden.

I didn’t buy much – two covered hoppers for $5 each and a little toy engine for a quarter.

Good show!

Room Preparation

I tore the Nova Scotia Eastern Railway up in the summer of 2004 to get ready for our move to a larger house. Being a good railway baron, I ensured I would have (more) space for a new layout in the new home. I ended up with a 10×16 foot room, which is about double the area of the NSER.

Empty roomThe first trick was to get the room ready. It had four walls, if you could call them that. Two of the walls were the concrete foundation, and the other two were framed but had no electrical work done. There was one heater in the room and one single-bulb light fixture. The floor was concrete and there was no ceiling. Clearly a lot of work needed to be done!

Empty roomMy father-in-law and I put the framing, insulation and wallboard/gyproc up. The ceiling is gyproc as well. I painted the entire room light blue, including the ceiling. I had a flooring dealer come in to install dark grey carpeting with an underpad, for comfort.

We put in six electrical outlets, two each on the long walls and one centered on each of the short walls. I wanted to have plenty of light, so we put in four two-tube flourescent fixtures on one switch plus provision for a track light on a dimmer. The baseboard heater remains on one of the walls, controlled by a thermostat in the room. There is no telephone connection in the room yet, but I plan on installing one as well as a network port for a future computer.

Finished roomI think the finished product looks pretty good. I’m glad I decided to go with the four light fixtures. It may seem like overkill but I like being able to work without having shadows in the way. I think it will work well when it comes time to take “railfan” photographs. I still haven’t put the track lighting in, but that will come in time.

Finished roomI should mention the two floods we had in the basement. We had a problem with the drain tile around the house, and in the winter of 2005-2006 our basement flooded several times. There were two times in particular where the train room was flooded enough that the carpet became saturated. Both times I had to rip the carpet up and bring in blowers and heat to dry it out, after sucking up whatever water I could with the shop vacuum. Fortunately no model railroad stuff was damaged and the carpet seems to have survived. Even though our flooding problem is fixed, I still don’t leave anything on the floor – just in case.

The Nova Scotia Eastern Railway – Photos

As promised, here are some photos of my old Nova Scotia Eastern Railway layout.


A passenger train goes by the station on the main line, while a CN switcher shunts the Windsor & Hantsport siding in the background.


The NSER 76493 caboose brings up the rear of a short freight as they pass some rather desolate terrain on the approach to Windsor Junction.


Two CN diesels begin the long haul down the escalator track from the Dartmouth Subdivision toward the junction with the CN main line. The Dartmouth yard is on the top level at the very back, behind my son.


A view of the temporary Dartmouth yard. None of this track was intended to be permanent. The layout was torn out before any permanent trackage was laid in this yard.