Ops Session: Yard Work in Grand Plains

Close focus on model railway track

Ivan handed the switch list over to Abhishek. “Light work today,” he said, “but get it done as soon as you can before CN comes to pick up their cars.”
Abhi, as his coworkers knew him, walked out to the cab of 4242 and climbed up to to his spot on the left side of the cab, opposite the engineer, Dan. He echoed the yardmaster’s words: “Light work today.”

Recent Acquisitions

Model train locomotive

I purchased a few HO scale model railway cars at an estate sale recently. They will be worthy additions to my fleet once I check them over and maybe tune them up a bit. The locomotive, CN 4109, is a dummy GP9 that appears to have been renumbered. The numbers are way too small. I’m … Read more

Ops Session: Switching in Warrant

Red model train

The first train to Warrant had some work to do! After engineer Greg and conductor Tyler brought the train into Warrant, they had to do some switching before they could go for lunch. You may recall they had five boxcars (including two refrigerated boxcars) and a grain hopper, plus the engine (ex CP 4242) and … Read more

Ops Session: First Train to Warrant

Model train on a curve

Ivan looked out over the Central Prairie Railway’s rail yard in Grand Plains and counted cars. The yard master saw there were enough waiting rail cars to justify sending a train to Warrant. He pulled out his cell phone and made a few calls. While the crew dispatcher ordered a road crew, the yard crew … Read more

Ops Session: CePR Switching

A few hours after CN dropped three cars off at the interchange, the Central Prairie Railway fired up their ex CP C424 locomotive to retrieve the cars and do some switching. Old reliable 4242 was chugging away outside the engine house. The crew boarded the locomotive and, after performing a few checks and getting their … Read more

Ops Session: CN Switching

CN’s branch line crew was called for 06:30 to take three cars to the Central Prairie Railway interchange, and spot a covered hopper at the plastics factory. CN 3665 Locomotive ACFX 59974 Plastics factory NIRX 232001 McCain via CePR interchange SKNX 397392 UGG elevator via CePR interchange SKNX 397387 UGG elevator via CePR interchange CN … Read more

Layout Tour

Here’s a little layout tour of the Central Prairie Railway to show the progress I’ve made. Basically I have laid all of the main town track for the Central Prairie, and the interchange to CN is fully functional. The next step is to complete the McCain spur, then run track around the room to the … Read more

Central Prairie Railway Update

I’ve made some decent progress on the layout since my last update (Fits and Starts). All of the track in the CN area has been laid and wired. I ended up buying a new Dremel, since the battery on my ancient Dremel had died and I couldn’t find a replacement battery. I ran another operating … Read more

Fits and Starts

I’ve been making progress on the Central Prairie Railway… in fits and starts. I’m trying not to beat myself up about the (lack of) progress. It’s a hobby, after all, and it shouldn’t feel like work. Every now and then, I get the urge to work on the layout and I do a bit of … Read more

Testing CN on the Central Prairie

As many people have found out, fitting the available space in a track plan doesn’t always mean that the real track fits the available space. Switches in particular can mislead you – they take up more space than people think. For the Central Prairie Railway, I’ve resolved to sketch it out in the track plan … Read more