Monday, December 17, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I also have to build up some wagons and carriages. After all, a factory needs some evidence of the product produced.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
In my post of July 29, I described how a low-cast rubber mat solved my floor covering problem. Well, I was a bit too quick to brag about it. Everything was fine until the weather started to get colder and the humidity lower. Static electricity reared its head. Walking only about five feet would generate enough static to put out a great spark when I touched almost anything, such as the rails on the layout. With sensitive decoders and command stations about, this did not seem to be a good situation to have. The question was what to do about it.
|One end of the wire is stuck into the rubber mat about 4 inches while the other is soldered to an alligator clip which is then attached to a grounded nail.|
I looked through various pages of advice on the internet and one suggested grounding the mats. I did this with a piece of 14-gauge solid wire stuck into the side of the mat. An alligator clip on the other end allowed me to attach the wire to one of the nails I shot into the concrete to secure the benchwork. This actually helped the situation but did not reduce it to levels I thought were acceptable. More research was done and I found an industrial static reducing spray, Staticide ACL 2001. I ordered a gallon of it, sprayed it on the matting with a garden sprayer and let it dry. It worked! The static electricity was gone.
At the same time that I was applying the anti-static spray, I replaced the matting in my humidifier on the furnace. It hadn't been done in a couple of years. Right away, the humidity jumped up significantly which will also help the static problem during the winter. When I lived in Southern California, humidity, or lack thereof, was never a problem so this is rather new to me. The perils of living in the midwest, I guess. At least now I won't be blowing decoders during an op session.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
The best thing, though, is being able to visit with knowledgeable folks that you only see once a year at the conference. People from all over the U.S. attend and after-conference groups break away to discuss their own particular interests.
The Saturday night banquet featured speakers from the engineering staff who are rebuilding the V&T from Virginia City to Carson. This is a great train ride, incidentally, and I highly recommend it if you are in the area.
Fortunately for me, I had some time to visit the University of Nevada and do some research on the early railroads of the area. This research has been very helpful in my modeling efforts.
For those of you interested in the Virginia and Truckee, check out the Society's webpage at www.vtrrhs.org. They have a great newsletter and publish some well-research books on aspects of V&T history.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
|Oakdale Lumber with the office on left, lumber rack in center and the cement shed at the right.|
|The building end lettering was copied from the Tulare Lumber Company of the same period.|
|The Lime and cement building stands at the far end of the siding.|
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
|The original wooden swing bridge over the Yukon River still is in use in Carcross.|
|When the 1901 steel bridge was bypassed in 1969, the railroad drilled tunnel and erected this trestle. Note the water barrels.|
|A typical train on the WP&Y.|
|Crossing the Skagway River near Skagway.|
Labels: White Pass and Yukon
Monday, August 13, 2012
|East Railroad Avenue runs behind the Stanislaus Warehouse. E Street is the road at the left of the photo.|
|The H.H.H. Horse Medicine advertised on the barn was actually manufactured in Stockton for many years and used throughout the country.|
The Achegas building is located in the middle of the block. No one is still quite sure what Achegas is but the business seems to be moderately successful.
|The giant tooth and "Painless" Dentist sign clearly indicates a dentist on the second floor. Barely visible behind a porch post stands a cigar store Indian offering his wares.|
Monday, August 6, 2012
In my current project to populate Oakdale with most of the structures it needs to look complete, I have been building. Over the last week or so, I've managed to put together a small dwelling, a store and a factory making an undetermined product.
|The Cash Variety Store was built from the Classic Miniatures "Silver Plume Store" kit. Note the pigeon roosting on the ledge below the store sign.|
Sunday, July 29, 2012
|The operators at Oakdale will find switching a bit more comfortable with the new flooring.|
|Although plain concrete remains in places, it is under the railroad rather that at the walking surfaces.|
Friday, July 20, 2012
While the Stanislaus Warehouse looked good to me, it needed some product (sacks of grain) stored on its loading platforms. I could not find any commercially made sacks that looked right to me so I decided to make my own. In looking through my scrap boxes, I did find some sack stacks of that looked right. I don't know who made them but Walthers doesn't carry anything like them so I imagine the company is look out of business.
Using these as patterns, a rubber mold was made using Alumilite molding rubber. Bragdon casting resin was poured into the mold and, a few minutes later, I had stacks of sacks. They were painted Floquil Rail Brown which seems to be a close color to the coarse material used in the prototype sacks.
|The finished castings after painting.|
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
|In the 1990s, rail service to the warehouse had been discontinued.|
Thursday, July 5, 2012
A recent comment on my oil refinery article in the August MR was complimentary but wished there was information on the typical 1890s oil distribution facilities. Here is some information I put together on Standard Oil's facilities in California.
Standard Oil Substations,
An Analysis by Don Ball
|Click above for larger image.|
When Standard Oil Company established itself in California, it, in the person of Iowa Standard, set up oil distribution substations. According to Standard Oil Company of California, Formative Years in the Far West,
Stations varied considerably in size and equipment. The two largest, located in San Francisco and Los Angeles, by 1896 represented investments of about $53,000 each. The smallest, at San Diego, was valued at about $5,500. Each station had one or more plain brick warehouses containing an office and storage for cased goods, and several tanks ranging up to 7,000 barrels [42 gallons per barrel] in size for bulk storage. They were also equipped with a pump house, barreling plant and a stable. They kept on hand a thirty- to sixty-day supply. . . .
Iowa Standard supplemented its main stations with depots or substations. The storage depot established in 1883 at Oakland was a forerunner. By 1890 the company was operating eleven substations and twelve main stations. A decade later, when there were fifteen main statons, the number of substations had grown to fifty-eight. Some were sizable, like the $4,200 plant at Bakersfield, consisting of a warehouse and tanks; others were just a small tank and perhaps a warehouse located on a spur track near some hamlet . . . They were usually staffed by no more than one or two men who were paid a commission. . . .
The Iowa company turned to the tank wagon in the more populous areas as the most economical means of distributing oil except for a large delivery direct from a tank car. For the merchant, too, there were advantages. He could retail bulk oil more easily from a tank filled regularly by tank wagon than from an unwieldy barrel, and he was no longer troubled by possible damage from leakage to good stored near his oil. . . .
Standard’s first wagons first appeared on the streets of San Francisco in 1883; by 1890 they had been adopted at all the main stations except Marysville. In that year, the Iowa company delivered about one-seventh of its kerosene by tank wagon. Soon the practice also became common at the substations. By 1900 the tank wagons were handling about one-third of the kerosene sales.
The attached sheet contains Sanborn insurance map depictions of several distribution substations which were located in California. Undoubtedly, a similar pattern was repeated nationwide.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
|The Pacific Coast Oil Refinery at Peters.|
Thanks to Google Books, I was able to obtain information on the petroleum refining process of the nineteenth century. Quite different from today's goal of producing gasoline, the folks of the 1800s wanted a clean-burning kerosene for lighting. Gasoline was just a by-product.
|The prototype in operation in the 1880s.|
It was fun building the structure and my operating crews find it an interesting switching challenge.If this is interesting to you, pick up a copy of the August MR.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
|Illustration courtesy of Model Railroader Magazine|
I will keep it available for those who are interested by placing it on the tab bar above.
Labels: Track Plan
Monday, June 25, 2012
www.bb-rr.com. It is available direct through the website, at Karen's Books and Ron's Books.