Monday, October 17, 2016

American Civil War Railroads Historical Society Meet

An overall view of the Memphis & Charleston with the Chattanooga Train Shed in the center.
Last weekend I attended my first meet of the American Civil War Railroads Historical Society. It was great fun! There were clinics, an operating session and a field trip to the Shiloh Battlefield.
A closeup of the Chattanooga shed. It is quite large, over four feet in length.
The weekend started with a Thursday evening get-together, introductions and some updates as to what other members were doing. This was continued into Friday morning with reports by SMR Trains (makers of O-gauge locomotives) and of a small group who have produced two locomotives made by combining commercial and 3D printed parts. There are two separate books you can buy to guide you through the process with detailed instructions on which pieces to buy and how to put them together.
One of two very long bridges (about 12 feet in length) on the railroad. This is a railroad bridge on top
and a wagon bridge on the bottom level.
The rest of Friday was spent operating on Charlie Taylor's O-gauge Memphis & Charleston Railroad. It occupies a 75x35 foot second floor room in his guest house. It was great fun operating with link & pin couplers and the large rolling stock.
   A guided trip to Shiloh and the Corinth junction took up Saturday and was the end of the conference. Many thanks to Thom Radice and the others who put on the event. I think I'll go again.
A sample of the engines used by the M&C. This one was made by SMR Trains and is complete with sound and factory paint.

Virginia & Truckee Railroad Historical Society Conference

A couple of weeks ago, the V&T RR Historical Society held their annual conference in Carson City. As usual, it was great to hear the various clinics on the history of the railroad and how to model it. I gave two clinics: the first was entitled The Circus Comes to the Comstock and covered the various ways the railroad handled the large shows getting them into Virginia City and back again. The other clinic was about the building of the Ormsby and the Storey moguls that I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog.
     The conference banquet finished with a stirring talk about the great Virginia City fire of October 1875. A field trip to the Carson & Colorado depot being restored at Dayton ended the weekend. In the modeling part of the weekend, a couple of folks showed their progress in using 3D printing for making cars for the railroad.
One of the many records to be found at UNR. This one shows part of the track
arrangement at Virginia City.
I spent another day in the Special Collections library at the University of Nevada, Reno. They have the bulk of the V&T records and I was able to find some things for which I had been looking from the early 1870s.
 It's a good organization and they publish a very informative quarterly newsletter along with an annual book on some facet of the railroad. If you are interested, go their website at