Thursday, November 22, 2018

Work train

In between operation sessions, the work train comes out for routine track maintenance. We caught it passing through Glen Cove.

GP-20 912

GP-20 912 leads. This loco is permanently assigned to MoW service, and carries a 900 series road number to designate non-revenue equipment. It's old and dirty, but it always starts - which was the primary requirement. This is a Tyco.

Ballast car 977

Ballast car 977 is next. Most MoW cars are painted grey - but not always.

Loader car 947

Loader car 947 is next. This is a boxcar which has been cut down and fitted with a rollup door to provide a secure garage for the loader. We drove it out a little for the photo. The car also carries the loading ramps.The boxcar is an old Varney. The loader is a Matchbox skid-steer. The ramps are window frames salvaged from a junk O-scale structure.

Weed sprayer 957

Weed sprayer 957 is used to spray questionable chemicals on those troublesome vegetation spots. There is a swing-out spray arm on each side, operated from the cupola. The tank end of this car must face forward, so the operator can maneuver the spray arms around any obstructions. Taking out a block signal is frowned upon. This is a former track cleaning car with the pad removed, and the tank filled with BB's for weight. The arms were taken from a diecast irrigation vehicle.

Bringing up the rear is the section work car. This has a 20' container for tools and supplies, and a caboose body for the crew to ride in and take their breaks. This car must be hauled on the rear of the train, with the container end last, due to the clearance needed to open the container doors and access the inside.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Seacoast Line interchange

Seacoast Line 412 has arrived to pickup the afternoon northbound interchange traffic. It has dropped the caboose on the main, and backed into Pamola siding to grab the long cut of cars.

After connecting, it pulls forward to clear the siding, then backs up to grab the caboose. Then it's off northbound.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Scenes from The Acadian

The Acadian rolls to a stop at Kenton, busiest station on the system. Amtrak 680 is right behind it. 

There is a lot of waving when The Acadian stops with one of its domes aligned with the stationary dome of The Kentonian restaurant (background).

Dome riders get to peek in the second floor windows of the Cape Ann's Kenton office building.

Cabs line up in anticipation of The Acadian's arrival at Cape Ann station.

Now heading north from Cascade, The Acadian opens up for a long, straight run to Pamola and points north.

Amtrak's Downeaster is in the hole for the meet with The Acadian, which running upgrade, has priority here.

Pamola Tower gives a green signal to The Acadian as it passes the tower. Yellow train order signal at tower indicates "Proceed - no orders".

Friday, August 31, 2018

Tanker 3637

Cape Ann tanker 3637 spends most of its life shuttling fuels from Glen Cove to Davis and Kenton Yards. The 3 internal tanks are designated for lube oil, kerosene, and diesel.

Note the gapped rail between the block signals. The signals monitor the gap to display the correct aspect.

Catching the Acadian

If you hurry, you can get across the footbridge at Cascade and scramble up the slope to catch the afternoon Acadian rolling down the 3% grade to Kenton.

Congestion at Marias

Friday afternoons are always hectic at Marias Industrial Park. All the shippers want their goods on the move before the weekend, and cars are waiting to be spotted in their place for Monday morning.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Dining in Downtown Kenton

Plenty of places to eat in downtown Kenton - important since every train, passenger and freight, stops here. High end dining can be had at the Kentonian, a refurb heavyweight car, with the attached "Gastrodome" lounge. Behind that we have the Hotel Kenton, The Oasis (dancing-bar-casino-marriage licenses-live bait), and the Trolley Diner.

Quick Eats

Quick Eat options near the ballpark. Hot dogs or Subway.

Kenton station

Kenton Station is the busiest station in the system. Every train, passenger and freight, stops here.

Improvements at Kenton Field

Today the scoreboard went up at the ballpark, along with advertising signs all along the fence. Kenton is leading 8-5, bottom of the 7th. Cautiously optimistic.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Railfanning container operations

This railfan trip we look at intermodal container operations at two locations. 20 foot containers and 40 foot containers are handled at different terminals. 20 footers are transloaded at Kenton Freight Forwarders. They are not equipped for the 40 footers. 40 footers are transloaded at Quinn Intermodal Terminal at Davis.

Kenton Freight Forwarders (KFF) - 20 foot containers are handled by the stacker seen at rear of photo.

KFF also handles LCL (Less the CarLoad/ContainerLoad) shipments and provides local pickup and delivery. 

A stack train arrives at Quinn Intermodal Terminal. 40' Containers are transloaded by the straddle crane seen at rear.

Tower QT oversees all movements at Quinn Intermodal Terminal.

40' containers waiting to be loaded once the incoming containers are removed.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Intermodals at Kenton

Intermodal traffic is way up. Here are some pics from operations at Kenton Yard. Cars are Tyco flats modified to hold containers. Containers are scratchbuilt from this article >>

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Conrail interchange power

The Conrail interchange run usually occurs in the dead of the night, but here we have a daylight photo of the usual power on the interchange. GP40 3072 assisted by a vintage F9A 2975, seen here rolling past the lumber yard at Kenton.

Cape Ann HQ

It's not too hard to find the general offices of the Cape Ann. Especially at night.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

VIA Rail 4708

The shortest route between Montreal and the Maritime provinces is right through Maine, so we see VIA Rail passenger trains often. Here VIA F9 4708 leads the consist. 

This loco, and its consist, were a project I worked for a model railroad group to see how low-cost a full passenger train could be modelled. This loco and its 4 car consist came in at $40.52 by buying used and repainting. Here is an article on exactly how it was done.

MEC in the hole at Pamola

Here we see the Maine Central interchange run just clearing the signals at Pamola siding. This is a runaround siding, so next the loco will cut off, run around the train, grab the caboose, and head back the way it came.

MEC caboose 5036 is a Tyco, from my original train set when I was kid, so it is about 50 years old now. It was originally silver and lettered for Southern Pacific. Here is an article on how it was upgraded. Here is an article on how the block signals were scratchbuilt.

CR 21105 with pulpwood load

Conrail 21105 is seen rolling through Cascade with a load of pulpwood logs.

This car is a Tyco bulkhead flat which has been repainted for Conrail. The log load was painted in more realistic colors than the original pumpkin orange. First the entire load was painted dark brown, almost black, so the spaces between logs would be dark. Then it was brush painted with a couple shades of lighter browns.

Friday, March 30, 2018

CP Rail 4128, 4566

CP Rail F9 locos 4128 and 4566 pose side by side at Kenton Yard. They periodically show up on the interchange runs coming in from the north. 

The Bachmann F9 is a "standardized" loco on the layout, due to wide availability, low cost, and ease of maintenance. These retain their stock pancake motors, and have been painted and decaled, and constant-intensity LED headlights added.

Western Pacific 17653

Western Pacific 17653 is looking dry and dusty, and a long way from home rails on this late afternoon. Train 63, the Merchant Express, is creeping down the 3% grade from Cascade to Kenton Junction with brakes squealing. This train had two F7As back to back on the point. The crew will be keeping their eyes open, as a known hobo camp is just ahead at the next curve, and the slow moving train is a tempting target for a free ride into Kenton - especially when the crew is facing the low setting sun.

17653 is a rebuilt and repainted Tyco.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Caboose 975

Cape Ann caboose 975 in the Phase 2 paint scheme. This style caboose is usually used on transfer runs between yards. Cabooses are required on all Cape Ann trains except for local freight 61/62, the Kenton Turn - which usually has a small consist and the presence of a caboose complicates switching moves.

Caboose 978

Cape Ann caboose 978, in the current Phase 2 paint scheme. This style caboose is generally used on the longer interchange runs, and any run up through Cascade Pass.

Caboose 907

Cape Ann Caboose 907, still wearing the Phase 1 paint scheme. Like all non-revenue equipment, it carries a road number in the 900 series.

Conrail 493048

Conrail 493048, a Thrall-door boxcar, is spotted at Precision Tool Corporation in Marias Industrial Park. 

This is a Life-Life, originally Illinois Terminal. It has had a repaint and decal job, and some light weathering.

Alco 1000 273

Alco 1000 273 is seen parked outside the Bolton Maintenance Facility. The blue lanterns indicate it is being serviced and cannot be moved. Cape Ann's switchers tend to just be renumbered over their existing paint job, since they are considered not as visible as road engines. It may eventually get repainted in Cape Ann colors, but then again it may not.

This is an AHM. The odd road number indicates it is unpowered, so it is just here for scenic effect.

GP-18 628

GP-18 628 is seen in Kenton Yard.

For freight service, the Cape Ann has standardized on the AHM GP-18 for low cost, availability, and ease of maintenance. They are readily available used on eBay.

U36B LLPX 6002

Here is GE U36-B from Locomotive Leasing Partners, carrying road number LLPX 6002. The Cape Ann resorts to leased power when needed. Photo taken at Pamola siding.

This is a Bachmann unit, picked up on eBay for 99 cents, no other bidders. It has had a repaint and decal job, and directional LEDs added. It has the stock pancake motor.

GP38-2 878

GP38-2 878 is seen idling at Kenton. This is a Life-Like.

Numbering scheme

Here is the numbering scheme used for all Cape Ann rolling stock. Locomotives also use this convention: powered units have even road numbers, dummies or slugs carry odd road numbers. 

199passenger, non-revenueCape Ann business use
100199passenger, revenue 
200299locomotive, switcher or FMyard or pusher service
300599locomotive, F seriespassenger service
600799locomotive, GP-18 seriesfreight service
800899locomotive, GP-20 and later seriesfreight service
900999non-revenuecaboose, maintenance of way, utility, and stationary
50005999freightrefrigerator, perishables, livestock
60006999freighthopper, open
70007999freighthopper, closed
80009999 reserved for future use

Blog split!

Welcome! This is a new blog to focus on a just tour of photos and descriptions of my HO scale railroad and rolling stock, the Cape Ann Rail System, set (and actually located) in Maine. The time machine is stuck on 1981. 

This blog has split off from my other blog, The Model Railroad Luddite. That blog will now exclusively focus on ideas for low-cost or no-cost model railroading, and keeping the hobby simple and non-technical. Hope you will follow both and enjoy! - Rick

Conrail hoppers at Marias

A couple of Conrail hoppers seen at Marias Industrial Park. Conrail cars are common on the system as it has a direct interchange.

These are Tyco cars after a repaint, decals, and weathering.

Glen Cove Fuels and the ex-flatcar bridge

Glen Cove Fuels is the local fuel dealer. The two 3-bay tanks allow storage of six different fuel blends. The tanks are from junked tank cars, and they rest on a Bachmann 89' auto rack frame which has been cut in half.

Receiving a shipment of new, empty propane tanks. 40' flat is a Tyco, tanks are scratchbuilt.

Here is the single-lane bridge made from an out-of-service flatcar, on a service road heading to the Glen Cove Maintenance lot. We see Glen Cove Fuels in the background.

Kimball's Campground

Kimball's Campground offers tent and trailer sites. There is an in-ground pool, and beach swimming by crossing the footbridge over the Cape Ann's yard approach track. Railfans find excellent views of yard traffic entering and departing Davis Yard, as well as mainline action on the double-tracked main beyond. Activity at Quinn Intermodal can also be seen from many of the sites as well as the footbridge.

Freights rumble past the rear of the campsites - an unpleasant surprise for those expecting peace and quiet.

Office and bath house.

Railfans line the footbridge while significant others enjoy the pool.

Quinn Intermodal Facility is just across the tracks.

Here we are at Kimball's Beach, as a Cape Ann passenger train passes under the pedestrian footbridge on its way to Davis. The footbridge allows campers from Kimball's Campground to get to their sandy beach without having to cross the tracks.