Starting eastbound into MO Interlocking, with the NS 26T passing by on Track 2.

20 Cylinders on the East Slope

“Man…” I thought, “I’m not getting out of bed for this!” John Z had just burst into the room explaining that a train was stopped outside The Station Inn, with a rare SD45-2 being towed behind the newer, more typical Norfolk Southern locomotives that pass by here daily. I reasoned that breakfast was more important.  […]

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6150 with 703 alongside

Recent Roster Additions – Atlas C40-8W

Christmas music is playing softly, I’m sipping a beer, and the kids are asleep (well, the baby is resisting, but she’ll be asleep soon enough…) so I will take a moment to update on things on the Aspinwall Belt.  We had a great operating session in late September, with a group of newer folks.  We […]

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Remote Dispatching the Onondaga Cutoff

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of serving as Conrail’s Mohawk Dispatcher on Dave Abeles’ HO scale Onondaga Cutoff. Dave’s model railroad is located in northern New Jersey, and I was serving as the “2nd trick” train dispatcher from my home near Pittsburgh.  The “first shift” dispatcher starting the night off, was […]

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My first train photo.  The "D&H Train" at Rockville Bridge, Harrisburg, Penn. June, 1987.  Boston & Maine 338 wears the grey-and-orange colors of Guilford Rail Transportation, who acquired B&M, MEC, and D&H in the early 1980.  The four blue locomotives behind are Boston & Maine GP38's in their as-delivered blue.

Requiem for “The D&H”

Those who know me, know that I’ve never been much of a fan of sports.  I am, however, a fan of the railroad industry.  And at the end of this week, a piece of historic railroad changed hands, leaving me feeling like Baltimore fans must have felt when the Colts packed up late one night […]

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GATX 2000 was one of ten locomotives leased by D&H in the early 1990s and were later acquired by CP Rail.

GATX 2000, ex-Union Pacific SD40-2

As I model the Allentown, PA area in the mid-1990s, I knew that I would need a yellow-and-gray GATX SD40-2 lease unit for the Delaware & Hudson trackage rights trains that plied the rails from Rouses Point, New York to Philadelphia, Penna. During this era, railfans drowned in a sea of blue Conrail locomotives, and […]

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CR 9522 paired up with CR 8110 for tomorrow's East Penn Drill

Minor expansion, plexiglas view guards

It’s been a little while since I’ve updated here, so I thought I should do that while the basement clears out from Testors Dullcote fumes. Over the Christmas break, my daughters and I completed some minor expansion on the Aspinwall Belt.  Inspired in part by Dave Abeles’ recent Island Track addition, we relocated the Bethlehem […]

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Norfolk Southern Heritage Locomotives - July 2, 2012

Photographing the Norfolk Southern Heritage Units

After the 2012 release of Norfolk Southern Corp’s twenty “Heritage Locomotives”, many camera-toting rail enthusiasts sought to photograph all twenty.  Many of us (me included) made the trek to Spencer, North Carolina, where NS partnered with the North Carolina Transportation Museum to display all 20 in one location: But this is shooting fish in a […]

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CR 6981 SD40-2R in HO Scale

In March, I acquired a pair of used Kato SD40s, one of which was Conrail 6345.  (more…)

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Engineer's Side

Conrail 3401 GP40-2 in HO Scale

Last summer, on a random trip to a local hobby shop, I spotted Conrail 3401 for sale at a good price.  Thinking that I could use some more four axle power for my intermodal trains, I purchased the Athearn RTR unit for about $65.  I knew that the numberboards would need to be re-decaled as […]

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1st Operating Session & Subsequent Improvements

In October, the Aspinwall Belt hosted the first “official” Operating Session.  For the uninitiated, this is essentially a bunch of grown men pretending to run a real railroad, when obviously it isn’t.  But that’s the last time you’ll hear me admit this. I set up some documentation for the group, including an overall train plan, […]

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