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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Conrail 8110 GP38-2 in HO

After the baby was born, I received the most awesome of gifts from a close friend of mine: a Life-Like Proto2000 GP38-2, painted as Conrail 7993.  These engines are wonderfully detailed, out of the box, and they run really well.  Well, I’m modeling the early-mid 1990s, and by then, this particular unit was returned to […]

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Aspinwall Belt 09-29-13

Conrail’s Aspinwall Belt track expansion

In August, I posted an outline of the so-called “temporary layout”, Conrail’s Aspinwall Belt.  I thought I would share some layout progress and additional thoughts.  As I mentioned last time, the goal of this layout was to quickly get to the point where the kids and I could run some trains.  This way, Dad can […]

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