Signing on: steinjr from Norway, modelling Mpls 1957 H0 scale

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by steinjr, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. steinjr

    steinjr New Member

    Hi people --

    Just wanted to drop by and say "hi" to everyone for my first post here at The Gauge model trains forums.:wave:

    Quick description of myself : 43 years old, lives in Norway in Europe, had a Märklin layout as a child, but then left the hobby for about 30 years, until I got kids of my own.

    The kids have Märklin sectional tracks and paper buildings we set up in our living room occationally:


    I am working on a H0 scale around the room shelf switching layout in my little 6 1/2 x 11 1/2 foot storage room/workshop. The layout is inspired by urban scenes from Minneapolis ca 1957 - mainly the Omaha Road's trackage in the Warehouse District, but also a grain elevator scene and a scene loosely based on the municipal barge terminal in Mpls.

    No staging - I intend to bring very short trains or short cuts of cars with interchange traffic onto the layout or off the layout using a cassette which can hold an engine and 5 cars. When the casette is empty, it works as a bridge for continuous run.

    Here is my layout plan:

    Here is a car location diagram showing industry spots on the layout:

    A few images showing the current state of the layout:

    Left end of warehouse district - leftmost track is mainline/exit from yard, low building straight ahead is freight house. industry/warehouse flats along wall on the right.

    Looking right along waregouse district - mini yard of three tracks, more industries/warehouses.

    Right side of room, elevator in the background, Hun't baking pwder co (red paper over foamcore building), Williams warehouse (two Pikestuff warehouses spliced end to end).

    Cassette/bridge in front of door.

    Testing out track alignments for the barge terminal scene using various placeholders:

    I have since scratched out a coal barge that hopefully looks a little better than the placeholder tray in the picture above:


    Anyways - that is the present state of my layout. It obviously needs a lot more work before it start look anywhere even remotely as good as some of the layouts I have seen in this forum.

    But I'm having fun "working on the railroad" and hope to learn more and get more ideas following this forum :)

  2. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Welcome to the Gauge Stein :wave:

    You have a very nice layout going there. You got some great looking buildings and i recognize quite a few of them. Everything is looking really good :thumb: :thumb:

    I like your trackplan for your layout as well :mrgreen:

    I look forward to seeing more pictures of your progressing layout. Again, welcome and thanks for sharing your layout with us :mrgreen: :wave:
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hello and welcome! I like your layout concept, the trackplan, and the photos of your layout in progress. Keep us up to date!

  4. steinjr

    steinjr New Member

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    Hi Charlie, Josh and Ralph --

    Thank you for your kind welcome messages.

    I guess I'd better get going on searching out older forum posts on various subjects, to see how others have done various things I am considering doing on my layout - like repainting and/or redecalling my engines.

    And if necessary post some followup questions on that over in the H0 scale forum.

    Again - thanks for the warm welcome!

  5. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    Hello Stein, welcome to the Gauge. Thank you for posting the plan and pictures of your layout. I really like your trackplan and I think you made the most of the space available. Looking forward to see many more pictures!
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Welcome aboard Stein. Glad you joined us.

  7. steinjr

    steinjr New Member

    Kurt and Loren - thank you to you too.

    After browsing around the forums a little, I am again struck by how much we all have in common as model railroaders and rail fans, despite living in places far apart and modelling different aspects of railroading.

    Ralph -- I very much liked your travel blog from your Empire Builder trip west from the twin cities.

    My then fiance (now wife) and I rode the empire builder from Chicago to Saint Paul about 11-12 years ago, and we seriously considered taking the Builder from the Twin Cities (where we were visting her parents and brothers) to Montana to visit my wife's sister and her family in Helena this summer.

    In the end we decided to fly in instead - it was just a little too much to ask my brother-in-law drive all the way north from Helena up to Glacier National Park to pick us up.

    I still got to see a little railroading in the Rockies, though - my brother-in-law and got to chase a westbound coal drag on the Montana Rail Link from Helena up over the continental divide via Mullan Pass.

    It was quite an experience standing 30 feet from the track at a RR crossing and feel the power of 13 engines slowly pulling a 100 car coal coal train up the switchback curves.

    Charlie -- I had a look at your kiski junction web page. Very appropriate music there :mrgreen:

    I in some mysterious way avoided ending up on the railroad, despite coming from a family where quite a few family members has worked on the railroad for the last 4 generations, ever since my great grandpa and his brother signed on as a line maintenance workers back in 1885.

    My grandpa was a telegrapher and station agent on the railroad here in Norway, and my dad was was born in the station agent's upstairs apartment at a small rural station. Three of dad's brothers worked on the RR until retirement, and currently my brother and at three of our cousins are working on the railroad.

    Loren - I like that 2x12 industrial switching layout plan of yours. Andrew Martin's website is one of those websites I also have in my list of bookmarks.

    I got started on no less than three or three different 2x7 foot shelf switching layouts in the same spot in our living room before I finally settled on the around the room shelf layout I am currently building in my basement workshop.

    Here is a link to some of the designs I have worked on over the last couple of years:

    Anyways - I am looking forward to seeing more of your layout!

    Kurt -- your Miami layout is awesome! I have seen the pictures of Lance Mindheim's layout, and I agree with his comment on your layout - yours is clearly a masterpiece.

    As you guys might have gathered - I am a great fan of realistic looking urban or industrial switching layouts.

    I had a thread over in the model railroading forum soliciting links to pictures of realistic looking urban switching layouts and got quite a few links:

    Josh -- I read through your thread on your CAT module, and the 16 page long thread on your shelf switching layout.

    Very impressive - it was almost a blow to learn on page 16 that your amazing layout is being torn down to make way for a new modular setup.

    But I am sure your modules also will be great, and that you some day will have a huge layout in a house of your own. Just remember to leave a little space in that house for your girlfriend and family when you get that far :mrgreen:

    I also spot quite a few names I recognize from other train forums - doctorwayne (and his amazing layout), Harold Minky, Dave H and his 1905 layout, Jeffrey Wimberly, foulrift, packers#1 (still wrong. btw - Vikings #1 :mrgreen:) and quite a few others.

    Anyways - again, thanks for the kind welcome - and my apologies for the long and somewhat rambling reply.

  8. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thank-you Stein for the kind comments :mrgreen: :wave:

    The CAT module is under some modifications at this time, and im hoping to improve some stuff further more and make it look even more realistic.

    i was sad to see the shelf layout go, but i found a much more realistic and fun way to model, and it was right up my alley, which like you, is modeling the most realistic operations and details as possible. The modules will be based on the Modesto & Empire Traction Company (M&ET) which is based in Modesto, California. Hoping to get my track plan for the 23 modules in Model Railroader as well as prototype pictures and information on the Shrotline Railroad. Then later on, i will write a second article about all the modules once there all completed (years down the line lol)

    LOL Yes Vikings all the way, my family is a HUGE Vikings Fan :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    We love long rambling replies here Stein, so dont worry about it :mrgreen: as you can see above, i rambled on about my M&ET modules hehehe :wave:

    Looking forward to seeing some more progress of your layout :thumb: :thumb: :mrgreen:
  9. steinjr

    steinjr New Member

    Modesto and Empire, eh ? Wasn't that he shortline that has (had?) all those GE 70-tonners ? Was an article on them in Trains magazine a few years back, if I remember correctly. Sounds like a cool idea for a prototype!

    23 modules doesn't sound like a too "modest" plan (if you forgive a weak pun). Looking forward to seeing pictures of that layout some day!

  10. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Yes in fact that is the RR that has the 70-Toners They have 9 of them and 2 SW1500's :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    23 modules is quite a task and a large project, but i will be making them stackable for easy storage on the walls :thumb: :mrgreen:
  11. steinjr

    steinjr New Member

    Good plan. 9 70-tonners and 2 SW-1500s sounds like a good roster for decent-sized model railroad.

    I've picked up a total of 7 diesel engines for my layout. Two home road (Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha - "Omaha Road") yard switchers, one parent company (Chicago & Northwestern) road switcher, and 4 neighbouring companies (MSTL, GN, NP, MILW) road switchers for dropping off or picking up interchange traffic.

    Of the seven, I expect a maximum of 3 or 4 to be on the layout at the same time - the two home road yard switchers and a couple of road switchers either delivering a cut of cars or picking up a cut of cars from my yard.

    Here is my roster:

    CMO GE 44-ton switcher #51
    CMO GE 70-ton switcher #53
    CNW FM H16-44 #1514
    MSTL Alco S1 #142
    MILW Alco RS3 #2475
    GN Alco RS3 #228
    NP EMD GP7 #569

    Last digit of road number is DCC id.

    I am using a wee bit of artistic license here - I know that the Omaha road didn't have GE 44-ton and GE 70-ton yard switchers in 1957. And that the M&StL did not have an S1.

    So I am justifying those by rewriting history a little bit. I am pretending that GN GE 44-ton switcher #5201, sold as an industrial switcher to Iron and Steel Products Co in 1948 and renumbered #51, instead was sold to the Omaha road, was renumbered #51 and used at the West Minneapolis yard, along with a GE 70-tonner #53 aquired from somewhere else.

    CMO had a mix of other switchers in the 50-series of road numbers when it was merged into C&NW in 1957 (#55 was an EMD SW-1, #56-57 were Alco S1s, #58, 59 and 60 were Baldwin VO-660s), so it is not such a stretch to assume that #51 and #53 could have been GE switchers.

    Same with the MSTL Alco S1. MSTL didn't have any S1s - but they had an S2, aquired in 1941, and consequenly numbered 741 (engine no 7 bought in 1941).

    I am postulating that they also got an S1 in 1942, and numbered it #142. C&NW had S1s, but I like the red and white post 1956 paint scheme of the MSTL better.

    The rest (CNW, GN, NP, MILW) road numbers and engine types are reasonably historical for the company and type of engine, courtesy of and

    I will have to repaint and redecal quite a few of my engines.

    I tried my hand at brush repainting an old trainmaster shell from a dummy engine. It was a total mess - but at least I learned that strip, clean, prime, mask and airbrush probably is the only way that really makes sense.

    I've found some isopropanol and old toothbrushes for cleaning, and located a store over here that sell Tamiya model primer and Testors glosscote and dullcote (for enturely understandable reasons airlines and various governments and postal services are not too fond of people shipping flammables in the mail on international flights from the US to other countries).

    Next I am going to need to find a decent double action airbrush with suitable needles, a reliable source of compressed dry air, sensible masking tape for modelling and good acrylics available locally here.

    Without spending too horryfyingly much money - I have a fairly small layout, and suspect I would get in trouble with my wife if I spend 3-4-500 dollars on a good compressor and airbrush - with all the trappings.

    Wonder if I could do okay work on engines and buildings with bottled air and a not too expensive airbrush ?

    Oh well, I guess I will eventually find that out - I still have three more old engine shells and a dozen old cars to practice on.

  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    :welcome1: Hi, Stein, it's great to see you over here. I don't come to this particular Forum too often, so I must apologise for missing your arrival. I think that you'll enjoy it here, as we have a great bunch of Members.

  13. steinjr

    steinjr New Member

    Hi Wayne --

    Thanks for the welcome. I just had to come over and have a look at the site where the pictures of your magnificent layout was home based.

    Too bad I arrived in the middle of the crowdgather/moderator mass resignation thing - every second post seems to be about talented people leaving the forum (or at least announcing that they will be leaving) :(

    Oh well, I still can search the old posts for advice.

    Btw - thanks for the advice you wrote a while back on masking a model for painting. :thumb:

    My next attempt (take3 :mrgreen:) after I strip the last paint off again will be following your advice there - like using a second piece of tape as a straight edge, while burnishing on the tape for the actual masking a little by little, so it better follows the contours of the engine side.

    And painting over the edge of the masking tape with the lighter (background) color.


    Edit: 19-Dec-2008 - I haved moved on to another forum, and can not guarantee that any responses made to this thread will be detected and responded to.
  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    Welcome on board, not a huge amount of current activity here, but this forum is very easy to share text and photos, and so I use it to document my projects, and hope more folks will join in.

    My stuff is mainly in the logging area, with some side projects in narrow gauge, and scratch building.

    Bill Nelson

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