Tuesday, January 15, 2019

King car

Last week I was in Toronto and had a chance to see the King St. streetcars in action. As I reported a while back, automobiles have more or less been banned from King St, so streetcar travel won't be hindered. One night, sitting in a restaurant with a view of the street, I can confirm that streetcars zoomed by - east and west - every 5 minutes or so. Anecdotal evidence of course, but that seemed like prompt service.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

From the Time Machine's Glovebox: Jonesing

In September 2009 I began work on E. L. Moore's Jones Chemical Co., but it wasn't finished until January 2010. Like Bunn's Feed and Seed, I had the opportunity to see E. L. Moore's original Jones Chemical Co. model. The Jones manuscript, seen in March 2015, showed some minor differences with the published article. Some of Mr. Moore's accompanying story was edited out. This follows the editing pattern seen with the Bunn's article: story reduction in favour of efficiency

Jones Chemical Co. is #2 on my list of E. L. Moore sentimental favourites. Bunn's is #1, and #3, Cal's Lumberyard, is the one I haven't yet gotten around to building. But I did make an attempt to start it in the summer of 2018. Vince and I had been talking about large-scale models, and I'd been wanting to give Michael Paul Smith's methods a try, so I got some materials together to build a 1/24 scale version of Cal's from gatorboard and stripwood. I got as far as laying out the main wall, but the project was overtaken by events and shelved. I've still got the parts, I just need the time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Among the Cumbres and Toltec locomotives

I was very surprised to find this envelope of Cumbres and Toltec locomotive photos from the September 1996 trip - I had completely forgotten about them! I think what happened was that after they were printed they were almost immediately boxed-up in preparation for moving house and then forgotten. Yeah, that box has sat in the house, unopened, for nearly 23 years! Until now.
Of the pair of locos shown above and below, it looks like No.488 is in front, and No. 489 is behind.

These beasts don't run without coal.
Flat cars are my favourite type of freight car. Come to think of it, I don't recall any on the EVRR - I need to check on that.
I could have used one of those bad boys on my driveway today :-)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Cumbres and Toltec engine house panorama

We used to shoot a lot of pictures with a Kodak panorama camera. Basically, you loaded it with 35mm film and each picture was double the width of a normal shot. It wasn't a very sophisticated camera - it was basically just a point-and-shoot - but when the lighting conditions were right, it could take a good picture. Not so much with these two, but further rummaging turned them up, and they give a bit of an idea of what sort of rolling stock was around the engine house.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Some Cumbres and Toltec lineside structures

I also took photos of a few structures along the Cumbres and Toltec line. Like the train photos, I don't have any information other than I shot them in September 1996.

[6 Jan '19 update: I found a photo of what looks a like a brick engine house loose in the bottom of a box of photos so I added it to the collection.]

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Cumbres and Toltec highway crossing

I was rummaging through some boxes and discovered a set of photos I shot back in September 1996 in Colorado (maybe it was New Mexico?) of a meet-up with a Cumbres and Toltec train. Believe it or not it was completely by coincidence.
Back then my train interests were quite dormant and I was generally blase about trains and such things, but I guess you can take the boy outta the trains, but you can't take the trains outta the man, so I grabbed my old SLR when we were lucky enough to get stopped by this thing.

I see some photos of buildings in the envelope with these ones. I'll scan those next. Stay tuned!

[6 Jan '19 update: I found 2 more photos of passenger cars crossing the highway loose in the bottom of a box so I added them to the sequence.]

Thursday, January 3, 2019

From the Time Machine's Glovebox: Post #2

With this year being 30 Squares’ 10th anniversary, I thought that once each week throughout 2019 I’d try posting something from the previous decade.

The second post here at 30 Squares – from 17 March 2009 - sort of set the direction for everything to come: How I built E.L. Moore's "Bunn's Feed & Seed Plant". It turned out that E. L. Moore’s original model of Bunn’s Feed & Seed still existed. I got to see it in September 2015, and I posted some photos of it the same month. Earlier, in March 2015, the original manuscript and cover letter that Mr. Moore used to sell the article to Model Railroader was found. I learned that the article contained a classic E. L. Moore background story that was cut from the published version.

Monday, December 31, 2018

The R-100 airship in N scale?

We also paid a visit over the holidays to the Aviation and Space Museum out in the east end. I'm not going to give a trip report on all the interesting airplanes you'll see out there, but I will mention one particular curiosity: their model of the R-100 airship that flew to Canada from England and back again in 1930. In HO scale, the model would measure a whooping 8.3' - a little longer than the entire Alta Vista TC layout! - and in N-scale a more manageable 4.5'. The model seems closer to 4.5' than 8.3', so I'm putting my money on its scale being closer to N than HO. When we got home I hunted around for Nevil Shute's old autobiography called Slide Rule. The book has a few fascinating chapters about his time as chief 'calculator' on the R-100's construction team, and some insight into the disastrous crash of the R-100's sister ship, the R-101, where 48 of the 54 people onboard were killed.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Out-of-Service: Gone for coffee and a paper

I think that little roof over the side door needs a light. It's too dark there at night to make anyone feel safe.

Saturday, December 29, 2018