Today was a full day of trains, left early for te Operating session at Keith Stillman's. So I headed to Ashland, VA. Just as I arrived anAMTRAK train was stopped at the station and a CSX coal train was waiting for it to depart. I could not get camera out for the AMTRAK train but did catch the coal drag.
I then proceeded to Doswell, VA. just up the road from Ashland. The Buckingham Branch RR interchanges with CSX and this is their base of operations (I think)
There are some very photogenic structures in the area of the wye and there is a couple of bulk loading businesses here.
The CSX (ex RF&P) mainline is on the right, the covered hoppers are in some tail tracks in the wye.
After a delightful lunch prepared by Keith's wife Marlene we started the op session. It went long today but we all had fun. This location is Furnace.
Thorny Point, Yard master and two engineers starting the assembly of their trains.
Hood which is part of the railroad the operator controls with a work train and passenger train waiting clearance to proceed to the next station.. I was the operator for this session.
The sketch, the around the walls bench work is existing, I will ad a central peninsula to hold the Gilman Mill. The Connecticut River crossing is on the top shelf on the sheet. Gilman Station n the bottom shelf. Whitefield NH may end up being modeled along the right side.
Sat down and started re-reading all of my notes, collected articles, info in books and after taking my daily walk I sat down and came up with this sketch.
This photo in the MEC in Color Vol 1 of the Connecticut River crossing has always been a seen I liked.
While I was looking through and sketching, I determined I could add in Whitefield NH as a scene also. I have not totally convinced myself on this idea yet but I think it fits well in this portion of the room.
This is some of the info in my Maine Central note book on Gilman, it was from a Rail Model Journal Article. I think this magazine was a great model railroad resource. I only wish Model Railroader would have articles similar to what were in it. I might consider subscribing again. I have several e-mail exchanges from railroaders that worked on the Mountain Division which explains the various locals and how the little bit of on line industries were worked.
I think a road trip to Vermont is in my future, the wife wants to go since she has never been.
After much soul searching and a full year of considering this in the back of my mind, I have decided on the LDC (Layout Design Concept) and the associated LDE's.
LDE - 1) On one of the long walls, The Paper Mill at Gilman, VT.
LDE - 2) On the other long wall the Connecticut River Bridge.
LDE - 3) On short wall the Gillman Agent Shanty
Gives me a nice bridge scene ( I like building bridges and the scenes)
Gives me a nice switching plan that is very well documented and has many good reference photos. (I have built a 2 x 16 Gillman switching shelf layout before and I really enjoyed the operation and super detailing the scene).
The Gilman Agent Station will make a nice photo shoot area and will have to be scratch built (like that).
It will be built so I can run long trains on a big loop for when none operators come (Family and Friends) who just like to see trains in motion.