Unfinished business with Robin

Unfinished business 3

The weather outside was frightful but the train room was delightful when my friend Robin Talukdar found himself in town with a couple of hours to kill yesterday, and asked if he could drop by to “run a train”.

We grabbed coffees, talked about Robin’s recent experience operating on the SP Clovis Branch that Pierre Oliver is bringing to life in his basement, and then headed to Port Rowan.

A freight extra was the order of the day, behind CNR 10-wheeler 1532. With four cars in tow, we had a lot of work ahead of us – well, a lot for my layout, anyway.

We sorted the team track at St. Williams, setting off two cars and lifting two others, which we placed on the siding to collect on the return trip.

Unfinished business 5

Unfinished business 4

We then headed down to Port Rowan, where we collected one car while setting off two. We placed a British American tank car on the elevated coal delivery track to aid with unloading fuel for a local dealer, and shuffled a car into the team track. We had one car to lift – one of the Milwaukee Road’s distinctive rib-side boxcars. And we turned the locomotive in preparation for heading back.

Unfinished business 1

At this point, Robin’s window closed so we left things as they lay. The MILW car is on the main, the van is set in front of the station, and the 1532 is on the turntable lead. Next time I have somebody over, we’ll finish the work.

Unfinished business 2

Robin has undertaken several layouts. Currently, he’s working on the Guelph Spur in Proto:48, a line jointly operated by Ontario Southland and GEXR. Go have a look – he’s doing interesting things.

Great to see you, Robin – and sorry we couldn’t visit longer. I look forward to our next get-together!

CNR 3737 :: Soldering done!

There are watershed moments in any project. One of the biggest is getting the thing built and ready to paint. On Friday, I achieved that with CNR 3737 – my 2-8-2 project.

CNR 3737 - Nose

The extensive re-detailing has taken three years of off-and-on work under the tutelage of my friend Andy Malette. I’ll admit that’s about two years longer than I thought it would take – and my soldering leaves a lot to be desired. But Andy – and others – have looked at it and said “Don’t worry: it’s fine” and right now, I’m happy to take their word for that.

CNR 3737

It sure needs a good cleaning. I foresee myself picking up the tab for lunch with Ryan Mendell in exchange for a couple of hours in his workshop, with his grit blaster. With luck, that’ll strip off any oils, flux and other unwanted stuff, and provide a good tooth for the primer.

CNR 3737

And as Andy has noted, steam engines combined ash/soot, grease, steam oil, and water vapour to create truly foul gunk in corners and on surfaces. So whose to say that’s not what I’ve added as I’ve bashed my way from a USRA standard Light Mikado to a CNR S-3-a?

Thanks, Andy, for the lessons and the patience!