#35 Status Report

September 2, 2009

This month the tour of recent changes to the EnterTRAINment Junction layout continues in the Middle Period, looking specifically at the engine servicing facility.  This was the part of the layout which MVGRS initially offered to design and build for EnterTRAINment Junction, and so it’s gotten our special attention to make it as authentic as possible.  Figure 1 provides an overall view of the facility.


Figure 1.  Middle Period Engine Servicing Facility


Since the period modeled is during the steam-to-diesel transition, the facility needed be able to support both types of engines.  The different ages of the buildings and other facilities required that the older ones used for steam needed be weathered considerably more than the newer diesel facilities.  Ray Hughes applied this concept in his outstanding weathering of the roundhouse (Figure 2) and the water towers.


Figure 2.   The Roundhouse


Since the roundhouse was used for steam engines, another building was needed to allow diesels to be maintained in a covered facility.  Shown in Figure 3 is the diesel engine maintenance building.  It was built, detailed, and weathered by Gordon Havens.  Shown at the end of the two stub-ended tracks in the foreground of Figure 3 are a two of the track-end bumpers which Jack Wilson and I “mass produced” for use throughout this facility and the Modern Period.


Figure 3.  The Diesel Engine Maintenance Building


The Cincinnati club volunteers also provided some items for the area.  These are shown in Figure 4: the sand loading columns for the diesels, the sand house which feeds them, a lighting tower, and the yard office (at the far right).

Figure 4.  Diesel Sand Loaders, Sand House, Lighting Tower, and Yard Office


Other recent additions include an older style sand house, for the steam engines, shown in Figure 5.  It’s located on the tracks leading to the coaling tower and turntable.  Also visible is one of the water columns for filling the steam engine tenders.

Figure 5  The Steam Engine Sand House and Water Column


Added details between the coaling tower and the roundhouse include a lighting tower and tool sheds (Figure 6).  The water tower in the background is the more heavily weathered of the two.



Figure 6.  Highly Weathered Water Tower, Sheds, and Lighting Tower


Another recently added detail is the speeder shed built by Gordon Carlson (Figure 7).


Figure 7.  The Speeder House


The final item to show you in this article is boiler house, built by Gordon Havens (Figure 8).  At the time of the photo, this was still in the workshop waiting for some preparations to its location on the layout.  The purpose for this building was to hide the tunnel entrance for the feeder track from the staging tracks inside the mountain behind the facility.  We wanted an option to drive items into and out of the area rather than having to manually lift them in or affecting the operation of the mainline surrounding the facility.  Because there was no justification in the scene for that track to enter a tunnel where it does, we needed a way to camouflage the entrance.  The boiler house, with its hopper dumping shed at the side of the building, does that.  The shed is open at the back to allow equipment to drive all the way through it into the mountain behind.

Figure 8.  The Boiler House


To add some interest, Gordon decided to add interior detail, a couple of boilers with their steam and exhaust plumbing (Figure 9) to make them look “busy.”  And, having gone through all that effort, we needed have the door open so that all of that interior busyness would be visible.  We also added lights to the interior to help make these details visible.

Figure 9.  Boiler House Interior


As with all of the areas on the layout, additions continue week to week as they are completed sufficiently to be put on display.  There are a lot more details, enhancements, and animations needed, so we’ll continue to work to make it ever better.


© 2009 Tom Bartsch

MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator