#38 -December Status Report

December 2, 2009

This month I’ll show you some of the noteworthy new additions to EnterTRAINment Junction.


For travelers coming north on I-75, there’s a new attention-getter.  The picture of a locomotive “breaking out” of the wall in center of the building (Figure 1).  This is not as impressive as the original architect’s concept of a full scale three-dimensional mockup of a large steam locomotive coming out of the wall as though out from under a bridge, but it’s a lot less expensive, and probably more consistent with the signage restrictions imposed by the city of West Chester.



Figure 1.  The Outside Wall Decor


On the layout, there are a number of new additions.  This time we’ll look at the most noticeable ones.  At the outlet from the Early Period lake, is a new steel drawbridge built by Pete Villareal, with its almost uncountable number of hand-installed rivets (Figure 2).  Also note a new houseboat at anchor in the lake beyond.  It sports a pair of fishermen having a relaxing time waiting for a bite.


Figure 2.  The Drawbridge


Across the aisle near the top of the mountain, the beginnings of a forest fire blazes brightly away.  To see it from the aisle, you’ll have to be past the Lake Town water tower, look down the aisle back the way you came then up and to the left.  It’s just to the right of the right of the steel bridge (Figure 3).  It’s very obvious when viewed from the mezzanine, but from there, it’s very far away.

Figure 3.  The Forest Fire


In the Middle Period, the large station built by Mike Crone has been replaced by an oriental-looking structure built by John Kitterman, complete with its large train shed covering the station’s through-tracks (Figure 4).


Figure 4  The New Middle Period Station


The factory in the field behind the drive-in theater near the Middle Period city has a new addition – a beautifully detailed metal scrap yard complete with crane and junkyard dog (Figure 5).  There have been some interesting items of scrap reported to be in the pile, but you’ll need binoculars to spot them.

Figure 5.  The Scrap Yard


The vacant meadows on either side of the river below the waterfall have now been populated by two farm scenes, one on each side of the river.  The one on the right bank is shown in Figure 6.  The two farm scenes are connected by a road crossing the river via a bridge.  The bridge even has swimmer taking a dive into the river.


Figure 6.  The Farm


In the Middle Period engine servicing facility, we recently added the car scale and scale house along with a gondola loaded with metal scrap being weighed (Figure 7).  We borrowed the RS-3 locomotive from the track adjacent to the diesel servicing building.

Figure 7.  The Scale House and Customer


Finally, in the intermodal area, two new buildings adorn the entrance (or exit) from the facility.  The first is a marvelously detailed three-story office building, with desks, computers, wall charts, and people.  The other is the entry control building next to the road leading into the facility.

Figure 8.   Intermodal Area Offices



Those were some of the big obvious changes.  There are a lot more changes, many much subtler, most very creative, all adding to the layout’s interest and completeness.  Next time, we’ll look at some of these.


© 2009 Tom Bartsch

MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator