#64 Status Report

July 8, 2012

This month’s article looks at some of the recent happenings on the EnterTRAINment Junction (EJ) layout.  As usual, the order in which they are shown is in the same order as you would see them (or might have seen them) as you moved along the layout aisle.

An item of joy for some us is to see steam engines rolling again on the layout (Figure 1).  Just like the real thing, steam engine models are mechanically more complex and so require more maintenance, which can keep them in the shop longer than their simpler diesel cousin.

You may wonder why you don’t see photographs of engines and rolling stock in my articles very often.  The answer is both simple and complex.  The simple part is that most of my photos are exposures with long enough exposure times to make any moving object appear blurry in the image (not good), so I deliberately avoid including moving trains in the photographs I use in these articles.  The complex part comes from the reasons behind the long exposure times, and an explanation of that  will have to wait for a future article.  In the case of Figure 1, the photograph was taken before EJ opened in the morning, and the train was still stopped at its overnight parking location.


Figure 1.  A Mikado (2-4-2)



Up on the mezzanine, the spectacular circus model, on loan from supportive donor, has been removed and returned to its owner.  In its place, work has begun on the supports for the tracks which will grace this as-yet unfinished part of the layout (Figure 2).  Rumor has it, the area will include an amusement  park.  Sharp-eyed viewers of Figure 2 may see a familiar structure in the distance, which dates back to EJ’s opening in August 2007.


Figure 2.  Mezzanine Improvements



There are times when things don’t go quite as planned or desired.  Figure 3 shows one such event.  The locomotive was supposed to stop inside the maintenance shed, but, alas, it did not.  In this case, it was likely due to a sensor or computer malfunction.  While this may appear unrealistic, the scene does reflect a real-life situation on a full-scale railroad, a situation to which one of our Miami Valley Garden Railway Society members can attest.


Figure 3.  Oops (or “Connn-sarnit” as Yosemite Sam might say)



A new addition to the EJ Display Area is a display showing Niel Young’s interest in model railroading (Figure 4).  It’s a fitting counterpart to Neil’s travelling Lionel layout with its enormous backdrop.


Figure 4.  Neil Young’s Model Railroading



A new addition to the industrial area, across the aisle from the Modern City is a workshop made from an old boxcar (Figure 5).  As is typical of new additions to the layout, this model comes complete with interior lighting and details galore.


Figure 5.  Workshop



Finally, at the parking lot for the bicycle path, next to the plastics factory, an injured cyclist is ministered to by a paramedic (Figure 6).  The flashing lights on the EMT vehicle call your attention to it.  Hopefully, it’s no more serious than a bump on the head and a bent front wheel on the bicycle.


Figure 6.  Bicycle Accident


That’s all for this month, but there’s more to come.  I already have some ideas for future articles, so stay tuned.  And go see the layout, there’s always something new to catch your interest.


© 2012 Tom Bartsch

MVGRS Big Train Project Coordinator