Sep 27, 2016

Two CNR 2-10-2s (Exporail 2016)

A long coal train is headed by a pair of CNR 2-10-2s, built by S Scale Workshop member Simon Parent. In this video, the train does an end-to-end run on our exhibition layout, during our group's appearance in August at Exporail's annual model train weekend. Enjoy if you watch!

(You can also view this directly on YouTube, where you may be able to enjoy it in larger formats)

F-units at Dunham Jct (Exporail 2016)

Andy Malette's CNR F-units lead a freight through Simon Parent's Dunham Junction module on the S Scale Workshop exhibition layout. This video was shot during our group's appearance in August at Exporail's annual summer model train show. Enjoy if you watch!

(You can also view this directly on YouTube, where you may be able to enjoy it in larger formats)

Cab ride at Exporail 2016

A video from this summer's appearance at Exporail. Enjoy if you watch!

(You can also view this directly on YouTube, where you may be able to enjoy it in larger formats)

Sep 26, 2016

Sep 22, 2016

Workshop in S Scale Resource magazine

The S Scale Workshop made the cover of the current (October-November 2016) issue of S Scale Resource magazine! The F unit is by Andy Malette, and is posed on his Great White North brewing company module.

The Workshop is featured as part of the magazine's report on the 2016 NASG Convention in Novi, Michigan. To read the coverage, go to the S Scale Resource website, where you can download the issue for free.

Thanks to Daniel Dawdy for including us in his report!

Sep 17, 2016

Ontario Loops

When the S Scale Workshop goes to shows, the layout we exhibit is determined by the modules that each member brings. That means that our exhibits vary widely based on who can participate.

But operationally, we tend to set up in one of two configurations. Most of us are in Southern Ontario but if Workshop member Simon Parent joins us from the Montreal area, we set up in a loop-to-loop format - as we did at Exporail in August and at the Copetown Train Show in March:

However, if Simon can't make it, we typically set up in a point-to-point configuration, as we plan to do at the upcoming Brampton Model Railway Show:

The two configurations are very different from an operations perspective - and it's fair to say that most of the members prefer the loop-to-loop arrangement. It's easier to keep trains rolling during an exhibition when they turn themselves. More importantly, the use of loops instead of short (4' long) "train length turntables" means we can run longer trains. Much longer.

Loops allow us to run long trains, like this coal drag behind a CNR 2-10-2.
Without the loops, our trains tend to be only a few cars long.
That said, short trains look just fine behind small steam power.
But Simon can't always join his friends in southern Ontario - not at every show, anyway. And since the current loop set is also part of his home layout, we can't expect him to leave the loops in our area.

So, as we conducted our post-mortem on Exporail, Simon volunteered to build a pair of loops for the group in southern Ontario. We'll pay for his materials and the group will own these collectively. Since many of us already have home layouts and/or modules, the loops have been designed to take up as little space as possible when stored. They'll be based on construction techniques that Simon has proven on his own modules so we already know they're going to work well.

Our initial plan was for a simple loop at each end. But after some discussion, we decided that adding a double-ended siding within each loop - similar to Simon's "Staging Loop", but with only two tracks instead of three - would not take up much additional space.

The advantages are definitely worth it. The second track will provide us with some much-needed additional flexibility for exhibits. We can store a train at each end of the run, or use the loops as sidings for meets.

Here's the current design for the Ontario Loops*:

Both loops will be identical. If I recall, the trapezoid section at lower left should be reversible so we can bend the loops in either direction. The two wide sections will get very basic ground cover, while the loops themselves will be unscenicked - just like the loops we currently use.

Simon's three-track staging loop, with scenery on the junction sections
and bare wood on the staging portions. Shown at Exporail 2016.

Of course, if Simon is joining us and bringing his loops, then we'll be able to attach the two Ontario Loops to a variety of positions - perhaps off one branch at Dunham Junction, and off the second route through the interlocking on Simon's single-track loop. Now that would be quite the layout...

Thank you, Simon, for volunteering to build these (in your spare time, of course). Your friends in Ontario are in no rush for them, but we look forward to putting them to good use...

(*"Ontario Loops": Not their official name - yet. But I had to call them something for this post...)

Sep 11, 2016

Workshop coming to Brampton, October 1-2

As noted on our exhibition schedule, members of the S Scale Workshop will be exhibiting the group's Free-mo style layout at the Brampton Model Railway Show in a few weeks.

This is our first appearance at the BRMS, which has quickly become the largest exhibition of its kind in the Golden Horseshoe area of southern Ontario. We're excited to be included in the show.

Our layout for this event is a J-shaped configuration, running point to point between four-foot-long "train-length turntables" - with modules contributed by David Clubine, John Johnston, Andy Malette, Trevor Marshall, and Jim Martin. As he often does, Fredrick Adlhoch will also be on hand to help us out.

Click on the image, below to view a larger version of our set-up plan for this event:

For more on the Brampton Model Railway Show - including a downloadable coupon for $1 off regular adult admission - visit the show's website. We look forward to seeing you there!