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It's cold up here in Mass. I know there are folks on here that are even colder, and I also know there are folks who can't seem to get enough of cold weather, but I ain't one of 'em!
Truth is, it has been so cold that even though my layout is inside the house, that room is too cold to work in.

Not that I haven't been busy with the hobby, I have. I've just been busy in a different way. I have been spending a lot of time on my TV show, which has now become Mini Rails. There was some kind of domain issue with our original title, Mini Trains, so Mini Rails it is. We are setting up a web site, where episodes can be streamed, so the folks who don't happen to live in this area will also be able to watch.

If you read my last blog post you know that we spent two days covering the massive train show in West Springfield, MA. Since then we visited a unique model railroad club in Orleans, MA. Orleans is on the "elbow" of Cape Cod, about 2/3 of the way to Provincetown. What makes the Nauset Model RR club different is that they have five layouts. They have N, HO, S, O and G layouts and they all get used... a lot! They have a big, very active membership and they are most hospitable toward guests. Every Friday night anyone is welcome to visit.

I did manage to brave the frigid extremities of my back room and tear out the industrial area on the right side of layout. I have decided to re-do it, somewhat elevated for aesthetic value when completed. I toyed with the idea of doing a "step-by-step" video for the show, but I really want to feature other peoples' layouts, not my own, and as for the instructional aspect of it, well I will leave that to DJ and the others who have the skills, and experience that I lack. So I went to Home Depot and bought a 2' X 4' sheet of Styrofoam insulation. I bought the 2" thick size and cut it to fill that side of the bench. Then I laid out my tracks, pulled them apart and re designed them and did it again. I need to find some track plan that will fulfill my needs as well as make sense from a "railroad operations" point of view. The area is to be an industrial park, the centerpiece of which is Shiretown Glass. I also need a spur for the cranberry consortium that ships from the area. I'm starting to pay closer attention to things like the color of the rails themselves. Rails are almost always brown, or rust colored on the sides, and shiny on top. I haven't seen that in uni-track, but luckily, my new buddy DJ has that covered in one of his videos. The cranberry growers' siding will have to be less shiny, and have a bit more growth on it, since they only harvest in the fall, and the siding would rarely be used otherwise. I have also decided to add an abandoned spur, one where the switch has even been removed, and the roadbed is virtually gone, save a smattering of ties and a section of rail. Along the side of this track will be a dilapidated old factory building, roof caving in, graffiti amok and so on. Sadly, sights like this are all too common along today's rail lines and I like the idea of having one on my layout.

So that's it. The "B" line is sort of on hold while I wait for warmer weather. Mini Rails is in full swing and the demands on my time are becoming slightly inconvenient. I am getting some positive feedback. People seem to like the show, but so far, not many have spoken up and invited us to shoot their layouts. I have done a few clubs, and have lined up a few others, but I really like the notion of doing layouts in peoples' basements or garages. These are the ones who really make our hobby go, and they are the ones I want to highlight. If you know someone who has a layout and who lives in the Northeast, have them contact me through this website, and I will come out with the crew and put them on TV.

I won't even wait till warm weather.


  1. Huglthings's Avatar
    Are the shows online somewhere? It would be nice to check them out and get some ideas. Regardless, have fun with it. I'm a videographer myself, and that would be so cool to have a show like that!
  2. Albey25's Avatar
    Huglthings-They are not yet on line but if you go to Wareham Mass Cable access TV and look up their schedule you can see the show when it airs there, because their shows are "live streamed".
  3. NellsChoo's Avatar
    "Elbow" of the Cape... I am up near the "Bean", myself...
  4. Albey25's Avatar
    Nells I thought you were on the north shore?

    RE....I am active with the Gatemen too...come see a ballgame and look me up. Anyone at the ball park can point me out.
  5. Huglthings's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Albey25
    Huglthings-They are not yet on line but if you go to Wareham Mass Cable access TV and look up their schedule you can see the show when it airs there, because their shows are "live streamed".
    Very cool thanks! I will definitely check it out.