Sunday, October 4, 2009

Finger Lakes Scenic Railway Fall Foliage Tour 2009

Follow the Finger Lakes Scenic Railway's Fall Foliage Tour from Camillus to Cayuga, NY with stops on the return leg in Skaneateles Junction (missed the train there) and Martisco Station. Power for the double-ended train of 5 coaches (3 in NYC grey) on the way out was 2301 (GE B23-7) and on the way back 1751 (EMD GP9). Below are images of the power and stations in Martisco, Skaneateles Junction, and Cayuga along the way as well as a nice truss bridge, an RDC railcar, and a small crane car.

More about the Finger Lakes Railway (FGLK) at and

2301 (GE B23-7) and 1751 (EMD GP9) in Camillus at the boarding point

The station at Cayuga, NY along the shores of Cayuga Lake. It is now home to the town clerks office...

1751 (EMD GP9) viewed from above with Cayuga Lake in the background
during the stop in Cayuga, NY

Truss bridge at Cayuga

Station at Skaneateles Junction (aka Harlot). Missed the train running by...
The station is now used by the
Central New York Model Railway Club for their layout.

Martisco station, one of the homes of the Central New York Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. They have an RDC and the small crane car here among things.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Train Action in Syracuse (again)

Two new videos shot in and east of Syracuse, NY. The first is a tripfrom the West end of the CSX yard in East Syracuse to the a bit west of the grade-level crossing in Kirkville, NY. Action filmed on August 24 and 25 shows an engine move along Track 2, some Amtraks, and a SD40-2 switching on the South Runner (all in East Syracuse). Next we see 2 short silent clips of westbound trains passing under the pedestrian overpass in Minoa, one of an autorack whose power included CSX 1191(MP15AC) and the other of a UP-powered reefer train. Finally we see yet two more Amtraks along the straight at CP 280.5 near Kirkville and a stack train.

The second video was shot at milepost 280.5 along the straight of Saintsville Rd showing a westbound CSX stacktrain, the eastbound Amtrak Lake Shore Limited pulled by two Genesis units and stills of another (eastbound) CSX stacktrain.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Come vist at the Great New York State Model Train Fair in Syracuse

Come visit our Euro-modular layout at the Great New York State Model Train Fair in Syracuse this coming November 7-8. We'll be (hopefully) hidden in plain sight with others in the Euro-East area there. More on the train show here.

Below an overview of the layout that you can read more about here. The image above (part of the show's Flash slideshow) is the right hand module below.

And here a video with Mike Nataluk's module in between ours. More videos at YouTube. Just click on "Our Layouts/Unsere Anlagen in H0, N, and Z" where the playlists are and then scroll down to select...

We're also hoping to bring our z-scale layout a detail of which is below.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

GG1 4933 in Syracuse Vandalized!

Well, maybe not quite vandalized, but not sure how else to describe it...

Was at the New York State Fair in Syracuse today and went to check in on the Central New York Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society's display at the back near the CSX mainline. One of my favorites was GG1 4933 of the Pennsylvania RR that had been a beautiful tuscan red...

But, what did I see there instead... Yes, this was also once its color. Yes, the tuscan red was worn and needed some maintenance... But Amtrak? Even Penn Central black would have been preferable... Blech! I suppose I should see the upside to it all – the engine had received some tlc this summer, and Amtrak is a "brand" people today recognize... More about the repaint can be found here.

GG1 ELECTRIC 926 / 4926 / 4933
GG1 electric locomotive 926 was built in 1943 by the Pennsylvania Railroads’s Juniata Shops in
Altoona, PA, as number 4933. It served electrified territory on the PRR from Penn Station in New York City to Harrisburg. When the PRR was merged into the Penn Central, the road number 4933 was retained. The locomotive operated under catenary, picking up power through roof-mounted pantographs. It could reach speeds of 100 mph in passenger service. It was famed industrial designer Raymond Lowery who urged that GG1 bodies be welded to improve appearance and who designed the famous PRR pinstripe paint scheme (left photo). In 1971, #4933 was transferred to Amtrak ownership, where it was first renumbered as 4926, and later, 926. Amtrak retired the GG1s in 1981. CNY NRHS member Ollie Kenyon purchased the 926 and donated it to the CNY Chapter. For many years, it was displayed here in classic PRR livery

LENGTH: 79.5 feet
WEIGHT: 238.5 tons
BUILT: 1943 – Pennsylvania RR Juniata Shops, Altoona PA

From the historical marker. Below a view from above via Google Earth still showing the tuscan red.

View Larger Map

Friday, August 21, 2009

Trainspotting with the Syracuse Chiefs

Footage of TRAINS shot during the Chiefs August 18, 2009 game against the Buffalo Bisons at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse. The CSX mainline runs behind the stadium with a nice view from behind the visiting team dugout. The Chiefs won 1:0 with the winning run driven in at the bottom of the 9th. An unfortunately dull game with dull train action. Interesting was a rather short autorack. Also shown is Pops, one of the Chief's mascots, who does a dance to a choo-choo song on the visiting team dugout roof. We close with some 0-gauge Chiefs collector's cars sold by J&R Junction in Syracuse. See also Baseball in Syracuse for a report from last year.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back along the tracks...

After a long break, spent time along the tracks at the west end of the East Syracuse CSX yeard... When I arrived there on this very hot and hazy day, CSX was hard at work on the tracks...

First there was the ballast tamper...,

Then the ballast regulator...

These were followed by a truck removing old ties, but there are no images of that. I do have some video though that I will upload in the next week or two...

Once these were gone, the cork popped and all sorts of trains came through.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finger Lakes Live Steamers, 2009

Took advantage of a beautiful day head out to the Finger Lakes Live Steamers' annual open house in Marengo, NY (near Clyde). Lots of action and happy faces as folks got pulled around by live steam and faux diesels.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Reichsbahn Motive Power

Added to my "collection" of DR motive power in the form of a 58.3 (the reconstructed versions of the old G12/BR58) and the VT172 Ferkeltaxe, a railbus. The 58.3 is Gützold's newest steamer, the 58130 for AC. Says it can go through radii of 380mm, got it through some of my 360mm with a little complaining. Turnouts are mostly ok, interestingly enough more trouble tender first then forward. Although it comes with LOPI 3, I run it analog and driving properties are quite smooth with good pulling power. So that the distance between axles could be kept prototypical, RP25 wheel profiles are used. Rather than being held in place with a screw, the pilot at the front has a mechanism not unlike that for couplers. Front coupler pocket is the standard NEM, rear has a swallow-tail into which one can slide a Roco Universal or Fleischmann coupler if the standard provide hook and loop is not provided. I believe that this solution was selected due to the lack of space inside the tender.

The other item is Brawa's BR172 Ferkeltaxe, the DR's version of the Railbus. Other nickname was Blutblase (blood blister) for the deep red color and the curved front end. It can be seen in the group shot at top. There is more info in German at <>. The model is by Brawa and "replaces" the Era 5 version with the mint green striping... Mint is something I wouldn't even impose on mutton...

Still waiting for Brawa's DR BR65.10... That one should be out in the next month or so...

Back to the layout for some more running.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Trainspotting off the Willis Ave bridge in Solvay (Syracuse), NY

After a four-week break decided it was time to go trainspotting again and this time headed West to the Willis Ave bridge in Solvay, a part of greater Syracuse. This location in interesting because there are great views of downtown Syracuse through the trees, Onondaga Lake (our local Superfund site and beautiful in spite of it), as well as some larger local industries and a power plant. 5 trains in almost 3 hours isn't bad (The first train arrived as I was parking - a boring westbound stack train) and the Finger Lakes Railway GE B23-7 with a (very) short freight was a treat. Below an overview of the location.

And here some stills...

Here a video of the morning... from my YouTube site
Click here to watch video with better quality

Monday, March 23, 2009

Steamcourse and Video Digitization

Been spending lots of time converting old VHS based tapes to digital, among those from various railfan trips to Germany, Maine, and elsewhere. Also gathering various silent clips shot with a plain old digital camera and uploading them to YouTube as well.

A big theme was the steamcourse I took at the Boothbay Railway Village in Maine during the Fall of 2003. A complete report is here.

There are six videos total of the experience starting with introductions and firing up and going all the way to parting shots as I had to head back to Syracuse after what would be an amazingly long, wonderful experience... The smell of anthracite followed me all the way home and still lingers in the gloves and lumps of coal I grind up to use on the layout.

Below video 1... Click to view the video at YouTube and see all the rest too. Several other videos from Boothbay and the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway (WW&F) there too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Reichsbahn Allerlei

Took all my DB stock off the layout 2 weekends ago and am running my
DR stock for a while...

Click here for larger and more pictures.

Reichsbahn (DR of the DDR) allerlei. Locals pulled by a BR114 diesel and a BR78 tank engine changing directions in Pappendorf, freights on the mainline pulled by a BR120 Taigatrommel and BR132 Ludmilla (both built in the USSR), expresses pulled by the BR01.5 steam engine, BR143 electric (one of the last engines designed by the DR for mixed use and still running strong in a reunified Germany), and the BR175 diesel railcar the connected the DDR with Scandinavia, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. Even catch a derailment...

See more videos on the Papphausen2 YouTube Channel

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Models and Prototypes

Two MIBA reports worth getting. What makes both interesting is that they describe the prototypes that the models are based on with photographs taken on some of the best model layouts in Germany and in the real world. They can be ordered easily via Click on images for more information.

A video of one of the layouts on YouTube can be seen below.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Reichsbahn Action

Posted some new videos on YouTube today featuring my Reichsbahn (DR of the DDR) stock. Been a while since I ran some of the consists so they were grateful for being able to roll.

18 201 with an express, SVT137, 01.5 with an express, BR114 with a short local and BR132 Ludmilla with a freight.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Updated Layout Photos

Getting ready to do a big swap of stock on the layout, all DR (Deutsche Reichsbahn of the DDR) for a while so took a bunch of new pictures. That, and the old pics were 3+ years old. Here some samples.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Recommendations

After reading a review in Trainini, a German-language online publication for z-scale modelers I decided to order both publications. Both of these publications are excellent reference works for modelers for the ever popular Era III (1950s - 1960s), and in the case of Modellbahnzugbildung beyond. Also provided are very useful tips on various modeling and detailing techniques.

Epoche III describes the 50s and 60s both from a societal and railroading perspective helping the modeler get all the little details right – housing, industries, automobiles, and much more. In Modellbahnzugbildung train composition is the focus covering everything from locals to today's high speed trains and freights of all kinds. Details about the models (manufacturer...) are also provided.

Don't read German? The images in both books tell the story quite well, showing a combination of prototypes and models, the latter having been taken on some of the most well known model layouts with both DB and DR covered in both books. Interestingly enough some classic Märklin models are also shown on these puko/stud-free layouts.

For those that haven't ordered from, it's just like and you can use the same login info. Delivery is usually quite fast and reliable and the value added tax is automatically deducted from orders making the price more reasonable, especially giben the € vs. $ exchange rate.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slider Modifications on Fleischmann BR94

Fortführung von / Continuation of Fleischmann BR94 aus 185101 set

(Ab Werk) Schleifer Befestigung bei der Fleischmann BR94. Der braune Plastik stöpsel wird in die plastic Bodenplatte geklipst. Dieser geringert die Bodenfreiheit um etwas 2+ Millimeter was zum hängenbleiben auf Entkupplungsgleisen und holpern über Weichen führt.

OEM attachment of the slider on the Fleischmann BR94. The brown plastic plug clips into the plate at the bottom of the engine. This reduces the ground clearance by a bit over 2 millimeters causing the engine to get hung up on decoupling tracks and bumping when going over some turnouts.

Der Stöpsel (1) wurde raus gezogen um den Schleifer zu entfernen, die Laschen (2) wurden gerade gebogen und dann abgetrennt, und die Platte (3) wurde entfernt. An die Platte (4) ist der Draht für die Stromaufnahme gelötet, ist aber sonst lose.

The plug (1) was pulled out to remove the slider, the bent over tabs (2) were trimmed off, and the plate (3) was removed. The power pickup wire is soldered to the plate (4), but this is not otherwise secured to the engine.

Der Schleifer wurde dann direkt an die Platte (4) gelötet. Die Platte (3) wurde nicht wieder verwendet. Die Platte (4) wurde dann mit Sekundenkleber auf die Bodenplatte geklebt.

The slider was then soldered directly to the plate (4). This assembly was then glued to the baseplate of the engine with CA adhesive. Plate (3) was not reused.

Der Schleifer liegt jetzt direkt auf der Bodenplatte der Lok.

The slider now sits directly on the baseplate of the engine.

Durch diesen Umbau bleibt die Lok nicht mehr auf den Entkupplungsgleisen hängen und durchfährt auch alle Weichen viel besser. Nur die 3-wegweiche verursacht noch glegentlich Schwierigkeiten, das aber nur beim links Abbiegen in Rückwärtsfahrt. Hier kann die Lok dann immernoch vom Gleis springen, aber wie im Video gezeigt geht es auch sanft durch.

The engine no longer hangs up on the uncoupler tracks and it makes it through the turnouts much more smoothly. The 3-way switch still causes occasional problems when forking to the left running backwards. Here it still jumps occasionally to derail, but as the video shows it can also go through smoothly.

Higher quality video here at YouTube.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gliederzug (articulated train) of the DR

I recently acquired this Sachsenmodelle gliederzug set of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) that was built starting in 1952 by the VEB Waggonbau Görlitz based on pre-war designs of the LBE. More info can also be found in the Wiki. The basic unit was a 4-car bi-level, designated DB13. The axle configuration was 2 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2, total length 73 400 mm, whereby 2 cars shared a 3-axle bogie.

A two-car configuration, DB7, was also used particularly on branch lines.

While not "normal" 3-car units were occasional run if one of the cars was out of service.

In the 70s some were reconfigured to run in push-pull operation with the addition of control cabs. The model represents early era 3 before the 2nd and 3rd classes were combined (klassenreform). The car sets could also be found coupled into other consists with "normal" coaches as well.

While the BR 114 diesel in the pictures above post-dates the markings on the coaches, it needs to be understood that this is a "museum" consist owned by the VEB Waggonbau Görlitz and occasionally gets used in regular service. ;-)

To make the model work I replaced the original couplers with a 6574 Fleischmann close-coupling mechanism that is height adjustable and a 40396 Roco Universal coupler head. Installing these required cutting away some bits on the bottom of the end cars as well as an opening between the buffers so the mechanism could pivot. The bellows between the cars are made of paper and are in great shape. Wheels were swapped to 10.4 mm diameter Sachsenmodelle replacement AC wheelsets that brought the unit down to the proper height and really improved running and reliability through turnouts on my Märklin AC layout. The wheels were made by Bernd Thomschke (benno002-2) who sells all types of brass wheels and buffers via his eBay store at<> or direct at <>. From the US, the eBay store is easier. Very responsive vendor.

6574 Fleischmann

40396 Roco

In testing I tried just about every combination I had including some s-curves and tight turnout combinations in the main yard at increasing speeds and went through absolutely smoothly. Night and day difference in running - now completely reliable. It's a nice set, one I look forward to detailing, gently weathering, and most of all running.

Thanks to all the helpful people on the Drehscheibe Online, Railways of Germany, and WorldRailFans, and the Stummi fora.

In the video below a BR78 steam engine is pulling the consist.
For better quality video view it on YouTube.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Running trains

Decided to take a break from the modeling activities of the past few days to actually run trains... Below are some videos, with more (and higher playback quality possible) on the Papphausen2 site at YouTube. Actually getting better at filming and editing, but it is very hard to hold a camera with one hand, and control the trains with the other, especially when there are turnouts and signals to be operated... Still good fun.

BR 151 electric pulling an express in hilly terrain.

While the BR 151 of the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) was designed to replace the BR 150 electric in heavy freight service such as unit trains carrying ore, coal, or tank cars, it occasionally saw service pulling passenger trains, especially in hilly country where its lower speed would not be a factor.

BR 10 of the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) with bi-level passenger coaches.

A BR 10 of the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB), the last heavy steam passenger engine built and one of only two, pulls a rake that includes early bi-level coaches. In 1950, the (DB) had a small batch of bi-level coaches built. The first were 22.5 meters long. A second batch that was made in 1951 were 26.4 meters long, the new UIC (International Union of Railways) standard coach length. Bi-level coaches were not something that was new in Germany with the first having been developed by the Lübeck-Büchener Eisenbahn (LBE) in the 1920s. These were used with tank engines outfitted for push-pull operation.

These new coaches were used to test the new high-speed Minden-Deutz bogies and rubber car end seals, with the second also being used to test new openable window constructions.

While bi-level coaches never took off with the DB, the DR in East Germany embraced them at about the same time, something which may have contributed to the non-adoption of the design in the West. Before and with reunification of the German railways in 1989, the DB began to purchase large numbers of modern bi-level coaches from the East, using them in local and regional service.

Below an advertising film of the DB introducing the new bi-level cars with lots of construction footage

Branchline action on my layout.

BR 132 Ludmilla of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) pulling a freight.