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Railtunes

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    Sunnyvale, California, USA (San Francisco Bay Area)
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    N scale, modular branch line layout with interchangeable scenery, hosting multiple prototypes: Taiwan, Japan, Scotland, Canada, Australia. Other than worldwide railways, I'm a choral singer and have been a hiking guide. I love travelling and learning about other cultures.

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  1. And here's the official Central News Agency photo of the wrecked cab car from the incident. It plowed into a construction crane that had slid down the embankment next to the tracks, right at the entrance to a tunnel. The crane got wedged sideways in the tunnel and the cab car end crumpled against it. Several coaches behind it then partially telescoped into the head car. This units - and several of the coaches - will probably be a write off. Railtunes
  2. I am saddened to report that Chris White of Red Star Models passed away on March 9, 2021, age 69. He will be missed by his Russian railway modeller friends and clients. A notice and link to his obituary is posted on the Red Star Models website. I read the notice on the JNS Japan Modelers Website from Washington, DC, near to Chris' home in Maryland, and members of which group counted Chris a friend. - Paul Ingraham
  3. As one aspect of my AsiaNRail modelling, I am planning to do some Indonesian steam era models. My interest in Indonesia stems from my Master's degree study in world music and participation in Indonesian gamelan and dance, culminating in a study tour I had to Jogjakarta, Java back in 1973. While there, I did some railfanning as well and took some photos of steam locos - still running then during the transition to Diesel - at the shed in Jogja. I model in N scale use the Asian 1:150 scale (as Japan and Taiwan modellers do) for my 3'6" gauge Asian models. For starters, I'll be converting a Minitrix German BR41 2-8-2 to an Indonesian D52 Class. This is mostly a detailing exercise, as the PNKA Class D52 is pretty much a slightly scaled down version of the German BR41. Compare the D52 and Minitrix BR41 photos below. My second model will be more a challenge: the PNKA CC50 2-6-6-0 that I hope to kitbash from a Bachmann American 2-6-6-2. I've got both the models in my project box now and am working out the build process, but these may take a while to complete! - Paul Ingraham, Coordinator, AsiaNRail modular modelling group
  4. I did put the coal truck track on my shed module, so I'm good for the final two years of LMS and BR in the early 1960s up to the demolition of the shed facilities. I got the Graham Farish model in LMS livery. The number on my model is 2691, so it seems that it is indeed in the same series as 2695 in the photo! Railtunes / Paul Ingraham
  5. A couple of photos, both from the Am Baile website, to support the use of the 2-6-4T tank engines on the line during the reconstruction of the turntable at Kyle in 1946. First, engine 2695 on shed at Kyle. I've included the Am Baile caption with details. It's facing the pier, so the engines must have been run boiler leading on down trains to Kyle, and bunker first on up trains back to Inverness. Also, note the points under the rear bogie on the engine. These would be for the short coal truck spur and show that it was in place at least by mid-1946, as there was no prior track in that orientation. It doesn't look fresh enough to have been added at the same time the turntable was rebuilt, so must have been there somewhat earlier. A possible guess might be during the WW2 years to facilitate faster servicing of locos on heavy wartime traffic - but I can't substantiate that with certainty. A check of any extant photos from previous periods might help narrow the time gap. Second, a photo of two trains crossing at Achnasheen station, taken from the pedestrian bridge. Given the operating direction stated above, the near train must be a down service toward Kyle; the left train, an up headed back to Inverness.
  6. Clever, indeed! And no doubt you know there actually WAS a hotel on the platform at Achnasheen on the Inverness - Kyle of Lochalsh line in Scotland. Sadly, it burnt down in 1995, though the station is still active. And it's about as far as you can get in the UK from the Southern 3rd rail!
  7. I've built a scenic section of rice terraces for my AsiaNRail modules and put some banana trees on it. The first photo shows a closeup of one of these next to an N scale train. I need to take a few more showing the grove at the top of the scene. These came from the Scalerama range and were offered in a few different sizes (photo 2 shows the 60mm package and sample). Unfortunately, the link to their website <scalerama.com/xe/home> does not seem to be working. There are also the Pegasus 1:72 scale banana trees (photos 3 and 4) that are very similar. There are several sources online - mainly focused on the wargaming crowd - that should be able to supply these.
  8. Yet another Kyle fan, here in California, USA - and in N gauge as well. I'm doing my version of Kyle almost exactly as you have done, just modelling the west side of the pier with the station in half relief, and the loco shed area. See the three photos below of the pier module. I need to take some further, more detailed shots of the shed module! And, yes, that's me behind the module in the third photo! Each module - pier and shed - is 1metre long by 30 cm wide. I am building an insertable piece for the area between the pier and shed modules. I'm using Peco code 55 track components. I've also chosen the 1960s transition period and, from my sources, have determined that the year of transition to Diesel was 1961 or 62 with the shed being razed just a couple years later. Please note that I model several different prototypes, so the structures and models shown (Taiwan prototype, modern era), including the pier facing (magnet-backed strip), are all interchangeable. But I'm sure you'll recognize the trackplan easily enough! This brings me to a question: As you have done such an outstanding job producing the Scottish prototype structures in 3D printing, would you be willing to either print me a set or make the files available so that I could print a set here for my modules? I'm interested in ALL the structures you've done for both the pier and shed areas. I don't have the facility here either with the computer or the 3D equipment to do my own - not to mention accurate enough plans - but I do have modelling friends who can print from computer files for me - or I could go to a commercial source. Can you tell me the type of files or what program you used to create them? I'd much appreciate whatever assistance you could offer in getting this project moving along. Of course, I would cover any costs involved in either obtaining the print files or the printed products involved. And I'll certainly watch your continuing work on this build with the greatest interest! Railtunes / Paul Ingraham
  9. That old Atlas/Rivarossi-designed model was not really that great a runner. Would definitely need a 21st century mechanism upgrade. However, I think Atlas now also has the LIfe-Like FM C-Liner tooling [TruLine trains tooling?] that was in the Athearn range for a while after Life-Like closed, though that is the Bo-Bo version. It's a fairly good runner, so maybe a Co truck could be made for the Bo-Co version, though a completely new version that is at least DCC-ready would probably be a better upgrade. And note that, along withNew York Central and Long Island, Canadian National and New Haven, both near and dear to Jason Shron's heart, had the Bo-Co version, so that may make this a more likely possibility.
  10. Well! Wouldn't you know it! Rapido has announced that they are going to be doing the British Railways Co-Bo in N scale (no less), to come out (maybe) this year! I guess that makes them the Lords of the 5-axle Diesels, what with the FL-9s and Cuban GMD-1s already in their product catalog. Now, what other 5-axle prototypes can we tempt them with? The Japanese DE10s are already available from Kato and Tomix, but what else is there? - Railtunes, Paul Ingraham
  11. Very nicely done! Are you also a member of the sugar cane railways SIG (Special Interest Group)? They'd love to see this! - Paul Ingraham, Coordinator, AsiaNRail
  12. I grew up in Munising, pronounced MEW [rhymes with 'pew', NOT 'muhn', rhyming with 'bun'], with stress on the first syllable, Munising, Michigan, about in the east-to-west middle along the south shore of Lake Superior, and at the end of the east branch of the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad, one of the Upper Peninsula's iron ore hauling railroads. The name is Ojibway Indian and means "place of the island", so, if you look at a map and find Grand Island off the south shore of Lake Superior, you're in the right place. I lived there from 1949 through high school graduation in 1962 and I can tell you there was not a single African American around, except a few students at Northern Michigan University and some others, "imported" from the lower peninsula, in the state prison in Marquette. The ethnic mix of miners is as others have stated above: Finnish and Swedish (mainly in the Marquette iron range and the copper mines in the Keweenaw Penninsula), and Cornish and some Welsh (in the Gogebic [go GEE bik, with both "G's" hard] iron range around Ironwood at the west end of the peninsula along the Wisconsin border). But there is also a large presence of Italian and other Europeans up there as well. I commend you on choosing this area to model. It's a beautiful place and, if you choose the Fall color season to model, it can be quite spectacular! - Paul Ingraham, ex-Yooper [correct spelling!], now living in California
  13. And have you seen that Rapido Trains (Canada) is proposing to offer their HO scale GMD-1 in a Co-Bo Cuban version (pending enough interest)? Check their latest news on their website. They have an N scale version of that loco coming out next year as well. Maybe that one will also get a Cuban paint job. - Paul Ingraham
  14. Maybe it's because you've overloaded it by a ton. Isn't it really a 44 tonner?
  15. The basic rule of thumb for steam locomotive models is "TEN TIMES THE RIGID WHEELBASE". So, measure the total 5-axle driver wheelbase and multiply by ten. That's your safe minimum radius. This rule of thumb is usually conservative, because most 10-coupled locomotive models - even brass models - will have some side play or a "blind" driver on the center axles. The other reason for this is the end swing on the pilot. The "10x" rule usually helps prevent too much coupler side swing which could derail any cars or helper engines coupled to the pilot. Same for the tender connection and any allowance you would have to make for cab clearance on tight curves. Hope this is helpful. - Paul Ingraham
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