30 January, 2013

A Northern Visit, A Fleet Asset Goes In for Upgrade, & Farewell to Another

C&O GP-9, #5912, a workhorse on this layout and a couple of previous layouts, has gone to the shops for some upgrading, due to repetitive startup problems.  It is a weird one at that:  I'll leave the loco on the layout and shut down power, then some time later start up things, and this loco, which is a Proto 2000, equipped with a factory-installed QSI sound decoder & speaker, will ground out whatever circuit it's on (I've tried it on both of my 'loops').  I'll remove the loco, then the ground will clear, any other locos will start up, and I'll place it back on the track, and #5912 will start up and run fine.  I'll shut down at the end of running, come back and it happens again.  Frustrating to say the least, because it's the only one.
So, while up at the Amherst Railway show in Springfield, MA, I stopped by the Mike Rose Hobby (http://www.mrhobby.com/store.php/MikeRoseHobbies/pg10482/diesel_sound_installs) 'hi-tech upgrade facility' and left it on the test track.  Mike specializes in installing Tsunami Sound Decoders & Rail-Master Speakers.  Looking forward to having 'old reliable' back on home rails and sounding (and responding) better than ever.

Also while there, I got to see Mike's amazing Layout; he's modeling Conrail in 1985, Eastern PA (i.e. Mehoopany area).  It's an absolute masterpiece in action and while it's been many years in the making, he's made some expansions & improvements. Below is just a sample.

And, since he's got the room and the need for additional power, since the RF&P's Doswell Junction has some excess, we did a little "horse trading" and as of today, Conrail GP38-2 #8227 and a Bay Window Caboose have been 'reassigned' up to his pike.  Some new , Proto 1000 CN Newsprint Boxcars & an Exact Rail Chessie WM Grain Hopper have come to serve down here.

Besides the Show on Saturday, and a visit to Mike's Layout, I was able to squeeze in a little railfanning with Scott Mason along the Grafton & Upton RR, where we saw some great 1st & 2nd Gen Diesel Power.

All in all it was a great trip.

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