Friday, May 28, 2010

Sawmill revisited

Dawson Station had an out-of-state visitor! Les, from Arizona, took time out of his Oregon Coast vacation to drop in an see my layout. He was accompanied by his brother-in-law from The Dalles. On the agenda was a visit to Hull-Oakes, which I had not been down to in a while. We were greeted by none other than Bill Oakes, who had been coaxed out of retirement to give a couple of tours.

Les, Bill Oakes, and Les' brother-in-law.

I took enough pictures for a couple of posts on various areas of interest (like signage, chip hoppers, and straddle carriers), but here I'll give you some of my overall favorite shots.
Pond Monkey doing his things.

A beautiful modeling scene near the loading shed.

A scrap BN caboose keeping the idle chiploader company. (sniff)

Another great modeling scene across from the main mill building.

We finished the day off with a visit to Hazelnut Hill for some ice cream, a stop at Georgia Pacific's #5 2-8-2 at Avery Park, and the local hobby shop for some scale lumber. Quite a day of rail fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Boys & Their Toys

I got invited to a model railroad "operating session". These guys take train operations seriously! Every train has a route, and every car has a destination and load.
There were about twelve of us, two dispatchers, three yardmaster, and the rest operating trains. I was given control of the North West Special headed by SP6320.

I managed to traverse the multi-room layout without causing too much havoc, although I did end up in a bit of a traffic jam at one point. I stopped in Modoc to exchange some cars headed for Kalisbell. Luckily, the yardmasters took good care of me.

The dispatchers took it easy on me as well, giving me the main line most of the way. In all, the session took about three hours. After working on my tiny switching puzzle layout, this was quite an eye opener. A switching puzzle on a much larger scale!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scanning the Library

HP has encouraged us to do some community service. I signed up to help at the library scanning in books of local history that are past copyright. First, I enlist Lynn, who then enlists her home-school friend.

Then, since there is only one slow scanner, I research a method to do it with a camera, sheet of glass, and cardboard box. It is faster, far less stressful on the brittle bindings, and lets us work in parallel.

I use software to straighten it out (deskewing), and brighten it up. And it works great! Here is an example, a 1929 Graduate Thesis that was retyped in 1940 as part of a WPA project. See if you can make it through the first two paragraphs!

I'm sure, like some of my railroad stuff, it will be of interest to someone, somewhere, at some point in time. Now it can be sent via email! I'm just glad I didn't have to retype the whole thing! Without typos or spell check!

Next up: the diary of a local man, written in long-hand in the late 1800's. That may be more interesting, but far harder to read. I'm hoping it contains some local railroad history . . .