The Wabash Railroad
in Southern Ontario, circa 1951
ABOUT MY RAILROAD...
Until the Autumn of 2008 I was building a layout based on the Canadian National Railway’s branch line hub in Palmerston, Ontario. Then, I had the opportunity to visit Bill Darnaby’s well-known HO scale model railroad, The Maumee Route. The experience had a profound effect on me and caused me to rethink everything I was attempting to do in my train room. After some careful thinking about options for the space, I settled upon modeling something that was in my own backyard. The Wabash Railroad had a significant operation across Southern Ontario that just begs to be modeled. The Buffalo Division was primarily a single-track bridge line established to reduce shipping times between Buffalo, New York, and Detroit, Michigan.
I am building a double-decked layout featuring selected towns and signature scenes on the Wabash Railroad’s 240-mile Buffalo Division. My layout models the segment between Aylmer and Cayuga, Ontario. This 60-mile stretch of the Wabash includes a number of online customers typical of small-town Ontario, as well as a section of the mainline shared with the Canadian National Railways’s Hagersville Sub. Since I am modeling 1951 it will be neat to see the little CNR 2-6-0s sharing the rails with the paired F7A units used on the Wabash Red Ball freights. I’ll be posting regular updates and photos of my progress on this blog.
As I alluded to in a previous post, https://elgincarshops.blogspot.com/2019/05/wandering-down-tulare-ave.html , I've been working away at Tulare Ave and I now offer up a photo sequence and description of the steps I took to create this 28' of roadway. I couldn't determine at the outset if the road surface was concrete or asphalt, so I made an assumption that it's concrete, knowing that having said that someone will come along and prove to me that it's asphalt. The starting point was determining how to deal with the stretch of road that had trackage down the middle. I decided to use 0.060" styrene as the road surface, which matches the code 70 rail I use nicely, leaving the rail head just proud of the road surface, so I can clean rails without removing paint from the road. The stretch of track under the road was given 1/2 the number ties as I would normally use.
Next I cut a strip of styrene the width of the roadway and pinned it in place giving me a straight edge to press the rail against, thus insuring a dead straight section of track. Critical for the appearance I was after.
The rail is secured in place by running a bead of Pliobond along the underside of the rail base.
And once the solvent has flashed off, the rail is positioned and a hot soldering iron is moved along the rail, reactivating the adhesive and once it's cooled in place a very solid bond is created. I use the handle of an old file to hold the rail in place as I move along down the length of the rail.
The other rail is secured in the same manner and carefully gauged as we proceed down the over 8' of track that is in the road.
With the rail in place, the 2 outside strips of roadway are cut to width and an additional strip is glued underneath to match the tie thickness. The 2 sections are glued to the scenery base and the ties using Welbond. My go to glue for this kinda thing.
Then comes the tricky bit, fitting the road surface to the curve in the track. I carefully made a paper rubbing of the curve and traced it onto the styrene. A little bit of fiddling and sanding was required but both the outside and inside bits I got right the first time. Huzza!
Once that hard bit was done the rest of the roadways for the area were cut and installed, Everything is 2 layers of 0.060" styrene. The actual crossings will be wood, but those are last after all the road work is done.
All the joints were filled and sanded smooth, and then I came along and scribed expansion joints every 15 scale feet.
A primer coat of Tamiya greys was applied. 3 bottles of Tamiya to cover it all!
After some experimenting I mixed a colour for the concrete that I was happy with. 2/3 Vallejo Deck Tan and 1/3 Vallejo Medium grey. It's a close match to the Scalecoat "aged concrete". Wasn't about to spray that much Scalecoat in the house. Divorce would ensue.
Over that clear flat was sprayed, and once that had dried we were ready for weathering. Using Pan Pastels, black and various greys the road surface was "dirtied". I had some odd blotches at first, not sure why, but soon I had a process that was giving me the desired results. I will likely revisit/repaint the blotchy areas in another couple of days, I need to look at it again.
Overall, I'm pleased at how this has turned out, now to fill the sides of the roads with houses and such. But first I have to get ready for the New England RPM in less than 2 weeks. Maybe we'll see you there.