I currently have 3 active model railroad projects going that are all at 3 different stages.

Firstly, my coffee-table N-scale has all the track required, but nothing to put on it, nor anything to put it on. I know I need a baseboard of approximately 24″x40″, but this has not been purchased, nor has any other framing or electrical equipment.

I have two HO scale layouts still in planning, despite having a large amount (I cataloged it today, more later) of HO scale rolling stock.

I have basic track plans for both of these, the first is based on an Atlas track plan that my Dad and I started work on several years ago and never really got far with. I’m going to modify it a little to allow some mainlines on the front (that can connect with something else when I get that far), and connections from said mainlines to the yard area. I still need to work on how that part is going to work – I’m thinking block-sectioned DCC to allow signaling and automated running.

The second layout is based on an old standard, the Timesaver. This will likely be modified in the same way as the yard above, to allow mainlines with connections. The timesaver would still be able to run either independently or as part of the wider layout (again, when I get that far).

Both of the above would be built on a pair of modules each, and I’ll look at building framing for them both to allow for safe traveling.

What are the next steps? The N scale needs a base-board and rolling stock. I also need some wiring and other wood to build a real table for it to sit in the bottom of. A friend of the family has some cherry wood for free, I need to see what I can do with it.

The Yard layout, I’m awaiting the plans to be sent to me, so I can plan the appropriate modifications, and I can start buying the set-track to complete it, and appropriate sized lumber.

The Timesaver I need to finish the track diagram and purchase the appropriate track and timber. I’ll also probably do this layout with flex track.

Oh yeah, the catalog. On Google docs I made a catalog of all my HO scale rail-bound vehicles (IE, not the containers). I have 14 locos – 12 Norfolk Southern, 1 Union Pacific (Desert Victory!), and 1 Tranz Rail (Bumble Bee DC). I have 9 Passenger cars – 7 B&O, a Union Pacific and a Renfe (Spanish). I also have 19 freight cars, counting the 2 5-unit articulated well sets as 1 each. I’m trying to get a hold of some flat cars (mostly for the time-saver) and a lot more Norfolk Southern/Norfolk Western/Southern branded hoppers (covered and not). I also need a bogie-side for my GP38-2, and a bunch of Digitrax chips. About 7 British Rail Mark 2 cars wouldn’t go amiss either, so I can paint them in the Capital Connection colours.

Memorable Crossing

Continuing from yesterday’s shot, DFT7226 is again seen hauling the same freight Northbound still, this time at the level crossing at the North end of the town of Otaki.

On May 15th, 1988, a Southbound excursion train hit a milk truck on this same crossing. Fortunately noone was injured, including my dad, who was driving the train. It is also significant because it was my second birthday, and my mum had the joy (end sarcasm) of receiving the ‘dreaded’ phone call from the company, saying he’d been in an accident.

Again, taken with a Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Digital, Shutter Speed 1/613s, a Focal Length of 6.3mm and an F-stop set at F/7.1, on ISO200.


I remember showing this photo to a friend at work once, and he said “That looks like a Honda. About 1990, an Accord?”

It was taken while driving (no, don’t do it) a Honda Ascot (based on the Accord), 1992 model. 4 Cyl 2.0L, 4 speed Auto, very nice car to drive. In the mirror is one of my loves, a train. This a Northbound Freight, headed by DFT 7226, somewhere between Waikanae and Otaki (I believe! I know it’s South of Otaki, North of Paraparaumu).

Taken with a Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Digital, Shutter Speed 1/320s, a Focal Length of 10.8mm and an F-stop set at F/4.5, on ISO64.


One of my personal favorites, this shot was taken late on a Friday evening, at the Ava Rail Bridge near Lower Hutt, New Zealand. This is a Wellington Commuter train, heading North towards Upper Hutt.

Standing on the Eastern bank of the Hutt River, the train comes towards the camera. It will then continue, turning a curve North under two road bridges, meeting the Gracefield Industrial Siding and stopping at Woburn station, before continuing.

Taken with a Fujifilm Finepix S5600 Digital, Shutter Speed 10s, a Focal Length of 6.3mm and an F-stop set at F/3.2, on ISO200.