25 December 2010

G.F.B. on the cover...

... of the Rollling Stone? Well, not quite. But a week ago I received my copy of the excellent norwegian magazine called; MJ-Bladet and within it a 12-page story about my very own layout! Very exiting stuff, and a big dream-come-true for me. More stuff from this article soon, but first of all: The cover

07 December 2010

Operation session #2

Finally! It's been almost a year since session #1, so it was about time I got to #2. Since the last session I have worked a lot with different technical things that makes the layout better to operate; I have mounted Tortoise-switch machines several places, made the switches short cut proof, mounted more Digitrax connections for the handheld throttles, made a control panel for Rise and made some car card holders for the fascia around the layout. I've also obtained some new cars so I don't have to rely on others to bring theirs to the sessions to have enough. Most of the new cars are standard inexpensive unmodified models, and some of them don't even have norwegian prototypes. These will be replaced in due course by correct, detailed and weathered cars as time and money allows. For this session, I wanted to try out something new; operating the layout with only two crew members. I therefore invited my nephew and good friend Kenneth Bende to have some train fun! It all turned out great and the two of us had a lot of fun, although I think the ideal number of crew members is three.

It's diffcult to find the time to photograph anything during sessions, but here are a few pictures.

Kenneth was the stationmaster at Rise this time, while I took care of both Rykene and Grimstad. We took turns at driving the trains between the stations. Here Kenneth is waiting for the freight train from Arendal  (hidden staging behind Kenneths back) to arrive. His train is the Gt5746/47 freight train for Grimstad and his engine today is GFB no.2

GFB no. 2 has picked up cars from the train from Arendal, made some pickups and setouts at Rykene, passed the spur at Lia and is now heading for Grimstad.

The train has now arrived in Grimstad. The loco needs to take coal and water and be turned before the return to Rise with a new string of cars. All the cars arriving in Grimstad will be sorted and set out by a small switcher stationed here.

More switching at Rykene in preparation for the arriving freight train from Grimstad.

Rykene at the end of the session. The whole session took about one hour and fifteen minutes. Next time around I will try to do two sessions in one night. 

18 November 2010

Please say - Hi!

I think it's really interesting to hear from people all around the world that follow my blog. Please take a moment to leave a message and say who you are and which country you are from :)

24 October 2010

Harbour part II

The first track is laid out on the new harbour section. The rails are soldered to screws to prevent them from being ripped up during transport and handling.

One large radius curved Peco turnout takes care of the two different tracks on the harbour.

Lots of mess during construction :)

 And here are a couple of pictures of Torskeholmen in Zuidbroek Netherland during last weekends Fremo-meet there. The new section added a lot of operating interest to Grimstad, and everything worked flawlessly.

 Basic construction is now complete. Now for some scenery! :)

19 September 2010

Grimstad Harbour

The three sections that make up my Grimstad Fremo-module have just become five! I've thought long and hard about making the harbour area called Torskeholmen, and now this project is well on it's way. My good friend Halvor Sannæs has done all the carpentry to make the two new sections, so now the rest is up to me. The goal is to have this area ready functionally for a FREMO-meet in the Netherlands in 4 weeks time. Better get cracking then...

Here is a map of Grimstad from 1920. Inside the red square you'll se the harbour area called Torskeholmen.  (translated from norwegian this means cod island). There were two tracks here, and a couple of buildings. The model will have to be somewhat compressed, but I hope it will be a good representation of the area.

I have moved section three of Grimstad to my shed, and here I am test fitting the two new sections to that for the first time.The picture quality is bad because my mobile phone is 200 years old.

18 July 2010

The train room

An overall view of my train room as of now.

In the "crew lounge" I've displayed some old models and railroadiana. The big cars in the display case are early 1930's Lionel cars I've inherited from my grandmother.

At the end of the peninsula I've just started putting in some scenery.

04 June 2010

While I'm waiting

The NSB railcar type BM87 was very common on the Grimstad Line in real life. BM87 was used in all passenger trains in the last years of the line's existance. As you can see from the video I posted here earlier, they were often used together with a small baggage car popularly called the "suitcase". Earlier this year NMJ announced the BM87 in 1:87, so naturally I had to have one. I haven't received it yet, so while I'm waiting, here's a picture of a pre-production prototype. With suitcase and all...

Bm87 at Treungen in 1967. Photo : Ulf Berntsen

25 April 2010

Preparations for Op session #2

For the first operating session, which was sort of a test-session, I used small handwritten freight cards. I've now made 4-cycle freight cards for 28 cars which will be used for op session #2. This isn't nearly enough cars, but the first few sessions will be a learning experince anyway, so the trains will be a little bit on the short side.

Here are all the newly made freight cards. I have 5 different main destinations on my layout and I've colour coded them so it's easier for my operators to block the trains correctly.

The red number in the top right corner indicates which cycle the freight card is in. For the next session I'll arrange all the cards so the red '1' is in the top corner. After four sessions we're back to the beginning.

Here's the back side of the card shown above.

My car cards are of the norwegian FREMO-standard. They are nice and small and fit nicely and the palm of your hand. On the back is a picture of the car...

... and on the front is a small pocket for the freight card.

17 April 2010

Just a couple of pictures

This freight car with wood load has been a small fun project for me for a couple of nights. The car is a plastic model of the norwegian type N2. The wood load is from Duha and the chain is from Weinert. The load is of course easily removable in one piece so it can be removed when needed during operation. The car has been weathered with artist chalks and then sprayed with a coat of Tamiya flat clear.

 GFB no.2 picks up the N2 from the harbour spur in Grimstad.

It's important to check that the load is securely fastened!

16 March 2010

Another Fremo-meeting!

I've just got back from a Fremo-meeting hosted by my local club and here are a few pictures. More pictures will be posted soon at our local club site http://arendalmjklubb.blogspot.com

An overview shot from Grimstad with the freight depot to the upper right.

 I've started lettering some of my rolling stock for the GFB, and here is no.7 hard at work switching cars. The GFB was actually a branchline of the large layout this time, so I had to letter 4 locos for this. No pictures of no.8 and 6 though.

Peder Figenbaum as station master during op session #4.

Here is a bad picture (the only I could find) of GFB no.2. This trusty loco took care of all GFBs freight traffic.

This guy is trying to remove a large object in the middle of the rails... As soon as he'll remove this, I guess it's possible to start the task of making the real harbour area at Grimstad.

08 March 2010

House - Part IV

I started construction of this house in November 2008 so finishing it is really way overdue. I've worked on it this weekend though, and it's now almost complete. Currently I'm working on the interior (see top left in this picture) and lighting.

01 January 2010

Operating session #1

After completing all of the trackwork (temporarily), I invited some of my friends for a test-session on the Grimstad Line.We put the layout and the rolling stock through it's paces and discovered that I still have a lot of work - ehh sorry - fun stuff left to do before everything works smoothly. Although things were a tad chaotic at first, we had a lot of fun! I will try to host bi-monthly sessions in the future.

Halvor was the stationmaster at Rise. To the left of this picture, a staging yard was added to represent Nelaug and "the rest of the world". To the right of Halvor's shoulder, the two-track staging yard that represents Arendal station is barely visible. Rise was a busy place during tonight's session.

Frode took care of all the switching duties at Rykene. Rykene can be a challenge but maybe had too little traffic this time.
At Grimstad things were a bit quiet. Here Jan Petter is switching some empties from "Grimstad Skipsophungnings co." into the harbor spur.

Steinar and Halvor with some refreshments in my little crew lounge. My goal is to have my operating sessions laid back enough so that one can sit down once in a while with a cup of coffee while others perform switching duties.