I started my career as a model railroad author back in the days when Tony Koester and Bill Schaumburg were at Railroad Model Craftsman. I was friends with NMRA Master Model Railroader (MMR) #70 Ed Costello and we visited the Allegheny Midland in the late 1970s. Ed was working on an article on his OO scale St Anne Railroad for RMC (May 1979) and I helped Ed and our friend Larry Hanlon with some layout photography. I was encouraged to develop a story on my operating HO rotary dumper and the article appeared in the RMC December 1979 issue.
The model railroad press is changing and I have had two articles published by the on line magazine "Model Railroad Hobbyist". The first covered the double track gate across the entrance to my layout room. It has been in service for over 25 years now and was described in the February 2013 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist.
The aisle bridge and scenery swing on a set of three door hinges and
the article describes the cam action construction and installation of
limit switches to protect the open gate. The nice thing about the
online magazine format is the links provided to additional material on
my web site and three videos that show the gate in operation
and are posted to youtube:
Aisle Gate Operation
Aisle Hinge Side
Aisle Cam action
The second article in "Model Railroad Hobbyist" appeared in the June 2015 issue. This article describes the creation of virtual signals using JMRI software and the Engine Driver throttles on smart phones and tablets. Even though there are only 3 signals physically installed on my Quaker Valley RR, JMRI provides an engineer's view of each interlocking complete with signals set by the Dispatcher. You can link to this article in the June 2015 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist.
The JMRI computer program allows me to superimpose the appropriate
signal aspect over a background picture of the control point on the
layout. The signal bridge and pole exist, but JMRI allows me to
light them before the physical signal heads are installed. Again,
the online magazine format provides links to two videos on
youtube that show how JMRI can be used:
The first features DCC control of the dumper from the 1979 RMC article
The second shows how the virtual signals are used in an operating session
Page updated May 4, 2019
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