East Rail Ramblings

Progress on the East Rail throwback replica is rolling along at a deliberately slow and relaxing pace. All of the track is down. Trains are running. At this point it’s time to slow down and enjoy the ride. The canal leg, shown above, will be identical to the original version. Track is Micro Engineering flex with the ties spaced out, rail bars added, oil wash coloring for the ties, and airbrushed rail. Soil is Polyblend grout, an ideal product for our needs. It’s cheap, easy to use, and of most importance, comes in perfect earth tones for scenery use. I like to keep bench work fairly narrow, sixteen to eighteen inches or so, where possible. Even so there will be locations, such as near foreground structures, where you need more space. In these cases I add width with bumpouts.

One of my favorite industries, and a focal point for East Rail, are team tracks. Shown above is an example on a lightly used, out-of-the way, track at Tradepoint in Baltimore. On this day it was plastic pellets. Tomorrow it could be a centerbeam, a tank car, a boxcar of bricks, and on and on. Note the details such as derails on both sides, blue flag protection, weeds, and spillage between the rails.