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    • Hi Broadoak This one is not my cup of tea but I appreciate good modeling when I see it and I see it How did you do the road and hard stand area regards John
    • A Rock Island chop nose GP 9 arrives with a small train of loaded hoppers full of grain. The CRP (The Chicago Rock Island and Pacific) as a whole did not approve of chopped noses which were deemed to be an unnecessary expense even in 1975.  She leaves the cars in the loop and runs round the train then backs into the pulp wood loading siding and couples up to pulp wood cars that are still being loaded. Peter M   As the loading of the pulpwood is being completed the yard goat, a Rock Island SW1500 wearing a coat of bankruptcy blue spots the grain cars at the flour mill. While the SW1500 spots the incoming grain cars the chop nosed jeep leaves with the loaded pulpwood cars for Louisiana and the Continental Can Mill. Peter M   Having spotted the covered hoppers the crew of the SW1500 head back to the yardmaster’s grounded caboose to have a break for some beans and await their next assignment. Peter M   By way of a change from its usual maintenance of way duties #53 a TVRR 60 tonner arrives at Benson with a short cut of cars. It spots the cars in the long loop in the west yard uncouples from the front and runs round its train and couples up to the RI boxcar at the rear of the cars. Peter M   The tanker full of fuel oil is spotted at the minimal service facilities. The next load to be spotted is the green Texas Mexican Railway box car at Talbot Valley Farmers Coop where it will be loaded with pink tomatoes. To accesses the TVFC a Simpson Timber Company must be moved first. Having done that the Tex Mex boxcar is spotted at the TVFC so loading can begin. The Simpson box car is picked and spotted back at the Bantex Box Co so they can continue loading it.   Peter M   #53 runs round the empty Rock Island box car and propels it into the team track in the east yard. Here it will be loaded with palletised drilling mud which is used to seal the drill bit shaft when drilling for oil. Peter M   #53 then trundles to the pulp wood loading track and picks up two loaded racks and pulls them into the loop in west yard.  She runs round her small train and sets off past the yardmaster’s grounded caboose to the SP interchange. Peter M   Agriculture and Lumber especially are big business for the I&W railroad. As it is surrounded by large forests of trees suitable for paper pulp making and in the manufacture of particle board. Much of the land that was open caste mined for bauxite in the past has been made into forest by replacing the overburden and planting trees. These various trees reach maturity in three to five years so it is a continuous process. We see #145 a Burlington and Northern end cab switcher arriving at Benson from Hope with a cut of empty pulp wood cars and an empty DRGW covered hopper. Although well into the 1970’s the little switcher has managed to avoid being re-painted in corporate green and black and still sports its GN livery. You will note on the deck of the pulpwood cars debris from previous loads, it is sawdust really on the model but I think looks quite effective. Peter M  
    • The next length of the line takes us from Lahinch to Miltown-Malbay. .... .   http://rogerfarnworth.com/2019/04/20/the-west-clare-railway-part-3-lahinch-to-miltown-malbay
    • A few shots to illustrate the differences  of the Opel truck the earlier version being the grey coloured example with the gas producer. Actually it was the red and green version which came out later in real life that reminded me of the OB Bedfords that were used in the logging industry in New Zealand that sparked my interest in rail trucks. When first made up this model was used to check clearances on the layout. Peter M   That concludes the pictorial tour. As I was on my own I took the opportunity to run some of the motive power that does not get run very often. The layout is out again in August then has a break until October. Peter M   I did a local show last year at a place called Cogenhoe, pronounced locally as Cook na.  Andy Knott my usual helper had brought along his camera and he took a few photos of the layout. Wooden bodied Simplex with hidden driver and his small white assistant. Opel Blitz arriving in yard having spent the day in the fields in preparation for harvesting the main crop potatoes. A view inside the dark interior of the engine shed. Peter M   A few more shots taken during a typical operating session at the show.   Peter M   A close up of skip chassis loaded with sundry items for repair in the workshops. These sort of jobs are done during the winter and other odd times when field work is not possible.   The Porter trundles by the greenhouse where the tomatoes seem to be doing rather well this year. The milk maid is seen collecting eggs in a bucket from the free range hens. The figure is a Britain’s model that has been weathered, no that’s wrong, you can’t weather people. She has been re-painted which unfortunately has not done much to improve her looks.   Peter M   You will be relieved to know that this is the last selection of photographs taken at the show. Peter M  
    • #381 backs her train of pulp wood cars into the west yard loading track and leaves them to be loaded. The geep then runs up to the servicing area and ties up while the crew head for a nearby diner. Peter M   The I&W geep is seen tied up at the rear of the west yard master’s grounded caboose. The crew, having shut the engine down have to loose themselves in town for a few hours while their train is loaded with pulp wood brought in by trucks. The crew return and re-start the geep then head down to the pulpwood loading track. They find their train is loaded and ready to go. So they couple onto it and pull the train to the loop, park the cars and run round the train. When they have coupled onto the front of the train after a brake test they set off for the mill at Hodge LA picking up more loads on the way. Peter M   This session features the second I&W GP 38-2 # 382 the one without dynamic brakes, I don’t know why but I prefer the clean lines on the long hood on this one. She is seen arriving with a cut of mixed cars that will be loaded at Benson later. The first job on arrival is to spot the RI covered hopper of wheat at the Trisco flour mill. Peter M   The Rock Island covered hopper is cut out of the train and pushed into the Trisco flour mill siding for unloading. Peter M   Peter M   #382 GP38-2 has made up its outbound train in the loop at Benson. Runs round its train then heads out of town for the I&W main line to Hope. Peter M   In the area surrounding Benson in south west Arkansas one of the most important source of revenue for the railroad is the lumber industry. When the open cast bauxite mine at Colonel’s Crossing became exhausted the overburden was replaced and the whole area planted with Pine and Aspen. These trees are fast growing, reaching maturity in three to five years and are a renewable resource that provides much of the lumber shipped out on the Rock Island via the I&W main line. A RI U33B arrives with a train of empty pulpwood flats which it spots in the loop and runs down to the loco servicing area.  The yard goat that day, a RI SW1500 pushes the cars into the pulp loading track. Peter M   While the crew of the RI U-boat have a break and a meal in a local diner the switcher crew make up a train for the U-boat to return to the RI main line with. Peter M  
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