About the MFR

The Metaline Falls Railroad (MFR) is a proto-freelanced model railroad based on the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad located in northern Idaho and north eastern Washington State. For the very latest on the layout, please visit my YouTube channel and follow along with my Instagram account.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lengthening the Lead

The rather short length of my lead track had been really bugging me lately.  I use this lead to move cars from the mainline to the yard, as well as to and from the cement factory. This track was only long enough to accommodate approximately 4 cars plus a locomotive which meant that a lot of running back and forth was needed to complete even the simplest maneuvers. (see track plan for clarification) All of this back and forth artificially lengthened the operating sessions but not in a good way.

For example. I was unable to replace a string of 5 or 6 loaded cement hoppers at the factory with empties in an efficient manner.  This move would require that I run the locomotive out of the yard to pull the loaded hoppers out of the factory first, spot them on the main, then run back to the yard, grab the empties, pull them out of the yard, then back them into the factory, then return to the main, collect the loaded cars, and back them into the yard again. (if there were 6 loaded cars, I would have to grab them out of the factory or off of the main in two strings because an engine and 6 cars was too long for the lead)

As you can see, it became rather tedious rather quickly.

So, I cut a hole in my backdrop and extended the lead track about 7 feet into the adjacent closet.  This now allows me work the yard and cement factory in a much more relaxed and prototypical manner. I can maneuver a string of 12 hoppers with ease and no longer am I constantly checking clearances and hoping that I can squeeze just one more car onto the lead so I don't have to waste more time running back and forth.  As an added benefit, I can now run full length trains completely through my scenes and really enjoy watching as trains pass me by.

As far as scenery goes around the hole, I've thought about adding a tunnel and re-working the land forms a bit.  This admittedly looks a bit awkward considering the sheer drop off to the left of the track and the tunnel's close proximity to the bridge, but I've got a few ideas that might make this work.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Need Some Help Fixing Rolled Rail

I've got a short, 2 inch section of rail on one of my Walthers/Shinohara turnouts where the rail has rolled towards the inside a bit which causes regular derails. (see picture)  I'm not sure what has caused it. Maybe temp change?

Anyway, its location has me nervous about how to go about fixing it.  Any advice would be helpful!

UPDATE!  I've been playing with that turnout for a while now and it is just not fixable I think.  Looks like I am going to have to replace it.  Ugh.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Allagash Railway

I haven't done much of anything with my railroad the last few months.  I'll go down into the basement, flip on the light, stare at it for a bit, and then flip the light off again and go back upstairs.  That is pretty much it.

However, Mike Confalone's long awaited articles about his amazing Allagash Railway are starting to find their way into the pages of Model Railroad Hobbyist and I am suddenly inspired to get my hands dirty again!

Head over to Model Railroad Hobbyist and check out his truly inspirational work.  You'll find part 1 in the January issue.