Running at OV's place (Southern Wisconsin) - 25th May 2003

On a trip to the USA and Canada, I went a little nuts on buying new G-scale stuff (you should have seen my checked in baggage on my return - three BIG green grips). Since I picked it up relatively early in the tour, I got several chances to run it while still in North America. These pictures were running on OV's new layout in Southern Wisconsin - he'd only just laid the new main line track a few days before. The locomotive and all the rolling stock came from Hockley Valley Railroad just outside Orangeville, Ontario - I'd definitely recommend them - excellent prices and service. All photos by Mike Brown. (* click on image for bigger version)

Since I was on tour, the consist is basically pretty much the same throughout. It consists of a USA Trains GP-30 in Canadian Pacific colours (USA Trains #22462), an Aristocraft British Columbia Railway box car (ARI #46058), a Hobbycraft-edition Aristocraft British Columbia Railway box car (ARI #47090), three Aristocraft BCRail (BCOL) 100-ton hoppers (ARI #555005, #555006). In this picture you can also see two MDC Roundhouse CN ore hoppers (G4179) on the far end of the train. In the final picture these had been replaced with an LGB Canadien National box car (LGBoA exclusive, #41913). We'd initially been having some problems with the LGB box car derailing and had taken it off for the first photos, but after a little PW work we had the track smoother and could get it to stay on.

I love this shot. Apart from the tall grass, it really looks like parts of the Canadian Pacific mainline across the Canadian Shield. (I'd just taken VIArail's The Lake Superior service which runs along this line from Sudbury ON to White River ON. Check back soon for a report on that trip, and pictures/movies.

I know purists will hate that I hadn't installed the grab rails at this point, but I didn't want to break open the bag ahead of the intercontiental flight. I felt that once fitted it would be best to leave them on, and this looked like it would require leaving out some of the polystyrene packaging. Not the best of ideas when about to hand my precious new locomotive over to airport baggage handlers!

As you can see here, the layout is still very much under-construction... but it's gonna be amazing when it's finished.

The USA Trains GP-30 ran very nicely indeed, although it's been proving a bit of a nightmare to fit DCC to. According to the PSU meter, it was drawing about 1.0 Amps at around 18 volts hauling this train, except on the grades where consumption climbed up towards 1.5 Amps. This proved a bit much for the PSU and the voltage dropped slowing the train. You probably don't want to run this one with less than a 3 Amp PSU.

Here we have the LGB CN box car running again thanks to some remedial work on the adverse camber coming into this corner. You can even see the fresh ballast just by the CN box car. The CN box car is a really nice piece of rolling stock and actually matches up extremely well in size and scale next to the Aristocraft ones. I just wish LGB hadn't made it an LGBoA exclusive - it made it so much harder for me to get them. It's also a limited time edition and I believe is either now discontinued, or at least about to be. At least I managed to pick up three of them while they were available.

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