Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bluford Shops Rock Island Transfer Cabooses

Bluford Shops May Announcement

Rock Island Transfer Cabooses. Rock Island began building “shack-on-a-flat” style transfer cabooses as early as 1951. Variations in lettering placement were commonplace so we are presenting 2 variations with this run. After 1956, Rock Island cabooses could be found in either, as RI called it, “light red” which other roads might call caboose red, or “boxcar color” which was a rich brown approaching maroon. Both of these road numbers are in “boxcar color” with gray ladders and railings.  Expected in late 2012.  Very nice!  A pair of these would make a nice Christmas gift!

A link to the original announcement:


Ovalix to Nolix?

It could be the medication, but I have considered thoughts of removing the ovalix on the layout.  In place, I would like to make enough of a run on a straight grade so that I could reach the height of the second level, but also add two key towns that the layout is missing between Bureau and Ottawa: Peru/LaSalle and Utica.  This would give me the ability to accurately model the flair of the Rock Island with their extensive silica business.

The question is how to do it?  I have 14" of elevation I need to make up.  I have an area originally roped off as the "children zone" for watching tv.  I'm wondering if that area can be moved or re-purposed since a flat screen is now in place.

Engineers are on site taking notes and discussing with chief engineers of two other railroads.  They hope to come up with a feasible plan that will benefit all.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I'm still here.  I haven't reported in a while as I have been caught up in researching the Rock Island from Bureau to Chicago.  I have gone over the entire route via Bing Maps in great detail taking notes.  I have watched YouTube videos of cab rides on the RI lines, found tower diagrams, track charts, etc.  It has been a pleasure to research the Rock in such detail.

There hasn't been any progress on the layout lately other then working on re-staging for the next session.  I plan on operating on my friend's L&HR layout soon.  That is always a pleasurable experience and gives me further ideas to enhance operations on the Rock.