Thanks for the call Jim I have about 30 of those little Atlas Ore cars and all modified for 2-Rail with Kadee couplers I will snap some photos for you in the next couple of days I'm flat out like a lizard drinking getting the layout ready for Friday's session at the moment.

On a completely different matter the new Boiler house is progressing fine see the structure section on how I built it. Here it is installed for Friday's session the new turnout is installed and wired up everything works and ready to go, maybe finish the Boiler house next week if the rain holds off. Roo.



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EBT Jim posted:
Roo posted:



Hi Roo.

What a great railroad you have down there! Really nice work. Enjoy following along with your posts here on the forum.

I'd like to ask you about those black ore cars. Who made them? Are they the old Atlas 3-rail ore cars?

If you did a 3-rail to 2-rail conversion on them, can you give me any details on how you did it? I'd like to do some for the little 2-rail layout that I'm putting together, and I've never converted anything before.

Thank you, Jim

Thanks Jim for your kind comments.

Yes, the Ore cars are the old Atlas cars from the 70's I love them at one stage I had about 50 of them I now use about 30 on the layout in rakes of 10. 

To change them to a good running 2-rail car is not hard  more hard on your wallet than on the bench.

I take them apart and toss the trucks and couplers which leaves a hole to be filled where the truck screws on (my finger is pointing at the hole!) this is filled with a piece of wood dowel. I then use Weaver trucks with Intermountain wheelsets and Kadee couplers to save money you could use plastic wheels and set up the cars with draw bars in sets of three to save on couplers I go all out and use Kadees on all the cars here are some photos I hope this helps. As a postscript. I have seen blokes use the original trucks by turning down the flange on the original wheels also some blokes use Athearn trucks instead of the Weaver I had a lot of Weaver trucks so I used them when I screw the truck to the wood dowel I drill a small hole in the centre of the dowel and use a small metal screw (2g X 12mm I think!) with a washer under the head also some firm once made plastic plugs instead of using dowel but these as far as I know are long gone a bit of lead shot in the bottom of the hopper for weight and 3mm MDF with woodlands scenic ore glued on the top, so your running full one way and empty the other, lots of ways to do these things my way is only one of many ways.  Hope I haven't confused you and instead helps you get started. Take care. Roo.




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Hi everyone.

This photo shows the new unfinished Boiler House in Place sandwiched between the BOF and the Blast Furnace, imagine what this will look like with an electrical substation in front of it and everything painted and weathered one day. I'm not finished yet, plenty more to come I've got road cranes, railroad cranes, plenty of figures, details, even a garage/workshop for the Road cranes coming up and maybe a fire station if I can fit it in all sorts of things in preparation and we run every Friday this week it's Thursday can't make it Friday but your invited I provide lunch...... Roo.



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Roo, Fantastic !  Looking forward to all the other updates to come. This is a Master Class in modeling.

Thank you for starting this thread and letting us see your work. Enjoy the Operating  sessions, well deserved break.


OGR Subscriber-Premium Member/ Forum Member/ LCCA

Hi Bob ! Good to hear from you mate. Margaret was only saying last night have you heard from Bob lately I said I must give him a call.

And thanks Tom for your kind words.

For those who can't attend today here is the initial set out and some of the cars for the start of today's activities. I've even turned the heaters on in the room (it is winter here!) Well the boys should be arriving soon better get back to the room see you all later. Roo.





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We had a great day yesterday running the layout, today it's work day . I am fitting some clearance poles on the far end of Republic Steel "Yard" I say "Yard" because it's only three tracks it does it's job in the limited space I have there and the sharp curves have never been a problem. To cut down on some of the trains we are running we have decided to run fewer trains with more cars so I wanted to see how many Coke and Ore hoppers those tracks could fit something I should have done a long time ago but never got around to it. So with the axcess hatches removed I can get right up to the far end of the layout here are some photos of areas you don't really see anymore but I know they are there! Roo. Tom, I haven't forgotten you!



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Very inspirational for those of us with memories of eastern US steel mill railroading.  Great format also for running lots of trains within our necessarily confined spaces.  If you haven't already seen it, the Allen Keller series of model railroading videos and DVD's has a wonderful one on the late Dean Freytag's steel mill oriented HO model railroad.  Well worth the time to track down a copy because of its explanation of steel making and the connection with railroading even though Mr. Freytag's railroad was HO.

Roo, I am glad you had a good time yesterday! Your layout is just amazing and love all the pictures you post of it! Thanks and have a great work day along with a wonderful weekend!


USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Hi Tom and other members.

The Initial set out list is what it says. There are eleven (11) areas where cars are staged before we start running trains these cars are the only cars on the layout that are used initially any other cars not on the list are removed from the layout. When we start running trains each operator has a switch list for today's activities the set out sheet has done it's job and is discarded the operator then only uses the switch lists which starts off with the already staged cars.

To give you an example lets go to the Blast Furnace the first name on the list keeping in mind that the cars on the list are marked either full or empty.

The Blast furnace has four hot metal cars two 16 wheelers and two 12 wheelers plus four spacer cars.

The Slag cars are listed as six cars.

The furnace Ash hoppers are 2 cars and the furnace spill cars are 2 cars.

These cars these cars are staged on their tracks and will be moved around the layout according to the switch list like the hot metal cars go from the furnace to the BOF full of Iron and return empty this process will be repeated four times during the day in the meantime there are many other moves happening as well like 46 moves occur during a full session just in the Republic Steel district alone and there are three other districts which is why you need three dedicated operators!

It is easier to watch than write but you asked how the Set Out sheet is used and I have told you please don't ask me how the switch lists work that would take a lot of work to much for here ! Believe it or not we really enjoy this and wouldn't have it any other way. Roo.

Thanks BobbyD, Bill, Tom, and Mike and Bill thanks for the word on the DVD I might look it up I have two of Dean Freytags books on steel Mill modelling.

I will try and get some photos together of the trains we use and how we make them up into a consist where the originate and their destination soon busy at the moment but here is a photo of one Hot Metal train we use I just snapped it quickly it has an old hopper car at each end one next to the Engine and one at the end sometimes we put one in the centre to space the load out if they are going over bridges (they are heavy cars when full!) and of course to keep heat off the engine and caboose this train you see does not need all that as it's an in plant move from the Blast Furnace to the BOF so no caboose and no bridges to go over. I wish I had time to weather the cars better maybe one day....






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We had a good running session today lots of action, laughs/talk, and a nice lunch, there are only three in our group we had fun how it should be with O scale trains. All photos taken today. Lots of work still ahead but I like to keep the trains running and we have a good operation plan we work to that's more important to us than finishing the layout. I'll get there one day. That's a MTH interlocking tower a nice model I have pulled it apart once might repaint it and weather it I somehow knew I should have built it myself but it fills the gap at the moment. I have some figures and more details for inside as well. Roo.



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Thanks Tom your welcome anytime, maybe I should snap a photo of our lunch as well! Ha Ha.

At the moment I am sorting out some figures to use around the layout and then if I have time I will clean up that mess on the bench it's a disgrace.

Of course I have to remember that today is Fathers day in Australia and though Margaret and myself don't believe in birthdays and titles the kids do and it could be chaos later on today, it's 7-40am at the moment on a beautiful Sunday Morning here in Perth, West Aussie after a night of rain. . Roo.



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Happy Father's Day Roo!

Strange how your holiday is different from here in the US which we celebrate in June.

Love the photos and story of your Op sessions. If you could post a video one day I'm sure we'd all love to see your beautiful layout in action.


Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Tom and Bob thank you for your kind words.

I'm going away for a couple of weeks walking in the bush so I thought I would post this latest UNFINISHED project before I hit the trail I would have liked to post the finished product but am running out of time it's the Station at Valley Forge it's above ground because of the Lionel cars we run I must admit I wish I could finish it before I go but can't the canopy looks like it's leaning over to one side it's not just the angle of the photo.

I had to modify the track again! must be three times in this section to make it all look right this time I think I have it. The trains run in rakes of three the second motor car is still being built very time consuming to change them to 2-Rail, in fact a nightmare. Thanks again guys.





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Roo, Thanks for the update. Station looking great, looking forward to seeing it done. Maybe when you get back I will ask about conversion from 3 rail to 2 rail. Right now I have a small 3 rail switching layout. There is possibility of getting much larger space in the future. I am thinking that maybe I should go 2 rail. Either way I would have to get all new track. But this can wait.

Enjoy your walk in the bush, what exactly do you do for those weeks?

Be safe!


OGR Subscriber-Premium Member/ Forum Member/ LCCA

We walk along what is know as the "Bibbulmun Track" or close to it. It's 1000 kilometres long in the Southern section of West Australia.Lots of old railway formations and even a real one. Look it up. There are huts but we prefer our tent. Roo.DSC03420DSC03638DSC03369




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Ha Ha Thanks you guys for looking after me ! 

I'm sorry I can't show you some better modelling at the moment to busy preparing my gear and we are running the trains today (Thursday) as I am not leaving till Saturday and did not want to run the trains so close to leaving so it's this Thursday for trains and a day off on Friday. I had some Non-Train people visit me yesterday and they were amazed at the trains they said it's a real shame it can't be made into a public display that would be impossible as you have to walk through the house to get to the trains and there is very little space in the room for endless visitors it's really only suitable for 4-5 operators that don't need to move around all the time, but that doesn't stop me having visitors and any Forum members would always be welcome if you happen to be visiting Perth, I would make you welcome.  Thanks again. Roo.



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Hi Roo,

Love your latest work, fantastic modelling - don't know how you do it so quickly - and great to see you having op sessions as well.

You (and the rest of the group) might find the attached article of interest - it should be published in "The Mill" - the journal for the Steel Mill Modellers Group.




I just arrived back from the bush today 1 day earlier than I thought no injuries lots of peace and as someone once said it's being in the "free air of God" out here.  Here is a "selfie" now I will settle down and get stuck into some modelling. Roo.



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