Tag Archives: Train

Model Train Room’s Ski Hill

As previously mentioned, my husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.

This room had been a four year work in progress by another train lover, so we are dealing with what was already built.  What we jokingly called our seven foot chocolate cake/blob, is the cover for a (circular track) helix that’s designed to bring the trains to the upper or lower level of tracks.

Model Train helix

To reflect how we would have wanted our town to look in the 1950’s, we added a Ski Lodge and Skiers on the mountain.
Model Train Ski area

Model Train Ski LodgeWhen people cleaned out their dusty, spider infested boxes, they donated the HO scale model items to the train room,

Luckily for me, all the spiders were dead and one of the great finds was this saloon.

We kit-bashed it into a ski chalet and painted winter Model Train Ski Hill 1clothes on the patrons.

Kit-bashing sounds destructive, but it is really a gentle method of creating what you need to fit a theme.

A fence was cut, shaped and painted to become ski racks.

Coal dust was used for the blacktopped road and the rock retaining wall was molded from plaster.

Model Train Ski Hill 2More trees were added and hot glued into place to finally stand up straight.

Our research on adding snow to the mountain was entertaining.  One suggestion was to add crystal sugar for the sparkle.  How cute would it be, to have ants snacking on our sugar mountain?

We haven’t been historically true to how our town looked in the 1950’s.  We’ve captured some interesting sites of Utah and compressed them into scenes of what we hope everyone will enjoy seeing in our train room .

A Waterfall in the Model Train Room

As previously mentioned, my husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  Besides fixing the railroad track so the trains can run smoothly, we are remodeling the room to reflect how our town may have looked in the 1950’s.
Train Room waterfall full length

Originally, the waterfall was just a blue strip, with wads of cotton stuck on to simulate water.  I found some tutorials explaining how to create waterfalls by using clear caulking.
Train Room caulking gun copyLuckily our bathtubs aren’t in need of a re-caulking just yet, cause making waterfalls seemed like a lot more fun.

caulking linesI spread the caulking on clear plastic wrap with enough lines to match the width of the waterfall area and about 15 inches long.  I made five of these caulked sections, to cover the length of the waterfall.caulking merged

Then a tooth pick was used to blend together the caulking lines.  By twisting and lifting the toothpick, the roughness of water splashing was created.

The next day, the caulking strips were dry enough to attach to the train room wall, by using more caulking as glue.

By accident, I found that the pressure from the caulking gun made long drips which were perfect to simulate the waterfall’s streaming water.

After the strips were attached, more long drips were added since this looked so cool.  Sparkle Paint was dabbed sporadically and wisps of cotton added for a clear, rushing water effect.Train Room waterfall bottom portion

Golden Spike National Historic Site, Promontory Summit, Utah

The legacy of the Golden Spike Ceremony lives on at Promontory’s National Historic Site, even though both engines were scrapped and sold for $1,000 each by the early 1900’s.

Jupiter 3 crop119 copy cropped 2

A four year labor of love completed the accurate replicas of the Central Pacific (CP) Jupiter and Union Pacific (UP) No. 119, in time for the 110th anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony.  Disney employees did the painting and lettering of the gas burners, and the wood in the tender served only to hide the natural gas tank.  In 1991, the engines were converted to burn their original fuels, wood for the Jupiter and coal for No. 119.

two enginesWatching the trains rolling along the tracks and viewing the exhibits and pictures in the Visitor’s Center took us back to that time when the 1st Intercontinental Railroad was completed.  What really gave us a deeper historical perspective,  was the 1.5 mile walking trail.  We viewed evidence of construction methods used by simple tools, sweat and an amazing amount of endurance.  We walked on the original track railbed and saw drill marks where workers blasted the rock away, which brought to life the pictures displayed in the visitor’s center.

The 14 mile auto drive on the railbed allowed us a closer view of the dirt fills, a stair-step cut, rock and wood culverts, and a distant glimpse of the Great Salt Lake.  The self-guided drive includes the spot where the CP workers completed 10 miles of track in one day and the Union and Central Pacific’s parallel grades. 20-Engine & Sign copy

Interestingly, the parallel grades continued for 250 miles without any track being laid down.  Congress forced the two companies to agree on a meeting place.  They finally chose the midway point at the end of the track for each railroad company, which was at Promontory Summit.

Golden Spike National Historic Site is located near the ATK Aerospace Center where you can walk among the rockets on display.  Also, another unique site is the Spiral Jetty which is 16 miles to the southwest.