Lighting above Johnstown Yard has been a perplexing problem with no good solution. I had initially installed two work boxes in the bulkhead when I framed in the heating ducts, intending to come back later on and install track lighting. What I forgot to consider is that track lighting is not a good option for downward lighting. Furthermore, since I placed the work boxes midway from the back wall to the front of the bulkhead, the light heads would be lighting the wall, not the yard. As a temporary light source, I had installed two porcelain bases with plain light bulbs, but these were not particularly attractive and gave off a lot of glare. I had finally concluded that the best option might be a vertical valance with a fluorescent tube behind it, even though I do not like this look.
This past Saturday I was at my favorite store, Home Depot, and came across this new product in the electrical department. It is a surface mount LED fixture that only needs a work box to connect. It does not need the 7 or 8 inches of space that recessed lights require. This looked like a great option for our situation. They are available in both 4 and 6-inch diameters (I chose the larger size). They give off a soft white color and are dimmable. These sell for $30.97 at our local Home Depot. Not cheap, but they are projected to last 22 years and are a perfect solution for our application!
Over the Thanksgiving Break from school, I worked on two covered hoppers that I have been wanting to do for a while. As you may know, I have a small bedroom switching layout depicting Conrail's Allegheny Industrial track. I wanted to modify these two Bowser hoppers, factory decorated for Clinchfield and Erie Lackawanna, to be "patch-out" cars for an industry on my layout called Davidson Aggregates. See the following pictures for a more in depth explanation. I enjoyed this project and it was my first real experience decaling and weathering.
On November 29th, I saw on Heritageunits.com that Union Pacific #1988, the MKT or Katy heritage unit, was trailing on NS empty coal train 553 moving south down the Mon Line. My dad and I made our way to the railroad crossing in Duquesne, PA to catch the train. We caught it and its colorful consist. The leading unit was NS #7020, the newest SD60E at the time, followed by an ex-UP SD90MAC and the Katy unit, our first sighting of a UP heritage unit. See the pictures and video below. Due to the winter weather, the skies were rather overcast.
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