Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rosenberg Meet Officially Retired

I took me awhile to decide if I should continue with Rosenberg Meet. After all, I spent almost 1 year researching about UP and BNSF in that region and getting to know wonderful and helpful people. I learned more about the American railroad and about Rosenberg through this exercise. So with a heavy heart, I decided to retire Rosenberg Meet in N-scale.

I will still model railroad in N-scale, a scale of my choice. However, I have chosen to focus on German/European railways now that I am closer to the scene (besides working in a railway company). I might pick out some elements from Rosenberg Meet for my future layout and don't be surprised to see American locos and rolling stocks running side by side with its German and European counterparts. After all, I have over 30 pieces of equipment that need a place to run.

If you are interested to model Rosenberg, please feel free to use my research materials here. I have some CAD track drawings (XTrack CAD format) and photos. Just email me and I will be more than happy to pass them to you.

I don't plan to delete this blog (unless Google does it without informing me). For future posting on my N-scale railroad, visit and

Thank you for your support and visit.

Jimmy Low

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trai-N-Master now in a Train Company

It has been almost 2 years since my last post. I am still going well, thank you. I have moved to Frankfurt (in Germany) after spending 1 year in Berlin for my MBA. I am now working in Deutsche Bahn (DB), yes, a dream came true. I shall write more about my work later. But, just to let everyone know that I might revive Rosenberg Meet in N-scale. Thankfully, most of my planning notes were posted here and with your comments, I can now pick up from where I left off.

Okay, I said "might" since I would need to settle down in my new apartment in the next 2 months and would definitely take a few more months to let everything fall in place. I will not have a big place like I had in Kuala Lumpur. I don't have a 11' x 11' room to space. Nonetheless, I think I have a beautiful, enclosed balcony or loggia as they call it here, with plenty of natural light.

View from living room

View of balcony (one end)

I intend to use this space as a work space but to have the model layout circling the parameters of the balcony and a duck-under for crossing the access to the living room. Rosenberg Tower 17 will still be the main theme of this layout but would now mean that I have to rethink how the Galveston and Glidden subdivisions fit into this narrow space. Could I compress all those important features between Rosenberg to Galveston island within this space?

It is time to review my planning notes and your comments. Watch out this space for updates.

Jimmy Low

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rosenberg Meet Takes A Break ....

Rosenberg Meet will now take a break. I will be in Berlin for whole of 2010 for my MBA at European School of Management and Technology.

Thank you for supporting Rosenberg Meet. Don't leave yet. I hope to return to this project in the future.

Thank you.

Jimmy Low

Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Income Tax is Worse than Death!

Done. Submitted. Paid.

When your income tax is worth an MPV, it is time to survive on water and bread. Rosenberg Meet will have to take a back seat for next 3 months. But, this means more time to revise the benchwork that I am struggling on and to work on the Galveston lower deck track plan.

Be assured, Rosenberg Meet is very much alive! No tax is going to take my little Rosie away :D


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thank You For Your Visit

Since 5th April, more than 140 visitors (including repeat visitors) have visited Rosenberg Meet in N-scale; as far north as Troms, Norway (Takk!) and as far south as Dunedin, New Zealand (Thank You!)

As you learn more about my Rosenberg Meet, do visit The City that Works. After all, each modeller is an ambassador of the place and country he/she models :)


Going Beyond Oval

It's good to be back after a short hiatus. I have delivered my second company project on time last mid-week and now it is time for me do deliver my own railroad project.

I was "discovered" last week by a few colleagues who googled my name and found my personal blogs, including this one. They saw me and we started talking about model trains (for me, passionately). Big boys playing with trains. Betcha! And, it is not just connecting a few pieces of tracks into an oval shape and let the train chase its tail. No, no .... model railroad is a SERIOUS business (and it is not TOY!)

Now, let's not get to uptight about this. My upper deck track plan is finalised, a month ago. However, something is still bothering me. Smither's Lake peninsula!

Smither's Lake Peninsula (upper deck)

The peninsula extends 5.5 feet from the wall and 3 feet wide at the widest point. Below Smither's Lake is future Galveston Bay and Galveston terminal. I have not draw the track plan for the lower deck but what will be there is all noted in my Ideas Book.

One of my druthers is to make sure the lower deck peninsula is free from any obstruction. As you can see, the upper deck has a scenic divider between Richmond and Alvin but the lower deck must have an unobstructed view of the Galveston port terminal and the bay.

For now, the lower deck needs to be supported by this benchwork.

Lower Deck L-Girder Benchwork (Plan View)

Smither's Lake (Upper Deck) and
Galveston Bay (Lower Deck) (Front View)

My challange now is to find a way to make the lower deck obstruction-free. One method I thought of is to use acrylic panels to support each corners (as shown in red) and which, I hope, are strong to support the weight of the entire upper deck.

Update #1:
This is what a good sleep can do for you. This is how I want my upper deck (Smither's Lake) to be "free-hanging" and supported, while the bottom deck (Galveston) is supported by the middle legs.

Compare this and the above drawing. This below drawing meets my free-space that I want for Galveston and the lower deck is not hindered by the benchwork legs.

Do you have any suggestions or comments?

Back to drawing board!

Jimmy Low

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rosenberg Meet at Night Time

Steve Cox's recent post on 2nd Street job on Richmond Pacific and his subsequent modeler's note raised an interesting question about simulating the after dark look. Good point, Steve.

How many of us modelers considered this point in our layout?

We simulate winter, summer, fall and spring days but how often we simulate the dawn or dusk feeling or even night feeling? A food for thought for my Rosie :)

Wes Carr beautifully captured Tower 17 at a winter dawn
looking west. Can Jimmy capture this feeling in N-scale?

Jimmy Low

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Texas' Last Interlocking Tower Closing

ROSENBERG, Texas - Effective at 8 a.m. today, Texas begins to lose Tower 17, its last active interlocking tower guarding a railroad junction. All Texas towers were numbered, and the one at Rosenburg, 35 miles southwest of Houston where Union Pacific's former Southern Pacific Sunset Route main line crosses BNSF's former Santa Fe line from the north into the Houston-Galveston area, happened to be 17.

Tower 17's closure is said to leave UP's West Bridge Junction in Louisiana, near the Huey P. Long bridge, as the last staffed traditional tower in service (vs. towers at moveable rail bridges at waterways) in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River.

A 36-hour maintenance-of-way window is in effect today for UP signal forces to change out switches, switch machines, and cut over new signals and take down old ones at Tower 17. The UP Glidden Sub dispatcher now controls the remaining switches and signals. Rosenburg operators are expected to find work at other UP locations.

The last day that Tower 17 will be open will be Friday, Feb. 13, with the last operator reporting for work at 11 p.m. When that shift is over at 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the tower will be closed.

Texas' towers were given numbers, at random, by the Railroad Commission of Texas after the 1901 passage of a state law to regulate crossings at grade of railroads. The numeric progression of Texas interlockings has no logic either geographically or by railroad. It is believed that Tower 196, in El Paso near Union Station, had the highest number. As late as early 1985 there were still well over 100 active interlockings in Texas, but only a couple of dozen or so were controlled by active towers.

Information provided by Trains Magazine

Monday, March 30, 2009

Running Rosenberg Meet with Friends: PRICELESS

As I was preparing the bill of materials and budget for my layout, I recall this famous Mastercard Priceless ads. So, I just going to remind myself:

Atlas Flextrack: US$2.89
Kato BNSF C44-9W: US$73.50
Running Rosenberg Meet with Friends: PRICELESS

Jimmy Low

Deciphering Train Symbols - More Than Just Symbols

Last week, I got connected with 2 important people that spurred my interest to model Tower 17 in Rosenberg, Texas. Yes, Stephen Foyt and Wes Carr are now in my Facebook. I also found out that both are with UPRR and BNSF respectively as train dispatcher. Wow, what a discovery!

Train dispatchers are the air traffic controllers of the railroads. They control the movement of trains over large track territories.

Train dispatchers assign train symbols to indicate the train type, origin and destination of train and other information. Different railroads uses different train symbols. Knowing each railroad's train symbols help to make the model railroad operations more prototypical. I reread Stephen's 24 hours at Tower 17, Rosenberg report and trying to decipher all the 77 train symbols, both BNSF's and UPRR's.

By looking at each train symbols, I can now tell the origin and destination of each train type. It also give me an idea where each train originates and what it carries with it, and where it is going - loaded trains normally to ports in Texas or other States such as those in Long Beach or Los Angeles, California or New Orleans, Louisiana for handover to /from CSX.

Coals come from Wyoming for Smither's Lake Power Plant traveling over BNSF Galveston to Thompsons.

The train symbols also tell the type of commodity or product that BNSF and UPRR carry in this region. Grains and coals are BNSF main commodities while UP bends towards rocks (?) and intermodal between New Orleans and Los Angeles.

So, you will see actual* BNSF and UPRR train symbols used on Rosenberg Meet.


* I was told the BNSF train symbols have changed but since I am modelling 2004 period, train symbols in Stephen's report remained correct.