News and evets for the CMPA in HO. For now, all opf thses are works of fictional storytelling. News articles marked LAYOUT: will be for layout prgress blurbs, and PROTOTYPE: will sigify real news articles about the real City of Madison Port Authority.
(Roughly translated to I'm painting three material handling cars caboose red and slapping INRD decals onto them)
In 2008, Indiana Railroad partnered with the Indiana Historical Society to assemble a mobile history display. The train was run again in 2010 with different displays. Both trains were centered around the Civil War. Now, in 2012, the model railroad world is renewing the cars for several series starting this year. Although the disaplays will be heavily featured on the INRD, several intra-state lines will also be hosting the train for a state-wide tour. The first issue will use displays from the Indiana State Museum's state history exhibit. Further renditions will include race history, transportation, and Indiana art and literature. Arrival dates are still to be determined, but the cars will be spotted at the Depot in Lower Madison for the full week.
Despite the heat, and then the threats of bad weather, CMPA had a good year for ridership. Events in the Proving Grounds including the Roundhouse Museum, the RC Boat races put on by DNR, and a few shop open houses seemed to be a great hit. We thank everyone who came out and rode with us, making use of the parking in Jefferson Proving Grounds and not the downtown streets of Madison. Perhaps due to the light year, we weren't juggling coolers quite so badly, but we think we finally have a good system in place for that. Although we're pretty sure a lot of the all day people bringing coolers and tents came by car, but any assist we can do to quell traffic in town is a big help. We'd like to thank the riders for their patience in this. We'd also like to thank the volunteers who joined our regular crews. Running trains for fourteen hours isn't easy, but we managed to stick every trip in a reasonably on-time manner. Kudos to you.
So, what'd we learn? There's still work to be done on the scheduling side. We made a few empty runs throughout the day that can probably be scrubbed in aa year or two. We run the RDCs because they aren't fuel hogs like the Diesels would be pushing two cars, but even empty runs can be expensive. We're also looking at readjusting concessions again, since we aren't selling much in the way of Merchandise and doing plenty of water. Merchandise stuff can be left behind, giving us more room for your stuff. (As opposed to stuff we want to be yours) On the upside, a lot of you really liked the handicap ramp setups in the old Mail section, so we'll be continuing to use and improve that's deployment speed. Now that the rush is over, we can finish equipping the John Brough RDCset with the shallower steps likebthe Reuben Wells set now has.
We also learned just how far back you can park a camper and not clear the grab irons on a boxcar. Sorry about that... But, that was the only incident through the weekend for us, so we'll take it. six flatcars full of garbage containers are headed up to North Vernon on tomorrow's train, collected by all terrain vehicles and dumped into the containers at the Cotton Mill. Madison Municipal still wants that contract, but this seems to be a more fuel efficient way to do it, and its working fairly well
So, all in all, an acceptable year, and an exciting series of racing. We'll tolerate second, Mr. David, you raced Miss Madison hard.
Original RDC photo from http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=379769&nseq=23 Madison photo by me
According to several sources,mine real Madison Railroad has received grant money to expand their WhitcombYard in N. Vernon, and add new track to a new facility doing construction. I started wanting to model the CMPA due to all the possibilities that existed, and now it looks like some of them are taking shape!
One of the biggest things in our town, and one of the biggest venues in the Unlimited series Hydroplane racing is back for another year. We're another two weeks out, are you ready?
We at the HO Madison Railroad would like to pass along some information for those of you ravelling to see our great town. First and foremost, we will once again be staging trash containers in the Cotton Mill, and even despite the festivities, we stll have a rialroad to run. Therefore, the CMPA will be sending our trains down prompty at 5:30am so that we may be done and out of Vaughn Drive before the festivities start. If you're down at the river early, please be careful and mind the trains.
More cheerfully, to those of you travelling locally to see us, or are stying north of town, We are once again parking everyone in the Jefferson Proving Grounds, in an attempt to cut down on traffic in town. We're running both RDCs, however different from this year, the RDCs will be operating drectly from the west end of Vaughn Drive to the Proving Grounds on thirty minute intervals from 6am to midnight. The historic Doodlebug will be handling our regular museum excursions up to the Proving Grounds as well, on its usual schedule.
Staying in a hotel in North Madison? No problem. Our friends in the Port Authority have pulled together an impressive collection of shuttle buses operating directly to the Hotel doorstep.
As you may have heard, the Proving Grounds is hosting several festivities as well, including regular RC boat races and some historic tours. We invite everyone to hop a train and come up for that, even if you came into lower Madison by a different means. train rides are only 5 bucks, or for 7 we'll give you an unlimited ride wristband for the weekend. There are additional deals available in the VIsitor's Center on First Street, including our trainrides and the historic homes, so please check on that as well.
If you haven't been, you would'nt know; but those who have know that You Gotta Regatta! Have you?
(Reposted from Roundabout Madison) Expect to see something no one's seen for twenty years be put back in. The Madison Railroad says. The latest in their push to get back to Columbus starts now. Though the endeveor is still facing a lot of resistance, CMPA has recieved the okay to go another two miles north of North Vernon. To do that, they need to cut right through US 50, removing their old siding and the cars that sat at the end.
"In the long run," Morgan Davis, who addresses himself as a wearer of many hats for the railroad, stated "We hope that by putting track--and trains-- into the backs of people's yards will prove that we mean to do this, and we can avoid Eminent Domain arguments. This is the first leg of that, certainly, but we're also solving another, more pressing issue. We've simply outgrown our interchange. The backbone of our industry right now is car fleet storage. TTX is interested in parking some of their less used Autoracks in the Proving Grounds during lulls in sales. We simply cannot on the line we have now pull more than a dozen cars at a time off the Chessie. We'll be installing a new switch on the Tail Track along EO&M Avenue near the Amvet Drive crossing."
CMPA says to expect that to take a week to put in, with a month or so of track work. They also expect to see Prison vehicles, as they do plan to use the Work Release force for much of the construction, as they do with repair work. At this time, CMPA and Chessie are still discussing the old signal tower along there, if it will be relit or not.
After that, they'll be heading for US 50.
"We don't wish to be a nuisance, but that project could take upwards fo two montsh to get everyhing in there properly."
"The railroad crossing signals are likely going to be hooked into the Intersection of 50 & 7 so as to prevent a bottleneck." INDOT says, "We'll be out doing light tests as well, so disrupted traffic flow will be a norm through there for a while."
Model Rail news: the IRyC has announced that their operating president is retiring in Jan of 2012, and that they wish the CMPA to take over the overseeing duties. This comes as a shock based on their staunch stances on reattachment of the old Madison Secondary to Columbus.
IRyC is owned and operated by the warehouses served in Columbus Indiana. the IRyC owns what is in the real world handled by Louisville & Indiana and is switched by a local 45ton engine. The railroad President and three employees make up a company otherwise controlled by the customers. This setp was required since the president was the only one with experience in trying to operate a railroad. When he retires, CMPA will continue oversight, including budgetting and handling actual schedules, but largley will be hands-off in ops and business decisions. IRyC will still be owned by the warehouse customers.
Says the representative for Columbus: "Our decision was based largely in a desire for an entity that is not directly involved with us. Lousiville and Indiana does a fine job of delivering our cars, but we need a switching schedule on our needs, not their availability."
Last Friday, April 1st, CMPA signed off form NRE demonstrator #2008 to come to the railroad. The Madison Railroad applied for and was granted money by the state of Indiana to aquire new Genset locomotives if they proved neccesary and satisfactory. The railroad will begin testing in late 2011 or early 2012. On the battery of tests is fuel economy and horsepower, but allso train handling on the Incline. The railroad is toying with how to effectively test the loco while still having a backup way to control the train. Current thinking is to use 3634 on the downhill end as a catcher if the Genset fails.
"The new locos were buitl with shortlines and humpyards in mind, but the Madison Hill continues to be a rarity." NRE has already promised to look into suggested additional weight, and Dynamic brakes will be included on the new locomotives. Madison says to not be surprised if NRE shows up to do nothing but run up and down the Hill all day, making highway traffic on 7 interesting indeed.
The railraod has already stated that they will not be cementing any of theire engines, voiding part of the grant money. "There's just too much value in letting them work." Likely, the replaced engines will be sold to SCX/TBX or parked in the Roundhouse Museum in the Proving Grounds. The railroad is not clear which engines will be parked though.
Word is out. The City of Madison Port Authority has made it offically clear that they do not back the HO railroad in the proposed unbanking of rest of the railroad north of the North Vernon interchange. By current Indiana law, they no longer have the final say-so if the public wnats it.
From their representative: "The railroad was formed to serve the customers of Madison, Indiana. We do not feel that moving a focus to build what amounts ot an entirely new railroad meets that purpose."
"An interchange with Columbus would streamline traffic to and from Madison and take some of the pressure off of North Vernon." The railroad replied "It would also widen the customer base, giving the railroad a wider spending ability for survival, which we feel would not be over-accounted for by costs."
It isn't just about those two parties though. On the one hand, the Co-op in Elizabethtown would love the opportunity to sell to locations furthur out than their trucks allow them. On the other, several industries and buildings have enroached or split the roadbed, and many roads would be redone for the crossings. Some of them need the reworking anyway though. Then there's the Industrial Railroad of Columbus, IN who has stated "There's no net-gain for us in this deal. If anything, the additional trains will clog our ability to switch and send out cars to our own customers, and the added customer base is closer to them than us, anyway. They are also better equipped locomotive-wise to do the jobs. It's true the railbed was banked in 81 in hopes of someday re-connecting, but that was 30 years ago. Now, both lines have had the opportunity to grow to survive without the line, and the connection seems unneccesary."
Sadly, after technical difficulites with the prior webpage, CMPA has established a second new website. We hope to remain here for some time to establish ourselves, tweak, and eventually highlight the construction of our company and layout. In time, the old new site may be revisited, but for now is beyond our comprehension.
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