Just before Phoebe, our first grand daughter was born I began work on our train project. It was an ambitious dream to build a riding railroad around our yard, 1,200 feet of track in all plus all of the motive power and cars. I began with the steam outline engine and an inspection car we dubbed the Phoebemobile, once Phoebe arrived. It was a little three wheeled, cartoon model 'A' complete with sidecar. Once I got as far as making the chassis roll I laid some track and gave it a test push. It worked great - until it came to the first corner... and then my brainy idea of having three wheels turned out to not work nearly as cool as it looked. It needed to go back to the drawing board for a little more engineering.
I put that project aside and worked on the train engine and laid more track as we were able. The engine still needed power but while we waited we played on one of the rail cars. Phoebe and I spent countless hours together in those years and I pushed her up and down the short track we had laid. Each time I pushed it to the top of the hill and coated down Phoebe would beg me to do it again and again and again. The laying of the complete loop of track would have to wait for the building of our house, and then Becke's house too. This summer will hopefully be the time at last!
With a busy summer in the works we needed some motive power to roll on the tracks to test them. The engine still needs some serious work and there isn't enough time to do it all so I took another look at the Phoebemobile today. I decided that would be pretty easy to cut up one of the railcars and mount the body of the Phoebemobile to it. We have a spare single cylinder engine in the parts bin... and a bunch of parts to hook things up. I could easily fabricate the rest of what is needed in a hurry. I set to work this afternoon and in a couple of hours had a rolling chassis with the main body mounted. I lowered the centre of gravity considerably to make it a whole lot more stable this time. Phoebe's momma worries about such things :) The sidecar will be next and then I'll work on the drivetrain. Phoebe sat in the rail truck for a photo... she has grown a little since the last picture!