Stopping my foot pain!

I am not getting any younger and my feet are not what they used to be.  It's pretty darn hard chasing after the trains especially on your feet....I have been getting foot pain and cramps in my feet recently which has really put the stoppers on my days out on the railroads with my friends, in this post I am gonna try and stop this pain in its tracks, pun intended!

When I go train spotting it maybe really fun but it can really take the toil on my feet and recently I have been getting some real pain as I walk on the ball of my feet... As my foot hits the ground the ball of my feet slaps down and as the day goes on and I have walked and been on my feet all day this can really start hurting, not only that being on my feet really start causing the build up of pressure underneath my arches and my heels as my body weight pressed down on my feet and this weakens and makes injury more likely.
A week ago I went camping with a few friends and my feet after a coupe hours walking and standing around were really inflamed it was then I decided I needed to do something about it (one of my friends mentioned that if you ignore things like this the damage that is caused can cause things like arthritis when you older). I have been looking online and there looks as though there are lots of things I can try to stop my foot pain but there are so many... too many insoles and pads that you can buy, which is making me a little bit stumped on what I actually need and what will help me best, as different products help different causes of foot pain. I have read on some sites that custom insoles (which are really really expensive) are your best bet but then I read other sites that look just a official saying that research has proven that custom insoles yield no extra benefit from wearing them and may actually cause your feet to weaken even more as your feet become over supported and dependent on them and dont actually support themselves. I think at the moment I am buying into the notion of custom insoles are no good... but that being said there are still tons of soles out there to buy and its still a minefield when you dont know what to get.

Currently I am thinking of buying some special arch support soles runners use.. even though I dont run around chasing the trains on my days out I think they might be the best ones for me to get... because they have just about everything built into them from arch support to shock absorption that I need to stop the shocks hurting my ball of feet when I walk which I mentioned above... In fact I might just order some right now. Do you think these are any good? They have some good reviews and seem exactly what I am looking for? If i am wrong they not too expensive and I guess id just need to buy and try as many as it takes to find some that helps.. unless you know any good ones?

Do you think I am on the right track with buying insoles? I cant think of anything else I can do or buy to stop this foot pain... Please comment below and tell me! Thanks!


I have not posted in a long time but that all about to change gonna start up this blog again so stay tuned for some more train posts and news! I dont know how many of you guys still follow this blog considering I haven't posted in years! The last post was 6 years ago!

Looptie Loop

It's not like I've done anything with the trains lately, but Bob and Jeff have braved the heatwave to put the two loop modules together for a trial run. According to their report, everything went pretty well after a few tweaks. It is easy to imagine a string of modules in between these two loops. If anyone asks my opinion, I like the smooth lines of the Delta module (in the foreground) over the very angular Absolut module (in back).

Delta Force

As often happens, after the guys left, I got motivated to start work on the next module. We need another balloon module, but I was looking for some way to get the weight down. I came up with the idea of modifying two hollow-core doors instead of the door and plywood that I used last time. The result was this delta shaped module.

I took the second door and cut the two wings with a circular saw. As suspected, there is a waffle pattern of cardboard between the two layers of hardboard.

Because the space between the hardboard doesn't match any standard lumber size, I had to mill a two-by-two to the right thickness.

I pre-drilled the lumber with pilot holes about every eight inches along the length and then glued and screwed them to the uncut door edge. Make sure you leave enough room for the geometry of the wedge shape.

I took a scrap of the strip and a hammer and pre-smashed the cardboard waffle so that the wedge would slide over the glue/nail strip.

I then applied lots of carpenter's glue to the edges of the strip, slid the wedge over the top, and nailed the wedge on both sides. The wood and clamps helped to make sure that the wings dried on the same angle as the whole door blank. Once that dried, I repeated the process for the other wing.

I saved ten pounds of weight by building the module this way. The same techniques could be used for other modules. There are several sizes of doors available, and it is a simple matter to apply the endplates and fascia to the doors. In the folding door section, you can find bi-fold doors that are 15" x 80" which is a great size for a module.

A Little Loopie

Today was the monthly breakfast and work meeting of the N-Land Pacific Group. Jeff added everything else to the module so we could run trains around it. In this first photo, Bob and Stan are admiring the fact that we can easily get a nine-foot train through the passing siding.

Bob is really pushing for a removable styrofoam scenic piece that can be placed in the center of the loop as a view block. While he is working on that idea, Jeff and I will be working on a duplicate return loop for the other end of the setup. Stan continues to work on getting his new module ready for the NMRA show.

Absolut Module

By popular demand, I added fascia to the balloon module. It is just tempered hardboard (masonite). This thing weighs 63 pounds without cork, track or scenery. Because of the size and weight, it definitely will require more than one person to manage it.

As the module was leaning against the table, it occurred to me that it looks like those advertisements for Absolut Vodka.

Jeff and Bob want to add scenery, but I hate to store modules with scenery in anything but a horizontal position (It looks pretty funny when all the dust is on the left side of everything). Sure you could cover the thing with a tarp, but with the size of this thing, you could use a car cover. At least it won't be in my garage.

Blast Off!!!

As we get ready for the NMRA layout tour in July, the boys from the N-Land Pacific really wanted a way to turn around trains without running the locos around on a passing siding. We came up with the idea of a simple balloon module.

A balloon track is something the real railroads use to turn an entire train. This photo is of the balloon track at Union Pacific's West Colton yard.

For our balloon module, we decided on keeping it to just one piece and compromising on the track radius. It uses a 24" door as the backbone of the module. There are 12" wide wings on the last four feet of the module so we can fit an 18" radius turn there. It took some engineering to attach the wings to the door without heavy bracing, but my design solution seems to have done the trick.

For the size of the beast, it is surprisingly light weight - for now. I was hoping to skip putting fascia on it because of the weight and the additional framing which would be required to keep the fascia secured. Bob and Jeff are proponents of the fascia as a place for mounting the turnout mechanism and throttle ports. They also want to do some scenery inside the balloon. They typically rent a truck to transport their modules, so leaving ground foam along the freeway isn't a worry. If I were storing and transporting this 25 square-foot beast, I'd just paint everything black and think of it as the backstage of the theater.

When I finish with the fascia, Jeff will take over construction with laying track and wiring. If it works out well, they want to build another one of these balloons. Since it is a club module, I probably won't be able to keep with my tradition of Spanish names for the module. If I could, some ideas are Globo (balloon), or Lazada (loop). My neighbor says the thing looks like a Space Shuttle Soap Box racer.