Sunday, August 26, 2012

To-do List Progress - realigning mainline

In a previous post I mentioned there were several things I wanted to get done on the railroad before moving forward with plans to start test operating sessions in the fall. 

The first of these to float to the top of the To-Do list was a realignment of the mainline on the window side of the peninsula. Somehow I'd ended up with an odd little "jog" in the trackwork - it wasn't horrible but it just didn't look right. 

The plan for this locale has evolved over the two year history of the layout. There will be a one or perhaps two spurs leading to older industries, things that are only switched occasionally by a wayfreight a couple of times a week. There will also be a bridge, a rock cut, and a small country store and perhaps a gas station. A very simple scene intended to place "something, but not much" between the miles of open country running. 

Here's what the odd track alignment looked like when I started this morning (Apologize for the mess, I simply piled stuff out of the way:

I assembled a painted a Walthers single-track through truss bridge and started on the abutments (from styrene.) I also reworked the track alignment. It may be hard to see, but this is what the new alignment will look like. You can see the old alignment if you follow the blue lines at the end of the cork roadbed in the center of the picture.  (Note: the code 100 flex is simply pinned in an approximate location at this point):

I expect I'll have to handlay the turnouts to get the track flow right. Once the abutments are complete I'll carve the riverbed and install the bridge. 

Progress is good. More reports to follow. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Do List - August 22, 2012

I seem to make lots of to-do lists. I don't do nearly as well as getting the things on that list complete, but that's another story. I could be a wise aleck and say "Item 1: Complete layout" - but that wouldn't be very sporting. 
Bernie Kempinski had an interesting approach - to showing his progress in various areas. You can tell by looking at his chart which aspects of the hobby he prefers . . .

Here's my current To-Do list:
1. Improve the layout lighting throughout the room. Investigating several options. There may be an article here.  
2. Realign mainline track on one side of peninsula (there's a strange track alignment that the guys suggested looked odd enough to be reworked. Of course, this will require some modification to the foamboard surface of the layout, but shouldn't be too bad) - (Estimate 2 evenings)
3. Add coal trestle siding to Everett. Again this will require some modification to the terrain, and some track modification. To fit the coal trestle siding in place may require lengthening the passing siding slightly and handlaying a turnout on the south end. - (Estimate 4 evenings)
4. Essex Junction trackwork - Three more turnouts to handlay - then the remaining spurs need to be installed. - (Estimate 4 evenings)
5. Drop feeders in WRJ yard - (Estimate 1 evening)
6. Feeders in Everett, Essex Junction, and north-end staging - (Estimate 3 evenings) (Note: includes running a new length of buss wire).
7. Bridge street overpass (abutments, bridge, and track needs to be complete so I can get to the WRJ passenger station area - (Estimate 2 evenings)
8. Install yardmasters desk in WRJ (John Paganoni is building this for me, but it will need some time to install - (Estimate 1 evening)
 It's going to be a busy fall as I also have to prepare for the clinic I'm giving at the Fine-Scale Expo in Strasburg in October and the MER Convention the following week! 
Clinic preparation requires building up some foreground trees to various levels of completion and a small diorama to display them. Luckily, all the stuff for this will eventually wind up on the layout - but trees and such aren't going to fix the lighting in the room nor will they get the layout operational.
Blog posts for the next few weeks will cover these in more detail. 
Before you make fun of my to-do list, what's on yours? 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012 Work Session Report

Good work session on the railroad this afternoon meant an early start to the new "model railroad season." I'm hoping to get the railroad somewhat operational in the next couple of months - thanks to the good friends who are willing to help it just may happen. 
Paul Dolkos and John Paganoni were the first to arrive - after discussing the lighting situation over the main peninsula (long story short - a better lighting solution is now a top priority) Paul got work ballasting the track in Waterbury. This track is in place and "finished" - which means it's been tested so I feel confident it's ready for ballast. 
Stic Harris arrived next. After the obligatory tour of the railroad, Stic got to work gluing down some ties for the last two turnouts in Essex Junction - while waiting for the ties to dry he cut up some pulpwood piles for the woodyard to be located on the end of the peninsula. 
John got busy filing up some switch frogs and points, and also got some measurements for the White River yardmasters desk - he'll build that at his house in his wood shop. 
Ben Hom opened up the rip track and managed to give all the cars currently on the railroad the once over - checking car weights, coupler height and operation, wheelsets, etc . . . He really plowed through the car fleet - we'll have to have him over again  . . . 

Bernie arrived later than the others and showed my son Matt how to assemble the Alkem C&O Signal Bridge kit (Matt is doing some contract assembly work for Bernie) and then made some repairs and touch up painting to the WRJ coaling tower. That's great, since I need to get it installed on the layout!

Finally, I took the opportunity to review the plan for the industries in Everett (named after a college classmate who was upset when he learned I named the river crossing after another classmate . . .) Looks like we'll be adding a coal dealer and a team track to the scene in Everett. 
All in a great day. 

Thanks to all for the help!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Update coming soon . . .

Lots of progress to report on the track work in Essex Junction, which is getting close to completion. Got a little obsessed watching the Olympics, but a condition known in our house as "Olympic Burnout" has set in - so it'll be back to the basement to finish up the track work - and of course drop more (and more!) feeders.
Photos to follow!