Preparations for the Sea Trial Session of May 19 continue at a furious pace. Big event for this week is to complete the South staging yards in the utility room. These are critical to the operating scheme and we need to get them done before the 19th! Stic Harris is coming over Saturday to help with that task.
A couple of turnouts that were not up to snuff have been cut out and will be replaced (once I get the turnouts delivered!). I also did some modifications to the north end of Everett in an effort to lengthen the mill lead.
In this shot, the SP boxcar shows the clearance point on the mill lead. I noticed a Peco code 83 curved turnout should be able to fit in place of the turnout where the reefer is sitting. I went back and forth on this for several days, since tearing a gap in the mainline less than a month before the test session didn't seem like a great idea. But I knew if I could tell the mill lead should be lengthened, my operating crew would likely offer the same feedback. So, out came the track removal tools.
When I started actually fitting the Peco turnouts in place I found if I excavated some of the hill I could extend the mill lead and the passing siding through the use of two Peco turnouts.
Here's how it looked with the turnouts laid in place temporarily and the hillside cut back. The clearance point for the mill lead is around the frog on the further turnout. The change makes the siding a full four-five car lengths longer:
In addition to the changes in Everett, I've also replaced one of the turnouts in Essex Junction with the Peco code 83 track. I really, really like this track system. In fact, if I had it to do over again I'd seriously consider using Peco code 83 throughout the layout.