I've been making steady progress on the layout. As you can see in the lead photo scenery is well along in one area. I was about to dig out the static grass when a shift in priorities has meant the latest progress, while important, is not quite photogenic.
When I first planned the layout, my goal was to complete major construction - essentially all track in place and operating, and a base coat of scenery everywhere - in three years.
In my mind that meant manually thrown turnouts (for example) were acceptable for "Phase 1" - and I may or may not at some point after that magic three year deadline go back and add switch motors, or replace some initial kit buildings with scratchbuilt ones, or replace the stand in Bachmann steamers with finished, sound equipped models.
But the overriding goal was to get things looking "complete" to the casual visitor in three years. (For the record, the third year anniversary is August 2021, so this isn't a matter of missing a deadline and copping out!).
Why three years? Because two years seemed like it would be too much effort, and five years sounded too long. You can find more discussion in previous posts "The Design Questions We SHOULD be Asking" and "Think Layout's Lifetime, Not Lifetime Layout."
Since I figured I would power the turnouts, and more importantly, the frogs, at some point as I laid the track I cut a slot under the points for the throw wire. I also soldered a wire to the underside of each frog.
Then Covid hit, and the plan to maybe have some initial operating sessions was scrapped. And it became obvious a couple of months ago that our annual Christmas open house for friends and neighbors was also not going to happen.
Perhaps I should shift gears and focus on getting the planned future "electrical improvements" done now instead of later? Besides, getting the frogs powered would also move the brass engines up on the "to do" list.
I burned through my initial supply of Tortoises equipping the mainline "loop". I managed to replenish my supply of switch motors, meaning yesterday's layout work session was spent pre-wiring a bunch of Tortoises and the associated toggle switches. These are destined for the paper mill peninsula.I also added a DCC circuit breaker (visible in the photo with the pile of pre-wired toggles!) to the paper mill peninsula. And during my lunch break this afternoon I got the Walthers turntable (re)programmed.
I might even dig the Diamond Scale turntable and NYRS controller out - after all, it's going to be months before anyone comes over!