Saturday, April 28, 2007

I'm continuing to work on the coaling tower while the basement dries out and the benchwork stabilizes. Here's a shot of the tower in work:

Friday, April 27, 2007

Great news! My wonderful wife has been busy cleaning the train room all day! Just a few spots left to clean up and it'll be ready for us to work in there again. I will have to wait another week or so, though, because the humidity is just starting to come down to normal, and I want the benchwork to re-acclimate before I lay more track.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The water is nearly dry in the train room - just a few small puddles. By the weekend I'll be able to start cleaning up (sweeping and mopping). Not a bad thing - it was overdue anyway.
The coaling tower I've been building is progressing slowly, but it IS progressing. Should be finished next week.

I'll be giving a clinic on how I built my helix at the Garden State Division, NMRA meet on May 12th. I've been spending quite a bit of time putting that together:

Monday, April 23, 2007

The water is finally almost gone from the train room - just a few small standing puddles remain. They may stillt ake a couple of days to dry because the water is seeping up into them from below.
Meanwhile I've started construction on the Laurel coaling tower (the Walthers wood tower kit). I've been sitting at the kitchen table in the evenings assemblint it in front of the TV.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Work on the layout is postponed for a week or two. Like a lot of folks in the northeast, the big storm that rolled through Sunday and Monday left some water in our basement. We fared better than most with only a couple of inches in a depressed area of the train room, which is the basement under the original part of the house (I don't know why, but in one area the floor was poured two inches lower than in most of the rest of the old basement. Used to be a room there, I guess). There's also some shallower standing water on other parts of the floor. When I clean up the water, it seeps back up through the floor, so apparently it will take a few days for all that rain to percolate through the soil enough so that the water table is back below the basement floor level. No damage to the layout (except a couple of legs are wet on the bottom), but I'll need to wait a couple of weeks for the humidity in the basement (and in the benchwork) to drop back down to normal before I can start work again. Meanwhile I may start working on a structure or two at the kitchen table.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Had a grand-nephew stay over Friday night and into Saturday - a great little five-year-old fella known as "AJ." After breakfast Saturday, he was chompin' at the bit to run the trains. So at 8:30 in the morning, he, my wife and I all traipsed down to the train room and fired things up. I'd cleaned off the layout and done a bit of testing about a week earlier, so I know it was ready to run.
And run we did! For about an hour and a half, AJ, my wife and I all ran trains. Mostly I acted as dispatcher, switching tracks, giving running directions, and making a couple of little mistakes in routing (no major incidents, though!). We had a great time!!

Sunday it was back to construction. I installed one of the two turnouts I built last week (except for the ground throw), completing the mainline through the Glenrock siding (I still have to finish the siding track) and added a bit more track beyond the siding. I also laid more cork roadbed so I could continue the rails onward. I've about run out of benchwork for continuing the line - soon I'll have to clear out that end of the train room and add the additional tables. I also changed out the poor-rolling trucks on about a half-dozen cars for better-rolling sprung Kadees. I hauled forty-eight cars around the staging loop behind the 2-10-2, with no slipping!

All in all, a very productive and fun weekend!

Friday, April 13, 2007

No construction at all last night - just cleaned up the table where I was building turnouts for company arriving today. I went down to the basement, thinking I might do a bit of work on the layout, and instead just ran some trains. A couple of months ago I bought a P2K 2-10-2, and decided to test its pulling capacity. With the traction tire driver installed, it hauled 45 cars around the NP staging loop on the layout (no grades on that line), including my John Allen-style track cleaning car and half a dozen tank cars that roll like they have flat tires (those trucks are slated for replacement some day). Forty-four forty-foot cars plus loco and caboose is the maximum train size my staging yards will handle, so the hauling capacity of the 2-10-2 is just about right. Up the grade on the Frannie cutoff it hauls twenty-plus cars with no problem, which is the appproximate train length for that branch. On the milder grades of the Wyoming Mainline, it should handle around 25-30 cars. The BLI 2-8-2s will haul about five cars less.

Gee, rather than work on the layout I actually stopped and ran some trains! What's wrong with me?!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cleaned up around the points on the two new turnouts. They now "throw" easily - or at least they did. I also painted them last night, so now I'll have to go back and clean up the points again! That's about all I did - after painting the fumes drove me out of the train room for the night (too cold to paint outside).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Again, not much time to work last night - borough Planning Board meeting. I did remove the support frame from the turnout ties and clean up the points area a bit to improve freedom of movement of the points. All that's left is to paint the turnouts, then install them! I may opt to build two more turnouts first, though - that will use up all my quick-sticks wood tie sets, and I can put the turnout building stuff away for awhile.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Last night I managed to get the wood ties attached to my second turnout, but that was it - had a borough council meeting in the evening. Not a whole lot of time to railroad!

Monday, April 09, 2007

After a break of about a week, I spent a good part of yesterday building a couple of #6 turnouts. The second one is nearly complete - I only have to add the wood ties to it, then paint them both.