Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I managed to get a bit work done on the layout over the Memorial Day weekend, but house work and special activities (family barbecue, Memorial Day ceremonies, upcoming election primary) took most of my time. I installed four pieces of flextrack from the west Glenrock switch west towards Casper. That puts me at the end of the installed roadbed, although I could install another four feet or so of roadbed and track before reaching the end of the subroadbed (the plywood base). Before I can go further with track I need to build more benchwork. I still have to install feeders on west end of Glenrock and the extention west.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I installed the ground throw for the Glenrock west switch last night. Didn't have much time to work on the layout, so that's all I got done. I have a meeting tonight, but I'd like to extend track west from Glenrock a bit. As the additional track will be hidden, it should go down pretty quick once I get started. Then it's feeders, and back to the IRDOTs on the Minneapolis staging below. Hopefully I'll manage some good progress over the long weekend, in between house projects.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I finished installing the individual ties in the Glenrock area last night. Looks kinda different without the end-of-track-section gaps. Tonight (if I have a chance) I'll install the west switch groundthrow and start extending track from there towards Casper.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Glenrock Trackage Finished!

I finished laying track in Glenrock (the siding) yesterday. I ran the 2-10-2 through it and through both switches and it ran without a hiccup. This is a major step towards beginning scenery in this area, whihc will be the first on the layout.
I have several more things to finish before starting scenery, though. First thing is to install missing ties at all the flextrack joints in Glenrock. This is about half done, and won't take more than another hour or so to complete. I also have to install the west switch ground throw, and connect some additional feeders tro the track at the west end. All total, probably 2 1/2-3 hours of work.
I need to add additional track off the west end of Glenrock also. Right now there is one three-foot section of flextrack in place. I need to go on around the curve there and move on down the Thermopolis wall towards Casper. This is necessary since after Thermopolis is started, access to install the Glenrock-Casper track would be tough.
The other, most major task, will be to get the IRDOT units in place in the Milwaukee staging yard below Glenrock. While I could wait to do this, it's much easier to cut the holes between the ties for the sensor from above, where I can SEE the ties. This will be a ten to twenty hour job, most likely, and I'll have to wire the detectors and test them as well. I also don't have enough on hand, so I'll have to order another ten or so.
So it will still be several months before scenery is started, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel at least!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Coaling Tower is Finished!

The presentation to the local NMRA chapter on Saturday went well, based on audience comments. It was a lot of fun to do, too!

I finished the coaling tower and put it in place on the layout Sunday. I think it came out OK, overall. I received several very nice comments on the Trains.com forum. Here's a few photos of the finished product on the layout:

I still need to add the rest of the tracks and begin scenery, but it's a start. Before adding the track under the inside chutes and the coal delivery track, I need to build the ashpit between the tower and the turntable. That probably WON'T happen within the next couple of weeks - I'm very busy with local politics, gardening and house renovation right now, but I'll try and eke out a few hours here and there on the layout.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The coaling tower is coming along well. Should be done in a few more days. Here's the latest progress photo:

The humidity in the basement is fine again. Just a few more spots on the floor to clean, and I'm back in business down there!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The humidity in the basement (train room) continues to drop - like a feather. Another five percent or so will put it below 60%, and I can start working again.
Meanwhile, the coaling tower continues to progress. The instructions are a bit inadequate in places, and the rigging thread is larger in diameter than the holes through which it's supposed to pass (!), but other than that it's progressing well.