Documenting the trials & tribulations involved in Model Railroading. Come along, as together we build an empire. Stay tuned not only for progress updates, but also tips & techniques, some old and some new, all comments welcome.
The parking lot at the Herons Landing station is being paved, left strict instructions with Cliff not to put his initials in the wet cement. Over at Springbank a retaining wall is under construction to make room for a road along the new team track. Room constraints will not allow the relocation of Harbor Freight so it will remain next to the Northdale Pier. After detailed measurements it appears the west end of the Elsewhere yard will have to be moved west by 2 feet. This will shorten the approaching tracks by about a foot, but give more room for the new yards.
Although this view doesn't show the curve leading to these turnouts, that will be the starting point of the construction. After consulting a couple of engineers the decision was made to rework the entire area, mainly to improve the track arrangement and remove the s curve in the switching lead. Consideration may also be given to moving the Harbor Freight building to the trestle area. This would improve switching interest with the required switchback and give more space to detail both the Pier and Harbor Freight. Regardless of this pending decision, the priority will be to get the branch line operational for our Great Lakes Steel and Miller Sawmill customers. Although they have expressed their concerns over lost production they are happy to get this slow order area reworked. Derailments are frustrating and costly.
A new rack was installed in our office to hold rolling stock needing repair and extra rolling stock. This rack, supplied by the Ontario Western, cleans off a nice working area for car repair and other projects, thanks Don. Thanks to another Don we now have a different colour for each car type which will give a strong visual clue to keep them separated. A couple of building flats were test fit in the Wellington skyline. Lots of goodies were on hand to keep us fueled against the cold, thanks everyone. The new work surface saw it's first use, laying out the turnout arrangement for Elsewhere.
Top topics of the night. The members decided to postpone the changes to Elsewhere to the summer months when everything slows down. Dues are due this month please. Mike brought in his G scale coach, over 90 percent scratch built, very impressive. On the work front. The bad turnout in Northdale and the remaining code 70 track was replaced. A Grist mill site on the bank of the McDonald river was prepared. The 6 story Hobbermeister Woolens building was installed in Lincoln. This building was worked on by most of the members of Don's crew and is a welcome addition to the Lincoln skyline. More turnouts had over center springs added to them.
A Simplex receiver was installed and tested, worked great. During the week a turnout was installed to separate the team track and piggyback ramp in Springbank. Ralph's cement plant background was installed, Don supplied some Lumber, pipe and crate loads to add to the layout. The defunct Ontario Western leased 14 new pieces of rolling stock. Glen also added scenery around the piggyback ramp. Shelves were added under Valleyview. Cliff tried out his passenger train. Next week is work night.
Glen replaced the engine house removed previously.
Thanks to a heads up, I realized in my enthusiasm to create the perfect system I forgot to keep in mind our 2 basic rules of K.I.S.S. and KEEP IT FUN. In doing so a F.T.R.S. system was created. When people don't Follow The Rules we degenerate into policing the layout to correct errors, and the fun goes out the window.
First problem, not switching Elsewhere requires almost perfect switching, to keep the consist intact. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
Second, switching 1 for 1 car type negates the self correcting system of removing all rolling stock when switching.
Third, mixing of the cards and switching errors. As an example I found both sawdust cars at the sawmill, no covered hoppers at Zorra Cyclone, and main line box car and stock car cards in with the branch line flat car cards, worst of all none of these are even the same colour of Cards?
Fourth, members want to keep the switchers, especially in Lincoln, which complicates the "no switching Elsewhere strategy " and car forwarding.
The fix (as I see it), return to the lowest common denominator!
First, continue to make up trains in Elsewhere.
Second, Return to the self fixing system of removing all cars in a siding,
No fix for mixed cards, but they will get sorted as trains are made up.
The car forwarding and Elsewhere yard design as agreed to, are not effected, but as always are open to better ideas.
Other ideas about districts, switchers at towns being traffic regulators, and others, have been tossed about and look forward to these ideas being developed.