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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Turnouts at Trent's Hill

With the upper loop nearing completion we needed to  address the turnouts at Trent's Hill. Donald came up with the idea to represent abandoned track going to the old tunnel and further enhance the illusion by using old code 70 track, great idea. Why was this track abandoned, there was a tunnel collapse of course! There is a rumor that quarrying activity at the gravel pit is responsible.
Option # 2 requires buying 2 new right hand turnouts, ( see dashed red line)and at first glance, seemed the best option. But with Don's plan no purchases are required. Turnout A would be taken out, with a section of curved track replacing it. It would be put at location B to connect to the upper loop. A new mainline would be attached to the straight track and be rerouted to connect back to the mainline near the trestle (see the hashed line). This would make the track nearest the aisle the run around.  Passenger and freight trains will be able to meet and pass using the Long River run around instead of having to wait way back at Valleyview.  Without a meet, the Warwick turnout would remain straight for both passenger and freight trains, turnout B would be switched for traffic from the loop.

Scratch built a couple of cement plant buildings.

We wanted a couple of buildings to go with the cement plant for the other side of the mainlines. The actual quarry is somewhere in the background with an imagined conveyor system up to our plant. So I scratch built a simple transfer tower to connect with the conveyor from the silos. A bulk cement loader (from the old coal mine will load covered hoppers on the old Heritage Furniture siding. The office was also moved. Don suggested we add a truck loading system to the end of the silos.

 Next was a pre-heater building. Remember the post on skewed perspective? The 2 end tower walls were made from the top bar of a blind. The floors and inside walls were also cut from them. The top wye pipe with the loop on top, is part of a plastic hanger. It feeds 2 tanks made from maker barrels with the plastic tassel ends, from the blind, forming the conical bottoms. They feed, through a section of sprue into a cyclone tank. It again was made from a marker barrel with a top fashioned from a piece of wood. To the right it feeds a tank made from a plastic test tube, which is connected to another test tube tank. The bottom connects to a whatchamacallit what was a water bed drainer. This attaches to the gismo that rotates the slats of the blind ( which will be cut into plant markers) which in turn hooks into yet another plastic test tube ( read shooter glasses). On the top of the shorter tower is a shack which was the part that raises and lowers the slats. A couple of plastic caps and more sprues finish off the piping.   Then 1/4 inch square wire mesh was cut into lengths and used as railings. The elevator winch house was also made taller. Painted it dark grey and weathered it.
 The engineer who designed this tower is not available for comment, so no one knows the functions for any of the piping system, so don't ask. All I know is my junk box is empty, just knew the water bed drainer would come in handy one day!

Tuesday Night at the Huff & Puff

The passenger tracks were laid and all the turnouts are in place at the new passenger terminal in Wellington. Some adjustments in the track was needed as the passenger cars just touched in one location, The Fox eyed it.

The station was moved to set along the straight part of the loop. That's when we noticed, what happened to the back wall of the station? (I personally think this is hilarious, as I hadn't noticed it, I guess Glen has a project waiting for him.) We discussed the layout of the proposed new city layout for this area, many like the tiered idea, more visual impact. Turning our attention to the junction where the new upper loop will join back on the mainline, Don and Jim came up with a great idea.  The outside turnout, at Trent's Hill will be taken out and used to join the return loop with the straight through track being rerouted to join the track over the trestle.

Jim brought in the hoist part for the crane. He had a lot of trouble with the hoist cable, but finally crazy glued the thread to the pulleys, voila.

Remember next Tuesday night is work/meeting night. See you then, still many projects to talk about.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday fun

Hmmmm, just John and I and a whole box of  Krispy Kreme, what to do? We decided to tackle the upper loop. Cut and fit the last section for the main part of the area, took a few tries to get it levelled just right. The 2 curved turnouts with flex track attached, were put in place and tested, one passenger car seems to roll through all the turnouts just fine.

Then we cut and fit the filler for the hole thought the wall section. Another section of flex track was placed through the wall, to check for alignment. Most of the mess was vacuumed up and stuff put away.

Wellington station was set in place just to see how it will fit.  All of the track is just set in place for everyone to look at on Tuesday night before proceeding any further. Besides we need 2 #6, Atlas left hand turnouts and several lengths of flex track.

 Looking ahead we could build up the area to the left of the level and put in a row of buildings, put a street where the level is and another row of buildings to the right of it. Then slope down to the level of the station. The back side of the buildings to the right would have sloping basements added to them.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Wow, a lot of people on holidays, but the action continues.  As a couple of junior members ran their trains there was a lot of eyeballing of the upper loop. As this loop will be mostly for passenger trains it is very important to get the track layout correct. Trying to avoid any "S" curves we moved the opening through the backdrop farther down the wall. We may put in a turnout and use the old part as a siding to a hidden industry, like Sifto Salt.

That way the track can angle to the left, in this picture, and we can use left hand turnouts to continue the left hand curve coming through the wall. The tracks coming off the turnouts will run straight, about where the level is, before entering the right hand curve of the loop.
We did get the ceiling tile down and almost ready to go.

We are still up in the air about if we should move the mainline turnout at the start of the loop, back or not.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday fun

 Plaster was applied to the area around the coal mine and painted. With the mine pushed back, the cars will be easy to get at as they will out in front of the access door. We could put a road to the third bay, to load trucks. The switch could also be moved further to the left, making the sidings longer. The mine will be batch switched, that is if you deliver 4 cars you take 4 out.

The foot prints of the cement plant buildings were drawn onto the ceiling tile base and all the buildings were removed. The gully was filled in with a stone wall. The joints will be hidden with foliage later.

The old tunnel holes in the mountain were also patched over.

 The rock areas front and back of the base were repaired with hydrocal and water soaked paper towels, making sure not to go over the building foot prints. The area was given a thick coat of brushed on hydrocal.

 When dry, the area was painted and the buildings were set back in place. The track which had been removed was also replaced.

 At the same time the upper return loop was removed. New uprights and cross supports we're added and leveled. Some old plywood had to be sawed out to level the remaining part of the upper loop.  A plywood deck was then cut and put in place. A couple more pieces of plywood and the ceiling tile base can be put in. Once we decide on how we want the turnouts and buy them, we can lay the track. If needed I guess we could put in a temporary return loop.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sidings at Zorra Cement

On Friday, Don and I built up under the Warehouse, added ceiling tiles pieces to the edge to facilitate the siding down to the warehouse. We then added track, but did not nail it down, it may need adjustment. We then looked at putting some tanks, silos, bins and building flats against the backdrop to extend the cement plant across the mainline. It was even suggested we paint a quarry on the back drop. I also had an e-mail from Gary saying he liked what we are doing, but thought Heritage Furniture looked out of place. It should be in a more urban setting (Wellington). If we make that siding part of the cement plant how would we know where to spot cars? Aha, put names on each building, like Bulk Cement Loading 1 & 2, Coal Receiving, Warehouse, and Receiving Dock. Then the waybills would say something like City -Valleyview, Type - CH, Industry - Zorra Cement, Bulk Loading #2. A covered hopper with this waybill would be spotted at Zorra Cement, on the bulk loading area behind the mainline, simple. The hill by the coal mine was also given a rough coat of plaster.
The conveyor would attach to a building flat on the backdrop, and you can see the bins, taken from the coal mine, that could be added to the scene.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lincoln Plan

It was suggested that the station didn't need a runaround only a platform to the mainline, one job eliminated and we haven't even started. The new mainline will be built where the Miller Interchange now is and traverse to the front of Hillcrest Packers. The old mainlines will serve as the Miller Interchange yard and be attached at both ends to both the mainline and the branch line. Buckley Mills and Hay Co. will be turned around and have the tracks on the Miller side for easier switching. The lumber yard and ice house will be between the mainline and the yard and a new track will be added behind Hillcrest Packers for the piggyback siding. Any buildings removed from Lincoln will be moved to the new town site of Wellington. Check it out.

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Only a few trains were ran amongst the rubble as the rest of us pondered all the changes. I don't quite how we ended up working on 4 projects at once and are thinking about 1 more! But as true model railroaders do, we all jumped in. The arrangement of the cement plant was adjusted and improve upon. It will now be all in a line where the coal mine was, being serviced by 3 sidings. Heritage Furniture siding will be made longer.
 At the same time the new foundation for the upper loop and station was worked on, we even opened up a hole in the backdrop. The work here is progressing well.

Also see Lincoln Plan in next post.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Thoughts about Lincoln

What's wrong with Lincoln. I would have never thought about moving the station, but now the new location makes sense, and again its great that the idea came from one of our newer members. However moving the station leaves a vacant lot. So why not address the other problems, switching Buckley Mills, piggyback ramp, and the lumber yard is difficult at best, and all those turnouts clustered together causes problems. With the ideas listed in the post Look Out Lincoln, the sidings to Buckley Mills and the piggyback ramp will be gone and the lumber yard siding will be in front of the buildings and easier to reach. Perhaps the back run around (which is behind the old station) could be moved to the front and the remaining turnouts replaced and realined. This would put the ice house behind all the turnouts where it will not have to be reached over. The lead for the Miller Interchange Yard and possibly the yard ladder may also have to be reconfigured, and maybe moved to the front of the layout, with the mainline behind it. Put on your thinking caps, let's see if we can fix Lincoln.  Now that it's out there, I think this should be done before we tackle  the changes to the rest of Wellington. Of course the other projects should be finished first and we may have to wait until we have the funds to cover the cost of new turnouts.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Fun look out Lincoln

I guess on Friday the station location in Lincoln was thought not to be in the correct location. Don thought it would be better over in the corner by the church. But it is on the branch line track and there is no way for passenger trains to get back onto the main. Someone should help that poor lady, she's fallen and can't get up.

What about joining that branch line back up to the mainline just after the curve. At the same time we all know how hard it is to switch Buckley Mills so why not move it to where the ice house is and add the piggyback ramp to the end of the team track. The crane could go there too.

The ice house can be put where the station was. It is lower than Buckley Mills so you can reach the turnouts behind it.

Sorry about the punctuation, but my keyboard has a mind of its own today, cant even get the question mark to work.

 The lumber yard track and the old track to the Piggyback ramp will be moved to the left where the lumber buildings are and they will be put behind the 2 sidings. The piggyback ramp will be added to the end of the team track.

 The ice house location will become the new home of Buckley Mills. What do you think.
The station will not interfere with mainline switching, the lumber yard will have 2 sidings and be easier to spot cars, Buckley Mills will be easier to spot cars at, and the mainline will have another run around in Lincoln.

Sunday Fun Cement Plant

After trying several arrangements this is what we have come up with. The area under the smoke stack and back to the turnout was levelled. Then the area from there to the warehouse, was levelled, the stream will have a wall with a culvert in it. Heritage Furniture is back in it's old location as that siding will not be used for the cement plant. Glen made the comment that it was nice to have 1 industry on the layout, up front and in your face. I agree.

The silos will be raised to the level of the mainline and be switched from there.  All members will see it on Tuesday when they will have a chance to input any other ideas. I do have some reservations about the turnout location, being behind the warehouse.

Sunday Fun Upper loop

Well we had too much fun for one post, so I will break it down into projects.
The area for the old cement plant was removed to get a look at the table structure.

Trent is pleased with the destruction. More will have to be done to get the area by the wall lowered (where the loop will go through the wall.

The turnouts for the upper return loop my have to be in this location or even further back toward the trestle.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tuesday Night at The Huff & Puff

Hot night at the Huff & Puff. Even so some running was done. Here Bill and Glen switch Lincoln.

Tate brought his buddy Xander to have a look at the layout, him and his Mom were impressed, so much so Xander didn't want to leave.

Trains being run didn't stop some destruction, Glen and I are taking apart the old Zorra Cement area. It will be lowered for the Wellington station and town buildings.

The branch line turntable was wired up by Jim.

Trent even got in on the fun.

First switcher on the turntable, worked great.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tuesday night at the Huff & Puff

Quite the gab fest at our monthly meeting. We talked about some changes we should make, which I discussed in the last blog entry. What happened next was what I like about a group. We moved to the layout and again listed the changes, but now they were visual. Then with a diagram, we went over each change in detail. Now the lights went off! After moving the coal mine and seeing the space left, we don't have too move the mountain, just blend it in better, was one idea. Why raise the coal mine area, the elevation change adds visual interest, was another.  Why don't we put 2 tracks through the tunnel, hmmm? When we brought over the cement plant we found it will have to be modified to get it to fit, but we ran out of time. We even talked about the tracks to the power plant. The point being, the GROUP came up with a lot of changes to the original idea, model railroading at its best, I think.

Testing the fit.

putting in new turnout

track installed

adding a new retaining wall

The coal mine at it's new location. Because it is at the back and in a corner we will batch switch it like we did Tuck.  That is how many hoppers you deliver, you will pick up that many, max of 8 right now. The car cards will be left in the card holder for Tuck.