More work today! There’s roadbed now all the way around to the Searsport yard throat, and track has been laid or filled in all the way up to that weird, tricky little corner. What’s more, a train can run and stay on the track the whole way — when it doesn’t run into a tool…
Sorry about the wonderful hand-held iPhone video. But hey, it is HD! Here’s another slideshow. I could’ve sworn I took more stills. Ah, well. Tomorrow…
Tomorrow sometime, we’re going to go see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie again, but I’ll also try to get track in as far as I can. I should be able to finish the run all the way to Searsport. That’s when things will really start to get interesting….
It’s been a busy couple of days on the railroad! Thursday, Kevin came over again and we got some benchwork in, and yesterday I went down and finished those projects up. There’s now continuous benchwork from Corinna all the way around to the upper yard throat at Searsport! Here’s a collection of pictures of the progress …
Next order of business is to get some roadbed down on the new sections, and then some track! I’m down to my last few sections of roadbed, and my local hobby shop was just about out, too. I’ve ordered a couple of boxes. Hopefully, the mainline can be completed in the next week!
At some point soon, I’ll also need to tackle the modifications to Corinna which will make the yard function better as a terminus — the current arrangement only really works as a mid-line facility.
Kevin came by today to drop off a large lateral file cabinet and to play the part of Chewbacca to help get the end of the peninsula (which I dubbed the Millennium Falcon because of it shape) back up on legs after its mysterious crash landing a couple of weeks ago. We actually managed to get it back into exactly the same position it was in before the unexpected landing.
We used the same legs again, but this time, we were smart enough to use a piece of wood to tie the peninsula in temporarily so that it won’t fall again between now and when we get the benchwork filler in place.
My, but it’s been quiet around here, especially where the layout is concerned. There’re a few reasons, but the most important is that I’ve found that I am just really unhappy with a very large portion of the layout — the peninsula that encompasses Plymouth, Mount Harris/Common Hill, and Brooks. The shape of the peninsula forced awkward track arrangements and its position in the room won’t make the visual impression I’m after.
So, very soon, I’ll be removing the peninsula. Corinna Mill we remain where it is, and Corinna itself will also remain largely unchanged. Also, all of the new benchwork constructed for what are now Swanville and Waldo will remain. A new section of benchwork will be built to bridge the gap between the remaining benchwork. I’ll try to re-orient the peninsula so that it faces the other way, but I’m probably going to have to build a new peninsula to replace it.
An unexpected snow day gave me the time to lay down the roadbed for Swanville, and get the main line down.
I also prepped the remaining LitCo turnouts by gluing switch ties in place using gap-filling CA, and then trimming the ties to length. It’s not exactly a … normal … way of doing it, but it works for me.
The track gang (me) was busy earlier this evening, completing track laying through Waldo, including the outbound and powerhouse tracks for the saw mill there. Early last week, the benchwork for the town of Swanville was installed. It’s possible that track could be completed that far by this time next week.
All new rail is code 83 instead of code 70, and I’ve switched to LitCo #6 turnouts. The new switches are much smoother than the Micro Engineering, and part of me wants to go back and replace all the ME code 70 turnouts with LitCo or Fast Tracks. Maybe at some point I will…
Remember the wall and the staging yards? Well, that’s just not going to happen the way I thought it was going to.
This winter has been brutal, and as a result I’ve decided that no one should have to go back in the that cold, unfinished part of the basement during an operating session. There’s no polite way to describe what that would be like.
Now, I know that the wall got finished, but we’re going to re-open the part at the bottom of the stairs (the right end of the wall in the picture), and allow the railroad to run across the bottom of the stairwell and into the adjacent “TV room/crew lounge.” The southern terminus of the railroad (Searsport) and the supporting yard will be in there, running above the entertainment equipment. The movement into the next room will enhance the feeling of “going somewhere,” which is a good thing on a small railroad.
The northern end of the line will also receive an interesting treatment. As you may remember, the north end of Corinna is curved in towards a wall. The original intent had been to widen the doorway and put the Bragg Hill quarry area in the unfinished portion of the basement. Instead, we’re now going to build a “closet” there. The line will run into the closet, loop around and come back out along the shortened wall. Also in the closet, beneath the railroad, will be the dispatcher’s desk.
This will all make much more sense once the work is started — and I’ll be sure to post some pictures. The end result will be a much more pleasant experience for operators, which translates to a more fun operating session.
Eventually, my modeling bench will come in from the cold as well, and the back part of the basement will be used exclusively for storage and “messy” projects. I’ll maintain a bench and my spray booth back there as well, so that I can do paint work without smelling up the house too much.
I mentioned the other day that I had been thinking about operations, and had determined that the area beyond Corinna had to exist in some form if the operations were to make sense. So, reluctantly, I decided that a staging yard of some sort will have to be built. After some fiddling, I came up with this plan:
I had determined that I would need three storage tracks to represent the various northern destinations, and a fourth track is provided as a run-around. While the turntable shown is certainly usable to turn locomotives and certain rolling stock, it’s primary purpose in the design is to reduce the length of the ladder required at the northernmost end. I considered designs with conventional ladders and one with a return loop, but the size was enormous.
Because this is considered temporary track, I’m planning to use Atlas track components — I see no reason t spend $25 per turnout and $6 per length of flex track for this project.
A couple weeks back, my friend Kevin sent me a link to what looks like a lovely kit for a small turntable.
I have been less than pleased with the existing turntable since its installation two years ago.
As shown, this turntable looks a touch short (the manufacturer does indicate that it will turn a Forney), but I believe it could be pretty easily modified to gain a little length, and also to be a good match for several of the turntables on the Maine 2-Footers. It’s not an inexpensive kit, but it is complete, including not only the turntable and bridge, but also a geared drive and motor.