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Category: Design and Construction

T-Trak Update 2-21-19

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No much of an update, really, except that to show that the little T-Trak layout is coming along, albeit slowly. I’ve had to shift gears for a few days to take care of some commitments with my band, but I should be able to get back to work in earnest on Sunday.

What I have been doing is laying in a supply of structure kits, mostly for the “non-industrial” sections of the layout so far. The idea is to create a “residential” area on the far side of the layout, with transitional areas on each end. The space between the front and rear modules allows for a parial view block to be installed to visually separate the scenes.

There are also now plans for a larger N-scale presence in the train room. The peninsula of the On30 layout has never been satisfactory to me, much as Kevin and I have tried to make it work. So, it’s going away. The idea now is that the On30 will run around the walls of the room, and a provision will be made for continuous running (maybe), while the N-scale will occupy a good-sized island — about 4′ x 13′ — in the middle of the room.

All in Another Day’s Work

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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…

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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….

Back to Working on the Railroad

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 …

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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.

The Millennium Falcon Flies Again!

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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.

And, with that, we’re back on track….

Big changes coming to the Corinna & Searsport

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.

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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.

Track to Waldo

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…

For now, I’m switching gears and getting ready to go to the Midwest Narrow Gauge Show in Ohio. Maybe I’ll see you there!

I Just Couldn’t Leave Well Enough Alone…

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.

2013-04-04 15.28.04Now, 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.

IMG_1951The 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.

 

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