Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Buidling & First Session

I had a friend from the club, who likes to build structures, put together my icing plant. I got it back the other day and it looks real good. I didn't allow enough room for the track, so I'll have to move the track forward a bit. This won't be a big deal. I'll just shorten the lead and everything will be fine.
I have been selling some things on Ebay that were just to modern for what era I was modeling. I realized that I could get the Walthers built up turntable in exchange, so I basically swapped some older stuff I wasn't going to use for some new stuff that I will use. In fact the turntable will be the next thing to go in.
I held the first session with someone other than me. It was mostly a teaching season for some that have never been involved with any operations. I believe the word will get out about the fun he had and we'll be having more people as time goes on.
I was told that if you build it they will come. I am going to build it and we'll see about the rest.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Added Icing Track

Added Icing track and another industry (to be determined) in the center of Portland. I always wanted to do more with the reefers, but I never got around to it. I also have the ice house under construction. I'm not completely convinced it will be located correctly, however we'll run a little while and see what happens.
The car cards and waybills are all new. I was just hand writing over the old ones, which worked for initial testing, but if I'm going to run official sessions the operators needed the real thing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First OP Session

The first OP Session will be Saturday, June 27th. A couple of guys wanted to learn operations and I have the layout up and running enough for a small session, I figured why not start. It will help me figure out how my set up is coming along, at the same time I'll be showing them OPS and teach them about Car Cards and how they are used.
I'm looking forward to having OP sessions again on my Railroad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Portland Roundhouse and Turntable???

I was looking ahead a thinking that it might be tight for turntable based on the track arrangement. According to Auto Cad it should fit with less tracks than I had before. However, as I said before the yard expanded a little because I was trying to get the short yard track a little longer.
Now I'm pretty sure that it won't fit. Now I'm looking at options. The first being to take the turntable lead around and under the main line and bring the turntable to the front of the layout. The second was to alter the turnouts on the south side and curve them into the yard, which might actually lengthen my short yard tracks.
It looks like more measurements are in order.

Passenger tracks, Coach Yard and REA track

The north end of Portland now has a passenger siding that will hold 3 85' cars. Behind this track is a coach yard that will hold 6 cars total on the two tracks. Behind it is a track for the REA building. This track should hold four cars.

On the center left of the picture is track temporarily laid out to see where the industry tracks will be. My original plan had these two areas off the same lead, however I stretched the total yard length which gave me room to separate these two areas.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Testing Issues

I Started running trains and I found that I could slowly add a few cars and still be OK. These cars would stay on the through trains because I have a lot more room in staging than the industries. I will try temporarily call the 5th staging track my engine service facility until I can get the second half of Portland done.

One of the problems I found was a handful of turnouts had no power on the rails leading away from the frog. I previously cut gaps near the frogs, but I had so much trouble when unsoldering them for my move, I chose to gap at the end of the rail. This meant no power for a short distance on one of the rails. I didn't find this out until I was using my switchers in slow speed. The engines were short enough to lose power in that section. No problem, just drop a few more wires.

The last thing was I put a fourth track (stub) in staging for the four trains that I can run right now. I was thinking that I could run a train around the layout and then back it in at the end of the run. Except that with small operations, all the double ended tracks were in use so I couldn't get around. So, I added another track (stub). Now I can leave one track completely free for continuous operations and two trains can back into there spot. This staging is only temporary anyways. It should work fine for this phase of operations

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Added Staging track

I added a stub ended staging track so now I have 4 tracks to support 2 through trains in each direction.

I'm doing small op sessions and slowly adding cars and to find the right balance of cars for the available industries. The real fun is tunning up the cars as I add them to the layout. This includes cleaning the 10+ years of accumulated dust on each car.

Friday, June 5, 2009

OPS have begun

Today I dug out the car cards for the cars on the layout and paired them up with the new waybills. Placed everything in the proper starting position and ran trains. I ran train BN-1 from Boston to Northern Maine Junction and train NB-1 from Northern Maine Junction to Boston. There were also two locals PR-1 and PR-2 from Portland to Rockland and back.

Things seemed to go smoothly, but of course there was only one of me. I do have a couple of very minor things to look at. One extra staging track and a few more cars are in order. Rigby yard is very empty at this time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Captain, thar be cars on the layout

All track is cleaned, powered up an operational. The turnout throws are installed where appropriate. So it is time to start thinking about operations, even if it is going to be on a smaller scale. I'm redoing my waybill calculator and card car program to meet the needs for the new layout.. I figure to have 4 through trains and a couple of locals for starters, plus a yard job. 2 - 3 people could have a job for now.
Now I get to decide what cars will get used first, tune them up and get Operations started.