Monday, February 28, 2011

Service has reached the upper level

Rumour has it that a train was seen crossing the Penobscot River into Acadia. Regular service hasn't started, but management sent a heavy test train through Searsport and across the new Bridge over the Penobscot River towards Bucksport.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Searsport Local Control Installed

The local control panel for Searsport has been installed and tested. I did not hook up the local control indicating light and the turnout for entering the unfinished industrial area. It called for a couple of wires more than I had locations for at the moment.
All of the Turnout controls except for track 4 in the yard is working fine. I'll have to do some troubleshooting to figure out where the problem is. Maybe I'll have to wait for my GURU. The last time I tried trouble shooting per his directions I blew some fuses.
The good news is I can temporarily run Searsport without that yard track, because there won't be that much traffic initially. This weekend it will be time to run engines and cars all around Searsport and all the way to Acadia. If all of that works, I'll open up Searsport for the next operating session. I'll use the two tracks on the upper level for temporary staging tracks.

Searsport Progress

I have about 4 days to finish any expansion plans in the hopes of having Searsport operational by the next session. This gives me time to fix a couple of issues and change any paperwork before the next session.
Most of the work in Searsport is complete. All of the intended track is in and power is hooked up. The computer controls all turnouts correctly and blocks are indicating properly. The power hasn't been turned on yet, but that should be no problem. The new panel front has been made and painted. It just needs a couple of coats of lacquer to be finished. Then comes the wiring of the panel. If everything goes right I should finish it today. Then comes the testing to see if everything is ok.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Searsport Update

Things have been a little slower than last week. Yesterday, I modified the computer program to accept all of the changes to the track that I had previously completed. Today I finished installing the Tortoise machines in Searsport and the first one for Acadia. I also ran all the wiring for the tortoise machines and programmed that data into the computer. I did some testing, made modifications where necessary and now I can say that Searsport and the first turnout for Acadia works on the computer.
I still have the local panel and track power to do before I can call it operational. That will probably start on Sunday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sub-roadbed to Bucksport

Sub roadbed now reaches Bucksport. That is a distance of ~30 feet from the bridge I installed yesterday. There will be some adjustments along the way I'm sure, but for now I'll have to let the track catch up with the bench work.

I had to modify the exit point of the helix because I wasn't getting the the proper approach to the bridge to suit me. That is also complete. Once the cork is glued from the helix to the bridge I'll be able to lay down track. Then I'll have to go down to Bucksport and make sure the track there will really work. Besides I just had another idea so I'll have to play around with it (the idea) and see if it is worth pursuing.

The cork roadbed is up to the bridge and 3 feet beyond the bridge. This will give me plenty of opportunity for putting down track. I have been down in the dungeon a lot this week, now it is time to do something different.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bridge Over the Penobscot River

I have been trying to figure out the best way to go to get my bridge over the river and not lose too much between the decks. I finally came up with a way to get the bridge installed and still have the strength needed. I had to remove and rebuild the section of bench work to incorporate the bridge.

The bridge alignment wasn't perfect and came a little too close to the wall. I took it back down again to trim a little more off the front of the river bottom. This will give me a better track alignment from the helix and a better alignment near the wall corner. I made the adjustments and put it back in place. I decided to lower it one more inch to reduce the grade. The grade looks better, but I still have a little problem with the connection to the helix. The sub roadbed just doesn't line up like I want. It looks like I'll need to go back about 2 feet and modify the approach to get a better angle. That can wait for another day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Searsport and Acadia

Searsport mainline and yard has been fastened down the yard lead has the sub roadbed in place. All installed turnouts have their tortoise machines installed, but not programmed for operations. I'm sizing up the plywood needed to cover the hidden staging and allow the placement of the industry and engine facilities.

The helix has been completed and now has track all the way to the top. The helix has also been connected to the upper level with the sub roadbed. The roadbed has been completed up to the start of Acadia. This the the first location on the upper level just after exiting the helix.

You can see the sub roadbed at Acadia. Acadia is meant to be only a passing siding. The place that is shown might eventually be a double track bridge over the river. The bridge system that I already have from the old layout is unfortunately too tall. I would have three options:

1. One more turn to the helix which would allow a smaller grade in the helix and raise the track up so it could work.

2. Lower the section of bench work so the bridge will work. This will narrow the divide between the upper and lower level. The separation here is not as critical as other places because the is not much below on the lower deck. It will still be less than I'm used to.

3. Forget the bridge because I can probably install it farther down the line. The key is "probably". These usually turn out to not work so well when I finally get around to measuring things.

All in all a pretty good two days since the Op Session.