Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Signal installed

Today marks the first signal installed on the BRWM. The signal is installed on the approach to Searsport.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last minute additions before the MER Open House

With all of the additions from The Eno Valley Railroad, I spent time placing things around the layout. I finished the track work and Tortoise Machines for Searsport. Hooking up the electrical stuff will probably have to wait. I placed some of the new rolling stock in the area, just to dress it up a little.
I found another small building for a siding that will probably be used in Wiscasset. It will be the only industry to be located there. It should give me a chance to try a milk train and give the passenger trains something to switch.
I also changed out the screens for the Eno Valley Dispatch Panel. It is very nicely done, so it will make a nice addition. The other monitors will be used as spares.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New industrial area for Searsport

Searsport will be seeing the biggest changes. It was decided to not have a engine facility in Searsport and add more industry for the yardmaster at Searsport. The track has already been laid down and power and tortoise machines will come before the next Op session.

The Icing Facility that was in Brunswick is now in Searsport. Laura Chemical from Johnstown, Lowsaw Pipe from Benny, Grandt Tool from Alto and Lee Beverage will also be in Searsport. I add 12 car spots with these changes.

I had a Northeast Pipe in Bucksport which will now be replaced as something to be determined later. All in all I was worried were I would place all of these structures and the layout sucked them up with Searsport being the place where you will notice the structures.

Changes for Brunswick

Flats from Altoona looks like they'll make good backdrops for Brunswick.

The Ice Plant from Altoona will replace the Icing Facility in Brunswick. The orignial Ice Facility that is was in Brunswick is being moved to Searsport.

New (to me) Structures

One the truly great model railroads (Ed Dougherty's Eno Valley)had to be dismantled. I purchased a lot of his structures for two reason's, to save me time in building and allow parts of his railroad to live on. The next few posts will show some of these items and my plan changes for them.

The ex Tate Fuel from Eno will become Irving Oil in Rockland.

Ann's Creamery from Johnstown will become Ann's Creamery in Rockland. This used to be Hood Dairy. It just so happens that my wife's name is Anne.

Jack Brown's Barrel and Crate from Alto will become an industry in either Orrington, Bucksport or Bath.

The Power plant from Miflin will become the Power plant for White Mountain Paper in Orrington. It could possibly become a power plant in Acadia.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Helix Update

I tried to climb to the second level without a helix, which I couldn't do. The next step was minimize the turns in the helix and I was able to get away with only 2. This did leave me with a higher grade than desired. I did some testing and ran with single engines and one and a half times the normal train length and I didn't have a problem so I decided to stay with what I had and press on.
The problem was that an extra turn of the helix meant that I had to come out of the helix higher than a bridge that was right at the exit of the helixe and then I would have to work my way back down so the switching could be performed at the next town.
No problems were noticed right away because one of the groups that comes here regular runs the trains a little faster and they made it up the hill until a yardmaster overloaded the train. Then a new group of people started coming and they operate a bit slower than the first group and for three straight sessions we needed helpers. I don't mind helpers it adds a little to the session. However this helix is meant to be covered up and that won't work with helpers.
Now I must decide on a new plan. I made plenty of measurements and the only good one seems to be that I must raise the bridge. There were other options and I liked some of them better, but the only one that works all the way around is to raise the bridge.
This will take some time to figure out if it is the right thing to do. In the mean time I plan to add an engine to all trains going uphill and I will eventually double head the down hill also. Two engines per train has been the plan all along, I just had to get to it. I fixed issues with the worm gear on the Proto engines that already had decoders and added them to the trains. I have also installed decoders in 6 more engines and they'll be ready to add shortly. I do have to watch out because I'm sure I'm about to overload the single Digitrax booster I have.
The good news for some of my operators is that there will be a couple more steam engines to run now.