Friday, October 12, 2012

Staging tracks are different lengths

I overheard during railrun that the Carolina Southbounds staging tracks were slightly different in length. It got me to thinking that I might have the same issue. I went back to the layout and discovered that each track in Bangor (Northern Maine Jct.) is in fact slightly longer than the corresponding track in Portland by 6 - 9".
The CSX Shenandoah Div has a point where you measure the train length, so that the dispatcher will know where to have meets based on what sidings you can fit in.
I limit trains to a length that will fit in all of the tracks in staging. A one size fits all approach. However, there are times with car cards that you can have too many cars for the staging track and it would be nice to know if a train will fit with extra cars. The cars range in lengths from 30 - 50 feet, so you don't always know if something will fit. So I measured each track for length and at one end each of the yards I marked the spot where the engine should be and marked the other end of the benchwork with the length for the track and the track number. Once the yardmaster knows the track associated with a train, he should be able to determine what will fit in each track.
The hard part will come when scenery goes in and we'll have to figure out a way to do this and not detract from the scenery.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rail Run Update

I have been doing all of the little things to make it easier on someone to make their way through the layout. Recently there have been operational changes which required paperwork changes including timetables, train instructions, etc. I believe all of this has been done and printed. Cars were added and waybills were updated. Directial labels indicating North and South were placed in all of the towns.

I finally got my CAD program up and running so I could make updates to the town drawings. Of course, it is a new program so I needed to relearn how to do things. I hung plastic sign holders around the layout and now I can insert the drawings into these holders, so the operators will know where the industries are.   Lets see if I can get the fascia skirting up before they come.

Milk Trains

It has been a long time coming, but the passenger trains now have work to do. All passenger trains will have a stop where they swap out Express Reefers at a dairy. They are basic moves, but it gives the passenger train engineers and the dispatcher something else to do.

Coming soon will be the picking up or setting out of a coach at Brunswick. I might be ready in time for rail run on Friday. I will have to see how many cars I have available.