Tuesday, April 26, 2016


My very first train set was a Lionel 027. It came with a Northern Pacific engine similar to this. So when I saw this Athearn Genesis HO on the clearance shelf at LCC, I thought long and hard about getting this engine for nostalgia purposes.

It comes with Tsunami Sound and it was half off.

Of course it doesn't match my road, but it does match the era and with an expansion coming up, I can use more engines.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

More Changes

At the north end of Portland there is no going back. I removed the three way turnout and a few others. We haven't been using these during ops sessions anyway. I connected the main between Yarmouth and Deering with a section of track. Now it matches the changes that were previously made in JMRI.

Next you will see some changes in the Deering and Portland track. At this point if I don't get the electronics made in time we can still use the tracks as before. Deering being the back two tracks and Portland being the rest. When the changes go into effect the Deering tracks become sidings and the back two Portland tracks become the Deering Main line and siding. The rest will be removed.

This change is still somewhat temporary until I come up with a better plan and the code 83 track and turnouts needed. One thought that occurred to me is that the old return loop could be an interchange with the MEC or a place for the Wood Job or Work train staging.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A lot of work Ahead

I do not like to cancel op sessions. This means that any major work has to be done between sessions. Any changes must he ready to go in less than a month. Normally this is not a problem, but to add the new staging, I must do many changes this month.

I have tested all of the new track and now everything needs to be incorporated into the old system. This will mean many many changes in JMRI. The way I attached to the layout means that Deering must be modified and also changed in JMRI. The old staging track 7 & 8 will become Deering's mainline. The old mainline will become sidings.

A new local control panel will have to be designed, implemented and tested before the next op session.

There are things I'm doing at this point that can be implemented, that need to be done for the new portion of the layout, that will not impede op sessions. There will come a point where I have to decide to go for broke and make all of the changes and hope for the best.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Engines for the Expansion

Following the theme of more engines. Tony's train Exchange had a decent price on Atheran Genesis engines with Tsunami Sound so they will be added as soon as they arrive.

I decided to try a Bachmann engine since I found a good price on EBay. This does not have sound. It does look pretty good, but after two sessions, it has been removed both times for performance complaints. I'll have to take it on the road myself to see what I think.

Big Sale

I went to The Little Choo Coo Shop after an Op Session last week and found they were having a big sale. Two weeks before I was looking at this NYO&W FT set with LokSound from Intermountain is was on the 20% off table and left it there. Two weeks later I go back and it's 50% off. It was snatched up.

I am also looking at upgrading or expanding the tank car fleet and they had IRC, Atlas and Kadee at 40% off. I picked up 4 tank cars I had been looking at on EBay.

So this week I was driving somewhat nearby and decided to stop again. This engine was 50 % off also. It does have the LokSound in it. While none of these engines are exactly my road, this is where I might have to learn how to paint. Until then they can run as is.

Oh yeah. I picked up four more tank cars and a building from Woodland Scenics.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Occupancy Detectors

I was online with the CMRI group asking about a problem I was having with my detection circuits. Out of the blue Chuck Catania from Model Railroad Control Systems, sends me an email explaining their new design for detectors that he thinks works better in troublesome cases.

He asked me if I would like to test one to see how they worked. I said yes and a couple of days later I have one in the mail.

They are almost half the size of the older versions. They are also cheaper for the built version than the other one. Now to find a place for it before Next Saturday's session.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Staging Work

Portland Staging track has been put together and both sections have been hooked together. The Tortoise machines are working with the computer. Eight of the twelve tracks occupancy detectors are working with the computer. The rest are waiting on parts.

The next step was to connect the new staging to the rest of the layout and test the track work. All is well.