End of February update…

Hi, it’s been a bit, sorry about that. In this end of February update I’m going to cover a few things. So here goes…

First – Picture problem fixed.

Actually I’m not sure there was an actual problem, I’ll explain. I got a new camera as my old one was getting outdated. If only in terms of current technology. It’s an old Canon Rebel XTi with a 10 megapixel sensor. A great camera that’s still working perfectly. But because  I use the camera for work too, it could be better. So I got a new Canon Rebel T6i that has a 25 megapixel sensor and a faster processor. Figured I could shoot better (more detailed) pictures of the layout, plus I can shoot video with it also. Turns out the website didn’t like the larger pictures, 10mb with the new camera as opposed to 3mb with the old. So for this post I shot the pictures with the old one. It was that or I had to “dumb” down the new camera. Any way, as I said, problem solved.

Second – The “speed bump”.

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, before I wired the track I had down, I had run into a speed bump. It was quite literally a speed bump. As I was laying track from the turnouts from the reverse loop to the yard at New Brighton over the bridge in the berm scene, I failed to notice a bump in the tracks at the end of the bridge. It was only as I was pushing a string of cars over the tracks that I had laid that I found the problem. There was a 1/4″ rise in the tracks over a 6″ length of track. A 1/4″ rise means the cars uncouple, not good.

The evil "speed bump".
The evil “speed bump”.

Turns out that I failed to screw down the plywood base that this end of the bridge was mounted to and the plywood had a slight warp to it. I know that I had looked at the plywood sticking up and had thought that I would have to do something about it, but my brain never made the connection. So I had to pull up the track, the roadbed and the subroadbed to fix the problem (that’s why I went ahead and wired the rest of the track and came back to this). Any ways I have fixed the problem.

The arrow shows the joint that had to be leveled in order to level the tracks.
The arrow shows the joint that had to be leveled in order to level the tracks.
The area that had the "speed bump", now repaired.
The area that had the “speed bump”, now repaired.

Third – Track down and wired.

Just so you know, I haven’t been sitting on my behind. I have the return loop in and wired. Held my breath, as I have never used an auto reverser (the AR-1) before, ran a train through it and it worked perfectly.

View of the berm scene with the return loop in the background.
View of the berm scene with the return loop in the background.

Next, I laid the track from the switches to the staging yard and wired them up.

The Loop around the engine facility into the yard.
The Loop around the engine facility into the yard.
Beginnings of the yard at New Brighton.
Beginnings of the yard at New Brighton.
The small stock yards and meat packing plant.
The small stock yards and meat packing plant.

I only have the “main line”  laid through the yard as I have yet to figure out the rest of the yard. The background buildings are temporary, as I have yet to figure out their  placement.  The stockyards/meat packing plant is important because if I had not talked about it before, New Brighton had the largest stockyards west of Chicago and needed to be included.

The last “industry” in the yard is the power plant. It hides the hole  from the staging yard to the “real world”. I had planned on a single hidden track in the staging area for it, but found that I could put two tracks (switched) into the space.

The power plant that will hide the hole to the staging yards.
The power plant that will hide the hole to the staging yards.
The throat for the staging yards and the hidden track for the power plant.
The throat for the staging yards and the hidden track for the power plant.

So there you have it. I can now run a train from the area just before the staging area to the town of Brandon or from Brandon south through the return loop and back to Brandon.

What’s next? Wiring the staging yard. Only a deal because each track will have a switch to turn it off so as not to have a bunch of sound equipped engines idling away. Then, laying the track in the town of Brandon itself. After that? It’s on to the helix and the upper level.

Wow, for some reason the upper level never seemed to be on my radar. How cool is that.

Till next time, Happy Railroading…

 

 

 

 

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