Thursday, November 19, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Various News

Railfanning Peoria
I headed over to Iowa Junction after dinner to see what was shaking down in Peoria today.  I see the newly acquired ICG unit have already received quite a coat of grime and dirt working hard.  I like it!  A guy I know (Mike in New Mexico) weathered the locomotives for me.  Now, the ICG units look "normal" to me.

Bureau Operator Article
I came across this article by a Bureau Operator today.  Good reading.  You can download the PDF here.  No need to create a DropBox account, just click on No and it will continue to the file.

Rock in the News
In other news, I was interviewed by a reporter from the Charlotte Observer this morning regarding my hobby of model trains.  It is due to an article they are working on for the upcoming Lionel 115th Anniversary.  Lionel's office is nearby in Harrisburg, North Carolina (next to the Charlotte Motor Speedway).  I'll post links once the article comes out.

No other progress lately.  This weekend, I plan on working on cleaning locomotives, test run and ensure properly speed matched.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Pedestrian Crossing at Utica Passenger Station

I mentioned a few weeks back, I wanted to add a pedestrian crossing for passengers to unload from the north track at Utica.  So, tonight, I quickly added one.  No need to add a walkway between the rails.  The videos I have seen from back in the day, people walked all over the tracks.  I'm just trying to keep the RI patrons out of the ditch between the two mainlines.

Prototype Photo

Well, that was exciting.  So, let's show a quick video I put together of the Peoria Rocket between Ottawa and Utica.  

In other news, I have been working on a few things, but nothing to really show for it.  I've been too lazy, but in reality have been busy with family in town, and life in general. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Various Progress Report

Well, it was decided and acted upon to add the Chicago & Illinois Midland coal train out of Peoria.  The train will operate this next session to Libbey-Owens Ford to deliver coal to the power plant.  Speaking of donuts, small individual loads of coal will also be delivered to Ottawa Silica Track #7 (the dynamite/supplies track) for the small power plant there as well.

Looks like there is a loaded coal train sitting up in the CNW yard waiting for delivery by the
Chicago & Illinois Midland

The Peoria Terminal was a wholly owned subsidiary of the ROCK.  It usually utilizes RI GP7s for power, but today, there is a set of ICG GP30s.  Although way too clean!  These units need to be dirtied up!  This will be the motive power for the next Peoria job.

Created some new tabs to reflect the increase of business at Ottawa Silica and LOF.

Project list update:
  • Repair North Ottawa Silica Turnout
  • Repair turnout at PQ plus any others with broken points
  • Adjust scale sensor at Ottawa Silica
  • Check programming on locomotives (speed matching) and clean wheels.
  • Install Sand Dump Track
  • Ballast Peoria
  • Install roof on Westclox

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: New E8 Powering the Rocket Trains

Management is pleased to show off their newly received custom painted Kato E8 to operate on the Rocket trains.  It looks and runs great.

The E8 is powering the eastbound Peoria Rocket past Mill Street in Utica.

Video of the E8 powering the Peoria Rocket returning west later in the day.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Sand Dump Track Progress

This evening, I installed the three Caboose Industry ground throws for the turnouts and did a little scenery around the dump track including adding piles of sand under the trestle.

Tomorrow, I need to wire the track up.  Got home too late tonight to mess with it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Sand Dump Track Construction Continues

This evening, before and after dinner, I worked on the layout.  I managed to cut all the track and glue it in place.  I didn't mess with the Caboose Industry ground throws tonight as I was getting tired and was done for the day.  I decided it was best to call it quits although I wanted to get this complete.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  Here are photos of the progress:

Ottawa Silica - looking north.

Rock Island U30C sitting beside the loading tower on the new run around track.

New track arrangement off Ottawa Silica Track 1 (OS1)

I'm really happy with this arrangement.  I believe it worked out well.

Sand dump track - not glued yet.  I need to scenic first and then glue the track to the deck.

Rock Island U30C spotting two over tonnage cars.

Spotting two overweight cars.

Two over tonnage cars spotted successfully.

In other news, I got the crackhead idea to ship coal to Libbey-Owens Ford Glass Plant again.  It had a coal-fired power plant back in the day, but it is unknown when they stopped using the plant.  I would assume probably no later than the 60s.  Of course, I model the 70s.  But, this is my world.  So, word on the street is that the Chicago & Illinois Midland will be bringing up a unit train (small - only 11 to 12 cars) of coal from southeast of Springfield via Peoria and Ottawa over Rock Island tracks.  The C&IM will deliver the cars to LOF Track 3.  Previously, this track has been mixed use for receiving various chemicals and such for glass production.  LOF Track 3 can hold eleven 70-ton hoppers.  I'm still pondering this, but figure I might try it for the next operating session.

The ROCK 3.0: Sand Dump Track

Today, I received the materials required to add the run around track and sand dump track.  I didn't have much time at all to work, but this is what I managed to get done tonight.

I added a 1x2 to the fascia of the layout to create space for the new run around track.  Laid out the track to see how it will work.  Painted the 1x2 black to match the fascia.  Cut in the first switch at South Ottawa off Ottawa Silica Track 1 (OS1).

A run around track is required as locomotives are not permitted under the loading tipple, but as you can see I'm out of real estate.  The wonderful thing about N scale is that you can simply add a 1x2 to the fascia and BAM!  We have enough room to add a track.

Overview of the scene.

1x2 added.  

Track laid out to show the new arrangement to access the sand dump track.