Thursday, October 7, 2010

Progress Report 10.07.10

Tonight, crews kicked it up a notch.

Drilled and completed pulling the throttle bus wire.  Completed pulling the track bus wire on the upper level over by Stockdale and the ovalix.  Found some extra lumber that almost fit the profile for the Chicago & Northwestern branch line.  Trimmed the lumber and installed the benchwork for all of the CNW branch.  Soldered the feeders to the bus wire in Stockdale, Bureau, CB&Q line,  and the single track between Stockdale and Joliet.  Also soldered all feeders in the Rock Island industrial area and a pair down by the Mississippi River.  All feeders are installed for Phase I.  Repaired the bridge where a barge (aka a clumsy oaf) hit a couple of weeks ago.

The track has been shaped and in place (not glued, nor roadbed installed) for the CNW branchline.   Engineering has been conducting tests on the temporary track and are pleased with the alignment. 

Tomorrow I plan on drilling the holes for the frog wires on the turnouts.  Everything has been removed from the layout for a pending thorough cleaning.

Progress Report 10.06.10

Progress has been extremely slow lately...

In my brief windows of opportunity to work on the layout, the remaining feeders for the CB&Q line, Stockdale and Bureau have been soldered to the rails.  The CB&Q line and Stockdale still need to be soldered to the bus.  Speaking of bus, that needs to be pulled for the upper level between the peninsula and ovalix.

This evening, I cut the openings for the seven NCE throttle jack panels in the benchwork.  Those have been ordered.  It should be a quick install once they arrive.  I do need to drill a few more holes over near Bureau for the throttle jack bus wire.

Paperwork! Paperwork! Paperwork!
Building a layout is only half the battle.  Creating an operating plan, creating paperwork and implementing is a hobby within itself.  I'm happy to report as of this evening that all car cards and waybills have been created, matched and sorted by location/train.  The car cards now only need to be matched with the physical equipment and placed on the layout.

I used Excel to keep a tally of car locations for their inaugural run.  This was my attempt to keep everything balanced to prevent major traffic disruptions.  In the future, the system will work on its own with ebb and flow traffic patterns.

I'm very excited as the layout is starting to breathe some life.  With my Excel report, I'm able to visualize how the first operating session will go.  It will be interesting to see how reality plays out.  The locals are pretty heavy with 9-17 cars to set out.  Stockdale is the monster for sure.  Operating with two general freight trains in each direction separated by early morning and late afternoon schedules helps greatly.  The second section freights will leave staging light, but will pickup at Davenport and Burr Oak Yards terminating as heavy trains.  These trains will transport much of the freight picked up by the locals from earlier in the day.

44 days until the ROCK comes alive!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Progress Report 10.03.10

A little progress has been made in the last couple of days.

2 slide switches were installed, all the feeders for Joliet were soldered, along with feeders for East Stockdale and West Bureau were soldered. 

A major clean-up effort is underway in the layout room to make it presentable for a public viewing this coming weekend.