Saturday, January 29, 2011

D&D News World Headquarters

Construction has begun at D&D News World Headquarters.  The printing company will be quite large anchoring the west end of the Blue Island. 

Chief staff writer Michelle Kosinski is already working on her next story.

I love running trains!

It has been a while since I have run a train on the layout.  Actually, I believe the last time was before Christmas other than shuffling some motive power around in Davenport.  Watching the train snake through the newly developed towns was quite satisfying.  It is amazing how much Larry's structures add to the layout.  As I was running the train past the towns of the ROCK, I could visualize the future scenes.  Working on the layout can become mundane at times, but it is a source of great joy and satisfaction when I get to operate.

Maintenance issues:
I noticed two maintenance issues this evening.  Just like the real railroad, the track experienced a heat kink.  The heat from open vent above the layout was so hot that a piece of rail in the ovalix (of all places) kinked.  It doesn't appear to affect operation, so I will leave it be for now.  Hopefully as the temps cool back down with the vent closed and fan running, the rail will straighten back out.

The rail in this region will flex either to the right or left.  I was able to popped it back the other way which seems to work better in tests over the trackage.  I will have to impose a slow order over this region until the track realigns itself.

The other issue was with the benchwork at West Bureau.  There was a joint that was somewhat suspect to begin with.  Being located in the same region as the rail kink under the heat vent, I'm not really surprised to find a problem there.  The lumber had dried out and warped up.  I secured the benchwork joint to the wall and re-evaluated.  It appears that all is good now. I inspected the rest of the layout to find no other issues.

This evening, I lined up the locomotive fleet and consisted together as one.  This would serve as a test to match up similar locomotive operating speeds. 

The motive power is mostly staged for the next operating session. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

A blast from the past

In honor of our 100th post, a flashback to the beginning which wasn't so long ago.  The ROCK has come a long ways.  I look forward to watching it progress in the future.  It has brought me a tremendous amount of joy to see it come together so well.

May 31st, 2010 post...

With the boys coming over on Monday, I wanted to make some progress beforehand. The girls and I ventured out to the garage. I started marking up the first lumber and fired up the Dewalt compound miter saw. Not even the excitement of the girls' new bikes could keep them away from helping daddy with construction. I taught the girls how to mark the studs 16 inch on center. They also assisted with driving the screws in the 1x4s. They learned how to control the trigger on the variable speed drill and to slowly drive the screw into the wood. I was a proud Papa watching my girls learning how to use power tools at such a young age.

Saturday evening progress:

- 2x8ft 1x4 box frame for Davenport Yard
- 1x8ft 1x4 box frame for Bureau
- 14"x34" 1x4 box frame for East Bureau
- 3x7ft 1x4 box frame for the peninsula

Sunday evening, after the kids were in bed, I returned to the very humid garage to continue construction.

Sunday's Progress:
- 14"x7ft 1x2 box frame for Stockdale (upper level)
- 1x8ft 1x2 box frame for Blue Island (upper level)
- 3x4ft 1x4 box frame for the ovalix (bottom level)

Monday morning, I was joined by the talented, eager construction team made up of Marcus Neubacher of the Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern Railroad and Larry Keller of the Peconic Railroad.

After short discussions, construction began. The first section of benchwork at Bureau was installed. Installation of the frame supporting Davenport Yard quickly followed. The peninsula rose into position under the sharp eye of Marcus checking for level and plumb. By lunch, we had constructed and installed the box frames for West Davenport Yard/Staging, East Bureau, and the Ovalix on the lower level plus Blue Island and Burr Oak Yard/Chicago Staging frames on the upper level. Incredible progress in a short period of time!

After refueling, we continued construction installing the upper level frames for Stockdale and the ingenious T-frame construction for Joliet above the peninsula.

By mid-afternoon (quitting time) we had managed to construct 85% of the benchwork. There are some minor support brackets that need to be installed, but considering the short amount of time, a very productive day!

Photos of the Construction Progress

A special thanks to Marcus Neubacher and Larry Keller for their assistance and guidance in the conversion to N scale. Their knowledge and support has been invaluable!! Thanks guys!

Progress Report 01.24.11 - Post #100

I noticed this evening, that tonight's post is #100 since the blog first started. 

Not a lot of progress to report for today.  I severed the main line to cut in the turnout for the ADM Milling facility.  I always am a little nervous about severing the main.  The industrial trackage at Stockdale is complete.

Crews will be moving down to Davenport to work on the engine/car shops that was put on hold previously.

Removed a fried decoder from a loco this evening to be sent off to TCS for repair.  It put out a fair amount of smoke Saturday when tested.  I have one other loco (FP7) that is having issues.  I'm not sure if the decoder is fried or if it is a contact issue on that one.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Progress Report 01.22.11

Progress has been steady on the CRI&P as of late.  Peconic Realty visited the CRI&P on Saturday.  The deals were hard to pass up, so the CRI&P acquired numerous structures populating majority of the railroad.  We can't thank Larry Keller enough for offering these for sale.  We look forward to continuing the heritage of the Peconic Railroad.

Below are photos of the new ADM grain elevator in Stockdale and along with the ADM Milling facility

Newly developed downtown Stockdale

A view of Stockdale with the ADM grain elevator in the background.  The newly moved passenger station is in its new home across from the town's planned cemetery.

Another view at street level of Stockdale and the future cemetery.  The town had originally planned to create a park in this site, but lost in a board vote 5-2.

CRI&P Train crews are excited about the new movie theater in town to provide entertainment while on rest.

Rock Island
Newly developed downtown Rock Island, IL.

Barlow Pharmacy, Rock Island, IL

Joliet, IL
Newly developed downtown and industrial areas of Joliet, IL

Industrial area across the street from American Can Company.

New hotel across from the CRI&P passenger station.

At the road crossing in Joliet looking east toward Chicago.

The former Card Room has received some foundation damage due to an unfortunate incident from a runaway coal hopper at the American Service Co. 

Blue Island, IL
Newly developed Blue Island, IL.

Street running on the old main alignment.

Bureau, IL
The newly installed wye at Bureau, IL.

Chambersburg, IL
Central Stone Company at Chambersburg, IL

An overhead view of the N&W Meredosia Branchline.

Power Desk update
Newly acquired Peconic Kato RS2s.  These units will stay in Peconic paint for quite some time before receiving the classic red/yellow paint scheme.

Six-axle power assigned for grain service.  The ex-Central of New Jersey SD35s.  These units will also receive the red/yellow CRI&P paint scheme.

Life-Like Rock Island GP18s waiting for decoder installation.