Saturday, February 5, 2011

Progress Report 02.04.11 + Announcement

Progress Report
This morning I installed the benchwork for the remaining section of the N&W Meredosia Branchline.  Cork and track were also installed and tested.

Carrie Ave Shops have been completed.  I'm looking forward to having a place for the locomotives when not in use.  Plus a car shop for my bad orders.

As I continue to dial in my desires for the layout, I have made an executive decision to change the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy crossing in Joliet to now be the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe crossing.  Both lines crossed in Joliet.  The AT&SF line continues down into Galesburg, IL and over to Fort Madison, IA.  I have been to a few places on this line.  As for the CB&Q/BN it has never particularly been one of my favorites. 

With this change, I have located some motive power for the new AT&SF local.  It will be featuring an Atlas GP30 in the Yellowbonnet paint scheme. 

Existing paperwork destined for CB&Q will stay the same for now.  Crews will follow the same instructions as before with the former CB&Q interchange.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Progress Report 02.03.11

Installed the benchwork, cork and track for the remaining leg of the Bureau wye.  Installed the Digitrax AR1 auto reverser unit for the wye.  Works like a charm and super easy to setup. 

Tomorrow, I hope to complete the remaining 3ft of track on the N&W Meredosia Branch.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

First Decoders Installed

I'm happy to report that I successfully installed my first decoders in N scale this evening.  I installed two TCS decoders in two Atlas SD35s.  All went well with only one incident where the locomotive parts exploded everywhere.  I had to reassemble the entire unit, but all working now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Progress Report 02.01.11

I added a second track at ADM Milling for loading of vegetable oil.  Anyone know of a good tanker loading rack in N scale? 

Cut and installed the trackage for half of Carrie Ave Shops.  The second half should be easier as it doesn't involve any turnouts. 

Cut and have in place the benchwork for the last leg of the wye at Bureau.  I will work on installing the supports beneath the benchwork piece tomorrow.

Monday, January 31, 2011


A micro adjustment on something can mean the difference between a locomotive operating well or not at all.  I learned this lesson this weekend.  As mentioned previously, I had three Atlas locomotives that I needed to re-gauge the wheels.  Two went well, but the third posed some issues.  After numerous attempts to re-assemble the truck, the gears would bind up and wouldn't roll freely.  I tried again and again over the period of the weekend.  Every time, I couldn't get it to work.

This morning before work I decided to try it again this time comparing it to known good working truck.  I couldn't detect any differences.  The only other solution I could think of was possibly the metal clip on the side of the truck was pressing to tightly on the axle tips.  I bent the tabs out a little and re-installed.  Instantly the truck rolled freely!  Such a minor modification, but came with significantly better performance.  I guess that is considered the norm in N scale.  You have to ensure your trackwork and equipment are in great condition otherwise plan on enduring a lot of heartache with troublesome operations.

I was so pleased to solve that mystery.  I took another GP7 that was running well, but having some trouble at slow speeds.  I performed the same modifcation as mentioned above and it worked great!  Now, I'm determined to go back through all the Atlas locomotives to check for the same issue. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progress Report 01.30.11

Worked on re-gauging Atlas locomotives yesterday.  Managed to complete two of the three remaining units, but the third one is being temperamental. 

Replaced the wheel sets on two Intermountain 4750 CuFt covered hoppers that were notorious for derailment issues.

Back in December, I had added weight to all my covered hoppers and coal hoppers to NMRA standards.  This evening, I completed the job by adding stick on 1/4oz mag wheel weights to the box cars to bring those to NMRA standards.  Hopefully, this will help cars track better.