Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Progress Report 10.04.11

Out out damn short!  Crews were out early at 6:15 this morning.  Armed with a dremel tool, crews attempted to determine the source of the short in Peoria.  All the rails on the turnouts were nearly touching the frogs.  To ensure no problems with shorts, the dremel was used to create a larger gap in each.  Crews tested after each turnout to no avail.  Management looked around town to find only one other potential cause.  Cut gaps in the rails on two sides of the newly installed Atlas crossing at Peoria Cordage Co. & S. Lucas and Sons Steel.  Tested again.  No short!!  That was incredibly frustrating!!  All that work due to a improperly insulated crossing from the factory! 

This evening, crews went back to work connecting the Peoria Branch back up with the rest of the railroad.  No shorts and the auto reverser at Bureau operated properly.  There was still a problem though.  Only the non-consisted locomotives were working.  Well, what the?  Started popping locomotives on to the programming track to find CV19 (setting for consist address) had changed to random consist address numbers.  So, a three locomotive set, very well could have three different  numbers.  Zeroed out CV19 on all the locomotives and re-consisted.  All is ok now.  I'm assuming something went awry in the system during the short. 

Marcus reported a problem with GP7 #4434 after running the Blue Island Local last session.  I attempted to repair, but couldn't find the source of problem.  The unit runs erratically with the headlight coming on and off without user intervention.  The unit is being shipped off to Atlas in NJ (to the back shop) for warranty repair tomorrow.  I should call them back in the morning about their crossing.  I should get them to replace that while they are repairing the locomotive. 

Construction crews sanded down S.W. Washington St in Peoria today.  Asphalt crews came back through adding more filler for any potholes or low spots.  Crews will let the filler dry for two days before sanding down for the final finish.  They project to be painting the roadway and installing sidewalks by the weekend. 

Carrie Ave Shops installed a decoder in GP40 #382.  The locomotive was tested and put on the ready track in Davenport.

Carrie Ave Shops also worked on the U30C.  As you might remember, this locomotive had a decoder installed but during testing, it went up in smoke.  "Daddy, your locomotive just caught on fire."  Yep, I remember that.  Milled out the frame some more.  Ensured nothing was touching the decoder board except at the designated contact points.  Took my time with it and completed.  Placed on the program track.  I was able to program the decoder with no issues.  That's a good sign.  Placed on the mainline and tested.  Success!!  Installed the Micro-Trains coupler conversion and tested.  The locomotive is now on the ready track in Davenport.

Not too bad for my first day back after being down for three days with a sinus infection. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Progress Report 10.03.11

I finished weathering all the cars from the #23 Houston bound freight train.  I was going to post a video of the cars rolling by for your viewing pleasure, but found out that I have a short.  After a while of searching for the problem, I have it narrowed down to Peoria.  The short is quite allusive though as no locomotives or cars are on the track.  I have it further narrowed down to a region in Peoria, but can't figure it out.  It's so infuriating.  Shorts are the worse to figure out.  Especially when it isn't something simply like leaving a tool laying on the tracks.  I will have to troubleshoot more tomorrow.  I have a feeling that the glue I used (not the normal glue) for the tracks in Peoria is causing a problem.  I think it may have expanded causing rails to touch on turnouts. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Progress Report 10.02.11

I've been fighting a sinus infection, but even so I was able to make a little bit of progress off and on through out the day.

The original spur track for S. Lucas & Sons Steel was too sharp of a radius for a locomotive and most cars to enter the industry.  A crossing was obtained so that I could reconfigure the industry track layout.  Below is a photo of the change.

Pulled an entire train from staging and began weathering freight cars using Doc O'Brien's weathering powders.  It makes such a big difference when you dirty up a car (even just a little bit).  I managed to get three cars complete so far.  My goal is to take one train per week out of staging and work on the cars.  This is a good project to work on while watching tv in the evening.  I just keep everything on an old cookie sheet applying the powders with various old paint brushes.  Here are photos of the progress so far.

This evening while the girls were playing upstairs, I managed to complete the rough pavement for S.W. Washington St. in Peoria.  The road runs along the mainline through town.