Friday, October 28, 2011

Progress Report 10.28.11

I have been fairly quiet this week, but some progress is being made. I managed to weather an additional 17 cars.  The fleet is looking really good!

I received notice that the Atlas GP7 is on its return trip from New Jersey from warranty repair.

Ballast update:  I had a conversation with Harley Smith at Smith & Sons Ballast last night regarding my order.  It was discussed to use a different color ballast for sidings and industrial tracks.  After conferring with my friends Marcus and Larry, it was decided to keep the same color for main and sidings, but use a darker color for the yards and industrial tracks.  I will most likely mix in a small of amount of the darker ballast on the sidings.  From this conversation, I needed to measure the track on my layout.  Doing so this morning, I have 227 feet of mainline/sidings and roughly 230 feet of industrial/yard tracks.

The road and sidewalk project on SW Washington Street in Peoria is completed.

Traffic has begun using the new road.  

I added some dirt to the Peoria Cordage lot.  Additional scenery will be added very soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ballast Order Placed!

I have a correction to make from my previous post.  The ballast labeled as Scenic Express is actually Smith & Sons ballast.  I talked with Harley Smith yesterday regarding his ballast and placed an order this morning.

I'm looking forward to the ballast train arriving from Chardon, Ohio.  :-)

In other news, productivity has been low the last few days.  This morning, I did manage to install a few more sections of sidewalk on SW Washington Street in Peoria.  Peoria is looking real good.

I need to get back on weathering freight cars.  When looking around the layout, I absolutely love seeing the weathered cars vs the shiny new plastic.  Overall, the layout is progressing nicely.  I'm quite pleased.  This next op session is the one year anniversary of my first op session last November (six months after construction began).


Sunday, October 23, 2011


I have been researching various types of ballast.  I liked the texture of the Woodland Scenics cinders (had in stock to use for comparison) which appears to be different than their ballast line.  I wasn't pleased with either the fine or medium ballast by Woodland Scenics.  The ballast looked too big and didn't seem to spread to well.  My friend Larry brought me a sample of Smith & Son #50 Light Gray ballast.  This ballast spreads nicely and looks great. I definitely feel its the clear winner, but now what color to go with.  The light gray is viewed below.  My wife has cast a vote for the blended.  I'm curious as to how the dark gray would look. 

Left is #50 Smith & Sons Penn-Ohio Blend, right is Woodland Scenics fine

I prefer the Smith & Sons ballast as it doesn't sit up on the ties as with the Woodland Scenics.

A detail shot of the Smith & Sons ballast.