Saturday, August 25, 2012

Progress Report 08.25.12

Today, I worked on the layout off and on.  I'm happy to report that crews have completed the installation of all slide switches!  I'm *so* glad that is over.  It gets old quick.  The last slide switch was actually a tortoise install as it was the west switch of the Bureau wye.  Due to its location, a traditional slide switch wouldn't have worked.  It took a while to get it in place as I could have really used a second person to assist.  I finally managed to get it installed and tested.  Ran wire and installed the slide switch power control on the fascia.  Tested.  All good!

Installed some more benchwork and started laying out the buildings in Bureau.  It's time to get the tub of wall plaster and putty knife out to do some scenery!

Began the process of vacuuming off the top of the layout.  I have a string of about thirty cars stretched across Ottawa currently.  These are all cars that passed inspection.

The new overpass in Ottawa

A view of a train entering Ottawa Yard from the East

Look at all those sand hoppers!

After everyone went to bed, I decided to clean up the wiring under the upper level (always has been an eyesore).  I had cheap Walmart Christmas lights before.  After hearing feedback from other layout owners regarding the LED strings, I decided to investigate.  At first the price was too high, but the price has dropped considerably since I first researched them.  I was in a state of shock and dismay when I saw the first string of LED lights lit on the layout.  Holy smokes!  That's freaking awesome!  I nearly ran to wake up my sleeping wife I was so excited!

I have posted photos of before and after in various scenes.  Please excuse the mess as I was too excited to document vs. clean-up the layout/room first.

Rock Island, IL Before

Rock Island, IL After

Silvis Yard Before

Silvis Yard After

Carrie Ave Shops Before

Carrie Ave Shops After

Hennepin Canal Before

Hennepin Canal After (Atlas Bridge)

The residential district of Bureau, IL Before

The residential district of Bureau, IL After

Looking west through Bureau Junction Before

Looking west through Bureau Junction After

Pre-Session Project update
1) Install slide switches
2) Re-stage the layout
3) Repair identified rolling stock that doesn't meet code (in progress)
4) Repair identified motive power that doesn't meet code
5) Construct Hennepin Canal bridge
6) Install LED Lights
7) Test all new trackage 

I'm so ecstatic over the layout.  I have attempted to build various layouts in the past (ever since I was 13 years old) with only one layout being somewhat successful (the HO ICNW Switching layout).  This layout has been living out a dream for me.  I would have never thought I could create something so nice.  It looks good, it operates well and a lot of fun.  I'm so pleased with how far I have come.


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