Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scenery & Testing

Progress reports have been few and far between lately.  I have been working tirelessly in the train room to have it completely cleaned up and fully organized.  That was a feat in itself.

Took a key hole saw to the scenery across the tracks from Franklin Farms.  This area needs to be leveled out some and raised up to make fields for the cow and horses to roam free.  I plan on rebuilding the scenery using extruded styrofoam as recently learned in Railroad Modeling University (RMU).

It dawned on me last night that I hadn't tested the layout since completing construction in Blue Island.  Last time I installed an Atlas crossing it shorted out the entire railroad due to a factory defect.  Fired up the system to find no shorts.  Tested a locomotive down each new track.  All seems good even though I haven't added new feeders.  All is good.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Off Layout Storage

It is always good to have friends over between operating sessions to discuss things about the layout and such.  The other day my friend Larry was over.  I had mentioned that I needed to find a good storage place for off layout cars between sessions.

He suggested (should have been obvious to me) to use my custom cabinet a friend built for me years ago for displaying Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars.  The only issue was the location.  It was currently located under the Mississippi River.  I really needed to move it near the staging yards at the end of the layout to be most effective.

Last night, I set out to move the large cabinet.  I wasn't positive, but remembering back I was pretty sure the layout was simply resting on it.  I was correct.  I went out to the garage and cut two 2x4 legs to drop down on either side.  I moved the cabinet over under the staging yards.  It was a tight fit.  I had to lift up on the layout a little and get my daughter Sarah to push the cabinet into place.  She was a great assistant!

Now, off layout cars that aren't used during a session are stored nice and neat as you can see below.  I will continue to use the bottom 10 shelves or so for displaying the cars from my youth.  It's good to have fellow layout owners as friends to discuss road blocks you might be encountering or even solve the less trivial stuff that I had overlooked myself.  Thanks Larry!