Saturday, February 11, 2012

CR&E + Progress Report 02.11.12

ROCK Management went to visit a neighboring layout today for added inspiration.  The CEO worked as the yardmaster in Lewisburg, WV on the CR&E.  I had a great time as always.

This evening, I tore out the scenery to the west of McGee Creek by Franklin Farms.  I cut all the extruded styrofoam pieces for the McGee Creek riverbed and the bluff that the mainline tunnels through.  I still have to glue the pieces together and shape, but I'm excited by the landscape created in this area.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Progress Report 02.10.12

I didn't have as much time this morning as I usually do as the family was running a little late getting out the door.  I did manage to cut a grade separation between the Joliet Grain elevator and the mainline.  Joliet Grain is located on a grade between Joliet and Stockdale.  The elevator itself was also on a grade.  Therefore, any cars spotted at the elevator would roll down hill unless a push pin was used.  With the grade separation complete, now the elevator and spur are level

This evening I added more hills and landscape to Rock Island, added the plowed field at Franklin Farms and added landscape between the spur and main at Joliet Grain Company.

No pictures as they just don't turn out well (too much white).  I will take photos when I get some contrasting colors.

Industry Change:
Midwest Paper Stock Co. is now Federal Paper Board.  Although in reality, this industry was located in Marseilles, IL, I will keep it at its present location in Joliet on the layout.  Federal Paper Board manufacturers printed boxes for Nabisco plants across the United States.

More changes are expected in the near future as research continues.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Progress Report 02.07.12 / Operational Changes

Last night, with some hesitance, I ripped out the farm field at Franklin Farms.  Franklin Farms is named for my adopted grandparents on my wife's side of the family.  This is where the layout began construction as the first subroadbed was installed.  This is also where I'm starting my first scenery.  I had originally added cardboard strips and plaster cloth last year, but wasn't pleased with the results.  After attending a Railroad Model University class back in January, I decided to try my hand at using extruded styrofoam for scenery.  I have been pleased with the results so far.

While enjoying the scene that I originally created at Franklin Farms, it wasn't exactly what I had truly envisioned.  So, last night, I ripped it all out.  I cut a new piece of styrofoam and began drawing out the plan.  This morning I tore into the styrofoam with my Shur Form Shaver.  I sculpted the land to match my vision.  This evening, I glued the various pieces of styrofoam together and applied the dry wall compound.

Other news
I continue to research on a regular basis operations on the Rock Island.  I have found and acquired a couple of back issues of Trains Magazines that had a particular focus on the Rock Island.  They have been enjoyable to read.

Armed with the new information, there will be a few small changes to operations.

1) The "Government Bridge" at the Mississippi River was controlled by the bridgetender.  It would open for barge traffic with little notice.  There would be a 15-minute delay while the barges passed.  Train crews will be required to call the West Davenport Tower to receive clearance across the bridge.

2) Desk 3: Illinois Division dispatcher out of Des Moines, Iowa controls all trackage on the layout with the following exceptions (modeling license exercised somewhat):

  • Bureau Operator - Controls Bureau main/siding and Bureau Wye
  • JD Tower at Joliet - Controls main/siding from Joliet to the yard limits at Burr Oak Yard 
  • West Davenport Tower - Controls Mississippi River Crossing, Davenport & West Davenport Yard main and sidings.
Thanks to newfound friend Harold from the RITS list for providing additional information.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Progress Report 02.05.12

I finally got around to cutting the metal poles for the peninsula.  I removed the temporary 2x4 supports installed initially replacing them with two metal poles from my former HO layout.

My other big project I have been working on is scenery in the Franklin Farms / Rock Island area.  I removed the original cardboard strip / plaster cloth scenery on the outside of the tracks from McGee Creek (just west of Franklin Farms) up through the first road crossing in Rock Island.  I replaced with extruded styrofoam.  I shaped and covered with drywall plaster.  I worked on it off and on this weekend completing all the scenery that was previously torn out.  

Scenery is a much slower process than just about anything else that I have done.  It takes time to build, but I'm excited to start work.  I'm looking forward to see how it develops as this is all virgin territory for me.  I have built numerous variations of layouts, but have yet to ever scenic one.

A fishing pond is being added across the tracks from Franklin Farms.

The new field for the Franklin's livestock to roam.

New scenery has been added and covered with plaster (not shown in this picture) up to the first road crossing in Rock Island.

The new road into Franklin Farms is more level and reminiscent of the road out to my father-in-law's farm.

The new barn is in place on top of the hill looking over McGee Creek and the farmland across the tracks.