Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Progress Report 03.06.12

This morning before work, I added dry wall compound to the styrofoam in Rock Island.  This was cut previously when we had our OSHA incident, but was never completed.

Added some bird shot weight to a few Atlas Rock Island 2-Bay covered hoppers that will be used in silica service.

I decided to turn on the system to ensure everything was kosher.  My biggest fear is doing a lot of work on the layout and forgetting to test the system for shorts.  There was a short this morning.  I figured it was one of the tools on the layout.  Removed all of them (there was quite a few).  Short resolved.  Thank goodness!

I found signs that our cat has been up on the second level of the layout.  The culprit, a white furr ball acting as tumbleweed across the plowed fields of Ottawa.  We will have to remedy that situation.

This evening, I worked on designing and constructing the new industries in Blue Island.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Progress Report 03.05.12

I feel like I haven't written in months, but it was only a week.  I had to move the layout to the back burner for a while due to acquiring a new vehicle.  Now that I have that behind me, I can re-focus on the layout.

This morning, I installed two tortoise switch machines at the Joliet crossover.  This evening, I wired them up and tested.  All is good.

I also completed some minor paperwork as I required some additional waybills for cars that were waiting to be staged.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some time working as the Warwick (NY) yardmaster on Larry Keller's Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad.  The ROCK always enjoys a trip over to the L&HR to observe operations.  I was quite taken by his newly installed trainorder signals using simple green and red 12v lamp assemblies controlled by a slide switch.  If the dispatcher needed to talk to a crew, he would simply radio Larry who acted as Trainmaster who would throw the signal from green to red.  When the crew arrived in town, they would stop their train and call the dispatcher from the clerk's office.  The materials are inexpensive but adds yet another step of realism to operations.  Great job Larry!  I'm quite impressed.  With funds becoming available from auctions that closed out Saturday night, I placed an order for the components from Radio Shack today.  I'm hoping to have it installed before the next op session.