Friday, March 30, 2012

Progress Report 03.30.12

This morning, I added some feeder wires over to the engine terminal at Peoria.  Originally, it didn't require any as motive power worked well through the area, but evidently the rail gaps have opened up some now requiring the feeders.  Tested and all is good.

I plugged in all the throttles to ensure everything was kosher for the op session and found two that had the same address which created some issues.  I changed the address of one of the throttles and tested.  All ok now.

Tested the power on the Peoria Local.  It's running with somewhat of a delayed response.  I'm not sure if the momentum is turned on or what, but I will need to investigate further this afternoon.

Added the locomotive cards to each train information packet.

Setup my fast clock app on the laptop.  I use a free application downloaded from the web for the 4:1 fast clock.  It runs on my laptop which also connects to the 27" LCD.  So, seeing the time is not an issue on the layout.

I was hoping to work on a few more things this evening, but it didn't work out.  That's ok though.

I believe we are ready to ROCK!  I'm looking forward to operating the layout tomorrow with great friends.  This will be the sixth op session of the layout and just before my two year anniversary (April 9th, 2010) since I officially converted to N scale.  I've come a long way since my former days in HO scale.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Progress Report 03.28.12

This morning, I constructed half of the Walthers Water Street Freight Terminal kit.  I had stolen half of the building from Blue Island Freight House to use for the new Illinois Fruit & Supply Co.   So, this morning, I watched some "Big Bang Theory" and knocked that out.  I'm happy to report no one was injured today.

Early evening, I worked on repairing four Kato RS2s that were operating erratically.  I had cleaned their wheels and test run them the length of the layout, but they would vary in speed greatly.  Reset all the decoders and reprogrammed the loco address.  They are all functioning fine now.  I'm unsure why they have been acting so weird, but I remember last session they were pulled from service due to service issues. They will be sent out together from Peoria on train #92 bound for Davenport.  The railfans will surely like to see that solid lash-up of four Alcos pulling the train up the grade out of Peoria.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some photos of the recent progress

As promised, find photos of the recent progress discussed on the blog.  Enjoy!  Op session photos to come after this weekend.

An overview of the room. You'll notice the changes in the legs on the peninsula and the most apparent change of the addition of the fascia.

Newly created Caldwell Harbor in West Davenport.  This named after my wife's cousin's family.

The Piggy Packer loading a trailer on a flat car at the new West Davenport Intermodal yard.

My NCE Controller secure in its new holder attached to the fascia.

One of the six installed (7 total to be installed) train order signal panels.  Crews will operate as scheduled unless they come across a red board.  They will stop their train and contact the dispatcher for additional instructions.

The fascia at Rock Island showing a sample of the throttle holder, jack, train order signal panel and clipboard with station OS log.

Rock Island's station.  The road now continues out to the edge of the benchwork including a new parking lot for the station.

An overall view of Rock Island.

The expanded and new Proctor & Gamble Company in Blue Island.  Notice the new double track and crossover added.  Joliet is just around the curve to the right.

The revised Blue Island interlocking.

The new track alignment at Blue Island.  The crossover was reversed.  The tracks used to continue straight, but now curve to the right behind the recently relocated Midwest Lumber company.

Another view of the changes at Blue Island.  The large building to the left is the greatly expanded Vandelay Industries, fine purveyor of latex products.

The entrance to the industrial park in Davenport.

The station at Davenport.

Newly labeled car card boxes for industries on the ROCK.

Blue Island's car card boxes have moved to the upper level.
A view of the West Davenport intermodal terminal.

No fascia has been installed at Bureau.  A photo of one of my cousin-in-law's boats.

Relocated Franklin Farms homestead.

The scratchbuilt barn in Franklin Farms.

New road signs installed in Joliet.

More new signage in Joliet.

Another view of the new signs.

Future Home of Libbey Owens Ford in Ottawa, IL.

Horses roaming free on Franklin Farms.

The newly constructed area at the Mississippi River crossing.

More of the Mississippi River crossing.

Another overview of the room.  Check out all the traffic in Chicago westbound.

ROCK Engineering: 0 Days without an Incident

Well, evidently the safety training didn't take for the ROCK's engineering team.  Another reportable incident today as a crew member cut his hand when he dropped an x-acto knife.  The person was cutting out regulatory signs to be installed this evening.  It was reported by other team members that a super sharp blade was required for the fine cutting detail.

The employee's wounds are healing ok.  The CEO hung the revised sign in the shop today.
I'm always pretty careful when using knives and other power tools, but twice in less than 45 days?  C'mon Johnson!  Get it together!  My insurance might go up if they learn I'm a model railroader.

No time for safety training this week!  We have to make a big push before the op session on Saturday!  Suck it up man and get back to work!


Here's Your Sign!

This morning, I decided to dig out the Blair Line signs I had picked up on eBay a long time ago.  I have been wanting to install these since the first roads were made.  Drilled the holes for all the sign posts to get an idea of what signs I need to cut out.  Just seeing the sign posts up was exciting.  Something so simple adds a lot to the layout.

Since my first area of focus was in Joliet, I remembered that I needed to add sidewalks on the road by the Federal Paper Board plant.  Went ahead and installed those this morning.

I cut out over 20 signs on my lunch break.  We did have an issue which I will elaborate on a follow-up post.

This evening, I installed the signs on the layout.  WOW!  I'm loving it!

Painted a few remaining spots of fascia, touched up the paint.

Repaired two sick locomotives to have them in service this next session.

Hmm...what else can I work on before Saturday?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Progress Report 03.26.12

Saturday, I installed two more train order signal panels and tested.

Sunday, I installed the remaining three train order signal panels.  I have one left for Peoria, but until I get the fascia installed there, I have no where to mount it.

Sanded down and painted all the roads and parking lots that I had made previously.  The exception being at Blue Island where the rough driveways/parking lots have been created, but probably won't be painted until after the session.

Cleaned up the layout and room some more.  Gathered up paperwork for the op session.

Cleaned the track from West Davenport to the Blue Island crossover.

This morning, cleaned the remaining track.  Cleaned the locomotive wheels, test ran locomotives and created consists.  Majority of the locomotives haven't run since before Thanksgiving with a few running last right before Christmas.  I have some that need servicing as they didn't want to load properly.  A few others are just acting flaky.  All those will have to be pulled from the layout for repair post-op session.

I believe I can say we're ready to ROCK!

Although, you know I will squeeze in another project between now and Saturday.

Expect a photo blog post later this week featuring all the latest changes to the layout.