Thursday, October 11, 2012

Changes at Silvis

After some consultation with fellow modelers (and operators of the ROCK) it was recommended to move some of the duties of the 112 Rock Island Local to the yardmaster.  Kelly Yardmaster will now switch the industries in Moline and East. Moline.  This affects Rock Island TOFC Terminal, Iowa Ready Mix, Continental Grain, Consumers Ice and Fuel, General Electric, Electrolux and the East Moline Freight House.

The Rock Island Local's call time has been moved until mid-afternoon (from 9am) and will switch only the industries in Rock Island and Bureau.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Progress Report - Blue Island Electrical Work, Locomotive Servicing

This morning, I continued work in Blue Island.  In an attempt to narrow down the poor electrical performance of locomotives in this area, I'm dropping feeders everywhere.  I managed to get a few installed this morning before my batteries died on the soldering iron.  I didn't feel like getting out the Flesh Burner (corded soldering iron) that early in the morning, so I waited until this evening after I picked up some fresh batteries.

Continued work this evening soldering ten sets of feeder wires in the industrial area.  I was knocking over stuff left and right and just having general coordination issues tonight.  I became frustrated, but managed to finish soldering the wires.  Tested with one locomotive.  Better, but still sputtering at places at low speeds.  Cleaned the track well and still having issues.  Tried with two locomotives at low speed, no issues whatsoever.  I don't know what to think about it.  I hate that it has these minute dead spots, but I'm guessing I will just have to use two locomotives. maddening!

Got everything back in order in the area as I have some guests coming over this weekend.

December Op Session Notes
A few changes for the Christmas Operating Session are on tap.  Both Peoria Rocket trains have been temporarily annulled.  Aunt Maude and her sister are on vacation in Iowa.

The Quad Cities Rocket is a monster!  Due to the increase of people going to Chicago to do their Christmas shopping as well as increased mail, the train is a whopping twelve cars long.  This includes three TOFC flats on the rear.  Quite impressive looking with the dual FP7s on the point.

The pair of Peoria freight trains have been temporarily annulled due to lack of traffic.

Hot Shot Auto Parts/TOFC train #57 has been annulled as the automobile industry is shutdown for their holiday break.  Remaining TOFC traffic has been moved to the general freight trains temporarily.

Don't fear, I still have sixteen trains on tap to run for the op session.

The new Yardmaster position at Kelly Yard will be available for operators to choose from.  Enhanced operations will include being responsible for hostling power to the fuel servicing area as well as maintaining locomotive 30-90-365 day inspection schedules and servicing cabooses.

Progress Report 10.09.12 ~ Road Markings, Next Op Session Scheduled

Today, I added road markings to a few more roads in Ottawa and Blue Island.  Tested locomotives across the road crossings with the newly replaced wood grade crossings.  No issues through the wood grade crossings, but the locomotives are still acting erratic in the area.  I'm thinking I may need to drop more feeder wires.

Next operating session has been scheduled for December 15th.

Printed the new train instruction cards to hand out to operators.  I also created instructions for working Kelly Yard.  This is a position I always managed myself, but I think I will turn it over to someone else now since we have the waybill confusion resolved.  I know this past session, Marcus was acting as pseudo yard master helping the shops hostle power.

Speaking of operating, I wouldn't mind running either the new #118 LaSalle local or the beast Ottawa.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Progress Report 10.08.12

Progress has been at a snail's pace since the op session.  I did manage to remove the Christmas rope light clips that were still attached to the layout as I installed those in my daughters' room over the weekend.

I removed all the roads in between the rails in Blue Island (except main street) and replaced with Blair Line wood grade crossing kits.  This should hopefully help with the issues experienced with locomotive wheels getting dirty from the plaster crossings.