Saturday, February 9, 2013

This is the ROCK....Take Two!

ROCK management spent the day operating on the Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern Railroad.  Compliments to the owner Marcus Neubacher for a most excellent operating session.  I worked one of the tougher locals (C41 out of New Castle, WV), as well as two road trains and Lewisburg (WV) yardmaster.

This afternoon, Ben Earp (and Marcus Neubacher) returned for Take Two of "This is the ROCK..." video.  I've been told that the video is still expected to be released on his YouTube channel on March 1st.  I'm looking forward to it.

A special thanks to Steve Holzheimer for two things: 1) painting six Atlas coal hoppers in "Boom-Time" blue.  I will work on decaling those soon so they will enter into service before the next operating session.  2) Steve brought me a printed article called "The Yard Job, The J-740" from the 2005 NMRA National Convention.  It goes into detail on working the yard job at Ottawa, IL.  It includes a track diagram of the yard and Ottawa Silica Company as well as modeling tips for the yard job.  Wow!  I've never found any information previously on operating this job.  This is gold to me!  Steve did offer some words of caution when reading this article.  It might cause me to want to rip out Ottawa to make changes more like the prototype.  I told him (and my wife) that I'm too far gone for that at this stage now.  My wife just looked at me like "yeah right!"  I swear, no more major changes!

I can't wait to sit down and quietly study this job to learn more about the ROCK!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Progress Report 02.08.13 - Ballasting the Peoria Branch Line

This morning, I worked on ballasting the main and siding in Peoria.  It was a short section (about 2 1/2ft long), but I managed to get it spread and glued.

I also ran a test passenger train back down the layout.  It doesn't look like I will have to perform a full cleaning of the track again before the video re-take tomorrow.

This evening, I worked in the layout room while the girls worked on their homework (taking breaks to help them).  I added some bushes and such along the stone wall on the Peoria Branch plus some areas between the mainline and Peoria Branch.

I ballasted from the north switch of Peoria up to where I stopped at Bureau Junction previously as well as over halfway around the turnback of the wye.  The ballast train has been working overtime.  It's looking great!

I ran another test train up and down the layout.  I believe are good for take two of the video tomorrow.

Here are some photos of the progress (the ballast discoloring is due to the glue still drying).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Progress Report 02.06.13 - West Bureau / Peoria Branch Scenery

This morning I worked on scenery over in West Bureau and on the Peoria Branch.  I painted and covered the previously plastered areas with grass.  I plastered the far corner of the room at Bureau.  I'm planning on adding a farm field here.

Here are pics of the progress:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Progress Report 02.05.13 - Room Cleaning

Nothing spectacular to post tonight.  I did manage to finish cleaning the room (except for a few things on the workbench).  Also, at the end are photos of the new land masses in West Bureau / Peoria Branch.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Progress Report 02.04.13 - Upper Peninsula Lighting Installed

This morning, although tired from staying up late watching the game, I went to work on the layout.  I managed to complete construction of the upper peninsula lighting canopy before going to work.   It's not easy to construct something so long without a second person.  Thank goodness for squeeze clamps.  I couldn't make near as much progress by myself without them. I was pleased with the amount of progress considering it was the typical Monday morning blahs.

This evening, I installed the LED light strip and tested.  Wow!  The entire layout is lit well now.  I'm very pleased.  This project is done, other than needing to go back to add black fascia to the front of the lighting canopy (which won't be completed for quite some time).

Later in the evening, I went back in the layout room and started lathering up some of the foam base over in West Bureau and the Peoria Branch.  I'm starting to have a vision of the finished scene through here.  Wow!  I can't wait to continue.  It's going to look awesome!!

Here are photos of today's lighting project progress.

Upper level - Lighting Canopy Installed - before new lights

Upper level - after with new lights

Upper level (before)

Upper level - after with new lights.
It is still a little dark in front of the paper mill, but I'm ok with that.

The sun has risen over Joliet.  

The rural farm section looks much better under the new lights.

I love this area since just adding basic scenery.

I was distracted when photographing the upper level.  My daughter had been playing with the vehicles on the layout.  It looks like something is up at the Wyza Sister's houses.  Moving trucks backed up to both of them.  Hope everything is ok.  Those two have been feuding for years!

Our company photographer, in complete disregard for safety, climbed atop one of the grain hoppers parked at Joliet Grain Co to snap this photo.

Even the narrow alley streets in front of American Can Company are nice and bright now.