Friday, February 15, 2013

Progress Report 02.15.13 - More Materials!

Early this morning, management ordered more fencing to complete the project around the Federal Paper Board plant.

Also, one of the biggest complaints from the last two sessions was related to couplers.  I have a bunch of Accumate and McHenry couplers that just don't do well.  Due to a recent influx of cash from eBay sales, I have ordered quite a few Micro Trains replacement trucks/couplers.  Hopefully, by the end of this project, nearly the entire rolling stock fleet will be equipped with Micro Trains couplers eliminating the poor coupling situations.

This evening I glued the ballast from West Joliet switch to the Federal Paper Board road crossing.  I then ballasted (and glued) the remainder of the main and siding up to JD Tower.

To recap the ballasting project, here's a summary of the work completed:

1) West Kelly Yard to East Kelly Yard Switch - Complete
2) East Kelly Yard Switch to Jarrett's Tunnel (2 1/2ft) -
3) Jarrett's Tunnel to East Rock Island - Complete
4) Farmer's Grain to West Bureau - Complete
5) West Bureau to Main Street (Bureau) (8ft) -
6) Peoria Branch (Washington Rd Crossing) to East Bureau Junction - Complete
7) East Bureau Junction to Utica - Complete
8) Utica to East Ottawa Bridge (30ft) -
9) East Ottawa Bridge to JD Tower (Joliet) - Complete
10) JD Tower to Burr Oak Yard (Chicago) (21ft) -

So, it appears I have 60 ft or so of main/siding to ballast.   We're getting there!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Progress Report 02.14.13 - Ballast Work in Joliet

This evening, I had a short window of time to work on the layout.  I managed to add a few more sections of fencing, but ran out.  I will need to purchase another set.

I ballasted from the Joliet west switch to the first road crossing (not glued yet).  I think it's looking nice.

Pics of the progress.

Progress Report 02.13.13 - Federal Paper Board Fencing

Work continued in Joliet this morning.  I vacuumed all the excess grass from last night's application.

A new chain link fence is being erected around the Federal Paper Board mill at Joliet.  The chain link fence will surround the entire property.

Photos of the progress today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Progress Report 02.12.13 - Scenery continues

This morning I vacuumed up the excess grass from the areas I worked on yesterday.  It's all looking good.

I then moved my focus to Joliet.  Joliet has seen very little in the form of scenery other than roads and sidewalks installed.  I filled in the area in the corner with styrofoam and plaster.  I then went and plastered all sections from the end of the peninsula down to JD Tower.

I'm envisioning the scene around the paper mill   I believe we need some fencing to keep the riff-raff off the property.  The rails are already painted in this area.  I hear from top brass that the ballast train is en route.

This evening, I applied grass to the plastered areas from this morning and Blue Island.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Progress Report 02.11.13 - New Farmland + Ballast Work

Last night, I glued down some new farmland in the corner at Bureau.  That reminds me, I need to come up with a name for this farm.  Hmm...

This morning, I worked on ballasting a short section of track on the mainline in front of Farmer's Grain in Bureau.  It was only about two feet long, but spread and glued.

This evening, I worked on the farm scene some more.  I painted and added grass for the base scenery.  While at it, I decided to add grass to Joliet, Rock Island, East Moline and West Kelly Yard.  I would say the layout is 90% covered with a base grass coat.  I went back and added some bushes and brush along the farmland in Bureau.

No photos tonight as there is literally grass everywhere!  I will snap some photos tomorrow to post.  Scenery has been fun.  It really changes the layout's appearance.


So, during lunch I read the article provided by Steve Holzheimer on the J-740 job (Ottawa Local).  The article pertains to operating modern day as it references CSX and the Iowa Interstate.  Still, a great article for reference to give me some insight into what it was like for the ROCK 30+ years ago.  If I ever had to move and chose to model a smaller section of railroad, this would be it.  Ottawa would make for an awesome 1-2 person job.  There are enough variables in the operating scheme to mix it up so that the job wouldn't become learned and boring.  This article provided many ideas if there was an Ottawa v2.0.

Now back to the present layout.  Due to the current benchwork confinements on the upper level, there is no way a major reconstruction could occur in Ottawa.  If I ever consider such a task, please commit me.

There were two things I would consider adding to Ottawa:

#1) a scale track for weighing the sand
#2) a RIP (Repair-in-Place) track for repairs of cars.

I definitely have room for the RIP tracks at the east end of the yard.  So, a few Code 55 turnouts and this could be completed pretty quick.  The flaw in the slaw is the C55 turnouts are pretty hard to come by these days due to the Chinese factory issues.  I just checked on eBay to see what might be available.  Two Code 55 #5 Turnouts are going for $40 including shipping with over a day left on the auction!  Ouch!

There is most likely room for a scale track, but I would have to ponder where to install it.  Again, this would require some turnouts unless I converted an existing yard track (probably track #4 furthest from the mainline) to be utilized for weighing.  I think the yard crew might get upset if I removed one of their storage tracks though.  Ottawa yard can get quite full at times.

When thinking about it later today, I would suppose the sand coming out of Belrose Silica would also need to be weighed even though it is only moving across the track to Philadelphia Quartz (for the most part).  If that was the case, the LaSalle local would have to gather up all the sand loads from Belrose Silica, take them to Ottawa to be weighed, and then deliver them to PQ as required (or where ever they might be going to).

So, I have a few things to ponder.