Friday, April 12, 2013

Progress Report 04.12.13 - New Locomotives plus Weight Project

The second half of this week was a wild one.  I haven't been able to work on the layout for a few days. This evening, I managed to get decoders installed in the newly received Kato SD40-2s (undec for now).  Those Kato SD40-2s run like a dream!

I continued adding weight in cars from Joliet through Blue Island.  I have just the cars in Chicago to complete now.

I also matched up the car cards and waybills for the newly received Atlas 3,560 CuFt Covered Hoppers which will be transporting dolomite and soda ash to the LOF plant (for glass making).

Tomorrow, the ROCK will have some guests visit.  Let's hope everything runs well for the visitors.  One will be a boy about 6 or 7.  Hopefully he will take an interest.  I will make sure he has a chance to run a train across the layout.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Progress Report 04.10.13 - Motive Power Changes

Tuesday night, I continued working on the car weight project.  I have processed all the cars from West Kelly Yard up to Joliet now.  I don't have too many more to complete.

Motive Power Shorts
Two SD35s and two U25Bs that were stripped and ready for the paint shop are being sold on eBay.  The ROCK's CEO negotiated a deal today selling four Rock Island Kato RS2s to Larry.  These units were originally painted as Peconic units, stripped and painted into RI early on in the layout's history (when I was modeling the late 60s), and now are returning to the original owner being stripped and painted for New Haven and Lehigh and Hudson River.  An Erie Lackawanna GP35 and GP7 (shell only) are also under current negotiations.  We're moving some motive power around today.

With all that being said, the ROCK purchased two more Kato SD40-2s for road power.  I updated the roster page on the blog.  

Here's a summary of typical power sets:

Road Power
  1. SD40-2 / SD40-2
  2. SD40-2 / SD40-2
  3. SD40-2 / SD40-2
  4. GP40 / GP40 / GP40
  5. GP40 / GP40 / GP38-2
  6. U25B / U25B
  7. RS2 / RS2 / RS2 (used for Peoria transfer freight)
Local / Yard Power
  1. GP7 / GP7
  2. GP7 / GP7
  3. GP18
  4. GP18 / GP18
  5. RS2
  6. SW1500 / SW1500

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy 3rd N Scale Anniversary!

Today, is my 3rd year anniversary of N scale.  It started with an email to my friends Marcus and Larry on Saturday, April 3rd before heading out to run some errands with the family.

Good morning boys...

Well, A.T. (my alternate persona) may need to check into the (Shady Rest) sanitarium on Larry's layout.  Please toot the horn when you pass as I will be the crazy on the bench.  I have been thinking about it more and more lately, but I'm actually considering a mass exodus from HO scale.  You read right....a conversion to N scale.  Not only have I gone certifiably crazy, I'm even considering changing eras.  After operating at Seth's and Larry's (and the P&W), I have gained a strong affection for railroads of yesteryear.  I really enjoyed the ops on the Peconic.  I think I would model the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific.  

I have been doing a little field research off and on.  I found that there is a plentiful selection of Rock Island locomotives and cars.  If I would do such a crazy thing, I think I would model the 60s/70s era.  U30Cs, GP7s, U25Bs, RS1s, RS3s.  Some would have to be purchased on eBay, but I'm sure they could be found over time.  Probably cheaper too.  

Now, what do you think is the feasibility of a double deck layout in a similar space as the existing HO layout?

Hmm...  I researched books yesterday.  I might need to place and order.  I need to read up the Rock Island.

This is far from official, but just throwing some ideas around.

A.T. (certifiable).  
No, this is not a late April 1st post either.

I was greeted with "open arms" to N scale by Larry and Marcus.  They fielded an onslaught of questions to get me started.  Seven days later, the first equipment was purchased (two Athearn weathered box cars from the Little Choo Choo Shop).  That afternoon, Marcus donated a Rock Island 3-Bay covered hopper to the layout.  It was the first ROCK equipment.

In three years time, I have come along ways with that crazy notion of converting to N scale.  Who would have ever thought?  As Larry said the other day "I guess the Shady Rest Sanitarium had one success story."  LOL!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Progress Report 04.08.13 - Are you putting a little weight on?

Well, yesterday and today, I worked on adding 1/4oz weights to freight cars.  I'm also adding bird shot to the inside of tank cars.  All freight cars will be heavier by next session.  Many will be over National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) standards, but I'd rather be a little over than too light.  The cars track extremely well when weighted heavy.  I'm happy to report that all of the cars in Moline and East Moline (including Kelly Yard at Silvis) have completed the transformation.

This evening, I had the pleasure of working side by side with my daughters.  They wanted to assist with the project.  I would separate the cars and they would add the weight.  They also took turns powering the switcher locomotives moving cuts of cars back from the foreground track to the yard track.  We knocked out a bunch of cars working as a team.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Libbey-Owens Ford: Glass Making Video

Pilkington, who now operates the Libbey-Owens-Ford plant in Ottawa produced a video on float glass making which is done in Ottawa.  Check it out to learn more about what LOF does.

In other news, train #23 Chicago to Houston has been annulled for the next session.  There wasn't enough traffic.  The few cars that are destined for Houston have been added to the Council Bluffs train that will set off in Silvis.

The Peoria Rocket returns next session!  Passengers rejoice as the train has been annulled for some time now.