Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 11.20.13

Today, management met with the CEO of the Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern Railroad Marcus Neubacher for lunch to discuss ideas for the Blue Flag (light) control as well as signaling.  We then toyed with the idea of a few acquisitions over at the local hobby.

This afternoon, I worked on the layout.  I cut and shaped the track for the remaining trackage at Ottawa Silica.  I had to change up the location for the equipment/dynamite receiving track.  I reviewed the articles on Ottawa Silica and found that I should try to move it back to where it originally was.  I didn't think it would fit originally, but it worked out.  So, now it's located up by the bagged sand loading which is more prototypical.

After dinner, I glued down the track finishing all of Ottawa Silica and Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF).  That's awesome news!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: TWC, ABS, Signaling and PQ Update

I've been thinking about signaling and details on the layout lately.  I've re-entered into conversations with Richard over at Custom Signal Systems.  He has been great to work with to discuss the various options.

Here's a drawing I came up with that will outline the desired signals on the layout.  I have listed the BLMA cantilever bridge kit, but have decided to go with TrainCat instead.

The RI Illinois Division was Track Warrant Control with Automatic Block Signaling (ABS).  Track warrants will be issued by the dispatcher and crews will adhere to block signals out on the road.  We're still discussing the details, but it appears the signals at the double crossover will be controlled via toggle switches.  A crew will line their route and hit the appropriate toggle switch to match the signaling.

Here are the basic signal rules that crews will need to follow:

Custom Signal Systems

In other news, the glue has dried at Philadelphia Quartz (PQ).  The track arrangement is pretty darn close to the real thing.  The left track will hold 10 sand hoppers plus one spot for chemical unloading at the end.  The middle track has a total of three spots (one spot covered inside a building) for chemical loading, and the right track has a total of 8 spots for tank car loading.  The middle track on the prototype has a dog leg as seen in the photo below.  There will be bushes and general overgrowth between the sand loading track on the left and the mainline.  Again, I'm very pleased with the gentle sloping ramps made out of cardboard strips down from the mainline ballast height.  

This evening, I worked on the tracks in the back of the Ottawa Silica plant.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 11.18.13

This morning, I installed the track between the crossover at Mill Street up through the turnout for Philadelphia Quartz (PQ).

After dinner, I cut and shaped the tracks for PQ.  Later this evening, I glued it all down.  It looks good and much like the prototype.  I'm absolutely thrilled so far with the ROCK rebuild.  Everything I have been studying is slowly starting to come together on the layout.  I'm very pleased!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The ROCK 3.0: Weekend Progress Report thru 11.17.13

Saturday, I went up to the local hobby shop that had a "fire" sale with 50% off all N scale locomotives as well as Micro Trains cars.  I picked up an Atlas P&LE GP7.  I have long had a love for the P&LE and it's paint scheme (probably because it has nice contrasting colors for my colorblind self).  Anywho, the ROCK obtained some NW2s from the P&LE.  In my world, we also acquired a couple one P&LE GP7s.

Here's the model....

Here's the prototype...

Saturday afternoon, I started work on building the ramps down from the mainline to the industrial spurs at Peru Power and Philadelphia Quartz.  On 1.0,  I just let gravity do the work transitioning between the two with the intent of filling in will ballast underneath.  This time, I'm taking my time to build gradual ramps down.  I'm really happy with the trackwork on this layout.  Everything is nice and smooth.

After dinner, I painted all the fascia board black.  It's looking good!

Great Northern hopper on the scale....weight is good.

Later in the evening, I cut and shaped the track on main one from the end of the layout up to the first crossover in LaSalle.

Sunday, I glued down the track for Main one, Peru Power and down to the crossover.  

Looking East toward Ottawa Yard (around the corner on the back wall)

My mobile cart for storing ground throw screws.

Westclox - Looking west to the end of the layout.