Saturday, February 8, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 02.08.14

Late last night, I worked on and completed repairing twenty more cars.  I completed staging the layout minus the cars still waiting to be repaired.

I noticed last night that two more turnouts have broken point.  Uggh...  I love how these turnouts perform (when they don't have broken points), but this stinks!  I haven't had any issues with any that I have repaired though.

I need to order some more Micro Trains replacement trucks.  I miscalculated the other day.  My bad.

Today, no real progress.  I tend to get more done during the week or late at night.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 02.07.14

This morning, I continued to work on staging the layout for the first op session as well as repaired about five more cars.

Box cars are loading up clocks to be shipped to distributors like JC Penneys, Sears, etc.

Hoppers are being filled with sand on the left at Belrose Silica and emptied on the right at PQ.

Sand hoppers are starting to be loaded at Ottawa Silica.

Some loads are destined for Libbey-Owens-Ford while others are headed to the Erie Lackawanna to the Corning Elmira, New York plant.

The first op session date has been set for Saturday, March 29th!  Now, time to get the railroad ready to run!

At lunch today, I stripped four more Athearn airslide hoppers of their logo to replace with the larger billboard logo.  One, I only partially stripped and will weather this one up with more rust.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 02.06.14

This evening, I started placing cars at industries for the first op session.  I also repaired about 15 cars tonight, placing those on the layout as well.  It's exciting to see physical equipment at the industries I have created.  I have looked at all this on paper for so long, it's neat to see it come to fruition.

Speaking of donuts, I nearly have the date nailed down for the first op session.  It looks like we might be operating by the end of March!  I'm very excited about this!  The ROCK is back!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 02.04.14

Last night, I tested ("played") most of the evening moving trains around on the layout.  I identified three spots that need to fixed with the track work or ground throws.  I fixed one of them last night.

Late last night, I started pulling rolling stock from the storage boxes.  I inspected each car and classified them by requiring new trucks/couplers, requiring weight added, requiring general repair, etc.  Any cars that were good, went on to the layout.

This morning, I continued that effort.  I'm also working on getting paperwork ready as well as a list of where all the cars need to be spotted for the initial op session.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 02.02.14

I'm happy to report both trials that tested yesterday were a success.  The LED lighting seems that it will work well being located 32" from the wall (or basically over the operators head).  The test skirting panel has been completed by my wife Carrie and looks great.  It hides all the storage underneath the layout, but can be easily removed as the panel is attached via a velcro strip attached to the bottom of the 1x4 benchwork (behind the fascia).

A special thanks to my wife Carrie for working on the layout skirting.  I think it looks great!

With the layout mostly empty, but trackwork complete, here is a photo collection showing the layout as you walk in the room from left to right, end to end.

So, as you enter the room, the layout wraps around three of the walls of the room in a lower case "n" shape.  Here is LaSalle, IL.  The spur in the foreground is for Peru Power.

Still in LaSalle at the Westclox Plant.

LaSalle and Utica run together as far as towns go, but on the layout they are very close.  The crossover for Utica is right beyond Westclox.

Mill Street road crossing in Utica.  The road crosses the mainline then goes up a hill.  You can barely see houses buried in the trees up on the hill.  There wasn't an entrance to the Westclox plant as it wasn't that close.  That's my modeling license there.

Continuing East in Utica, you see the tracks for Belrose Silica on the left and Philadelphia Quartz on the right.  Belrose Silica's tracks go back quite a ways into the woods.  I had originally planned on two tracks here, but with the #6 turnouts I'm using, it wouldn't have left for much storage on the second track.  I decided to just use a single track and extend it back in the woods for overflow.  Sand is moved from Belrose Silica across the tracks to Philadelphia Quartz.  Crazy?  Yes, but this is how the Rock did it.  

Philadelphia Quartz on the right has three tracks.  The left track is for sand unloading and chemical unloading at the very end.  The middle track is for loading of dry chemicals.  The right track is for loading of liquid chemicals.  The track arrangement is pretty true to the prototype.  

You will also see the other half of the crossover at Utica here.

Continuing east around the curve, we enter Ottawa Yard.  I pulled out the old bridge I had over Ottawa Yard.  This was not in the prototype, but I thought it might work well as a scenery block between Ottawa and Utica.  

Looking east across Ottawa Yard.  It consists of five tracks plus one run around track.  The scale track is located on the run around track.  There are three other tracks as well.  One for the locomotive facility, one for the RIP (Repair in Place) track and one for a caboose track.

Another view of the yard looking east from the aisle.

As you can see a few cars are already arriving in the yard.

An overhead view of the yard as it crosses over the creek.  This is prototypical and a neat feature that you don't see on many layouts.  I really liked it and wanted to capture this on the layout. 

The scale track at Ottawa yard.  I had this extra office building and might use it for now.  Eventually, I would like to re-create all the structures in the yard by scratchbuilding them.  I need to add ties under the rails.

Ottawa yard, looking back to the west.  You can see some of the structures from Franklin Farms on the right.  I will also line that side of the mainline with Power lines.

Looking back west from the mainline view.  There is a slight curve in the mainline to keep things interesting.  My friend Larry taught me early on to try to avoid having tracks parallel with the edge of the benchwork.  I totally agree and have tried to do that with v1.0 and v3.0.

Looking east at East Ottawa Yard.  Left to right, we have Main 2, Main 1, A/D Track, yard lead.  Up past the signal is the CB&Q crossing.

The CB&Q tracks crossing the RI mainline.

Another view of the same, but pulled back.  You see the box car loading tracks at Ottawa Silica for bagged sand on the right.

Looking south from the same point as the last photo you see the four loading tracks for sand on the right, scale house next on the left, and two tracks that lead to the bagged sanding loading tracks on the far left.

Looking south a little further down above the sand loading tracks at Ottawa Silica.

Turned back looking north, you can view the sand loading tracks on the left, run around track, mortar sand loading track (short stub on the right) and through track behind the plant to the bag sand loading tracks at the north end of the plant.

Another view a little further south looking north across the entire Ottawa Silica plant.

Ottawa Avenue crosses the tracks between Ottawa Silica and Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF).

Looking south from Ottawa Avenue at LOF.  There is the sand unloading track on the left, through track, then dry chemical receiving and flat glass box car loading tracks.

Another view of the same, but closer shot of the plant.

Another view of LOF showing the dry chemical and flat glass loading tracks on the right.

Here is the only wall in the room without any layout attached.  The new shelf from IKEA is nice as the front doors swings down providing a nice writing area and tons of storage for more delicate items, like projects, locomotives, etc. 

A view back of the room from the TV wall.  The desk is pretty messy as we have been moving stuff around installing the test skirting panel.  Four people can sit around the desk at a time to work on projects, hang out, etc.  Ottawa Yard is on the wall behind the desk.

Ottawa Silica and LOF are located on the right wall with the windows.

An overall view of the room.

I hope you enjoyed the photos of the layout.  Maybe it will make more sense the overall plan now.  I'm looking forward to testing this week.  I will also acquire the remaining fabric panels to complete the layout skirting.