Thursday, March 6, 2014

Layout Plan Created/Updated

I drew out the layout plan on Visio and added to a new page marked Layout Plan on the blog so readers can reference when mentioning locations in progress updates.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 03.05.14

This evening, I added six or so cars to the layout that arrived from Nebraska.  All had various things upgraded on them: low-profile wheels, weight added, trucks replaced where required.  The layout is completely staged now.

I repaired seven turnouts with broken points.    They are all working (for now).

I dropped feeders for the Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF) flat glass loading tracks.  I forgot I glued these tracks down late due to adding the blue flags and failed to add feeders.  I realized this when testing the turnouts this evening.

I'm considering adding a highway crossing at the west end of Ottawa Yard.  There was a US Highway that crossed back in the day further down.  I believe it was gone by the late 60s though.  I don't know for sure.  I thought it would provide for a good scene block between the yard and Philadelphia Quartz (PQ) in Utica on the other side.

Here are photos of the region.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 03.04.14

A lot of progress on the layout tonight.

First, today is my dad's birthday.  Unfortunately, he passed away nearly 5 years ago.  I miss him a lot.  Back on the first layout, I constructed this grain elevator and named the industry Daniel Grain Co. after my dad Dan Johnson.  Now, the elevator resides on the Franklin Farms property (named after my wife's grandparents).  I plan on detailing this kit up to make it super nice.

I installed the sanding tower at the engine lead in Ottawa Yard.  

I installed the piping that transports the sand slurry from the sand pit up to the washing plant at Ottawa Silica.  I noticed this feature when doing my initial research.  I thought it would be neat to recreate it.  It is super easy to construct using utility flags from Home Depot.  Simply bend them into shape and stick on a square tube of styrene.  Use a little CA and BAM! Instant overhead piping!  

I installed the two locomotive tracks for on the CB&Q.  Their shop was in the NW quadrant of the CB&Q/RI interlocking.

I installed a total of 33 telephone poles tonight.  Overall, I believe there are 45 on the layout.  That's a lot!  They are simply drilled and sitting in place right now.  Eventually, they will be removed, spray painted and detailed.  Even though not painted, the telephone poles truly add to the realism of the layout.  I believe they make the yard look longer.  My friend Mike was a big supporter of the telephone poles.  I had used them off and on in the past, but not to this extent.  I was missing out all these years!  

The telephone poles are by Showcase Miniatures.  Excellent product!

Utica, IL - Looking East.

Utica, IL - The sand unloading track at Philadelphia Quartz (PQ).

Ottawa Yard, IL - Looking West.

Ottawa Ave - Ottawa, IL 

Ottawa, IL - Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF)

LaSalle, IL - Looking East in front of Westclox

LaSalle/Utica, IL - Looking East

Mill Street Crossing - Utica, IL

Utica, IL Station - Looking West.

Utica, IL - Between PQ and Belrose Silica - Looking West.

Overall, it was a productive evening on the layout.  I'm pleased.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: Progress Report 03.03.14

Yesterday, I installed the control panel for the blue flag LED lights at Libbey-Owens-Ford.  They work like a charm, although dimmer than I thought when seeing them in mid-day brightness in the room.  I had only been working with them at night.  If I deem them to be too dim, I'll swap out the resistors with a smaller OHM value.

I found myself shuffling cars around on the layout again last night.  I'm strongly considering running the layout once myself just to see all the moves and such.  Of course, this would provide for some good testing too.  :-)

This evening, I installed the second control panel to control the blue light LEDs at Ottawa Silica (bagged sand loading tracks).  Two down, one to go.

I mounted the signal controller for the Ottawa Avenue crossing under the benchwork.  It was just hanging down under the layout when testing originally.

I measured all the future structures at LOF, Ottawa Silica and PQ.  I cut and shaped some of the overhead piping that will run the silica slurry from the mine up to the wash plant.  I think the overhead piping will be neat!  For the pipe, I'm using utility flags that I picked up at Lowes.  They were cheap for a bundle.  I just tore off the flag and cut the metal pole to length and bent to shape.  I will use styrene square pieces for the support poles.  The piping ran over the tracks to the various buildings at Ottawa Silica.