As mentioned before, I'm exploring temporary staging on the west end of my layout. Here is a concept drawing that I created. I believe this will work. I have already laid out some test pieces of track (over the existing track). It looks like it would flow good. Now, to develop the end cap to the layout for the staging cassette to couple to as well as build out the area in front of Peru Power and Westclox).
Ottawa Local "The Sand Job" Changes
In between sessions, I have been playing around with the scale track and demonstrating the crossing gates at Ottawa Avenue to visitors. Each time, I return the cut of cars to the loading track at Ottawa Silica and tie down my locomotives adjacent to the small office building on the south end of the plant.
This got me to thinking. Maybe the Ottawa "Sand job" should originate here vs. in the yard. The crew would start their day by pulling empties from the various locations (still minding the tracks that can't be worked until the blue flags are taken down), shove the pickups up into the yard and then bring back the cars to be delivered. This would add more action for the yardmaster throughout the day and ease the bottleneck of cars down between Ottawa Silica and LOF. This is also more prototypical to the operations described in the article provided by Steve Holzheimer a while back.
The two Ex-P&LE GP7s I owned have been traded for some other equipment. They have been removed from the roster. I love the P&LE, but enjoy having all RI power as well.
An Atlas GP38-2 in the blue and white paint scheme has been procured. It is the #4303 "State of Iowa". I owned two demon possessed Life-Like Proto 2000 GP38-2s in the past, but they never did run right and had multiple issues. I loved the locomotives though. I'm happy to finally own an Atlas version.
An Atlas GP40 #373 in the blue and white scheme has been ordered for delivery around Christmas this year. In the meantime, to have a set of similarly matched locomotives, I'm leasing a GP38-2 #4304 from a friend until my GP40 arrives.
The roster page of the blog has been updated to reflect these changes.
Track Department Update
A while back I had tore out some track at the east end of Ottawa Yard to add a crossover between tracks 4 and 5. I had some difficulties with the turnouts and have worked on them off and on. I received in some materials this week to hopefully remedy the situation and fill the void of track in this area. This will allow for the Ottawa Local to utilize two tracks for pickups/setoffs when arriving from South Ottawa.