Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Window Sill Expansion Project

After discussing my actions tonight with my friend, Larry asked if I was on drugs.  LOL!  He was just picking, but after reading the following, you might think the same.  By the way, I did go to the doctor today regarding my knee (no drugs though).  It appears that I might have a torn medial meniscus, but waiting confirmation from the MRI (waiting on that to be scheduled).  If so, I may require outpatient surgery.  We'll see how it goes though.  No timeline on when all this would go down, but I would hope after the op session on the 28th.

Anywho....on with the madness....

Well, after conferring with numerous friends, it has been decided to proceed with the Window Sill Expansion Project.  In N scale, a few inches can provide a lot of growth for the layout.

I tested the track alignment again and felt confident that this would work.

Before I knew it....BAM!  The bagged sand loading tracks were erased from existence.  Then the BN crossing....gone.....wiped from the face of the earth.  A moment of clarity came over me.  How much time do I have before my op session?  Oh yeah, 18 days.  Crap!!  Well, I'm committed now.

I managed to get some masonite cut (that I was using for backdrop on v1.0).  That will be my window sill extension.  It will be screwed to the top of the layout and go right up short of the glass.  I will still be able to open the window if needed, but most likely won't need to.  There is a second window in the room that I open on occasion if the weather is nice.  The height of the masonite is perfect for the track to come off the mainline (on top of cork), lie flat on the luan and then return to cork on the other side where staging will be.

Only one track will make the turn to staging.  The other track will disappear in the distance.  I will conceal the curve as much as possible.  Once the train makes the curve, it will cross over a switch (controlled by a tortoise) that will line the track for East Staging Tracks 1 or 2.  I will gain 71" of storage on each track.  I figure about 18-19 cars plus a couple of locomotives.  That's huge!  Well worth the destruction caused by this project.

Here are some photos of the carnage:

Looking north from South Ottawa.  The mainline crosses west to east (left to right).  
Ottawa Bagged Sand loading tracks are the pair on the right.  The other small spur was for the dynamite car.  I never spotted anything there.

Looking east on the mainline.  The tracks to the right are the South Ottawa lead and Ottawa Yard lead track.

Bagged sand loading tracks....gone!

BN crossing - now you see it....

...now you don't.

I used 5mm luan at first, but it ended up being too thick.  I had to use the masonite type stuff I had for the backdrop from version 1.0.

This gives you an idea of the new track alignment.

I can easily fit two tracks behind the Ottawa Silica main milling tower.

This switch went to a small track that loaded sand into gondolas.  I removed the switch and was just going to have a track go straight into the building.  I later decided to keep the switch there, but move it slightly so I can run a storage track behind the plant.  It appears I can squeeze the two staging tracks and a storage track behind the plant with no issues.  When operating this local, you need a place you can shove some cars just so you have room to work.  In the past, crews including myself used the track behind the plant.  Since that has been removed, I needed to create some wiggle room for the crews to operate in.

A view of the madness from above the Ottawa Silica milling building.

A view of the new track alignment for the bagged sand loading tracks.  I will still be able to spot ten 40' box cars here with no problem.

A view on the new alignment with the track running behind the milling building.

Another view of the same.

Revised Train Line-Up:
There will be a change in the train line-up on the layout.

07:00 AM - OTSW - Ottawa Switcher "Sand Job" - No change
08:00 AM - UTSW - Utica Switcher "Chemical Job" - No change
08:48 AM - #12 Peoria Rocket (Eastbound) - No change

09:30 AM - #113 Joliet to Bureau Turn - This train will depart East Staging, travel to Ottawa to work the yard dropping off any local cars and picking up any traffic bound for Peoria or points west).  The train will travel to the LaSalle staging (which also serves as my Bureau staging).  It will drop any traffic for Bureau and points west.  It will pick up any Ottawa local cars as well as Chicago traffic and return east working Ottawa a second time.

11:30 AM - Soo Local - Dubuque to Ottawa Turn - No change

Varies - Ottawa to Montreal, Canada - Unit Sand Train - Operates as needed.

BN Local - Annulled

In summary:
I have set a lofty goal for myself now.  I will be busy over the next two weeks bringing all this together for my op session.  It's go time!

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