Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: All Done!

Late last night, I completed cleaning the track and staging the remaining trains.

Today, I finished preparing all the final paperwork.  For those curious, here are the final capacities noted for all the new sections:

  • Bureau Junction
    • Silvis Storage - 12 cars
    • Peoria Storage - 9-10 cars
  • Peoria
    • Rock Island Yard - 18 cars
    • Toledo, Peoria & Western - 16 cars
    • Chicago, Burlington & Quincy - 7 cars
    • Peoria & Pekin Union - 17 cars
I was amazed at the storage capacity.  This rendition of the Peoria dream seems to be coming together nicely!

Tonight, I finished cleaning the room, prepared the fast clock to operate on Saturday.  I can't believe it!  Sixteen days before the operating session, I decided to implement a major expansion project which involved some major rework on the existing trackwork too.  It was crazy to start such a project nearly two weeks before an op session, but I had hope.  Plus, I had one operator believe it could be done.  Not only did we get finished, but finished three days early!  Wow!  That's impressive.  I can't say I would want to do that again though.  It was a lot of hard work.  Knowing me though, this won't be the last time.

It has been stated before by operators "What is here today, will be gone tomorrow."  The ROCK is always in an ever changing state.  :-) 

I was concerned I wouldn't have a full crew this op session but received notification on the last operator today.  So, hopefully (for this session at least) I can railfan more than operate.  I'm so looking forward to it!

This evening, I re-visited the air brushing.  I gave up on my Chinese made Flung Dung Ho Air Brush and purchased a Badger 200.  Many thanks to my friend Larry for tips along the way regarding painting, cleaning and operation.  It was most appreciated.  I was able to successfully paint the yellow on the ends of the GP18 as desired.  Tomorrow, I will work on putting it back together and then will photograph.  I wasn't able to remove the stripes using decal remover.  I tried, but it just wasn't happening.  So, I went ahead and painted with them in place.  I can see the stripes faintly, but that's fine.  Overall, I'm pleased with my first attempt at air brushing.  I look forward to experimenting more in the future.

Goals Update
So, this is what I completed within 13 days.
  • Tear down old TV cabinet off wall
  • Construct new Peoria Section and Lift Out piece
  • Install new turnout for Peoria Storage Track off Main 1 at Peru
  • Add ground throws and repair others at East Bureau Junction
  • Add ground throws between West Ottawa and Belrose Silica.
  • Re-work track at LaSalle for Bureau Junction
  • Run new bus wire and attach to new portion of the layout.
  • Lay Track in Peoria
  • Install all ground throws for all turnouts in Peoria.
  • Wire up new track in Peoria.
  • Install Auto Reverser on Wye.
  • Construct sand track trestles.
  • Glue down new Crossover at East Ottawa Yard.
  • Install slide switches at East Ottawa Yard crossover.
  • Drop feeders on new tracks added to original layout, test.
  • Repair three broken turnout points on old turnouts.
  • Paint Fascia and add new labels
  • Install NCE UTP Panel at Peoria
  • Install NCE UTP Panel at West Bureau Junction
  • Add new crossover at East Utica.
  • Add new crossover to access Utica Storage Track.
  • Stage Layout
  • Clean Track (in progress)
  • Clean, Test run Locomotives
  • Prepare paperwork
  • Clean Layout Room
  • Prepare Fast Clock for op session
  • Photograph and Video updates
  • Prepare paperwork for operating session.


  1. Sixteen days, time enough to start a couple more projects !

    As always, impressed with your work and how fast you get it done. Looking forward to seeing how your next ops session goes.

    1. Thanks Brad! I was chatting with my friend last night. He said you're done with three days left? That's plenty of time to start another project? :-)

  2. Congratulations Steven. I'm impressed by what you've achieved in that time - AND made time to blog it so extensively as well. I'll also be watching for your report on the session.


    1. Thanks Ron! I will try to post plenty of pics.

  3. Congrats Steven on your accomplishment !!

  4. Nothing like a deadline to get things moving. Well done.

    1. Thanks Rod! I'm still working on a few side projects. :-)