Saturday, February 7, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Need more input!!

I originally started this blog back in 2009 as a record of the layout building process.  This stems from a daily email I send out to my family and friends about daily goings on that I have been sending out since the 90s.  I figured it would be interesting to have the layout history online.  Anywho, over the years, I have been extremely fortunate to meet various people through the blog that share my similar interest.  Many of those contacts have turned out to be great sources of information as well as becoming good friends.  

Recently, I met Bruce from Illinois that is a former LaSalle Police Officer.  Bruce models the ROCK in HO scale in the same area (LaSalle west to Bureau and south down the Peoria Branch).  We have discussed back and forth the RI prototype and various ideas on modeling the ROCK.  Bruce has been a wealth of knowledge.

Today, Bruce notified me via email he came across the ultimate find, "Rock Island Lines 'The Rocket'" November/December 1968 issue outlining the ROCK's operations at Ottawa Silica and LOF.  Oh my goodness!  I'm anxiously awaiting a scanned copy of the article to learn more about the ROCK.  Information on the operations of the plants there have been quite elusive.  The last time, I obtained this type of information was from Steve Holzheimer when he gave me a copy of an article outlining CSX's operations at Ottawa Yard and then shortly later I found the three-part article in Rail Model Journal regarding modeling the plant (but not much information on operations).  That resulted in tearing down the layout and rebuilding the layout you know today.  I'm hoping nothing that drastic will happen this time as I'm really happy with the layout plan I have now, but ROCK management should be put on watch.  :-)  As Johnny 5 says, "NEED MORE INPUT!!!"

Thanks to all my fellow RI modelers and friends that read the blog!  

The ROCK 3.0: Hometown Pics + Scratchbuilding Progress

As I was sorting through photos taken while home in Illinois, I came across a few more that might be of interest to the blog readers.  Here are a few from the old Wabash mainline site (now town park and overlook for the Illinois River) in Meredosia, Illinois.

Overlooking the Illinois River as a tug pushes some empty barges down river.

The old Ex-Wabash Meredosia, Illinois Passenger Station

This evening, I continued working on the LOF sand storage silo structure.  I constructed the next section to the right of the unloading shed as well as started on the end building and head house.  

When testing the structure, I have noticed that I need a little more spacing between the through track and LOF unloading track.  This evening, I pulled up the track and re-positioned it over slightly (about 1/8th of an inch).  I thought I would have to add a piece of track at the end due to the slight shift, but that wasn't the case.  Now, I'm not scraping paint off box cars as they go by the unloading shed.

Photos to come at the end of the weekend.

Tomorrow, I will receive some inspiration operating at my friend Larry's Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad layout.  I've been marked up as the Maybrook Yardmaster for the day.  That will keep me on my toes for sure.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Slow Recovery

Sorry folks, but I was offline for a few days.  My wife's Grandpa Eulice (the one referenced in Franklin Farms a few posts back) passed away last week.  We made an emergency trip up to Illinois to attend the funeral and spend a little time with family.  It has been rough lately as this has been our fifth drive to Illinois in seven months.  I told my wife we need to hitch a trailer to the back of the van so at least we could make a little money with all these trips.

Sick Bay Reports:
While in Illinois, I managed to hurt my knee pretty bad.  I believe I tore my ACL.  I won't know for sure until I see the orthopedic doctor next week.  In the meantime, it hurts pretty bad and I'm limping around everywhere.  Not any fun!

Miscellaneous News
As always when traveling, our family likes to see something along the way.  This time, we stopped at the Ariston Restaurant (old Route 66 era) establishment.  Excellent food and service.  Across the street, we checked out the Litchfield, Illinois Route 66 Museum.  I enjoy reading and learning about industries from back in the day.  

Roller Derby Skate Company

Litchfield Creamery

Layout News
In regards to the layout, I piddled around in the room this evening.  I found a turnout with a broken point so I fixed that.  My mind has been everywhere else but on the layout so I wanted to reacquaint myself with my project list.  I left off working on the LOF plant.  I hope to continue work on that tomorrow evening.