Here are some photos of the rebuilt area.
The bagged sand tracks are now accessed from the main thoroughfare track just north of the scale track.
I really like this arrangement and feel it will work much better.
In front of the bagged sand loading tracks used to be a switch that continued on to the CB&Q crossing where the drill sits.
A view from the top of the loadout building looking north. You can see all the materials and such in place from the construction.
Today, I had the pleasure to operate at my friend Marcus Neubacher's Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern Railroad (Blog - http://ns-cre.blogspot.com/ and Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/crerailway/). I had a great time as always. In the morning, I worked with Jan managing the Lewisburg, WV yard. That job keeps you busy. During the afternoon, I was out on the road holding up everybody. I received payback from Marcus sorting out various blocks of "green", "white", and "orange" (although I saw yellow - so the jury is still out on that) loaded coal hoppers. At one point, I was working his Meadow Bluff yard and had coal hoppers everywhere. I'm sure it is how he feels when moving sand on my layout. All the cars look a like, but they are going to different places. I tend to operate slow as well. The slower the better as far as I'm concerned. I don't like to fly across the layout. I held up the railroad good today making my switch moves and then hauling my long unit coal train across the scale track at 7 mph. :-) Marcus' K&N Operations are the jewel in his crown. It is a layout within itself that is chock full of operational interest.
Smoke Stack Update
This evening after returning from a day of operating, I did manage to get a little progress done. I added ladders (Plastruct #90421 N Scale Ladders) to the smoke stack. I also cut out a platform out of styrene. I discussed with Allen using something with texture, but didn't want to invest that much time or money into another material. So, I just went with plain styrene. Now, I need to find some handrails from my stash that are thin enough to be bent around the walkway. I painted the entire smoke stack the same off-white concrete color I used for the concrete silos (Valspar Flat Rivera Dune Spray Paint). I think it has turned out pretty nice. I'm pleased with it.
Grant Trunk Update
So, about a week ago, I learned from blog reader Bruce in IL that the ROCK operated a unit sand train from Ottawa to Montreal, Canada via Blue Island and then interchanged to the GTW. He has no recollection of seeing Grand Trunk power operating on the ROCK, but it's my world....so I wanted to add it. I had performed an eBay search to find that there is a great lacking in GTW power. My friend Marcus suggested the Atlas GP9s with Torpedo Tubes that are out currently. I made it clear, I don't like Torpedo Tubes. I don't know why, I just don't like them. We had a good laugh about my adamant decision on NO TTs! Anywho, I was talking with Jan while working Lewisburg Yard on the CR&E and he just so happens to have an Atlas Grand Trunk Western GP40-2 available for sale. Now, we're talking! We worked out a deal for the GP40-2 and GT caboose. Since the RI required locomotives with cab signals, I figured I would have a RI leader with the GT in tow plus the GT caboose. If all goes well, this will be implemented at the next op session. I'm pretty excited. Thanks Jan!