Friday, May 22, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Future Projects

Well, while milling over the prospect of expanding the layout, I really should get back to work on something.  The other day, I thought, I should dig out my Rock Island freight car book (Rock Island Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment) and see if I can make some new freight cars for the layout.  Surely, I can find something in there that I like that is already made, but just not in the RI paint scheme.  I had successfully redecaled a bunch of sand hoppers already.  Who is to say I can't create some more RI rolling stock that is either prototype or close enough for my taste.  I, by no means, am a rivet counter.

So, looking through the book, I came across these three cars.

Project 1 - ACF Pressureaide Covered Hopper
The first is the ACF 4-Bay 5,250 CuFt Pressureaide Covered Hopper.  These, of course, are manufactured by Atlas and are readily available on eBay.  I always liked these back in my day as a HO (Scale).  These would be easy to reproduce with the Microscale #60-19 Rock Island Freight Car - Assorted Block Lettering decals.  It's just like decalling a sand hopper, but bigger!

The ROCK had a total of 12 of these cars (RI 13988 through RI 13999).  I believe I will construct three of these cars for the layout.

Either one of these would be a good starting point.

Even this one with the patch would be an interesting twist.

Microscale 60-19 Freight Cars - Assorted Black Lettering Decals

Project 2 - Rock Island 53' Bulkhead Flat Car
The second project is a 53' Bulkhead Flat Car.  The ROCK assembled their own flat cars through 1958 from components supplied by others.  The series I will model will be the 91800-91811 numbers.  I will use the Athearn GSC Bulkhead Flat car as a starting point.  Again, I could use the same decal sheet #60-19 for the lettering on these cars as well.  I think I will construct three of these cars.

Project 3 - Rock Island Steel 52'6" Gondola
The third project I would like to try is a basic 52' Rock Island Gondola.  I already have some Trainworx Rock Island Gondolas that are similar, but have the speed lettering.  I would take a brown Trainworx gondola, remove the existing lettering and replace with the Rock Island block lettering.  By the way, I have always been a fan of the block lettering.  I have no idea why as it is so basic, but I  like it.

I figure I would just use a TrainWorx gon and remove the existing lettering and replace with the Rock Island block lettering (using the same Microscale 60-19 decals from above).  I think I will construct one or two of these cars.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Traffic Management Department Update

So, as a follow-up to my last post, I created a new tab on the spreadsheet to log all the cars to be picked up by tab color at each terminal point.  It will automatically calculate the total number of cars that would need to fit in the storage tracks at Bureau Junction, LaSalle and Chillicothe.  If I find that the storage track totals are too high, I will adjust the number of cars picked up until we are within the limits.

Bureau Junction has two storage tracks: Peoria lead (15 cars max) and Silvis lead (7 cars max).  Although LaSalle Yard will have two tracks, I need to keep one open for the UTSW.  So, I set the max storage at LaSalle to ten cars.  Chillicothe will have a max of 18 total.  The spreadsheet will be updated after the track is laid and actual measurements can be made.

I then re-ran my scenario to visually see (with limits in place) how traffic will flow across the layout.  I think it will work well.  I already want to run either one of the Turn Locals.  Both seem like they would be a lot of fun to operate.

Storage Track Calculator

Here is the layout at the beginning of the session.

Follow along with train #113 Joliet to Bureau Junction as it travels from East Staging Yard to Ottawa, LaSalle, Bureau Junction and returns.

Second in the line-up would be train #130 Peoria to Bureau Turn.  Here's how it would play out.

Enough scenarios already!  We need to get building!  Well, I have a plan now.  Next up, seeking approval from the CEO.