Friday, August 20, 2010

Mainline Switches

This week, I completed the installation of the control switches and temporary model boards for all the mainline switches on the entire Cutoff.  Several machines still need to be installed, but these are all off the mainline tracks and also need to wait until the yard ladders are installed.

And, that brings us to the next point:  the yard. 
Here is the west end of the yard as I picture it on my master plan.  CP282 defines the actual yard limit, and provides for yard leads for switching without fouling the main line.  This is a crucial point for all you who are planning yards - as much as it seems like a waste of space, you really do need a yard lead that is just about as long as your longest storage track.  Otherwise, when switching, you will need to foul the main line with your yard move, and that will interrupt mainline ops on a continuous basis - no good. 

On my east end at CP280, for example, I don't have room for a full integrated yard lead - so I planned for a stub lead.  It's not as optimal as the west end's lead but it is much better than using the main line for each drill.  The mainline is the two tracks on the left, and the lead is the right-most track at the bottom of this diagram.  It continues for about 6 feet off this diagram, on a curve away from the mainline.  (Locomotive servicing is at the far bottom right.)

I laid a sample piece of track on the fibercloth to test the cloth's suitability as a subroadbed.  I will let you know how that works out.  Putting the yard down, or at least getting the ladders in place, will be the next step.  In about one month I will also make the big investment in a DCC system.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dog Days

While it's been a hot summer so far, now we've really reached the 'dog days' of the year when temps in the 90's don't even cause any news!  I just returned from an annual summer pilgrimage to Cresson, PA, along Norfolk Southern's Pittsburgh Line.  I know, I know, for an NYC fan and someone who is modeling the former NYC lines, it's ironic that I end up on PRR each summer like this, but then again, there's no place like the Station Inn.  Anyone who has been there will understand.

I now have all the Tortoise machines in hand, and have only a few more to install.  I will rig up the temporary model boards as well, before it will be time to either lay the yard tracks or order and install the DCC system. 

Major changes coming soon!