That said, a lesson I learned early in my model railroading is that it’s important to try and get your hands on the model railroad each day that you’re home. Even if it’s just a few minutes between errands or chores, you might have time to adjust a car, or sand one spackle patch of backdrop, or weather one side of a locomotive. Each item brings you closer to your goal, and each item done with care is something you can put behind you as you move forward.
An example is a recent addition to the roster - C40-8 6039, a locomotive I bought about 5 years ago, and one that I just detailed, weathered, and equipped with a DCC decoder recently. I finished this project in 15- to 20-minute blocks of time over several weeks. Now it's done! Here's the big GE awaiting service at Onondaga Diesel:
Conrail 6039 at Onondaga Diesel
I am working with several friends to develop an implementation plan for the new signal system, which will allow the railroad to stay functional during that time. It takes a lot of extra thought now, but this way I hope to make less work later. Coordinating the design of the system and the signals themselves, too, is time-consuming, but it is something that is vastly improved by access to the internet and email. This sort of system would simply not be as feasible without those tools.
Thanks to several recent operating sessions, a new need has become clear - the ability to move locomotive consists from one end of staging to the other, without going through staging. The solution is an 'Island Track' reversing wye, located between the two entrances to staging. Here's an image of CP294 with several noteable changes.
Second, you can see the new island track going in in the distance. At the far end of the crossovers, you can see new roadbed and benchwork that stretches back into the distance; this will be the west leg of the wye, with the east leg visible behind the risers. All of this to make operations more efficient - and fun.
Speaking of which, I am working to do an operating session shortly, with more to come before springtime really sets in and brings outdoor work back to the daily schedule. And, well- there’s always plenty to keep me busy on the OC. I don’t remember the last time I was bored!