Sunday, 15 February 2015

Winter Layout Work Update Part 2

I think I promised this a long time ago, but I finally found some time to photograph and write about some more of the progress made on the layout in the last couple of weeks. Without further delay, onto the photos!

My brother Mark made quick work of installing rails in the Stelco rolling mill. As-designed, Walthers intended for cars to roll into the building on channels cast into the floor of the mill, not on actual rails. This meant that it was not possible to operate a locomotive in the building, as there was no way to supply power, nor actual rails to be powered. Mark carved channels into the floor large enough to lay some code 83 rail inside, secured by CA glue. At the moment, the end panels of the building are not installed, but will be once work on the interior is completed. Elsewhere, gaps in the ties are being filled with spare ties in preparation for painting and ballasting to be completed soon.

With the rails installed in the building, we can finally spot cars for loading inside!
CN 7203 lifts a pair of loads from the coil yard.
Additional work on the switches has been completed, exchanging the existing throw-bars with copper-foil covered ties (to isolate each half electrically). With the shop tracks to the shop building now installed, the only remaining track to be laid on the layout is the two tracks to the turntable and the four tracks to the roundhouse/RIP track. I’ll post a future update about the shop building and roundhouse, but for now I should mention that they will be essentially side-by-side, with the intent to separate steam and diesel servicing operations. The roundhouse is a modified three-stall Atlas kit that Mark extensively reworked to make the track angular separation suitable use with our turntable (larger than the Atlas version); the Atlas roundhouse is set up for 15° track spacing, whereas our turntable requires spacing of about 10°. The diesel shop is a scratchbuilt representation of the CN shop at Stuart street yard in Hamilton, Ontario, though I made my version longer than the prototype in order to fit an SD9043MAC inside.

Mark made a panel to hold electrical switches to isolate the shop tracks from the rest of the layout. The three installed are for the diesel shop tracks, and the other two are for the lead tracks to the turntable (and roundhouse). 

Mark has also done some more electrical work on the layout. Some more feeders have helped improve operational reliability and the shop tracks have been isolated such that power can be stored on the layout without consuming power.

The newly-installed shop tracks with some of my modern-era CN power laying over between jobs. Zebra-stripes galore!

 I hope to have another layout update in the next week or so, stay tuned!



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