Monday, July 19, 2010

Advancing on Many Fronts

Operations-wise, I've built the switching area at Thomas, including a new industry switch for Kingsford Charcoal. Kingsford wasn't actually located in Thomas, but at Parsons a few miles down the hill. But it will add some interesting rolling stock to the subdivision, having used the WM's fleet of 60' cushion framed boxcars.

There's also a home for the old Meyersdale Farmer's coop from the previous track plan, plus a team track ramp, and of course, the big coal tipple. I've got two more switch throws to install, and some wiring drops to hang from the switchback, but otherwise this section is complete and ready for paint and scenery.

In the trackwork department, I extended the western frontier of the Connellsville line, which is the two-track line that comes in at the left and then arches over the staging yard. This will eventually extend across the front wall to a helix, and thence down to the west end staging. With that bit of benchwork constructed, I could add the most visual feature of the new work to date:
...the curved skyboard that will provide the backdrop for Cumberland's urban scene, and which conceals the helix on the Thomas Sub. Naturally, after weeks of running trains up and down the helix without a problem, as soon as I installed this, I had one train suffer a derailment, and another a random uncoupling, inside the corkscrew, of course. Hopefully I won't live to regret this design compromise...

I think in both cases the problem was related to a stalling locomotive, so I sent the MOW crew up and down a few times with the track cleaning car. Hopefully that will prevent, or at least minimize, future problems.

The Bridge Department has all the materials needed to finish the High Bridge east of Thomas, I just need to take some time to sit down and build the last 80' girder span, then fabricate some bridge feet.

Electrically, I installed my first accessory decoder to run a pair of turnouts on the Thomas Sub. This is a major breakthrough for me. The decoder was certainly cheap enough, and it's an absolute delight to stand on one side of the layout and throw a switch without having to dive to a control panel on the other side of the room. There will be more of these installed, I assure you!

Things on the peninsula are really shaping up, and I expect I'll be cutting some foam and sculpting out the landscape shortly.

1 comment:

  1. Lee:

    Work always inspires. The trestle image is incredible-add some Copeland's Applachian Spring music and you can almost feel the cool mountain air....