Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Staging Yards

As I prepped for the first "Test 'n Tune" Ops session, I found that I was way short on both power and cars. I had stocked up on engines over the last year, but had failed to put back any decoders. Buying decoders by the dozen isn't any fun at all.

Like I've told several people, you find out quickly about scale when you build a layout this large. I would buy paint a dozen cans at a time, white glue by the gallons and track by the 100 pc boxes at a time. Eyes would roll when I'd talk about needing another dozen engines after just having put decoders in 6 or 8.

I guess I've just grown accustomed to the scale of things required. Is that good... or bad ??

Spencer Yard, Linwood NC

I worked last week on the yard at Linwood. I've had the track roughed in for several months, waiting to make sure I had covered all the interchanges between the Receiving Yard, Forwarding Yard and Class tracks, Engine Shop, etc.

Finally, I just jumped in and started soldering and glueing track. I extended the forwarding yard about a foot. It handles 3 trains each 16 cars long. (That seems to be a decent size). There are 3 tracks going to the Car Shop, another 2 to the Engine Shop and a bypass around the Shop to the servicing facility.
There are 3 tracks in the receiving yard. In addition, there is the lead-in "behind the tower" to access the receiving yard southbound, and the "thoroughfare" which runs from Lee at the north entrance to Duke on the south.

There are 8 tracks on the class yard and a drill long enough to handle them. There is also a "working " hump. Well, maybe not working, but there is a
hump there and I was able to push a string up and decouple them one at a time and gravity roll down the class track. The cars roll about 2/3-3/4 down the track, but as they begin to stack closer to the hump, they hit pretty hard. If I could fix it so that I could vary the height of the hump, I could vary the amount of roll.

I Have Been Working... Really !!

I just haven't thought to post anything. Most of what I've been doing since June wasn't very photogenic and thus I didn't consider post worthy.

It took a couple of weeks to put down the final flooring. After that, I worked to finish all the lower fascia so I could be done with the wood construction and put away some of those tools. I also completed all the Loconet wiring and panels. I alternated a UP5 panel with a standard single jack every 8 feet.

I then turned my focus towards staging trains and working on paperwork, etc. for a preliminary Operations sessions. That has to be the hardest part of the whole layout. Thinking about what trains to send where so the could be returned without major problems was quite a chore. I think I am finally ready for the first session on Oct 12.