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December 15, 2008

13 December 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, Hal, Andrew & Grant
11 December 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, Hal

Royal Gorge Route
Ran some Trains!

A lot of track feeders and switch motors still to be connected.

Poncha Junction
Experimentation at the wye and close inspection of #360, #460 and #492 revealed shorts to the locos' frames due to tight clearances. #360 had bolt heads from the drawbar striking the rail at points to cause a short. #460's trailing truck shorted and may need a plastic trailing truck wheel. #492 had shorts from the lead and trailing drivers to the frame, requiring a plastic insulator insert.

6 December 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, Hal & Grant
3 December 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, & Hal
29 November 2008    Crew: GaryM & Andrew
26 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, & Andrew
22 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, Barry & Michael
15 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, Barry, Michael, Grant, Kent, Tom, & DaveS
12 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, Barry & Michael
8 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, & Hal
5 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, & Hal
1 November 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, & Hal


The NG Yard has been installed, with only the scale tracks remaining to be completed in the ladder run-around. Currently, feeders and switch motors are in the process of being installed. Switch panels are being re-designed to better spread out the switch controls. The non-prototype Durango Press ashpit, leading to the 105' TT, had been rebuilt for a 3 rail pit. The removable SG ash bins have been rebuilt to fit NG rails. The Durango Press model uses a hoist/winch to lift out the bins. The prototype was a trench design like the NG pit, that ran between the two TTs. Since we didn't have the room for the prototype, it was decided ages ago to use the Durango Press kit.

West Salida
Ties have been laid and stained, now awaiting FastTrack switches.

Poncha Jct
Wye undergoing adjustments to remove track kinks and trouble spots.

Crested Butte
Track placement and engine pits being located for Crystal River Products' Engine Shed.

13 September 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry & Hal
10 September 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry, Hal, Kent & Tom
6 September 2008    Crew: Barry, Hal & GaryR
3 September 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry & Hal

Tom worked on the east NG yard ladder staining the ties on his turnouts.

West Salida
Barry rebuilt the roadbed and glued down the subroadbed to around the curve. See Construction Photos.

Poncha Jct
Gary & Barry glued down one leg of the wye and the tail. Gary also installed turnouts on the left and right ends of the yard. See Construction Photos.

Mear's Jct
Gary continued making progress on the 3 way stub switch, while splitting time in Poncha Jct. The storage track has been installed with two pieces of flextrack and fastdrying kitchen caulk. Two rails remain to be added to the stub switch (the two center rails), the stub throw switch needs to be relaid and augmented with another soldered tie. The center track tested very well with no bumps. The outside rails can be checked when the inner rails are added. A harp stand will be used on the throw bar which is hoped to actually work; however, it is planned to still operate this stub switch with a toggle (like every other turnout), as opposed to manually operating the harp stand.
Crested Butte
Hal laid out some of the town's buildings and extended the house track a few car lengths. The 2-Stall Engine Shed is still on order to Crystal River. A No. 4 RH switch will be added for the Engine shed. The outside yard track was cut to fit and needs to be caulked down.
The track for the coke ovens is being looked at to curve toward the mine, improving reach and following the prototype. See the Crested Butte Museum's HO layout for their modeling of Crested Butte.


Hal started adding the foam between the backdrop and roadbed to build a foundation for the ground.

30 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry & Hal
27 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry & Hal
23 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry & Hal
20 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry & Hal

Stained the ties for the west ladder of NG yard and mainline crossover. Completed the 2nd RH DG/DG No.6 turnout from Tom's FASTRACKS jig and now working on the third.

West Salida
It was decided to recut the roadbed into a single large piece, rather than splicing together several small pieces and patching together, which was creating problems with joints, risers, and keeping everything smooth and level.

Poncha Junction
Laid down and stained ties for FASTRACKS RH No. 6 and previously bought LITCO No. 6 switches on PJ right hand ladder. (Not sure what compass direction is where when facing PJ, but on the right as you face the track.) Left ladder using remaining available No. 6 Shinohara switches. Corkbed has been caulked down through the yard tracks and wye. Using the remaining Shinohara No. 3 wye.

Mears Junction
Caulked down 2 pieces of Shinohara flextrack for Mear's storage track. Removed the temporary Shinohara LH No. 6 from the narrow gauge mainline and branch to Monarch. INstalled, cut, and stained ties from flextrack to Otto girder bridge. Installed rails from the Otto girder bridge to the the 3-way stub to service the mainline, Monarch branch, and Mear's storage track, and installed the stock rails from the two outside tracks to the stub. Began building the two outside frogs.

Marked sites and foundations, and cork for Water Tank, Depot, Car Shed and installed car shed rails, Ice House and one of the Section Houses. None of the buildings have been installed, only located to allow for scenicking.

During the last monsoon (August 16th), it was discovered that we were getting some roof leaks through the roof above the refrigerator, coming where the light support bolts through the roof. We will do some roof repairs as weather permits, as was done in the past by placing tar over the NBWs on the roof. A couple years ago, we had a leak coming down the I-Beam next to the water cooler, which has not leaked since repairing.

2009 Narrow Gauge Convention
Talked with one of the organizers for next year's Narrow Gauge convention who is working on putting together a Denver tour, (the convention is in Colorado Springs), and may want to put the layout on the tour.

14 August 2008    Crew: GaryM & Hal
16 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Kent, Barry & Grant

Ties installed on west ladder of NG yard and mainline crossover.

West Salida
Construction continues on rebuilding the framing, roadbed and fascia.

Poncha Junction
Adjusted frame for bridge height and installed stone abuttment footings for Otto plate girder bridge. The Micro-Engineering bridge built by Hal is 50', the prototype (shown in "Trails Among the Columbines") is 54', close enough! This bridge crosses Poncha Creek, which is the same creek flowing through Mears. Cork was laid from the west ladder through the tangent.

7 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, GaryR, Barry, Kent & Hal
9 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Kent, Barry & Hal

West Salida
Kent & Hal continued rebuilding the roadbed for the additional siding and added new bracing to the framework.

GaryM laid out the Scale track and dug out a shallow pit. Also completed was the first RH DG/DG switch and first LH DG/NG switch for the NG yard (from Tom's jig).

GaryM & Barry installed the bridge roadbed structure.

Poncha Junction
Hal & Barry worked on the Poncha framing and roadbed. Barry relocated the switchback turnout motor, to allow for clearance under the track to the wye.

DCC Programming Track
GaryR started troubleshooting the Programming Track. Alex & GaryM were unable to program with it and get the DecoderPro S/W to 'talk' to it. GaryR suspected that it could have been possibly reprogrammed for a different function, not being able to find anything wrong. Under further investigation.

2 August 2008    Crew: GaryM, Kent & Hal
31 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, Kent & Hal

West Salida
Hal & Kent rebuilt the framing from the DCC cabinet around the bend to Poncha Jct. On Saturday, Gary, Hal & Kent looked at the possibility of adjusting the roadbed to make the West Salida track protoypical and greatly enhance the SG operations, which has been a major concern. It was decided to go ahead and adjust the track while it was accessible and while the curve around to Poncha Jct had not yet been installed. This involved Kent's method of cutting the roadbed and pivoting it slightly. Basically, the tangent near the Ark. R. bridge was increased approximately 2 inches to allow room for another switch to install the missing siding. Another switch along the tangent prior to the curve to Poncha will complete the siding. Originally, only a NG main and DG siding were installed, instead of a DG main with two DG sidings (later changed to SG). The current DG siding will now become the main, the previous NG main will be converted to a DG siding, and the new track will be DG added between the fascia and current roadbed. The old roadbed has been retained with only a small section spliced in and the entire structure rotated just slightly. Since this decision impacted whether any further work could continue to Poncha, it was decided to go ahead. It was also felt that making the tracks prototypical would be less objectional than "locking in" the previous trackage. It should not interfere with other changes proposed earlier for Tennessee Pass, which can be decided later.

The DG/SG switch to the SG ashpit has been spiked in place. Rails connecting Tom's mainline DG switch to the NG yard were installed. Rails connecting the top track of the yard (furthest from the aisle) are now being worked. GaryM has acquired Tom's FASTTRACK jig, to start building the rest of the "NG left" switches, after having completed all the DG switches with "NG right" for the current Salida track upgrade project.

Poncha Jct
A section of roadbed was made to hold the framing for the Otto plate girder Bridge (between Mears and Poncha).

Based on the limited consensus of e-mails received, we will move our alternate weekday work night from Thursdays to Wednesday evenings, to accommodate those of us who have found Thursday nights more challenging.

26 July 2008    Crew: Kent

West Salida
In West Salida, Hal had marked where the edge was to be moved back. Kent removed the fascia and the framing behind it. The PM4 is now just hanging in the wires, but since they are the big bus wires it is not going anywhere. Kent reoriented the hand laid switch in W. Salida to remove the kink that occurred right at the switch in the passing siding. Everything is now in its proper place and held with C clamps.

Kent made a large 24 inch radius template that is adjustable in length. It can cover about 1/4 of a circle up to about 60% of a circle. This allows the entire curve from W. Salida to Poncha to be laid in. With the repositioning of the switch in W. Salida, the curve from W. Salida to Poncha moved considerably. The curve is now about 3 inches farther from the helix and the end in Poncha is about 4 inches closer to the aisle. The extra 3 inch clearance at the helix will be needed if we ever double track the helix and the 4 inch move at Poncha allows lots of room for the wye and siding switches and makes the S curve very gentle.

See Layout Construction photos.

24 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM, Hal & Kent

West Salida
Kent stopped in and proposed to change the track coming out past the Salida Coal Co. by removing the curve there and altering the path of the curve into Poncha Jct, to bring the track further from the helix backdrop, which would also require some widening of the deck (at the end of the "aisle").

AlexM installed Aspen tree trunks prior to our dinner break. Later, Alex installed fall foilage with his assistant GaryM. This finished the Aspen adjacent to the load tracks, with some of the results posted here. The photography doesn't quite capture the correct colors.

GaryM removed some ties to place the ashpit DG/SG turnout for installing the remaining needed ties. Hal continued research on the Coaling Station and measured and checked the coal pit.

We took videos of Alex's Tunnel motor #5369 meeting Gary's Hvy Mtn #1527 at Parkdale, and Alex's big beefy (actually monster) N&W Class A 2-6-6-4.

22 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM

GaryM connected the final feeders to get the 1st Mainline open again.

Alex painted the rocks and surfaces around the wye and wye tail.

We spent some time operating our new F-units with some passenger cars and club gons. Alex also ran his new N&W 2-6-6-4 heading up a 37 car train. Alex got a pair IM F-7s at Mizells Estate sale for $60 each. GaryM got some more freight.

The Walthers HW cars could not 100% negotiate either Parkdale switch, and of course the upper helix. We didn't bother running those cars down to staging, already knowing you can't. Some issues with some turnouts & curves as usual. So repairs will be made as required. Work will be deferred on the Parkdale switches until work begins on the new Cleora extension. It might only require to have to smooth the curve on the east switch siding, though.

19 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM, Hal, Kent & AlexH

Breakfast & Swap Meet Day

Alex carved a foam rock wall boundary between Crested Butte and Monarch.

GaryM relaid a section of slightly curved rails between some switches.

17 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM,& Hal

Alex added sculptamold and foam in the wye based on photographs from "Trails Among the Columbine", adding the road that cuts through the wye. Because our wye is inverted from the original, this road will end up being the road that goes up behind the mine, which was actually the other road which ran alongside the wye. The actual road that ran through the real wye is very close to where Alex could put it.

GaryM worked on laying rail and connecting track feeders.

Hal began laying out cork for the track to the wye.

12 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM, Hal, & Barry
10 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM
5 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM, Hal, & Barry
3 July 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM

Poncha Jct
Barry and Hal have cut back the benchwork 'bulge', built in a removable deck to support a wye, and Hal has begun laying out a track arrangement, which includes the bridge at Otto. In order for the wye to fit, it is required to be integrated with the two PJ sidings, such that the sidings would be on the same side of the main, which is also the wye. Access to reach the empties tracks at Monarch is improved tremendously.

West Salida
Next is to cut the bulge back there to improve the reach to the Monarch loads tracks, and then all fascia replaced from there to around PJ.

Alex has the backdrop painted behind the load tracks, sceniced the area around the bridges, and is now working around the tail of the wye. The first few layers of water under the trestles have been poured, it looks fantastic.

GaryM built his 7th switch for Salida Wednesday. The latest one is a DG/SG RH for the track to the DG ashpit. Thursday, GaryM just about completed laying rail on the 1st Main and have been hooking up track feeders, with a short section to go, and a short section of new rails that need to be 'adjusted'. There is a slight 'wiggle' that needs correcting. Still waiting for Tom to build a DG/DG RH to complete the 2nd Main, which is the only track now to be installed for either 1st or 2nd main. Hal is going to build a coal grating for the coaling station so that track can go through there, and we can add the coaling station in the future. GaryM should be able to start working on the 105' TT again, if Tom can build more switches. GaryM should be able to start on the runaround crossover at the transfer yard soon, at least make one of the switches (Tom's jig is needed for the other half).

28 June 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM, Hal & Barry

Poncha Jct
A consensus need be reached as to the design of the wye Hal has prepared at Poncha Jct. Lack of attendees or responses is encumbering progress. Barry is changing the turnout motor mount to protrude less from under the switchback, to accommodate the wye. Hal is putting together the plan for the plate girder bridge that was at Otto, between Poncha Jct and Mear's.

Alex added some foam and sculptamold to landscape the area around and in the riverbed at the loading tracks, and started painting a base coat. Alex previously covered the riverbed bottom with a thin layer of hydrocal, so that water can be added.

GaryM began laying new rails on the 2nd Main, where the ex-No.4 NG crossover had been.

Mt. Shavano Hike
GaryR is heading down to Salida this week to hike Mt. Shavano.

21 June 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM

GaryM completed laying the rails between the new DG/SG switch and the SG rails on the 1st Main. Ties were laid on the 2nd Main between the main crossover and Tom's new DG ladder switch.

Alex spiked down the new DG switch to the 105' TT. Monarch
Alex sealed the riverbed through the trestles at the loading tracks and wye with a thin layer of hydrocal.

19 June 2008    Crew: GaryM, AlexM
14 June 2008    Crew: Hal, GaryM
12 June 2008    Crew: Brer Barry
07 June 2008    Crew: Hal, GaryM

Alex & GaryM continued laying rail and installing new switches on Main #1. One more switch for the Main #1 needs to be built, the DG/SG switch servicing the coaling track to the coal station to replace the temporary rails that had been placed there long ago.

Salida SG Ashpit
Alex is changing the SG ashpit at the 105' TTto handle DG rails, since the switch to the TT was made DG, and since the TT has 4 rails anyway, this will give NG locos 2 paths and access to both sides of the coaling station, so this will be much better. The change to the pit will be a third rail, slope to narrower pit and narrower ash bins, using the already built platform and jig crane. The switch to the ash track is planned to be RH DG/SG. The Ash Hand will be required to sweep the third rail of ash from SG locos dumping ash, so procedures and manuals are being updated, rewritten, and fishboned prior to Engineering Review Board which will authorize re-issue, to be followed by re-certification training of the Ash Hand. A broom has already been noted in inventory of the ash pit tool crib, so additional procurement of materials has not been approved.

Salida 105' TT
GaryM purchased new materials to rebuild the TT bridge, which had poor quality parts which are not usable. No further progress at this time.

GaryM laid in the new switch that transitions the DG to SG at Barrel, and is laying the rails past there, to reconnect the 1st Main through the previous crossover.

Poncha Jct.
Hal has been working on fitting a wye at PJ underneath the switchback to Monarch. He has made a temporary wye on Masonite to show a potential track modification, to show how it will work, which is sitting at PJ, awaiting formal discussion.

Alex is scenicking the riverbed through the trestles at the loading tracks and wye, which were required to be removed. The trestles can be reinstalled for running. Last week, cars were switched successfully through the load tracks and #455 was turned on the wye.

24 May 2008    Crew: GaryM, Barry

GaryM continued the DG rail on the NG yard lead. A NG transition was included to shift the NG from the north side of the track to the south. This wasn't originally planned, the ties were laid incorrectly assuming that the NG on the other rail at the crossover. It was deceided to use a transition rather than relay the ties which would also result with a smaller radius. The transition rails perform exceptionally well and should be acceptable.

The NG yard lead, now only requires completion of the last 2' of 3rd rail, which is on a curve to the DG/NG switch.

Barry continued investigation of the wye short and wiring to the tortoise.

22 May 2008    Crew: Gary, Barry, Andrew

GaryM completed the DG rail on the NG yard coach track, and began laying DG rails on the NG yard lead, which was formerly NG rails only. As noted previously, the NG rails & ties were removed for replacement with DG ties & rails to accommodate a DG crossover (instead of NG only) along the same track centerline.

Barry & Andrew fussed with the Monarch wye by investigating the Tortoise/PM42 hook-up of the staging deck wye. Barry theorized that the Tortoise should be able to change the polarity of the tail track without the reverser.

10 May 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, Steve, Joe, Andrew, Kent & Tom

2008 NMRA Summer Tour
Harry Lindsey of the South Suburuban Division puit together a great all-day tour, which we were lucky enough to be a part. Kent, Andrew, GaryM and Barry took time out for the day to enjoy the tours. Steve helped out at Don Meeker's by running trains.

We had quite a few visitors from the South Suburban RR Club - maybe 20-30. One person make a comment how much he liked the fascia design/color. We didn't plan any operations for the visit due to the on-going construction plus the fact only 30 minutes were allocated for the visit. The layout was reasonably cleaned-up, buildings were set in place and some available locos and rolling stock set out - kinda like a static display. Hal's 4 cardboard mockups for buildings in Gunnison (freight house, depot) and Crested Butte (depot and engine terminal) looked great.

Hal had fun with his NG locos. We doubleheaded two K-27s and pulled the new NG brass track cleaning car around the NG to Gunnison and Crested Butte. Two K-27s have just enough power to pull the car up the hill to Marshall Pass and beyond. Probably not enough pulling power for Monarch though - maybe we can triplehead?

Tom came out Saturday afternoon and laid the main line dual gauge switch leading into the narrow gauge yard. He finished laying a bunch of ties on the east bound main line, except for one short section, and laid in the the dual gauge switch at the ladder and the two ladder switches and all the ties on the east end of the narrow gauge yard.

Kent finished reinstalling the revised fascias at East Salida and Gunnison. He matched the paint perfectly - they look great. He just needs to reattach the Gunnison Yard Switch panel - its being held in place with clamps.

Poncha Junction
Barry installed a switch machine ti make the NG about 95% functional.

Crested Butte
Joe discovered a dead spot in the hidden track between Gunnison and Crested Butte - a rail joiner had "moved" and opened a gap between the rails - it's in a nasty place and access under the table is horrible.

Steve resolved some of the NG track problems previously identified by the "purple" stickies. He fixed a piece of dead track in Gunnison Yard - the track feeder had become unsoldered. He also repaired a "dip" in the curve at Tank 7. Steve recommended that all "purple" stickies be annotated with a simple description of the problem plus what loco/rolling stock was involved, etc.

There is an intermittent electrical problem on the rails between Parlin and the first Gunnison WYE switch. It's the short segment of track (about 18") along the backdrop where the Marshall Pass PM4 block ends and the Gunnison block begins. It may need a feeder, more troubleshooting required.

The WYE needs more troubleshooting. Last week Steve discovered that when a loco on the right leg of the WYE "touches the tail of the WYE, it shorts (operations on the left leg are OK). Barry measured the tracks with a multi-meter, but it looks OK. This is probably the biggest problem left to resolve on the NG.

3 May 2008    Crew: Joe, Hal, Steve, Joe, & Kent

Steve finished laying the last track segment to the summit/mine area. Steve ran his K-36 plus 7 gons and caboose up/down the new trackage across the bridges up to the summit. Joe's Blackstone K-27 slips intermittently going upgrade to the summit pulling the same load, so maybe 6 cars will be a limitation for K-27s on the summit.

It appears the right leg of the Monarch WYE is wired backwards because it shorts when the loco or tender touches the WYE tail track. The left leg behaves correctly. I think Barry knows how it is wired. Fixing that on Thursday would be very beneficial.

NG Track
The majority of the NG trackage is now complete with the exception of the Salida Yard. With a few small exceptions, all portions of Crested Butte, Gunnison, Marshal Pass and Monarch are ready for loco/rolling stock check out.

Kent finished installing both the new East Salida facia and the Gunnison facia. He filled-in the screw holes and "taped" all the joints - ready for plastering. Kent will attach the Gunnison switch sometime this week.

26 April 2008    Crew: Joe, Hal, Steve, Joe, & Kent

The Branch is "conditionally" operable - the track has been laid and you can run trains all the way to the mine area.

The revised East Salida facia installation was completed Monday.

Designs for the Freight House and Depot (including cardboard mockups) are in-progress.

Crested Butte
The depot design is in-progress.


  • Besides continuing to work on the existing tasks, we need a lot of help cleaning up the clubhouse leading up to the May 10th Open House - the clubhouse is messy due to all the construction which is still ongoing.
  • Bring some engines and cars Saturday - we should be able to clean the tracks and run some short trains from Poncha Junction to Monarch, Gunnison and Crested Butte as test of our recent work - expect to find some small glitches.

    23 April 2008    

    Joe glued-in both of the Monarch switchback extensions and soldered multiple track feeders. The trackage is complete except the section from Poncha Junction to the "big curve" trestle which Steve could complete in a few hours. The PM42s for the Monarch Branch, Monarch Summit and Monarch WYE are free of "shorts" as are the Parlin, Gunnison Yard and Crested Butte PM42s. Bottomline: the NG mainline west of Salida is almost 100% operational. There is some cleanup still required - the Monarch Summit switches are not fully operational or just plain flakey.

    Mar 8, 2007    Crew: GaryM, Joe, Grant, Barry & Kent


  • Barry connected switchmasters to Switches #17 & #18, and repaired a problem for crossover #3 (a wire got pulled loose).
  • Gary got there late from the swap meet but added some more rails to the 65' TT roundhouse tracks. Fluff work, but Barry & Gary both working the same location.

    Crested Butte

  • Added a jumper to the Crested Butte yard stub (no more dead section of track)
  • Grant tested the Crested Butte trackage for 2 1/2 hours using combinations of single and doubleheaded K-27s plus Gary's new box car, 2 stock cars and a caboose. Grant was able to operate from Jack's Cabin curve all the way to the Crested Butte Depot Yard stub to include multiple operations thru the WYE to reverse the train.
  • The points on the right WYE #6 switch are not making solid contact because of the manual hand throw. (All hand throws will be replaced with electrically powered switches and powered frogs).
  • The MRC reverser appears to work well and is ready for permanent installation. Near-term Work to Go: 1. Finalize the mine/oven placement. Glue and add jumpers
    2. Add track behind depot
    3. Add loco storage track

    Farther-term Work:

    1. Barry- add small wooden extension to the roadbed for the #3 Yard track
    2. Begin redesign of the Switch Panels - possible 2 or 3 segment
    Swap Meet
  • Hal bought 2 Blackstone Box Cars and I bought 1, which will be reumbered as: #3073- Royal Gorge Herald
  • We now have 22 NG boxcars available (built & running).
  • Some guy was selling Blackstones for $26 each, mine was $20 for a damaged door.
  • Gary also bought 28' caboose #0505, and will letter as pre-1940 or else determine if it fits the dimensions of a different caboose better. It is a Labelle kit, (yikes!). At least it will be a good model to enter into a model contest.

    Track Proposal

  • Many ideas are filtering in and Steve, Tom and Gary are trying to wrap things up.
  • Research is needed on Cleora to get everything understood. A trackplan of Cleora and Barrel are desperately needed in clarity. We want to get everything put together to make the best proposal possible, vote, then we can plan the work.

    Mar 1, 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, ToM, Phil Joe, Grant, GaryR & Kent


  • Problem installing the crossover on the mainline to the NG yard lead. The plan to continue the lead to the yard has NG tracks entering with no DG track to meet up with the DG. The tracks are Code 70 but the old tracks are code 55. The Code 55 was removed, and the previously laid NG yard lead was determined it should have been DG. The east ladder, also code 55, was pulled up for the new ladder design. It was thought that was supposed to be a trapezoidal ladder, but that was incorrect.
  • Work has stopped so that plans and options can be reviewed.

    Crested Butte

  • Soldered track feeders to the Crested Butte yard tracks (2 inner tracks only - the outer track is not fully installed)
  • Added 2 more manual switch throws.
  • Grant was able to run his K-27 #459 plus 2 Blackstone stock cars and a caboose through all the WYE switches with no problem. He ran back and forth from the big curve leading to Gunnison back to the depot stub track - the track/'switches seem in good shape and the locos and cars tracked well.


  • GaryR reprogrammed the Gunnison WYE settings - I don't think the problem was resolved. General
  • I received notification that the Shinohara track (20 pieces) was shipped from CA on Friday - the cost will be ~$150. -Joe

    Jan 5, 2008    Crew: GaryM, Hal, ToM, Phil Joe, Grant, GaryR & Kent


    1. Turntables (TTs):
      1. NG TT - after visually observing the gear assembly location and the pit area, it was decided to remove the TT from the table to facilitate precise installation of the pit ring rail. Since the pit ring rail is the most critical feature necessary for satisfactory operation, the ring rail installation would best be accomplished if placed on a work bench. Hal will take the TT home and install the gears and pit ring rail. Hal can test fit the TT decking/bridge assembly at the same time. Joe will visit Caboose to obtain the necessary handcrank pieces (indications are they may not be in stock)
      2. SG TT - the SG TT was removed for similar reasons (easy of gear and pit ring rail installation). GaryM volunteered to accomplish this work. However upon visual inspection the entire TT platform was observed to be warped and the plaster ring structure cracked in several places. Precise installation of the ring rail may not be possible. Hal will contact the current TT manufacturer to determine if a replacement piece can be purchased without buying the entire TT. Joe to provide Gary with a copy of the TT assembly and installation instructions.
    2. West Salida NG switch "finishing" - Tom, GaryM and Barry worked on several switches - adding guard rails, adjusting fiber throw ties, adjusting points, adding feeders and installing a switch motor. WE NEED MORE SWITCH MOTORS. Tom's expertise was especially useful.
    3. Gunnison WYE - GaryR and Andrew were put to work ops checking the Gunnison WYE. It was soon discovered that when the Crested Butte-Gunnison section changes polarity the PM4 "trips" for several seconds then recovers. This was repeated multiple times using both the Roundhouse locos and Hal's Blackstones in single and doublehead operations. This behavior is unsatisfactory and it affects the Blackstone sound functions too. We did not have enough time to check/adjust the PM4 'trip" settings - which is the NEXT LOGICAL STEP. Note: the locos had no problem traversing the WYE switch at the yard throat.
    4. Relaying Crested Butte trackage - there was universal approval for re-laying and adjusting the Crested Butte trackage all the way to the mine. Hal, Gary and Kent used the 24" radius track guide to control and refine the new track geometry. Kent will use his CAD program to check the dimensions and Hal is making cardboard templates of the switches and tracks. Using a 24" radius looked very doable.
    5. Retesting Tunnel Motors in the helix - Andrew ran Joe's double headed tunnel motors up and down the helix pulling a 30 car train with no problems (GaryM and Joe observing).

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