5 November 2012
Photos from the 13 October South Suburban Tour:
Gary, Alex and Jacob worked on some Bragdon rock castings, and installed a couple in the Gorge.
Tarry cleaned up the wiring above Portland to allow for the silos to fit. Now we need to figure out permanent lights.
Jacob installed another Bragdon rock casting at Mears under the switchback tail.
hal is working on installing a new trestle he built to fit the curve past the tank at Grays. The real trestle had curved away back toward the aisle, so once again we have a "mirror-image".
Alex finished painting the tailings on the backdrop to blend into the foreground tailings, all along and behind the CF&I mine. Alex painted a bunch of ties prior to ballasting. Alex and Andrew then ballasted the load tracks, the wye, and up to where the ground cover has been put in.
Gerry has been scenicking and working the backdrop in the Marshall Pass loop. Hal built and installed a short timber trestle, and built a double box culvert, which Gerry installed.
Gary started scenicing under the trestle so it can be spiked down. The riverbed is being extended and Hal's bridge for the road (he built awhile ago) will be installed near the fascia. A riser with some base plywood for the river was installed.
Gary has been busy replacing the old wye with two curved switches into the wye and yard. The second curved switch replaced a yard switch and enabled extending the depot track. The wye was removed because of the resultant 'S' from the curve off Parlin to the track through the wye to Crested Butte. The decision to replace the wye was made painfully, and only after the problems negotiating the 'S' encountered by the MMI K-27s, Gary's brass K-27 and Hal's K-37. A runaround switch is also being installed in the yard for a run-around or allow the locomotive access to cars on that track from both ends, without having to traverse to the other end of the yard.
Tarry is rebuilding the backdrop behind the Big Mine & Gunnison. He has reinstalled the piece originally cut to display the coke ovens. It was found that Crested Butte blended in too much with Gunnison and needed the backdrop. Because it is impossible to see the couplers on the cars behind the coke ovens, Tarry had a 12x12 mirror tile cut into approximately thirds, with a cutout in the backdrop for one piece. The other two pieces will go along the Arkansas River under the "bridge" where the mainlines curve behind West Salida.
More rail was installed along track #3. One short section left to complete there, then on to Track #4 (Baldwin Branch).
News & Notes
Work on the backdrop between the Monarch tailings and Gray's siding is essentially complete, although random enhancements will no doubt continue as the urge strikes. A couple photos of the Monarch book show the areas copied to blend into the "scene".
Gerry has set a few trees in place below Mt. Ouray.
Staging track no. 3 now in process. A straight pin in a pin vise effectively "drills" holes for the micro spikes.
More backdrop from the Mears Junction area merging into the switchback at Garfield. Originally, the foreground hill was not intended to be a burn area, but it started to look like fun to do. The gash on the hill along the switchback is the next challenge, with progress below.
The roadbed is being cut out from under the track to install some culverts with short span trestles.
Progress on the staging at Montrose. Rix Product rotating working switch stands were used on the switch ladder, and were used over harp stands because it is expected that switching operations would damage harp stands. Working harp stands are planned to be installed at points along the mainline
DCC - LocoNet
Radio operating. Portions of LocoNet on SG peninsula having corrupted signal problems, currently disconnected. LocoNet portals on NG portion of layout, at Portland, helix, Royal Gorge and Parkdale operational.
Hal built a scale mock-up of the Salida Car Shop. A luann foundation was built around the existing tracks. A wooden floor will be placed over the ties. Gary added a lit interior for the NG scale house. A switchpoint on Switch #10 was repaired in the Transfer Yard.
Work continues on the backdrop. The last section of Poncha Creek between the trestle and the storage spur getting some work. Tracks ballasted with dirt flanking the creek.
Gerry has added Mt Ouray to the Marshall Pass backdrop and has begun working the scenery as well.
Roadbed laid over the drop shelf shown. Ties laid, scribed and stained (but not shown).
Ties laid, scribed, stained and dry brushed. Main yard ladder installed (not including foreground switch). Rail spiking on track adjacent the wall in progress. Cimmarron tracks in foreground and at right.
Barry works on adding "sliding joints" in the helix and has meanwhile discovered grade variations which he is working to reduce. Also, the sections of curve that leaned outward are now supported on a wire so the track remains perpendicular relative to the center of the helix.
Hal built the Walthers Medusa Cement Company and Silo Head House kits to be used in Portland. Gary built the Pump House from the Walthers Flame and Fuel Company kit. The rest of the structures from the Flame and Fuel Company kit are not pictured here. The photos below show the structures sitting in Crested Butte temporarily.
DCC - LocoNet
Lot's of rework on the LocoNet wiring, ground wire, power bus. Still having corrupted signal problems.
The floor for the car shops was cut out and installed. A mock-up of the car shops has been made. The building is only a third of it's length, but spans three tracks. A large machine shop was housed in the rear of the shop.
The Walthers FUel & Flame Company is being converted for use in Portland for the Ideal Cement Company. The Walthers Medusa Cement plant was also recently purchased for Portland.
Lots of transformation of Mears, follow the photos below.
The backdrop between Gray's and Mears is finally being modified to transition from Monarch to Gray's. The mountainside
was reduced by overpainting with blue sky, and the hillside was gradually repainted to change the slopes to match the
view from Mears looking north, which does fit well to merge the scenes. Progress so far:
Laying of main switch ladder, ties, underway:
DCC - LocoNet
Gary reset the DCS100 OPSW 005 to 'c', after remembering the CONFIG light blinked 8x/sec on Saturday. It then correctly flashed once/4 sec.
Barry disconnected the std and narrow gauge loconet cables, and connected a 3 plug RJ12 port under the layout near the fan. Gary sheathed the line from the DCS100 with aluminum foil, to connect to the new tri-port. Barry routed the sheathed LocoNet cable up through a new hole at the top of the DCC cabinet, instead of through the previous hole through the back which also included routing of all the command station track power lines. The sheathed cable also had a ground wire attached to it and connected to the ground terminal in the DCC cabinet. A cable with an RJ12 jack was connected to the back of the first NG fascia RJ12 dual ports, and inserting the jack. Another cable connected the previous Std Gauge ports (which had been teed to the NG) with a RJ12 jack.
Barry also disconnected the line to the RF box on the ceiling from the end of the NG LocoNet under Gunnison. Instead, he dropped a new cable from the IR box (hanging above the helix), between the masonite backdrop sheets between the helix and the Royal Gorge, routed beneath the benchwork to the new tri-port jack (connected with an RJ12 plug). The IR box was still daisy-chained to the RF box hanging in the middle of the room.
Barry tried a throttle on RF, it worked. So far, so good. We'll have to see how it goes with more connected. On Saturday, operating on RF was totally unresponsive.
Gary mounted clips under the fascia to re-hang new LocoNet to reconnect the SG line. Currently, it is only connected at the first two ports. New cable will be sheathed, grounded and replace the old cable.
Jacob worked on the Poncha Creek riverbed scenery and landscape.
DCC - LocoNet
A lot of experimentation and trouble-shooting. NG seems to work 90% when disconnected, although throttle info sometimes drop connection and needs to be urged to remember packet data, by either clicking a knob or re-entering "LOCO" and "ENTER" buttons.
Tracks were cleaned and trains set up for operations next week.