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October 2005, Week 3 Sunday, October 16, 2005

    Well now that yard trackage has increased, its time to see how operations are impacted.  Obviously I got room for new rolling stock to be built as well.  I know I need at least 5 more hoppers, to allow a string of 5 to be left at Anns Creek to be loaded to complicate switching.  Perhaps I'll add a few more to allow some of the gons to return to general freight service.  Basically anything ya can carry on a flat can be loaded on a gon as well.  I want to have at least one reefer to shuttle perishables from the interchan ge to the store at Anns Creek and there are a couple of tank cars for the oil business to be built as well.  I'm still considering a coach to match Combine 06 or something obviously older used for miner's trains, or perhaps both!

    When I rebuilt Anns Creek, I simply put a straight track beyond the siding that terminates at a bumper.  Since theres the possibility of a move next Spring I'll forgo new construction and leave the physical plant as is.  I have  thought that I might install a gallows turntable at the end of the line, If I ever come up with a locomotive that has to be turned.  Also will prolly put a small shanty and a water tank on the tangent so that the road loco can be serviced while the switcher does its job.  I installed a Commisary and supply track off the mainline next to the fondation of the house, this will recieve both supplies for the mine, and stuff for the company store.  If there is ever a structure built here, it will be a flat up against the foundation.  I laid out trackage for the Anns Creek industrial area yesterday as well, a spur serving a oil loading facility that will receive oilfield supplies from time to time, and a staging track that will represent a lumber railroad serving a tie mill.

    Planning on running trains after Church today, and perhaps if everything goes well I might work on adding the Anns Creek industrial trackage and do some general cleanup in the yard.  I'm thinking of basing No7 in Anns Creek and originating freight trains there.  No7 can run up the hill to Port Lavender and return while No9 takes care of the coal trains.  Might run slightly longer trains with No9 thatn I would have with No9.  Coal trains are run unit train style fer the most part right now with the hoppers being loaded and returned by the same locomotive.


    Trains ran beautifully into Anns Creek today, the first coal drag came and went, the only problems being caused by errant debris on the track rather than any problems with the trackwork.  I'm thinking of adding a couple of turnouts on Yard 1 at Anns Creek to make it a longer passing siding. the longer siding can be used to handle coal drags and associatd sorting as well.  The shorter mixed and freight trains can use the original 4 car passing siding to do their thing without being plugged up by the caol drags.  Instead of running trains Unit style, I definately want a cut of cars to be left at Anns Creek to be switched out  while the road engine takes the loads back to Port Lavender.

Monday, October 17, 2005

    Woke up chock full of bad ideas this morning.  I was thinking that a coal tipple talll enough to clear Cabin 02 was gonna look ridiculous over a 4 car capacity siding at Anns Creek.  The solution I think would be to put the tipple over the two yard tracks and only the conveyor way over the main and siding.  In addition I've got two extra right hand No6s that I beleieve I will use to turn Yard 1 at Anns Creek into a 5-6 car capacity siding and have room for runaround on the tail track.

    The thought is that the tipple would be in a line from the corner of the porch to the bush on the right.  Cutting in the other two switches will allow Yard 1 to handle inbound coal drags, while the shifter could stage loads on the mainline.  The road engine could pull the cabin all the way into the clear along Long Siding, let the shifter cut it off and shove it into the shifter pocket.  The the shifter could move part of the train to the stub ended spur while the road engine spotted the balance of the train on long siding.  Once the road loco has watered, the shifter could tack the cabin back on on the main, and the road loc is ready to shove the loads back to Port Lavender.  The short siding could be used as well if there are too many cars.  Freight trains could use the short siding only to conduct their business without tieing up tipple tracks.

    Worked a bit on No2 yesterday, somewhere along the way she took a tumble off the shelf and inflicted a bit of damage on herself.  Had to reinstall the whistle and pops, as well as a couple handrails and reattach rear and headlights.  Also had to resecure the cab to the deck.  Got her battery charging, will give her a shakedown cruise on the new tracks this evening, and assign her as the Anns Creek switcher.

    Did a little research online this morning, and found a solution to the tipple problem.  I found a picture of a tipple at Red Jacket in Mingo Co that will fit my track arrangement very well I think.  Low clearance for the actual loading tracks, just enough to clear a boxcar I think. But then elevated clearanc over the mainline to clear Cabin 02, then another restricted clearance over the short siding.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Believe that I will add the new crossover to Anns Creek Yard tomorrow and try to get the industrial trackage installed as well.  I do have to get the nasty green stuff cut as well, perhaps this will be the last time this year.  I'm thinking that the tipple needs to be built in two sections.  The loadout over the Long Siding and sput track and the conveyor section of the Main and Short Siding.  In the size that tis thing needs to be, that should make it a bit more wieldy to construct and move into place.  Operational ideas still go round and round in my head.   I'm not sure if I need some sort of generating system or not.  Perhaps just plop a few cars down wher I think they sought to be and work up switch lists from there.

Friday, October 21, 2005

    Spent Wednesday installing the new crossover and getting the industrial tracks spliced togehter and ballasted.  The spur to the oil loadout still needs some work, but its supposed to rain all weekend, so pretty much confined to indoor activities.  Ran trains all afternoon yesterday, all 4 locomotives were at work.  No9 ran the coal trains, No7 the freight, with No6 switching Port Lavender and No2 at Anns Creek.  Had to make a repair on No9, the universal disentigrated on the rear truck, and took me quite a while to find where I stashed all my spare Shay parts.  I hadn't seen them since I finished No9 and moved The Shop into its own building.

    While operating, it was obvious that I need to build more rolling stock, with all the cars in service, one yard or the other tends to get cleared out and look abandoned.  During this session I used No9 and and No7 to haul trains between the yards and No2 and 6 did the actual switching.  I think next time around, I'll try letting No7 do the freight switching too, to justify a crew a whole days work.  I'm thinking that two freights a day might be necessary as well.

    I think I'm going to take it easy this weekend, and work on the operating software and well as doing some design work on the new hoppers.  I do need another tail car for the freights, and if I could get the combine in service, I could run proper mixed trains.  I have thought about placing the enginehouse at Anns Creek and having trains originate there, and run up the Hill to Port Lavender.  I have more space out there, and thats the only place I can load No9 on the layout.  Would still put a small enginehouse and some support facilities at Port Lavender to service the switcher and road engines there.  The ready track could be used as extra storage with all the locomotives and tail cars bing stored at Anns Creek instead.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

    Not much accomplished yesterday, laid out an engine yard at Anns Creek, I think the main engine facilities will go back there a lot easier and look better than bing crammed into the space out front.  I will also be able to have a storage track in the engine terminal area to use for a 'wreck train' and as a cabin track.  I managed to get some quality time with the tablesaw and milled out wood for the combine's roof and for trim on the enginehouse.  Forecast is for rain until Thursday so I'm bringing in the rolling stock.  Work for the weekend I think will be on the combine, and to tinker with the operations software.


    So much for a well planned day!  I can say that after a years interlude, work has resumed on Combine 06.  I got the roof bords completely installed and I'm rather pleased.  Perhaps tomorrow I can get the metal roofing applied and move on to the doors.  Then all that will be left is a few detail castings and some styrene bits.