Saturday, 31 December 2011

Burnham Yard Track Laying 6

Yesterday was the kind of day that you end up doing a lot of work and not having much to show for it. I spent the day tidying up rail joins so that freight cars wouldn't derail. Very important that if you want to have a reliable running layout to enjoy operating.

However, today I have spent my time working on the railroad and have made satisfactory progress. And given that this is New Years Eve I thought it would be good to post early what I did today, because tomorrow is a rest day. Well a recovery day from the excesses of partying tonight.

South end of the layout showing the last of the yard turnouts in place.

Looking North past the arrival/departure line and leads to the team tracks.

The North end showing all the freight cars I have that are running, which includes six new cars I got over the Xmas period, three of which need replacement Kadee 58 couplers, as well as NWSL Code-88 wheels to be ready for service.

Enjoy, and while I don't expect to get a lot done tomorrow, I do expect to finish laying the final bits of track by Monday evening.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Burnham Yard Track Laying 5

Spent today building the most complicated piece of track for the layout, involving three crossovers. This took about two hours from start to finish.

 And here is how I wired them.

I then spent an inordinate amount of time fettling previously laid track in the yard to get smooth running across the joints. It seems to me that Micro Engineering track is not as consistent in its sizing as I would like, with a noticeable tapering of height  towards the middle of each yard, which means that short sections cut from yards don't match up with other bits.

So only one more new turnout laid down as we had a friend coming around for dinner, and there were Brussel sprouts to prepare.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Burnham Yard Track Laying 4

Yesterday was a one step forward, two steps back kind of day. I found out to my chagrin that I hadn't aligned the curved turnout correctly for the reverse loop. Gnashing of teeth. So I had to pull up the junction and re-align the turnouts, shorten connecting tracks and adjust alignments to match etc.

Then I had to make a 14 inch radius template to curve the flex track with.

Other than that I did manage to lay another turnout and put in a couple of short connecting straights in. I also corrected an alignment issue with the angle of the yard that removed a kink I hadn't noticed.

I then made up half a dozen more sets of dropper wires and soldered then to bits of track that were waiting to be laid.

So still a few upturned turtles to see too tomorrow.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Burnham Yard Track Laying 3

Another busy day with social commitments, so again didn't get as much done as I would like, but did manage to lay down four turnouts and two yards of track.

Surprising how long it takes to lay four turnouts and lay the two team tracks down parallel to each other. This morning the post brought the much needed extra turnout and crossing that I needed to be able to connect the reversing loop to the incoming line.

As can be seen fitting the crossing together will require a certain amount of cutting back of the Shinohara track to get it all to fit.

Finally, a picture of my Godson and his sister playing with his Hornby trains set in the dining room. His Dad made the board for him and it is now hinged to the wall so it is easier for him to  play with . A temporary location, as I understand the plan is to have his layout in the play room.

More tomorrow. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Burnham Yard Track Laying 2

Didn't do any modelling on Xmas day as I was far too busy indulging myself watching Kung Fu Panda, Monsters & Aliens, and the Dr Who Xmas special. In between all of that excitement saw the Queen's speech, had Top of the Pops on in the background, and was reading/browsing the photographs of my latest interurban book The L by Bruce Moffat. Followed by the main event of the day a roast goose with all the trimmings, and a 1995 St. Emilion. Followed by Xmas pudding and a glass of Taylor's 1999 vintage port.

Boxing Day was almost as lazy, as we got up late, reading in bed in the morning and all I managed to do was solder up some droppers on some track.

Looking like little bug legs waving in the air.

You are walking down a road and you see a turtle on its back...

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Burnham Yard Track Laying 1

Yesterday was spent laying down the first turnouts for the layout. Today, is going to be mostly spent doing Xmas shopping and wrapping presents, so I guess no further progress until after Boxing day, we shall see.

Here I am cutting back the rail so as to get the turnout to sit together more snugly at the junction entry to Burnham Yard.

The turnout nearest to the front is the simulated Chicago South Shore & South Bend interchange point.

I prepared the turnouts by cutting back webbing so that I could solder drop wires to the frog and both of the main rails for each turnout.

In fact I'm soldering dropper wires to every piece of track so as to maintain good electrical feed across the layout.

 The turnouts with droppers soldered on ready for placement.

And here is the junction being prepared with holes punched through the foam board surface.

And the junction completed. The turnout to the right is just laying in the approximate position it will be in when the yard throat has been laid. The junction is the first track laid on Burnham Yard.

Here is an action shot of me feeding the leads into the board, and you can see the double-sided tape I'm using to temporarily hold the track in position until such time as I ballast it.

And finally an overall view of the afternoons work. I laid a total of seven turnout and three yards of track. Unfortunately, my soldering iron went kaput, fixable, but not this side of the New Year, so I will need to go out and buy something to tide me over until them.

Edit: A quick shot showing an eight car freight train sitting on the arrival departure yard.

So may I wish all my readers a very Merry Xmas, and more updates to come before the New Year.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Burnham Yard Surfacing

Spent Sunday afternoon surfacing the frames.

It's a good thing that I have a lot of hardback books to weight down the boards while the glue dries. Almost ran out of traction titles, almost but not quite, as there were four in reserve. :-)

Started marking in the center lines and laying out the angle of the yard lies on etc.

It's all starting to come together and the plan is to work on this in my spare time over the Xmas holiday period.

 More updates as and when there is progress to show.

Monday, 19 December 2011

CNS&M 1004 Caboose

Just a simple glamour post of an Overland CNS&M caboose. Pretty much straight out of the box with just the couplers screwed in and the add on items.

Here it is with the wheels painted etc.

I would like another one or two cabooses to the roster, especially a cupola version for variation.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

PFE 47403 & 47622 R-40-23 Reefers

These are the Intermountain 40-23 PFE reefers that I got when they first came out, around ten years ago.

The running boards are the one thing that really stands out as not looking as sharp as the models, though there are other errors, I believe if memory serves me right, they look good to me,

So I replaced the running boards with Plano etches that were made for this model, which are quite sweet, and as you can see are really sharp looking.

Finally, here are the cars with the running boards painted, new couplers and with replacement NWSL Code-88 wheels and the running boards painted.

Still got to weather these. Enjoy.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Burnham Yard Slap Down

Got the surfacing boards for the layout today and was so excited I just had to slap the turnouts and some flextrack down to see how it would look. Below is looking North towards Howard Street and Milwaukee end of the layout.

Below is looking South toward the Chicago Loop end of the layout.

 Now three pan shots left-to-right going from South to North along the layout.

 Midway and the heart of the yard's ladder tracks

And finally the North end of the yard.

Now I'm about to go away and finish modifying the baseboards to fit and the start surfacing them, so that I can start laying track down next weekend.

CNS&M 700 to 737: Cincinnati Built Cars

Some more eBay rescues, this time two power cars and one unpowered coach, all unpainted and because of their age all showing signs of brass tarnish.

Below on the left is the first car I cleaned up using a glass fibre burnishing pen compared to the tarnished brass on the right hand side.

Here is a disassembled  coach with bits, where I discovered that all that glistens is not necessarily brass, as the casting for the boxes on the underframe were some softish grey metal that had been painted to look like brass.

The power bogies were a challenge to get apart, because of the screw fitting and space to get at it. I'm afraid I did a bit of a bodge job on these, but as I intend to be re-powering the cars I don't see this as a problem in the long run.

 After cleaning and disassembling the coaches I cleaned up some solder joints, re-soldered some broken solder joints before a quick dip in the ultrasonic cleaner. After that I then sprayed them with red primer.

I then sprayed red all over and then masked the coaches before spraying them green, and re-masked the cars so I could spray the roofs black. The car on the left of the picture is the previously posted 737 series model.

And here they are awaiting fitting of the underframes, which will take a while for me to get round to, as I'm looking at my options for replacing the antiquated motor and gears with something a bit more up to date. Some minor touch-up paint work is still to be done too.

After that all I've got to do is order the transfers to letter these cars.

Friday, 16 December 2011

CNS&M: Burnham Yard Revisions

I posted the original plan on the Model Railroader forums and got a nice bit of feedback from Paulus Jas and a plan that he drew up (that's what I call keen), which I'll show you now so that i can discuss it..

I think Paul made some really astute comments, and I was kicking myself for not spotting them. He is certainly right that the left hand track that sneaks off stage to the rear will be inaccessible when the elevated track is put in. The suggestion for having the rear siding as partially abandoned is certainly useful too.

Most telling for me was the re-alignment to remove the excessive switchbacks I had. A result of thinking about one problem and not thinking about the implications of the answer. In this case maintaining an adequate lead length.

Grey represents roads. Light brown buildings. Blue is for the backdrop, and the orange rectangle is an intrusion into the room.

 So here is my version of Paul's plan, which I'm pretty pleased with, as it looks right to me. It has a lead that can hold six 40 foot freight cars, the arrival/departure line can hold eleven 40 foot freight cars, so this means six mixed 40 and 50 foot freight cars, a caboose and two electric locomotives will fit quite comfortably between the clearance points.

The two team tracks to the right are now kept clear of any switching moves, and I've added a RIP track too. I estimate the layouts maximum capacity is 40 freight cars, so its working capacity will be about 20 freight cars, which allowing for three turns a day with six car trains means it should all work out about right.

Below is the upper elevated track layout.

I modified the junction for right hand running and added a double-crossover at the right hand end after measuring the storage cupboard that I intend to run the tracks into. Not large enough for a return loop, so I needed to add the double-crossover so that trains can run into either of the two staging tracks and come out running down the right line when coming back out.

The operations of the trolley part of the layout is basically a simple shuttle back and forth with the opportunity to change the order of the trains return to add a bit of variety.

 Finally, the above shows all the track for my layout, which is set at 56 inches, for eye level operation.
(Revised with additional plans on the 16.12.11)