Four Months of Progress

team track yard

A view of the four tracks of the Wheeling, WV team yard. A B&O E-24 class 2-8-0 is spotting cars on track four. This location is in the upper right corner of the plan posted below.

I just wrapped up the installation of some feeder wires on a layout section and I wondered exactly when I began this project. A quick review of the time stamps on the photos I’ve taken reveals an August 31st start date for the first two benchwork sections. My wife and I moved to El Paso on July 3rd, and I posted about surveying the new hobby space on August 3rd. A few weeks of design contemplation and the sawdust began to fly August 31st.

And here we are with about 85% of the track installed, buss wires installed on all layout sections, and feeder wires installed on four of the eight sections. In the plan below, all that remains to install are a few tracks at the freight house on the left leg of the layout. Click on the image to review a larger version.

A scale drawing of the B&O freight terminal layout design.

I had a goal to operate by January 1st. A digital command control system is still a few weeks away from installation, so a real session will have to wait. Until then, a nine volt battery provides the power to move a locomotive and a string of cars. I’ve already worked out a few methods to switch seven or eight freight cars in the team track yard and it’s been lots of fun watching the trains glide smoothly along the trackwork. Am I cheating? I’ll leave that up to you, but remember I am pulling and spotting freight cars with a locomotive. The fun I have with a simple nine volt battery encourages more layout progress.

Your comments are encouraged. All comments are reviewed and approved before they appear here.

Happy New Year to all!

4 Responses to “Four Months of Progress”

  1. Tim Moran says:

    Happy New Year Eric,

    Glad to see tremendous progress on the Wheeling (B&O) design!

    I don’t see using a 9 volt as “cheating”. You’re simply improvising, adapting, and overcoming a hurdle of the moment.

    Is the picture showing the team trackage in the upper right hand corner of your diagram? What kind of loco is there in the picture?

    Hoping for a blessed New Year for you and yours!

    Tim Moran
    Akron, OH

  2. admin says:

    Hey Tim! Thanks for checking in on the blog. YOU are correct in the layout location of the lead image. I’ve added a proper caption.

    The loco is a Sunset Models import from a decade or two ago. The Pennsylvania and Baltimore & Ohio Railroads bought similar 2-8-0s in the early years of the 20th Century. Before I moved from WV to Ohio I found a version suitable for a mid-1920s appearance. The loco needs some maintenance, a DCC decoder, paint, and lettering to work more frequently on the Wheeling Freight Terminal.

    I hope you are having a great New Year’s Day!
    – Eric

  3. Scott Haycock says:

    Hello Eric,
    I’m curious as to what DCC system you are going to use?

  4. admin says:

    Greetings Scott! Thanks for the question. I’ll be installing a Digitrax system. I have several components already, except for a command station. I’ve been using Digitrax since 1996.

    Additionally, Digitrax is the standard on Free-mo modules and three of the layout sections are Free-mo compatible as per track locations and end plates.
    – Eric

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