Annual task survey

A workbench in need of a task list to move projects forward.
A workbench in need of a task list to move projects forward.

It’s been a busy few months of 2016. Between working a temporary job, traveling to attend college graduations of four family members, and publishing weekly blog posts here and on the Resin Car Works blog, I haven’t worked much on my own layout. Work and travel have ended, to it’s time for the annual layout task survey.

The layout has been operating monthly but upgrades are needed in a few areas. The freight house mock up needs to progress. I’d like to feature this as a complete structure so crews can’t look in to see car marks and numbers.

Several walls an a roof will make this freight house more interesting. And yes, the junk behind it needs to go, too.
Several walls an a roof will make this freight house more interesting. And yes, the junk behind it needs to go, too.

Two locos are the usual power but neither reflect a Baltimore & Ohio prototype. A brass 2-8-0 is on hand that follows proper details of a B&O E-24 class locomotive used around the Wheeling area in 1926. A digital command control (DCC) decoder needs to be installed in the model then paint, lettering, and weathering will be applied. This is a sweet running loco so I should move this along to service.

Future layout power. In the near future, hopefully.
Future layout power. In the near future, hopefully.

A Roundhouse 0-6-0 switcher kit was bought a couple of years ago. The model represents a Southern Pacific prototype but can reflect a B&O D-7 class loco by adding and altering a few details. It won’t be perfect but will be close. The model will need a new motor, and possibly gears, before a DCC decoder is installed. This switcher project is more involved, but it needs to be built.

Three years like this. Ugh.
Three years like this. Ugh.

When I moved the layout sections into the current space in 2013, there was a mishap. One rail was caught on part of my SUV interior and the rail pulled away from the ties. I can fix this by soldering PC board ties to the rails. Long time readers know how much I dislike soldering but a lengthy track has never been used for an operating session. I need to suck it up and get this done.

1926 era cars are on the front track. Cars on the back track will be taken out of service as new freight cars for 1926 are added to service.
1926 era cars are on the front track. Cars on the back track will be taken out of service as new freight cars for 1926 are added to service.

Additional freight cars for the 1926 era are always needed. There are 95 cars in service but 15 cars reflect prototypes built after my 1926 focus year. More of these need to be replaced this year. The upcoming Accurail 36-foot box cars will push many of the later prototype models to storage. Several resin kit freight cars will be added to the fleet, too. All of these new freight cars will be welcome, especially if the previous discussed track is fixed and brought into service for additional car spots. I know my op session crews will be sooooo excited to see another track in service.

That sums up the main goals for the Wheeling Freight Terminal in 2016. There are a mix of easy and difficult tasks, and each one offers a visible improvement upon completion. I guess I had better get moving on these things.

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6 thoughts on “Annual task survey”

  1. I had no idea that the B&O used Belpaire boilers. Do you know what the history is of that class of 2-8-0?

    On another note entirely, have you considered using something on the order of Model Builder software for the freighthouse? Won’t make the stuff behind it go away, but their “flats” can serve as a better stand in till you do a full 3D model. You might need the extra brick add on, but the software is actually pretty easy to use once you get used to it.

    1. Joe, The B&O was controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad for a few years around 1905. There were equipment additions that reflected PRR designs. The B&O E-24 class 2-8-0 followed the PRR H6 design. There were PRR box car, flat car, and hopper car designs that were added to the B&O roster, too.

      As for the freight house, I am using the HABS-HAER drawings. These are rescaled to HO and laminated onto chipboard then reinforced with balsa wood. I don’t want to scrathcbuild the structures. I only want them to be representational. As the drawings are available free at the Library of Congress site, it’s easy enough to rescale, print, and glue onto walls to create a more detailed mock up without much effort. – Eric

  2. Hi Eric, thanks for the update. I’m always interested in seeing your layout in detail. I very much like what’s going on. That broken track is unfortunate. I don’t know how the PC board fix works. Here’s another option:

    My layout is meant to be broken down into three 4′ tables, each with four casters, in case I need to move. With this in mind, I soldered the rails, where they cross the table splitlines, to #4×3/4″ brass flathead wood screws (from Home Depot). There is a picture in my blog if you search “Benchwork Tables”. I think this might also be a fix for your broken rail as I see that there are rail joiners not far away on either side so that relatively short rails can be replaced. The brass screws are handy because one can find the correct height easily simply by turning the screw and, obviously, rail readily solders to them. If you decide to try this I suggest that the pilot hole be much larger than normal as it is easy to snap the head off a brass screw if the pilot is too small. The screw really doesn’t need to be tight in the hole anyway; once the rail is soldered it is not going anywhere. My rails are uncut across the split line for now, but if I must dismantle, I will need to slice them with a thin cut-off wheel at that time (I also had the foresight to ensure that there are track feeders on either side of the split line too). Anyway, just a thought.

    Hey, I love that B&O Consol! You know I’m a locomotive guy. That’ll be a very interesting project and I look forward to seeing that for sure!

    Thanks for your most enjoyable blog
    With Kind Regards
    Fillmore Avenue Roundhouse

    1. Thanks for the tips, Rick! I’ll be reviewing this option, too, as I have a few small brass screws on hand. Getting this track into service has risen to the top priority. We’ll see what happens in the next few months. BTW, the next time these layout sections move, there will be end caps in place to protect the rails. – Eric

  3. Eric:

    Does that B&O engine have a can motor or an open frame? Are you going to add sound? I’ve added TCS Keep-Alive units to a couple of my smaller engines and as far as I am concerned they are a complete game-changer when it comes to the operation of the engine. Great Blog as always. – Nevin

    1. Nevin, The loco has a can motor. A DCC decoder will be added first. I do have some TCS keep alive decoders on hand. I may add sound later but it isn’t a current priority. – Eric

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