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!

November Update

Two tracks installed, from left.

It has been a busy month of work and family visits. One of my step-sons visited at Thanksgiving and enjoyed his El Paso experience. I also began a new job in early November, so a combination of elements has slowed the hobby progress. It is time to offer an update here on the blog, if only to document the forward movement. The lead image offers a view of the first installed trackage on the B&O Wheeling Terminal layout. Click on any image here for a larger view.

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Boomer Operator #4 – A West Virginia visit

FMs on high bridge

I recently visited the Mon Valley Railroad Historical Society in Morgantown, WV and participated in an operating session. This was a homecoming of sorts for me as I have been a member of this group since the start in 1988. I had not seen the layout since I moved away three years ago. I was surprised with scenery progress in several places as well as additional lighting. I took photos along the way with my iPhone. While the quality is not pristine, they documented my fun on that day. Click on any image for a larger view.

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Dave builds some box cars

dave_4done

My friend Dave is modeling a portion of the Toledo & Ohio Central railroad through western Ohio. He has twisted history a bit and is modeling this railroad as a Nickel Plate Road (NKP) division, rather than the New York Central (NYC) division that it was. Dave just likes the Nickel Plate more than the NYC. Additionally, he has focused his modeling on 1928. Recently, Dave has been wrapping up details on several interesting NKP box cars that were pretty common for his era. The cars pictured above are 36-foot, double-sheathed cars with upgraded components. Let’s follow along with prototype details and Dave’s descriptions of the modeling. Most of the images on this post can be reviewed in a larger size by clicking on the image.

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Benchwork section progress

Most recently built.

As mentioned, I’ve been building benchwork sections for the new layout. I’ve employed a uniform design for five sections and all are nearly complete. The image above shows the last two sections. These sections follow some of my layout project rules.

  • Keep it Simple
  • Reuse what is on hand
  • Build to be flexible for future projects

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