Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Working on the roster

 Well, as I mentioned in the previous post, I decided to take a break from the layout to work on some I1's that will be used on the branch line. I have 7 of the Sunset I1's and 2 USH models. Here are 6 of the 7 Sunset's. The one on the far left has been completely redone by Frank Miller for me. I am going to use it as a guide as I redo the other 5. The seventh one is an Altoona version that is in the paint shop right now. I have just finished building 5 front assemblies and pilots for the models using Grabowski tanks and chin platforms. It took a special jig that was made by an old friend, Ray Jury, who is no longer with us, coupled with a MAPP torch to get them to heat high enough to solder together. It is the most distinctive thing on the I1's. They were called Hippo's because of those paired tanks. They look a whole lot better now.
 As you look at the engine on this end you can see it has a lot more detail on it. My plan is to go at this in assemblies and my next task is to replace the main rods with Grabowski castings. To do this, I have to set up my mill to be able to drill the rods and then mill off the rears where they attach to the crosshead and piston.
 Another rather quick change are the smoke stacks and sand domes by Bill Brisko. You can see how much larger they are than the original parts by Sunset. The first model has them and all the others do not. These are going to be layout models., not contest models so I am trying to get them to look good but not perfect.
Here is a left side view of a completed engine and a factory model. I have to change the feedwater heater to a later version, add a bunch of better castings, edge the running boards, and add an ash hopper and details. I think each engine will take about a week of solid work. Those pilot assemblies took me about 2 solid weeks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Starting the Engine Terminal

 Sad to say, I have run out of turnout parts from Trackside so am waiting on an order to get back to building turnouts. These are the turnouts into the diesel(foreground) and steam areas. I need to build the steam area first as I have to climb over the benchwork where the diesels will go.
While not really prototypical, I am planning on using an Ogle coaling tower for the terminal area. It is about the best detailed coaling tower out there so I decided to use it. I have drawn the location of the round house, which will be facing us, and the coaling tower will be on the left side of it.  I need to lay three tracks here, inbound, outbound and coal delivery. The inbound track will have a pit and it will be managed by a Burro crane with a hopper. That track will be switched using the turntable. All turnouts will be number 7's so we have no engine troubles. 

This is an overview of the East end ladder. The caboose track will be coming up on the left side of the HD 40 can. That is going to take some cutting as the running track is a quarter higher in elevation than the yard. I am taking a break while waiting on the turnout parts and replacing all the tanks on five Sunset I1 front ends with Grabowski parts. These engines will power the branch line trains.

Adding the Thoroughfare Track

 The next step, which has taken a while, is to add the thoroughfare track that allows the road engines to escape back to the engine facility. I used Old Pullman track from this one as it is at the outer edge of the yard and I wanted the appearance of spikes holding the rail, not clamps as on the older Atlas tie strips that I used for the code 125 rail in the yard.  I figure that once the rail is painted and ballasted, you won't notice them but the outer track will stand out. So, here we have the track turning off the Arrival track and going down a slight slope to the level of the yard tracks.
The first turnout we come to is for the future RIP track for quick running repairs to cars that come in from the West. It will be located at the top of the photo 

We then continue on and rejoin the base of the ladder track which comes in from the left.  I used a number 7 turnout here and for the next one so that I can send my J1's through here with no worries.

The next turnout will lead tot he Ice House that was in Northumberland for servicing any through reefers. I have it facing to the West as the loaded cars would be coming from there and unloaded cars would not need much service going back. The Ice House will be generally where the white box is right now.

We continue around the outer edge of the yard and begin the swing back towards the engine service area.

This is an overview looking up the line to the turnouts that lead to the engine service area and the tracks up the other end of the ladder.

Here we are looking up the other (west) end of the ladder. We have a number 8 switch leading on the right to first a number 6 to the diesel service area, and then a number 7 to the steam service area. The white template is for a turnout for a caboose lead that bypasses the ladder and a storage area for passenger cars and a wreck train.