State of the Union Address (well sort of)

Wow! Hard to believe that 4-1/2 years have gone by since my last post to this website, where did the time go?

Well part of the reason is I have been working out of town for the past 4-1/2 years on different projects that keep me away from home for months at a time so working on the railroad has pretty much ceased.  That is not to say that I have not been doing any modeling, I have but not on the layout.

I am part of the Dirty Thirty On30 modular group here in Ottawa and have built 2 modules for the set-up.  These were built while I was working in New York State.

A lot has happened to the layout room during my absence.  I share my layout room with the furnace and hot water tank and over the past 3 years I have had to replace the furnace, hot water tank and humidifier. Fortunately, the part of the layout build in front of the furnace was made to be removable as I knew that some day these items would need to be changed.  Oh, did I mention the wasp nest that we found in the basement when we came home after being away for a couple of months.

Needless to say, during this time the top of the layout became a “storage space” that turned into a source of frustration every time I went down into the basement.  So much so that I stopped going to the basement.

I was asked if I would be willing to open my layout to visitors during a layout tour that took place last October and I used that to get my behind in gear to clean off the layout and clean up the layout room. 

It worked.  I started with little chunks, starting with the layout space itself.  Rather than rearrange things, I decided that everything needed a home, so homes were either made or bought (i.e. storage containers).  I also did a lot of purging, it is amazing how much stuff you collect over time thinking that it might be useful someday.

Once the layout space was cleaned up, it was time to clean off the layout.  Again, everything was given a new “home” or disposed of.  All the buildings were put back in place in the town of Clearwater as they had to be removed to avoid damage when the new furnace was installed.  Next step was to put back the removable section of the layout in front of the furnace.  I accomplished all this 1 week before the open house, nothing like a deadline for motivation.

Now after 4 years on nothing running on the railway, will it run?  Turned the power on, no shorts so I figured that to be a good sign.  Dialed in a locomotive with a couple of cars, crossed my fingers and cranked up the throttle.  The train started moving, went around the layout and hit a few spots that required cleaning, but overall a lot less effort than what I was expecting.

Last thing to do before the open house was to set up the automatic route for the two switches leading into Mosquito Flats so I would not have to deal with manual operation of these during the open house.  The plan was to use a “wabbit” for the two tortoises that control the turnouts.  While I could get the turnout to move properly when the locomotive approached the frog of the switch, getting it to align both turnouts proved to be an issue.

Well this lead to a track realignment 2 days before the open house to eliminate the 2 turnouts in question.  Wouldn’t have been a challenge if I was using flex track, but all my track is hand laid.  Quick measurements indicated that I had barely enough room to lay 2 parallel tracks in the space available so it was off to the races.  In the time I had left I barely managed to complete the realignment on time.  On the day of the open house the railway ran flawlessly and I was very happy with that result.

Next up I have decided to work on Adams Lake which entails building the trestle bridge, building the log dump, adding the scenery and pouring the water for the lake.

On a separate note I decided to add a column on the left side of the website listing the current updates as they are posted so that one can see if there is a new update or not.

That’s about it for now.