Author Topic: Progress on The Little Rock Line  (Read 54201 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

nscalemike

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 387
  • Respect: +3
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2011, 01:42:10 PM »
0
Looking good, I love to see the progress!  Each time I see someone add the fascia I can't believe how much difference it makes in the general look.  I need to get mine done too.

I was just looking at your thread here and your website a couple weeks back and wondered if you had made any progress, it's really coming along!

Mike

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5488
  • Respect: +626
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2011, 03:57:38 PM »
0
Great update Allen - now I have a much better idea of your overall scheme.  A couple of questions:

* How do you envision the staging being used in normal ops when it is reconfigured?

* Do you have any issues with the cut through track at the base of the central peninsula  (e.g. folks having to circumnavigate the peninsula to follow a train)?  Or is that mostly a continuous running leg?

Keep the updates coming!  :)

-Gary

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2011, 05:15:53 PM »
0
Gary,
Give me some time to get some pics and drawings made to help visualize the answers to your question about the yard ops.

@Mike - Thanks for the notes.  BTW, how is your branchline progressing?

@seusscaboose - Thanks for the link and info on the fast clock.  Wish I was closer, that does sound like fun.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 10:04:23 PM by Bendtracker1 »

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2011, 10:03:37 PM »
0
Great update Allen - now I have a much better idea of your overall scheme.  A couple of questions:

* How do you envision the staging being used in normal ops when it is reconfigured?

* Do you have any issues with the cut through track at the base of the central peninsula  (e.g. folks having to circumnavigate the peninsula to follow a train)?  Or is that mostly a continuous running leg?

Gary,
Yes, the cut-through track is meant for a continuous running.  I call it my "Cheetos" track.  I can grab a bag of Cheetos and just watch the trains run!  :trollface: 
The crews can stand at Haskell and take control of the trains while they are still in the yard, then walk with it around the layout to Winnfeild or vise versa. This way they won't have to duck under the layout.  If you stand at Haskell, you can look over the backdrop and watch your train in the yard as it leaves or enters.

The cut off track also simulates the abandoned RI track when they started using Tioga Jct where they used KCS tracks to gain access to their yard in Alexandria, LA.   Never found out why they did this.  I surmising their tracks were too far gone to repair and it was easier to use the KCS tracks. 

We also decided to park several older cars on this part of the old mainline just to the right of the 90° diamond.  This blocks the main and also serves as a switch move for the Winnfeild turn.  They're required to bring the rear car to the front and replace them back into position.  This moves simulates having to exercise the wheel bearings so they don't rust shut while in storage there.

Now, a short answer to your first question:  I / We plan to use it as an open Staging/Fiddle yard.  The first three tracks in the YELLOW yard will be used as the A/D tracks and the remaining five tracks will be for "on yard" car storage.

This photo shows what changes will be made to make the yard more useful.  It also eliminates the need for the "Reverse loop"  Although I plan to keep it wired that way should we need to use it.


The original design was made so that we could move trains on and off the modules with "hands off" in both directions at shows.  It works very well for this purpose.   It was designed and wired before we switched to DCC.  Before this proposed change, I had planned to strip all the wiring and start over.  I still might if I see the need to.

With the new changes shown, any working trains will leave the yellow yard to the right and run around the engine facility and then run down the REAR BYPASS and take the orange cut-off to the left ladder in the green yard and exit the yard on the orange line.  It then runs through the back drop and enters the layout at Haskell as a Southbound.  Upon return to the yard, the same train, passing through Winnfeild will enter the Yellow yard through the original black line and end up where they started from.  A Northbound will take the reverse path.

Staged through trains leaving the green yard to the right will make use of the FRONT BYPASS track and enter the layout at Winnfeild as a Northbound then return to the green yard via the Orange track from Haskell.  Of course, a Southbound will use the reverse path.

This should only take a few nights to get the tracks re-arranged.

Did that answer your questions?  :)

« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 07:40:52 PM by Bendtracker1 »

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5488
  • Respect: +626
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2011, 12:40:03 AM »
0
Yes - it certainly did!   :D  Looks like an interesting and flexible staging arrangement.

Best,
Gary

conrailthomas519

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 326
  • Gender: Male
  • BNSF / Montana Rail Link
  • Respect: +7
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2011, 06:11:31 PM »
0
 :D keep up the Good Work Allen!
TMM

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2011, 12:54:46 AM »
0
 :|
Having technical difficulties, please stand by.
Can't get pictures inserted.



« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 01:42:56 PM by Bendtracker1 »

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2011, 11:15:48 PM »
0
:|
Having technical difficulties, please stand by.
Can't get pictures inserted.

OK, Technical difficulties solved!
For whatever reason, I was not able to link to specific photos on my shutterfly account like I have in the past.  They must have changes something somewhere.

I was looking for a different place to store the photos and in doing so a friend told me to look into starting a blog.  He showed me how easy it was and how you can link to photos.  So I set down and over the course of a week, I got one started and it's now up to date.  I actually found some photos back when I started building the benchwork, so I have added them as well.  Now I'm ready.

It's been a little while since I posted any updates. 
On Oct 13th we had our first ops session and afterwards we decided that a few things need some attention.
1]  The two manifests that feed El Dorado was delivering too many cars and filled the yard at El Dorado to almost full capacity.  So we are going to break them into four trains.  The LRMP 1st and 2nd and the MPLR 1st and 2nd.  This should reduce the amount of cars being delivered to the yard at one time and free up some tracks to switch with.
2]  The main yard needed to get the electrical finished so as to make it useable as well as some new track work.

The second thing turned out to be a major overhaul.

It took me a little over three weeks to get the job done.  I got the tracks relaid as I purposed in the earlier post but this welcomed in an unwanted change.  The way the yard was wired for the modules and the way all the tracks came down to one yard throat became the problem.  All 18 tracks including the reverse sections had the front and rear rails wired alike.

Once I separated the yard throat into two throats.  The yard now became a "Run Through" yard that folded back on itself.  Now the rear staging yard was wired opposite of the front yard and hence, a short.

So I set back, coordinated a plan of attack and grabbed the snips, crimpers and the voltmeter and settled in for some work.  I completely stripped the wiring down to the feeder leads and started over.  In the process, I added a PM42 that I wired for a separate circuit breaker for the front and rear yard [the engine facility is also wired through the rear yard breaker].  I wired one of the PM42 outputs as an Autoreverser  that is also protected by the third circuit breaker.
This setup of a breaker protected reversing section turned out to be an interesting obstacle as most info I found on the net said that Digitrax use to mention this as an option.  But there was very little info on this.  Most things that I read about this was negative and said if you got it to work, the operation of it would be only slightly reliable and unstable at best.
A buddy of mine who is really up on his Digitrax told me that this can be done and didn't understand why others had any problems.

Well I got it hooked up and let me tell you, I have not had any problems so far, maybe I'm just lucky or the problem will soon appear.  I guess we'll see.  But until it does, it makes it very nice to reverse a loco or a full train a BREEZE!

Anyway, here are a few shots of how I reworked the yard throat and the new turnouts for the crossover.  The rest of the updates can be seen on the blog.

Before:


After:


And the crossover:



Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2012, 03:45:32 PM »
0
Well  I see it’s been a while since my last posting.
 
I’ve been busy working on the layout still, but not with anything visually at least.  We just had our third operating session last month and I’m pleased to say things are starting to mesh together.

The changes that I’ve made to the main yard has helped with the traffic flow in and out of the yard with both the manifests and the staged through trains.

The powering of the UP3 & 5 panels has cured the drop in power in the Loconet since we are using more throttles.  Next I need to get some good re-chargeable batteries so I can make better use of the radio ability of the system.  This should also reduce the power needed in the Loconet.

The car routing has gone through some minor changes as well.  We are starting to learn better ways to move the cars as well as train scheduling. The latest posting on my blog explains the system that we are using and some of the changes that I’ve made to the Wheel Report.

The other thing that has held my attention in the last month or so has been learning to speed match my locomotives.  What a difference this makes!  No more trying to match up locos that run at or near the same speed, no more run-aways, no more rail grinding or jerky starts and stops!  The best thing about DCC next to the ease of wiring a layout, is speed matching!  It’s the best thing since sliced bread!!!!

I hope to cover my method of speed matching in my next blog posting. 
That’s all for now. 

Allen…
« Last Edit: February 28, 2015, 11:07:32 AM by Bendtracker1 »

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2012, 01:20:23 AM »
0
I made some improvements to the basement, but nothing to the actual layout.  :|

Starting in late May, I moved all of the shelves moved under the layout, cleaned and covered the floor with coat of Thin Set and then painted it. I got the walls repainted and then lastly I covered the floor with a batch of the anti-fatigue mats.

You can see more on the blog starting with the first posting in May.
June and July shows the progress that I've made.

Now I can get started relaying the yard at El Dorado, then maybe I can get some green and 3D on the layout as well as the some of the backdrop scenery started.

   

GaryHinshaw

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 5488
  • Respect: +626
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2012, 03:25:05 AM »
0
Excellent progress Allen!  Having a finished space makes all the difference in the world, as far as I'm concerned.  I still need to paint my garage floor, but maybe I should just go straight for floor mats like yours.  Do they outgas much (i.e. smell)?

By the way, I noticed you hid the electric meter in the corner with a curtain.  How about making that liability a whimsical asset, and pretend the meter is an online electric utility that consumes coal?  It looks like you could easily add a shelf extension from the left to serve it, and it's traffic could be in proportion to the meter reading.  :)  (Feel free to ignore this suggestion.)

-gfh

nscalemike

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 387
  • Respect: +3
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2012, 11:17:17 PM »
0
Allen,

Just saw your blog updates and the paint/floor mats look great!  I bet that made a huge difference and will certainly help keep the motivation to work on the layout.  Now if I could just dedicate a weekend to do room maintenance projects maybe I'd get some layout motivation again!

Mike

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2012, 11:37:06 PM »
0
Excellent progress Allen!  Having a finished space makes all the difference in the world, as far as I'm concerned.  I still need to paint my garage floor, but maybe I should just go straight for floor mats like yours.  Do they outgas much (i.e. smell)?

By the way, I noticed you hid the electric meter in the corner with a curtain.  How about making that liability a whimsical asset, and pretend the meter is an online electric utility that consumes coal?  It looks like you could easily add a shelf extension from the left to serve it, and it's traffic could be in proportion to the meter reading.  :)  (Feel free to ignore this suggestion.)

-gfh

Thanks Gary!

Yes it does!  Even though it's only painted cinder blocks, standing there the other night I felt like I had a nicely finished basement like so many others have!
 
Before you go straight to the mats, a question arose from one of the followers on my blog.  He told me to be aware and careful of static electrical discharge!   He said he knows someone who has lost a couple of Digitrax hand held throttles from the static discharge.  I know that here in Nebraska in the summer months, you can almost swim in the humidity.  I'm more worried about the winter months.

I'm looking into as we speak. I also posted the question on TrainBoard to see if anyone over there has had this trouble.

Has anyone on RW had this problem?

As for the outgas, nothing I can't live with.  It has a slight stale odor, but nothing that's more than a NEW smell.  I read on the customer reviews that one guy used them in his dog kennel and the smell was so bad, even the dog wouldn't go in!  LOL

LOL!  The electrical meter that you spoke of is actually the gas meter, so I suppose that I could make a HUGE LPG distributor out of it!
Several of the guys have told me that I should come off of the main yard and make a second storage yard along that wall and another one told me to make a second branch line or logging line!  I'm actually kind of diggin the extra space to walk around the operators at El Dorado.

Though I might try and hang some pictures on those walls as well.  We'll see......
   

Bendtracker1

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1069
  • Remember The Rock!
  • Respect: +261
    • The Little Rock Line
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2012, 11:44:04 PM »
0
Allen,

Just saw your blog updates and the paint/floor mats look great!  I bet that made a huge difference and will certainly help keep the motivation to work on the layout.  Now if I could just dedicate a weekend to do room maintenance projects maybe I'd get some layout motivation again!

Mike

Hey Mike, Thanks.

Yes it has, and I can't wait to work on or have another ops session and see how our feet fare afterwards.  They feel real good to walk on, more than I suspected they would.  Even makes working on your knees, under the layout a lot nicer!

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and start in.


conrailthomas519

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 326
  • Gender: Male
  • BNSF / Montana Rail Link
  • Respect: +7
Re: Progress on The Little Rock Line
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2012, 09:41:34 AM »
0
Allen,
  Its been awhile! Glad to see you making progress.  ;)
                                                                Thomas
TMM