Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement

Archive for October, 2011

October 30, 2011


“The bridge is in!” Cam came over after noon and we made Really Good Progress on the middle deck. Specifically, we’ve got benchwork and cork installed to connect the Victoria sub pieces together, which when track is all laid, would connect all track laid to date. We even got things ready for the superior propane – Parksville spur in as well.

So stoked! Cam even suggested once we’ve got enough stuff done that I should be looking to host an open house to show off what’s happened thus far…


October 23, 2011

I received a phone call from one of the hobby shops I deal with advising my Intermountain wheels were in.  Goodie…I can take the plastic wheels out of the new boxcar kits I’ve assembled and turn them into scrap loads.  Not that I’m likely to ever do that since wheelsets likely wouldn’t have been changed out anywhere other than Wellcox yard on the island…

Gave Cam a call in the early afternoon, woke him up, and then advised we’d be headed out.  Stopped by Eastridge for the wheels, found they didn’t have any needed Peco track pins and went to Ewok Emporium (aka Chinook & Hobby West – South) for those.  Bought all six bags of them since I’m quite likely going to need that many (and more) for the rest of the layout.

Did a bit of railfanning down at the spot and had a bit of lunch, then back to the house for some additional work on the layout.

Accomplished was a fair bit more wiring/soldering work, cutting isolation gaps between power sub-districts (I’m subdividing the four power districts on the layout to further protect the remainder of the layout from the inevitable shorts) and getting a couple Bullfrogs installed on the siding switches at Bryn.

All in all, another productive afternoon.  Once things get wired into a command station/booster, and bullfrogs installed at Parksville, I can actually do a little switching.  Whoo hoo!


October 22, 2011

A brief update for today. After running a few errands, had Cam and Dan over for a few hours early this afternoon to get some stuff done.

Turns out, mostly electrical work on the laid trackage. Dan dropped feeders on the Bryn section, Cam spiked down a couple feet worth of the trackage south of Bryn, and afterwards, while I was finishing up soldering the feeders to the lower helix, he stripped and prepped all the feeders onto the bus wire. I followed afterwards with soldering all the wiring together. Still more soldering to do, but had other plans this evening. Will likely get more done tomorrow…

Lessons learned

Spent a few minutes (well, okay so it was closer to a full hour) down in the basement and tried to figure out what task to take care of. Figured a few more feeders could be hooked up to the track and found some begging for some long overdue attention.

Months ago, Dan took on the fun task of crimping feeder wires onto big ring terminals and then getting them into position on the main helix. I finally got around to actually attaching them to the track. Well, half of them….more or less. You see, it’s great to have access to both sides of the helix so the black wires can be soldered on easily from the outside and then go into the inside to solder the red wires to the inside rail.

Except for the fact there’s no easy way to solder the black wires to the track when you can’t be on the outside due to a wall. Oops.

So when we start in on doing the upper deck helix, we’ll solder feeders on when the track is more exposed…


October 9th, 2011

So the previously disconnected track around the peninsula end of the middle is now connected! With yesterday’s installation of the two curved turnouts leading to the Parksville team track and National Silicates (along with their associated tortoises), Cam and I got all the trackage laid, spiked down and feeder wires hooked up to the track (still needs to be hooked up to the bus mind you…) and then worked all the way to Bryn. So for the time being, we have trackage from south of Bryn through to the port sub past Parksville.

Excellent progress!

Really offset Tortoise install


Here is the switch leading to the Parksville team track. On account of the one-turn helix underneath this track, we couldn’t put the switch machine underneath the trackage as per normal custom. As a result, we fashioned some funky tube and wire contraption to ensure there is adequate pressure on the points. The turnout will be controlled by a signalogics switch control.

My first curved turnout!


Here’s my first curved turnout, in place for the National Silicates spur at Parksville. And yes, the inside curve is indeed the main track…