Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement

Archive for January, 2012

January 28, 2012


And more helix! The port sub helix is now a couple turns taller after a good afternoon of Cam and I working away at the benchwork, track and wiring. One more full rotation for the track and we’ll be exiting the helix and towards the summit. And it all goes downhill from there!

January 21, 2012

In some respects, building a helix requires quite a few things to be done nearly all at the same time.

Such was the case when Cam came over to get some stuff done on the layout. Since we’ve pretty much done everything on the lower and middle decks, we started in on the upper helix to carry the track up towards the summit of the Port Alberni subdivision. We managed within the space of about two hours to wrap the benchwork around a revolution and a half, and a little over a half turn on the track.

And on a completely different topic…

I downloaded Google’s SketchUp, with the intent of learning how to model the stations along the line digitally in the effort of having the pieces laser cut, making the assembly effort to be better and hopefully produce a better finished piece.

We’ll see how things go…

January 13, 2011

Over the past week, spent time downstairs finishing up the wiring to the track laid.

So to date, all the bullfrogs are wired, the track has been wired.

Next up will be the helix up to the upper deck and to Arrowsmith siding and the grade down to Port Alberni!

January 9, 2012

Really quick update: drilled holes for feeders from Mud Bay siding through to end of track on the lower deck, dropped feeders into all of them and then hook up quite a few of them to the track before I ran out of juice…

January 8, 2012

Earlier this morning, decided to go downstairs and do some troubleshooting. Specifically, wireless troubleshooting. Quite a few months ago, came across a deal that I really couldn’t pass up: an older, radio equipped digitrax empire builder starter set, slightly used, complete with a DT400R throttle, DB150 booster, power supply and a UR91 radio reciever. Realistically, I could do without the first three as I already had them, but could definitely make use of them all. The last item was a missing link so to speak for operators who had a DT400R throttle. Without the UR91, their throttles would be missing major functionality.

And our testing of it from prior to the open house seemed to indicate the UR91 was a dud and needing a Florida vacation.

Well, this morning I tried the one throttle we received with the set, and had no luck. Then checked Loconet. All good. Then I tried another throttle and voila. The locos started responding. I relayed the results back to Cam and he brought his throttle (a DT400R) and play…err, tested it as well. No major issues there either. So I’ve got throttles to send on a trip to Digitrax for repairs and the UR91 stays put…well, maybe. I’m still not sold on it’s location for now…

Later this evening, went back downstairs and threaded and spliced in another section of bus wire, under the newly laid trackage between Buckley Bay and Union Bay, planned the feeder locations from Mud Bay through to the end of trackage and called it a night.


January 2, 2012

Today saw the finishing of the turnout for Buckley Bay, the laying of track up to Union Bay, and the building and install of the bullfrog controlling the Buckley Bay turnout.


Of note with the track between Buckley Bay and union bay is the loose bit of track. No spikes, no soldering of the rail joiners. Possibly no feeders either.

It’s in preparation of the install of the bridge over Hindoo Creek, a short 15-tie long bridge, where we have some room to install bridges.

For the most part, the benchwork doesn’t allow for many bridges, owing to the lack of vertical clearance. Such was the fate for the Englishman River Bridge, but being on the lower deck, space below allows for these scenic features.

Also of some importance to the list of things done yesterday, and while we’re on the topic of bridges, is the install of the final bit of benchwork between the end of the peninsula and the straight stretch of grade into Port Alberni. Cam and I left this for a while trying to figure out how to handle the several inch drop from the benchwork around the top of the peninsula to the bit that was installed at the same height as Port Alberni itself. The benchwork was installed to be level with the port alberni height and one giant leap up to the next level. The extra clearance will allow for the install of the trestle around mile 25 of the Port sub. Here’s a picture of said benchwork. The high spot is on the right.


With the near completion of the trackage on the lower two levels of the peninsula, efforts will now start towards the completion of the main helix and trackage towards Port Alberni. About time we started paying attention to the Port Sub, beyond the little bit around the Parksville area…


January 1, 2012

Spent a little bit of time today on the Buckley Bay / Union Bay roadbed today, primarily getting the cork laid down. Also nearly completed the turnout for Buckley Bay spur as well. Should be able to lay some track down tomorrow and wire it up for operation. One of the nice things with single track territory is that it lays down nice and quick!

Oh yeah, happy new year!