Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement

Archive for December, 2012

December 29, 2013

Spent this morning washing a bunch of turnouts and then assembling them with the quicksticks. Found one of the skeletons I thought was originally code 70 was actually a code 83 turnout which is for the staging yard. Oops.

Cam came over and we got to work on finishing the cork to Courtenay. After that was done, the track laying came. Cam got started with continuing the trackage north from Union Bay, and I started in on another turnout skeleton, occasionally providing my eyes to the progress and ensuring the track was kink free.

Dan arrived after he finished up work for the day around 6. He joined Cam with the track laying stuff, and I got to work on making the little clips to wire in the bus to the lower helix. Once there was a fair amount more track installed, I worked on hooking up feeder wires to the track. By the time 9:30pm rolled around, we were getting to the “done” point, and called it a day.

To sum up, we have cork down all the way to the northern end of track in Courtenay, only two turnouts need to be finished and track laid to just past BC Pole. A very good day of progress!

December (mumble), 2013

As much as I dislike Omnibus type things, I’m afraid I need to use it here…

I’ve been down to the basement quite a bit over the last few weeks and haven’t been doing any updates to the blog so my apologies to James and my other lurker readers for not doing these more frequently.

After getting the track boards cut, they spent a bit of time being left alone but they did get secured not long ago. Shortly afterwards, Cam and I cut a board and attached to the wall right at the bottom of the stairs. This will form the tail track and the northernmost trackage in Courtenay. This will come in handy for the crews working the Courtenay turn as they’ll likely need to do some shuffling of cars to switch on their way back to Nanaimo, as the vast majority of the turnouts are south facing.

I’ve also been busy building turnouts, mostly #6’s, but also a #8 curved turnout as well. Much as Cam would like Courtenay and the trackage into it to be arrow straight like it is in the prototype, my basement just won’t allow it, and I’d rather not give up a couple important industries (BC Pole and Dominion Tar) to accommodate that wish, so the turnout to the Courtenay team track will be situated on curved trackage. As far as we can tell, all industries in Courtenay in 1988 are present and able to be switched. I’m looking forward to operating it!

As we hosted a Christmas Brunch for a few important family members, I wanted to get the basement into some semblance of order and also do massive cleaning to make it presentable, I spent about three evenings getting a lot of cleaning/organizing/purging/etc. done. The results are fantastic. Family loved it, trains ran (though admittedly some dirty track in the helix caused some angst, more on that later) and all was good. I even spent the better part of a couple hours tonight doing the same to my workbench.

Couple days ago, spent a few hours in the morning to finish painting the stairs into the basement. Just plain white primer for now.

As I eluded to earlier, some dirty track has been bothering me. More due to all the dust in the basement, something rather unavoidable with all the construction happening, I decided to take advantage of the Boxing Day sale at PM Hobbycraft and looked at an Atlas track cleaning car. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the only vacuum equipped car, so picked it up and then proceeded to install a DCC decoder into it. I ended up removing all the wiring inside, hardwired the decoder in and after a bit of programming, am now able to control the speed of the fan. Ran it successfully through both helicies in front of a couple GP38’s. the results were promising. After a couple runs, the hopper was showing a few bits and the screen was covered in fine dust. The unit could definitely use a capacitor to assist the vacuum motor, and a couple other tweaks, but I’m satisfied with it. I’d post some pictures, but they’re too dirty. 🙂

Yesterday, spent a couple hours and laid some cork down through BC Pole and Dominion Tar as well as the mainline approaching both. Should have the rest of the cork laid tomorrow and probably some track soon as well.Had a real SOB of a time trying to get the lid unscrewed off the full 1.5L jar of contact cement though. I now own a couple strap wrenches…

Also received my order of track yesterday too. 10 bundles of code 70 flex, totaling 180′ of track, so should be good for a while. The three existing bundles weren’t going to make it to Courtenay. While we were out shopping, also picked up some 14ga stranded wire from MRO in red and black for bus wiring needs. My PSX-3’s finally arrived a week or two ago and I can get them installed.

Can’t think of anything else to mention. Thanks for reading this far!

December 2-5, 2012

So I’m finding the workflow with the registrar duties for SUPERTRAIN to be a little less hectic, and Cam found himself with a little extra time, so we got some additional work done downstairs. We’re now in the final stretches of getting all of the benchwork into Courtenay done. All the track boards, minus tail track well north of the Courtenay depot) are cut (including one spur I cut solo on Monday) and ready for installation!

We also checked the lengths and ensured we could fit at least a three-car pole set into both Dominion Tar and BC pole. And in fact, we could actually fit a five car set into the Dominion spur!

And over the past few evenings, I’ve been building turnouts again. I’m needing them and figured track installation is imminent… Two #6 turnouts are now built for the pole yards. Next up is the ICG spur in Courtenay, and then a curved 30/40 turnout for the Courtenay team track. Of course, the track into Courtenay is pretty much arrow straight, this making a curved turnout unwanted, but the layout dictated it to keep the number of separate curves down.

I’m also debating another open house this year after Christmas to show off the progress, but haven’t come to a decision as of yet. If you’re interested, drop me a line – either via email or a comment to the post.