Image above captured on the upper deck of the layout where scenery has progressed to some extent...
Shot with Olympus C-750

Welcome to the SP Oregon Division!

An N Scale RR depicting the good old days along "The Friendly".

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Oct / Nov / Dec - Progress

I have not had time to work much on the RR for awhile due to work schedule, so it has not progressed much. I even had to terminate a few operating sessions that I tried to get off the ground, but it appears that maintaining a job is necessary just to keep the train room.
Back in September I had the Oakridge section and east side of the pass all prepared for scenery, and was making slow headway with minor plaster filling and re-contouring in that area.  Was just starting to work on the base color coats and geared up to add ground cover when I got transferred to another job...

I had to pull up all the masking tape off the rails when I found that it would be awhile until I had time to push further forward, and so the layout has basically sat idle since then.  Otherwise, I have been purchasing a few items here and there and doing minor tinkering.

I bagged a CMX track cleaning car on ebay for 40% off, that is ready for its first test run... 

Hopefully keeping it filled with cleaning solution will help with the track cleaning train, as chasing it around with an alcohol filled eye dropper was not the most efficient.  I have found that 70% alcohol on my Centerline cleaner cars seems to build up a residue on loco wheels and other, but not sure what is actually taking place there.  On-line reading tends me to think that the alcohol is partially breaking down the gunk and relocating it.  My Minitrix wheel cleaner was balking at removing this gunk from engine wheels, and the only thing that would remove it was running each loco in place over an alcohol soaked tissue.  So not sure what the best cleaning solution should be for the new CMX tanker...  Some reading indicates use of lacquer thinner might be better, or perhaps 90% alcohol instead.  My fear is in the weathered rail profile that I have painted with lacquer base paint, and how durable it will be with these solutions over the long haul.  Since I can control the drip rate on the CMX car, I am leaning toward the laquer thinner and see how that goes. 

Another acquisition I made on ebay was to get the 70 tonner needed for my Klamath Northern roster, which will be used between the KN interchange and the mill up at Gilchrist.  I couldnt resist the 70% off price on this puppy.  It needs the twin sealed beam and one of a kind door louvers, but pretty straight forward after that with the reefer orange paint and some custom decals.

Here is a proto shot by John Bauer of it at the mill by their chip loader (that for some reason has a shed over it unlike others I have seen... maybe that doubled as the engine house at one time?).

 Bachmann's version pulls fairly well on the flats, but after some extensive testing on similar grades and curves needed for this operation, I found that it will be most reliable pulling about five cars from Gilchrist Jct and up  to the mill.  It pulls seven on similar trackage here with minor wheel slip, but I should probably configure mill ops based on what appears will be the more reliable train length.  This operation ran a couple trains per day anyhow, so might be a kick if that fits into the operating scheme here once we progress to that point.
Here is a shot of KN's later GE 125 tonner with a shorter cut of cars, coming back from the mill (another one of John Bauer's fine shots):

Adding cars to be used for the last lumber drag that will eventually fill the train schedule.  Recently picked up a couple more Exact Rail out of production lumber boxcars with the yellow doors, and an old Columbia Cowlitz high cube box from LBF.  I have a couple units acquired for this train so far, but still need to find a couple more Kato SD45s, then put decoders in them all.

Last few weeks been acquiring some screen mesh, and sifting old plaster bits and pieces for some loose rock / talus on the east side of the pass.  Today I stained some sample runs of different earth colors...  so see how they came out tomorrow, then can adjust as needed.  This should get my scenery materials closer to complete for what is needed to finish the east side of the Hill (and possible upgrades to the west side later).  More later...
 Top of the list as soon as I see stability in the work schedule will be to call crews back from furlough.  Look forward to more good times moving some traffic across the RR, and hopefully then we can also verify that the latest operating scheme has been fine tuned correctly.

Happy Holidays

Sunday, September 16, 2012

More Videos of the Layout, and....

 Now that I have been cruising Youtube and looking at all the SP N scale stuff, I stumbled on another vid of the layout my buddy Vinny digitized while here during a loose ops sess. 
Layout Vid
Looking forward to the next time you can make it out this way again there Vincenzo!

Came across a couple more issues that had gone unnoticed after that heat wave in the garage... on the day of the layout tour.  Had a "sun kinked" rail in the siding at Oakridge where power kept uncoupling.  After a closer look I was able to work the ME 40 flex track back into shape since it hasn't been ballasted there yet.  Resolved it after some further persuasion with a little ACC to hold it in place.  Then there was an electrical short in the staging yard where one of the rails expanded into a frog at a turnout.  I never finished soldering all the rail joints in staging, so some of the short rail sections need to get completed anyhow.  Later experienced another short on one of the Tortoise motor pwr circuits that I was unable to find, until Dan M. eyeballed a wire laying across another where they were soldered to a turnout toggle that controls the Weyerhaeuser plant.  Probably unrelated, but fortunately we weren't doing any switching that day anyhow.  Thanks Dan!

Meanwhile having fun playing with the WiThrottle App to make the I-devices act as throttles.  Originally it was just my kid with the Ipod Touch so I wasn't that interested...  Pretty easy to work with to acquire trains and I like the throttle speed controls....  Good times working on the RR.
More on using your Iphone with the App:

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Youtube Vid Posted

Cobbled together the sound units and strung a bunch of cars together to make my first youtube vid.
It runs a bit faster than the original, and the sound level is a bit low (so Crank It Up! for the full effect), but hopefully can figure all that out as I move forward...
It's just a Railfan's perspective of one loaded lumber drag with midtrains grinding up the pass.
A good motivator to push forward on that scenery... as soon as work gives me some of my life back.
Enjoy!     :)
Here is the link:   Midtrain Helper Video

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sound Decoder Update

Got the latest batch of big SD units programmed with the 645 turbo prime mover sounds (Dgtrx SDN144A0 decoders), and satisfied with what they can do for now... no not Tsunamis with Big speakers, but still a kick.
Trying to tweak the speaker output a bit to get more bass, as I note the programmed sounds are really cool when the power travels through cuts and tunnels as they traverse the layout, but a bit lacking out on the plywood prairies. One thing that has helped so far, was inverting all the speakers with the magnet facing out.  It makes a noticeable difference in getting rid of the higher "jet airplane" syndrome that these smaller speakers seem to produce.  Considering making some styrene baffles to see what affect it has in further efforts to produce more bass...  later.
A couple minor issues yet to resolve with Digitrax's "sound time-out" feature when the units are dispatched from the throttle...  They work fine solo and perform as intended with CV 11 @ 06, but when I consist them with UniVersal consisting they won't shut down at all, so still working on a solution to that issue.... 
Then loaded the non turbo 645 sound projects into a couple SD9's (more SDN144A0 decoders)  from John McMasters spj files.  I have yet to play with the CV settings at all on these units, but kind of baffled with the default that they start up with now...  They go through a series of prime mover and non prime mover sounds when the track first powers up, but I have yet to take the time to read more on his settings and program to see how they follow...  So far the non turbo sounds are pretty cool, so hoping I can get them dialed in without issue, then can address minor issues with differences in the GP / SD actual implementation...  more to come as we are just getting started in this aspect of the hobby.  Probably sound will take a temporary back seat once I get these dialed in, as want to push forward more on the layout itself even though there is a strong current pulling me back toward sound, diesel detailing, etc, etc...
And a shot of Klamath Falls staging yard as trains await their crews for the PSR layout tour this weekend:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summertime Blues

Our air conditioning died last week and had to go without it for about three days until we finally figured out it was just the capacitor for the condenser fan had failed, but that was when it reached over 105 degrees outside for the whole week.   :(
The layout is used to having climate control along with the rest of the house, so it got well into the 90's in the garage during the afternoons.  This morning I noticed that the layout did not like seeing those temperatures, as a string of boxcars in the new staging yard were leaning significantly to one side from some severe expansion issues.  I have to do a thorough check on how the whole layout fared, but so far only appears to be that one Atlas flex track section where a rail popped out of the ties.  I was worried about the slip rail in all the sections of my Atlas code 55 flex while installing it, as that rail was excessively loose compared to any other flex I had dealt with before.  Fortunately I was able to carefully push the rail back down into the spike heads, so maybe that is better than the whole track section getting distorted and ripped apart....  a little track cleaning with a few test trains should verify if all else is well.

Meanwhile been working way too much overtime at work to get much progress on the layout as I had hoped, but on the brighter side still been able to tinker with a few more sound decoder installs.  The sound fleet now is up to six units, with 2 Cadillacs (SD9's), 3 Tunnel Motors, and an SD40-2 ready for programming.  The PR3 is here, but have yet to actually load any sound projects.  Here's a couple pics of the latest install into a UP Kato SD40-2 that will be used as a pool unit:

Sounds a lot better than the other GP38 default sounds currently in my Cadillacs and Tunnel Motors, that's for sure!  A lot of my power is EMD 645 prime mover equipped, so this unit is a lot of fun to have working since the first actually sporting the correct sounds on the layout!

Getting ready for the PSR layout tour here in September, but not sure if I am going to make it putting the sound units into service with the constraints...  maybe they will give me a break at work     :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Taking Things up a Notch with Digitrax Sound Decoders

Since expanding the layout, I have found the need to build more trains and also find more motive power to pull them.  I am finally pulling old power (and rolling stock) out of boxes as well as purchasing others to balance out closer to SP's '78 roster, and putting decoders in them...  so why not try some sound decoders?  MRC was out from what feedback I got from others, so I started looking at the Digitrax drop-in decoders.  On a recent visit to Ron Sipkovich's Cajon Pass layout, I had the opportunity to hear Digitrax's 645 prime mover and other sounds used in the SD40-2 first hand.  With its small speaker, this decoder did not match up to the Tsunami or Loksound decoders that I have heard in N scale cowl units (bigger spkr), but if I could stuff a 10 X 18mm speaker into an N scale hood unit, I was pretty much sold, especially considering there was no major milling and I got the same performance and reliability as their non-sound counterparts.  Latest acquisition to the fleet here that needed sound, were a set of Intermountain Tunnel Motors.  Since receiving some help from fellow Forumites on the Atlas forum (thanks Tivo), I found that the Digitrax SDN144A0 (used in Atlas GP38), was a possible candidate for the Tunnel Motors.  So I bought a few to verify as a worthy prospect.  It is pretty close to a straight drop-in install, with only a few minor issues to resolve.  I had to modify the frame halves by carefully prying the ears to get the .024" needed for the thicker decoder board.  Don't get too crazy or one can easily crack the frame ears.  I have encountered this before, and in some cases I will take a Dremel cut-off wheel to open the gap a bit more.  After taking the calipers to the shell and speaker widths, I noted that it was a tighter fit than I was comfortable with, but pretty close.  I wanted to be able to disassemble the unit for maintenance without the 10 X 18mm speaker getting stuck inside the shell, so some filing of the speaker and the body shell were in order.  Removal of about .010" overall, and I was able to slide the shell on and off smoothly.  So far I am happy with the user friendliness of the decoder settings and feel like I have adequate control of all the sound levels.  With the speaker sitting in the back and partially under the decoder, the sound still resonates pretty well.  I got the volume on max for some of the sound schemes, but toned down for others resulting in an acceptable balance for the layout's ambient room noise.  Still have to load the 645 sound scheme files in this version, but once I get the PR3 programer here, that should be easy enough.  The headlight has to peer over the capacitor that sits in the front, so it is a bit dim and needs further work, but I have to revisit sometime soon to add more full SP light packages on my lead units anyhow...
...and a pic showing how the components fit:

After tackling a Tunnel Motor, I decided to try an install with the same SDN144A0 decoder in an Atlas SD9, but more filing (speaker and inside of  shell), and headlights still to reckon with.  On this unit the decoder was too thin and ended up being too loose between the frame tabs.  Instead of trying to shim with styrene, I ended up adding a small amount of solder to each decoder pad for more reliability.  Another fairly straight forward install with no major modifications.  I took the previous decoder out of the SD9 and swapped it into a GP40-2 that has now been added to the fleet.  As time permits, I will push forward with lighting effects to include more SP light packages, and also put some premium sound / speakers in my early Kato power (Loksound and larger spkrs in U33Cs and other SD's), but short term these drop-ins are a quick and easy way to get sound started on the layout.  For now, just my lead units will have sound, but hearing a full consist roll by on Tim Dickinson's BN layout (each with its own distinct characteristics), has pretty well hooked me at this point... so there's no stopping me now!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Resistor Wheel Tutorial

Added a Page with a short How-To article on adding resistors to your rolling stock.  Get that DCC train with detected wheel sets together, because yes, you are welcome to run it here for Opp Sessions.  Already looking forward to our first BYO Equipment Night....     :) 
Direct link to the page:
Detected Wheel Sets

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Updated "Insight on Operations"

Spent the last few weeks getting the layout ready for its first official operating session since putting the Staging Yard into service.  Paperwork was more than I wanted to deal with, but on the verge of completion now.  Updated the "Insight on Operations" pages in the "Espee Oregon Division Pages" section to reflect all the changes.  Of note is some changes that Blogger has made to their pages recently.  Now you have to right click on an image after opening it, then click "view image" to see it full size...  wtf?  Anyhow, here is a direct link to the page:
Insight on Operations
Among the new changes, added some trains including a Cabhop, a Hauler Job, a second (Night) Weyerhauser Job, and restored one of the monster empty lumber drags.  Biggest change is the complete overhaul to how Eugene Yard handles traffic.  The new lumber mill is now also in service so the Oakridge turn now handles a bit more switching chores. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

BLMA 100 Ton Trucks Added to Chip Gon Fleet

Since the new lumber mill will be shipping cars soon here, I had to prepare more woodchip gondolas so they could be put in service.  Recently I acquired a number of Deluxe Innovation Chip Gons with some really nice loads already added (Thanks Arnold!).  So after my last visit to Kel's place and admiring how easy it was to add body mount couplers and BLMA trucks to these cars, it was time to add the upgrades to my cars here.  MT 1015 couplers in bulk are cheap, and with the plastic underframe it is easy to drill and tap the mounting.  With the BLMA 100 ton trucks under them, there is no need to shim the 1015s for a perfect ride height.  I hated to put resistors on such nicely detailed wheels, but fortunately no one has ever made note of seeing a resistor on any of my rolling stock to date... so after adding a detected wheelset to each car, it was a real breeze to complete the dozen additional cars needed for service.
Here is a comparison shot of the Deluxe GEBC "Ace" chip gons with the BLMA 100 ton trucks on left, and MT RB trucks with FVM 36" wheels on right.   The newly modified car appears to have too low a coupler height when comparing to the other car, but this is mostly due to the fact that the MT talgo trucks have the 36" wheels installed, making the ride height higher than normal on those cars.  The car's new ride height difference is striking.... these things look sweeet!          

Another shot but of a Deluxe Gunderson Deep Rib gon for comparison.  I have body mounted some of these before, but never with the addition of the BLMA 100 ton trucks.  Not quite as straight forward of a mod, but by using the 1025 coupler, it is basically just a matter of filing the end sill to make room for the coupler box to fit up snug to the underfame.  Well worth the time to get the better ride height, as these cars never looked quite right until lowering them down this far.

Still a few more chip gons on the layout that need the upgrade treatment, but will go back and revisit the ongoing body mount project (yet again) not far down the road.

About 50 cars have been added to the layout to balance out operations with the new mill, and trains that have been reconfigured since the addition of staging.  Been slowly adding more resistors to wheels and am down to the last few cars that need to be completed for the next run.  Had a number of inquires on how I put on the resistors, so working on an overview in "My Pages" section with some snapshots on my methodology making detected wheelsets.  Maybe some ideas others would be interested in...  stay tuned for that one.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Expansion Phase II Commissioning

  Last weekend we were able to have a real loose operating session to drive the layout hard and find out how things performed with the new Staging addition.  Ray threw a lot of weight into getting the signaling installed and reconfigured, and deserves his usual pat on the back for what many take for granted regarding the intricacies of installing CTC on the railroad.  Staging has made a dramatic change to how the layout flows now, and appears to have reduced the overload problems that my Eugene Yard had been bogged down with.
It looks like things are fairly solid since we ironed out a few minor details, but I still need some more feedback from operators on how the staging flows (regarding arrivals and departures).  Looks like I might have to add more dreaded paperwork to the General Rules on how operators are to handle staging, as it is not as seamless as I had hoped.  There is a bit of confusion on trains arriving at their destination name (for ex Portland), but then pulling the train the rest of the way into the staging yard leaves the head end at the opposing name location (ex Klamath Falls), so crews are not clear on which yard office handles the paperwork.  I suppose just a minor glitch that seasoned operators will never think about, but I want to simplify things for new operators so as not to drown them.  Hoping for more operator suggestions on how to deal with it on a simplistic level as they encounter it first hand...
Still more work ahead before any official crew calls go out again, but once I can get a grip on the loose ends (adding related cars, associated paperwork, etc), we will schedule accordingly.
The next session will surely unveil some more items that need attention, but I plan with each future session to expand on train assignments in an effort to fill out operations, and also to make car flow even more a part of the railroad, as opposed to just moving the trains.
Hoping to move toward adding more scenery over the next few months....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lumber Mill and Stage II Progress

Latest project was the building and installation of 3 more code 40 turnouts for the lumber mill trackage, and pushing through on completing the rest of the trackwork there also.  Just a bit more wiring and this industry should be ready to receive it's first cut of cars in conjunction with the inaugural ops of the new layout configuration.  It's as close as I could get with selective compaction for my version of Pope Talbot.  The trackage arrangement is close comparing the SPINS diagram to years gone by (minus one track), but I don't have the real estate for accurate structure placement.  I have a temp structure set-up for now until I can get more info on how it looked vs what I have to work with.... then these stand-in structures should eventually move to the proposed Klamath Northern Gilchrist mill location on the upper deck of the expansion.  
Looking out the West end of Oakridge:

Meanwhile also got both temp staging yard panels installed.  They don't show exact track alignment as it made the ladders appear a bit confusing, so this is kind of a test for the permanent panels, but want to see how it all flows with emphasis just focusing on the track numbers needed for movements.  Staging will be where those new to the operations will board their first run, and I'm hoping to make it as seamless as possible  just to get the feel of the layout, without being submerged into the intricacies of full ops...
Here is a view of Portland Panel with arrival / departure's break down.  Note the 5 throttle slots are typically for the corresponding 5 departure tracks (top of control panel board is visible here also):

So now that all track feeders have been finished and all Tortoise wiring is completed for Phase II expansion, it was time to run the first test train through the staging yard!  
A 45 car MT lumber drag pulls out of Klamath Falls after a run through into Portland and "through" the staging yard for testing:

....only a few minor issues.  Once I added a few more feeders and filed some switch points it appeared to be pretty seamless running both ways through the yard with the first test train.  Got it wired now temporarily to run trains and verify the flow, as the booster and associated wiring for block detection etc is still progressing.  The DB150 Booster will sit on the shelf behind the new control panel board installed under the Portland yard location.  Work still progressing on the front of the panel board which will carry the support for the DB150 (power districts) and detection / signaling related devices.  Have progressed most of the way through on the Loconet connections for the new throttle racks and booster.  All throttle racks have been tested and are up and running...  
Klamath Falls Panel and Throttle Rack:

...but not without issue.  After installing the new throttle ports around the addition, we tied it into an existing UP5 with it's own PS, but the system failed to power the throttles with the DCS turned off.  After putting the LT5 tester on the output jacks of the UP5 we found that it was wired different than the schematic included with the Digitrax user manual...  The side port output was wired with the LocoNet rear jacks rather than to follow the front Throttle jacks!  No evidence of this found anywhere on the web or otherwise from anyone else, but that is what it was.  So Ray modified the UP5 circuit board for pin 6 output to configure it as per the user manual drawing, and it all works perfect now!

Optimistic the signaling gets integrated into staging soon so we all can resume our erratic schedule of Ops...     :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Staging Completion on the Horizon

Hit a few milestones over this past week...

 -All of the trackage has now been installed in the staging yard, but still have to block all the sections, and finish dropping feeder wires... I anticipate being able to complete that soon.  I read a trick about using ACC to glue the sliding rail to the ties before cutting any gaps in the Atlas flex track, so hoping that a test of that will be successful and I won't have to worry about any kinks in the rail where cutting gaps on the radius curves...

-Basic Tortoise motor installation is now complete at both ends of staging, but a bit more wiring to go.  Edge connectors are working out really nice, and a must if you don't want to spend a bunch of time under the layout soldering wires.  We took old edge connectors and cut them in half, then glued in styrene strips to keep them aligned properly when installed on the tortoise motors.

Plug and play.    :)    Well, still have to run the frog feeder wires to the turnouts...

Ray and I installed and tested the first Matrix Board to control the yard ladder at the Portland end.  The boards that he built are from a design that Rob Paisley designed and can be found at Rob's Web Page (this guy has a lot of info for other projects at his home page also), and are a huge leap forward from the old ways of using the diode steering with ice cube relays... this is just cool:

It was a smooth install with the terminal blocks mounted on the boards, as they were quick to terminate the field wiring and verify correct orientation for normal and reverse turnout positioning.  Excited how nice the matrix controls are working at this point.  Special thanks to Ray as he has spent a number of hours researching and building these matrix boards for the layout, as well as helping on the install.  The control board for the K-Falls end of staging is also completed and here now awaiting its turn to be installed.  I still have to make up more temporary panel displays (just using foam board for now) to mount the push button switches on so crews can follow the ladder diagrams, but they are all wired and ready to be installed into the panels.  This will get us back to operations again until I figure out what the final panel designs will be for all the yard panels on the layout... 

-Each yard throat end is now connected to the helix also.  Here is a view looking away as departing from the Portland Staging end:

Basically I just chopped out a short section of the lower track in the helix, and brought the remaining ends out on new roadbed where they connect to each end of the staging yard leads.  Maximum gradients are still well below max as well as minimum radius curves on this addition.  A view departing Klamath Falls staging end:

There will be a scenic divider between the two yard ends where I will make an attempt to separate them visually...  There won't be much in the way of scenery here other than some ballast, a couple yard structures, and maybe painting the backdrop / divider to simulate the feel of appropriate yards....  6" above the new bridge elevation will be another deck (the next phase), so this should also help to force viewing the mini-yard scenes from an acceptable perspective.  Once arriving trains flow through the yard leads into the yard tracks they will disappear under the bench-work of the other deck also.
Still haven't been able to run the first test train through the staging yard trackage yet, but looks like we are getting pretty close now.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Belated Staging Progress Report

Busy pushing forward on the staging phase of the expansion as of late.  Both yard ladders have been laid at the east and west "ends" repsectively.  Since the layout is actually a loop, the staging is designed to sever that loop creating a West end (Klamath Falls), and an East end (Portland) for trains originating and departing.  This design allows visibly loaded (or empty) trains to continue to operate in the proper direction between runs, without having to turn trains.  Holding the coarse, installation of switch machines aka Tortoise motors is complete at Portland, and progressing through installation at Klamath Falls now.  I am looking forward to the use of edge connectors for terminating wires to the contact strips, unlike what has previously been done. 

Ray has already built the first Matrix board which is ready for the Portland Yard throat's nine Tortoise motors (more on that when it arrives on scene).  This railroad is already years ahead of where I would have it if not for Ray...  that means thanks yet again Ray!  Mulling over the yard throat panel designs...  Preliminary thoughts are to have two sets of  5 push buttons on each panel for aligning specific staging tracks, one set for (5) arrival and the other for (5) departure at each end of the staging yard....  probably based on track numbers instead of a track diagram, and to be located right below each yard throat.  Orders will dictate track number where crews board trains or tie down, and should help to alleviate having to hunt and peck correct turnout positioning.

The final track diagram has been transposed to the benchwork between "ends", and the track gang has commenced laying the Atlas 55 flex trackage as well. Don't really like how one rail flops around in the tie spikes, but it is what it is...  I am also still trying to adjust to the spring action of Atlas flex vs the ME flex, as it is not as user friendly where there is a flex end section on an imcompleted curve... fortunately the choice of contact cement is making things workable... just do not use the heatgun trick on this track as it has a lower melt point than ME also...  A progress shot looking at Portland Yard taken yesterday and already outdated:

The shelving / structural support is now completed under the staging yard. This gives each "end" of the layout a Yard Office for originating and terminating crews.  This includes throttle storage racks, and train assignment pockets for crews with associated paperwork.  In addition there is now supplementary storage space for crews that need a place to lay forms, radios, throttles, or beverages (instead of those inviting flat areas with finish scenery), accessible from almost any location around the layout. 
A view overlooking the entrance to Portland end and it's Yard Office below (short section just to left of throttles is where the yard panel will reside):

Progress at Klamath Falls with it's Yard Office (yard panel will be just to the right of the throttle tray here):

A third Yard Office location also has all the above opposite Eugene Yard for crews and Hostler there.  It all gets painted black eventually to blend in with the motif, which will include more of the same fascias and curtains.

Throttle storage racks are 5 gang holders which will house a connection to Loconet in case of needed programing, and also to keep throttles powered (as a battery save mode) between sessions.  Eventually all staging throttle slots will be labeled with departing track numbers so crews can easily find their train as associated with their clearance / orders in adjacent Assignment Pockets.  Conventional throttle pockets that are currently mounted on the fascias around the layout will remain.

Assignment Pockets follow the existing operating plan that will be modified following the sequence of train assignments that has already proven itself as a stable call system for originating trains.  Clearance Cards with originating Train Orders on the top shelf, with terminating orders placed below.  Typically crews that are still available for Hours of Service, will draw their next set of orders from their terminating destination, similar as any crew would return back on their district.  We will include some orders that will direct crews to take a "Carry All" to Eugene for filler assignments as needed. 

Already got the concept in my head, but really itching to see how incorporating the staging into the layout changes traffic flow, then I can move forward on modifications to the operating scheme.    :)