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, 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.

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