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
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.