09 June, 2010

Progess Report... and a little wishful thinking.

So far, here's what I've been working on:

-adding/testing new lighting - using daylight screw-in fluorescents in single fixture sockets, with splitters to use two bulbs. Dunno what shadows this will create, if any.
-completing the RF&P "loop" and starting on the C&O "loop"
-continually adding feeder wires to the track work, at every new segment of flex track and at either end of the switches
-fixing DCC "anomalies (no, I am not trying to sound like Star Trek's LCDR Data – at least not too much).
-occasionally weathering a freight car or two; I stopped recently, so I can begin inventorying what I actually have and what (roads and types) need to go in the trade pile or on the auction block, so I can purchase/trade for specific car types, such as more gondolas (for both local gravel pick-up and interchange coal lots), and some of the smaller flat cars, to do a TOFC run-thru train
-working on the glacier gravel kit and the scenery (pit, pile, etc)
-anything else my to-do list comes up with.

Also, as I think I know just what time period I definitely want for it, and then read a book, or find prototype pictures, I find I want to change my mind slightly. Such as, in Bob Kaplan & Deane Mellander's, Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad (Linking North and South), I rediscovered a couple of pictures with the exact locos I want to operate and then checked the dates for the pictures - I think I may need to back my layout up from Summer '79/'80 to '66-'72 to allow for the first gen Geeps to still lead the trains, have various paint schemes, and have an occasional second gen Geep show up. However, that means that I lose the Bear Island Paper mill, and some of the SCL/Family Lines run-thru power. So, I guess it comes down to what do I really want; what part of prototype 'reality' do I want to give up, or do I just "stretch" reality slightly and just say "I'm modelling the 70's"? I mean, can you really focus on a specific month, day, or year on your proto-type based layout? Inquiring minds want to know...

Overall, it is quite an interesting ride, building this layout; there are plenty of lessons learned and "if I could start over" moments. One of the biggies, is laying the Homabed directly on wood sub-roadbed and using wood or white glue, versus latex adhesive (I'd leave that only for the track to roadbed), to stick it down. Actually, if I had to do over, I'd have stuck strictly with cork roadbed and blown off the Homabed - don't really like it that much. I am also glad I stuck to a single-level layout, as I'm not sure if I could've built it, or maintained it. Finally, I would've chosen to do the L-girder benchwork, so I could've had a more flowing edge/fascia line - I don't like the boxy look and would've worked on spots where I could reduce the width of the benchwork and increased aisle space.  What I have will work - but, I am already using these "lessons learned" and planning for the "retirement" layout, in our future retirement home (wherever that may be), of the Santa Fe, UP, SP, D&RGW, out west, around Salt Lake City, maybe transition era, maybe late 80's (love the War bonnet Dash -8s!), or even early BNSF. No rush on that one - I've still got a pretty sweet layout to build.  Just don't tell the wife...


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. The photo of Doswell brought a flood of memories. When I lived in NC during the mid and late 80's I would go to Doswell and sit there for hours at the station, the amount of trains in a day was fantastic. At one time I was going to model that area and contacted the RF&P for some info and they sent me copies of the blue prints for about 2 miles of the line. There used to be a store just to the east of the tracks, I'm sure it is no longer open since on the days I was there I was just about it only customer. Is the Tower still standing? It is too bad that the RF&P got sucked up by CSX.

Good luck with the layout.


The Train Fanatic said...

Thanks. The store is called Squashapenny Junction, is a "antique" store (more like junk, IMO), and still there. The tower is also still there... I agree - losing the RF&P to the machine (CSX) was a darned shame, but so it goes - you can't stop "progress"
Hope you'll keep following my progress.