Originally, the layout was illuminated with 75 watt incandescent bulbs. Over time, more energy-efficient bulbs were tried, but the lighting remained uneven and tough on the eyes. Finally, a solution was presented, using 3w LED bulbs housed in used cat food cans. The illumination is now consistent and yet does not strain eyesight when viewed for long periods.
One of the main curves of the layout had a switch at either end of the single track which no one could keep straight, resulting in head-on collisions and derailments. The fix was to hand-lay and install a Gauntlet at that spot. This is how it went.
In Howard yard I have a narrow area to put in some side tracks to run some cars into to make the area more interesting to work. So I designed a building that would take three cars on one side and two cars on the other. This turned into a Z building that when using plastic kits ended up being 2 inches wide. Each of the sides ended up 8 inches long.
I needed to go from one height to another in a small area. The way to do this is to run the track back and forth on the wall or fold it over its self. The track is at a 2.3 % grade with the height between the decks at 4 inches in height. It took some planning to get the front tracks to clear the rear tracks going down the grade. Each on of the sections had to be leveled and set to 2.3 % grade.
With a meat packing plant right around the corner from the yard tracks. The railroad needed an ice house to cool down the cars that needed to be load and then repacked with ice to keep the cars cold in transit. The location came into play when the main tracks could no longer use the […]
The only way to get to Al’s wharf was to get on to the main line and run down to the switch for Al’s wharf and enter the lead track. I wanted to keep Howard Yard off the main line to keep the main line open for trains to move straight and not get stuck […]
With all the track that needed to be ballasted I had to find a quicker way to ballast it. I tested many different types of spreaders and the dreaded spoon. I found the answer when I put mustard on my hot dogs. It turns out a condiment bottle holds ballast very well. With a 1/4 […]
The track on the right went behind the yard to the track on the right rear and didn’t stop at the yard. To make the railroad have a dual main line a set of switches had to be added. Ballast was pulled up so the track would go straight into the yard. The switches were […]