The Saturday gang was over to test out all parts of the new extension to Curlew and Darestof following the installation of the DCC auto-reversers and other wiring. Many thanks again to John for capturing the day in pictures.Continue reading “Functional electrical testing”
The next Saturday after I returned home we continued on from where the elves had left off during my absence. Work began as Gordie contemplated various connection schemes between the two sections which were almost on top of each other. He was inspired with a concept of two temporary switching leads one for Curlew and the other for Darestof. (What would we do without him?) Thanks again to John for the photos and comments.
Most of the day was spent locating, adjusting heights, unwarping new plywood and securing the temporary Darestof section so it could be connected in a manner that would ensure smooth operation of both sections.
While leveling and arranging was ongoing, Greg and Brian were busy locating and installing track feeders in the permanent Curlew section.
And Tom was working on the cardboard web supports for the mountain behind the Morning Star mine. Tom is also responsible for the very nice retaining wall at the bottom of the hill beside the track. That is the narrowest spot, due to the proximity of the lower main line, and he offered to build a wall for the spot. Thank you!
Off to one side Ken was quietly busy building the land of the “Ents”. (Tree-hosts, look it up online.) Although the scenery in this area does not represent a West Coast rain forest, nevertheless many, many trees are required to achieve scenery appropriate to the area around Grand Forks, British Columbia and looking down towards Spokane in Washington State.
For once, we had everyone present for the work session, but unfortunately somehow Brian got missed in the final shots of the gang. Everyone looks a bit tired from a good days efforts on the layout. Many thanks to you all!
In May, I attended the NMRA Pacific Coast Region convention in Sacramento, followed by the joint UP/SP historical societies’ convention in Ogden Utah commemorating the 150th anniversary of the completion of the US transcontinental railroad. It seems that while I was gone the Saturday elves were hard at work in my absence, working to get the portable end of the line section known as Darestof installed in preparation for VanRail in September. What is not evident in the photos is the amount of stuff that had to be moved to make room for the new L-girders and benchwork to support Darestof. The event was recorded once again by John.
They did leave me to install the track to connect Darestof to Curlew. I didn’t want to compromise the design of Curlew just for VanRail, so the very end of Curlew was left unbuilt so that we could join it temporarily to Darestof. Once we continue along the wall and move Darestof to its next location, the south end of Curlew will get finished. For now, there is lots of track that has just been nailed down instead of glued.
Darestof was not the only location where the elves were working. The sawmill in Curlew needs some sort of a log pond, so the trusty sabre saw was put to good use to cut out the plywood. They installed another piece lower down for the pond bottom.
Many thanks to the guys for doing this to advance the construction, and to Suzy for inviting them over in the first place! . There was considerable consternation amongst the group that I may be mad at them, but why would I be, after they did so much to help me.
The original town of “Darestof” (Da Rest Of the world… thanks to Suzy) was built as a moveable end of the line turn around module to facilitate operating sessions as the layout construction advances around the room. It has a few industries, plus main and passing track loops that double as the south staging yard. Unfortunately its design and construction were somewhat lacking. The design placed the manual throw switches towards the back where they were hard to reach, and the construction used Atlas code 100 track and switches which proved to be troublesome.
The old track was removed, and the plywood flipped over to enable a new design. The new track would be Peco code 100 which has proven to be very successful in the main upper and lower staging yards.
So, with a blank piece of paper (or plywood) to work on, Gordie once again set to work playing with bits of track to see what would fit. We had discussed the idea that the ultimate end of the layout would be some rendition of Spokane’s north west industrial area, so he worked in some of those ideas, rather than just arrange the tracks randomly.Continue reading “Darestof urban renewal”