No pictures for this update, as the camera batteries have died and my son has successfully used every set of AAs that I own, apparently.
I have the wiring for the lower staging yard almost complete. The last task is to finish the wiring from the control panel to the last 3 (of 8) tracks and then all the track will be live.
I mounted the rest of the tortoise switch machines this weekend as well as finished soldering each track joiner to make sure that as time goes on, I don't end up with a dead track or piece of track. I do need to install the two DS54s to control the 8 tortoise machines, but that is on hold until I can get a programming track setup to give me an easier way to program them. The first two I installed were programmed by the 'redneck engineering' method and that caused additional work to be done to get trains operating again to test. I've also discovered a couple of decoder equipped locomotives that don't respond on their previously programmed address.
Getting me to the point of installing the programming track means getting roadbed ready, since the programming track is actually going to be used as an interchange track for operations.
I sur-formed a piece of cork to be a ramp; just need to make each strip even. I've already put a piece of the track-bed down, so I'm planning on finishing the roadbed this week so that by the next (first) work session, it should be a matter for finalizing a couple of industry spots and then laying track as far as the roadbed goes.
Progress is starting to really be made and I'm pretty confident of meeting my goal of having by first operation session by late January.