Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Short Brass Update

 As I've mentioned on the blog before, I have built a bit of a brass collection.

I admire the craftsmanship found in the models and like how they illustrate a section of the hobby that has faded significantly in my lifetime.

Most brass models made today are from South Korea, for the handful of producers and importers that are carrying on today. At one time, there was over 10 importers that were doing fairly significant business, but at this point, I think we are down to 2 or 3.

Japan started as the country of production, but I'm not aware of the last time a model was produced there for importation to the US, by a importer based here in the states.

My collection is mostly Overland Models, aka OMI, with a handful of other importers represented, mostly all produced in Korea. I have a single produced in Japan model, a Fujiyama RF&P 4-8-4 that was imported by Pacific Fast Mail.

I am planning on a couple more in depth brass posts in the next few months, but for now, I will close this post with a group shot to tease what is coming up.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

WMMD Op Session Photos from August

 Photos from the WMMD Op Session in August of this year have been posted to the gallery.

My duty station - Cumberland and MY Tower

Bunch more pictures at RTRR's Gallery.

Friday, October 22, 2021

North Acca Control Point

 So somehow I managed to build and install the track at the North Acca control point without taking any pictures with either of my dSLRs. Oops.

Onto the subject at hand, the control point at North Acca is fairly complex, with a full set of crossovers between the mains, the turnout to get traffic on and off the yard bypass track from Main 3, and then access to the industrial marshaling and short departure yard through a scissors crossover.

If you are counting, that is 9 sets of points in this area, which doesn't include the 4 other sets on the marshaling yard.

All of these are fast tracks turnouts, built from Code 83 Micro Engineering rail.

This first photo is looking south, from a slightly elevated perspective. Track 2 (main) is center, Track 3 (main) is right and Track 1 (advance track) is left. In the background on the right, you see the turnout to get you to track 4, the bypass track used by Amtrak trains and high priority freight trains that don't swap cars or stop for any time beyond a crew change.

Helicopter shot of the north middle of the area.

Looking north from track 2, at track level:

Bunch more pictures on the site gallery at http://richmond-terminal.org

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Readying Tortoises

 The standard turnout motor I use is the Tortoise by Circuitron.

When I started the old layout, you could find them in 12 packs for about $12 each, but that was 15 years ago. Last time I saw some in a store, they were around $22 each.

I pulled all of them off the old layout, but many of them had soldered leads that I used to connect them to the Digitrax DS54s that I used to control turnouts on the old layout.

The DS54s have RJ11 phone sockets on them so I ended up with lots of 4 wire phone cable soldered to Tortoises.

But a small sample of the problem.

Problem being solved.

And problem solved:

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

A note about the Fast Tracks System

 Building a new yard ladder and a set of #10 for the thoroughfare tracks gave me a chance to re-evaluate my process of building turnouts.

In a previous blog post (here), I mentioned that fact that I use a cheapo Harbor Freight benchtop belt sander to help me shape points, frogs and toads. (Extra credit if you know where a toad is used)

I have noticed that getting the frog points sharp enough so that wheels don't fall into the gap is tougher than I realized.

What I found that works much better is to start with the benchtop sander, as before, but then finish with a large mill file to really bring the rail to a sharp point.

When you do that:

Side by side comparison.

Old process in rear - note the gap between the frog point and the point rails that angle away to start the guard rail portion.

New process in front - look at how much longer that frog is!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Acca Tweaks and Track

 As I got past North Acca and started in the body of the yard, I realized that I needed to come up with a better way to fit the tracks I wanted into the space I had.

The original track layout was much modified and here are the results.

This is looking railroad north towards NA

The two main line tracks (Track 2 and Track 3 in RF&P's numbering scheme) branch out to 7 tracks when they reach North Acca (control point NA).

A post detailing the North Acca control point is in the works.

From the top, you see the bypass track (concrete ties), then the two main tracks, then 4 yard body tracks. The track closest to the aisle will be a runaround and industrial lead in use.

Super proud of this view!

Here is where I made some significant tweaks in track layout - a yard ladder is going to start here and an additional post will show that in more detail.

Larger pictures on the gallery at http://richmond-terminal.org

Monday, October 4, 2021

Updating Process a bit fouled up

 I had to turn in my old laptop, which is how I have been sorting and uploading pictures from the cameras. 


Working to figure out alternatives.