Wednesday, March 30, 2022

RF&P Governor 4-8-4 #601 Overland Models Review and Thoughts | Brass Part VII


I know this is a serious departure from the normal power at the Richmond Terminal, but bear with me while I throw some accolades.

Overland produced a couple of different runs of RF&P 4-8-4s over the years, but this and the next brass post will highlight a few models that were produced just before the turn of the century in 1999.

This model is factory painted and lettered, and is a tour-de-force of craftsmanship.

More pictures on the gallery are here on the main site.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

South from Acca, Step 2

 After I'm happy with the path the track will take, it's time to get corked fastened down.

I didn't setup a timer shot, so what we have pictured is the after.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

South from Acca, Step 1

 As the track for Acca has been filled in and completed, it is now a case of laying out and getting us ready to head south and connect to the staging yard.

Step 1 is measuring and marking our path.

Next step, once we are happy with this, is to get cork down.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

RF&P 10-6 Sleeper "King George" Union Terminal Imports Review and Thoughts | Brass Part VI

 Going to take a break from posts about the layout and the construction thereof and shift gears to talk about some models.

As I've discussed in prior posts on the blog, I have an interest in brass models. Unfortunately, the golden area of brass ended 20 years ago, so the choices today are significantly limited from what they were in days gone by.

This doesn't mean there aren't any good models being produced, since there absolutely are, there just isn't the breadth of offerings the hobby saw years ago.

Union Terminal Imports offered some RF&P 10-6 sleepers a few years ago, and I bought one of each road name, plus one undecorated in plain brass.

The three cars are King George, King William and King and Queen. All of these were painted in a PRR style Tuscan scheme, as they were Pullman cars in pooled service.

These models are amazingly detailed, featuring lighted and detailed interiors, plus Kadee couplers right out of the box.

I plan to run these on the layout occasionally as private varnish at the end of Amtrak trains primarily, and maybe on some inspection trains as the layout work changes from heavy building to scenery and operating tweaks.

Enough talking, let's get to the pictures.

Look at the detail around the diaphragm. Amazing.

A run of 5 cars, worldwide. No matter what, a very exclusive model.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Signals at Greendale (GN Interlocking)

Years back while still operating the old railroad, I had plans to rebuild the set of cross overs just to the south of Acca, and install more prototypical signals versus the kitbashed signal bridges I had used.

The turnouts were installed in reverse order, in other words, the LH crossover was on the wrong side of the RH crossover. Compounding this, I used Atlas turnouts and one of them had a point that failed and stopped conducting power. Of course, this happened during an operating session.

The prototype had color light signals here for both tracks, using a 3 over 3 over 3 configuration. Unfortunately, the off the shelf signals available for HO are 3 over 3 at largest.

I found a custom signal builder that put together 3/3/3 signals for me and had him build me 6. By the time I got them, we had decided to sell and move, so I was pulling the layout down.

Fast forward and I finally got a chance to install these at the GN Interlocking after having them 6 or so years.

First one installed; this is for northbound traffic on track 2.

As you can imagine, with these installed right at the edge of the layout benchwork, they need protection from being bumped by random elbows and other body parts.

A piece of 1/8" acrylic was called to serve as a guard.

More pictures of this installation are on the gallery at the full website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Thoughts on the Atlas (former BLMA) Signals

 Longtime readers and RTRR operators will remember that the railroad has a significant amount of signals in the overall physical plant of the railroad.

Version 1 was mostly a Tomar and NJ International with a smattering of BLMA color position signal heads kitbashed onto signals bridges.

Version 2 needs way more signals. The installations are a mix of BLMA, from old stock, Tomar, both from old stock, recovered from version 1 and new purchases, NJ International, new purchase, and some custom built 3 over 3 over 3 that look Tomar-ish.

When Atlas announced when they purchased BLMA that they intended to produce additional runs of the BLMA signals under their branding, I was super happy. It took way more time that I thought, but I was able to install some of the new signals on the railroad recently.

Atlas did produce new electronic options to drive the signals, which is something that wasn't present in the BLMA line up, but is not of any interest to me as I am using RR-Cirkits and OpenLCB project nodes on my LCC network to drive signals.

As part of that, Atlas had miniature QD connectors installed on the ends of the signal wiring.

Great idea, but the execution makes me wonder if anybody at Atlas actually tried to install these on a layout.

I'm going to go with, no, nobody did.

You can't get a 1/4" rectangular connector, through a 1/8" round hole...

I cut the connector off, since I can't use it anyway, but a bit of a disappointment.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Local Turnout Control installs for Quantico and Glen Allen

A previous blog post here discussed the why on the fascia mounted control panels.

I needed additional panels in the same general area of the layout, but on both levels. In an effort to make it as clear as possible for what button goes to what, a panel was installed for each level.

Quantico (upper) and Glen Allen (Lower) panels installed.

Fishing the LCC network cable to connect the node at Quantico in.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Helix Wired

 This is a bit of a catching up post, but I've got the helix wired up and running.

The helix, like all mainline tracks, is setup to be detected via the current transformer coils so a message can be leveraged by the LCC system.

Feeders connected to drops

Not the best picture, but shows the DCC blocks - one per track

Friday, March 11, 2022

Turnouts, a quick illustration

 Regular readers of the blog, and members of the operating/construction crew know that the standard turnout is built using the Fast Tracks series of tools.

As I built the interlocking at North Acca, I had a chance to take a side by side shot of a number 10 and number 8 turnout, focused in on the frog area specifically.

Number 10 is on the bottom, number 8 on the top.

Note the frog, wing rails and guard rails being significantly longer than the 8, as well as the frog point being prominent.

Thursday, March 10, 2022