Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Op Session on the Harrisburg Terminal

I was pleased to get the opportunity to participate in an Op Session on Rick Bickmore's Harrisburg Terminal layout. It has been about 2 years since I was last there so it was great to get reacquainted with this great layout. Rick posts regularly to the Railroad-Line forum, so I know and have seen pictures of a lot of his progress since I was last there.

The layout is essentially a loop that is operated as point to point. His double ended staging yard represents Philadelphia to the east on one end and Pittsburg to the west on the other. In between Rick models what he calls the 7 miles of sheer hell. What makes it difficult (or more appropriately, interesting) is the density of traffic and the uniqueness of trains modeled. In addition to through trains and locals, Rick models steel mill operations that sees special hot metal cars and slag cars moved. All the movements keep a dispatcher pretty busy and a crew of 10 with just enough downtime to enjoy a little socializing. His session runs about 3-1/2 hours.

I didn't take a lot of pictures as I was busy running a number of road freights. But I did take a couple.

Here we see 2 shots of the general layout area.

The main yard to the left, and part of the steel making process on the right, along with other industries. The PRR double track mainline can be seen passing the yard, it continues around the entire layout, except where a couple branches break off.

This is exactly 90 degrees to the left of the other picture. The same double track mainline curves around the peninsula making its way back to staging. On the left is part of the massive steel mill. Rick dedicated a large space to it and a lot of operations occur there. Really neat.
Just one of the great scenes along the right of way. Rick is a great structure and scenery builder, and often comes up with and shares new ideas and techniques.

In relation to my previous post about turnout control in St. Johnsbury, Rick has really nice little control panels for controlling turnouts that are not hand thrown (which most are). A single push button and Red/Green LEDs really make it simple. If I find the need to change out my turnout control method, I would definitely build something like this. I need to see if there is a similar product that can take a pushbutton control to drive DCC stationary decoders instead of Tortoise machines, hmmm...
I ended my night by operating a high and wide movement, delivering this transformer to a GE Plant. One of Rick's great background buildings can be seen.
The return of the high and wide also had a load - good planning by the railroad! This GG1 was at the GE plant getting some electrical work done. Now it needs a repaint and can go back into service. Thats the massive Harsco Steel Mill in the background.

1 comment:

Phil D said...

Wow, thought it was long form me being a year since I last got a chance to operate on it. Always a good time at Rick's.