Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Moving Along

I have been able to dedicate time just about each day to the layout. I have another Op Session scheduled for the end of the month, and there were "hit list" items I wanted to address.

A couple of freight cars had issues and these were corrected and put back into service. I am also trying to add a few more cars to the layout as I find that I really do not have enough cars to adequately fill out trains. This was evidenced by trains that terminated in staging only having a couple of cars, like the LVRC MV-1 train and the CP 917.

What I need to add are simply some cars for interchange, going from one railroad to another. I spent a good deal of time making sure I had cars and waybills for local industries across the various railroads on the layout, and also some run through cars, but not enough cars that get passed to another railroad and then terminate off line in staging.

So I have been putting a few of my more recent acquisitions on the layout and generating the appropriate waybill for them. As usual, my "workbench" in Lyndonville has been a convenient location to do this work. The picture here looks messy but really is not that bad. I have a few cars in progress, getting weight and checking wheels and couplers. The cars actually on the track are part of the CP RS-2 and RS-1 trains getting restaged before moving back into the staging yards.

Once I get the rest of the track in Lyndonville, I'm going to miss my "work station"!
I also took care of some other things like raising the Digitrax UR91 and UR92 receivers up above the backdrop to get better overall reception. I was able to control a locomotive from out in the other room of the basement, so I think this will alleviate the issues we had in the first session.

In St. Johnsbury yard there was an issue in having space for the MEC power on RY-2 and YQ-1. I found that the tracks used to store the power for RY-2 and get to the storage track for YQ-1 were just a little short when the caboose was included. I do not have a dedicated caboose track, as St. J was not really that type of yard in the 1970s. The cabooses tended to stay with the power. So it was a relatively simple matter of adding a little flex track to 2 stubs in the yard to address the problem. 

Extending this siding to hold three MEC U18Bs and a caboose from RY-2 was easily accomplished. The RY-2 power lays over until later in the session when it returns to Portland, Maine as YR-1.

Another issue operators had was knowing exactly where to spot cars in some locations. I made sure the waybills identified the location and contents, and I know where it is supposed to go, but it is not that obvious for the operator who does not know my prototype so well. So I just used a few post-it notes for now to identify where cars should go.

At Gilman, empty boxcars go to the Outbound paper track to be loaded.

Also at Gilman, it might be obvious where the Kaolin tank cars go, but this is also the Inbound pulp unloading track. Bales of pulp from another paper mill in Maine are shipped here to be processed into paper goods.

I also worked on a couple of track issues in Hardwick. I had to replace the throwbar on a Central Valley turnout and then instal la ground throw. I also had to install a missing ground throw to the team track spur. After doing this I test ran a locomotive and some cars to ensure all was operating well. This peeked the interest of our one cat Roxie. From the looks of it she might be in line to be a future operator!

She just needs a throttle in her paw as she intently watches the LVRC train pass through the covered bridge.


Trevor said...

That's a great picture of your cat. And I like the way you're tying off the loose ends, like adding the short sections of flex to the yard tracks to accommodate the caboose as well as the power. That's stuff one never really thinks of until one starts operating a layout regularly.
Great progress - keep going, and keep sharing!
- Trevor (Port Rowan in 1:64)

Thom said...

Whatever it takes to enroll new modelers and operators, you Mike have clear intentions. Cool shot.
Thom Radice

railtrax said...

Great shot Mike. Love the way your cat is sitting up on the stool. She's waiting patiently 4 her turn at the throttle.
Thanks & keep them great photos coming.
Peter Hann.

railtrax said...

Actually Mike. You got 1 very well trained cat there
Peter Hann

Unknown said...

I had the privilege to operate your layout during the NE MR convention on Oct 23. Your hospitality was terrific, the layout was beautiful, and the operations was fun. Thanks for all your hard work to make it a great event.