Thursday, July 3, 2014

More Progress

My recent productivity spurt and manic motivation continue to accrue benefits to the Valley Line!  Here are some pics of the progress...

With some encouragement/goading, I finally decided to push forward on the Goff Brook road bridge.  Here's the foamcore base in place - and cardboard strips starting to encroach...
A better view of how the road will hit the backdrop.  There will be a timber grade crossing here.

Here's a closer-to-eye-level shot, showing how the road goes uphill . . .

. . . hopefully, just like the prototype.  This is how Old Main Street (nee Middlesex Turnpike) looks today (looking south).  Grade crossing in foreground, Goff Brook road bridge in middle background.

After doing that, I decided to fill in another area.  This section just "east" of Valley Coal looked just too deep.  While it's not supposed to be flat, the mainline certainly shouldn't be on the high fill it was on.  Thankfully, you can use more than one method of terrain construction.  I just added wadded up newspapers, secured with tape, right over the cardboard webbing.  Once the plastercloth is applied, you'll never know the difference.

While I was working at the Wethersfield/Rocky Hill town line, Roman was further south in Dividend finishing up some webbing.

Back in Rocky Hill, adding a few more strips.

Rocky Hill/Dividend aisle side of the peninsula ("east" of the RR) all ready for plastercloth.

With Roman and I both working together, we were able to complete the "cloth-ing" in just a few hours.

We even got right up to Goff Brook...
Other than installing terrain, we also focused some attention on the rolling stock.  During the last ops session it became obvious that many of the couplers had "airhoses"/trip pins which were just too low - and they had a very annoying tendency to get caught on frogs & such, stopping the train and risking a serious derailment (as in - car falls 480 scale feet to concrete floor!).

So, I had two choices: adjust/bend the pins to the proper height, or remove them entirely.  Since we use skewers for uncoupling rather than magnets, I chose a full pin-dectomy.

Problem is, some coupler manufacturers must use titanium for their pins - I'm looking at you, BLI.  What a wreck they made of my pliers.  KDs didn't do that - so I promptly swapped the BLI couplers for KD #58s.

A good start
It's amazing what a difference motivation makes.  I've gone from just staring at the layout, on those rare occasions when I'd get into the basement at all, to seeing potential projects just about everywhere - projects that can be Done Right Now.  I don't know what to attribute this latest spurt to, or what exactly eliminated the roadblocks to progress I'd perceived for so long, but I'm going to ride this wave as long as possible.

Next up: finishing plastercloth wherever we have webbing, then perhaps attack East Berlin and maybe even East Haddam.  Oh, and there are more switches to add to Middletown yard, and speaking of Middletown, I want to get to that tower project, and I need to build more boxcars, and...and....

Well, you get the idea.

Hope you're able to get down in the cool basement or air-conditioned spare room this summer and, if you do, be sure to share your progress so we can all get an added dose of modeling energy!

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