So please indulge me as I post here the progress I made during the month of April. These were all items that had been put on the punch list as a result of a couple of "shake-down" ops sessions in March - and some of them have already been detailed in earlier posts. But as I stare down the projects on the horizon, and start to get that all-too-familiar anxiety, I thought it'd be good to document how far I've already come.
Besides, having a record of what all I've done to model CT Valley railroad operations in the post-war era is one of the main points of having this here blog. So, without further ado . . .
- Two reversing sections and wye all wired with new AR-1 units - so ALL track is back in service;
- All mainline turnouts powered and controlled by Saybrook panel;
- Saybrook panel totally reworked and rewired to reflect the new track arrangement, and turnouts numbered logically (instead of lettered illogically). This bullet was by far the heaviest lift and took by far the most time (had to add some toggles and new LEDs too);
- New mechanical/manual throw(rod) installed for the "back" turnout behind Middletown yard (access issue);
- Newly *powered*(!) turnout in the tunnel at Somerset, complete with associated toggle (access issue);
- Newly installed throttle bus and a panel in each aisle, for plugging in throttles when needed/if desired (in case radio throttle is ever spotty);
- Speaking of throttles, the defective one got fixed and is back - AND I've converted it to antenna-less operation (so no more whippy antennas!);
- Saybrook/Essex liftout is now powered from just the Saybrook end, eliminating a plug. And I patched/painted the hole in the wall that was there (and got rid of the extra wires/plug);
- Backdrop done behind Shailerville and down the Essex/Deep River peninsula - and it's all patched, painted, and ready for photo backdrops;
- Removed Essex Lumber Co. siding (much more trouble that it was worth, between the space it took up and the fact that the switchpoints were in the wall(!));
- Some switch machines replaced with Tortoises (now, all but three turnouts have Tortoise machines - and I used one of the MicroMark machines to power the tunnel turnout, and another one is all that can fit in another area);
- Turnout at the north leg of the Saybrook wye is now manual, per prototype (Caboose Industry ground throw);
- My second heaviest lift - installing the mainline crossover that will allow trains to get from New Haven staging to eastbound Track 2 before entering the Saybrook scene, per prototype. No more wrong-way running!
- And the Air Line - which had to be removed for construction of said crossover - is now replaced and re-wired.
Whether or not you think you're accomplishing very much, be sure to look in the rear-view mirror occasionally. You may discover that you've actually come much, MUCH farther than you think!