Shovelling is not better than working on the layout

Wow, like many of my fellow Islanders I simply can’t get over the storm we just came through. The snowfall and winds were incredible, even for the kind of winter we had this year. Much of the Island is shut down for the second day in a row and I too am home. The weather, right now, is superb. It’s really sunny and actually warm. If Brookvale were still open, the temptation to head out for one last afternoon of skiing might be too much to resist. Also like many of my neighbours I’ve been shovelling. After digging out the back deck and about half of our driveway I figured I’d retreat indoors and put on some tea and post this update on how things are coming along with the layout. In the light of the steady progress I made last week, I’m a little sad to report that things aren’t moving as quickly this week. But in some ways it has been good since I need to make some decisions regarding track plans and certain elements that will have somewhat certain impacts on the success of the project overall. If there is a good time to slow down, this might be it.

I have finished a turnout for this layout. The turnouts I’ve already built used code 40 rail and given my election to use 55 on this layout I needed to start again. Not only is the rail bigger, but I’m also adopting a longer turnout too and will settle on a pair of number 8’s for this layout. The first one is complete now and I’m quite pleased with the work. I don’t plan on more than three turnouts and see from my sketches and musings that frankly the type of operation I’m keen on could be acheived with only two turnouts and some nice, long, sidings. So with this first one done, I’m halfway finished.

No real advancements on the foam front. I’m on the fence about actually just using the 1/2″ foam. The ripples aren’t as bad as they felt like they were when I first discovered them last week and I’m starting to question any real impact they may have on the final layout. I’d hate to talk myself into using the stuff if I’m not content with it but then don’t really want to waste any more time worrying about it either.

I also haven’t progressed on a method to level the layout legs. This is something I’m just blaming on not setting aside some time and just buying something. This could be easily resolved since I do know what I want to use, I just need to click “Go” on a shopping cart and get the things bought. Not doing this isn’t making them arrive here any faster.

I did mention a track plan in an earlier paragraph. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on Jack Hill’s New Castle Industrial Railroad website. I am a fan of his approach and his website. To be completely honest, I think I could be quite happy with a carbon copy of the layout he is building in O scale. Here’s his plan:

He describes his operating plans in this post:

My first real job was working at Great Hobbies. I ran their mail room and warehouse and I dedicated a day, once a week, to collecting packing materials to ship out the many customer orders we’d ship in a week. Those box runs were a major part of my life and the thought of centering a layout around a factory that made corrugated boxes is kind of amusing. Jack uses an RS11 for his layout. Given just how many of these prototype switching operations really are using restored vintage motive power it might not be so much of a stretch to have mine worked by a 70 tonner or even RSC14 that once worked on PEI. Yup, I think I like it.

Well, my mug of tea is just about done and that five foot plow wake is still waiting for me outside. Guess it’s never going to get cut down with me waiting in here surfing the web.


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