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Author Previous Topic: treefoliage made out of gardenpond/aquariumfibers Topic Next Topic: How many of you recognize this?
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Just a fan
Engine Wiper



Posted - 12/18/2014 :  10:32:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeMc

quote:
Originally posted by Just a fan

I'm curious why you picked those train numbers for the Amtrak trains. Shouldn't they be #60 (northbound) and #61 (southbound) - The Montrealer?

Jeff



My thinking was that these being diverted from their regular route it helps to distinguish the difference. But perhaps integrating the actual numbers makes more sense. Don't really have a prototypical reference for this in particular as this diversion never happened. Usually Amtrak would run as far as they could and bus the rest of the way, but that's no fun!!

Thanks for the input, something to consider. I'm glad to get observations like this, so by all means everyone keep sharing as we go.

Wednesday I will post the MEC RY-2 info and pics.

Mike Mc.
Delran, NJ



Oh, an Amtrak detour. I hadn't thought of that. I don't know how your prototype would have handled it. Maybe "Extra Amtrak 205 (or whatever engine #)". All you need, really, is a train designation that says this is a first class train and all others...get to a siding!

Jeff


Jeff

Country: USA | Posts: 319 Go to Top of Page

MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 12/18/2014 :  7:34:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbvb

That post is a lot to digest. My first reaction is that St.J yard was already fairly full when RY-2 arrived, so unless 904 is past Wells River, switching is going to be complicated for a while.



Ha! Yes, indeed. Actually, not all the cars are where they should be right now as this is more the ways things stood after the last open house. I need to manually move some of those out of St. J back where they belong before breaking down RY-2. It is fun though to run the trains and do the work, especially when you put a lot of time into scenery and construction. One thing I have definitely noticed is that I do not have a enough CP locomotives. Something to look for at Springfield perhaps

Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ



Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/18/2014 :  10:27:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When I railfanned the B&M's Conn River jobs, the engine mix was about half B&M, half CP. They didn't usually leave much power in St. J, just an RS-2 to switch and run the local. There were several MLWs RS-18s in Newport; I don't know what their regular assignments were.


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MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 01/05/2015 :  9:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For those attending the New Jersey Division NMRA Meet in Haddon Township NJ on Saturday 1/10/15, my layout will be open in the afternoon from 1pm to 5pm (along with others) for visiting. Hope to see you!

Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ



Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 01/06/2015 :  09:25:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wish I could make it Mike, but as is normally the case, I am working Saturday. Hopefully I will get to see it soon though.

Mark

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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 01/06/2015 :  10:07:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I know of at least three divisions which will be meeting Saturday the 10th. I'm going to Seacoast Div. in Portland, in the opposite direction from NJ....


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MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 02/28/2015 :  11:39:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've been pretty busy putting things together for an initial operating session. One thing that is surprising is how much of a thought process it is. Just to think about operator positions, train sequence, car numbers and routings, then actually assigning locos to trains, making sure they are speed matched, moving cars to the right places, figuring out how many cars should be in a train - wow! It really makes me appreciate how much a layout owner puts into making their layout available for Op sessions I have enjoyed.

A few weeks ago we had a small meeting at my house to plan for some of the Op sessions that will be held during the MER convention in October. Afterwards we headed down stairs, and I asked Bruce (aka Steamnut) about an intermittent issue I had with only some locos derailing in Crawford Notch. I ran a loco back and forth and Bruce quickly diagnosed the issue as the front rail coming out of the curve dropping down from level. I must have looked at this dozens of times and never noticed this issue. So thanks Bruce for the quick diagnosis! After a little shimming all derailment issues have stopped!



Now just a little ballast to put the scene back together.

So, as I have been staging and test running some trains, I'll post some more pics of these trains. One train that will be somewhat simple now but get more work later is the North Stratford to St. Johnsbury turn, Maine Central TY-2/YT-1. This train will originate in North Stratford, and perform some switching duties as it assembles it's train TY-2 ('T' is the station designation for N. Stratford, 'Y' for St. J and 2 for westbound). Right now I have not started the track laying in North Stratford, so I plan to just have the train start fully assembled, much like staging. I temporarily put in a couple pieces of flex track to hold the train.



This section of the layout is on a shelf above hidden trackage running behind the Gilman paper mill. I do have the photo backdrop in and the area is ready for track laying. Beyond the train will be the North Stratford Railway, which will interchange and serve the Ethan Allen furniture plant. The 40' boxcars in the MEC train are specifically from the plant. Behind the train will be an inactive Grand Trunk mainline which will also provide a small amount of interchange traffic.

The power for now on TY-2 is the Maine Central's pair of RS11s, 801 and 802. When called, the operator will depart North Stratford, heading downgrade behind the backdrop to get onto the Maine Central's mainline between Whitefield and Crawford Notch. It is a steep grade, but the grade is hidden from view so it is not as apparent.

Here is a view of the branch behind the backdrop in a view that will not be able to be seen by operators.



Here is the train exiting the branch through the backdrop. This area will be fairly well hidden by scenery and structures in the foreground Whitefield scene.



The train heads towards Crawford Notch where it will need to reverse direction, using the double ended siding to do this.



The locos are uncoupled from the train and they will run around.



The caboose is pulled off and put on the main, and then the train is pulled and reassembled on the main.





The train now continues to head westbound on the way to St. Johnsbury, seen here passing through Whitefield and the ball signal protecting the crossing with the Boston & Maine. This train does no switching en route to St. J.



The train passes through Gilman, VT and the paper mill area there. Above you can see the location of the Ethan Allen furniture plant and one of the North Stratford 40' boxcars that will be on a future TY-2 train.



MEC TY-2 arrives in St. Johnsbury, passing the yard switcher, CP Rail RS-2 8408, a recent recipient of a Tsunami sound decoder, but still awaiting some basic weathering. Way, way in the background you get a glimpse of Crawford Notch where this train reversed direction, giving you a sense of the layout room.



The yard will pull the caboose and then the train into the yard. The power will layover briefly while the return train YT-1 is assembled.



The return trip of MEC YT-1 will be similar. For now it will end when it arrives at North Stratford. Once the track work is completed, the train will need to set out the interchange traffic for GT and NSRC and then tie up the power and caboose before completing the run.

Now, back to the layout and some more preparations. Hopefully the first session will take place late March or early April. More pics to come later!

Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ
nekrailroad.com
mainecentral.blogspot.com




Edited by - MikeMc on 03/01/2015 8:00:39 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/28/2015 :  11:54:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There is some work involved, but experienced friends should be able to help a good deal. A lot of what you're doing is figuring out what parts of what the prototype did fit in the track you've built.


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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 02/28/2015 :  9:56:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A good photo-story Mike. But as I've said before, the pictures don't do your layout justice! One look at the quality of Mike's benchwork finishes in the above pics will tell the story of the quality of Mike's work. The layout is gorgeous and runs very well.

With regard to the operations, until you actually operate, you will not know exactly what to expect. My suggestion, put together some sort of schedule that at best, roughly meets what you want to happen, then run it. It will take several session to iron out the bugs such as power, meets, etc.

I can appreciate what you are going through since I am at the exact same stage you are; figuring a schedule, getting power assigned, etc. But trust me, all this work will pay off when you see the railroad come to life!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13426 Go to Top of Page

LVRALPH
Fireman



Posted - 03/01/2015 :  05:12:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, what Mark said.


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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/01/2015 :  08:24:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of the best fall foliage I've ever seen!

Mike

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nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/01/2015 :  3:07:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Great looking layout! Looks like it will be fun to operate too. Give the scheme a few runs and and may find some glitches that need smoothing over. Usually these are minor. Have fun with it.

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/01/2015 :  8:16:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys, and appreciate your thoughts. I do know it will evolve as we run a few sessions. I'm looking forward to doing that and getting feedback! It has been enjoyable getting things ready and I look forward to the layout recreating the action I have researched.

Thanks for the compliments on the layout and the scenery, I appreciate that!

Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ



Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page

kebmo
Fireman



Posted - 03/01/2015 :  10:25:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit kebmo's Homepage  Reply with Quote
as mike said above, your foliage is the best i've ever seen. fantastic sense of color on the trees. just beautiful.



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MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/27/2015 :  2:13:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've spent most of my time recently preparing the layout for an Op session. This has meant putting cars in the right places, checking (and correcting) waybills for proper routing and information, identifying locomotive assignments for trains, and doing a little test running. The test running is where I get to take a few pictures and post them here. I have some more to share of other trains, so look for that soon.

Here is a look again at my waybills and car cards. It is essentially the same concept used by many layouts in the area, with the main difference the car card size and the vinyl sleeve I use to hold them. I like that it makes them easier to handle and virtually impossible for a waybill to accidentally fall out. The waybills are 2 or 4 cycle and simply folded to fit in the sleeve. Operators will not have to deal with removing waybills to turn them - I'll do that between sessions.



These 2 cars needed some corrections and got new waybills. You may notice the color coding in the upper right hand box of the waybill. I picked up this tip from Don Irace when I was operating his Providence & Worcester layout up ion Rhode Island. The colors help the yardmaster quickly identify the basic routing of a car. This is for the St. Johnsbury yard operator only. Seeing an orange b=colored box means the car is routed via the Maine Central. Yellow for Lamoille Valley, Blue for CP/B&M and Red for CP. Further classification for a specific train and blocking may be required, but this should help assist the yardmaster in quickly breaking down a train, or pull cars off of a through train. It worked well for me on the P&W layout, so I thought I would give it a try too.

The other major task has been coming up with a master sequence of trains. This was tough as anyone who has done it will probably tell you. Based on the prototype train schedules, I also needed to factor in which trains needed cars from other trains, the availability of staging tracks, and the activities out on the single track mainlines. Lots of head scratching and wood burning later, I have something to at least start with. I'm sure it will evolve once things get underway, but for now I have 26 sequenced trains for an Op session. A few could be eliminated if needed, and there are 4 others at the bottom that can be added later. In any event, wherever we end up after that first session will help dictate future adjustments.



Sorry this is just a cell phone picture, but hopefully you can make out the details if interested. I can post a better example later if needed.

In doing this I came up with the number of operators I will need. I am thinking that 6 will be a good number: An engineer and a yardmaster/conductor for St. Johnsbury, a combined engineer/yardmaster for Morrisville on the LVRC, and 3 floating road crew.

Initially I thought maybe 4 or 5 people, and that might still work, but I think St. J will be busy enough that 2 people will be needed there. Someone can do the planning, handle the car cards and throw switches, while the other runs the yard locomotive, a Tsunami-sound equipped CP Alco RS2. They could even switch up duties during the session if desired.

The LVRC yardmaster will not be as busy, but does have some additional duties like local switching, running out to get gravel hoppers at the quarry, and running the extra out to the Talc mill.

The 3 single-operator road crews should be kept busy running MEC, CP, B&M, LVRC and CV trains. Some trains are shorter runs than others, but there are plenty of local switching runs that will take some time.

I also worked out details on the locomotive assignments. Some of these will need to change later, and a few are still not completed. And there are a couple needing to get their decoders installed, otherwise leased power will need to be brought in from one of the unassigned locos I have on hand! So there is another item for the check list.

Progress, slowly but surely!

Mike McNamara
nekrailroad.com
mainecentral.blogspot.com



Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page
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