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New England Free-mo - Return Loops

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  • Very happy to see you active again. Will be waiting for more updates, just hope it won't be another 2 years'... Terrific workmanship, BTW.


    Ted

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    • James,

      Impressive. You present a lot of information in this thread on building high-quality modules. The workmanship is excellent throughout. I’m looking forward to further developments.

      Mike
      _________________________________________________

      Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin

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      • James, it's good to see some progress and better yet, you back on the forum. Looks great!
        Mark

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        • Hi All,

          Well, I'm already a few days behind when I planned to post next, but I'm trying to be more regular about posting.

          Today is a small update on CP St Cloud, which is the reverse crossover for the crossover located on St Cloud itself. It's been a work in progress now for some time, however, I finally want to get this resolved.

          In the following pictures, you can see that the track to the left in each of the pictures, is not centered correctly to align with the track on the transition module of the loop. The plan is to correct this problem, by removing the track, tie plates, and reinstalling to match up perfectly with the opposing track connection.






          To complete this however, and ensure reliable alignment each time, I'll be physically replacing the end plates of the modules, with new end plates that have alignment and clamping built in.

          The designs have been completed, discussions with the cabinet maker have been ongoing, and I just need to place the order. I'm hoping that I'll have the new end plates in about 4 weeks time, to update these modules, and build some new ones for additional module pieces for use at Springfield and other setups as needed.

          In the meantime, I'm going to move on to the rebuilding and finishing the bridge on St Cloud, to keep things moving along. I'll document that in my next post.

          Regards

          James

          Comment


          • Looking forward to seeing your progress, these loops have come a long way, nice to see them getting more scenery and such.

            Reminds me that I have some tie end plates I got from you at Springfield I was planning to put into Woodstown Jct. Need to get on that!

            Mike McNamara

            Delran, NJ

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            • Hi All,

              It has been a number of years since I have posted, and nothing has really changed since my last post. I have been extremely busy with work as usual and recently have more responsibility with my job. No one needs to hear my excuses, but as I prep for Springfield in January 2022, I plan on documenting some changes to St Cloud Loop, that I hope will lead to more efficient setups.

              I do hope to get the first stage completed for Springfield, which I will document here as I move forward, and then I will continue to post progress updates as we move forward through completion.

              James

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              • Glad to see you post again. I've run into your loop modules a few times since 2018, but I don't think you've been around the layout they were in when I passed by.
                James

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                • Hi All,

                  As I mentioned a few weeks back, that I was going to try and provide more regular updates on the progress of the loops. Nothing has really changed, since 2016 and as part of my commitment to get this updated and moving forward, I am working on some small changes on Eugene Loop, to enhance operations, as I have learnt more about the cars needed for operations themselves.

                  I had originally setup the track in the foreground to be dual purpose CO2 and Phosphoric Acid Unloading, and the track to the left of the grassy area to be general car storage for when switching the soda plant (mainly for temporary Corn Syrup Tank Car storage), however, i have since found out that CO2 and Phosphoric Acid unloading are completely different and to have both facilities on the same track would be very complex. I decided to dedicate the small track in front middle, between the Grass and Dirt for Phosphoric Acid unloading, and then move the CO2 unloading to the other track that was being used for temporary storage.

                  This necessitated some changes, primary removal of the static grass to allow the associated piping and a path way to be put in, so that the CO2 cars could be reached. So the first picture shows the area, roughly marked out using a Dremel cutoff disc, for the grass to be removed.

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                  The second picture shows the grass has been removed, so that a base layer of dirt can be put in to support the new path and the associated piping for CO2 unloading.

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                  The third picture shows the dirt completed and waiting to dry.

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                  When we setup at the NER NMRA Convention in Westford, MA in early November, I noticed that the transload facility had some damage in the paved area between the tracks.

                  It seems that when I put the grout in, this one area, didn't get completely saturated and the glue never made it to the grout and it was dry. It seems that it came out somehow, possibly when the module was on it's side, and being put up on its legs.

                  Anyway, I took the opportunity to fix that today as well.

                  First couple of pictures show the issue, that occurred.


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                  Then it's been filled in and glue mix put down.


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                  And here is, almost dry, and once completed, it'll match the rest of the paving area.


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                  That's a small update for today. More work is being done on St Cloud (Electrical work) which I will post on later this week, as I get that module modified for Springfield, in order to do some testing before putting signals on the module.

                  Regards

                  James
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                  • This is more of a test post, but I wanted to show the Transload facility a couple of days after I last posted. Now the repaired section is fully dried, and it almost has the same color as the base pavement, but it does look like a patched piece of pavement.



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                    I collected another piece of the return loop to make sure that as I make changes, they line up correctly, this has hurt me in the past and I've had to redo some things. Trying my best to get this updated for Springfield, which I received an email for on January 3rd, that the show is a go for January 29th and 30th, 2022, in its usual location at the Big E in West Springfield, MA.

                    I purchased some propane storage tanks, that I plan on using for the CO2 storage, as based on my observations, the tanks seem to be about the same size. I will get those assembled, painted, added to the respective module pieces in the next few days.

                    In relation to St Cloud, I started working on the Electrical changes to St Cloud, and have it all setup to make those changes. I left my basement to get some lunch, only to hear a bunch of crashing and banging when I was up stairs. It seems that my dremel tool was not secured correctly, fell of a spot that I was using it at to trim some metal pieces, it landed on a light assembly, which then tipped over and knocked over the transition piece for St Cloud like dominos. When this was knocked over, I had some things behind it to prevent it from going all the way to the ground if it did fall over; it came down at an angle, and just happened to use one of my PSX-1 as the resting point. It clear knock the 1000uf 25V capacitor directly off the board (actually removed it's innards) and so I will now need to repair the PSX-1. I have some replacement Capacitors ordered, and will correct that this coming weekend, when they come in.

                    Once that is repaired and tested, I will then start working on the other electrical changes that are needed to be made to get things working for future signalling.

                    James

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