Saturday, November 4, 2023

Status Report as of November, 2023 - Not much ado about adobe

All about nothing.  I am somewhat disabled at the moment and don't know how long it will last. Prolonged sitting or standing is painful which limits both time at the layout and workbench/desk. 

I have the following projects sort of in hiatus.

  • Rebuilding the east end of the Port Costa layout.  
    • I have revised the track plan for the east end yard turnouts to include the exit from the eastbound main, a short stretch of track that includes enough trackage for  a 2-8-0 to clear the exit from the main.
    •  a non-switchable turnout to a short siding for unloading bunker fuel oil for locomotives into the below ground storage bunker.
    • The east end turnouts are being relaid on .020 inch thick plastic sheet elevated for the last 18 inches to the height of the mainline trackage to facilitate an easy transition to the main line. The turnouts are being imbedded in 1/8 thick craft foam sheet to represent track in dirt up to the top of the tie level. 
    • The foam is being painted with acrylic raw titanium oxide paint to represent the dried very light colored adobe clay soil of Port Costa in daytime sunlight. It extends about 1 1/2 to 2 inches either side of the track end tie line.
    • Turnouts are being modified to SP standard configuration with only one long head tie on which the high stand throw is bolted. Additional turnout detail from P87 stores has been ordered to better resemble the SP throw hardware
  • While the work on the trackage has been going on all buildings and details east of the turntable have been removed to allow free access. 
  • Additional LocoFi installs are being planned. I have 3 of the DLLHB Version 3 receivers to install. At the moment I am trying to get the receiver test facility to work but it requires new leads be soldered to the tender side connection for the dismounted 2-8-0 engine block. I am having some difficulty with this as the original leads were factory soldered very close together in the tender side terminal block. 
  • I started building the yard crane that goes between the locomotive ready track (YT3) and the east turntable lead track TTA2. I have created a spreadsheet that has a code that identifies every turnout and section of track for concise reference.  I still haven't been able to draw a new track diagram for the layout.  I may resort to an annotated aerial photo instead of a drawn plan.
  • The only new piece of rolling stock since the bashed Accurail PFE R-40-26 is a new Tangent SP B-50-28 that was truly RTR. This was acquired 8-10-23 just before I started the rebuilding of the east end. 
  • I have additional SP and other RR equipment on order as Rapido continues to spoil SP addicts. Included are:
    • The SP 3/4 height Dome car in daylight for a 1955 Shasta Daylight. This stretches my timeframe a bit. Expected sometime in 2024.  Not sure how to display it or get more cars for the 1950's Shasta Daylight.  Not to mention a set of Daylight PA's probably without plows (unsure of the date they were added.)
    • A Rapido SP C-40-1 steel cupola caboose. Expected sometime in 2024.
    • I think I have a UP B-50-39 on order at Just Trains.  They are apparently arriving now so I will have to check.

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