Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Track Progress Feb 13th

With nice warmer weather in February, I made progress with the tracks on the weekend of the 12th and 13th. This involved raising and ballasting the 30 feet of track which extends down to close to the lower switchback turnout switch. Each 10 feet of track took roughly 2 carloads of dirt and 2 carloads of ballast to fill and ballast the tracks. The track is not complete as can be seen by the slight sag in the middle but all this will be adjusted after the switch is ballasted and these tracks connected with the missing 10' of track to be built still.

(Click any image to see full sized.)

The track was raised significantly from the carbarn switch on down which decreased the gradient by about 1%.

Some close clearances in there and one tree might have to come out, but only when I need to. The longer it lives, the more wood I get from it.

The House track is full right now. The two gons with ties will be used up on the switchback tail track soon. The dead #10 will be repaired and recoupled to the 302 to haul the rail, tie and tool train while the #11 will handle the wood and ballast trains.

Of course I wanted to empty Pine Hill Siding so I could get the #11 and 4686 in there along the wood pile to make it easier to load and haul it to Wood Station.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tender Progress

RGS #20's tender is on the workbench and has been for quite some time. I decided it was time to get back to work on it.

First, I moved the tank part down under the long workbench with the boiler. I will rivet this together once the frame is completed. (Click any picture to enlarge.)

The end beams and decking is oak. These have to be shaped and drilled to be installed. The front end beam is already mounted with the buffer and spacer blocks in place. Some of the decking is in place and the rear end beam is getting the coupler pocket installed.

The rear coupler pocket being bolted on. All these studs had to be made from a long rod of 5mm threaded rod.

Getting closer to getting it on.

On the back of the beam is a steel plate. This plate needed to be drilled for the threaded rods to go through.

The middle bolts needed the plate to be cut back for clearance.

The holes are drilled and it's ready for the last two long bolts.

All bolted up.

All bolted up. Time to get the beam on the frame.

All the studs which hold the beam in place have been bolted to the frame.

The beam (hammered lightly) into place with the nuts going on.

All bolted up.

The tender frame on it's trucks parked out on track 2 in front of the barn. The front is to the left.

The long 1/4" thick oak strips which the flooring will be both nailed and glued to is in place. The draw bar which connected the tender to the locomotive is obvious. There is still once more piece of oak board which needs to be made to go over the front beam on top of those spacer blocks.

That's sawdust on the trucks. When cutting oak, it creates a lot of fine dust which gets EVERYWHERE.

Front beam, buffer and drawbar all in place. Soon this area will be full of water lines, air lines and power lines. And chains too.

The rear end beam of the tender. It looks odd because it does not have the foot boards and steps for the train men (who could be rather small in this scale) would ride. Also the coupler and air hoses would be in this area.

Next steps on the tender is to complete all 36 deck boards, nail and glue them to the subfloor deck boards and then sand them all smooth. Finally, a light stain and several coats of varnish to protect them. These will need holes drilled through them for all the water lines, air lines and tank hold-down bolts. And one big drain plug.
The front end beam will also require a couple foot rests to be installed. Very likely, they will be small motorcycle foot rests which fold up out of the way.
Once this is completed, the tender frame will be stored under the bench while the tank is riveted and then sealed. Once that's done, it will be painted and then all the other tender parts will be installed.

Track building progress

Progress has been slow the past couple months due to the above average snow and rain we have been seeing, most of which occurs on the weekend or right before.

During the winter, the trees are bare and the trackage shows very plainly. Here the lower switch of the switchback on the left and Dogwood Bridge on the right shows. (Click any picture to enlarge.)

Across the valley, the different levels and the grade of the railroad is much more apparent.

The large retaining walls are much more obvious too.

The wooden retaining wall from next to the Car Barn Switch. The repeater signal head is in the middle which shows the aspect of the signal ahead as well as the setting of the car barn switch.

Looking down the fill. About 5 car loads of dirt raised this area and then 3 car loads of ballast has been dumped so far.
Looking up the switchback from the Car Barn Switch.

The House Track's last 20 feet of track was completed as well. Eventually it will connect to the Engine House which would be to my right a little ways.

The equipment has been moved to this track to clear the mainline and Pine Hill Siding so wood can be moved easier. From left to right we have: The steel frames for the new rail cars, Fred's Coach, RGS 300 empty, RGS 10, RGS 301 with ties. RGS 302 with ties and Fred's Flat with new ties.

Next steps is to complete ballasting the switchback and move the rail back onto the roadbed, connect it, ballast and tamp it. Then 10 feet of track will be built and the lower switchback switch will be reconnected and all the wiring rerun. The electrical near the switch will need to be run in conduit under the tracks. The lower switch will not be repowered until the new Bridge 2A is built and put into service.