Sorry for the delay I haven’t been on hiatus, I’ve been busy in the basement.
The shakedown sessions that begun in May have continued, now on a Monthly basis. The layout now runs almost exclusively on SmartPhone throttles, both Apple and Android. I’m not an expert on radio wave propagation, but from practical experience I can tell you that in *this* basement, with 10 operators, the frequencies that WiFi throttles use give better performance than my DCC system’s radio frequencies – even after consulting with the DCC manufacturer and making adjustments. The interface between the WiFi throttles and the DCC system is JMRI.
Hall Trackage Completed
Hall interlocking (east of Jamaica) had only enough trackage complete to allow for operations to go through the area. For full flexibility through the 6-track Jamaica Station complex, allowing for all parallel moves and “across the plant” moves Hall needed to be complete. This work began after the May operating session.
Here is the completed layout.
It’s a complicated arrangement, but it will support multiple trains arriving and departing simultaneously as on the prototype.
Below are the MP-5 machines mounted to the underside of the baseboard.Many, many wires needed to be installed to bring these machines to life.
The high-speed turnout project was begun, starting with some prep work in advance of a visit from Monat Track-Laying Enterprises, ltd.
Mt. Albert ties were glued down, stained black, then ballasted.
Here was the state of play after Phil visited to get some track down.
Below is the complete movable point frog, built on site by Phil, without a fixture.
At one time there was an actual Hicksville Secondary Track, The most recent name for the remaining track is “Atlantic Pipe” which is a spur off of Divide-2 interlocking. Today there is an active trans-load yard in Hicksville. Based on these two data points I extrapolated the concept into a secondary track with multiple industries, some of which represent active customers further down the main line in the area inside the helix.
- New Hyde Park Oil Terminal
- Stock Drive Products
- New Castle Building Products
- US Post Office
- Team Yard
- Atlantic Pipe
- Monreale Bread
- Azzil Granite
- Valle Signs
- Team Dock
- Atlantic Pipe
- Bella Produce
- LI Panelling and Flooring
I wanted the new trackage I laid to look old and worn out. To this end I glued styrene to alternate sides so that cars would rock from side to side as they roll on the tracks
And here’s a quick and dirty “removed siding switch”
Pine Aire was completed before the temporary Deer Park staging tracks were removed, allowing for the RS-50 job to start working the railroad. RS-50 hauls cars to and from RS-60 so part of the job is blocking cars for the ’60 after ’50 makes it back to Pine Aire.
In the last 5 years or so there were some sorting tracks added in Pine Aire just east of the Sagitikos Parkway. Since this takes some of the load off of Fresh Pond Yard and adds interest to the East End Job, I included them in the layout design.
The second deck is supported by strut channel shelving brackets along this wall, and this was a lucky choice. Continuing the level benchwork would have missed the level of the existing helix by about 3/4″. I ran some taut mason twine back to the other end of the room and adjusted the brackets until they followed the twine. This placed the height adjustment evenly over the span of about 30 feet.
Astro Ready Mix (PC Richard)
With Pine Aire done, that area can act as staging for the east end of the layout until the 3rd deck is begun. The next step was replacing the temporary staging tracks beyond Farmingdale with the PC Richard siding area. Since I’m modeling the time before the second track was built through this area, the siding is a westbound facing point located just west of Commack Road crossing. This layout had a sharp s-curve and a rather steep downgrade to get in.
I had to “kerf” the baseboard to get a more even transition:
This trackage is in a sort of valley between the railroad grade up on an embankment, and some large warehouses. I employed a device I’d seen on Rick Fortin’s AT&SF and also Chris Atkins’ NP Layout – the fascia raises up to simulate the buildings existing beyond the edge of the benchwork in the aisle.
The stretch of single track from Farmingdale to Deer Park had been operated under Manual Block rules, and this turned out to be onerous in practice. I decided to install an “island” of CTC to protect this section of single track. At some point this “island” will be part of the system that protects the trackage on the entire second deck.
Two sidings exist within the signaled territory, and as on the prototype these are protected by electric lock circuits.
Had a bit of a panic attack in December, JMRI version 4.18 had a bug that killed WiThrottle (the WiFi throttle server). JMRI has an extremely active user/developer community and by the time I realized I had a problem – six days after release – the problem had been identified and a workaround had been posted online.
Until next time, remember “Model Railroading is Fun”