Monday, October 31, 2016

October fun

In October I had all the switch machine controllers installed and was ready to put fascia on the lower lever. This is necessary mainly to keep things from falling on the floor. I had already lost a brand new sound-equipped Rivarossi U25C, which wasn't pretty.

I cut slots in the masonite in where gaps between the buildings will be. I will eventually add brick to the track side to represent buildings. These will really only be seen if you look over the fascia, but it will give the effect of looking thru a canyon of buildings that you get when you are in Billings.

A little paint gives the facia a clean look and ties the fascia together with the valance.

We cut some vinyl signs on the Cricut.

The first operators on the layout were Peter Bryant from Houston and John Emerson from Amarillo. They were two of the 35 or so out of town guests to come up for the 2016 DFW Interchange operating weekend. Speed Muller is on the other side of the peninsula, but he didn't count since he was a local. Actually, Speed was a big help getting the switches plugged into JMRI.

The next day David Perkins and his girlfriend Pheriche from Baton Rouge operated the last session of the DFW Interchange. The night before, the third operator decided he couldn't read HO scale car numbers and went home. Pheriche has a Kindle Fire tablet in her hand throwing the switches. The tablets will eventually be mounted on the fascia at eye level.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Update

In September I was still preparing for the DFW Interchange, but that didn't keep me from taking a trip to Washington, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Montana.

I started by flying into Spokane and picking up a Wyoming economy car. So much for a Toyota. At least it had Oregon plates... the only Northwestern state I wasn't driving thru.

First stop out of Spokane was Salt Lake City, UT for Great Basin Getaway. Yes, there is a plan to my madness. I knew it was going to be a good weekend as I was following the Northern Pacific and Milwaukee Road Mainlines thru Montana and these double rainbows ended on the double tunnels at Revenna.

I've attended 5 Great Basin Getaways over the lasts 14 years and each time I have operated on Ted York's Cajon Pass and Gary Peterson's Great Salt Lake.

All 5 times on Ted's layout I have been in the yard, although I've never had the yardmaster's job.

I worked this town on Gary Peterson's layout. This didn't even exist the first couple times I operated with him He did a massive reconstruction 10 years or so ago and this area is all new.

This is the first Great Basin Getaway that I didn't get to operate on Lee Nicholas's fantastic Utah Colorado Western, but we did go out and see Lee's expanded layout where he moved his mole operation and added this scene. I fell in love with his sugar factory.

The reason I didn't get to operate on Lee's layout is that I had requested to operate on rob Spangler's Western Pacific and it didn't disappoint.

Next day, on to Wyoming. I didn't see one damn train thru the canyon while in Utah, but once I crossed into Wyoming I did catch some traffic. Here we see the east main above the west main. I thought about stopping here to pick up a used car but I had a schedule to keep, I was headed for Sheridan.

They have done a great job turning the roundhouse in Evanston into an event center.

Every since operating on Michael Borkon's in Kanas City I've been excited to get back to Green River. It is an amazing place to rail fan. Too mad I'm only about 70 years too late for the big steam.

I planned on spending a whole day photographing around Sheridan and Gillette and another day between Sheridan and Billings. Of course, not only was the weather crappy, but trains weren't running.

The yard at Donkey Creek near Gillette had hundreds of locomotives stored because of the slow down in coal. I couldn't get an angle that showed them all at once, but here is a bunch next to the highway.

What would a trip to Wyoming or Montana be without catching some 737s heading to Seattle. These were sitting outside Laurel waiting to get into the yard.

I got up early the next day to see what was going on before heading to Wallace, ID for the Northern pacific Historical Association's annual convention. The weather still sucked and it was raining, but I did see more 737s, this time in Billings next to the old coach yard.

The sun started shining some by the time I made it to Garrison, MT where the BNSF still operates from here to Butte while Montana Rail Link has a lease on the NP main from Billings into nearly Sandpoint, ID.

The Wallace convention was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the week in Northern Idaho. A couple highlights were a trip up the canyon to Burke, which is just a shadow of its former glory.

We also had a guided tour over Lookout pass between Idaho and Montana including this spot where famous S bridge trestle was located. The trestle was famously taken out by a slide with a train on it, which was well documented in photographs.