IMG 2890

The summer is drawing to a close and I find myself facing More Yard Work!

Actually, with the recent announcement that Walthers Shinohara code 83 track production was drawing to a close, I expedited purchase of the last turnouts needed to complete the Lewistown Junction yard. Over the past few weeks I have completed all of the "through track" installation. Only trackage in the MoW yard and roundhouse remain, and all of their turnouts have been in place.

IMG 2880

Did something unusual this afternoon... actually worked on the model railroad! Believe it or not, this was the first time I had been engaged in "things trains" -- shows, op sessions, work sessions, etc. -- in over two months!

Let me recap how the year has gone... 

Early in the year I did finish the rebuild of the Kishacoquillas Helix. About the same time a new podiatrist diagnosed that I had complete torn off my anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL).  That's why I have been limping for years. Recently it was causing severe pain. Nobody diagnosed it before. Likely shielded by a previous back injury (repaired in 2009), the rupture likely occurred 15-20 years ago! So I was comtemplating surgery to fix the foot, finally,

PM System MapPerhaps unfairly, I didn't warn my constituents that The Belleville Epiphany was going to have a sequel...

The helix removal and nolix replacement will facilitate a design change for the Pennsylvania Midland, which interchanges with the Milroy Secondary at Reedsville. 

I've updated the backstory of the Pennsylvania Midland, adjusting the route of the southern end of the bridge line. It now goes directly to Cumberland rather than Hancock.

Following on the rebuild of the Kishacoquillas Helix. I set out to complete the Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad connection, used for staging.

The helix redesign allowed for a redesign of this areas as well, and it will have more functionality in the end.

Departing the Milroy Secondary just west of Reedsville, the KV leads to Belleville in the Great Valley. However, as part of my Pennsylvania Midland Railroad concept, the track arrives in Everett as the PRR Bedford Branch. More on that elsewhere.

I'm pretty good with spatial relations and designing things in my head. Despite building a 24x32 railroad with a four track main line and yards terminating on corners, I haven't used CAD and everything has worked out just fine.

There's a helix on the Milroy Secondary (behind Milroy on  the upper level) and I had planned to use the airspace above it to represent Belleville, on my fictitious Pennsylvania Midland Railroad (which, in my world, took over the Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad).

The space directly above the helix had to be kept clear, but I had allowed 10 inches on two sides of the helix for Belleville, and much more on a third side. But when it came time to design, I just couldn't come up with something that met my needs. And then it happened...

The Belleville Epiphany!

refocus

Not a lot to report this quarter, unfortunately. As the image says, time to Re-Focus!

January saw another instance of water in the basement. This time only a half inch. Came up through the sump well. Whether a half inch or a foot, it takes the same amount of time to clean up, which includes bleach-mopping the entire floor.

I did get all of the benchwork built for a replacement helix to get from downtown Lewistown to the Milroy Secondary -- a.k.a. the Kishacoquillas Helix. 
 
The very next week my daughter was hospitalized with a very bad infection. After that, my mother was in and out of the hospital. Both have recovered.
 
Fe‚Äčbruary started with a bad cold and, after that, I just wasn't motivated to do anything!

IMG 2124

The Chief Engineer of the PRR Middle Division in HO Scale is pleased to report continued progress on the 43rd sub division.

This quarter, progress was made across all aspects of the railroad. Fascia control panels were added on the Milroy Secondary and existing panels were upgraded. Featuring Barrett Hill "Touch Toggles", turnouts are now controlled by touch on a schematic diagram which displays the current position of switches.

Scenery is well underway along Roundhouse Road, between the road crossing at LEWIS and the roundhouse at Lewistown Junction.

This quarter was exciting for the division. Two open houses were held -- One in October for the NMRA MER regional convention, the second for The Model Railroad Open House in November.

Final grading (scenery) has been completed for half of the Lewistown Junction main line area -- specifically the stretch from Roundhouse Road crossing to the yardmaster's office. Roundhouse Road was modeled as a dirt road on the recommendation of a descendent of the local farm owner who recalls it was not  tarred and chipped until the 1960s. 

A first op session -- more of a "run" session -- was held on December 9th. John Frantz, Tom Jacobs, and Tedd Pounds put the Milroy Secondary through its paces and left a punch list for me to address.

The Secretary of the Interior paid a visit to the Middle Division this past weekend. That's my wife, Michele, by the way. Appointments with fancy titles win points in this world of supervisors, dispatchers, yardmasters, and the like!

Anyway, it was several years ago when she indicated that I could make use of the entire basement if "that's what made me happy". Yes, yes! The basement is three rooms... the train room, a rec room, and a home office shared between myself and Michele.

The "plan" was to put in windows between rooms to extend the model railroad (eventually). Our use of the office is almost nil, now that she has a laptop for work and I had closed my side business. The children never use the rec room and the space lays wasted.

This past weekend, out of the blue, she said "Why don't you just take the walls down?" Are you kidding me?

I think she just got appointed for another four years!