Blog entries from August 2017 and earlier have been migrated from a former site and many of the images are incorrectly linked. These will be repaired over time.

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The Chief Engineer reports substantial progress this quarter.

All QC issues previously reported on the Milroy Secondary have been remediated. The secondary is ready for another QC session.

All switch machines have been installed in the Lewistown Yard and are ready for cabling to be installed. There is one troublesome switch machine and two shorts remaining to be remedied.

PRR Eastern Region Drawing

The PRR Middle Division in HO Scale has finally found a software solution to meet its needs!

Over the years, I've developed three specific needs for computer aided design (CAD) applications. However, each need previously required its own unique software, each with accompanying learning curves.

For my NMRA AP in Civil Engineering, I need to create a drawing of my layout. Heck, I want one regardless of the AP. I've been a registered user of 3rd PlanIt and have tried other free demos as well as open source offerings. I found them all clunky and with a cliff of a learning curve.

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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,

The Chief Engineer recognizes that he has not been timely in his posting of quarterly construction updates.

2018 witnessed two surgeries and irregular work on the railroad. As for Q1 2019, there was no work on the railroad following foot surgery in December. However, work was completed in the car shops.

Q2 will yeild progress in the Lewistown Yard area, as well as cleaning up a few QC issues previously noted on the Milroy Secondary.

Here is the full Report of the Chief Engineer.

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.

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The Milroy switching area on the PRR Middle Division in HO Scale required a custom crossing connected to a pair of opposing #6 turnouts. An acute angle was required and the desired trackwork included a slight curvature.

The NMRA Achievement Program for Civil Engineering requires that the modeler build three different types of scratchbuilt track. This crossing would meet the requirement for one of them. So, this was a perfect time to delve into the world of handlaying track.

I turned to Dave Trone, a modeler from nearby Hanover, Pa., who has built over 300 turnouts and crossings for his own South Penn Railroad, and numerous turnouts for others.

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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. 

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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.

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.