Engineering Blog

The Pennsylvania Middle Division in HO Scale has declared WALL Interlocking operational as of today, about two weeks sooner than planned. I got on a roll and got all of the Tortoise machines wired and stationary decoders programmed and tested.

WALL, which will be hidden (but accessible for maintenance), is the entry to Harrisburg/Enola staging at the east end of the railroad. Located just east of the Lewistown station, WALL takes the four track main line to 20 tracks.

The Pennsylvania Middle Division in HO Scale has declared Harrisburg/Enola Staging operational as of today.

The staging yard begins at WALL interlocking and conjoins Altoona Staging (to come) to allow continuous run through staging. The yard is 20 tracks wide and over 20 feet long. At least one through track is operational per main line track. The foreground of the above photo shows the remaining tracks awaiting completion (WALL is to the back of the photographer).

WALL interlocking is near completion. All track is in and powered. Switch machines and control will follow over the coming weeks.

Altoona Staging was slated for completion this quarter, but is being delayed for concurrent construction with JACKS interlocking next quarter. However, the stairway underpass will be completed this quarter instead of next quarter.

More photos available here.

The Chief Engineer of the Middle Division has issued his fourth quarter construction report.

Highlights include bringing Burnham East up to operational readiness with a key bridge connecting Burnham with Yeagertown.

Projections for the next year have been updated and include Lewistown Junction (Q1 2014), WALL, Enola/Harrisburg Staging, and Altoona Staging (Q2 2014), JACKS and the stairway underpass (Q3 2014), and Ryde (Q4 2014). The projections have improved due to substantial progress already made in the Lewistown Junction area, which will afford Q2 projects an early start.

The Middle Division's first open house will be for the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical & Historical Society (PRRT&HS) in May 2014.

You can view the full reportof the Chief Engineer.

With my first open house just two weeks away, I am frantically trying to get a lot of the little details completed.

One such project is the fascias, which I just completed this evening. They've all received three coats of paint, the LocoNet bus has been installed with UP5's at convenient locations, velcro throttle holders, and beverage holders (gotta keep the crews hydrated!).

The main line at Lewistown Junction is now fully operational, as well as the "upper yard" that parallels the main line. The upper yard is where main line trains interchanged with the Lewistown Junction yard.

All tracks are in and all dispatcher-controlled turnouts are powered. All main line track segments are detectable and turnouts controlled via LocoNet. Development of a dispatcher panel is well underway in JMRI PanelPro and should be operational soon.

Ran my M1b 4-8-2 Mountain for the first time... a beautiful sight! Took to the curves and super elevation in outstanding fashion.

My attention will now turn towards WALL interlocking, Harrisburg/Enola staging, and Altoona staging.

More photos are available here.

An open house is scheduled for May 4th, in conjunction with the PRRT&HS annual meeting.