Category: Engineering Blog

Fourth quarter was a slow starter for Middle Division construction. The family had a late vacation; then I had to coordinate picking up the models from Joe Henry Kline's family. Add a few holidays, and where did all that time go?

The past two weeks have been very productive. I got about fifteen feet of backdrop installed on the top display level, as well as about fifteen feet through Yeagertown. I've also formed, but not installed, rough scenery forms for the Yeagertown area. Track painting is next for this area, as the photo indicates.

I managed to finally apply a second coat of plaster in the Mann's Narrows area. This is an area that I have to crawl to get into. With traditional plaster setting so fast -- about five minutes working time for two square feet -- it became quite tiresome to work independently. For the second coat I spent the extra money for Woodland Scenics plaster cloth. I would put a dry patch where I wanted it and used a spray bottle to wet it down. Worked quite well. A final, thick coat of patching plaster is now required prior to painting, applying a forest floor, and adding trees.

Completing Mann's Narrows is my top priority as I need to get a two turn helix installed below it to connect Lewistown Junction with downtown Lewistown... and subsequently the Milroy Secondary.

I completed wiring and testing of two control panels in Yeagertown -- Yeagertown East (pictured) and Yeagertown West. I created the schematic in PanelPro, a component of JMRI. The schematic shows the default positions of switches, named sidings, track and switch numbers, and locations of telephone booths and stations. The toggle switches are down in their default positions and up in their thrown positions. This should be easy for both novices and seasoned operators to follow.

I have a few work sessions planned for January. Top of the list is the plastering in Mann's Narrows and wiring the track and turnouts in Burnham. I also have to select and install a backdrop for Burnham that with match up fairly well with where I left off in Yeagertown.