Engineering Blog

I previously shared my challenge to power turnouts on the deck of the Granville Bridge, just west of Lewistown. Three crossovers of LEWIS interlocking are on the deck itself.

I customized Tortoise Remote Mounts to meet my needs. Time will tell if they are "battle worthy", but I have created a YouTube video showing what I did...

To my delight, the first crossover worked perfectly right out of the gate! One down, two to go, and the main line is complete!

Construction on the Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Division in HO scale, continues on schedule.

This quarter saw the Ryde section achieve operational status and the first public open house was held in November as part of National Model Railroad Month.

All surveying (benchwork) for LEWIS interlocking has been completed, as was the surveying for west Burnham on the Milroy Secondary.

The three crossovers for the east half of LEWIS interlocking have been installed, though not yet powered, putting this project slightly ahead of schedule. Special design considerations are being implemented with regard to the three remaining crossovers which will be located on the deck of the Granville Bridge. The schedule projects LEWIS being completed in Q1 2015.

The main line through Ryde has been declared operational. To the west (left) lies JACKS interlocking and Altoona staging. To the east (right) lies the Granville Bridge and LEWIS interlocking.

Ryde, per the prototype, will feature an overhead water bridge.

The spur is the remnant of the old main line. In the early 20th century, the PRR bypassed all of the local towns. Though no longer a through track, the Pennsy still uses the track for occasional storage.

Above Ryde, on the upper level, will be the Milroy Secondary. Specifically, the area of Kishocoquillas Park, between Menzies and Burnham.

LEWIS interlocking -- the last ten feet of main line to be completed -- is next on the agenda.


As an employee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I enjoy Veteran's Day as a holiday... used as a "training day". Last month I had framed out most of the benchwork to complete the remaining 24 feet of main line. I made significant progress towards that end today.

ABOVE: Looking eastward from Granville Bridge past LEWIS tower and interlocking. The yard entrance is visible at distant left. Track on the bridge is in a "mockup" state.

I am please to report that the PRR Middle Division in HO scale continued its progress during the third quarter. The overal project remains on schedule.

JACKS interlocking is completed and fully operational per schedule. Altoona staging is operational, with 20% of trackage in place. The four (of twenty) staging tracks that are operational in Altoona correspond to the same tracks in Harrisburg/Enola and provide run-through capability.

Granville Bridge construction continues on the workbench and will be a "drop in" module for LEWIS interlocking.

JACKS interlocking is now operational. Doesn't look like JACKS, just west of Mt. Union? Be reminded of a much earlier post, where I explained that JACKS is the interlocking immediately west of LEWIS. On the model railroad, this is the control point immediately west of LEWIS. As such, I call it JACKS. It is actually the entrance to Altoona staging.

Altoona Staging is now operational. Eventually staging will be 20 tracks wide, but there are four tracks open to allow run through of the four corresponding main line tracks. The view above is westward, which becomes Harrisburg/Enola Staging. Behind the vantage point of the photographer is JACKS interlocking.

JACKS interlocking is coming along well and ahead of schedule. All track is in place. Remaining are installation and control of 16 turnouts and four track power feeds.


Looking for some suggestions on engineering... I'm building my Granville Bridge on the workbench. It's a custom configuration of the Model Railroad Stoneworks Rockville Bridge kit. Amazingly, the specs are nearly identical (See The Granville Bridge Project).

Half of LEWIS interlocking is situated on top of the bridge deck. Specifically, three sets of crossovers. The bridge is made of Hydrocal. The roadbed is a half inch of Homabed. The issue is control of the turnouts.

Despite spending most of May preparing the railroad for its first open house -- for the PRRT&HS annual meeting -- this quarter proved very productive on the construction calendar.

WALL interlocking is completed and fully operational per schedule. Harrisburg/Enola staging is operational, with 20% of trackage in place.

As previously briefed, construction of Altoona staging was delayed so that it may be constructed in parallel with JACKS interlocking. Although scheduled for third quarter, ll of the right-of-way (benchwork) has already been completed and rail is being laid.