Engineering Blog

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

Highlights include completion of Mann's Narrows, operating status at KV Junction, and the completion of the helix between Lewistown Junction and Lewistown.

Projections over the next year include the east end of Burnham (Q4 2013), Lewistown Junction (Q1 2014), WALL (Q2 2014), and Enola/Harrisburg Staging (Q3 2014).

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

You can view the full report of the Chief Engineer.

KV Junction, just east of Mann's Narrows, is now operational. The prototype is a triangular wye, just west of Reedsville, Pa., but that will be part of a later expansion.

Mann's Narrows, a gap through the mountains between Yeagertown and Reedsville, is now fully completed on the Milroy Secondary.

This is one area of the model railroad where I had to complete the scenery in short order prior to placing a helix below the area. It's taken about six months to build the mountains, pour a limestone stream, place ground cover, and plant a hundred or so trees.

The helix between Lewistown Junction and downtown Lewistown has been completed and made operational.

Heading east on the Lewistown Secondary, the line enters the helix just east of the scale house behind the Lewistown station -- at the bottom center on the above photo. The helix exits at upper left where it will come across the Juniata River into downtown Lewistown.

The helix was a kit from Ashlin Designs. Designed for two tracks, I needed only one, so the end result is an approximate 27" radius with a 2% grade. The kit went together easily and is sturdy and firm. This proved a very cost and time effective solution. 

The helix is located directly below Mann's Narrows, which is why I had to finish the scenery in The Narrows before tackling this section.

Over the past few days I completed two track lighting projects. At right is a current view of Mann's Narrows. This is representative of how I plan to light the upper level during op sessions and open houses -- with the ceiling flourescent "house lights" off. Installation of the tracks was actually pretty easy. What took longer was wiring two new circuits into the breaker box.

Mann's Narrows still isn't done. My goal was April 30th, but spring happened. My self-imposed hard deadline is Q2 -- about two weeks away. It will be close, but I have completed a few tasks that I had on my timeline for Q3, so I guess it'll be a fair wash.