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This blog is limited to articles; random photos or quick updates are posted to the FaceBook page.

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

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.

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.

Based on the Arranged Freight Services document, the above graphic illustrates the flow of freight traffic in and out of Lewistown via various train symbols.

This does not reflect cars moving around through locals. Rather, just the routes and trains that carry cars in and out of the Lewistown operating scenario per waybills.

It is interesting to note that less than half a train per day is exchanged with Enola. There is actually more -- a full train -- exchanged with Northumberland! Altoona provides the greatest interchange, with a dedicated train per day plus as much as a third of another.

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.

I've been getting a lot accomplished as the winter modeling season comes to a close. Since last time I have installed backdrops on the upper display level. I also finished installing the backdrop behind Yeagertown and Burnham.

I'm focusing on Mann's Narrows, with the goal of getting the area fully sceniced by the end of the month. The mountain has received a complement of trees and I have completed the plastering and some of the sculptamodling on the foreground scenery, including some trademark Pennsy retaining walls along the edge of the Kishocoquillas Creek.

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