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.

While it's been a while since my last update, a lot has been going on. I've been mired down with selling off all of the paper from the spring acquisition. Though it's kept me off the model railroad, it's provided welcome revenue for projects moving forward.

I started plastering the mountains in the Manns Narrows area. Though the results are acceptable, it has proven quite time consuming. I can only cover about two square feet with one batch of plaster, which has a working time of 6-8 minutes. Unfortunately, I have to crawl under a portion of the benchwork to get to the mountain area. This is proving to be a tiring process. It is probably more conducive to being a two person project -- one in the hole plastering and the other cleaning out the mixing pan between batches.

Today I managed to mount all 17 switch machines in the Yeagertown area. I also formulated the design plan for the fascia-mounted control panels. I have 6 more track power drops and 2 frog power drops to implement yet, then this area will be ready for the fascia.

I've also redesigned the web site a bit, making it more representative of a real railroad. Enjoy!

Cardboard mesh framing for the Mann's Narrows mountains.

You may have noticed in the background of photos posted a few weeks ago that I was starting to build the shape of the mountains for Mann's Narrows out of foam.

This was my first use of foam. I had purchased some 2" thick and 3/4" thick sheets and had built up a few layers. I started carving and decided it was not for me! I think foam is a perfect medium for small areas and perhaps "trivial" hills -- as well as for keeping things light for a portable layout -- but it wasn't giving me the control and the feel that I was hoping for.

Two views of Yeagertown, under construction. The tracks are operational and have become storage for freight cars as they are built.

Yeagertown, looking east towards Milroy

Train room viewed from the bottom of the stairway.

The project included three light fixtures. I installed "daylight" tubes. I will soon replace the "cool white" tubes in the existing fixtures in the other room. You can see the color difference in the photos.

Over the past few weeks, interspersed with other projects, I managed to complete a home for my railroad's nerve center.

Underneath the future home of Standard Steel in Burnham, Pa., I had an "L" shaped area with no intended use. The tabletop level adjoined the main line near LEWIS tower. There were no prototypical opportunities for layout expansion, and I didn't want to waste the space on storage. Then it occured to me to create an operations area.