The Roster

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grades....nemesis of the railroad (both real and model)

I've been running trains around the new loop and I find that the transition between the grade and the flat plateau is too abrupt for the larger locomotives. The U33C and the 4-8-4 Northern both are having issues transitioning between these sections. This may requires some creative engineering and a redesign of the planning coal flood loader facility.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The U33C in motion

Well 5734 has returned from its trip to the factory for adjustment. It looks like the team at Lionel has done a pretty good job. Its a much quieter locomotive and seems to pull just fine. 

Here's a short video showing it run on the new outer loop in my home layout.

U33C, not so blue

Got the U33C back from the shop. It runs much quieter now. I ran it around the layout a couple of times and it seems to work fine. Didn't test the smoke unit yet, but it runs, the lights work and the sound is phenomenal. I'll post some picures/video this weekend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More pictures of the bridge

Spent some time working on the abutments and pier for this bridge on the outer loop of track. Since some folks have expressed an interest in seeing pictures, here you go!

These are Lionel 'short span' bridges made of plastic. I've painted they in various shades of grey  with varying degrees of weathering and drybrushing designed to bring out the highlights.

As I'm sure is obvious, I have yet to tackle finishing the painting and filling of the streambed.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back on track!

Laid in the final track for the outer loop and ran a number of locomotives and short trains across it for testing. Its looking pretty good! All the locomotives traversed the curves and the grades with no noticeable movement problems. At least none of them rolled off the tracks!

The homasote roadbed over the styrofoam risers is not as quiet as I'd hoped. I'll investigate other sound deadening options as I work on landscaping the layout. 

The big surprise was testing the GP 35 on the outer loop and being startled as the Lackawanna 4-8-4 chugged by on the middle loop. Seems that connections and power transfer and excellent at the junction switches between the two loops. Now I'll have to bone up on wiring to insulate the two loops from each other.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Off track

Just about finished the outer loop. I ran two tests to check clearances by rolling some of the longer/larger rolling stock over the  track and found...discrepancies. One I can live with - a rough join between track sections. But the other...the cars goes into a curve and just...stop. Worse, this is the curve in the very back of the layout.

This one will take some detective work. The leading theory is there is just a lot of friction being generated in the turn. But its supposedly a gentler turn than the middle loop and its on a grade. But friction overcomes gravity.

I'll be playing around with it some more. My worry is that as a train goes through the curve the additional drag could cause uncoupling or derailments.