Rainier Great Western Const Update

RGW Feb 19, 2007

  1. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last night was a continuation of the last few weeks, wiring up switch machines and din plugs for dcc access. I know good progress was made in Maple Valley because I could hear Ed throwing turnouts with the unmistakable sound of the tortoise motor. Wain and I discussed using Lenz LS150's or LS110's to run the turnouts in Franklin. Think we decided we could use 2 LS150's with 12 turnout controls, and since we only have need for 8 up there, we'd use the extra 4 in So. Seattle Yard. Looking forward to that.

    Last night featured a new purchase from Bachmann, their ballast spreader car for HO. It's product number 39016 and you can find it online for around $32-39. Here it is on our layout last night.

    [​IMG]

    The premise is simple, set the height on the back lever to regulate the depth of the ballast. To do that you simply tighten the wing nut. We used the lowest setting. Fill the cup and pull the side lever to open the door at the bottom of the cup. The wheelsets allow you to keep the car on the track, which allows the spreader to deposit ballast on all the sides of the track.

    It is a great little tool. There is a bit of a learning curve to it and I intend to do a video on it later this week. We found you can do about 2 feet of ballast per cup load and that included moving the car back and forth over the 2 foot section to assure even coverage. One important consideration, if the flood door is open, keep the car moving or you'll end up with a pretty deep pile of ballast. If you look at the picture above, the ballast to the left of the car is new and unglued, the ballast to the right was done by hand and is already glued in place. After putting down the ballast we used 1/2" paint brushes (that were trimmed about half way up to stiffen the bristles) to spread the ballast evenly and get it off the ties.

    We used our Arizona Rock Products GN ballast for the project. It has a fine dust to it, so the unglued ties appear covered, but once you apply the wet water, that goes away. I was able to do about 30ft last night, with several interruptions. Doug did about 20 feet of double track main in our lower level.

    [​IMG]

    I'm really pleased with this little gadget. My only issue with it is the front truck binds up a bit. Reynold is going to try and free it up a bit next week, but that may be problematic as it appears that the wheelset is put in place, then the side arms holding it in are glued together, so it may not be able to be adjusted. More on that next week.

    Thanks for checking in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  2. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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    Great tool for a medium to large layout!
     
  3. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, we certainly qualify on the merits.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How much time spent adjusting was necessary to get it spreading as desired?
     
  5. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Frankly, we decided straight away to try the lowest setting, assuming it would produce the least ballast flow. After one pass, we liked the depth so well, we stuck with it.
     
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  6. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Never seen that tool before, but my layout is maybe too small for one. And all track is already ballasted. :)
     
  7. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Due to snow and icy roads, Reynold and I were it last night. That said, there was progress on two fronts. I spent the evening refining the ballast from last week, then gluing it down. In all about 40 feet of mainline is now in place.

    [​IMG]

    Rey worked on our new ballast spreaders. We found that in the lowest setting there was a tracking problem with the front wheelset. So Rey added two pieces of brass and a set screw on each side to keep the wheelset in place when on the track. We found it was loose in the housing, this way it could not wander. It works great.

    [​IMG]

    Nice evening of chat and some progress. I like it. Thanks for checking in. M
     
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  8. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here is the same shot from last post, only this is a photo stack of several shots from my phone.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    It's been a couple of weeks since we've actually had a work session as the weather and Valentine's took precedence, but we were back at it last night.

    Ed and I worked on getting in a difficult tortoise. I highly recommend you put in switch machines as you go, once you start closing in the environment around the switch with fascia and scenery, it's just way more difficult to affix a switch machine that presents a hurdle to install.

    Doug started gluing the west wall lower double track main. He used our Bachmann ballast spreader to put it down a couple of weeks ago. The mister on the left has wet water (water plus two drops liquid detergent) in it and our 70/30 water/glue (plus two drops liquid detergent) mix is in the bottle on the right.

    [​IMG]

    After getting the tortoise in place I started making some of our Coastman's snag trees. This one is only about 5 inches tall. It takes a bit of time, but its addition to the layout adds a lot of realism. I purchased mine from Moose Creek Trees.

    [​IMG]

    Rey was putting the finishing touches on a couple of woodchip hoppers last time I looked.

    Turns out we're running out of ballast, so before the end of the evening Doug and I did a calculation of our ballast use. Looks like we're getting about 11ft per bag of our Arizona Rock Products ballast. This morning I placed an order for 5 bags of NP gray for our concrete tie mainline and 20 bags of GN gray for our brown tie mainline. Let's hope that's enough.

    Until next time, thanks for checking in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
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  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Definitely enough snags in those forests. They do need to be included, and a lot of people overlook them.
     
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  11. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last night's work party involved more work on electrical hook-ups by Scott, he's really making good progress on the new din plugs.

    Rey was busy working on new cars, this a three car hopper set from Accurail. The set arrived less one wheelset, but none-the-less these are beautiful cars.

    [​IMG]

    Doug and I spent considerable time checking our ballast installs from last week, making improvements where necessary. Here is a shot of the run up to Palmer, the light NP gray ballast on the concrete ties looks great and is a distinct contrast to our GN ballast on the mainline.

    [​IMG]

    Here's that area from a closer viewpoint.

    [​IMG]

    I also added a new vehicle to the fleet, a BNSF track inspector's hi-railer. Picked this beauty up on ebay. Looks right at home.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also wanted to provide a shot of one of our snags on the layout. They take a bit of time, but well worth the effort.

    [​IMG]

    That's pretty much it, until next time, thanks for checking in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm. Some train apparently lost a log...
     
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  13. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    You never know what you'll find along the tracks
     
  14. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pretty much the same stuff last night with a major exception. Wain has been working to get our Lenz LS150 modules working. Turns out the superintendent needed to get materials delivered to pull that together. Well for the first time last night he was able to power up the module, wire up the tortoise (with resistors) and give it a test.

    [​IMG]

    The programming worked to a T and the switch machine executed flawlessly. So now we can set up Franklin and gain control over that section of turnouts. This is a big deal!

    Doug also added another 30 feet of ballast on the mainline through Maple Valley.

    [​IMG]

    There was a lot of activity in this area later in the evening, so we'll spread and glue the ballast another time.

    That's pretty much it for now. Until next time....
     
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  15. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Work progresses on the RGW. Doug and I completed the spreading of ballast on the mainline through Maple Valley and got down the glue mixture.

    [​IMG]

    Wain added newly arrived LEDs to his tortoise test set-up and that turned out great.



    Meanwhile Rey took on the task of restoring a destroyed shorty tank car. It has a lot of fab left to go, but a great start.

    [​IMG]

    Lots more to come in next few weeks, but for now, we'll be taking a break for the next three weeks.
     
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  16. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Back in action after a well earned break, even so we'll be short staffed for next month or so.

    While Scott put the finishing touches on the last of our 12 new dcc din plugs, Doug and I were spreading ballast through Maple Valley. Doug is concentrating on the spurs.



    I am working on turnouts.



    Later in the evening I started developing a plan for the South Seattle Yard. Using a parallel cutter from Micromark ( http://www.micromark.com/Parallel-Cutter ) I cut 4 inch wide steps from Frog Tape. Using the dimensions I found online for a tropical long-haul parking stall (14'x75') I laid out the lines. I then used one of my trucks and a touch trailer combo to test out the fit.







    I like the look and the fit. Hoping next week to start laying down the lines in the yard.

    That's it for now, more next week.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  17. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    Fantastic work. I'm really getting some inspiration here.
     
  18. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  19. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Supporter

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    [Since I can no longer edit this post, I am going to copy and paste to put the photos in their correct location. M]

    Back in action after a well earned break, even so we'll be short staffed for next month or so.

    While Scott put the finishing touches on the last of our 12 new dcc din plugs, Doug and I were spreading ballast through Maple Valley. Doug is concentrating on the spurs.

    20170418_205255-01.jpeg

    I am working on turnouts.

    20170418_205245.jpg

    Later in the evening I started developing a plan for the South Seattle Yard. Using a parallel cutter from Micromark ( http://www.micromark.com/Parallel-Cutter ) I cut 4 inch wide strips from Frog Tape. Using the dimensions I found online for a typical long-haul parking stall (14'x75') I laid out the lines. I then used one of my trucks and a truck/trailer combo to test out the fit.

    20170418_204329-01.jpeg

    20170418_205356.jpg

    20170418_205351.jpg

    I like the look and the fit. Hoping next week to start laying down the lines in the yard.

    That's it for now, more next week.
     
  20. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    will you be spraying the Frog tape a different color? or just making really fine masking lines?
     

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