2016-2017 Ninth Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 29, 2016

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  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Pics of the finished water in and trees along the Keystone Steel Mill channel/ditch to the power plant; as well as, the newly graveled road between the ditch and the marshaling yard, alloy track, and alloy storage area, and the upgraded alloy storage area; and a cardboard mock-up of a shed for the charging yard.
    This series of pics starts at about the middle of the channel/ditch...the barge track and fisherman from posts above are about 4 feet to the lower left of the first pic.
    Still haven't upgraded the cardstock mock-up of the power plant yet...and probably won't until after the Layout Party is over.
     
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Added 3 more removable tree flats/view blocks behind the Allentown Yard to hide the 2nd mainline that runs at the back of the shelf. There were already 2 tree flats/view blocks at the southern end that I'd installed during last year's layout party. The tree flats are removable so I can easily clean the hidden track at the back of the shelf.
    First pic is without the tree flat (but the 2 from last year are in place). 2nd pic is with the first added tree flat in place. The Allentown Yard (on the left) was ballasted a day or two ago. It still needs some more work, but I probably won't finish it until after the layout party is over. The ground throw behind the field center right is for the town of Leslie's spurs out of sight to the right. The town of Leslie is separated from the Allentown Yard by some permanently planted trees. Grain silos are recycled contact solution containers; the grain bins are HO and N scale models. At some unknown time in the future, I'll cover the back brace for the upper deck with a round silo and the front one with a square elevator structure. This next pic is the second new tree flat that starts just to the right of the Leslie silos. The front mainline track curves to the Mackinaw River Bridge. The white tanks and structure are for the Allentown Yard engine facility. The track in front of the tree flat is the abandoned Illinois Terminal line to Bloomington. This pic shows the front mainline curve continuing toward the Mackinaw River Bridge, and the 3rd tree flat hiding the main at the back of the shelf that goes up the Pekin Helix out of sight to the right of this picture. This last pic shows the mainline passing in front of the woods beside the Mackinaw River.
     
  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    From Allentown Yard, the Northern Division mainline at the front of the lower shelf in the fruit cellar, curves over the Mackinaw River Bridge passes through the doorway from the fruit cellar into the basement of the house, and enters the town of Kenney. In the past week, there have only been a couple minor tweaks to scenery to the right of the Mackinaw Bridge.[​IMG]

    A few months ago, I cut out card stock mock-ups of the Kenney, IL main street buildings, printed some google street view pics, "planted" a few trees and grass, and positioned some plastic containers for silos. This week I put down some more grass, repositioned the quonset hut business, and added a parking lot and some cars for that business. Main Street (the road, itself) still needs some attention, but that will not be until next week.
    The Northern Division mainline stays at the front of the shelf, but passes behind a view block (essentially, a 2 inch high fascia extension that hides the Northern mainline at the very front of the shelf). As a result, the end of the Kolbe Subdivision of the Western Division mainline, which runs along the back of the shelf, is the only mainline that is visible in this portion of the shelf (that is, operators on the Western mainline can only see the industries they are switching). I tweaked the view block and added trees and bushes to the field behind the view block (in front of the Western mainline).
    Kingston River Terminal: Added some trees and bushes.
    Caterpillar's Mapleton Foundry: Before and after pics...Added some cars, grass, and trees.
    CF Industries: Before and after pics...added some tanks and grass to the nearby field; added trees and a parking lot with cars, painted some of the tanks. Will add pipes, ladders, buildings in the future.
    Lonza: Before and after pics...painted and repositioned some of the tanks.
    Sherex: Before and after pics...painted and repositioned some of the tanks.
    Ashland Chemicals: added some trees and bushes in front of the Ashland Chemicals tracks (and behind the CNW Marshalltown Yard), and between the CNW Yard and the IT/IC Maroa Interchange.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  4. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Sigh...Today is the "official" last day of the 9th Annual International Winter Layout Party; so, get your last progress reports in...pics, if you've got 'em.

    Also, if you don't already have a layout build thread going here in the Layout Design Discussion forum, please consider starting one, so others may ooh and aah over your progress--or help you problem solve--or be inspired.
     
  5. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    This afternoon, our NMRA Division is holding it's March meeting and my layout is one of 3 on this month's layout tour. Since wrapping up most of my scenery work in my last post, I've been cleaning up for guests to stop by.

    Also, I'm still struggling with the electrical issues (buzzing, stalling, and/or shorting when moving between electrical blocks) that I mistakenly thought I'd resolved. I've tried running a ground between my Command Station and 2 boosters; tweaking electrical short sensitivity; tailoring the length of time between short detection and actual shutdown to account for variable numbers of locos in a block; and setting a better balance of locos in each block. This has led to a reduction of the buzzing and stalling, but has NOT led to their elimination.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  6. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    For the NMRA layout tour, I had planned to have 2 trains running in continuous loops, one on the upper deck and one on the lower deck. As it turned out, though, I ended up with just a static display. So I took some videos of the train actually completing the continuous loop on the upper deck.

    1. Starting the continuous loop at Wesley Jct, just outside of the P&PU's main yard in East Peoria. Passing the Caterpillar buildings in East Peoria.

    2. Crossing the Illinois River on the P&PU's bridge. [Still have to finish the counter-weight tower, and replace the cardstock mock-ups of the green motor shed and red weight with proper plastic shed and weight on this kitbashed bridge started over a year ago.] The white tank by Nutrena Elevator to the left of the track at the end of the video hides a Tortoise I installed/surface-mounted early in the Layout Party to drive a hard-to-reach turnout from the southbound main onto 19 Main that goes southwest toward the 90-91 Yard and Darst Street.


    3. Bridge Jct, where the northbound main and southbound mains pass between cardboard mock-ups of the ADM buildings and the white Nutrena Elevator.
    The P&PU's 90-91 Yard is between the 19 Main and the Caterpillar Rubber Tread Plant served by BN. Seneca Asphalt, Coleman Transfer, and the 2 Finch Construction warehouses are served from the 19 Main by the P&PU. The Peoria Dock Siding (in the foreground in front of the 19 Main) and Martin Oil are served by the Rock Island's Beltline Job.


    4. Darst Block. The continuous loop goes past the 90-91 Yard, Lenz Oil (one of 4 industries along the BN's South Alley Track), Erlichman Recycling on the CNW's Adams Street Yard lead, and across the Darst Street grade crossing. The Google street view pictures on the backdrop were added in a previous Layout Party. At the Darst Street grade crossing, the continuous loop leaves the 19 Main, crosses the BN main, and enters the CNW Adams Street Yard. As the train passes through the CNW Yard, Commercial Solvents and Celanese, served by the Rock Island's Beltline Job, are in the foreground. Early in this year's Layout Party, I installed the Tortoises and dwarf signals, and set up the various routes through the Darst Block.

    5. CNW Adams Street Yard. The yellow boxcar is on the P&PU's Lauderback Lumber track. Behind the Yard--along the CNW lead--are Smith-Scharff Paper, Heller Tin Compress (scrap metal), and Great Plains Propane (all industries worked on in previous Layout Parties). At the south end of the Yard, are some non-rail Adams Street businesses: a used cars dealership, Cash and Title (former Pizza Hut), Blues Note Lounge, and Hubcap House. The continuous loop passes under the Adams Street Viaduct and onto the Peoria Helix.
     
  7. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    6. Peoria Helix. The upper deck continuous loop passes from CNW Yard at 65 inches elevation to the Peoria Helix and then off of the Helix to Molitor at 56 inches elevation. The helix is bowl shaped, and in addition to the top and bottom entrances/exits at 48 and 65 inches elevation, respectively, there are 7 turnouts leading on/off the helix at different levels.
    Molitor. The continuous loop exits the Peoria Helix at 56 inches elevation. A Display Wall is directly across from the only stairs into and out of the basement trainroom. At 64 inches elevation is a track from the Helix to the East Peoria Yard; at 60 inches are 3 staging tracks forming the Santa Fe's Streator Yard (stub ended, not connected at all to the helix); CNW Molitor connecting up the helix (and CIM Manito connecting down the helix at the back of the 4 inch wide shelf) is at 56 inches; Illinois Terminal's Madison Yard is a single staging track behind a mainline that completely bypasses the Peoria Helix at 52 inches; and Radnor is a main and passing siding at 48 inches elevation just outside the lower entrance to the helix.


    7. Doorway. There are 4 tracks that go from the Display Wall through a doorway and into the Porch area (4'3" x 35' area under the front porch of our home converted from fruit cellar to additional train space when we moved in in 2003. CIM main, ATSF main, Peic main (used by Peoria & Eastern, and Illinois Central), and Northern Division Regional Main (jointly "owned/operated" by CNW, BN, PC, NW, IT). CNW Molitor and CIM Manito join at Molman Jct and pass through the Doorway as the CIM main forming the next link in the continuous loop.


    8. CIM Powerton, Crystal Springs. Industries along the next section of the upper deck continuous loop include: Powerton (electrical power plant), Midwest Solvents (grain cars, boxcars, tankers), National Distillery warehouse, Standard Brands (boxcars), Quaker Oats (boxcars of cardboard for product packaging), and Corn Products (grain cars, starch cars, oil/syrup tankers).


    9. Daly. The upper deck continuous loop continues with industries, including: CIM to Santa Fe Interchange track, CIM-PPU Interchange Tracks, American Distillery warehouse, Quonset Hut Industries, Daly Oil, and CIM Pekin Team Track.


    10. Pekin. The continuous loop passes around the back of the Pekin Helix, is hidden inside buildings as it passes from the Porch back through the doorway into the main trainroom, and emerges from the buildings street-running on 3rd Street through downtown Pekin. It passes the Pekin Tower, the P&E Pekin Yard, the ATSF Pekin Interchange tracks, some houses, and the Pekin Cemetary.
     
  8. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    11. Grove. Auto Row north of Pekin. Hillard Siding with Kock Nitrogen and Tuloma on the far side of the tracks, and Sconey Transfer, AMOCO tank farm and Agrico on the near side.


    12. Hillard Siding. The continuous loop on the upper deck continues over the Whitehouse grade crossing, past the Peoria Lock and Dam, under I-474, and between Central Illinois Dock and Central Illinois Grain.


    13. Wesley and East Peoria Yard. Completing the upper deck continuous running loop, the train takes the Single Main from Wesley to Wesley Jct. The PPU Diesel Shop is in the foreground at the start of this video. When the train enters Wesley Jct, it will be right by Caterpillar where the first video started. The last half of this video shows the Peoria & Pekin Union Railway East Peoria Yard, which underwent a major reconfiguration as part of this year's Layout Party.
    https://www.facebook.com/100009832950006/videos/415867292084366/

    14. Last Friday I took a video of some of the areas I had worked on during this year's Layout Party: the Kolbe industries (Ashland Chemicals, Sherex, Lonza, CF Industries, Caterpillar's foundry in Mapleton, and the Kingston River Terminal); Kenney, the kitbashed Illinois Terminal bridge over the Mackinaw River, the woods by the river, and the tree flats added near Leslie and Allentown. This is about 1/6 of the lower deck continuous loop.


    15. This last video shows some of the other scenery work completed during the Layout Party: replanting some trees in the Moffat block where the scenery had been water damaged over a year ago but only partially repaired until last month, putting water in the Keystone Steel Mill channel/ditch, adding trees and a road along the channel, and starting on the mock-ups for the gantry crane in the steel mill charging yard.
     

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