Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mid December Update

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's been a few weeks since my last post and well my excuse is the holiday shipping season. Not me shopping or going to parties but the demand put on my career supporting UPS and the big push known as "Peak Season" this time of year. Neat fact about UPS and railroads; they are one of the largest users of rail transportation in North America from coast to coast. 

But back to the St. Clair Sub.....

First off over 10,500 pageviews - Thank You to everyone for following, commenting, or just taking a quick peak on progress. Today's technology allows us to better share, connect, and further our knowledge of the hobby. I firmly feel this blog helps reinforce that concept and will continue to do so.

With the next ops session scheduled for January 3rd I have been plugging away to compete tasks that were given as constructive feedback from operators and items needed to continue phasing more operations into each session.

Project 1- Lower Deck Liftout Section
While I can't say that I would not have another one of these in future layouts, I feel they are viable as long as the construction is solid. 

  ITEM A - Securement
Previous versions were held in place by slide locks. Unfortunately these are to loose for consistent alignment. Ken Patterson in a recent MRH discussed using door hinges with removable pins. Current engineering did not allow this so I needed to find an alternative which I found using surface bolts.

1. Checked where I would install surface bolt between both the ridged layout and removable piece, leveled as necessary.

2. Cut the bolts mounting track (not the slide bolt) using mutter box / saw.

3. Installed bolt guide with adhesive caulk on rigid and removable sections. Use slide bolt in track to ensure alignment while drying. The bolt should slide in / freely but have no lateral or vertical wiggle room.

4. Finished securement mechanism on other end.

  ITEM B - Finished Look
While undergoing the work on this removable piece I wanted to give it the finished look since its the first thing seen when you walk in.

The sides are Eucaboard attached to the 2" blue foam using 2x2 blocks mounted on the bottom of the foam. To house the wiring safe and securely a thin sheet of Lauan plywood was secured in place. Screws for holding metal lathe in place have worked best for me.

  ITEM C - Power Connection
Using home stereo plugs I have a quick connect/disconnect setup for the section.

Project 2 - Turtle Curve Trackwork
In conjunction with the work on the lift out section I also replaced track leading from the WYS (West Yard Switch) to the Saginaw River swing bridge.

This trackwork also paved the way for the Bay Industrial Park Spur which leads off up the middle in the photo above. Having both Fort Mackinaw Corrugated and Huron Mills in place to work on January 3rd is a must.

Project 3 - Turnout Securement
While recent switches on the mainline have been Peco 83 (North America) which have positive point control, I have a number of Walthers and Atlas switches that needed to have point control for manual throws (Floaters) in yards and on industry tracks. 

Last night the last turnout in Bay Yard was completed which the yard master will enjoy at the next session.

Thanks for checking out the blog update and I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! With work now quieting down to normal operations along with my work hours post should be going back to Early, Mid, and Late month posts.


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