Sunday, April 12, 2015

Early April Update

So it's April 12th, a little late for a early month update but there is ton to discuss and showcase this month so lets get started. With ops session #4 quickly approaching on Friday, April 10th there was much to be done on the layout. This post we are going to showcase the work completed on the layout.

Layout Work Completed
One of the biggest pieces that I had been wanting to complete was industry trackage so we could test during the ops session. We will walk through each area of work and talk about the setup.

Bay City, Michigan (Industrial Spur)
Reworked this area from the last session and now has alot better configuration. The Fort Mackinaw Corrugated Plant was moved forward and will allow the operator to see inside the plant for spotting the two track (6 car spot). In the far corner will be a switch for Saint Gobain Glass which will receive soda ash, sand, and recycled cullet. In the foreground is GEM Bakeries which has three tracks for spotting cars of corn syrup, flour, sugar, and vegetable oil. This facility is trailing point but for the corn syrup unload its a switch back requiring some planning before making switch moves. Using concrete ties gives the facility a more modern appeal.

Upper Huron, Michigan
I finally finished installing the west leg of the wye at Upper Huron meaning the trains coming to or from Bay City to Port Belle (staging through backdrop) will no longer have to go east and run around their train at Grays Lake before heading back west up the branch. Polarity reversing is accomplished with Digitrax AR-1 module.

Grays Lake, Michigan
View west 
View East
Alot of work was accomplished at Grays Lake adding in the spur which supports three different customers and the need for a road switcher to be based here. In the photo (View East) two customers; Cooperative Elevator and AmCan Polymers are located here. For readers who have been following the blog over time, you will realize this is where I originally had planned to have a salt mine. After many configurations the mine while plausible did not fit. I had built up a small fleet of 4600 Accurail ACF cubic covered hoppers for salt service but these have now been dispersed to the food grade fleet hauling sugar and malt.

On the west end of Grays Lake in the (View West) photo we can see the industrial lead off the mainline and Suburban Propane spur along the backdrop. The road switcher ties up on this end as well.

Gerhard, Michigan
The last area of work completed was at Gerhard. Bring there was no industry here, I looked through my customer base to see if I should model an industry that is well established or instead take some modelers license and add a new industry to this region. Recently I had read about Michigan micro-breweries looking for local malt suppliers which could help them expand their operations and I figured that creating "Huron Malting" would help fill that need to provide regional breweries and beverage producers with a malted barley supplier. This industry receives inbound barley and ships malted barley by rail. The facility also produces malt syrup as a byproduct which ships by tankcar. While the building layout is still being worked out, there are two tracks with the possibility of adding a third.

Thanks for stopping by - stay tuned this week for the Mid-April Update which will recap Fridays ops session with plenty of photos.


1 comment:

  1. Looks like you been quite busy Greg! I'm jealous. Looking forward to more updates!