Tuesday, March 25, 2014

East Yard / Helix Entrance

Last night was spent working on the east  side of Bay Yard where the yard lead and mainline come together before heading up the helix.

This area has been in flux between having a double track at grade crossing with Lake State railway or not modeling the diamond and instead focus on the connection track that also is used for continuous running on the lower level.

Looking west toward Bay Yard we see the main split to the yard lead on the left and main to right.

Same spot now looking east where the main disappears into the helix. Soon foam will be built up on both sides to help transition the track out of sight with a tree line.

Looking west again with the yard lead on left and main on right. Visible in the upper right hand is the "Essexville connector" track which is used simulate pur connection northward to Essexville and the Lake State Railway. I had originally planned to put in the diamond where the main is currently disconnected and run it into the background on the helix as Simulated crossing, but would a railroad have a diamond on a yard lead? CP and BNSF have a diamond at La Crosse, WI which in this case is located right on the east yard lead almost with the same layout. Then again maybe the fact of Atlas Code 83 65 degree crossing shortage at local hobby shop is driving my decision..

Please feel free to comment.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Boxcar Fleet

Over the next two weeks I am going to be focusing on each of the Michigan Interstate railcar fleets. The first post below details all boxcars with MCIS and MCBT reporting marks. As 70 ton Plate C cars attrit due to age, we look to replace the fleet through new build or secondhand purchase of Plate F 100 ton 50/60' cars.

Thrall 50' 70 ton Plate C 
4397 cubic feet cap.
All Door
                 Forest Products pool.
   Rebuilt in late 90s with updated doors.

ACF 50' 70 ton Plate C 
5080 cubic feet cap.
Single Door
                General service pool 

ACF 50' 100 ton Plate 
5095 cubic feet cap.
Single Door - Precision
                General Service Pool 
    Rebuilt to 100 ton standard in 2000s

PS / FMC 50' 70 Ton Plate C
5277-5344 cubic feet cap.
Single Door
               General Service Pool
These cars are heavily utilized in bagged dry bean and corrugated board service.

Gunderson 50' 100 ton Plate F
6301 cubic feet cap.
Single and double door 
           Paper / General Service Pool
Following the industry these cars are used heavily in rolled paper moves and as a backup for any general service move as they displace the older 70 ton fleet.

Gunderson 60' 100 ton Plate E
6652 cubic feet cap
Single door
                 Paper Products Pool
Dedicated to Fort Michilmackinaw Paper.

Berwick 60' 100 ton plate F
7321 cubic feet cap.
Double door
      Automotive / Forest Product Pool
Cars primarily in use to GM moving parts from sequencing warehouses in Michigan to North American Assembly plants. Cars  have ability to be utilized in forest product service as necessary moving plywood and MDF board.

Stay tuned later this week for the open top fleet.


Family Time Inspiration


MCIS 7050 running lead on the M-GMGM-16 past the Bay City Station. I use this symbol when I run continuous mode on the lower deck for my son. It's great that at just under 16 months old he loves going into the train room and points to the layout wanting to see what dad has been up and of course watch a train operate. We both crouched down to get this perspective and figured it would be a great photo to share.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Early March Update

It's been a little while since my last update. Been pretty busy during this time so not much to show for layout progress, but should have one here this week regarding track work in progress.

Ops photos from today:

Photographed on the west end of Bay Yard the last 2 SD70ACe's arrived from our order of 4 from Electromotive. They are in CSX colors from their delivery diversion but will soon be wearing MCIS blue and yellow after visiting Fogelsinger Rail Services. They will be numbered 7052 and 7053.

MCIS 4005 and 4008 both EMD GP40-2s idle at the Bay Yard service facility awaiting their next assignment. The covered bays were inspired based on prototypes at Flat Rock, MI and Fort Worth, TX.