Sunday, September 18, 2011

Layout Update #20: Now We're Rolling

Continuing an unfortunate trend, no work took place on the layout between April and, well, yesterday. However, I got a gift certificate from M.B. Klein for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and finally got around to putting it to good use at the beginning of last week. While I had not spent much time in the train room, I had spent some time considering the state of the layout. What I realized was that despite the snail's pace of tracklaying I had a functional representation of an actual, if minimally operational, railroad. The existing track allows for a train to be run from one staging location onto the layout, from which it could then run off to a different staging location. Completing a few of the industrial spurs would enable me to drop off and pick up cars.
So, because I had been away from the layout for a while and felt I needed to re-energize myself for the fall/winter work season, I decided to pick up some trucks (wheelsets) and couplers to allow me to update some freight cars for running on the layout. I picked up enough to convert ten cars; this would be sufficient given the limited trackage, and would also give me some initial experience in converting rolling stock. Of course, since it was my birthday I also picked up a beautiful New York Central heavyweight baggage car:
Here's a look at basically the first train to run on the layout, if only to test the wheels' performance on the track, especially through the turnouts:
For the most part I haven't had any trouble, although the otherwise-nice Rutland cars have slightly different underbodies than the others, and the truck-mounted couplers don't sit quite right. I'll probably end up body-mounting couplers for those and getting different trucks. The cars are almost excessively free-rolling but that should translate into an easier job for the locomotives. Since the layout is very much under construction, I felt it necessary to upgrade my work train cars; you can see them at the right of this group shot:
The next tracks I'd like to install are the repair-in-place (RIP) and work train sidings, to the right of the turntable. As I get new trucks and couplers, my plan is to place "to-do" cars on the RIP track to simulate cars needing repairs, which in a sense they do. Once they have new trucks and couplers, they can then move on to their next destination.

Stay tuned for more frequent updates as we move into the busy (layout) season!


Powaqqatsi said...

By the time you finish this, your grandkids should be able to enjoy it!

Arizer said...

Starting to look good. I like the layout.

Dave S. said...

@Powa, that's funny because it's true.

@Arizer, thanks!