Finished installing the last of the turnouts in D&RGWs North Yard last night. Only have the 4 service tracks and 2 industry tracks left to lay.
Then it is onto wiring, wiring and a lot more wiring. Model RailRoading is fun! Still I am looking forward to constructing the control panels. Best part (together with scenery) of the hobby for me.
New areas to explore include controlling main line turnouts via DCC and installing signals. I found a really nice 3 light Chinese made N Scale signal (3 pack) at Amazon for only $11AUD each. Normally N Scale signals cost around $30 each so I have 27 more in transit to me. Plus I have 20 Drawf N Scale Signals (in packs of 10) coming for installation at DUT as part of Phase III.
Thanks to the hard work of Rod and John all of the Denver Union Terminal (DUT) tracks have been laid and SEEP turnout motors have been installed – wired and tested – under the baseboard. Now onto the laying of the tracks for C&S’s Rice Yard and the passenger coach yards.
This photo was taken 4 days ago. Since then I have laid a further 3 turnouts to the Holcim Cement and Hadley Auto Transport industry tracks in D&RGWs North Yard. These tracks will also act as Rio Grande Motorway tracks as required. That leaves 3 more turnouts for the D&RGW/Rock Island locomotive servicing tracks and the Pikestuff Small Enginehouse.
Then I can connect the remainder of the Kato extender tracks across the module 6 & 7 divide, patch up a couple of broken tracks and start making connections to the control panels, starting back at Black Hawk. Once all of the feeders are connected to the BUS it should be possible to run a train around the loop.
I have updated the main web site to reflect the 4 phases, instead of 5, of the layout construction mentioned in the last post.
The main line between Glenwood Springs and the Wye at Denver Union Terminal (DUT) is almost complete. I just have to install the Wye track to the north of DUT, (the connection to the east is already laid), and relay two or three turnouts on the main at the Prospect Junction end of North Yard. Then I can connect the remainder of the Kato extender tracks across the module 6 & 7 divide, patch up a couple of broken tracks and start making connections to the control panels, starting back at Black Hawk. Once all of the feeders are connected to the BUS it should be possible to run a train around the loop.
The changes to the Phase numbers will be reflected in the main web site pages in the fullness of time. Reducing the number of Phases to four will align with the planned N-Scale magazine articles.
Although some weeks have gone by, little has changed since the November update. The magazine article has been completed and should be published in the May/June edition of the N-Scale magazine. Rod is still working hard on pre-wiring the turnout motors for Phase III – Denver Union Terminal (DUT). Both John and Rod are currently on holiday.
I have made a breakthrough with the installation of KATO extender tracks between the Belt Line module and the North Yard module in Phase II. I have successfully installed Kato extenders on 4 tracks which paves the way for continuous loop train running. However when I went to lay more track in the yards I realised that because the module is against the wall it will not be possible to install point motors from underneath the baseboard because you cannot reach or see the top of the tracks. It is ok to “pop-up” the baseboard for BUS wiring. Consequently I have began to raise up the turnouts, one by one, and install PECO point motors attached to the turnouts. This has the advantage that once track laying is complete, wiring the turnouts to the control panels is a relatively quick job.
Once the yard tracks, turnouts and motors are installed I will work backwards along the main line to Glenwood Springs. With regard to the mainline all of the turnouts are to be computer controlled, which means that a number of DCCconcepts AD-S8sx decoders will need to be installed, together with NCE BD-20 block detectors. The Grand Junction loop turnouts will also have to be rewired with AD-S8sx decoders and 14 more NCE BD-20 block detectors added. Once complete testing with JMRI Panel Pro and Railway & Co can commence.
I am not sure anyone reads this Blog except of course the Web Robots. If you do read the blog please register and make a comment, or send me an email. However the blog was started as a useful place to record the progress on my layout, so I will keep updating every so often.
Phase 1 – the Clear Creek RR continues to progress. All track is laid. All turnout motors are installed. By the end of today all of the BUS wiring will be complete. Golden Station building is complete and five other kits have been completed. In addition the scenery work and ballasting has been completed on the canyons west of Golden. The scene is ready for photographs to be taken for an upcoming magazine article, except for the addition of some model people. This will happen once they arrive by mail from the USA in about 3 weeks time. Two new control panels for Black Hawk (Power District 2c) and Idaho Springs (Power District 2b) are ready and awaiting artwork and connections. Golden is in Power District (PD) 2a, Glenwood Springs in PD2 and the Grand Jct Loop in PD1.
Work will shortly commence on adding the industries and rolling stock into the “Ship It” Prototypical Switch List Generator program.
Phase II – the Main Line from Grand Jct Loop to D&RGW North Yard. All track laying and BUS wiring is complete, and in the process of being tested. The point motors have been installed and are currently being connected to the Power District 2 & 3 control panel and to Relay switches which will change the lights on the control panel to indicate direction. 30 NCE BD-20 track detectors have been purchased for installation in the return loop and the main line. An NCE AIU01 Auxiliary Input Unit has been purchased to link the track detectors with the Railway & Co “Train Controller” computer system.
East Denver Belt Line – all track has been laid and most of the turnouts will be controlled by Caboose Industries ground throws.
Phase III – Denver Union Terminal (DUT). Rod has finished laying track in the main station complex. Installation of the point motors has commenced. This is expected to take some considerable time. When the track BUS and point motors have been tested we will carry on installing the C&S/CB&Q Rice Yard, the coach yards and industrial branches.
Phase IV – D&RGW North Yard and industries and the UP 36th Yard. All work is on hold pending the completion of the work on Phase II as above.
Phase V – the D&RGW Main Line from Denver to Glenwood Springs and a branch line to Craig. Peter has laid all of the cork roadbed for this phase and I have finished the Gore Canyon scenery for the time being. Track laying for this phase will begin after phases 3 and 4 are complete.
The Golden Spike for Phases I & II was hammered home on Friday night, linking all of the track work into a large oval. Once the wiring is complete we will be able to run trains up to 100 cars in length.
Three group members met yesterday (Saturday 23rd). Progress was made in track laying for the return loop in phase 2. Once that is complete we will be able to run long trains for show – even up to 100 cars. For operations the trains will be shorter – 20 to 35 cars due to the length of the passing sidings in Phase 5 (Colorado mountains from Winter Park to Glenwood Springs).