Friday, May 24, 2013

Skally Line Updates

A quick run to Duluth yielded a good opportunity to drive the Skally Line. Chinook Spur (Zinpro) was loaded to the hilt on Thursday. SCXY 1352 was backed up to the derail and 11 tank cars filled the rest of the space. 1352 and ILSX 1345 would be dragging a monster 80 car train to Hinckley on Friday.
Tiller Corp. has finished building a new loadout shed in North Branch. It looks like this should help keep the elements out of the sand. The shed was blocked by loads on Thursday, but was cleared out Friday.
The Hinckley Local was waiting for the 80 car SCXY train, 62 of the cars were sand loads. A pair of veteran SD60Ms (BNSF 8108 and 8105) were waiting on the SCXY spur in Hinckley to make the trade. SCXY 1363 was left in Hinckley, the other Skally engines, running elephant style North started a grass fire just south of Rock Creek. Rush City Fire was quick to respond.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tiller Part IV

Progress! I wanted to get all the track laid this weekend (my weekends are usually Monday-Tuesday) and I succeeded! There is just shy of a scale mile of track on the module set. I had 90" laid earlier in the process, and today I laid the rest, I started by epoxying all the Fast Tracks PCB ties at the module ends and where the tracks cross the centerpoint. Then I glue everything down and soldered the rails to the PCB ties. I think I have 12 different sets of feeders for track power, wiring will be one of my next steps...
Here is the overall view...
Here is the siding for Zinpro (Chinook Spur):
Here are the tracks for Tiller Corp.:
Here is the switching lead for Tiller:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Wheel Dilemma

As I convert my small fleet of rolling stock to metal wheels, a few conversations with my friend HK got me wondering. I know modern freight cars have 36" wheels. No debate there. The issue I have is that the left and right hemispheres of my brain can't agree on the visual versus the actual. I'll explain:
I am using FVM wheels. Up till now I have been using 33" wheels because they look right to my eyes (right brain). HK measured the FVM wheels for me and at the wheel face both sets are accurate to the given dimension (33"=33" and 36"=36"), this works for my left brain. Where the odd debate comes in at is that wheel flanges in real life measure about 1" give or take. On a FVM 33" wheel, the flange diameter is 38", or roughly that on a prototypical 36" wheel. The diameter of the FVM 36" flange is over 41", or roughly appropriate for an N Scale 40" wheel. Now my left brain hurts.

I decided I needed to figure out a way to check to see which half of the brain was the crazy one, so I too some prototype photos and lined them up with some model photos. Here are the results:
Photo 1 (FVM 33" Wheel): The overall diameter of the wheel (including the flange) closely matches the overall diameter of a real 36" wheel. Because the flange isn't weathered (and never will be) this stands out as the visual key in the picture to me.
Photo 2 (FVM 36" Wheel): The wheel faces are spot on to each other, but the oversized flange on the FVM wheel makes the wheel look oversized. If I had matched the trucks exactly the real wheel would have looked even smaller, exacerbating the issue.
 I believe I know how I must move forward. I hope this didn't hurt your brain as much as it did mine...