Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Skally Line at the RiverCentre

In the previous post I over-viewed the whole MN FreemoN Layout. I also wanted to talk about the Skally Line. The layout was designed so the Skally could be set up and operated like it is in real life. This helps me see what I need to add or build next. There hopefully will be some video coming in the next few weeks too! First the photos, then the revelations.
Here is another overview shot of the layout, this one is from the opposite corner as the last. You can see where Hinckley branches off just to the right of the closer corner.
Looking from Hinckley South you can see just how straight the Skally is. While that is how it sits in real life, it does makes things a little odd from a modular stability standpoint. I ran out of code 40 track, so the spur to the Hinckley Depot got cut short for now, but it still gives me a spot to park a tank car.
Right now the Hinckley (HIN) interchange track and the Rush City Yard track are one in the same. I will fix that in the month to come.
The North side of the Horizon Mill. While I tried to operate the line realistically, one operator in particular kept bringing incorrect cars to the line. Once we get the car card operations up and running it will take care of that issue.
Looking North at Rush City. This scene is coming together well. I am making progress on the buildings and I have the crossing gates to install for the next show.
Down in North Branch I got some ground cover down, but I didn't make much in the way of structure progress there. Next time I have spare time I may put some ballast down on the green sections. The
As Zinpro is a South facing spur, I had to build a short layout extension so it could be switched out. At only 2 feet long, this kept it so operators had to plan how many tank cars they were going to pull and how they were going to use the buffer car.
So here is my list of revelations:
1) Progress is coming along nicely. All the track work is working well, so that is good.
2) I need to switch Rush City (RUS) over to the keyed switches that are used for turnout control on the rest of the layout. I like the look and feel of them better. Currently RUS is digitally controlled switches. The keyed switches will allow someone with a Utility Throttle to operate the line.
3) I need some separation. I'd like to add a scenic section between HIN and RUS, I have a couple spots in mind, one is a small culvert outside of Beroun.
4) I need to build corners. Not that they are on the Skally, but for stability and options in a future home layout or at shows it will be helpful. A 36 foot long straight peninsula has a little more vibration than I would like.
5) Once I add the extra trackage, the run around track in North Branch will be a must do for operations. I can't be doing shoving moves for 20 feet, I need options.

There were more things, but I think that will cover it for now...

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