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March Updates

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Quote Originally Posted by northmill View Post
Hello all.
Wanted to share a few recent updates.

First of all, I tidied up my wiring underneath. No photos of this, but the two sections are on separate power buses with the car lightbulb for each.
I finished out the facia, re-did my backdrops, and put a dress on her. This allows my to push it up to the wall like I originally intended and take full advantage of the lights.

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I got a $5 sand tower house kit at a recent train show, but it was missing the house. I dipped my toe into scratch building and created a sand house. While I was at it, I weathered the overly cheerful yellow Bachmann water tank. Also buried all of the turnout cables under the layout.
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For layout planning, I have made the following changes:
  • Removed the second "Z" turn-around loop segment in the first part of the layout. Redundant and never used it. Now I have more room for roads.
  • Removed the second double-crossover. Again, redundant and never used it. The one on the main section allows switching from clockwise to counterclockwise. For switching to the other direction, the train can go around the yard.
  • Added roads too layout diagram (thanks for the suggestion @ChicagoNW)
  • Started thinking about blocks for signaling. Color-coded sections to support this in the future.
  • Added another team track off the passenger siding and another industry to the yard area. The energy distribution plant will service coal hoppers and some old tank cars I recently picked up. The boxes suffice as stand-ins for now. Want to make a squatty vitamin container into a big fuel tank. Updated diagrams below.

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Lastly, based in inspiration from Jimmy at Digital DIY YouTube channel, I have started some informal operations. I made a spreadsheet that randomly assigns 25 or 30 cars to 10 different starting and ending locations around the layout. Having a lot of fun running it. It's not perfect or prototypical, but it's easy to set up and I am learning a lot. I guess the biggest accomplishment is that it all works with no hiccups or derails, minimal stalls. I keep a passenger train on running outer main while working the local switching the inner loop.

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(If anyone wants a copy, let me know.)