Well, it's been a little while since my last update. Progress has continued, if a bit slowly.
The Proto Meet was great. There are plenty of reports online, so I won't go into great detail. I did bring a couple of unfinished models; the NE-5, NE-6 and Tichy War Emergency Gondola upgrades. Nothing really spectacular, but at least I managed to bring something.
I had a number of guys over for a quick layout tour and dinner on Saturday night. The break is short, and I couldn't have done it at all without Bill Schneider and Chris Adams' help. Bill and I prepped dinner, but he did all the cooking. And while I was running up and downstairs to welcome people at the door, Chris gave people a tour of the layout room. Anyway, next year will be better organized, and the layout will be on the Sunday tours.
Benchwork and roadbed continues. I've completed the roadbed for New Britain yard, and the rest of the benchwork is about 80% done. I've also built spline and shelf, and laid the roadbed for the Berlin branch, which will be a small yard for operational purposes. This track has a steep grade (I'm guessing about 4%) but it's short. In addition, it's there purely for operational purposes. The 44-tonners will be the only locomotives running on this part. Since the prototype has about a 2% grade anyway, I'm limiting the 44-tonners to a maximum of 5 cars running westbound (up the grade). I'm going to lay some test track soon and see if they can handle that.
New Britain Yard, looking east from Main Street:
Berlin Branch spline under construction:
Whiting Street Yard. The narrower section in front of the door is a lift-out:
My intention has been to have a partial switching yard (with a freight house and team tracks) and partial fiddle yard for the Berlin Branch. I'll probably start with just switching operations here and see if I need to add the additional operations as a fiddle yard later.