Well, I managed to complete a few things so far today.
First, I installed my first decoder. It's just the MRC drop-in sound decoder for the Atlas S2. In the long run I won't be using this as a primary locomotive since I'm hoping to replace it with one with separate details (like the forthcoming brass one from Key Imports). We'll see.
In the meantime, this is Jessica's locomotive and we'll try it out tonight once we finish watching Prehistoric Park (we're on episode 3).
In addition to the decoder, I finally picked up some canopy glue to try. I keep hearing about it (particularly on the Scotty Mason Show), but there was a recent discussion on the Steam Era Freight Car list about it. It works similarly to a white glue, dries clear, and works very well to bond dissimilar materials. It also remains somewhat flexible after drying. At least those are the advantages I've read about.
I used it to glue a brass horn I picked up for the Bachmann 44 tonner project. So we'll see how it does.
I also need to install two more lengths of track tonight to connect the staging to the east helix. Once that's in place, I can test running trains up the helix. Parts are also on the way to complete building the crossovers on the mainline which will allow me to complete a full mainline loop to staging through both helixes.
So back to work...Oh, and I have to figure out which horn and bell to use on the new decoder.