Sunday, June 26, 2011

Whiting Street Yard is operational!

Yes, that's right. Jessica ran the first official train in the partially completed Whiting Street Yard this morning.

Three turnouts are in, although only one is actuated at this point (with a Blue Point turnout control, at least temporarily). Adding feeders has turned out to be much simpler than I anticipated. Currently there are 4 feeders to each turnout, one on each leg, plus the two short pieces beyond the frog. I've tinned the bottom of the frog and will be adding a feeder for powered frogs as well.
I did have to troubleshoot one short, a missed gap on a PC-board tie (which is what I figured it was). The general process is this:
1. Tin the rail where feeders will be attached.
2. Glue the Central Valley ties to the assembled turnout using CA.
3. Glue the turnouts and track down.
4. Drill a small hole immediately next to the back side of the rail for feeders.
5. Tin the wire and bend an 'L' for the feeder end.
6. Feed the wire through from the top, with the small 'L' pressing against the bottom of the rail.
7. Touch the hot iron to the wire and rail, softening the solder already on the rail and wire.
8. Attach the feeder to the bus with a 3-M 'suitcase' connector.
Jessica's train was a simple freight of two cars and a caboose. I staged it on the incoming track. She pulled up a bit, dropped the hack, then dropped off a car on each of the two trailing point sidings. The lead is just long enough for the locomotive (DEY-1b) and two cars. It's the first time she's run a train, and she thought the whole thing was very cool.

I have the remaining 4 turnouts built, and will be assembling the rest of the yard this week. I have to figure out the details of how to ensure the lift-out will line up properly every time. I have an idea of how I'll do that. The next two turnouts to be installed are on the lift-out. I'm hoping to complete the yard to run a 'full session' of drop-offs and pick-ups with Jessica before she heads off to Florida in a week-and-a-half with Grandma and Grandpa.

I also need to get some parts so I can build the crossovers for the mainline. Then I can set up a work session laying the mainline (and staging) to get this thing moving along...
I will get some pictures up as soon as I can (technical difficulties...)

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