Here are some pictures of the progress so far. The pictures start on the west end of New Britain Yard looking east, the remaining pictures are continuing around the corner, but looking west.
New Britain Yard looking east. The passenger cars are sitting on the station track. Landers, Frary & Clark is the track that runs into the backdrop.
New Britain Engine Servicing (gon and T-2-b), Landers Frary & Clark, City Coal & Supply.
New Britain Lumber (far right siding), Shurberg & Sons Scrap & Coal (two gons), Household Fuel and Carlson & Torrell Building Supplies.
The Texas Company (Texaco), Cremo Brewery (maybe), Cohen William Grocers, Household Fuel, Carlson & Torrell, and Shurberg & Sons.
Sooo...I'm about 10 pieces of track away from completing the mainline. It might take a couple of weeks because I've got to find a good block of time to work on it since it includes finishing the helix and the two upper connections. I will also be adding just enough feeders to get power to the whole layout so I can start testing.
I didn't expect to have all of the trackwork on the east side of town completed (since I hadn't even really laid it out). But it's done, and includes 5 industries. Cremo Brewery is included. It was in New Britain, but on the Springfield line. It also includes Texaco, Cohen Williams Grocers, Household Fuel, and Carlson & Torrell Building Supplies. I was hoping the fit Stanley Svea Coal & Grain at the end of that siding with its curved trestle, but it just wouldn't fit and still be accessible.
I could probably fit a little more track, but it would be crowded and isn't really needed. All of the industries from New Britain Yard east can take a total of at least 19 cars. That doesn't include the Berlin line. Not all will be at capacity, and not all will switch each session. But I think that's a good starting point.
So what's next? It might take a little time to pick up the remaining track. I'm estimating at least 20 more pieces of flex track, and 11 more Micro Engineering turnouts, plus a few more hand-built ones in the Stanley Works. But it's hard to believe that I'm posting this exactly one month after the report that I've switched to Micro Engineering turnouts for most of the track work and I'm this close to completing about 75% of the trackwork.
But it occurred to me that with the modeling season approaching (whenever it arrives, it was in the 80's this weekend), that to prepare for initial operating sessions I need to figure out which locomotives and what rolling stock to start working on.
My eventual roster will be quite a bit larger than I originally planned, since I'll be covering operating sessions over a wide era. But at this point I want to get most of the steam running, with perhaps a few diesels.
So the initial goal will be to shoot for autumn 1947. That means I'll need to get the I's, a K, J, R, and a T-class operational along with a DER-1, two DER-2a/b/a sets, a DEY-4 and a DEY-3 or 5. It will be 14 locomotives and that will allow me to run a full session.
Freight trains would be OK now, if perhaps a bit short. What I'm really lacking are passenger cars.
I've only got two of the Osgood Bradleys, and none with full skirts (I wasn't planning on modeling this early when they were released). I need some more heavyweights too. I will need to complete the two NHRHTA kits (a baggage and an RPO) as stand-ins as I really need to kitbash a 15' RPO and some wooden baggage cars.
A second option would be autumn 1953. If I went that route I'd basically just need DERS-2c and Shoreliners for motive power. And with the Shoreliners I wouldn't need any passenger cars. I'm not sure I have enough RS-3s yet, though.
Until I find a job my budget is basically gone. So these will be good projects to work on over the winter. That's in addition to all of the freight cars I can start (and finish) building.
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