Tuesday, November 22, 2022

November Updates

 Work as been steadily progressing on the entire layout. Some updates for November 2022 include:

Installation of a mini-control panel for the return loop:

Using Barrett Hill touch toggles, I've made a small turnout control panel for the return loop. Each turnout has its own Tortoise switch machine and then is controlled in turn on the panel.

Each turnout will eventually have its own dwarf signal giving indication of direction. The toggles will control reverse movement signals via manual red/green operation. 

The signals are oversized, but I designed them to accommodate 3 mm LED's.

Stairs to the station platform are finished:

It took quite some time but I've finished the stairs to the station platform. This was a difficult build as I built from the top down. Next time I'll plan better.

I still need to finish the station headhouse, but that may need to wait until after the holidays.\

All station LED Lights are installed and wired:

A huge challenge was getting all of the station lights finally wired. But that task is finally done. Some additional Woodland Scenics Plug-n-play street lights were installed. I'm not too satisfied with these, but they get the job done.

Loop Elevated Structure:

And finally, I've been working on perfecting the design of Loop L structure. The goal here is to make sturdy, yet realistic, yet easy to build structure. This is 80% printed via FDM printing (Ender 3) and 20% via resin (Anycubic Mono X). Overall, there are about 70 individual pieces making up this one foot of structure.

I consider this version 1.0. I need to make some changes and then I'll be adding this to an addition to the layout. Eventually I'll be creating another station. 




Sunday, October 23, 2022

Return Loop Installed

 The return loop and mini-yard have been installed in the basement. I can finally store some trains and turn a train around. Eventually I'll be building a terminal station between two of the tracks.

The above picture shows the connection. In this photo, just a piece of plywood bridges the gap.

I've since added a section of elevated structure to bridge the gap. The track in this section still needs to be detailed - add third rails, add guard rails, paint and weather.

The above is a view of the completed structure. At some point I'll add a retaining wall to cover the end of the return loop module. 

Turnout control is via Touch Toggles and I've created a rudimentary control panel. The turnouts are controlled via LED touch toggles in the track plan, the two toggles on the left are pending wiring for reverse movement signals. I envision having to manually release an outbound train via manually toggling the signals. 

Some never finished projects seem to hang out now in the yard:

I've also been trying to finish the structure for the stairs. This has been rather difficult as all the parts don't quite fit as well together as I'd like. I'll be adding roofs and lighting to the stairs. Right now I'm just trying to get the structure in place. 

And finally, some of the wood cars paid a quick trip around the layout:

Friday, September 2, 2022

Work Progress on the Return Loop Module

 Throughout the summer, I've been working on completing the return loop module. Due to space constraints, I've been constructing the module in the garage.

The radius of the loop is 16" and the turnouts are a mix of # 4's and 2.1's, which match the 16" radius.

Turnout control will be via Tortoise switch machines, controlled by Barrett Hill Touch Toggles.

Each turnout will have its own signal for routing. These are 3D printed from my own design.

I'm currently wrapping up the wiring and ballasting the track. Hopefully I can have this in the basement in the next month or so before the weather turns cold!

Sunday, June 19, 2022

New Return Loop Module

 I've taken a break from working on the Kedzie Station to start the trackwork on a new return loop module. This will attached to the right of the station module. However, the trackwork will be at ground level as I didn't want to try to make all elevated structure. Also, I'll be including some storage tracks. This "could" be considered a very condensed replica of the Douglas Park's terminal and shops. I haven't decided if I'll include a passenger platform.

The turnouts are a mix of # 4's and # 2.1's, those will match the 16" radius return loop. I'll be a tight fit but space is limited.

I'll be moving my bookcase and adding the module at the top of the following picture:

And one more overhead view,

Friday, May 20, 2022

Slow grind for the staircase

Work has kept me very busy the last few weeks so not much progress to report.

I've been slowly grinding away at the staircases. Its been a challenge as getting everything to fit together has been difficult. I've changed designs several times so far to try to get everything to fit.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

More progress

 Both platforms are in and the LED lights (30 total) are all wired. Some progress photos:

I still need to finish the center catwalks and add more platform details (pay phones, benches, people) but its finally coming together.