Avery Depot

Avery Depot
It took very long to build, but now it is nearly ready - the depot!

Sonntag, 19. Februar 2012

No News lately..

Due to high job demand everything has been put on the backburner. I'm in touch with Wolfgang who will  be helping me organize the contractor, who in turn will be renovating the walls. Hopefully.
So just stay tuned again, as soon as it get's warmer we will move on!

Sonntag, 8. Januar 2012

Mark January 6th, 2012 17:17

This is the exact minute, the last tracks of the old Milwaukee Road layout of St Pauls Pass came up. Ironically, it was also the track last laid - the spur to the US Hanford Works Nuclear Waste site which has only seen one train in it's whole "life", as we discovered that the huge nuclear waste flask did not fit very well into St Pauls Pass tunnel.

But that is history now. All tracks and benchwork are gone, just a bit of the background is left to remove during the next worksession. What is seen in this photo ist how the room is looking without the layout (obviously) In the left corner the background is where the station of Roland, Idaho was located.
On the ground in the center is a hodgepodge of wiring - every cable that was there under the layout has been salvaged and will be used again. A lonely fast-clock on the wall at left is awaiting it's fate.

The second photo shows the other corner, looking towards the windows. You can see the curtains and the deteriorating plasterwork on the wall. It's where the wall faces the street above. Unfortunately there is no cure for water sipping in as the insulation from 1909 is long gone.

The next step will be to remove what is left of the background and making room for the central part of the new multi-level layout.

Sonntag, 18. Dezember 2011

Photos from the US

 Here are a few photos of Steamtown at Scranton, Pennsylvania. Actually, it's a National Park and they are doing a beautiful job displaying and operating steam, diesel and even trolleys there. Well worth a visit!

Dismantling started - finally!

On November 19, 2011 I fine crew of dedicated people gathered in the layout room to start tearing down the layout. And tearing down they did!
In fact, I could hardly stop them as I had to leave for an appointment after more than 4 hours.
Thanks Wolfgang, Robert, Christian and Herbie for helping and essentially destroying what you built.

As 2011 draws to a close I'll be continuing the teardown process. In fact, as I write this post I have torn down the whole middle section. Only Avery east yard and the line between Roland and East Portal is still in place. I made several trips to the nearest garbage dump and I still  ahve a few auto loads left.
I try to salvage track, screws and every electronic gizmo as much as I can, but especially the turnouts don't really like to be ripped out - they frequently get distorted and damaged.
That's not nice, sure - but necessary!
I hope to be able to finish this work by January. When tearing down will be completed, electricity is next, for I have to change quite a lot of the cabling and lighting. When that is completed, I will store tools, parts and whatever is left in the new containers - and after that rebuilding starts, finally. Although I'm afraid that this is still a few months away.

Nevertheless, the next worksession will be held on Saturday, January 14th, starting at 2 PM (1400 hours).

See you!

I have shot  a few photos of the layout in dire straits - this is no beautiful sight!

At first, here is a view of the middle section - it is gone by now, but after the worksession this was waht's left of it:

In a hodgepodge of cables sits the rest of the mainline between Kyle and Adair:

End of track at Kyle:
 That's what had been left of Avery yard - the east yard (to the left) is gone by now.

Montag, 24. Oktober 2011

This is a short post, shortly before I set sail to the U.S.
I'm afraid that I haven't done that much in the last few months. I'm occupied by my Job, a new gadget called IPad and many other things. So the layout is definitely on hold for now.

As this fall it seems to be very hard to reach our company's goals for 2011 I'll be doing next to nothing during the remaining 9 weeks to Christmas. But I belive that after the turn of the year, I'll have the spirit again.

Bear with me.

Freitag, 23. September 2011

News - after a long time

Hi folks,

it could well be that many of you were wondering what happened to the layout or happened anything?

Yes and no.

I have not yet started dismantling, although it is not operable any more as I have severed the connection between the staging yards and the rest of the layout.
Unforeseen circumstances have stalled the project at the moment, but it will pick up again sometimes in October when I’ll start to build the dispatcher’s cabin.

Meanwhile, the electrical components of the 230V circuit were removed and reside now in a box outside the room. After the dispatcher’s cabin is ready, it will be the next step to plan and mount new cabling.

Stay tuned – I might be calling a worksession on October 22nd , just days before I’ll be sailing to the USA again.

And we have something for you: Florian outdid himself with this film (split in to owing to Youtube limitations).
So sit back, take your favorite beverage and enjoy a last view of the layout:

Part 1:
Part 2:

have fun & see you!

Samstag, 18. Juni 2011

The Farewell Session

As I'm writing this post the last session of St Paul Pass I itself is history. Only 7 attendants (one of them late) appeared and that made it a very relaxed (some say too relaxed) session. The last time there were fewer than 8 participants was in December 2008! Due to the fact that only 2 through trains each way were running it was not too compelling for the dispatcher as there was a gap of 12 fast hours between them.
However, it is known that for a good session we need at least 10 people.

Since there will be a longer pause until the next session and for the first few sessions a large crowd won't be needed, this is not really a problem anymore.

Here are a few pics my son Florian and I made during the session:

This is the last track cleaning train at the beginning of the session.  I use the CR and 2 SP units that don't see use in many trains. Here CR 6338 will soon be splitting the signals at Kyle West switch.

A little while later we see it somewhere between Kyle and Adair
 and finally approaching Avery....

This small sawmill is a masterpiece from my son Florian (that was before he found out that there are girls out there...) It will be saved and get a fine place on the new layout.

The 936/937 job to Ethelton is seen here (at least the tail end) - in the background we have the gas tube ...oh my... it's in the way of level 3. I forgot it completely when planning the St Paul Pass II! Fortunately, the track will fit under it. It's not beautiful, but there is no way removing it...

East Portal West switch is on the upper level and Hobo Ridge on the lower one. The name comes from the hobo camp at it's base.
 Adair and the cement mill.

Marmoraton Mining Limestone Works will be saved, too. It already has a place on my plan (level 1).

Marble Creek will not be a junction any more. This is the last #925 moving out of the tunnel. On the left are the first two towers of Kelly Creek trestle which will also find a home on the new layout. The white spot on the right is the hole I battered out of the gypsum mountain to find two missing locos. (Long story)

The other half of Kelly Creek trestle. I thought it was a good idea to separate the levels with a 2-turn helix. As it turned out this was not the case. 45 cm ( 17") radius combined with a more than 3% grade is taxing all locos to the extreme. Sometimes even 4 6axle SD40-2 are not enough. This is a part of StPP I that would have been changing anyway.

Here is a detail shot of the lumber cabin, made by my son Florian (before, you know...), complete with interior, for example a stove, beds and drawer.
 This is Mr. Lumberjack himself, sitting on his bed. In the background there is his nice lamp.

The last through train.....

Little Joe #22 waits for an assignment.

The area of the roundhouse with a few helpers waiting for trains that won't be coming any more....

The ready track with an NW2, SD40 and U23B

The wrecking track. The wrecking train will be moved to St Maries (where it belongs).

Wolfgang as an eager-to-learn Yardmaster has done a very good job to keep the yard clean...

SD40-2 #157 (with long hood forward!) arrives at Avery. The helper is uncoupled (just now - as you can see the 0-5-0 in the back) and will soon find an empty track at the roundhouse.

#932 in Calder. Seems that stealth NW fans are among us as we have a long hood again!

The next signal shows red-over-red, which is quite correct....

Mr Hobo and his friend are chatting. They sure hope that Sherrif Smith won't be coming along..
Yes, the Milwaukee even has modern concrete ties laid down....
 The US Forest Service loading track.
 The overpass at Calder which leads to the USFS track.

Yellow over red at East Portal
..the end of the line for now.