February 2018
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Archive for the ‘Updates only. nothing major’ Category

Long Over Due Update


I have been promising an update on the Wolf Valley RR for a long time now and it’s long overdue for sure. The last real update has been at least a year ago so let’s get started:



Keaton West to EastKeaton East to West



This area will be a rural /country side community. I have a grain elevator, farm supply store and Stock pens. During our August long weekend I finally decided to work a bit on the layout and got the rest of the sub roadbed and track finished. I am going to try Blue Points to control turnouts here and see how they work out compared to the Bull Frogs from Fast Tracks. After that I’ll wire it all up and the trains can operate this town!!!!



Benjamin 1 Benjamin 3

The only thing running through Benjamin so far is the main line and two sidings. My original plan was to have the main running almost half way in from the edge and give me a little room on both sides of the track for industries. The more I look at it and what I want to do with the town; it just isn’t working out the way I had hoped. Now I’m looking at bring the main closer to the edge of the bench and give more at the back. I am going to put a Gypsum plant in here so that will take up most of the room on the East side of Benjamin and with the current track arrangement there is very little room on the West side of town. I don’t need any gang wars starting in Benjamin just because one side of town has more room than the other so I think I may just nip it in the but before anything gets too far out of hand! Besides those West town boys can be very intimidating when they want to be.



Cole 1Cole 3

Cole is still a blank. Although in Cole there is a passenger station on the mainline (and it is ready for passenger service), the industrial area will only have access from the second yard lead. The only industry or business that I know will be in Cole will be some form of an oil business. This is because my nephew Cole lives in “Oil Country”. 🙂



WV Yard 4WV Yard 3

WV Yard 2WV Yard 1

As you know I have been hand laying my yard in ME Code 55 rail. I have been using Fast Tracks tools and materials to do this. I knew it was going to be slower than using flex track but I had no idea how much slower!!! To date I have all the Fast Tracks #6 switches in place on both ends of the yard and well over half of the track down. I have designed and built my Yard Panel to house the DPDT rotary switches that will not only control the turnouts but also show their position on the panel.

Our “Club” was hosting the annual Maritime Federation of Model Railroaders Convention and I was asked to have my layout added to the layout tour. So for the 4-6 months leading up to the Convention my friends and I have worked on the yard a bit almost every Monday night and any other time I had to spare and felt like it. As it stands right now I have about 10-15 feet of the track work to finish, install the Moles for turnout control and then wire it all up. However I am “Burnt Out” of motivation for my yard so I am taking a break from it for now.


Open House:

During the open house from the Convention I had a good amount of people through the door. One of the coolest things was having a “Super Star” come and tour my layout.

Littl’ Puddy 2

Littl’ Puddy 3Littl’ Puddy 1

Yup, Littl’ Puddy came to visit my layout. I’m sure he was a little bored after a trip or two around my layout, after all he is a seasoned world traveler who has been all over the world. He has visited some of the finest layouts in the world and he still came visited mine! That’s COOL!!!!!! You can read about some of  his adventures here:

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Mike McGrattan (Puddy’s owner) and Dan Garcia (both from Rapido Trains) came to visit as well. We shared some stories and laughs and most importantly having these fellows come and look at my layout and be even somewhat impressed meant a lot to me. I never thought of my layout as ever having Celebrities coming for a visit. Also a friend from “Out West” who is a CN engineer visited as well. When things slowed down, I asked Mark what he thought of my yard design. He told me not to change a thing and that he couldn’t think of any way of changing it to improve the operations in it. Now I know for sure that the time I put into designing it did not go to waste. Happy Happy Happy!!!!

For now that is all. I won’t promise to make updates more frequently because every time I do it takes me longer to get the next one out. I’ll try but no promises.

See Ya


Micro-Managing My Time

Since June I have not found much time to do any work on the layout. Between work, Family, a flood at our church (which created way more work than we first thought) I have had a very busy summer. I knew I didn’t have time to go down and spend an hour or more at any point on the layout so I didn’t even try. It wasn’t until my 22 month old Grandsons (Ben) came for a visit one day and went straight to the top of the stairs, reached up for my hand and said “Come” (I knew what he wanted) ,  with that I knew I had to get things rolling somehow.

I spent a few minutes the next day going over what it was that I needed to do to get my trains running again so Ben would be able to see the trains run again as soon as possible. All my turnouts were in place off of the mainline into the yard and also enough to get through the three Arrival/Departure tracks at each end of the yard. The problem was no power to the rails and no way to control the Moles that controlled the turnouts. I had some time earlier this year to build my control panel for the yard so I could mount the switches in it and start wiring the turnouts and connecting feeders to bus wires. I made a list of things I needed to do and in what order I wanted them done in but also realized that this is going to take a lot of time that lately I just don’t have . What to do???

I decided at that point I need to micro manage my time. If I can spend 10 minutes or even 20, it doesn’t matter as long as something is being done. With spending 10 or 20 minutes here and there and a few evenings that I could spend more time plus a Saturday afternoon I now have all but one turnout finished and functioning properly. All this in about a month and a half of just here and there work!!! I have a short in the frogs of one turnout that I have been trying to troubleshoot. I have one more thing to try with it before I have to do what I don’t want to do and tear it out.

What was actually funny to me was that as I was reading the October issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist e-zine. I read the editorial Hobby Time by Assistant Editor Don Hanley. As I’m reading through it, it was like he was reading my mind just a couple months ago. I kept thinking to myself as I read it “Your preaching to the choir”! I am now a firm believer of micro managing your time. If all you have is 10 minutes to spare, it’s better than nothing at all and you would be surprised as to how much you can get done in short burst like this!!!

Now Ben is a couple month older and his words are getting a little clearer but he doesn’t go to the stars and say “Come” anymore. He gets his jacket and shoes off and looks at me and say “Trains?” It is said in a question but I know it is more of a demand.  😆

See Ya



Yes there has been some progress since my last post. I have installed parts of my yard ladders at each end of the yard (13 turnouts so far) enough so that I am able to lay out my three Arrival/Departure tracks and enough to get a start to the Classification part of the yard when I’m ready. I have soldered all my PC ties and rail together to make up the three A/D tracks and prepared to start laying the wooden ties. I had a bag of 1000 ties so this would be enough to get the three tracks done and a start on the Classification part later on……………… or so I thought 😳 I was short by 8 ties of completing only Two of the A/R tracks, TWO!!!!! Holy Smokes!!! This is going to take way more ties than I first thought so I immediately ordered 5 more packages. This gave me the time to get the mainline all laid back down so all I have to do now is connect the feeders and install three Moles for the turnouts and I’ll have the Main line operational again. Hopefully between this weekend and the first of next week I’ll get the trains running again.

One thing for sure, you will not win any races by handlaying track as it sure is time consuming. I will also say that I’m undecided as to whether handlaying N scale track is therapeutic or the start of total insanity!  😎 I think I’m doing this more for the reasons of I never thought I would ever hand lay track in N scale, I’ve been told by more than a couple friends “I’m nut’s” (which is no great surprise anyway) but most of all “Because I can”!!! 🙂 Probably the biggest reason I keep going with this is because I kept telling everyone I was going to do it so I guess I just better do it, right? I’ll post photos later as there is more to show