January 2, 2011

Benchwork Finished

The New Year marks the end of heavy construction on the layout with the installation of an 8-foot shelf under the wet bar.  I was able to put away the carpentry tools and get rid of many of the wood scraps and pieces I will no longer need.
The wet bar is painted. The water surface has a coat of primer,
while the base is painted in the final color to match the room walls

I painted the wet bar with primer and then put two coats of room color on the base.  The trim pieces are white, so the support structure of the wet bar looks like the rest of the room. I installed dark blue curtains on the inside of the wet bar. This allows easy access to the storage underneath, while also making a neat appearance. AW inspected progress and gave it the CINCHOUSE seal of approval.

On Sunday Gerry Fitzgerald drove up from Charlottesville to do some track laying. He is in between layouts right now as he works as a history professor at UVA and lives in apartment. His previous layout was a 20 x 20 feet freelanced model of a C&O  branch in the Richmond, VA area. He was the former editor of the LDSIG Journal as well as for the Seaboard RR Historical Society.  He likes laying track, so he took on the job of spiking track by the tunnel portal at Brook. The track on the curve here experienced some kinking due to seasonal humidity changes. Actually it rained today and the kink was less noticeable, but when it is cold and dry it popped out. With four spikes per tie, the kinks should be resolved. He got a good meter section of track spiked.

Gerry spiking rail at Brook.
While Gerry worked at Brook I did a variety of jobs including spiking from Stoneman's to Falmouth.The track should be completely spiked in this area now.

I checked a problem area at the north end of Potomac Bridge. It seems like the bridge expanded a bit and threw off the gauge at the tracks at the north end. I will monitor that situation and determine if more drastic measures are needed.

Next I soldered some feeders to rails that I missed the first time through. My plan is to have feeders on every section of rail. I also started using a cutoff wheel in my moto-tool to cut more expansion gaps in the rail to allow for seasonal expansion.

Finally I replaced one of the florescent fixtures at the far end of Potomac Creek. The original light fixture failed, probably due to a ballast problem. I been having problems with severalof these shop light fixtures.  I replaced the two-tube shop light with two smaller fixtures under cabinet style light fixtures. They should be easier to replace if they fail.

Once we finished up, we cleaned the rails and ran a four car test train from Aquia Landing to Falmouth. We dropped off a car at Brook, then continued to Falmouth. There we cut the engine off, turned  it on turntable, and reconnected to the  train.  We took the train back to Brook where we parked the it on the siding for the night.

Gerry tests out the operators pit between Burnside wharf and Aquia Landing. He liked the space.

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