March 22, 2017

"Go big or go home" - Auto Racks Test

"Go big or go home," is a popular saying these days. It really doesn't make sense because who would n't want to go home? It is a nice place where the layout is. I like to go home.  So how about going big at home? That is exactly what is going on here. PoLA is going big. This photo shows a test run of a train of auto racks on PoLA.  I am looking at another expansion of PoLA, but before I proceeded, I needed to verify that auto racks will fit on the layout. The visible part of the layout is no problem. It's the 19 inch radius and 54 inch vertical clearance under the stairs that had we worried.

So I ordered up a batch of auto racks from Mainline Hobby, with the intent of doing the test. If it was a no go, I'd sell the cars on ebay. Less than 24 hours later the box with the models, a very large box, was waiting at my front door.  I opened the box and set the models on the layout. The Atlas articulated sets required some assembly. One of the screws was so tightly inserted that it stripped when I tried to unscrew it. So I drilled it out and replaced it with a screw from my stock.  When Alicia saw the cars on the layout she asked, "are those the same scale?"

Now the big test. Ta daa -- All cars made it through the staging track curve both backing and pulling. Pulling gives more clearance between cars as the couplers stretch out, but they can back through too, even though the inside ends of the cars touch.  So, we can proceed with the expansion plans. Whew!

Don't worry the Aquia Line is still here. The new PoLA expansion is basically 2x8 feet, but it will double tank car siding capacity and add a whole new industry with capacity for up to 14 89-foot auto racks.