|UP action in Memphis|
|Large scale model of Sultana in the museum.|
|Thom Radice giving conductors their instructions|
Charlie's layout is set in a 75 by 35 foot loft above his large garage and guest house. It is a wonderful space for a large model railroad. His engines use DCC and sound. The layout includes two turntables with a unique mechanism based on a "Geneva Wheel" that allows for automatic indexing. They were designed and built by Charlie's brother Harold, a mechanical engineering whiz. Before dinner Harold took me for a tour of his machine shop. It was fully equipped with a multi head CNC mill and several other industrial grade lathes, brakes, and grinders.
|Charlie Curro poses by the O Scale Tennessee River bridge,|
one of two huge bridges on the layout.
In keeping with the family affair, Charlie's nephew, Will, painted the backdrops and his 90-year old mother built many of the smaller structures on the layout. Charlie Curro, a long time colleague of Charlie Taylor, built most of the big structures.
It was a delightful experience for me to operate on another ACW O scale railroad. Dave Schneider, owner of SMR trains, told me that we (Charlie Taylor and I) are the only two layouts he knows that actually operate his O scale engines.
|Harold's Geneva wheel|
|Some of Curro's structures|
After a genuine Memphis BBQ dinner, we had more talks back at the hotel.
|Diorama in Shiloh Museum|
|NS on the former M&C in Germantown, TN|
On Saturday, we went by bus to Shiloh Battlefield National Park. The park includes Corinth and Battery Robinette. Lee Millar, as a CSA Captain, lead the tour. First we stopped in Germantown to examine a 19th century boxcar hidden in a storage shed. Once at Shiloh, he gave many of us a chance to load and fire blanks with a musket, showed us the key points on the battlefield, and told a bunch of groan-inducing jokes, usually with a unreconstructed rebel theme.
|Thom Radice fires the musket|
Overall the battlefield is well preserved and undeveloped. The woods were allegedly not as thick then as they are now, but the open fields are very similar to the way they were in 1862.
The crossing at Corinth was interesting, even if all the ACW era stuff is mostly gone except for the location of the tracks. The crossing diamond uses an continuous track for the Norfolk Southern east-west line. The north-south line has guard rails as the wheels have to "jump" the East-west rails- at slow speed I imagine.
|KCS loco on display in Corinth|
|Unusual diamond crossing|
This was one of the best ACW meets that I have attended (I haven't been to all of them). I am looking forward to next year. Martinsburg-Harpers Ferry and Antietam might be a possible location. Maybe with a new TTRAK module and hosting an op session on the Aquia Line.
From Nortraks website. One-Way Low-Speed diamond frogs are used in their namesake diamonds, often referred to as OWLS diamonds. These types of frogs are analogous to lift frogs in turnouts: the higher-trafficked line crosses the diamond on a normal rail surface in tread-bearing mode, and the lower-trafficked line crosses over the higher-trafficked line in flange-bearing mode. Because there is no flangeway gap to cross on the higher-trafficked line, vehicles using this line can cross the diamonds at the maximum speed allowed by the track design. Because the lower-trafficked line is in a situation where gauge restraint is reduced and because it has to cross over the flangeway gap for the higher-trafficked line, vehicles using this line are limited to speeds at or below 10 miles per hour. OWLS diamonds are commonly used where a rail line with very little traffic operating at low speed crosses a rail line with considerably more traffic operating at higher speeds.