Friday, January 6, 2023


Happy New Year everyone. Well it has quite a few months since I last posted or even worked on the layout. After some prolonged health issues on my part as well other family members I am finally back to work. The East staging representing Missoula, Whitefish and points east is now operational. The yard may be operational although it does not go anywhere yet. Since this is staging it does not have a huge amount of clearance (about 10 inches) so I wanted to be sure it is running well be fore I put up benchwork for the Metaline Falls branch on top of it. What is not visible is a series of tortoise switch motors. These are all controlled with an NCE Switch 8. One thing my two previous layouts lacked was much staging. This layout will be different with 15 staging tracks that are at least 18 feet in length. Another new thing for me was to set up macros using the NCE Power Pro. Having used the PowerCab on my previous layout the Powerhouse was an easy transition. But this was my first time using Macros. I am really impressed at how easy and quickly those set up. Not to mention it is a whole lot easier to select one macro corresponding to the yard track number to align all turnouts for a particular track. I also just installed the ladder for the west staging yard as well. Should have more on that in a week or two. Well that is it for now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Finally Back to Building


After a couple months I am back to building. Sometimes life gets in the way of model railroading and the last couple of months have certainly been that for me. I hope to be working more regularly and posting more frequently for a while now. This pictures shows the benchwork for the staging deck. The taller legs in the middle are for support of both decks and reach to the extant of the upper deck back drop.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Update and Revised Track plan

 It has been a busy week since the last post. I am working on building shelves underneath the layout. This should let me unpack stuff and get it out of boxes. Everything from freight cars to tools and track has been packed away since we moved here 3 years ago. Hopefully by the end of the month all that will be done and benchwork will start to go up. In the mean time I am working to finalize the track plan. Since I had uploaded a track plan last year a lot has changed. I had a chance to do track plan consult with Don Winn with the Layout Design SIG during the NMRA Virtual Convention last July. He was very helpful and several great ideas. One of the biggest changes after talking to Don was to remove the narrow peninsula that had the staging yard and Sandpoint yard. The staging got moved to still lowered deck. This compromise allowed for among other things to wider aisles and a larger minimum radius on the end of the remaining peninsula.  Minimum radius is 33 inches which occurs only in the helix and at the end of peninsula or a few industrial spurs. Other locations have minimum of 40 mainline and 36 on the branch. The lower deck plan is here. Aisles are now 5 feet with only 1 pinch point the peninsula and the west wall. Only 1 switching pint ( the LP sawmill) is very close to the pinch point with mostly scenic running on both decks.

This peninsula depicts the BN mainline between Dover Idaho and Newport Washington. This then runs down to staging to represent Spokane and points west. The around the walls portion represents the MILW Metaline Falls Branch. By the time I model in the 1970s MILW had abandoned the branch between Newport and Couer d' Alene Junction in favor of trackage rights on the BN. Then below is the 16 track staging yard. You can see 9 track are stub ended while another 7 tracks under the peninsula are on a return loop for turning trains. Feel free to comment below and Happy Railroading in 22.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year it is finally finished


The new train room is finished. It is finally ready for benchwork. One of the things I built in was a workbench and spray booth. his has been quite a project with several delays over the last year. Lumber prices and shortages wreaked havoc on the schedule as did the contractor having to quarantine his crew due to due to COVID. Followed by a back injury and an illness on my part while working on the interior. I hope to start benchwork in a couple of days. I also hope to post a new and revised track plan soon as well. In the mean time I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and Happy Railroading in 2022.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Almost there.


I have been real busy since the last update. The train room is painted. The HVAC is in and running. The floors are in and it passed the final inspection. I have installed storage cabinets and am constructing the workbench and spray booth. If all goes well the room should be finished and ready for to start building the layout by New Years. Hopefully the last room build update will be in the next week. It has been about 3 1/2 years since the previous layout was torn down to prepare for the move. I am looking forward to starting benchwork again soon.  
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Train room Update

 It has been a while as I have been pretty busy working on the new train room trying to get it ready for winter. I finally finished drywall mud and am ready to paint. This is a huge step as the next big thing is to get the heat pump installed so we can continue to work on the inside not that we getting
frost most nights.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Something Different


As I posted before I am from the Inland Northwest in the area that I am going base the new layout. However my wife is originally from Pennsylvania. So I wanted to do a Pennsy train in honor of her. Since it is already a "fantasy" train, I thought it would also be an opportunity to do something different in terms of motive power. So here is the first piece of that. This is a Bowser AS616 and will be the only Baldwin in my fleet. I installed Tsunami 2 in it and it looks and sounds great. This is only my 2nd unit from Bowser the other being a C636 in SP&S paint and stenciled for BN. They are both nice locos and I will be buying more Bowser in the future. I really like that train phone antennae the Pennsy used. Another unique feature it allows me to have.

      Happy New Year everyone. Well it has quite a few months since I last posted or even worked on the layout. After some prolonged health ...