Project updates


posted Mar 14, 2018, 7:35 AM by Marc Pelletier

Due to some unexpected moisture behind my insulation, construction has been put on hold until I can get someone in re-insulate the basement. This will put a significant dent in the budget for the layout, but can't be avoided (might mean I have to tear down part of the layout to get to that part of the insulation....have to wait and see)


posted Jan 25, 2018, 10:49 AM by Marc Pelletier

I finished the framing of the benchwork while I was on vacation last week. Also started putting up the bulkheads. I'm starting on the right hand side as there is more structure to attach the bulkhead to and holding off on the part that's against the wall until after the skyboard has been patched and primed. Then I have to wait for Adrienne to sketch out the scene and paint it all

Overall, progress is being made and I will likely be able to finish the siding of the benchwork and start putting down the foam sheets in March, with the start of the track work shortly after

They Say Bigger is Better Right?

posted Jan 8, 2018, 8:54 PM by Marc Pelletier

Turns out I'm really horrible at keeping this site updated

I've had to redesign the layout as the previous benchwork encroached into the laundry area and really made it awkward to work around. THIS is my redesign: 

Adding one smaller yard in the top left area along the back wall and adding a leg off to the side to hold some sort of industrial/city scene. (I'm might even incorporate Kato's Unitram system...still undecided on that one)

So...benchwork has started to be modified. The passenger train yard is built and measurements for the leg are being done. But first, I really need to build the bulkheads so I can put up the lights...maybe when I'm on vacation next week

10 Months.....

posted Oct 18, 2017, 12:37 PM by Marc Pelletier

So, since the last update over 10 months ago, I've done the following: 

1. Put up Masonite for the sky board
2. Defined what geographical area I'm modelling
3. Purchased my DCC command station

Yeah, not much.

So, the geographical area. I've decided to base the layout on Florida's orange groves, and since I have a lot of CSX locos, naturally I would need to make a Juice Train. This has necessitated that I purchase a whole lot of Tropicana reefer cars. It's also meant that I have to sit down and redesign my track plan as the current version is not conducive to operations (also chose to make operations a focus, rather then round and round running)

For my DCC command system, I chose NCE's Power Cab system, with JMRI running on a Raspberry Pi. I chose NCE simply because it's simple. And with JMRI, I really don't need to have a lot of extra cabs as operators can choose to use their smartphone (don't get me wrong, I'll still purchase 2 wireless cabs and 2 wired ones for operators to use once the layout is up and running) 

I'm hoping to get some of the bulkheads built while I'm on vacation in November. Once the one leg is up, I can finish the benchwork and get started on my bus wiring

Drawing Boards are made for a reason

posted Dec 20, 2016, 1:51 PM by Marc Pelletier

So, I've completed some electrical work so that I can plug in some lights over the layout once the bulkheads are built. This has pushed my timeline back about a month and a bit. Still some electrical work to do, but I don't need an electrician for what I need to do (just have to move a light about 18 inches over to the right so it doesn't interfere with the bulkhead). 

I plan on starting the bulkhead construction early in the new year and have it done within a weekend with the help of my father-in-law

Long Time No Post

posted Oct 22, 2016, 4:08 PM by Marc Pelletier

So, it's been a while since I posted anything worthwhile, so here are my updates

Near the start of September, I started work on the left hand leg of the layout and completed it last weekend (took a couple weeks between work and other activities to get it all done)

This weekend, I got two thirds of the right hand leg done, just have to build the peninsula (ran out of wood)

I also discovered today, I have a lighting issue, meaning a lack thereof. So, I've resolved to build a bulkhead above the benchwork to house some Philips Hue strip lights and program them to their own wireless dimmer switch (I have these lights elsewhere inside and outside of the house and don't think I'll ever go back to a normal LED light). This is an unexpected expense, but in the end, I figured it out before the trackwork started and I don't have to do any dissassembly to get the ladder in place to build the bulkhead. 

Facebook Can be Good

posted Aug 29, 2016, 4:29 AM by Marc Pelletier

I posted the previous trackplan on Facebook and got some valuable feedback. Basically, someone mentioned that once a train went thru the cross-table yards, they were essentially stuck going in the same direction. As such, I spent a little while this morning "re-jigging" the plan and come up with this: 

Solved the omni-directional issue and created a couple points for the operators to pay attention to while running 

What's the Saying?

posted Aug 28, 2016, 6:56 PM by Marc Pelletier   [ updated Aug 28, 2016, 7:21 PM ]

Cut once measure twice? Well, today I learned that I can't read my own plans and shorted my benchwork by 16 inches. So rather then fix the mistake, I took a cost saving measure and redesigned the layout to the new benchwork. This new track plan has half the track pieces, is more manageable and eliminated the raised sections. The cross table yarding areas are a neat little maneuvering area to change any trains direction (and I can almost due operations on this layout.).

So, I have the back benchwork built and have started slicing the foam for the top. I'm going to be putting that on hold so I can build the rest of the benchwork before I lay any track (at least I'll build the left hand leg first so I don't have to deal with the telepost in my way on the right)

An Unexpected Expense

posted May 16, 2016, 1:47 PM by Marc Pelletier

The project is on hold for a couple weeks due to an unexpected household expense that wiped out my railroad budget. Once I have everything back on track, I'll post an update....

The Best Laid Plans....

posted Mar 28, 2016, 2:07 PM by Marc Pelletier

Well....guess it's back to the drawing board. My initial plan for the benchwork was to use a frame of 2x4s. Built 2 sections and discovered that the clamps I own were not large enough to hold them together and I'm not prepared to spend $15-$20 on new clamps. This has now significantly delayed the build and I have to revise my project targets. The revised benchwork plan is now contingent on acquiring a table saw to rip a 4x8 sheet of 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch plywood or OSB into 6 inch wide strips, then making pockets for the legs. 

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