All the switches are either Micro Engineering (and Dcc ready) or Shinohara altered to be DCC friendly. Also wires soldered to frogs and fished down through holes to connect to tortoise contacts below the layout
Back after a summer of visiting various railroad venues, and getting down to finishing trackwork. I am modifying Shinohara code 70 # 8 switches, to work on DCC.
I am using Micro engineering Code 70 flextrack and # 6 switches, but need some # 8s and also some # 4s on the logging branch, which ME does not offer. On the Shinoharas, I am changing to gapped PC board throw rods and connecting the running rails and closure rails with wire jumpers soldered to the bottom of the rails.
Modified Shinohara #8 code 70 switch
Also cutting gaps in the rail on either side of the frog, filling the gaps with CA glued plastic, formed to fit, and soldering a wire to the frog rails underneath to connect to a Tortoise switch machine contacts as the switch is thrown to guard against shorting.
Visiting friends in Colorado, I was able to further my ongoing summer visits to full scale and model railroad sites. First was the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley CO, and then the Buenavista model railroad society in Buena Vista CO, both of which I will put up further posts in the near future, but the real unexpected treat was a tour of the
Intermountain Railway Co. the model railroad manufacturer in Longmont CO. Kirk was very gracious in showing the whole operation, from their milling the molds for injection molded parts on their CNC milling machines
CNC milling machine
Small detail parts half mold
Just a few of the many machined molds for various products
To explaining their process and inventory.
Small part of inventory
To talking about their quality control, including a final visual inspection of each and every HO engine and actually running each engine through various track situations. A very impressive commitment to quality, and not releasing anything that is not absolutely right.
Engines ready for inspection
engines in the inspection area
All in all an enjoyable morning and an appreciation of a quality company
The Museum of Science and Industry has a model train display that is really much more than just a train layout. It is about transportation, and how the railroads move goods from place to place.
The fact that it is beautifully crafted, with scale large sections of Chicago and Seattle and the industries , plains, mountains etc in between, makes it a modelers must see if you are in Chicago.
The buildings in Chicago are true to the sections of the city that is being modeled. Two times an hour there is a short night segment to show the display in that setting.
Of course along the way showing double stack containers, mountain bridges and peaks, not to mention some human interest in a stream
UP in the mountains
Finally ending up in downtown Seattle including the docks.
Another area that I am working on, both for operation reasons and for photography, is the yard and engine service area. Still have some final pieces to add to the concrete coaling tower, as well as definite weathering. This is the first of several structures to be completed for that area as well as track and signaling
Almost completed coaling tower
Also working on Sanding tower, water tower and stanchions, small sheds, as well as the switches and trackwork.