Sep 14, 2008

Two towns complete; back to wiring

I've continued to find time to lay track, and have laid all of the code 55 ME flex that I have. Ridgway yard is now complete (except for the engine terminal), and the wye at Vance Jct and all of Telluride is completed as well. All of the passing sidings are laid, and spurs are completed in Hesperus, Mancos, Ophir, and Vance Jct.

In the course of this, I changed the track plan of the Ridgway yard slightly (see updated drawings), moving the runaround track alongside the yard ladder, and adding two more classification tracks.

In laying Telluride, and 'test operating' it my head, I also realized that track plan needed changes. On paper, or in my Trainplayer design, I could switch the town by leaving parts of a train on the line coming into town, toward the wye. But in reality, I realized that stretch of track is on a steep 4% grade, so it can't be used for switching, and would make switching the town very challenging. So - I've added another runaround track, behind the depot (which is what the prototype did at most towns anyway). I lose a little real estate for buildings, but I thought this was really needed for (again) operational sanity.

And now that I'm out of track, it's back to wiring (since none of this new track is wired yet). A friend at work also convinced me it's time to get my block detectors installed. This isn't a signaled railroad by any means (the poor RGS hardly had the money for track, let alone signals). But, I'm designing this layout for operation, and with the hidden track I have I, some type of detection is necessary for operator sanity.

After a fairly long search, I've settled on BD8 detectors from The Signaling Solution. I plan to install one at Ridgway's panel (to handle hidden and staging tracks in that area) and another in Durango's wiring panel (to handle Durango staging, hidden tracks, and the hidden track under Rico).