An N-Scale Santa Fe branchline through the mountains

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Contruction Journal ( 2005 )
01/25/2005 January hasn't seen that much improvement in the amount of time I get to spend working on the train. While it was a vast increase over the amount of time I had in December, it isn't anywhere near the amount of time "desired". ( I don't think I'll ever come close to that number! ). Anyway, I did manage to complete the control panel for the Yorsand Mine area ( which includes the Mill Spur ). I also finished wiring the control panel for the junctions to the staging yards ( although this still needs to be installed ). Let's see how far I get in February!

02/27/2005 I didn't do any work on the control panels in February. Instead I decided to finish up the the turntable for Jasper which I started way back in October. Well, I did just get it finished, but I still need to mount it into the layout and install the linkage to the facia for the handcrank. Anyway, I think it turned out really nice. It's an HO Gallows Turntable kit available from Diamond Scale that I scaled down to N-Scale. All I really used from the HO kit was the pit and mechanisms. Here it is with a Bachmann 2-8-0.

03/27/2005 March saw a whole bunch of just odds and ends cleanup. I moved a couple of uncoupling magnets. Tweaked a few rough spots in the track. Played with paint and stain for the tracks and fiddled with a few more of the control panels. While I seemed to get in anywhere from 2 - 8 hours each week, there is not a whole lot of "visible" changes to the layout other than the few new facia panels that I managed to get installed. The holes are for the yet-to-be-completed control panels, one of which you can see in the photo next to the drill. It has been wired but not installed. Sometimes, I guess, that's just the way things go. Hopefully April will be more productive.

04/22/2005 I've spent quite a bit of time working on the engine shed to go with the turntable in Jasper. I've had to create a whole new floor and restring all the lights ( the old floor was permanently attached to the old layout and all the lights were burned-out ). I installed the junction/staging control panel and I cleaned and re-gauged several of my older engines. I'm now up to 6 working DCC engines with 1 still out at the shop and 2 left to go. When all is said and done, the DJN will have 9 engines. [2 diesel switchers, 1 Mikado, 2 Pacifics, 3 Consolidations and 1 Doodlebug.]

05/25/2005 I was beginning to think I might never finish the engine shed. Every little "30" minute project that came along turned into a 2+ hour project. But finally, after a few "late into the evening" nights, I managed to get it done. It's now installed next to the turntable, and has interior lighting for nighttime operation. The tarpaper roof and the brick foundation are both texture sheets from Paper Creek Model Works. I built the new floor on a piece of mat board so that I could hollow out the work pit. All in all, I think it turned out very nicely.

07/16/2005 Most of June was eaten up with vacationing and then catching up from the vacation. Then it was the 4th and so on, so not much has gotten done lately. We did try some tree kits from Sweetwater Scenery which I think turned out VERY nice. (I wrangled my daughter and her Grandma into a tree making party on the 4th.) I also decided to try my hand at hand-laying some turnouts, but I decided to "cheat" a little and ordered the jigs from Fast Tracks. I've built one ( took me 2 1/2 hours! ) since I wasn't sure what I was doing, but all in all, I think it turned out very nicely even without the ties installed yet.

09/11/2005 I can't believe it's been almost two months! I haven't had a lot of time to work on the layout lately and when I have, I've been trying to work on the hand-laid turnouts, but it seems like I can only complete 1 per session. Anyway, I finally managed to replace all the turnouts at Jasper and in the process I decided to reduce the spacing on the spur lines (See the difference in these two pictures) Now that Jasper is running smooth, I'm ready to start on some real scenery! As for the rest of the layout, I only have about 30 more turnouts to go. Then it's time for a big sale on Ebay of slightly used turnouts.
Taken 9/11/2005

Taken 6/14/2004