The oldest is at the bottom; the most recent at the top.

1 July 2008

This'll probably seem pretty stupid, considering that we're halfway through 2008, but since I haven't done an update since December 2007,


Taking my seat on the borough Council here is the reason for the lack of updates. Attending Council meetings, committee meetings, Board of Health and what-not keep me hopping several evenings a week. On top of that I'm maintaining a website to keep residents informed of Council meetings (keeping a campaign promise - imagine!), and those conspire to keep updates here from getting posted. But I finally got around to one.

Another reason for the lack of updates is that progress has slowed on the layout (if that's possible!) due to all the other activities, so there hasn't been that much to share. But you can see what's been done since the last update on the 2007 Construction Progress and the current Construction Progress pages.

If you're going to be at the NMRA Mid-Eastern Region Convention in Reston VA in late October, look for me - I'll be giving a clinic on my helix. Hopefully I won't bore anyone too much.

Not much else to report, even for all the time that's passed. I hope I'll have a bit more time to work on the layout, but with work, the borough and the ongoing house updates and maintenance, I don't get a lot of time. But I'm going to try to make some, and if I get some decent progress under my belt, I'll find time to post it here somehow.

Mark B.

22 December 2007

Ouch! It's been six months since I last updated the site. Sorry for my tardiness in doing so, but a LOT has been happening since June.

I ran in the local primary in June for a seat on the borough council, and won. So for part of the summer, and then mid-September until the election in November, I was busy campaigning. In the summer it was part time, but from September on it was pretty much full time, and I didn't touch the layout for several months.

Just in case anyone is interested, I won the general election, too, and will be taking my seat on Council on January 3rd.

Also getting in the way of layout construction was a 2 1/2 week rail trip my wife and I took out west in late August to mid-September. We took Amtrak from Trenton, NJ to Whitefish, MT, then rented a car and drove through Montana to Wyoming and into Colorado, where we rode the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railway to Chama, NM and back. Then it was Amtrak from Denver back to Trenton. For photos, see the new Railfanning page, where the Roundhouse Railroad Museum link has been moved (from the Pictures page), and new links to this summer's trip, The 2007 Rail Trip West and the Cumbers & Toltec Scenic Railroad are linked.

What with all that, plus attempting to paint the front of the house this summer (we got about half done), very little time was left for the layout until after the general election in early November.

But after the election and cold weather setting in, I was able to spend some time on the layout again. A few days ago I finished the Minneapolis  Staging Yard when I completed installation of all remaining occupancy detectors.

With all that, I'll say Merry Christmas, and here's to a productive New Year!

Mark B.

19 June 2007

Wow! Almost four months since the last update! How time flies! It's mid-2007 already.

I've started keeping a blog on progress on the layout. It takes only a few minutes to add entries (as compared to publishing each website update here), so I've taken to using it to record what I've been doing. I'll update that much more frequently than I do this site - check it out! http:thecbandqinwyoming.blogspot.com

The last several months have been reasonably productive, despite being driven from the basement for nearly a month by heavy rains and the accompanying mild flooding that occurred in mid-April. That several-week hiatus allowed me to build the Laurel coaling tower. You can see it here, the first entry in a newly created section called "Projects," where I'll post articles about specific projects around the layout.

Glenrock trackage is complete, and I've pressed on west of Glenrock towards Casper a bit. I won't be able to extend track much farther until I build the Casper benchwork against the final basement wall. See Construction Progress for the latest photos.

In May I gave a clinic to the local NMRA meet titled "Helix Design Considerations and Building the Behemoth Helix." I'll link to it here when I get it completely ready for posting (and can figure out how to make it work!).

I installed one IRDOT in the Minneapolis yard (west end) back in early March. It works well, though it isn't linked to the control panel yet. I expected to get all five installed there, but between the water and my back deciding to be a pain (literally) for a couple of months, I haven't got that done. My back is improving, though, so I plan to crawl back under the layout in a few weeks and finish that job. Following that I'll get the helix-to-Thermopolis track (which has been partially installed for nearly a year, now) extended to the outskirts of Thermopolis, then permanently install the backdrop and attach the fascia at Glenrock. Then I'm finally ready to start roughing in the scenery at Glenrock!

We'll see how much of this I actually get done by the next update. See you then!

Mark B.

23 February 2007

So what's been going on in the last three months?

Well, from Thanksgiving until Christmas I didn't work on the trains much at all. I think I was a bit burned out from the helix, and I also wasn't sure what to do next! I was for the most part focused on the helix for an entire year, and with it out of the way I had to sort through things and figure out what to do next.

After Christmas I got started again, though, by installing the turntable at Laurel. That Walthers turntable sure runs nice, and I finally found a use for one of those old Bachmann toy train powerpacks I had in a box. It provides turntable power. I got one track run to the turntable, as you can see in Construction Progress, so I can now turn locomotives. I'll be doing some customization of the turntable, so I haven't installed bridge handrails or the arch yet.

Since early January I've extended the Lander branch back towards the junction at Shobon and tested that track, and extended the Glenrock roadbed back towards Casper. Currently I'm installing track for Glenrock. Once that's done I'll get the Thermopolis base and subroadbed installed, then extend track back from the helix to Thermopolis. I also ordered and will install a few IRDOT detectors on the Minneapolis staging yard tracks, to indicate the presence of trains on my main NP control panel. At that point all trackwork will be complete on the Glenrock benchwork, so I'll finally be able to start work on a bit of scenery!

Although my focus is to get Glenrock ready for scenery, development of the Laurel engine terminal will also be going on in between other things. Mostly for now that means building the coaling tower, ash pit and sand house, with the roundhouse to come afterwards.

See you again in a few months!

Mark B.

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