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    • April 23, 2018 11:42 AM EDT
    • Naw ... my snakes like me, they know they don't have to worry about me.

      I've yet to hear a rattle, or to see a coil to strike.


      Now I have felt cancer's fangs....

    • April 23, 2018 9:24 AM EDT
    • How ironic .. all this cancer crapp ... and a snake bite does you in...

    • April 22, 2018 2:06 PM EDT
    • Yea, I used to look up address in the phone book.

    • April 21, 2018 10:11 PM EDT
    • Addresses were available in olden days when we had phones wired into our homes! The Phone Book was given out free... True Fact. My last name isn't common and I own the home.


      I saved the high line track plank, but the backboard is cracked. I did cut off some of the track plank and replaced the bridge approach. I had used the backboard to control the grade, after it tore off, the East end sprung up an inch. Fixed it.

      I rebent all my track for an older look. It was 8'D that I never liked. Years ago it was repurposed as sidings, then scrounged up for the High Line.

      This line was the first to the mine, push pull, then a Gold Vein paid for the loop trestle and then the new line through the wash was covered by the Manganese strike. The foolish miner set it on fire with dynamite! After that Molybdenum was gleaned from the tailings...

      My ties tell a story. The track on the right is the newest and the ties are black, while those on the left quickly reveal old track with faded and bleached ties...

      Prior to ballast, matching ties will fill the voids. I can see where that switch needs a file.

      I'm thinking rocks on shelves for the back scenery ... no rush.

      It's back to the fill trestle and letting the answer come when it will.

      My snakes are back; one is about 4' long and fat and the other about 6 feet.

      I had started early and had put away my tools when they slithered out. First clue; a white winged dove threw one wing straight up, sure enough 2-3 minutes later the viper slid into view. Quail form lines to escort the moving sticks along... and the ground squirrels stamp their hind feet and fan their tails back and forth. The dove wants to look too big to eat, but they are not. If you've seen one snake you've seen enough... not worth dwindling Freight shed space...



    • April 18, 2018 9:14 AM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said: it done yet?...........

      It's beginning to look like I'll be done first

    • April 18, 2018 3:19 AM EDT
    • it done yet?...........

    • April 17, 2018 11:55 PM EDT
    • It took all of 6 seconds to find John's address, just as it would mine. Unfortunately, our addresses are not private anymore.



    • April 17, 2018 10:03 PM EDT
    • Internet stalker alert ! Internet Stalker Alert! Warning !!!

      Its nice to know that people can peek all over your back yard with these satellite images and post them for all to see!!!! Lol I am just kidding Ihave liked at several peoples layouts from google maps, and think it is a great way to get a size idea of some (like Andy Clarke’s) huge layout. Nice work John , one day I will stop by to see it. Keep the updates coming 

    • April 17, 2018 8:40 PM EDT
    • I warned you about my drawing... oh I couldn't find an eraser ...

      The parallel tracks in the right loop are in a car barn and the tracks are team tracks outside it.

      1st layout was a tri-oval around the left loop. Then needing variety I added a loop out and back where the crossed out line is, then it needed a WYE entrance and then I wanted another loop where the right one is, but the grade was too steep, so I elevated it, but instead of a small return loop, it became part of the Tucson Story. True Facts: The El  Paso and South Western beat the SP to Tucson. The Depot is EP & SW. The SP cut across where the Air Force has run way.... for a junction East of Tucson. There is a big pink cast depot between the tracks far right corner...

      Critters buried my track on the ground, my elevated track suffered no such indignities ... hmmm  I raised the elevated and then built the rest out. No plan, mostly depended on my track and maintaining clearances for service trucks. I had wanted a more linear look, but it paid off when the septic tank was pumped out last year...

      I have a toy train; sectional track on what I consider minimum radius curves, the Artist in me wants to build a stage for the true stars... Choo Choos!

      Sometimes I see colorful trains in a black and white world, as they ramble over silver cedar topography.

    • April 17, 2018 2:30 PM EDT
    • Forrest Scott Wood said:
      John Caughey said:... Argon Plasma Coagulation.

      I bet you guys are jealous now!

      Don't know that I'm jealous but here several days later I am still hearing some dude with a Scottish accent and wearing a red shirt say, "The Argon Plasma Coagulators are offline Cap'n an I canna give ya more power until they are back on line; it's gonna take at least an hour to repair them."

      Careful, you'll remind me of the Starship Boobyprize; 'Scotty Scoty I need more Power!'

      'Aye Cap'n we tired shoving a wiener in the Coagulators, but it did not o work.'

      Conclusion Mr. Spock?

      There will be no wieners for dinner Cap'n.


      If anybody still cares after this nonsense, the Coagulator worked Poifectly! Nyuk Nyuk.

    • April 23, 2018 11:31 AM EDT
    • Good points, Steve & John.

    • April 23, 2018 11:19 AM EDT
    • There have been mixed results from cemented ballast, mostly seeing chunks as it breaks up in weather cycles.

      I think you should take more time during the wetting and keep the tops of the ties free from the cement... the white ties w/no rock look odd to me...

      In the 1800s ballast covered the ties between the rails, by the 1920s ballast was below the tie tops.

    • April 23, 2018 10:47 AM EDT

      Love the look of the ballast.  


      One thing I've discovered is that those rocks have the ability to migrate between the points and rail of the turnouts.  I have disposable paint brushes that I issue to each operator to knock the rocks back where they belong.  I stole the idea fair and square from Dave Goodson, TOC.

    • April 22, 2018 8:01 PM EDT
    • Wow, the ballast really makes a difference, Jim.  Great work.

    • April 22, 2018 7:58 PM EDT
    • Joe:


      I'd love that. Just PM me and we can work out the details.


      Interesting: my daughter lives in Orange Park. Maybe I can come visit you if/when I get out to see her (travel is complex for us, so may not happen for a while). Too bad I didn't realize this last fall, as we were on an epic road trip and visited my daughter last September.



    • April 22, 2018 7:25 PM EDT
    • Looking good Jim.

      Maybe I'll come and see it the next time I'm visiting my son in Livermore.

    • April 22, 2018 6:12 PM EDT
    • Been a while since I posted here. Now that it has stopped raining, and we've been through a year of expansion/contraction, it seemed like time to add ballast. I'm starting with some sidings/passing track so I can learn how to do this without screwing up my roundy-rounding.



      That's the mainline on the left, passing track on the right, logging spur on the far right (it is still wet after applying wet-water to set the ballast). I'm using the LOCOmotion Works ballast [link]. I no doubt need to clean up the ballasted tracks a bit before I really use them.


      Also fyi: we had a year of some good extremes, up to 107 and down to about 32. I had to add somewhere between 5 and 10 more expansion joints to deal with the 107 heat. So far so good.



    • April 22, 2018 4:39 PM EDT
    • Hence the name "Armstrong Turntable".

    • April 22, 2018 4:32 PM EDT
    • And remember, boys and girls, turntables are more fun with your friends along for the ride,

      No easy task to place the express train steam locomotive A 3/5 # 705 on the turntable in Etzwilen (turntable diameter 16.5 m, wheel base A 3/5 with tender 15.45 m)...


    • April 18, 2018 9:27 AM EDT
    • Your turntable came out great Joe.  When will we see photos of it in place and spinning?


      I think you were smart to make it a gallows type because the engine will be protected better when hanging at the edge of your RR.