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August '97
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of August 1997, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
August 12

This is the first posting of the progress report!

Using the construction standards developed by Alvar and Joe, and the resulting construction plan drawn by Alvar, benchwork foundation pieces have been installed for all of the new "P-yard loop". These include space for Coke (R) storage near the machine :) Horizontal 1x4's and with vertical 1x2's to support the layout pieces have been installed for the restored portions of P-yard and the Gifford City trolley loop. The coach yard end of P-yard has been trimmed to size and secured into position. A piece of plywood about 18 inches wide has been added between the two pieces of P-yard to provide longer platforms per Andy Miller's suggestion. Lattice stock for subroadbed has been added to connect the two pieces.

At the block 45/46 end of the yard, a new piece of plywood has been installed to begin the loop portion of the "P-yard loop". Some questions remain concerning the exact height of this. These will need to be resolved with Bill on Saturday. Due to the construction methods used, height adjustment will be a simple matter.

In addition, various boxes were moved about to provide access to one of the long tables for use as a work surface, and Andy Miller has commissioned the new compressor and fume venting system in preparation for some painting.

On the S&P front, the old P-yard control system was connected, powered-on, and tested last Saturday. It works! The plywood panel for the terminal blocks that connect The System and System3 to the layout has been completely installed. A sample set of telephone punch-down terminal blocks has been installed. At last night's session, a cable trough from The System to the terminal board was installed and cables placed onto it.

The TMRC lantern, now equipped with a higher wattage bulb, has been installed outside the clubroom in a position where it shines brightly down two corridors. Also, Alvar has created new inserts for the MIT-provided room identification panels which hang beneath the room numbers. These feature the new logo and look sharp!


August 19

Below is a picture of TMRC taken Tuesday night, August 19, 1997

In the background of the picture, John Purbrick is installing ties on an 18 inch section that has been added to the middle of P-yard. Behind him is some Masonite which is covering a viewing window that allows passersby in the hall to see into the clubroom. The fresh plywood in the foreground is logically equivalent to the loop that went past F-yard (which will be elsewhere). The gray (sort-of) square is the Gifford City trolley loop, which will eventually be surrounded by buildings, much as it was before.

This picture shows about 20% of the room; the other 80% is full of "stuff".


August 20

Howard Gorin and Jeff Birkner worked on punching down System wiring connections on the new terminal block panel and other miscellaneous System-related tasks.

Joe Onorato and John McNamara installed the final mounting supports for pieces of plywood at the end of the Block 45/46 end of P-yard. These begin the loop portion of the "P-yard loop". One of these pieces was initially installed last Tuesday and one was initially installed on Saturday. Final height of the related Gifford City trolley loop and the exact shape of the next piece to be installed both await inputs from Bill Onorato on this coming Saturday.

John Purbrick continued the tie-laying in P-yard that was begun by Bill Onorato last Saturday. These ties are located on the 18-inch expansion piece recently installed in the middle of P-yard. It is hoped that one through track may be available for Midway, but that the others will be left unfinished to provide a hands-on project for the Freshmen.

Alvar Saenz-Otero brought in some new graphics for use at the Midway, and selected photos from John McNamara's collection to add to those he has selected from Jeff Birkner's collection. These will be used in a photo display. The final displays in the TMRC window will use some of these plus prints from some of James VanBokkelen's slides. Alvar, Jeff, and John M also unpacked and selected some locomotives and cars for use in the switching layout at the Midway. Since there is a chance a through route in P-yard will be functional, part of the Aaron Burr consist that closed the old layout on 4/26 was unearthed for a possible inaugural run on the new layout.

John Purbrick demonstrated a program which incorporates both his previous program of a "red train" and a "green train" traversing the old layout, and his F-yard throat signal bridge displaying the three-head signal indications generated by the "red train" and "green train". It was suggested this be taken to the Midway.


August 26

At the clubroom, John McNamara and Michael Leganita raised the Gifford City trolley loop a few inches, and Bill Onorato taught Mike Leganita and Jonathan Reed all of the various steps in track laying. (Jonathan and Alvar has also done some track work the night before.)

Thanks to the efforts of Bill and new members Mike Leganita and Jonathan Reed (plus previous work by Alvar, Jeff, and others), an historic event occurred:

On Tuesday night, August 26, 1997, four months to the day from the decommissioning of the old layout, a short Aaron Burr consist using the same locomotive (#2415) and two of the Burr cars traversed the new expanded P-yard.

As of midnight, Jeff Birkner and two new members were working on returning switches on the Switch 44 end of the yard (beyond the exapnsion section) to operating condition.

Obviously, tonight's activities were the result of a great deal of effort by many people, and the Club owes them all a great deal of thanks!



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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