This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during
the month of January 1998, as taken from the descriptions posted to
the club mailing list.
- January 13
John Purbrick demonstrated the switch-throwing capabilities of his
electronic control system ("System 3") using a roll of 100 feet of
twisted-pair ribbon cable. A stall-motor Tortoise switch machine was used
in the demo. The temporary use of ribbon cable conductors for power
distribution provided a slighty too "soft" power source, but otherwise
things worked well. John also began work on a double crossover that will be
a few feet beyond the west end of P-yard.
John McNamara continued the work that Ben FrantzDale has started on
Saturday, i.e. installing more flextrack on the subroadbed that Ben had
completed around the tower. Speaking of Saturday, Bill Onorato and James
Knight installed the support system for the first river on that day, and
Jeff Birkner and James installed the cable tray from the System to the
Another Tuesday completion of Saturday work involved Joe Onorato making
more progress on some trackwork that Bill Onorato has added to P-yard. Joe
also turned up some of the other trackwork.
- January 20
Jeff Birkner and James Knight installed the old circuit breaker panel under the new tower
on Saturday (or more precisely, Sunday morning) and more work was done on
it tonight. Power cables from the new John P power supply have been run
through the James/Jeff power tray to the circuit breaker panel, so
electrons will soon be flowing under the new layout.
Work is continuing on the trackwork for P-yard and the approaches thereto.
This includes a new double crossover that will be located five or ten feet
west of the yard. John P is building the double crossover out-of-place on a
board to which a computer-plotted diagram of the trackwork has been glued.
When it is all soldered together, he will remove the spikes and install it
in place. A slight amount of work was done to continue the Ben FrantzDale /
Bill Onorato / John McNamara Saturday efforts on the track loops which will
encircle the new tower. Additional planning details for that area are
A new Grizzly band saw (weight 45 Kg) has arrived for use in cutting
roadbed more expeditously. It was transported from East Campus, unpacked,
installed, and tested this evening.
- January 27
Some clean-up work was done to remove the accumulated sawdust from
Saturday's work. Work was done on another P-yard switch, and additional
flex-track was added in the loops around the tower.
This photo, taken December 16th, shows a new two-person tower (more
may be built) and a turning loop around it. Most of the loop area shown as
bare plywood now has track on it. A second loop will be added above the one
shown. The tracks in the lower right corner of the picture are the P-yard
loop tracks shown in the previous pictures. When the second tower loop has
been added, a train will be able to traverse one tower loop, come over
through the P-yard loop at lower right, and return to traverse the other
tower loop. This will provide so-called Phase 1 operation of the new
layout, hopefully in time for a Spring Open House.
Tech Model Railroad Club of
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
+1 617 253-3269