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February '98
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of February 1998, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
February 3

As trains leave P-yard heading for the lower loop around the tower (see last week's photo), they will pass over a two track bridge over a river, through a double crossover, and into the trackwork approaching the lower tower loop. This Tuesday evening, John M worked on a temporary version of the bridge, John P worked on the crossover, and James and Alvar worked on the switches and trackwork approaching the loop.


February 7

On Saturday, James, Jeff, and Howard removed the bottom structure of the roundhouse area so that it can be moved into place above the loop switchwork now being completed. This is scheduled for either next Saturday or Tuesday 2/17.


February 10

For all parties concerned, this Tuesday evening was a continuation of work done last Tuesday evening (and last Saturday). John M worked on a temporary version of the first bridge, completing one track of the two planned. John P worked on the crossover, and Alvar worked on the switches and trackwork approaching the loop. All switches and track necessary for the loop trackwork are now in house and nearly complete. Tim, James, and John P also had additional design discussion for the Club's new electronic systems.


February 17

The turntable and roundhouse area from the old layout was moved into a proposed position at about 3 am last Sunday morning. Tonight, Alvar, James, and John M worked on a support structure that will be useful for it and for the surrounding trackwork. The final position of the turntable and roundhouse area depends upon the following factors:

  1. the grade of the mainline in approaching the area
  2. the clearance underneath the area, as there are tracks running beneath a portion of it
  3. the relationship of the roundhouse to the scenic backdrop that will surround the nearby tower structure

John Purbrick worked on his double crossover, which is well more than 50% complete. Jeff Birkner worked on adding track feeders to the blocks around the tower loop.


February 21

Early on Saturday (around 3pm) Alvar began to cleanup the layout area of the room and making more workspace. All the front half of the room is now clean and the layout itself is clear of tools or other undesirable objects. John McNamara helped, later on, sweep the floor so that the clenaup was complete.

Andy Miller worked on laying the last curve of track out of P-yard, which goes to the second track over the river. Prof. Hidetoshi Katsuma helped with this later on. John Purbrick completed the trackwork in his double crossover switch - a great pice of work! Joe Onorato worked on finishing two switches coming out of P-yard. At this point the last parts missing to end the 'West' end of P-yard are : the second track of the bridge and a switch connecting tracks 2 and 3 of the yard.

Then Bill Onorato, John McNamara, and Alvar Saenz Otero figured out the final position for the turntable and have fixed it in place. The roundhouse and turntable, therefore, are all set. With this done it was determined that the height for the temporary loop was go be 45.5" to the bottom of the plywood. With this information the loop section was build and put in place. The plywood is there for 3/4 of the loop, with the only part missing being the one tha connects the turntable to the loop. This need further analysis to make as much permament work as possible.

After this work was done Alvar built the door to cover the back of the DC breaker panel. Once this was done he took a 'Governor Priviledge' and, after compiling previous input from members, decided to work on the old D-Board. The D-board was reconfigured so that the Clock can be easily accessed from the front, and therefore it can be saved and installed directly to the wall.


February 24

Jeff added some more block feeders. James, Tim, Joe, and Alvar added a piece of plywood which connects the main part of the layout with the newly positioned turntable/roundhouse scene. Two more pieces, each about 4' 8" long, are needed to connect this new piece with the second-deck loop that Alvar constructed around the tower Saturday night / Sunday morning. When these two pieces are added, all the plywood for Phase I layout construction will be in place. The general plan is that a train will be able to run loop-to-loop "great circle route" over the Phase I trackage by March 27th, the MIT Building 20 celebration day.

In addition to the above work, John M completed the second track over the temporary western bridge across the river. The eastern bridge will go where the plywood was installed this evening. Immediately adjacent to the just completed bridge, John P has completed a marvelous double crossover complete with four new Tortoise switch machines.


February 28

First and most incredible of all: Today, thanks to the work of John Shriver, Jeff, and Ben, a locomotive ran from one end of the track to another, through P-yard, around the bottom loop, and back up! This was possible also thanks to John Pubrick and Tim who worked on getting the very last switch in the p-yard area working. In summary, all of P-yard is ready to go, and work now continues at the other end of Gifford City.

Meanwhile a lot more work was done. All the plywood needed for Phase I is in place! It has been fixed with risers, leveled, and put together. Howard, James, Jeff and Alvar helped to get his done! Phase I is soon to be completed as far as construction goes, S&P and SceneComm will soon have lots and lots of work.

This new plywood now also has all the necessary lattice stock for roadbed. It was decided that the temporary track around the loop did not need roadbed, so James layed the track down, later on helped by Jeff. The roadbed goes on until the curve of the loop starts.



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Email: tmrc-web@mit.edu