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October '99
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of October 1999, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
October 2

Today Dick began to extend the siding for the factory next to the river and for the carbarn. On that subject, between Dick, Bill, and Alvar, we agreed that there will be a switch for a track to service the trolley carbarn, even if it will not have a MitCo junction (yet...). On other work, Bill continued to add walls to the vegetable oil facility. And Alvar did not stop work on the Green Building. Today he began the installation of the detailed basswood onto the large 'coarse' plywood structure.

James continued to upgrade the TMRC server so that it is secure and powerful to soon host our full website, which will grow considerably once its in our own computer! Jeff arrived at 1:49am TMRCST to do System 2 work.


October 5

Ed completed the siding into the Coca-Bubblie plant. Covered hoppers now pass under Andy's bridge and into the plant. This marks the first railroad service to this industry in many years! John McNamara cut out three more sections of interior wall for the back of the roundhouse and Andy Miller painted them. Andy also painted some cars and did some work on a Gifford City building. John Purbrick continued his work on the parking lot between his produce warehouse and the newspaper building. Alvar continued his work on the Green Building model, and James Knight supervised. There was a brief discussion of various types of model railroad design software: 3D Railroad Concept and Design (Abracadata), 3rd Planlt (Eldorado), and CadRail (Sandia). We could only find reviews of CadRail. They were all very favorable, but the ones for early versions complained about the learning curve. The more recent versions (6 and 7) were alledged to be much more user friendly. Use of such a design tool might be of assistance in taking us to the next stage of layout design.


October 12

Ed Drozd continued his scenic work in the vicinity of the CocaBubblie plant. In the process, he discovered a previously unnoticed problem. Since the CocaBubblie siding is coplanar with the adjacent mainline, it is on an upgrade, and high-quality cars roll out of it. He and John Purbrick solved this problem by slitting the plywood baseboard in this area and depressing the siding to be level. Nearby, Fred Mikkelsen and John Purbrick completed the produce warehouse / newspaper plant parking area and added some scenery. John Purbrick also started work on another facia board assembly. John McNamara added another rear wall section to the roundhouse and painted some window frames for the next wall sections. Andy Miller masked most of the 96 window frames in a building he's painting for downtown Gifford City.


October 16

Lots of people, so this time its a list:

  • Bill continued to add window frames to the custom built vegetable oil facility.
  • Andy and Amitha worked on painting two buildings for the front of Gifford City. They first painted all the window frames, and masked them. The next step for both buildings is to paint the walls.
  • Ed rebuilt the scenery around the Coca-Bubblie track, which was lowered to cancel out the slope it used to have. He also began the street around the building.
  • John Shriver continued the really complex trolley switches into the carbarn.
  • John Purbrick is now about finished with the pavement around the produce terminal / newspaper building --- including the pavement over the track, which looks incredible!
  • Alvar continued to work on the Green Building, adding basswood to a complete side and starting the details of the molded concrete slabs.
  • James continued to tweak the Unix computer so that it will be ready to be our main server. He also continued to study the PIC processor that we plan to use for System 3; by now he is a theoretical expert on it :-)
  • Jeff helped us restock the Coke Machine and check it too, since it was misbehaving a little bit.

Andy and Bill came up with a great idea for the next step of the layout, and after receiving input from John P and Alvar, we all arrived to a consensus on the general idea... which unfortunately is too hard to describe over text, but hopefully we'll have a page on the design soon. Bill will start detailed work on some hand drawing, as a proof of concept.

We had a business meeting, where we approved a budget, We also approved the purhase of CAD software in order to plan our layout! We will try to look for software that lets us have lots of picutres on the net. During the meeting JP announced that a prototype of the micro-processor controlled System 3 (the one we have been talking so much about) is ready, and he'll show it off Tuesday night.


October 19

Ed Drozd continued his scenic work in the vicinity of the Coca-Bubblie plant. John Purbrick and Alvar Saenz-Otero worked on System 3. Alvar also did some work on the Green Building model. John McNamara gave the grand tour to his guest, Wilson Snyder (former president of the RPI club). James Knight did further work on transferring our website from Athena to our own machine.


October 23

We had more progress without supervision, everybody was doing something! Bill continued to add windows to the vegetable oil building. He also briefed JP on the global plans for the next sections of layout, which we hope to start building either late this term or early next term. Talking about plans for the layout: Alvar obtained the latest version of CadRail, 7.1, which is now in the TMRC computer, ready to be (ab)used by TMRC. The goal is to use CadRail both for 'proof of concept' designs and for actual 1:1 printing of the tracks.

JP worked on re-touching the newspaper building. He will add a new concrete section at the bottom, to represent the foundation (and to make it easier to make the street around the building match the edge of the walls :-). John McNamara continued work on the roundhouse, and did an incredible job with one of the wall sections: it is removable, in other words the "wall for the camera." He was able to finish _all_ the sections of the walls, and is now starting to work on the workshop, which is the last section he has to build.

Stefano and his wife worked on putting together two new pieces of rolling for TMRC. Andy helped them a lot with this, which was a little bit of traning while we can get nice building kits for them to work with. Andy himself worked a lot on two ex-Athearn locomotives: he replaced the motors with ones that actually work :-) Dick Lord began to extend the siding after 105th street that will service the carbarn and the large industrial building next to the Gifford City river. He planned the track and began to lay down the lattice stock.

Ed added another section of street around Coke Bubblie. The street is almost completely around the building. Alvar continued to work on the Green building, and finished the first side! It is fully detailed, with all the divisions of the molded concrete; the sides are slightly slanted; the top of the horizontals is slanted, while the bottom is at 90 degrees off the vertical.

Later on Alvar, James, and JP continued to work on the design of System 3, now that the prototype that JP brought in has proven to be a success. The new design is quite simple, and the part count went down considerably. It does appear that within a year System 3 may be operational!



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