- July 11
Ed Drozd worked on the foundation of the building next to Coca-Bubblie. I (JEM)
believe this building was originally built by Ed Sproles and called
"Olivieri Typewriter". Ed also tested a new locomotive of his and found
that someone had disconnected part of the layout from System2. It is
suspected that John Purbrick did this as part of his System3 throttle
John McNamara glued two more of the roundhouse door assemblies to the front
of the roundhouse. They were originally attached with double-sided tape,
but they have been falling off. Styrene cement seems to work well, despite
the painted surfaces.
Jeff Birkner brought in a monitor. It will probably be used in conjunction
with a spare computer of Alvar's to serve as the dispatcher's terminal.
Jeff also enjoyed an article on B&M communications systems that was in the
B&M Historical Society Bulletin that Ed brought in for the enjoyment of
Alvar Saenz-Otero has just returned from a trip to Mexico. He supervised
our work, checked work done in his absence, and filled us in on Mexican
- July 15
In the past weeks "mlaughlin" (sorry, but I don't have the full name!)
started to lay down the latice stock for the staging yard. This Saturday
Alvar, Bill, Alan Kotok, Ed, and Howard continued to work. Bill brought
in all the necessary switches for the yard, so the work could start on
the throat. While Alvar finished to nail down the latice stock, Bill and
Ed began to work on the throat... Alvar used the eyes in his back to
supervise (according to Ed) :-). While they finished the throat Alvar
took track #17 out of service and got rid of the horrible kink that used to
exists right after switch 11. Then Bill and Ed finished the lattice stock
for the throat. Meanwhile Alan used a nailset to drive all the nails far
in, and Howard followed with the sanding block to make the lattice stok
nice and even.
*** WARNING to those using the layout: Switch #11 is OUT OF SERVICE, and
so is Track #17. They will be for a couple of weeks, since they are the
access to staging, which is being worked on.
Meanwhile, working in the background was James. He got the PIC programming
software and hardware to work... using our three computers! (One to
edit, since it has emacs; another to compile, since it needs windows; and
one to program, since it needs DOS :-) He then programmed a debugger that
lets him 'peek' into the memory of the PIC processor.
- July 18
Jared Jonas, Vicki Steinberg, John Purbrick, and Alvar Saenz-Otero worked
on the miniature video camera that will be locomotive-mounted and used to
provide Activities Midway visitors with a live-on-net "Cab's Eye View".
Ed Drozd contemplated the installation of a diesel servicing track in the
roundhouse area. This is somewhat complicated due to the short distance
between the mainline tracks and the turntable.
John McNamara began the installation of some interior walls in the office
area of the roundhouse. The new walls enclose a small restroom.
Andy Miller painted some models, the fencing for the REA/Amtrak Package
Express parking lot, and the aforementioned walls for the roundhouse
TMRCie-emeritus Peter Samson visited as part of his East Coast vacation.
Ken Terrell ran some trains.
- July 25
John Purbrick added several lengths of track to the staging yard. Despite
his efforts, there is still LOTS more to do. John McNamara did first-pass
painting on some "damaged" 55-gallon drums that will be used in scenicing
the roundhouse area. These drums, and some shiny new ones for inside the
roundhouse, were purchased by Ed Drozd. John and Ed also checked the
on-line Walthers catalog for some details for use in the roundhouse office
area. Ed did some additional work on the Art Deco office building he has
been building in Gifford City, adding bronze door and window trim on the
first floor. Jared Jonas and Vicki Steinberg continued work on a garage
that will be located in the trolley loop near the roundhouse. Andy
continued work on the parking railings for the REA/Amtrak Package Express
- July 29
Phase II work continued: Malcom and John B. continued to lay track for
staging yard; meanwhile Alvar, James, Bill, and Ed worked on the design
of the exit ladder for staging. Lots of different versions came by, and
the design continues to be modified: there are six main staging tracks,
and four exits, we want to maximize the in-out possibilities (there
are two other tracks in staging, for a total of 8, but these two are
mainly for Gifford City Staging). John P. did his part by thinking of
some changes to the loop below the tower (at the other end of staging),
to maximize the possibilities when using the loop to turn around a
Tuckerton train. All these changes are still on the thinking stage, but
some will soon become reality as the tracks in staging get closer to
Jeff worked hard on the electrical part of the staging yard. He began
real design of the layout schematics, and to assign block and switch
numbers. He also began to make some block gaps in the new staging track,
since they were already causing trouble in mainline!
John Shriver worked on completing over 90% of the trolley loop! The
big trolley loop will be finished really soon, with only two straight
sections missing! But he is running out of track stock, so he is going
to pass on the 'scenic' track for now (the 'scenic' track are the sections
that will never be used, but are there to make sense out of the loop).
Jared and Vicky brought in an assembled 'camera car' to run a cabs-eye
view! The car is a standard flat car with a dis-assembled 'X-10' camera.
They currently provide power via the main source, and are awaiting arrival
of a matching battery transformer (previous experiments with direct battery
voltages allows the magic smoke to escape from several components!) in
order to have a fully operational cabs-eye-view system. The whole setup
will be ready to show new students the clubroom at the Activities
Midway! (More details will be available in late August)
Ed began the construction of a wood fence for the barber shop next to
the Railway Express parking area. Bill continued a few details of the
vegetable oil facility. Both tested some locomotives.
Alvar, Jeff, and James filled up new orders for TMRC 50th Anniversary