This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during
the month of January 2001, as taken from the descriptions posted to
the club mailing list.
- January 3
Ben FrantzDale visited from his undergraduate work at Harvey Mudd College
in California, accompanied by his friend Molly. Suffering an attack of
ambition after a meal at Royal East, he painted the tower! Andy Miller
continued his work on the Caveat Emptor department store, and John
McNamara continued his work on the roundhouse restroom. Malcolm Laughlin
finished the "grading" into Berkmanville and commenced installation of
roadbed lattice stock. John Purbrick installed switch machines in the
helix area, developing special configurations to provide adequate vertical
clearances for tracks that passed under the switch machines. William
Smith, a friend of Jeff Birkner, visited and assisted Ben.
- January 10
John Purbrick brought in and tested a slightly changed version of System3
software. He also added some of his new pictures to the website. Alvar
Saenz-Otero brought in new blades for the bandsaw and installed one. Alvar
and John discussed some of the design/construction issues involved in the
Phase II helixes. John McNamara replaced a wall and installed fogged glass
in the roundhouse restroom. Ken Terrell tested the latest revisions to his
Talgo train (and also tested how fast System2 can acquire new blocks for
- January 17
Tonight was "show-off" night. Stephano Curtarolo showed off his nifty
N-scale Y6B, complete with painstakingly applied decals. Andy Miller showed
off his recently completed fire station mockup. He had created the sides
with PowerPoint and had mounted the printout on foamcore. Ken Terrell
showed off his TGV model. Alvar Saenz-Otero showed off his recently
completed expansion of Berkmanville and modifications to the painting
table. James Knight showed off the clubroom to the Technique photographer.
Maybe we will get some pictures in the next yearbook. All present showed
off the clubroom to a couple of vistors.
In addition to the above activities, Andy comtemplated some alterations to
the fire station to make it look a little less tall. He also did some work
on foundations in the Gifford City neighborhood in which the fire station
will be located. James Knight worked on System 3 firmware. John McNamara
assembled the roundhouse restroom, which is now complete (toilet, toilet
paper, stall, frosted windows, paper towel dispenser) except for the sink.
John Purbrick repaired the foundation of the concrete signal tower, and
installed some grit and weeds scenery in a few bare spots.
- January 24
Lots of people and lots of projects! John Shriver continued his work on
paving the Gifford City streets in preparation for future trolley service.
Alvar Saenz-Otero updated some CADrail files in preparation for the
introduction of System3 in the staging yard. John Purbrick added more
scenery around the recently-moved concrete signal tower (New Haven style).
It is now located near the Whatahack River. Andy Miller did some painting
and worked on reducing the height of his new fire station.James Knight
worked on System3 and even controlled the train that Ken Terrell was
running ("for small values of 'control'", says James). James has sent a
separate email detailing the outstanding progress being made on System3.
Stefano Curtarolo worked on a N-guage switch. Ken Terrell tested his Talgo
and TGV trains. John McNamara and Ed Drozd did some miscellaneous puttering
- January 27
Alvar put up a mockup of how the back 'three layer layout' will
look like, so that we could figure out the correct separation
of the levels. Andy, Bill, Ed, John P., and Malcolm joined Alvar
into confirming a 14" separation of the levels. This puts the
lower level at 34", the middle level at 48", and the upper level
at 62". It was agreed that the upper level would not have any
major switching areas, since it is high enough to make it hard
for shorter people to do any switching.
Other than the discussion, Bill & Malcolm worked on the track
design for Berkmanville. They did this on paper over the plywood,
so the next step is to transfer this to the plywood, then place
the latice stock, and finally the track.
Andy super-detailed one of his passenger cars, including custom
made sofas and chairs for a lounge. He also fixed an Aaron Burr
car which was missing a switch. He continued work on the Gifford
City Fire Deparment, after getting some consultation from Claude.
Ed helped a lot with welcoming several visitors we had throughout
the day. He did work on a new locomotive of his own too. John
McNamara continued to detail the inside of the Round House office
James, John P., and Alvar continued design work of System 3. JP and
James discussed the changes needed to the existing 'IMP' (the processor
that controls the Switch Cards) so that it interfaces directly with
the System 3 SW developed by James. This will also allow us to use
the current RSIG GUI software to run trains, while a new java-based
GUI is developed. Alvar entered the conversation about how to
interconnect the distributed System 3 cabinets. James and Alvar
discussed the expected behavior of the GUI when it comes to having
'virtual' tracks that replace whole yards.
- January 31
John Shriver added some additional paving in downtown Gifford City, while
Andy Miller worked on Version 3 of his fire station mockup. Andy had
consulted with our professional fire fighter, Claude Brown, and had found
that the building scaled out too short for a ladder truck, so he made it
longer. Malcolm Laughlin added roadbed in the Berkmanville area. John
McNamara painted a sink for the roundhouse restroom and glued the faucets
in place. John Purbrick added a gravel driveway to the signal tower so that
employees could drive their pickups up beside the building, a Bill Onorato
suggestion. John Purbrick also conferred with James Knight on computer
interfaces for System3 and wrote some notes about the subject. Stefano
Curtarolo worked on an N-gauge oil standpipe and began design work on a
brass version of the Scherzer rolling lift bridge that John Purbrick had
mocked up in Masonite some time ago. Hidetoshi Katsuma, who recently
brought us a new Japanese railways calendar, visited.
Tech Model Railroad Club of
MIT Room N52-118
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
+1 617 253-3269
x3-3269 (on campus)
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