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July '01
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of July 2001, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
July 11

A quiet night. Mal Laughlin continued his work on the TMRC freight cars, examining and inventorying them. He has created a long string of bad-order cars in the staging yard. These are blue-flagged (with blue tape) and should not be moved until fixed. Most have coupler problems. John Purbrick did some more ballasting in Berkmannville and installed an uncoupling ramp. John Shriver refilled the Coke machine and did some more work on the street trackage. James Knight emptied the Coke machine's coin collection, and he and John McNamara rolled tons of quarters!


July 18 [pictures]

The evening began with our opportunity for 15 minutes of fame. Kelly Davidson, a photographer for the Boston Phoenix, spent some time taking photos of various parts of the layout and of the people at work thereon. These will be part of an article on model railroading to appear the week after next.

Malcolm Laughlin continued his freight car inventory and testing process. He also downloaded some demo versions of layout design programs. He and Branden Gunn experimented with some of the features. John McNamara repaired some of the roll-up doors on the roundhouse and reloaded the Coke machine. Alvar Saenz-Otero worked on the radomes and other building-top features for his Green Building model. Alvar and Branden also ran some power cables for System3. John Purbrick demonstrated the latest version of his freight car tracking system that uses bar code strips mounted on the underside of freight car trucks. It worked very well and was the subject of substantial discussion with Branden and his friend Roger Neumann, who also did some track-laying in Berkmannville. Track-laying also occurred in the trolley turning loop near the roundhouse, where John Shriver completed a dummy track that branches off of the loop and leads to the edge of the layout. This would be an excellent method of disposing of malfunctioning trolleys, but the switches leading to it will not be functional. Ken Terrell dropped by and did some testing and work on his Penn Central SD45.


July 21

The room looks different after today! Alvar and Bill began by moving all the lumber around, such that the plywood is now flat against the back wall. They also moved all the conduit (which still needs a new home location) and pushed the large computer table all the way to the corner. With Branden's and Roger's help, the NT computer desk and the filing cabinet was also moved to the back of the room. All the boxes full of electronic stuff were sorted, compressed, some placed under the layout, and others are awaiting a new home also. In order to move some boxes out of the floor, Alvar created an ingenious 'hanging' shelf above the computer tables, which stores tons of boxes. He also built a smaller, permanent, and sturdy shelf where two CPU's sit, clearing even more area in the computer desks! End result: a really large area is ready, so that we can continue to build the layout!

And, about the layout, JP and Roger continued to lay down track and switches in the BK area. Bill worked on super-detailing of the switches. Meanwhile, Malcolm continued to sort and check the rolling stock. A quick 'meeting' like thing occured, where it was decided to buy a new HP Deskjet to replace the printer that died during construction.


July 25

A gratifying number of members showed up in a working mood. There was some initial debate (repeated every time somebody entered the room) about whether leaving half the lights off would help keep the room cool, and if so, which half it should be.

Andy Miller worked on a passenger car, and began the long-awaited work on GC sidewalks. The first segment is under the Walker's Fine Dining bldg. On off nights he repaired 10 of the freight cars which Mal IDed as bad order and installed a foundation for the Bassex House. Malcolm Laughlin continued his work on freight cars and their discontents to counteract Andy's progress ;-P Claude Brown visited briefly and spent his time cleaning the room.

Branden Gunn helped Alvar with power wiring for Sys3, receiving a Spanish lesson in the process, and then joined in counting coins. Roger Neumann spiked rail in Berkmannville and then joined the coin-counters. Alvar Saenz-Otero cleaned the room, installed power wiring for Sys3 and counted money. He also received kudos and plaudits for his new aerial storage scheme which removes stored buildings from the floor and computers from the bench. A large amount of floor space has appeared!

James Knight counted money and then returned to Sys3 software. John Shriver installed more street in Gifford City. John Purbrick built the 5th switch in Bermannville.


July 29 [pictures]

Just a picture of the day update today.



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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