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November '03
This page describes work accomplished on the new TMRC layout during the month of November 2003, as taken from the descriptions posted to the club mailing list.
November 3

During the past few weeks, most of our attention has been focused on completing the main line section that bypasses the freight yard. This hand-built section replaces the temporary "flex-track" section that went directly across the future freight yard. As is often the case, there is a deadline for this work. In the case of the flex-track, the deadline was the Activities Midway. For the new hand-laid section, the deadline is the upcoming Open House on Saturday, November 22nd.

Contrary to past TMRC practice of documentation scribbled on random sheets of paper, James Knight has been using his Apple notebook to draw very nice diagrams of track sections and switches, identifying their associated interface boards. The first attached picture shows him at work. Old-timers will note with pleasure the appearance of the "pink elephant" vacuum cleaner under the layout in this photo. While a new shop vacuum is used for major jobs, the pink elephant is still used for more delicate vacuuming jobs.

In the second attached picture, Thaddeus Stefanov-Wagner is spiking some of the new mainline. Behind him, Tom O'Reilly and Adam Madlinger are discussing ballasting, while behind them David Lambeth is working on a scenery project.

Join us any Wednesday or Saturday night, and don't forget the Open House on November 22nd, 2:00-5:00 and 7:00-10:00!

John McNamara


November 22

The Fall 2003 Open House was extremely successful! We had over 200 guests, but that was only part of the success...

Throught out the past weeks, as the previous report says, we spent a lot of time finishing the mainline route from Gifford City to Berckmannville. Two weeks ago Tom and John Purbrick finished laying down the track (in 'fast mode'). Then this past week Alvar and James wired all the new blocks. Wednesday was all about cleaning track and starting to test things; but we had to quit early to allow the floor to be waxed. Then on Friday night the real testing began; Tom, Alvar, and James spent over 6 hour running trains --- Tom spent quite a bit of time fixing track to gauge and switch points that needed more work (Alvar tried to help a little bit too). At 2:15am two important things happened:

  1. We were ready for the open house!
  2. The first level of mailine was officially functional!!!

Today's Open House, therefore, was a huge success not only because of the large attendance, but also because it marks a huge milestone in our construction. Eight trains were running constantly all day long, with the major cause of derailments being the hand of god (actually of little kids!). Amazingly enough, even with so many psitons around, the system, the trackwork, and the trains behaved extremely well.

Alvar



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Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
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