Friday, November 12, 2021

Mainline Track Installation Complete

 I have to say there has been plenty of progress since my last post.

I have run Romex and installed double ganged plugs for 120 volt power at points under the bottom level. This was done to supply the power to the command station and booster power districts power supplies, and layout lighting. This also makes it possible to turn on/off power to the entire layout with one wall switch. I also had to modify the boosters power supplies with a "delay on relay" and setting them to activate the boosters power supplies ten seconds after the command station came on. Digitrax boosters have known to confuse the command station if every thing were to come to life at the same time. 

On October 27, 2021 at 9:39 pm, the last section of track was installed on the Colorado & Rio Grande Central Railroad's mainline. Yeah!! Party On!!! The last section of track was installed in the town that will be known as Orogrande, NM. From what I figured using figures from XtrakCAD, the total mainline run and mainline only is 476.5 feet, give or take three feet. For a total run, not bad, I thought. The double track helix has 210 feet of track all together making the helix single line 105 feet roughly. 

Along with completion of the mainline I was able to complete track work for El Paso yard lead, arrival/departure tracks and related turnouts, caboose track, tracks for locomotive servicing facility, the return track to the mainline and southern turnout ladder for the arrival/departure tracks that make up the reverse loop. There was a track installed with a crossing on the main to represent an interchange with Southern Pacific along with two tracks for an interchange yard, and a siding for Orogrande which runs to El Paso. 

Picture of the El Paso yard throat along with the finished yard lead, the arrival/departure tracks with a locomotive escape track just left of the yard lead, the stub ended caboose track to the left of that and finally the mainline on the Woodland Scenics foam elevation sections to the farthest left.

A closer look (in order from the left) at the mainline, caboose spur, arrival/departure and yard lead. 

Pictured here (from the left) is the stub spurs for the El Paso locomotive facility, next to it, the yard lead and the next three tracks are the south end of the arrival/departure tracks with the turnouts and a double slip turnout to make the return to the mainline and complete the reverse loop. The far right track is the mainline from the north. Also pictured is the uncompleted, (at the time of this picture) track for the Southern Pacific interchange lead. The turn out in the middle of the page not joined will be a
spur for industry for the city of El Paso. 

Mainline and siding with open turnout that will lead to industry for El Paso.

Lower peninsula loop mainline and siding between El Paso and Orogrande.

The town of Orogrande with mainline and siding and open turn out for town industries in the back ground.

North end of Orogrande.

Another look at Orogrande looking railroad south.

I took this picture to show how the mainline's (back ground track) final descent and transition with the road bed. The arrival/departure and yard lead tracks in the center and the tail end of the locomotive facility track in the foreground are also seen.

Pictured here is the descent of the mainline with the caboose, arrival/departure tracks, and some of El Paso yard to the left.

Shown here is the completed Southern Pacific interchange yard with the Southern Pacific track crossing the main leading to points off the layout. Far in the background is the yard lead, A&D ladder and the El Paso locomotive faciltiy trackage.

Next project, with the completion of these sections of track in place, comes the tedious task of dropping feeds and district buss wiring along with wiring the reverse loop section with an auto reverser. Like mentioned before in other blog posts wiring is not very photo worthy or in my case not the most appealing part of building a railroad but it is very necessary. Other things to be completed are installing all the ground throws for the turn outs that need them, along with temporary ground throws for the mainline turn outs. The SP interchange yard will get uncoupler magnets and I will mount lighting under the upper peninsula for the bottom peninsula.

I'm excited about getting wiring done so I can start trackage work for the towns, expanding, and planning operations to include these towns. I'm also looking forward to shifting gears and getting involved with building structures for the towns and devoting some time to installing decoders in the CRGC Railroad's locomotive roster that need them and devoting time for signals. I also need to do some research and have some custom decals made with the railroad logo, after all I need to custom paint and decal a few locomotives with the logo. That's a topic for another post on the blog.

I'm also contemplating on changing El Paso Yard to something else since the yard is part of El Paso I thought a name to distinguish it from the city of El Paso would be fitting. Hmmm....(scratching my chin) to think of something unique. 


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