What’s With the Blue Tape?


Some months back we requested a visit from the fire department and they sent 2 representatives over to have a look at our paper plans on the floor. We asked for suggestions regarding the layout and proposed open houses. Among other things, they  advised that we needed a floor length fascia around the south helix. George has been working on the design and fabrication of this part of the fascia. Basic framing for this unique part of our layout was completed this week. 

George adds short studs to a custom made base on the south helix for a drop down fascia requested by fire marshals. 

Doug has been working on re-forestation of Eagle Point. He’s also replaced the lighthouse and keeper’s cottage up on the bluff.  Scenery in this area will be spectacular as he works his magic. 

This construction requires constant sweeping and vacuuming.  Bill and Randy have been very diligent in this effort. If anyone wants to come down during off hours and help out, we’d love it. Most of the dust is contained within the cutting room, however some cutting must be done in the main layout room. Any assistance would be much appreciated. 

Randy does a classic 2-step with broom. Keeping up  with construction mess is a real challenge. 

As we near completion of framing and track laying there are many small pieces left over from the old layout. Many of these pieces including “L” girders, track boards with cork and track, short legs, 22,412 lineal feet of used blue and orange #12 stranded wire, and scenery sections are in the new layout room. These serviceable pieces will not be used on the new layout and have been slated for a dump run.  Come by in the next week and you can have your choice. They are laying along the east wall awaiting removal. Free to all members. Come and get them. Text or e-mail Jerry, Randy, or Gene if you have questions. 

So, what’s up with all the blue tape labels and colored push pins along the track and between rails? Good question. Here are some answers:

Power districts marked up with tape. Points ofthe left  switch are in poor shape and will be repaired. MP 49.2 note is  from old layout and holds no authority on new layout.

Blue tape stuck along the right-of-way but NOT between the rails represent feet from our zero point at the door end of the Albany yard. They are placed at 20 foot intervals. It can be thought of as if surveyors started at the UP/SP interchange in Albany and measured west to the end of the line. This was done by Larry and Bill using a measuring wheel. Total length of mainline track on this layout ended up being 452’ – somewhat longer than the 406’ of our previous mainline. We can use these markers, which will be made more permanent and prototypical later, as markers for track and right-of-way work. 

Blue tape stuck BETWEEN the rails indicates power districts and booster assignments. 7.4 means booster 7, power district 4. Also 7.2/8.1 means the end of power district 7.2 , rail gap, beginning of 8.1. The heavy bar indicates where the rails should have gaps (offset  about 1/4” rail to rail). We expect to have 10 boosters plus a Zephyr, each one having 2-4 power districts powered by a PSX-4 circuit breaker. These power districts are defined by operability (probable number of locomotives within the district) as opposed to location  only. Documentation will be thorough and simple. This makes it accessible to interested members for possible trouble shooting. 

There needs to be enough power capacity so this layout can be marketed to prospective members as being able to support multiunit operation. This is a first class layout in space, aisle width, mainline length,  trackwork, passing track capacity, maximum grade, minimum curve radius and a number of other parameters.  We need to have a first class DCC system with sufficient power to support operation, “open house” running,  and member needs. This power system will be consistent with those high standards. 

Push pins along the track have to do with rail gaps. We will put together a legend for pins, tape, and distance markers so all members can see what’s going on. It will also help us keep track (pun intended) of what we’re doing. 

C’mon by and see what’s going on.

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