Construction photos


Well Gents…the new laptop is in hand. So I will see about editing the video soon :slightly_smiling:

Can’t wait until the next work day. Mainline…here we come!!! (OK…Bob and I will be a little behind…but were OK with that). heheheheheh


Today layout lighting valences started to go up. See the General Discussion thread on Layout presentation through general lighting for photos.
Link to discussion thread


Lighting has been underway for a while now. Today valences went up and were lit for the first time between Point Vincent and Bayfield. Most of this area will be a large paper mill complex. CTC starts idirectly behind Vince (left) and continues towards David to the right. At present there are four 4-foot T32 fluorescent lamps behind the valence. A few 35 watt halogen spots will be added to create shadows and pop details.

Not shown: Mark, who needed to leave just before the wiring was complete. Shown: a typical mess we make while in the middle of a work session. :laughing:

From a different angle, Vince spikes rail at Point Vincent. To his left are various pieces of foam board used to explore basic sizes and shapes for buildings and other effects at the left (north) side of the paper mill complex. Full lighting for that area is not yet installed. It will be lit by track light cans reused from A&O 1.0.

There is a “short order window” that allows a track to burrow through the divider between the paper mill and Fillmore Heights. For now an old Saturday Night Live skit is remembered (my fault.) After all, model railroading is supposed to be fun!


The lighting looks great guys. David, will the paper mill have it’s own switcher or will a “Turn” take care of it? Can’t wait to see what it will look like.

Seeing we’re in construction photos, I thought you mite like to see my progress. Since the photo was taken I’ve gotten the ties glued down and I am the process of detailing the ties before coloring. The siding will be laid with code 100 which I am waiting for some from Right-O-Way. Once the sidings rail is all down, the mill will be put in place and some scenery will be stated as the area in front of the mill will have the yard trackage 2" higher and the more I can get done before the rest goes in the easier it will be.

Keep up the work, I am.



Looks like it is coming along nicely :slightly_smiling:

Wow…the lighting really makes you realize how dark it was before installation. I guess I never really noticed it though :slightly_smiling: hehehhehe


Hi Chester,

Lookin’ good. I wish I had some mill buildings already done. Lots to build (understatement for the year).
The International Paper Co. complex will be served twice daily by turns out of Millport. With the large number of cars going in/out of the place it seemed reasonable to split this up. On 1.0 we had an “Early Bird” and “Night Owl” mill job. With hundred or so lights that will in the plant it should make for some fun night switching.



Things have been much too quiet here, so it seemed time to toss in a photo or two. There’s nothing artistic here, just a couple of snaps of good friends enjoying the journey together.

First up, David and Mark review A&O turnout throw bar installation before Mark pretty much finishes up the ready-to-finish paper mill turnouts. It looks like they are enjoying the task. Unseen to the left is Bill, who does the fastest layout production work I’ve ever seen.

David uses black Micarta (PC epoxy-glass material minus the copper) and fine quality jewelry finding pins donated by Ellie Bowman to attach the points in a way that allows the joint to rotate, and therefore, not break during extremely-heavy operating sessions. The idea of using pins (regular dressmakers pins) came from Doug Geiger. I replaced David’s vinyl throwbars with Micarta obtained from a knife crafting web site because I couldn’t make the solder joint I wanted without melting the vinyl.

Next up, Vince hooks up one of his Vince-O-Matic occupancy detectors on the lower staging yard ladders. These will help the hostler keep trains from running too far into staging tracks and fouling the exit ladders. Vince is a fellow electrical engineer and the signaling guru. He’s the only one allowed to install blue CAT5 wiring as that’s dedicated to signaling.

To Vince’s left is the first installed A&O DCC ammeter, disguised as an EMD 2nd generation traction motor load meter used in the GP30+ era. 1000 amps indicated = 10 amps DCC. The current transformer and custom circuit board is in the DCC power supply behind Vince, which reads the load for the entire north region under David’s garage. There may be up to 6 of these throughout the layout using meters from 2nd Generation EMD and GE locomotives to 1st generation EMD F3s. I’m thankful that David allowed me, an electrical engineer, to “geek out!” :smiley:


Looking good!! Thanks for the update as well Bob. Sorry I couldn’t be there last weekend. Hopefully I can be there for the next one.

Hmmmmmm…do I smell mainline trackage soon :slightly_smiling: ??


This part of the A&O forums has been quiet for way too long. I’ve been absent due to some issues including a blown Achilles tendon. Sherman set the “Wayback Machine” to April 2011 for this vignette from the day we hung the first lighting valences.

Submitted for your approval. This abstract is called “Clamp City”, taken with a cell phone camera from a high angle over the hump yard throat.


March 2012 brings the start of wall erection on a new part of the layout. Here is the future home of the coal marshaling town of Darwin, otherwise known as the place “where the sun don’t shine.” There will be perpetual rain, gloom and thunderstorms here.

The short doorway will be the nod-under operator access to the Kayford coal branch.

A curved wall divides Ricksburg (front side of the studs) from King Coal and the town of Brooks behind the studs. King Coal is an operating loader that fills hoppers with live coal loads.

Fire in the hole! Craig covers his ears as Kingston prepares to shoot a concrete nail.


Meanwhile, the 16th Street Yard operator’s aisle nears completion with valence and fascia work done. A few control panels remain on the punch list. Major scenery will not start until the last of the sawdust settles.


Ohhhhhh…I can’t wait! Only 53 more days to go! The finished facia and lighting is a home run! The presentation is definitely appealing, and really makes the layout POP!

Oh and by the way Bob, you call that a “fire in the hole”? Here is a fire in the hole! Nothing like a small IED and some C4 to call attention to yourself!


I guess “fire in the hole” Rick :slightly_smiling: Our much smaller 22 shells didn’t make quite that much sound either I’m sure :smiley:

David and I were talking as we were putting up the separation wall between Ricksburg and the area towards the King Coal facility…your namesake is starting to take shape :slightly_smiling: Can’t wait for you to get back so you can start to help us with it!!

Stay safe and looking forward to seeing you back stateside!


There are no words except…many prayers. See you soon.


Like the Energizer Bunny, we keep going, going, going… boom boom boom boom! Well, very tiny booms, thankfully. But the standard goal is: “Must work faster!” Since I’m guilty of being a “Mr. Yack-A-Lot” I intentionally tried to stay out of the way except for taking photos and making electrical measurements today.

First up is rocking the north-ish wall (according to house compass) out of Brooks along the narrow Kayford Valley corridor. “South-ish” is the top of the A&O track plan drawings. From left to right David shoots screws into wet drywall to establish the start of the bend while Levi and Craig lean into the job. The town of Ricksburg will be on the far side of this wall.

Who says you should not shoot backlit photos?

I’m standing at the operator’s position for the King Coal operating flood loader in Brooks, WV. Track will run along the left wall towards the pinch point, where it will be in a side-daylighted tunnel. The Kayford branch starts to the right behind David and heads away from the camera. Since behind me is a nod-under from Durwood, er, Darvon, er, Darwin, where the sun never shines and there is a perpetual thunderstorm, this area will be dark too, and that should accentuate the many lights on the King Coal flood loader. A couple paces behind David there will be a “people tunnel” which transitions into a more brightly-lit area.


Vince spikes rail off the end of the only track saved from A&O 1.0, not visible to the left of the photo.

Craig trims sheet rock and lets it know who is the master.


Great shots Bob. Thanks for sharing those.

It really is coming along nicely now. It’s funny at how a great big ole room like David’s basement now seems to get smaller when you put “flooooooowing” walls up.

Can’t wait for the next session to see how things change.


I’m lovin’ this new section but I’m a big pig and want to see more. How are’ya guys doin?


Hi Jeff,
Not much has happened since these pictures were taken on March 17. The next day (Mar. 18) I had a medical emergency that put me in the hospital for a week (5 days in ICU). Seven units of blood later I was sent home to recuperate. And it took about a month to get back on my feet :cry: . Soooo, things have been at a standstill for awhile. But I expect to restart pretty soon with work sessions. Wish we could be more helpful with progress updates, but not a whole lot to report.


OUCH!!! We didn’t want to hear such things but apperently the Good Lord decided that the railroad (and your family) needed your further attention. Seriously, I’m releived that you are recovering and wish you the best.