Friday, February 11, 2011

Layout Construction - January 2011

Laying track to Geraldine.
With the helix finished, it was now time to continue laying track to the next station on the line. Geraldine was originally created as a stop on the Milwaukee Road railroad. It was named for Almira Geraldine Rockefeller (or perhaps her daughter, Ethel Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge), the wife of William Rockefeller, the director of the railroad at the time. It is located 54 miles northwest of Lewistown and 48 miles southeast of Great Falls. Geraldine will feature a stock yard, the large Montana Elevator company and a gravel loading ramp. The ramp is not really located in Geraldine and not really for loading gravel. With artistic and operational license in mind, I attached the ramp to the end of Geraldine. The ramp was used as a different way of loading grain into box cars during the early years (see the photos below).

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Turnout Control
I have mentioned the use of Bull Frog turnout controllers before, but hadn’t really discovered the best way to use them. On the upper level, I needed to make sure the control rods would be able to clear the lower level lights and operate reliably. It looks like I achieved success in the following photos. A big problem was the linkage from the fascia to the actuator. I cut apart a barrier strip and used only one at a time. Small screws located in the holes are tighten to clamp on the rod (actually another name for coat hanger wire). This allows for adjustment and easy assembly or disassembly.

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