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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Absolutely no progress!

If you have wondered why I haven't updated you or invited you to operate its because there is absolutely nothing going on on the railroad!  Nothing!!  The last operating session was back in February. And in May I held a client party and had a few friends operate trains. Since then I have not really even been in the train room. One reason is it's been so darn hot this year and I don't have air conditioning. I attribute that to the global warming issue. The train room can get upwards of 90-100°. Not very exciting and there's no windows to open and again no AC. The other issue is I just haven't been interested in doing anything on the railroad. Which is really odd for me. Perhaps when the weather cools down, which it should already have, I will get back into it. Until then don't feel bad as no one has been herE and I haven't had any operating sessions at all. Heck I would be surprised if I even remember how to operate the railroad and the JMRI system!  Frank Kenny

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Layout Prep for Client Appreciation Party

I haven't posted for a while now and that's because of two things.  First, I am still burnt out from the Portland guys visit in Feburary.  LOL.  Nothing negative, just a lot of layout stuff before, during and after.  Second, work has fortunately been busy and unfortunately that keeps me from the railroad.

Every year I host a Client Appreciation Party at my house and have the railroad open to guests.  They always love seeing the layout and the kids like it too.  I have a few of my crew over to run trains and they always let the kids (and adults) run the trains.  And therefore, I must get things cleaned up and running.  It's funny how one day things run fine and then the next time the system goes on, some things don't work fine.  Murphy....Get the heck outta here!

With that in mind, I put together a track cleaning train and ran it around the railroad about a dozen times.  I found two places where the track is dead!  I fixed one spot and the other will take a bit more time to repair.

My layout room is very sealed.  However, the cleaning train picked up quite a bit of "stuff" from the rails.  And it's amazing how much metal the magnet picks up from the track too.  Where did all this junk come from?  No one has been in here in 2.5 months!

Due to our recent earthquake in March, I had one 4' ceiling light panel fall to the floor and break.  Fortunately it missed all the cars in Bakersfield Yard and I don't know how it missed the yard because it's right under the panel.  Anyway, I replaced that.  No damage to anything else on the layout fortunately.

A while back I created maps for the railroad so operators would know where they were on the railroad.  This weekend I took one more step and used post-it arrows pointing to their location on the railroad.  Hopefully that will help people a little more.  See the photo below.  The top arrow is for the upper level and the bottom arrow is for the lower level.  Hopefully that is clear enough.

I was going to prepare several trains in JMRI Ops for the guys to operate during the party, however, I'm thinking they will be occupied with guests so I scrapped that idea.  I did add a few more cars to the layout however.  I ordered more wheels to replace the plastic on a number of new cars I'd like to add to the layout so hopefully they will arrive this week and I can bang that out.

I've been pondering a paint scheme for the CPRX but no concrete designs yet.  I'm going to send some shells out to get painted and see how it looks.  More on that in a future post.

And finally, I added a photo of the "temporary" engine facility that is becoming more and more permanent as I haven't posted that in the past.  See below.

I think that is about it for this post.  Thanks for reading along.
Frank Kenny, CPRX Railway

Route map with arrows added to identify the locations a little better.  Top arrow is for upper level and bottom arrow is for lower level.

Track cleaning train at work.

Bakersfield "temporary" locomotive facility.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mike Stoner's SPSF Owens Valley Sub and Phoenix, Trains in Flagstaff &Sedona, AZ

This past weekend and week I had to go to the Phoenix area for a conference.  But first I visited with my good friend Mike Stoner who lives in Sedona.  We didn't have much time for a lot of activities but made great time with that we did have.

The first thing we did was visit Verryl Fosnight's Union Pacific Railroad.  OMG this is a BIG railroad!  Still being built it is housed in a huge warehouse building.  Here are some photos and you can see more details at the Yahoo Group, Wyoming_Division.

From there we drove to Flagstaff to see a few BNSF trains and that we did.  4 trains in all.  It was getting dark by then so we headed back to Mike's house for an update on Mike's layout.  Mike is building his 2nd railroad (the first got flooded in a friggin' water leak) and the new one is going to be awesome too.  Here are a few photos.

More GP60's!

Mike Stoner and me at dinner waiting for Brandi, his GF.  Until she showed up, we were getting weird looks here on Valentine's Day!  LOL
Mike's layout under construction...again!

Mike hand lays his turnouts!

He's a details oriented guy.

This is N scale!

Mike uses McHenry couplers and body mounts them on all equipment.  He likes these over MT's because MT's tend to have too much slack and bounce, causing strange things with the cars.  I agree, however, I'm not spending time body mounting anything!

The next morning I drove down to Phoenix to my hotel for the next 4 night.  Luck me, my hotel was right next to the UP tracks and at a RR crossing too.  My colleagues didn't think it was very exciting because 2-4 trains came by each night!  There's something comforting about a train horn in the middle of the me anyway!  LOL  Here are a few photos of Phoenix, although most of the trains I saw were in the dark from my hotel room in the comfort of my PJ's.

This and the photo below are of a gypsum board mfgr yard.  Seems like they waste lots of board.

Yet another UP train in the night.

Frank Kenny CPRX

Friday, February 21, 2014

Third day of Portland Crew Visit

Today is the third day of the Portland crew visit.

The morning started out fine, with Kent taking the van to take the guys to Starbucks and then back later to pick me up.  In the shuffle, I forgot to pick up lunch and didn't discover that until we were already arriving Joel's!  I had to go back to my house and pick up lunch and then back to Joel's.  Once back at Joel's, the crew was operating the layout and all was going well.  The op session was running far.

Here are a few pix.

Owner of the NYO&W, Joel Morse

We finished the op session and grabbed lunch and then off to Bob Grech's Western Pacific RR.  Bob has a very detailed layout, along the level of George Selios' layout.  Here are a few photos.

Bob Gretch, owner of the Western Pacific

After Bob's, we went to Mark Lestico's Cascade Line railroad and visited and ran a couple of trains.  I think I wore out most of the Portland guys so much that we mostly discussed Mark's railroad and various other aspects of operations, modeling, etc.  Here are a few photos.

Owner of the Cascade Line, Mark Lestico is on the far right
By the time we left Mark's house, I think everyone, including me was bushed.  We stopped at Applebee's for dinner (never again) and then off to the airport.  Oh, and Phil, Dave and Kent decided they would spring on yet another minor detail about the Loconet on my layout.  I don't quite have details, but I'm getting the idea that they want to re-build it!  They seem to be breaking it to me in little bits.  I'm open to any HUGE project they want to throw at me as long as they let me know when they are coming over to help!  ;-)

Frank Kenny, CPRX