Search This Blog

Monday, December 25, 2017

Progress Update 12-25-17


I promised an update so here goes:

1. It seems every op session gets Murphied with wifi issues.  Not sure why really, however, had Geek Squad out and the confirmed I have the best wifi mesh network using Eero's so even he was puzzled.  Great guy though and he may come over for an op session!  Can I convert him?  LOL  His testing showed excellent wifi coverage.  That said, we hardwired two of the Eero's just in case that makes a difference.  The operating department will know at the next op session.  (See below for dates)  It could be all the bodies in the rooms for the session.  Maybe I need to put all visitors on a diet before they come so they block less bandwidth!

2.  The IT department, Mark Lestico, has been working on the new JMRI dispatcher panel.  Still a ways to go, but making progress.  The new panel is much cleaner than the old one and will size to any monitor automatically.  The old one used custom graphics and would not fit the new monitor.

This is the old panel.  I'll show the new one in another post.

3.  The marketing department has been working on a new paint scheme for the CPRX home road and that will debut mid 2018!  The preferred scheme is the green one.  Their plan is to have mainly CPRX locos running, with a few BNSF and UPRR for assistance.  Customers need to know who to call!  Not BNSF or UPRR.

Drawings courtesy of Don Gaiser...Thank you!!!

4.  Scenery has progressed!  Big projects take big time and the time between Thanksgiving and New Years Day is the best time for me to get big projects done.  Thanksgiving weekend started with the new grove at Orange Grove.  What looks like about a hundred trees is actually 401 trees!  It took 72 hours to complete.  If that wasn't enough insanity I'm adding an area of 93 more and then another section of yet to be determined number of trees.  It looks great though.

The first step was to draw a grid on the benchwork, then drill small holes for the trees.  I used 1.5" grid.  Then I put tooth pick ends in the holes so they would not get plugged by ballast.  Spread and glued ballast.  Removed the tooth picks as I planted each tree so I would not lose the hole.  Looooong arduous process!

Blue tape is to prevent ballast from fouling the points.

I purchased the trees from a lady that sells at the local shows.  $5 for a block of 8.  Can't beat that!
In my opinion each tree has too many oranges.  So I take each one and rub the heck out of is to remove as many oranges as I can, being careful not to ruin the esthetics of the tree.

The trunks are way too long so I cut them down short, so when I plant the tree it sits close to the ground.

I saved all the extra oranges and leaves just in case I might want to use them for something down the road.

The ready-to-plant tree gets a small hole drilled in the bottom for the wire that will then be inserted in the benchwork.

A dab of glue on the base.

A dab of glue, then insert the wire.  The wire is only about 1/2" long.

Remove the tooth pick.

Insert wire in hole and plant the tree.

The completed orange grove.  My plan is to add 93 trees in the white area in the upper left and another grove of trees just out of the photo to the right, mid photo.

5.  Before planting the orange trees, the track maintenance crews needed to ballast the track and so that started the ballasting project.  Neighbors have been calling the home office complaining about noise from the increased number of ballast trains!  Since the planting at Orange Grove, crews have continued to ballast south to Famoso, Kern Jct., and as of this writing, they're ballasting Bakersfield Yard, totally disrupting the operation of the railroad!  The deadline is January 1, 2018, including laying the concrete in the engine facilities!  The crews are working day and night to get this done because they get a big bonus if it's completed in time!

Famoso ballasting

The north end of Bakersfield ballasted
Ballasting brings out the scariest of critters.  I don't have a bug problem though!  These bug managers handle everything.

6.  I bought new paint to repaint the backdrop and fascia.  I also purchased a laminating machine to laminate the fascia labels and documentation.  Projects for the next 2-3 months.

7. The Facilities Department, Joel Morse, made a couple more permanent temporary buildings for Bakersfield, Chan Nuts and Bakersfield Produce.  They make the area look much better.

8.  The Signaling Department has purchased a bizzillion Digitrax SMBK's and begun the creation of the etched brass Signal Kits.  All this is being sent to my Assembly Department (Mike Stoner) for assembly.  The signaling department already has the SE8c's fortunately.

Completed signal.  Digitrax SMBK, etched brass Signal Kit, and paint!  Looks great, easy to make, easy to install, and cheap!

The Operating Department has planned the sessions for 2018.  Joel Morse and I will be alternating every month, with the first session on the CPRX scheduled for January 20th.  If you are interested in joining us or just visiting sometime throughout the year, please let me know.

I know there is more to report, however, my mind is blank.  Probably from inhaling too much rubbing alcohol with the track maintenance crews!  Well, I'd better get back to inhaling more or this project will never get finished!

Happy New Year,
Frank Kenny
CPRX President


  1. Looking good Frank. The orange grove seems like a great use of that 180 degree curve and I like all three of your locomotive paint schemes. If I were to ever do my own freelanced road the locos would have diagonal stripes on the ends.

  2. Thank you Brad. Mine have an upside down chevron.

  3. The progress looks great! I may have to plan a trip down from Vegas to see it in person!

  4. G'day Frank. Orange grove looks very good as do the signals and the ballasting that is underway. Love the new loco livery. Great progress.
    Happy New year to you and all you mates.
    From down under.

  5. Bodacious 🍊 trees. I like the John Deer paint scheme best. It’s sort of Katyesc. Another visit to the CPRX is on my bucket list.

    Joe Warner