Construction Log

This work log is organized by the fiscal year for the Piedmont Division Railroad which runs from June to May.

Any activity that makes a significant impact to the progress of the layout either physical or otherwise is included in the log entries, and this can also include research, train shows, materials ordering and pickup, track planning, web site development, online tutorials for other resources, etc.

Year 1
Construction Log - FY 2006 - 2007
Hours Logged
Year 2
Construction Log - FY 2007 - 2008
Hours Logged
Year 3
Construction Log - FY 2008 - 2009
Hours Logged

Construction Log - FY 2008 - 2009
(June to May)
Hours this Entry
Hours to Date
  • Started filing and painting of heavy tooling equipment by Alexander Scale Models
  • Modern Drill Press Floor Model
  • Bridgeport Vertical Milling Machine
  • Lathe Tool Maker
2.0 2.0
  • Painted Alexander Scale Models heavy tooling equipment.
  • Repaired Walther's #6 turnout due to rolling stock de-rails
  • Attached a Caboose Industries ground throw to the switch points control rod and this seemed to resolve the issue.
4.0 6.0
  • Finally read up on some of the manual for the digital camera and learned how to set the f-stop aperture for greater depth of field and took a few new photos in the train room.
2.0 8.0
  • Model Railroad Hobbyist (MRH) magazine banner added to blog and web site.
1.0 9.0
  • I was inspired by the MRH forum discussion thread "Is there a right way to model railroad?" started by Irv (aka feldman718 ), and this thread got me to formulating and rethinking the herald slogan catch phrase for my Piedmont Division site and I came up with:
    "Dream Big, Start Small and Plan for the Future"
2.0 11.0
  • Attended the Great Train Expo in Raleigh, NC at the Fair Grounds Exhibition Hall.
  • Bought some items from Train Buddy display and chewed the fat with Kim Parker.
4.0 16.0
  • 3rd PlanIt Tutorial Part II Submitted to MTH online magazine
40.0 56.0
  • Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (GSMRR) in Bryson City, NC.
  • Many images captured and video too for prototype research use.
8.0 64.0
  • Painted Eastern Mountains on the Backdrop following the "How-To Guide" Painting Backdrops For Your Model Railroad by Mike Danneman and published by Model Railroader Books.
2.0 66.0
  • Track Replacement Surgery
  • More than a year later, after much consternation, and some kidding aside, I got up the courage and tackled the task at hand with vim and vigor and completing 95% of the project operation in two days this past weekend.
5.0 71.0


Calendar Year Separation


  • Sanded and painted blue background on remaining north wall backdrop
  • Painted blue background on east side peninsula area backdrop
  • Took measurements in train room to verify track plan for upper deck plan changes
  • Reviewed and modified upper deck track plan for revamping to start new construction
4.0 75.0
  • Purchased benchwork lumber, florescent lighting hoods, florescent tube lights, electrical cables and supplies to begin Phase II Upper Deck benchwork construction
  • Organized train room shelving to permit upper deck construction.
3.0 78.0
  • Began installing lighting hoods under existing upper deck benchwork west wall side
2.0 80.0
  • Installed more lighting hoods under existing upper deck benchwork along the south wall side
2.0 82.0
  • Installed more lighting hoods under existing upper deck benchwork along the south wall side
2.0 84.0
  • Installed benchwork to north side and peninsula west side area
  • Installed lighting to north side and peninsula west side area
5.75 89.75
  • Continued with installing benchwork to peninsula west side area, and the west, south and east side walls
  • Continued with installing lighting to peninsula west side area, and the west and south walls
7.0 96.75
  • Continued with installing benchwork to peninsula east side area
  • Continued with installing lighting to peninsula east side area
2.0 98.75
  • Continued with installing benchwork and lighting
2.75 101.50
  • Cut plywood sub-roadbed pieces for upper deck north wall area
  • Train Buddy to pick up Chameleon paint stripper and acrylic paints
  • Installed passenger car coupler conversions to Kadee #508 extended sets on Crescent Limited mail express baggage car
8.0 109.50
  • Continued with installing passenger car coupler conversions to Kadee #508 extended sets on Crescent Limited baggage car
2.50 112.00
  • Measured area for drop-in lift out section across attic doorway
  • Cut plywood sub-roadbed pieces for lift out section
  • Benchwork added for lift out section sides and curved track over stairway
  • Built drop-in lift out section crossing attic doorway
7.50 119.50
  • Benchwork area across stairs loop
  • L-girder construction on curve over stairs
2.0 121.50
  • Benchwork on no-lix area to upper deck
  • Cut out joist section to lower sub-roadbed to decrease grade %
0.50 122.00
  • Removed one row of wheel sets from truck on the BN passenger car to facilitate negotiation of curves on layout
  • Test ran Southern passenger train with modified BN car with success
1.0 123.00
  • Built the Accurail kit Kansas City Southern (KCS) Airslide Center Flow (ACF) hopper #315320.
  • Initial weathering began incorporating acrylic and enamel paints, Bragdon weathering powders and Testors Dullcoat
3.0 126.00
  • Continued with and finished weathering the KCS ACF hopper
  • Captured images of the KCS ACF hopper and posted on site and MR Forum WPF thread
3.0 129.00

Total Hours - (FY 08/09):



Construction Log - FY 2007 - 2008
(June to May)
Hours this Entry
Hours to Date
  • Strung bus wire (red and white) under lower deck benchwork
  • Replaced track on round table
  • Replaced wire on roundtable and turret brass sections
  • Re-glued track support to roundtable turret
  • Wired Swing Gate Bridge
  • Wired 4 more sections of track to bus
  • Cleaned track for all newly wired sections
  • Attached DCC programming track to roundtable section
  • Wired DCC programming track
  • Built shelf for control panel section
  • Installed Digitrax DCC Super Chief system to track and programming track
  • Ran Southern loco with DCC and tested functions on existing track
7.5 7.5
  • Laid down 60 feet of Atlas code 83 Super flex track and switches utilizing gray latex caulk method.
  • Completed classification yard and yard leads.
  • Started track to wye and passenger areas.
8 15.5
  • Replaced broken Atlas #4 switch and flex track for staging yard section.
  • Laid 24 feet Atlas code 83 Super flex track in wye, roundtable, engine facility and passenger station area utilizing gray latex caulk method.
  • Installed wye area and repaired turntable.
  • Laid 57 feet of Atlas code 83 Super flex track and Atlas #4 switch for main and double main line run from lower deck to upper deck utilizing gray latex caulk method.
  • Cleaned track with metal polish and scrap cork roadbed.
7.5 23
  • Cleaned up and straightened benchwork.
  • Switched trains and made various videos of running consists.
  • Posted videos on You Tube.
4 27
  • Verified and modified drawings for PM42 circuit breaker and auto-reverse sections of Level 1, with the assistance of Kim Parker at Train Buddy
  • Built control panel for Digitrax system.
5.5 32.5
  • Re worked control panel and wiring for Digitrax system.
  • Painted control panel flat gray primer. Gives it a WWII battleship control room look.
  • Soldered wire to wiring block for PM42 for 2 circuit breaker sections and 2 auto-reversing sections.
3.5 36
  • Weathered roundtable with paints and powders.
  • Cut double gap sections (4) to separate 2 auto-reversing and 2 circuit breaker track sections.
  • Wired the PM42 to 2 auto-reversing and 1 circuit breaker section.
  • Tested DCC locomotive on AR and CB sections, determined that circuit switch speed with AR sections needs modification.
6 42
  • Added styrene sheet to double gaps to prevent shorts between auto-reversing and circuit breaker track sections.
  • Modified auto-reverse and circuit breaker trip switch settings to fastest on all four (4) sections of the PM42.
1 43
  • Applied CA to four double gap sections of track rail for circuit breaker and auto-reversing sections.
1 44
  • Cut excess styrene for double gaps and filed down rail as necessary to remove CA.
1 45
  • Attached cork sheet to roundhouse foundation.
  • Attached two track sections and one inspection pit section.
  • Added second cork layer on northeast side of roundtable foundation and between track 1 and track 2.
  • Cut and fit .040 sheet styrene section between track 1 and track 2.
3 48
  • Built 3 more inspection pits.
  • Painted inspection pit ladders caution yellow.
  • Painted turntable rails caution yellow.
  • Painted turntable walls concrete and aged concrete.
  • Installed another inspection pit and tested track.
6 54
  • Attended the North Carolina Live Steam Meet in Apex, NC.
  • Rode 5 loops around the facility.
  • Monique, Ben, and I got to engineer the loco.
  • Everyone loved the Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya.
  • Meet with Duke again, and had a great time!
4 58
  • Installed final 2 inspection pits and track for roundhouse.
  • Cut 2 existing flex track sections and added 2 #4 Atlas switches to create a passing run around track between the lead track of the staging yard and the locomotive facility track.
  • Reorganized storage shelves above and below lower deck level.
  • Repaired two switches in staging yard lead track area.
  • Measured and cut 2 backdrops for middle peninsula area and installed 1 backdrop on roundhouse side.
  • Painted backdrop with light blue for background base layer.
  • Ran trains to test track.
  • Planned new cross-over area to create smoother transition from staging yard lead to classification yard lead.
6 64
  • Completed measuring, cutting and attaching cork sheets between roundhouse tracks with 3M 77 adhesive spray.
  • Wired all 6 roundhouse tracks to DCC buss and attached SPST on/off switches to 4 of the tracks.
  • Measured and cut 6 holes and attached 4 SPST on/off switches on control panel for roundhouse tracks.
  • Measured, cut and attached fascia board on two areas of the layout, the city side and the staging/wye/roundhouse side.
  • Floated fascia boards with spackle allowed to dry and sanded all areas, then floated more spackle allowed to dry again and sanded again.
  • Painted fascia board with 1 coat of interior latex semi-gloss paint, color is named bedrock, and is very dark and slight green and gray tint.
  • Ran trains again to test track.
5 69
  • Worked on filing switch frog on curved turnout from mainline to classification yard lead due to rolling stock jumping over the tracks. Rail appears to be indented toward the wheel flange way and causes trucks to rise up and out of the frog.
  • Tested running trains for track tests.
2 71
  • Measured, cut, and attached sheet styrene flooring for roundhouse.
  • First attempt at using airbrush to paint clouds on backdrop.
  • Tested running trains for track tests.
6 77
  • Attended the 23rd Annual Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club Train Show.
3 80
  • Completed roundhouse flooring project.
  • Started first section of scenery base foundation on layout.
7 87
  • Installed 2 SPST switches to complete the last 2 roundhouse track wiring.
  • Attached stanchions to three 2X4 uprights on lumber/steel industry section for backdrop and bracket attachments.
  • Mixed and applied scenery base plaster/portland cement/vermiculite mixture to cardboard basket weave and masking tape frame.
4 91
  • Checked on drying of scenery base application.
  • Added scenery base foundation material to lift out section.
2 93
  • Sifted all the remaining Portland cement and sorted it from the rock and aggregate material.
  • Added fascia board to control panel left side.
  • Re-worked scenery base on left side of control panel and added new scenery base foundation
  • Measured, cut and applied the cork sheet roadbed for the Rail Rebuilders section.
2 95
  • Attached Masonite backdrop to lumber and steel industry side of layout.
  • Removed roof from roundhouse and cleaned up all old glue from both.
  • Measured, cut, and applied masking tape as roofing material on office roof top section.
3 98
  • Set up the new CMX track cleaning car on the layout and cleaned most of the track.
2 100


Calendar Year Separation


  • Mixed up a batch of paint ground cover material; 1/3 latex caulk, 1/3 water, 1/3 latex paint.
  • Painted most of the ground goop that was applied last month with the paint ground cover material around the roundhouse, roundtable, wye, and passenger track areas.
1 101
  • Mixed a batch scenery base material (1/2 cup Portland cement, 1 cup Plaster, 2 cups Vermiculite and water)
  • Applied scenery base to roundhouse and passenger area on layout.
2 103
  • Applied ground color paint material to scenery base that was dried enough.
  • Prepared railroad ties by snipping off burrs and grinding down tops to fill gaps in the rails around the roundhouse and passenger areas
  • Re-set the CV's for the two new Atlas Southern GP38 locomotives. Reset CV03, CV04, CV05 and CV06 on loco #2745 and #2725.
  • Ran a small switching operation session to move rolling stock off the passenger siding and into the classification yard.
  • Weathered the roundhouse concrete styrene floor and the roundtable with a wash of India ink and alcohol.
  • Started placing detail parts into the roundhouse interior and exterior sections for testing placements look and feel.
6 109
  • Weathered the DT&I boxcar.
  • Weathered assorted junk.
  • Painted another layer of ground cover scenic base.
1 110
  • Ran a testing operating session with the new DCC sound loco with Benjamin.
  • Captured videos of the DCC sound loco and posted to You Tube.
  • Weathering India ink wash on all ground cover.
3 113
  • Attended Great Train Expo in Winston-Salem, NC.
  • Included a scenery clinic making trees with Azalea stems, Poly Fill, hair spray, and ground foam, put on by Kevin Beck of the Central Carolina NScalers Club.
  • Took video of the N scale modular layout.
  • Bought an EOT device Fred for HO scale boxcar.
  • Bought a Southern RR 2008 calendar from the Southern Railway Historical Society.
  • Bought a digital calipers and 2 square clamps.
2 115
  • Applied scenery and flock grass to swing gate and layout around mainline, roundhouse and turntable areas.
2 117
  • Made a batch of scenery base paint wash with 1:1 ratio earth tone latex paint and wet water.
  • Reviewed scenery and thought out the next steps for progress.
1 118
  • Made a batch of powdered tempera tan paint base using the Joe Fugate formula.
  • Added plaster of Paris to some of the tan tempera powders in a 4:1 ratio of plaster to tempera colors.
  • Applied the plaster scenery dusting layer: 1. wet surface to be dusted with wet water, 2. sprinkle tinted powder with tea strainer, 3. spray with wet water again and allow to dry.
  • Added ballast to swing gate tracks: 1. spread material using ballasting tool, 2. smoothed with a 1" wide brush, 3. sprayed with wet water, 4. applied 1:1 glue and wet water for adhesion.
  • Mixed a batch of gravel road material with ballast and 2 colors of play sand (tan and brown).
  • Built gravel road on scenery base masking tape and cardboard for crossing tracks and then down to roundhouse parking lot.
  • Built road grade crossing using 2"X8" scale model lumber and 0.60 sheet styrene cut to 15' lengths. Between rail cuts made to 9/16" wide.
  • Placed and glued road grade crossing into place after removing small portions of the scenery tape and cardboard material for a better fit.
  • Tested grade crossing with the clear Plexiglas test car.
  • Weathered the grade crossing members.
  • Took photos of the DT&I boxcar with weathering on the grade crossing.
  • Once tan plaster powder set up and dried applied a coat of earth tone scenery wash to all exposed portions of the scenery base.
5 123
  • Took pictures of progress around grade crossing and roundhouse
  • Thought out next steps for scenery and tree building.
  • Applied another light coat of tan scenery wash to exposed scenery and to gravel road.
1 124
  • Added more scenery wash to gravel road and scenery base for touch ups.
  • Thought out next steps for scenery and tree building.
1 125
  • Added more scenery wash to gravel road and scenery base for touch ups.
  • Built trees using two methods, added scenery and forest floor details to gravel road and track embankment areas.
  • Tree Method 1: Using poly fil and applied to various dried floral pieces using hair spray, then spray painted with flat black enamel, then hit it with hair spray again and coated with ground foam foliage mix.
  • Tree Method 2: Using various dried floral pieces cut to tree sizes, then hit with hair spray and then coated with ground foam material.
  • Weathered rocks for placement on scenery.
  • Placed 72' Chevy pick-up onto gravel road as approaching the grade crossing.
  • Took pictures of progress around grade crossing and roundhouse.
  • Took videos of NS mixed freight consist around new scenery.
6 131
  • Mixed a batch of dry tempera powder paint attempting to create a brown color.
  • Applied "brown" tempera powder mix to test scenery base.
30 min 131.5
  • Assembled the Cushman Kit and painted various detail parts.
  • Checked the tempera paint test and the black powder does not dissolve, need to find brown tempera powder paint.
  • Started assembly of the Diesel Oil Storage Tank kit, a Stewart Hobbies product.
  • Started assembly of the Bulk Oil Storage Tanks kit, a Plastruct product.
2 133.5
  • Spray painted the 5 pieces of black corrugated 8 1/2 X 11 card stock paper with metal silver paint.
30 min 134
  • Measured and fabricated HO scale 4'X12' sheets of corrugated roofing material from the painted card stock.
  • Attached the corrugated roofing material to the front roof of the roundhouse with Elmer's white glue.
  • Fabricated roof caps from the corrugated roofing material.
2 136
  • Measured, cut and fabricated more of the corrugated roofing material.
  • Took photos of the roofing material project.
1 137
  • Weathered DT&I boxcar with a burnt umbra wash.
  • Worked on diesel oil tank spray painted silver.
  • Printed out windows for roundhouse on transparency film using Excel spreadsheet for frames.
  • Printed NS and Southern RR decals on Micro Mark decal paper and used Word for document control.
  • Added more corrugated roofing to roundhouse roof.
  • Fabricated roof caps from the corrugated roofing material.
4 141
  • Attached NS decal to roundhouse side wall facing aisle.
  • Attached Southern RR decal to water tower.
  • Set details on roundhouse floor and outside area under roof line facing aisle.
  • Cut and attached new transparency windows to roundhouse window frames.
  • Built 2 drum racks from kit.
  • Applied a layer of Dull coat to roundhouse roof.
  • Applied a layer of Dull coat to DT&I boxcar.
  • Built and attached styrene rods for concrete pillars for roundhouse interior columns.
  • Attached rusted junk details to area behind roundhouse.
4 145
  • Test fit double crossover switch on existing track.
  • Attached moisture trap on air brush hose line.
  • Painted clouds using new template and air brush with thinned white acrylic paint on all backdrops.
  • Printed background images and attached to foam core, cut and fit per image dimensions.
  • Attached "Dixie Machine Welding and Metal Works, Inc." structure backdrop to background behind roundhouse.
  • Created more PolyFil foliage and attached to areas in front of backdrop background structure.
4 149
  • Cut and places a few foam core images for backgrounds on the backdrop.
  • Image search for brick buildings in North Carolina.
2 151
  • Cut and pasted structure images on glossy photo paper to 3/16" foam core boards and placed them on backdrops with blue painters masking tape for temporary viewing.
  • Placed old city structures onto city scene area of layout to get a feel for the setting and placements.
    • Structures included the following:
    • City Hall Building
    • Railroad Hotel
    • School House
    • Union 76 Gas Station
    • Greenhouse set
    • Two under construction houses
    • Family House with Detached Garage and Outdoor Brick BBQ
    • Drug Store with 3 floors of offices
  • Other structures included a passenger/freight depot, 2 passenger canopy areas, a small freight depot and loading ramp
  • Misc trackside detail structures
  • Farm shed
3.5 154.5
  • Built Walther's Background Structure Cold Storage building.
  • Adjusted foam core background images for freight yard to fit the new background structure.
  • Located new section of layout to fit width clearance of background structure.
4 158.5
  • Measured and cut a 56"X14" section of Masonite board for extending the backdrop behind the staging / freight yard.
.5 159
  • Attached the cut out Masonite board for the backdrop extension. See the Blog entry for more details: Backdrop Work Continues
  • Adjusted the lift out section.
  • Started building the Allied Rail Rebuilders kit. See the Blog entry for more details: Allied Rail Rebuilders
4 163
  • Progress continued on the Allied Rail Rebuilders (ARR) Kit
    • Added gray latex caulk to brick walls for grout effect
    • Framed up the walls and roof sections to build the main structure
    • Placed onto lift out section to test front door clearance for loco and rolling stock
  • Progress continued on the lift out section
    • Added styrene sheet for foundations of ARR kit and DPM Garage kit
    • Added styrene sheet for roads and concrete pads for oil and fuel tanks
    • Spray painted a 1:1 ratio mixture of concrete and aged concrete onto styrene foundations and roadways
    • Mixed up a batch of ground cover plaster, Portland Cement, Vermiculite, ground cover latex paint and water and applied to areas of the benchwork around the roundhouse, turntable, wye, and lift out section
8 171
  • Modified and attached the roll up door, door storage head, and side rails for the front service entrance of the Allied Rail Rebuilders Kit
  • Removed all clamps from wall frame up on kit
.5 171.5
  • Built the EMD 567 Prime Mover and recorded close up images of the unit
  • Built roof vents or Allied Rail Rebuilders kit and set-up for painting next step
0.5 172
  • TGX boxcar arrives in the PD
  • TGX tour and photo shot
3 175
  • Scenery base paint wash applied to scenery base in service facility area
  • Ground foam material added to same areas
  • Manual ground throw added to wye switch
6 181

Total Hours - (FY 07/08):



Construction Log - FY 2006 - 2007
(June to May)
Hours to Date
  • Stanchions will be up to 53" from floor.
  • Leveling and marking measurements for all wall mounted brackets.
  • Added stanchions and brackets to the north wall.
1.5 1.5
  • Completed stanchions and brackets on all other walls, added 1X3 stringers and 1X3 L-Girders to south, west, and half of the east wall.
9 10.5
  • Added more joists to south wall and modified one runner along east side wall.
2 12.5
  • Flex track and turnout order arrived at Train Buddy LTS.
  • Picked up order and also got some spikes and rail joiners.
1 13.5
06/24/2006 and 06/25/2006
  • Cut a large supply of cleats and screwed in about 6 of them on three joists on the lower level, west side of the layout.
  • Cut the first three sheets of 3/4" plywood for the sub-roadbed, all from one 4X8 sheet.
  • Reprinted the 1:1 track plans and started taping them together for the track laying template on three sections of the layout.
  • Mouser wire and electrical supplies order came in Friday, including 400' of AWG 20 feeder wire and 200' of AWG 14 bus wire.
  • Ordered 200 pieces of cork roadbed, and should be getting into Train Buddy LHS within the next few days.
4 17.5
  • Picked up the cork roadbed order from Train Buddy LTS.
1 18.5
  • Made "cookie-cutter" cuts and attached sub-roadbed to joists on first sections.
5 23.5
  • Purchased and picked up the DCC system at Train Buddy LTS. Took the plunge and bought the Digitrax Super Chief Premium 5A set.
1 24.5
  • Cut the 1:1 template printout for the next section of the layout. Need to tape them together next and then make more "cookie-cutter" cuts.
2 26.5
  • Purchased 3 sheets of 4X8 1/8" hardboard for the backdrop, and 2 boxes of 1/2" wire nails for attaching cork roadbed to sub-roadbed.
  • Cut and put down cork roadbed on first section of sub-roadbed starting with the #8 Walther's curved turnout.
2 28.5
  • Purchased 3M 77 spray adhesive, latex caulk and push pins.
  • Experimented with two forms of attaching and gluing roadbed to sub-roadbed with both adhesives.
  • Printed and cut next phase of 1:1 track template for next cookie-cutter cuts.
3 31.5
  • Selected latex caulk method for attaching roadbed to sub-roadbed.
  • Measured and made more cookie-cutter cuts and attached to L-girder benchwork.
  • Attached first pieces of latex glued roadbed to spur section.
7 38.5
  • Attached the yard section of sub-roadbed to the L-girders and glued down more cork roadbed.
3 41.5
  • Put down some more cork roadbed with the latex caulk.
  • Printed out the updated layout plans and posted them on the wall.
  • Modified the east wall section of the track plan and move the double track main line over about 6 inches to accommodate the new window unit AC that sticks out about that much into the room.
4 45.5
  • Put down more cork roadbed with the latex caulk on the mainline and yard sections.
1 46.5
  • Put down more cork roadbed with the latex caulk on the mainline and yard sections.
  • Measured, cut, and attached sub-roadbed section for mainline curve running north along the eastern wall.
2.5 49
  • Added benchwork sections for lower level with L-girder and joists to east and north wall.
  • Added sub-roadbed to curve on south side of layout.
  • Added one leg support with bracket in the middle and between window section on east wall.
  • Test section of scenery building started with cardboard basket weave and masking tape applied.
6 55
  • Added plaster mix to basket weave and masking tape shell for testing of scenery technique.
2 57
  • Extended the roadbed for the double mainline tracks along the eastern wall of the layout, and had to make a few adjustments getting it around the upper level bracket and making the curve around the window AC unit. So all in all I spent about two hours getting 5 feet of roadbed measured, cut, and attached to the benchwork.
2 59
  • A large portion of benchwork completed on the layout, the north wall portion of the bracket sections for the lower level are completed. I also extended the double mainline sub-roadbed 8 more feet and printed out the next 8 foot section for the next cookie-cutter cuts.
6 65
  • Cut out the 8 foot section of double mainline sub-roadbed.
15 minutes 65.25
  • Re-worked the layout plans, I needed to make up for 8 inches of layout space on the west side wall that I lost due to the 2X4 studs I had to add for the bracket benchwork attachments.
  • When I was taking measurements for the middle peninsula benchwork area I noticed that the aisle was only going to be 22 inches. Whoa cowboy! That was 8 inches too tight, the aisle was supposed to be 30 inches.
  • So. . . it was back to the drawing board on 3RD PlanIT track planning software and I had to cut out about 8 inches on one side of the benchwork area, not too bad though, I just have to move the roundhouse over about that much to compensate for the compression.
3 68.25
  • Built middle benchwork peninsula section legs and studs. Added joist and L-girder sections and attached to existing north wall L-girder sections and benchwork.
  • Next phase is to complete the middle peninsula joists and begin extending the double mainline sub-roadbed making the transition into the second level on the north wall section.
2.5 70.75
  • Added second L-girder to middle peninsula and two joists.
  • Screwed the three legs into the floor using 3 1/2" deck screws. Can you say SOLID?
  • Next phase is to begin extending the double mainline sub-roadbed making the transition into the second level on the north wall section.
2 72.75
  • Extended double main line sub-roadbed and cork around the north wall transition to second level.
4 76.75
  • Attended the North Carolina Live Steam Meet in Apex, NC and met up with Bob Dukert "Duke". A lot of fun. Thanks Duke for the invite!
4 80.75
  • Added more cork roadbed to sub roadbed sections.
2 82.75
  • Plotted out the next sub-roadbed sections and made sub-roadbed adjustments for the next phase of cork roadbed.
3 85.75
  • Measured, marked, and cut two sheets plywood for sub-roadbed sections on east and north wall of first level.
1.25 87
  • Adjusted track templates on sub-roadbed sections.
2 89
  • Adjusted track templates on sub-roadbed sections.
  • Attached east wall side sub-roadbed section and made cookie-cutter cuts for rising and falling sections.
  • Cut joists 1" sections for fitting sub-roadbed on dropped sections of cookie-cutter portions.
  • Saints beat Eagles 27-24 at home with a last second 31-yard field goal. They are now 5-1 at the top of the NCF South Division going into the bye week. GO SAINTS! Next up, Baltimore Ravens in the Dome!
4 93
  • Glued down about 18' of cork roadbed on the interchange yard section of the layout on the south and east side.
2 95
  • Glued down about 6' of cork roadbed on the interchange yard section of the layout on the south and east side.
1 96
  • Attached transition piece sub-roadbed with 3/4" plywood finishing lower sections to staging area.
  • Glued down cork sheets to staging area.
  • Attached backdrop hardboard to staging area.
  • Applied spackling to hardboard screw holes and sanded (Sun)
  • Painted first level backdrop light sky blue color, two coats.
  • Sanded down cork roadbed for configuration tracks.
  • Measured out next section for hardboard backdrop area.
4 100
  • Attended the Neuse River Model Railroad Club 22nd Annual Train Show held at the State Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall.
  • Purchased an Athern Norfolk Southern GE Dash 9-44CW, as well as two Walther's rolling stock cars, a Southern Cement Hopper 100 Ton, and a Norfolk Southern Bulkhead Flatcar.
3 103
  • Sanded transition section of cork between two plywood sheets.
  • Added bracing to support plywood sections on west side benchwork.
  • Glued down cork for track lead into staging area.
2 105
  • Attached cork for lead track to staging area and New River Mining Coal Co. area and spur.
  • Dry run flex track and switches placed in staging area.
  • Sanded down transition from cork roadbed to cork sheet area in staging area.
  • Tested various sections and switches with "ClearCar" track testing tool.
3.5 108.5
  • Finished the dry-run of track for the staging yard last night, and then something funny happened.
  • I decided to hook up my old MRC DC throttle and test the tracks out. So I took off the old lead wires, slapped on some brand spanking new 20AWG wires and soldered them to a short piece of flex track. Then I attached that to the yard lead track and put on my new Norfolk Southern Dash 9-44CW diesel and tested every switch and track configuration in the 11 track staging yard. Yea buddy! Not one hitch, and it felt good to run trains again, been over a year and a half since I ran some trains!
3 111.5
  • Painted cork roadbed gray flat latex Kilz primer coat.
1.5 113
  • Soldered staging yard flex tracks.
  • Sanded cork roadbed for lead tracks to staging yard to meet sheet cork area.
  • Painted rest of cork roadbed gray and then plywood painted earth tone with interior flat latex paint.
  • Cut out printed templates for remaining lower level sections.
7 120
  • Re-organized tools on new workbench shelf under staging yard shelf.
  • Marked lower level track from template onto plywood.
2 122
  • Solder feeder wires to 11 staging yard tracks.
  • Paint New River Mining Company model window frames with black Sharpie.
4 126
  • Attached staging yard track to roadbed with caulk adhesive.
  • Tested adhered track with test car.
2.5 128.5
  • I've been hashing out my electrical considerations for DCC power districts for circuit breakers, automatic slow-motion switch turnout controls, and signaling for both levels of the layout. Now I have produced a new purchase list that hits around $500.00 just for the DCC power management circuit breakers, stationary decoders for the tortoise switches, and electronic signaling controllers.
8 136.5
  • Finished up caulking the last two segments of the staging yard track and drilled the 1/2" hole for the first slow motion switch under the remote turnout. I also wired the whole staging yard section with Scotch Loc connectors and tested out the entire track with my old DC power supply and a loco. Works like a charm!
2 138.5
  • Resolutions:
  • I want to finish the lower level track laying and electrical wiring on the layout by April 2007.
  • Loose 50 lbs and exercise more. (That means work on the layout more often)
0 138.5


Calendar Year Separation


  • I went to Train Buddy to pick up my order for Digitrax PM42's, SE8C, and a few BDL168's, and a .008 razor saw. Chatted with Kim and fellers a bit and left there feeling good, having just spent my Christmas gift cert + a few extra $$$.
  • I finally got to organize a lot of my layout construction tools in the new Craftsman Project Center that the misses gave me for Christmas. Boy was that a great gift!
3 141.5
  • Laying about another 16' of track, and if you listen closely you can hear the sound of the spike drivers pounding the rails.
3 144.5
  • Soldered two turnouts together for a cross-over section on the main line last night and tested the new 16' section of track that I had put down the night before last. So far so good!
2 146.5
  • Made some plywood sub-roadbed cuts on Friday and must have taken at least 3 hours to finish them all up. These sections will complete the lower deck reverse loop for the main line. After all the jig saw cuts I had to take a brake, my neck and back were hurting so much I could hardly stand up.
3 149.5
  • Attached mainline sub-roadbed cut to benchwork at aisle way swing gate location.
2 151.5
  • Started CAD drawing of swing gate in 3rd PlanIt
2 153.5
03/07/2007 4 157.5
  • Built swing gate for main line track crossing the aisle way.
6 163.5
  • Attached sub-roadbed for main line loop to benchwork.
4 167.5
  • Measured and cut remaining sub-roadbed for lower deck.
  • Attached wye, roundtable, and roundhouse sub-roadbed section to lower deck benchwork.
  • Attached passenger track and station sub-roadbed section to lower deck benchwork.
6 173.5
  • Removed reverse loop from lower deck plan and from lower deck sections.
  • Added cork roadbed to main line, swing gate, and passenger station track areas.
  • Secured swing gate throw plate side to floor.
6.5 180
  • Added cork roadbed to the wye's section around the turntable.
  • Added two cork roadbed track sections and one will be the DCC programming track.
2 182
  • Sanded down the new cork roadbeds to smooth out all the rough edges.
  • Painted cork roadbed sections with flat latex gray paint.
2 184
  • Painted sub-roadbed sections with flat latex earth tone paint.
1 185
  • The track laying crew put down just over 40 feet of track in only 2 hours and 30 minutes! This is a record for the Piedmont Division.
  • Added CA to track on bridge cutting sections.
3 188

Total Hours - (FY 06/07):