The Spencer “high line” to the re-load point at Camp 6 is now complete. All track is laid, wired, and operational. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve sprayed a coat of Rust-Oleum Camouflage Brown paint over the track. Later when I start doing scenery work, I’ll go back and paint ties in several other shades of brown and grey, and I’ll weather the rail with a rusty brown color. I still have to connect the Tortoise switch motors to the panel toggles, but that will have to wait until the panel is constructed.
Next up is the double switchback which will bring the rails down from the hill to the valley below. This past weekend I got the sub-roadbed for the double switchback cut out and the riser assemblies constructed. Then I temporarily clamped the risers to the joists and set the sub-roadbed on top. I’m playing with the grades and I’ll screw everything down once all is tweaked to my satisfaction. By next weekend, track should start going down on that section. Then the long mainline will proceed through Whitcomb and on to Oneida where the sawmill is located.
The Louisiana Central mainline can also start to progress westward out of Maynard once I’ve completed the switchback trackage.
It sure feels good to see benchwork and trackwork progressing again! Stay tuned for more.
The only disappointment this past weekend was with my Bachmann 3-truck Shay. I decided to put it though its paces with a string of cars. I was surprised to see it struggling to pull the seven car train up the grade! Upon close examination, I noticed that one of the six driving axles was not turning at the same rate as the others. On the third ascent up the grade (with one fewer cars), I heard some popping noises come from the locomotive. Then it quit moving. Again I examined it up close and noticed a second axle was not rotating properly. Bottom line . . . my Shay apparently is victim to the dreaded Bachmann split gear syndrome. This isn’t good news at all as I’ve read that Bachmann no longer has replacement parts for the Shays.
But there was a bright moment. I put the Rivarossi Heisler (acquired last year) on the track, and she hauled the full seven car train up the grade without slipping. Good show! At least I still have a way to haul the logs out of the woods, albeit not with the intended power.