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@ADCX Rob:

I suggested the vertical mount to dad after seeing you mention it in other threads. Dad's the boss and he didn't like the idea. So we'll just have to get used to it.

However, I'm not sure it's going to work for us. I just posted in the electrical thread, but I'm wondering if the KW is underpowered for us. I wouldn't think so, but not sure. Is it unusual to trip the breaker running a single motor PW diesel+ 6 lighted cars on one side and a small modem steam on the other? Maybe my breaker is bad.

Anyway, got the track 100 percent wired now and we had some fun running both loops and testing all the turnouts!

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Jeff, I'm glad you fellows got everything running!  I can't blame Dad.  It is tempting to move around once trains are running at speed, and you just want to get a different view or have a thought about checking something else.  That's one of the things I like about using a remote after probably 45 years running conventional.  That is a handsome control panel!  Did I miss something on how you made the panel front?  I see the photograph of the backside with the wiring on 12/6 and looked at the thread you linked about switches and indicator lights on 12/24, but didn't see how the front of the panel with the track plan was made.  I confess, I was too lazy to reread all your detailed descriptions; I just skimmed. 

I looked at your topic about the KW breaker.  The folks who replied made good suggestions.  It seems it must be something simple.

Oh!  One more thing.  Do I recall a mention that your dad has some buildings, maybe Plasticville?  What plans are there for scenery?

@Mark Boyce: not going to build out the Plastic town until all the wiring is done.

Although all the power runs were finished last week, were ran out of cable for the turnout switches. So we spent yesterday running some more turnout cables.

I'm not exactly a gymnast these days, so I was really glad that my oldest son offered to help this week, and he spent a couple hours crawling around down there and saving my knees!

Still have to finish building the toggle panel and still have about a dozen more switches to wire, but we're getting there!

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@Mark Boyce posted:

Your dad can run some nice long trains. 

Yeah! In the video, we were actually trying to max out the current to check out our new breaker we installed in the KW. We kept adding more and more lighted cars until the Amtrak FP40 couldn't drag them up the incline anymore.

I think you're seeing it before we added one more of the green Lionel aluminum Great Northern cars. At that point, with the long freight on the B line, we were doing around seven and a half amps. KW kept going like a champ for at least an hour, so we figure we got the breaker problem licked.

It's been an exciting summer, but the return of football season means I'm back over at the parent's place more often, which means continued work on the layout.  Finally got around to assembling the benchwork for the extensive yard that is in the works.  It was always part fo the original plan, but logistics forced it to be the last major part to be installed.

So we finished carving through the wall, cleaned out the remaining odds-&-ends from the main room, and now we're just waiting for our case of Menard's tubular track to continue progress!

Here's what's coming (circled in red).  Rest of the layout is more or less installed:

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Here's the table (with dad incessantly cleaning up every last bit of sawdust...we would get done 2x as fast if he didn't insist on vacuuming the floor every 10 minutes!),  You can see the Northwest corner of the layout (the westernmost part of the Louisville side) through the door into the storage room where the bulk of the layout lives.

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Looking through the cutout in the wall across the newly secured real estate for the Cincinnati & Louisville Shively yard extension:

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Looking southwest from Carrolton toward the new expansion:

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And of course we had to run trains!

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Everything's looking great Jeff!  I especially like the video of the trains running.  I can relate to the vacuuming as my dad is the same way!  When working with my dad, whatever the project is, it has to involve a shop vac, garbage can and roll of paper towels.  That's not a bad thing though as it has taught me to be a neat worker!  You can tell how much pride your dad has watching the trains.  You're making great memories!  Keep it up!

Michael

Some progress on the yard. Since this is the "outside" area, dad wants to put our operating stuff so the other grandkids can watch the various accessories.

We don't have many, but my sister gave him an MTH log loader for his birthday last year, and it's a surprisingly high-quality functional piece right out of the box! Compared to the MPC Lionel coal elevator... Let's just say one of these was relegated to non-functioning decoration duty at the furthest and most inaccessible part of the layout.

All five tracks are in, wired and operating tracks are all working (thanks to a trip to the Lakota show a couple weeks ago, scored all the operating tracks we needed).

@hokie71: yes, it's the Shively I'm sure you know and love! But in miniature! And not at all to scale!

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Last edited by Jeff_the_Coaster_Guy

Just a few more shots of the yard coming to life.

I can say this, the newer 072 switches from Lionel have caused us more headaches than any other part of this whole project. Two of them came out of the box with the switch machines assembled improperly at the factory, making it impossible (physically impossible) for them to actually switch.

One of them had the little plastic pin that protrudes from the switch machine into the holder for the points extend too far as the points switched, jamming it halfway.

All of them, even with a proper throw, had points that would protrude about 1/16" into the right of way, causing frequent derailments. I spent many hours carefully bending the points backward with pliers so they would seat better.

But they all seem to be behaving after my crackpot modifications and replacing two switch machines.

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