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Well, it was sort of a golden spike moment. I did decide to do the 4 way yard as you can see from the pictures below. The inner two yard rails are connected. The outer 2 require some track cutting.

Now to cut track, I put a DeWalt fiber blade in my chop saw. And I cut a piece of Ross track and it had a lot more sparking and a burning smell than I remembered. So I called my buddy Bob, who said that’s normal. He also advised me not to leave flammable fluids near the saw when I was cutting track (like the mineral spirits I use for track cleaning). He said the sparking and the smell is OK as long as I do not smell burning flesh. Makes sense to me. I’ve got a bit more cutting to do, but this time Atlas track. And that’s solid, not hollow.

Hopefully I have insulating pins where they belong so each of the sidings can be controlled by the AIU which I will use to trigger a relay. I’ve done that before and I’ve read many posts about how fast the DCS signal does or doesn’t get to an engine on a siding. All I can say is that I’ve never had a problem with that.

All the appropriate wiring has been dropped. It’s not connected to anything, but it’s been dropped. Of course, one of the wires on a lead in switch motor for the 4 way switches came off right away. I’ve never soldered one of them, but somewhere I have the screws which fit in there and hopefully let me attach a replacement wire. It’s always something. But it’s coming along. I am pleased with the progress to this point.

Once I complete the 2 outside tracks on the 4 way sidings, the only track remaining to be connected will be to each end of the double crossover. And then I’ll certainly want to run some trains. But with no power through the 4 way sidings, I’m going to have to wait until I get that stuff connected and wired in. Talk about motivation.


4 track siding toward amusement park4 track siding from amusement parkGap in the 4 track siding


Images (3)
  • 4 track siding toward amusement park
  • 4 track siding from amusement park
  • Gap in the 4 track siding

Well, this time it was a definite golden spike moment. The 4 way yard and double crossovers are connected to all tracks. The track cutting has been completed. I used a DeWalt fiber blade in my Ryobi chop saw. A lot of sparking and a burning smell with the Ross track. I lot less with the Atlas track. I was surprised at the difference.

I was wrong last time. There was still some table top track wiring to do. I think that is now done and dropped. And a reasonable amount of the dropped wires have been connected to terminal blocks. But the terminal blocks aren’t connected to a power source yet. And the only scenery that’s wired is the stuff on the back wall, behind the 4 way yard. So lots more to do. But the final scenery placement and wiring will come after the trains run.

There’s an 063 loop that goes around 30th Street Station and the buildings with it. I put that in for my Red Arrow Liberty Liner. I rode that in the 60’s, and am familiar with the station announcements. I can only envy you NY guys and the available subway sets. I mean a Philly Frankford-Market line subway/elevated would be neat. 69th Street, Millbourne, 63rd Street, 60th Street, 56th Street, 52nd Street, 46th Street, etc.

American Bandstand’s original location was at West Catholic High, which was at 46th Street and Market. That was a long time ago.


30th Street Station 7-7-21Amusement Park 7-7-21Completed track at 4 way switch 7-7-21Control area toward back wall 7-7-21Empire Records 7-7-21Menards buildings 7-7-21Next to 30th Street Station 7-7-21Nicer buildings next to double crossover 7-7-21Toward Amusement Park 7-7-21


Images (9)
  • 30th Street Station 7-7-21
  • Empire Records 7-7-21
  • Menards buildings 7-7-21
  • Next to 30th Street Station 7-7-21
  • Nicer buildings next to double crossover 7-7-21
  • Control area toward back wall 7-7-21
  • Completed track at 4 way switch 7-7-21
  • Toward Amusement Park 7-7-21
  • Amusement Park 7-7-21

Awesome Gerry. Those colors knock it out of the park.

I agree! The color orange has really grown on me since it's a main color of my son's college and the attire I have in that color looks really good.   I can just imagine the sight with all the buildings and accessories wired and the lights in the room turned down - has to be quite the sight!


Did a bit of work putting trains on the shelves today. It's always great to open a box that's been closed a couple of years and find a "new" toy. Not so great when you look a little closer and see that miniscule black screw that belongs somewhere. But where?

A friend of mine had a jar for "lost parts". I think I'm going to label the jar AWOL parts. The odds of getting into the jar are decent. The odds of getting out are nonexistent.


Well, it's been a bit, but I don't think you wanted to see the wiring under the layout. In fact, right now it's pretty sloppy. I salvaged a bunch of wire from the previous layout, and rather than shortening it when it reached the appropriate terminal block, I simply attached it and looped the excess into circles.

We had the grandchildren for a week and Theo helped me with some of the wiring. He really liked the DeWalt power screwdriver.

I have pretty much filled out my train shelves with engines and some rolling stock. Also, with help, have them lit much better so pictures are attached. Most of these trains haven't run in a couple of years. But DCS and Legacy now work in a fundamental basic manner. The TIU recognizes my AIU's, but the switches aren't connected. However, I now have the non-derailing wiring for the Ross switches connected, so although I won't be able to (remotely) direct where a train goes, at least it shouldn't derail. Progress comes bit by bit.

shelves middle resizedshelves right side resizedshelves, left side resized

Still have way to many trains, but I do have a table at the Edison Greenberg show.



Images (3)
  • shelves middle resized
  • shelves right side resized
  • shelves, left side resized

Thanks Chris for posting the video. We actually had 4 trains running because there was a subway running on a 063 loop.

Into each life some rain must fall. Well, last week with IDA, a LOT of rain fell. We are right next to Manville, NJ, which you probably saw in the news. It was totally flooded and the President went there. We didn’t get any measurable water in the basement, but we did get “puddlng” in different areas. No damage to any trains, but enough to ruin the carpet.

So the carpet is being pulled. That meant getting stuff off the floor and onto the layout. Pictures attached.

We have unpainted concrete under the carpet. Our handyman, David, was scheduled to put 3 exhaust fans in the basement last Thursday, 9/2. Well, IDA hit on 9/1, so he didn't come on 9/2. He is now pulling carpet. When that's done, he will put in the fans. Since we can’t really use a sanding machine on the basement floor (way too much dust), we will have to wait a few weeks to epoxy the basement floor.

But all I lost was time and it will cost me some money. Nothing compared to what some people lost. I am really glad some of my friends got to see it before this happened.


Train entry IDA storm damageTrain sump area IDA storm damageTrain front wall IDA storm damageTrain back wall IDA storm damage


Images (4)
  • Train entry IDA storm damage
  • Train sump area IDA storm damage
  • Train front wall IDA storm damage
  • Train back wall IDA storm damage

Thanks guys. Our neighbors a couple of houses away have a finished basement and had water up to their knees. Carpeting, wallboard, etc. all to be ripped out. Honestly, all I had was "puddling", but it got the carpet which had to be pulled. It really did stink. And NO train damage.

Mike, I hope they are running and you get to see them before I go to FL. On the other hand, we're not going to FL if the hospitals are full. That is not a risk that I'm willing to take.

Peter, I'm counting on you to make the medical determination if York is OK. I'm hoping it is and I have no issues with any masking requirements.


Last edited by gmorlitz

Well, it’s been over a half year since the last post. If you go up a bit you see the damage caused by IDA. There was a lot of that in our area, and getting everything resolved took time. Except for the flood insurance. There was none.

Lots of damage, not a lot of people to fix the damage. Our carpeting was all pulled, mold remediation (not a lot but some) was done and the floor was epoxied. Well, most of the floor. With over 65 2X4 train table legs, there’s quite a bit of floor which doesn’t have the epoxy. That will remain hidden until the layout is taken down. The epoxy was done in late October. As soon as that was completed, we headed for Florida. That gave me a half year to think about the layout.

I really like the basic track plan. It’s really just a dogbone inside a circle which are wrapped back at a 180. Both have passing sidings, but the really big bonus is that the circle has a 4 track pass through yard area. Four way switches on both sides. There is a double crossover switch between the circle and dogbone. These are minimum 072. There’s an 063 circle in the “Philly” area, 2 small trolley circles and a superstreets circle.

I liked all the houses along the back wall, which is right behind the 4 track yard area. I also like 30th Street Station and the “Philly” part of the layout made up of MTH buildings which have been slightly modified. I wasn’t happy with the amusement park area and the placement of a lot of the other structures. So I moved them.

The amusement park got moved to the large area where the trains make a 90 degree turn as they begin to loop around. That has more space then putting them in the 072 part of the dogbone. I also put in a little trolley line there. I put most of my Menards structures in the 072 part of the dogbone. They go well there. I also put in a little trolley line there. Both of these areas require a lot more work. And I still need to connect the MTH car wash, fire station and drive in fast food place.

A picture of the epoxied floor is below. I plan on posting more pictures later this week. And if I’m really energetic, I’ll figure out how to post a video.


Epoxied floor 6-22


Images (1)
  • Epoxied floor 6-22

I feel your pain Gerry. When I had carpet in my train room I had a pipe break no fun to say the least! When my floor guy came to install the new floor ”not carpet” and I had to Jack up sections of the layout with my roll away floor Jack so the floor guy could gut the floor under the legs. The trains were high and dry but lost a few boxes but I needed the extra storage anyway.🤷🏻‍♂️

Last edited by Chris Lonero

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