January 2010 Status - Planning the Upper Level

Viaduct Station Test 1716

I have added a couple of Photo Albums, which can be subscribed to via RSS (Update: not any more, that was lost in the conversion from iWeb, use the full-site RSS feed now, found on the Home page). There isn’t much more to say about that. I’ve also revamped the main page of the site a bit, to hopefully make the more interesting material easier to find. I’m not entirely satisfied with the result, so I may do more next month.

This month was spent thinking about the track that will go on the upper (ground) level, above the subway. I never actually did finish wiring up the subway loop (although I can run trains on it using DC, they get a bit slow on the opposite side of the loop from the powerpack; rail is a poor conductor of electricity). I really need to install the insulating unijoiners, and wire up the feeds to the power bus (which is 14 AWG wire, with much less resistance than rail). But the track has been buried in mock-up scenery all month, so I haven’t actually been able to run trains, and thus have had no motivation to complete the wiring.

In addition to thinking about the track, I did a number of mock-ups for catenary poles, buildings in the “village” area of the River Crossing scene, and the elevated viaduct station. I’ve pretty much decided that the elevated station will have a “ground” level of 0.75” above the table (one layer of foam), so that the “subway” tracks are actually ground-level tracks under the viaduct station in this scene. The Phase 2b page has some pictures showing the mock-ups of this. I still need to work out the structure that will support the station without obstructing the tracks below it. I need to update the track plan.

I’ve also been giving Japanese signaling practices some research time, and there is a bit of information about that on my Prototype Signals and Signal Examples pages. I expect to eventually scratch-build my own three-color signals (not prototype for every application, but very common so they’d be “close enough”) which will be driven via DCC by the JMRI software I’m using. I haven’t worked out the details of this, so that’s a topic for another day.

I also think I’ve figured out how I’ll “roof in” the subway track where it is underground (in the River Crossing and Riverside Station scenes). There are some preliminary notes on the Subway Cover page, but I just changed my mind about the material I want to use. More on that to follow, once I do some more work.

Other recent additions/changes:
Added several photos of Kato Unitrack platform elements to the Passenger Platforms page. This page is still under construction.
Added a postscript about fluorescent lights, UV, and paint fading to the Lighting page.
Added some more stuff to the Phase 2b construction page.
Added some research notes on roads in Japan on a new Model Roads page.

Update: February 2, the Track Plan has been updated, and now links to a larger version of the diagram in one of the photo albums that are large enough to actually read the labels. Sometimes iWeb is a real pain to use, if there’s a simpler way to have a clickable image that provides a full-size JPEG, I haven’t found it.