09/30/2003 Progress Report
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Since the 08/21/2003 Progress Report, several major mileposts have been achieved on the railroad! It's hard to believe that we've made so much progress after having only been in the house 2 years as of October 2003. I appreciate all of the assistance I've gotten from the guys in the construction crew, and I'm having fun working on the railroad, especially now that we're running trains again! ;-)

After the first run of a train on the new layout on August 17, 2003, I was determined to capitalize on the momentum that was generated by finally getting started on the wiring. A lot of my recent modeling energy has been spent on activating more of the railroad. Working by myself, I installed the feeders from Catawba to the south end of New Castle. I also went ahead and connected the north and south end Catawba OS sections, Catawba mainline, and Catawba passing siding to the Digitrax BDL162.

With some help at a work session on September 20, 2003, we activated the mainline from the north end of Catawba to the Apple Track turnout in New Castle. Building on this progress, I wired the New Castle passing siding, and the mainline heading north out of New Castle through the Bald Knob block up to the "Corkscrew." These efforts culminated in the first train running onto the New Castle peninsula (salvaged from V1) on September 20, 2003 and the first train running up to the "Corkscrew" on September 28, 2003!

In addition to working on wiring, I've also cut all of the remaining plywood subroadbed and risers for the visible portion of the mainline from the north end of Carpenter to the entrance of the Connellsville/Winchester staging yard. I took advantage of some nice late summer weather in September to cut all of this wood in preparation for installation at work sessions this fall.

Finally, I've also spent time laying more Vinylbed roadbed and track. The Norfolk Southern Charleston staging yard has been installed. The Appalachian Power Company tracks and Dixie Plastics & Forming spur have been installed in Laurel. Laying the track at the Blue Spring Wood Products spur at High Meadow and the Old Dominion Forest Industries spur north of Ridgemont have completed all the trackwork between Salem and the south end of Carpenter!

Unfortunately, a lot of the progress I've made since the last report doesn't translate well to photos, but I have included some pictures below of the significant work that has been done.


Progress as of September 30, 2003

Overall view of the first Digitrax component boards mounted under Catawba, showing additional wiring installed as compared to the pictures in the August 21, 2003 Progress Report. On the left is the PM42 power management board. The BDL162 block detection board is on the right. There are still additional block detection wires to be installed as well as the final LocoNet wires.


Overall view of Laurel showing the Dixie Plastics & Forming spur on the left with the Appalachian Power Company tracks on the right. The APCO tracks continue through the backdrop (temporarily propped in place for the pictures) to increase capacity for this industry.


The four track Norfolk Southern Charleston Yard. This staging yard represents the NS CR&E Division west of Shenandoah Junction, Va. A ridge will eventually separate this yard from the CSX mainline in the foreground.


Blue Spring Wood Products in High Meadow, Va.


Old Dominion Forest Industries near Ridgemont, Va.


Current end of CSXT Shenandoah Division mainline near the north end of Carpenter. The large Virginia Eastman chemical plant will be located here.


This page was last updated on 01/01/11.


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