Completing the manual switch links for the current railroad, I moved on to Oakridge. As shown for Eugene (http://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2013/09/eugene-manual-switch-linkages-installed_29.html), fascia was installed, knob holes bored, backer plates installed and threaded rod installed for the switch links.
Fascia and manual switch link knobs at RR-West Oakridge.
Manual switch link knobs in fascia at RR-East Oakridge. Note knobs for switches at the wye tail are mounted directly to the layout structure—no fascia.
The pair of switches at the tail of the Oakridge wye required a bit different linkage. The roadbed support for the wye tail is quite narrow. This presented the opportunity and need for a linkage that works from both sides. This was accomplished by passing the threaded rod used for the linkages through both sides of the layout support, passing through a bracket mounted to the Blue Point switch machine.
Oakridge wye tail switch link.
While I was installing knobs for the Oakridge switch links, I took the opportunity to change several of the knobs at Eugene to provide color coding. The basic knobs are black, but the switches along the back of the Eugene depot area (most of them off the “WP Siding" in front of the depot) now have blue knobs. Similarly, the RIP track and scale track switches now have red knobs. The color coding helps differentiate these switches from the bulk of the yard switches.
Eugene color-coded switch link knobs.
A Note on Blogging
Finally, a theme I find in common lately on several blogs I follow concerns the need for focus during layout construction, particularly for larger projects. A blog can be a great way to force that focus to accomplish something tangible within a given period.
A blog can serve as a public project progress report—something I was quite familiar with in my NASA career. I so appreciated other model railroaders’ blogs, that I resolved I would begin my own blog when I began construction of the dream layout. I originally anticipated posting monthly, but found I could achieve a bi-weekly post, a pace I have maintained since construction began in August, 2012.
“Feeding” this blog has forced me to focus on several occasions, just to have something tangible to report. As one fellow blogger notes, it is easy to get diverted into a variety of different tasks on a large project (layout), with none of them directly showing progress in a given period. Those tasks are all necessary to the larger picture, but it remains important to keep making tangible progress, as well.
There will be occasions when one blog post looks a lot like some previous post. Such might be the case with this current post on Oakridge switch linkages and the one a month ago on Eugene switch linkages. Both report progress. Each shows a slightly different aspect of the same overall task. Repetition is in the nature of the task –it is needed for each station along the railroad. Still, it does show how long it takes to work through the major building blocks of this project. It was that sort of information I found so useful while planning this railroad to determine what was feasible. I appreciated others posting on their efforts. I hope I am returning the favor to other model railroaders contemplating layout construction.