Thursday, December 31, 2015


As I close out 2015, I reflect back upon a very successful year for my HO scale SP Cascade Line.  All of the hard work in the first two thirds of the year paid off—just in time—with a successful operation and layout tours for the PDX2015 NMRA National Convention.  After a break from the intense work to meet that goal, I continue to flesh out the railroad, notably with tracks associated with the Eugene Arrival/Departure Yard, which serves as lower level staging.  Monthly operating sessions have become the driver for much of the work. 

During November, I completed laying the remaining staging loop tracks plus the five tracks associated with the diesel servicing facility for Eugene.  I did not get those tracks wired for the early December operating session.  That necessary, but “invisible” task has consumed my railroad efforts during December.  For me, wiring often is a thankless task—not much visible progress.  Still, it is absolutely necessary to make the locomotives go and the track switches work.

The core work is now complete, allowing me to activate all of the Eugene staging tracks and use the diesel servicing facility.  Three switches at the “back” of that facility still need to be controlled, but the switches at the “front” of the facility will support the necessary functions.  With that, I can move all of the unassigned motive power down to the new service facility and ready tracks.

Eugene diesel service tracks ready for business!

Moving the ready for assignment motive power down to the ready tracks has been a long term goal.  Ever since initial test operations were started a year and a half ago, my crews have been using the car repair tracks as a defacto engine facility.  Along with this, they sent out full trains from the Eugene classification yard.  That ends with the new service and ready tracks. 

In between wiring efforts, I took “daylight breaks” to pull more locomotives and freight cars out of packing materials.  Couplers and decoders have been added, as appropriate.  I am pushing toward adding four trains’ worth of equipment to the railroad for the next operating session.   I have yet to create a waybill system for the cars that I desire.  Work I did for the California Central Club fifteen years ago defies recreation.  Sigh.  Nonetheless, I am making progress!

Trains lined up in Eugene staging, getting ready for the next operating session.

Here is to a great new year!  May 2016 be as successful as the past couple of years have been for my SP Cascade Line.

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