Thursday, April 30, 2009

When Income Tax is Worse than Death!

Done. Submitted. Paid.

When your income tax is worth an MPV, it is time to survive on water and bread. Rosenberg Meet will have to take a back seat for next 3 months. But, this means more time to revise the benchwork that I am struggling on and to work on the Galveston lower deck track plan.

Be assured, Rosenberg Meet is very much alive! No tax is going to take my little Rosie away :D


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thank You For Your Visit

Since 5th April, more than 140 visitors (including repeat visitors) have visited Rosenberg Meet in N-scale; as far north as Troms, Norway (Takk!) and as far south as Dunedin, New Zealand (Thank You!)

As you learn more about my Rosenberg Meet, do visit The City that Works. After all, each modeller is an ambassador of the place and country he/she models :)


Going Beyond Oval

It's good to be back after a short hiatus. I have delivered my second company project on time last mid-week and now it is time for me do deliver my own railroad project.

I was "discovered" last week by a few colleagues who googled my name and found my personal blogs, including this one. They saw me and we started talking about model trains (for me, passionately). Big boys playing with trains. Betcha! And, it is not just connecting a few pieces of tracks into an oval shape and let the train chase its tail. No, no .... model railroad is a SERIOUS business (and it is not TOY!)

Now, let's not get to uptight about this. My upper deck track plan is finalised, a month ago. However, something is still bothering me. Smither's Lake peninsula!

Smither's Lake Peninsula (upper deck)

The peninsula extends 5.5 feet from the wall and 3 feet wide at the widest point. Below Smither's Lake is future Galveston Bay and Galveston terminal. I have not draw the track plan for the lower deck but what will be there is all noted in my Ideas Book.

One of my druthers is to make sure the lower deck peninsula is free from any obstruction. As you can see, the upper deck has a scenic divider between Richmond and Alvin but the lower deck must have an unobstructed view of the Galveston port terminal and the bay.

For now, the lower deck needs to be supported by this benchwork.

Lower Deck L-Girder Benchwork (Plan View)

Smither's Lake (Upper Deck) and
Galveston Bay (Lower Deck) (Front View)

My challange now is to find a way to make the lower deck obstruction-free. One method I thought of is to use acrylic panels to support each corners (as shown in red) and which, I hope, are strong to support the weight of the entire upper deck.

Update #1:
This is what a good sleep can do for you. This is how I want my upper deck (Smither's Lake) to be "free-hanging" and supported, while the bottom deck (Galveston) is supported by the middle legs.

Compare this and the above drawing. This below drawing meets my free-space that I want for Galveston and the lower deck is not hindered by the benchwork legs.

Do you have any suggestions or comments?

Back to drawing board!

Jimmy Low

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rosenberg Meet at Night Time

Steve Cox's recent post on 2nd Street job on Richmond Pacific and his subsequent modeler's note raised an interesting question about simulating the after dark look. Good point, Steve.

How many of us modelers considered this point in our layout?

We simulate winter, summer, fall and spring days but how often we simulate the dawn or dusk feeling or even night feeling? A food for thought for my Rosie :)

Wes Carr beautifully captured Tower 17 at a winter dawn
looking west. Can Jimmy capture this feeling in N-scale?

Jimmy Low

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Texas' Last Interlocking Tower Closing

ROSENBERG, Texas - Effective at 8 a.m. today, Texas begins to lose Tower 17, its last active interlocking tower guarding a railroad junction. All Texas towers were numbered, and the one at Rosenburg, 35 miles southwest of Houston where Union Pacific's former Southern Pacific Sunset Route main line crosses BNSF's former Santa Fe line from the north into the Houston-Galveston area, happened to be 17.

Tower 17's closure is said to leave UP's West Bridge Junction in Louisiana, near the Huey P. Long bridge, as the last staffed traditional tower in service (vs. towers at moveable rail bridges at waterways) in the U.S. west of the Mississippi River.

A 36-hour maintenance-of-way window is in effect today for UP signal forces to change out switches, switch machines, and cut over new signals and take down old ones at Tower 17. The UP Glidden Sub dispatcher now controls the remaining switches and signals. Rosenburg operators are expected to find work at other UP locations.

The last day that Tower 17 will be open will be Friday, Feb. 13, with the last operator reporting for work at 11 p.m. When that shift is over at 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the tower will be closed.

Texas' towers were given numbers, at random, by the Railroad Commission of Texas after the 1901 passage of a state law to regulate crossings at grade of railroads. The numeric progression of Texas interlockings has no logic either geographically or by railroad. It is believed that Tower 196, in El Paso near Union Station, had the highest number. As late as early 1985 there were still well over 100 active interlockings in Texas, but only a couple of dozen or so were controlled by active towers.

Information provided by Trains Magazine