MrrBlog Index

My Railroad, Railfanning,Other Model Railroads


Hinton, West Virginia - Andy Schnur's MRR

I took this video with my digital camera in August at Andy Schnur's Chesapeake and Ohio HO model Railroad in Bay Area of California. This layout is based upon the C&O prototype where main yard is Hinton, West Virginia. You will see a coal drag coming into Hinton Yard, where a helper engine is added to the end of train in front of caboose, and then the train going up the hill to other end of layout. Steam engines using Tsunami sound decoders and Digital system is NCE. (I taped this at 320 with 15 FPS and will record it again at higher resolution someday)


Pesky short discovered and eliminated

for the past 4 days, I have been searching down a short causing half the layout to be down. As a result I redesigned my power sections and added 4 new ones (see previous post). While implementing this I also discovered numerous little issues such as the DB105 booster was not correctly wired to layout. I also rerouted numerous bus wires and generally cleaned up and further documented the power zone wiring, while also labeling a lot of things.

Finally found the short in West Pasco.

You see I use Caboose Industries 220S ground throws for industrial spurs and branch lines. These require 3 holes to be drilled close together and the 3 bare wire leads dropped through sub-roadbed then wired to power the frogs. Turns out the middle lead and one of the rail leads were touching and so when the switch was thrown one way it didn't short but did when thrown the other way...sigh..Thought I had looked at that earlier..Grr...must have jiggled it when I was rerouting the light cord underneath Pasco and above Walla Walla. Now all is well. Dropped some other leads down where I double gapped the power zones to ensure reliable track power.

Trains running again. Now time to go celebrate by seeing a movie and taking wife to dinner!!


Short in Pasco Power zone - No Ops session

About a week ago, an occasional gremlin short in Pasco power zone became a full blown gremlin!! I have spent several hours tracking it down and have eliminated most of the easy ones. Still not working. I canceled the June 30 op session...sigh...

I am pretty sure it lives in the common rail wiring. Next week I will begin to disconnect all the leads and rebuild the bus.

My plan will be to add another (3rd) Digitrax PM42 power zone circuit board and subdivide Pasco zone into 4 Zones thus further dividing power zones:

Reversing PM 42:

  • Short detection for reversing sections
  • Biggs OS to Troutdale OS
  • Balloon Track in Portland
  • Open

Second PM42 will have
  • Portland Yard including Eugene
  • Seattle Yard
  • West Half of Main
  • La Grande and Spokane Yard Staging

New PM42
  • Pasco yard
  • West Pasco and Walla Walla
  • East half of Mainline around Pasco
  • Aberdeen and Helix

then re-attach leads to separate bus wires. Hope that does it.
I have spare PM 42 and am ordering more TAP 3M connectors from Mouser.
Hope to start work this week.


Rumors of the OWNRy layout demise are premature

Last fall, I sent an email to many freinds advising them that my layout might very well be torn down and that I would be holding one last operating session. Since then, the situation has changed and the layout for the forseeable future will remain. As you can see below, however, the layout room contains a 50 inch HDTV which can be used to monitor for my N scale camera car as it proceeds around the layout. The image on the screen, however, is not of my layout but one from the "Tracks Ahead" HDTV program. The Screen lives under the Pendleton switch and is very watchable while I work on the layout or work on a small project at my workbench to the right. It does not interfere with operating sessions.
2 full all day operating session will be held this year. One was already held in April and the other one will be October 27. Periodic 2-3 hour "fun runs"' will be held as interest is determined. Let me know if you want to stop by. Next fun run is Saturday June 30 from 9AM-Noon and August 25 from 9 AM until Noon.

I am adding 4 new trains to the lineup. 2 Grain trains and 2 reefer block trains. All are blocks of cars which should add operating interest in the Portland and Seattle yards due to the amount of handling necessary. Seen below are some diesels in Portland Yard. The SP diesels are pulling the Shasta Daylight. The UP diesels pulling a grain train and the NP diesels arrived with a block of empty reefers bound for California. The head end power and caboose will need to be swapped with SP power and caboose prior to departure.

meanwhile, an SP GP-9 and Santa Fe GP-9 are arriving from Eugene with a full block of produce which will need to be iced and get new power before heading east through Pasco and Spokane to destinations on the Northern Pacfic Route.

New SP&S NW-2 switcher waits on yard tracks for action in Portland.


Photos From Operating Session in April 2007

City of Portland rounding the Bend

John Benny brought his new Athearn 4-6-6-4 PCM steam which sounds great!!

Coach Yard near Portland Engine facility