MrrBlog Index

My Railroad, Railfanning,Other Model Railroads


Portland Terminal Yard

Main line and siding on the far right. 3 Arrival/Departure tracks, 5 classification tracks, run around track. Far end is coach yard and engine maintenance/storage.

Station on right.


Portland Union Station

Since the layout is based upon Portland, Oregon in the late 60's or 1971 where 5 Class 1 realroads used to come in, my freind Marty, scratch built this incredible structure for me. What you see is actually the front of the Union Station normally facing the parking lot but it is so wonderful that I have it currently turned around facing the passenger tracks.

Also please note that the log train is there temporarily whilst awating return to Eugene staging. Hey this is my layout!! And model railroading is fun!!


Operations on the OWNRy March 18

10 operators came to run trains on the OWNRy last Saturday, running a total of 24 trains during a 6 hour session (not including beans). We didn't have a dispatcher so ran ABS. The engines I had installed speed tables in seemed to run better than before.

Download the PDF slide show from my web site

The Northcoast Limited tours the layout around the Columbia River Bluffs.

Greg is moving an SP&S freight through the tunnel westbound to Portland from Pasco.

Mark, the Portland yardmaster switches a line of arrival on the West yard lead. Soon after, we lost the west end classification switches so he finished his work on the east end. Glad we had double ended yards.
Frank drives the Shasta Daylight across the Willamette River bridge northbound to Portland then on around the layout for a nice little tour.
Tom works with Seattle yardmaster, Mitch, to set out and pick up cars. All trains stayed on the layout and most stayed on the tracks, too!!
Everyone looks busy in the main layout room. Portland yard is on the right and Pasco yard is on the right.

Next operating session is April 14


Triple Header and Test Track

The reason I can triple head engines is that I use
Speed Tables in the Digital Decoders.

My friend Phil developed a script which runs on Decoder Pro that will automatically create the speed tables. We may be the only folks in the country or world doing this at the moment.
This is my test track (above) for both N scale (in which I model) and HO for my friends. It features a Digirax Zephyr command station. The circle of track has 16 equal length blocks each detected with a Digitrax BDL162 feeding back into the loconet, a programming track, Locobuffer which connects the loconet to the PC and Laptop with JMRI Decoder Pro installed.

Phil made a script which we have set up to run in the Decoder Pro and, after initialization, I enter the road number, decoder type, and scale, and hit start. The engine first does 5 warm up laps in both directions, tests for decoder type (Digitrax, NCE, Lenz, TCS, etc) and then proceeds to build the speed tables for various throttle settings based upon internal script tables figured out earlier for each type of decoder.

As each engine traverses from one block to the next, the script measures the time between blocks and uses that to calculate scale speed. It takes 5 different readings, averages and throws out any outlyers, then compares the speed to the target speed and adjusts the throttle up or down to get closer to the target speed.

For instance, it begins with 10 MPH and works the throttle settings to fine tune with in a very close margin which throttle setting makes the engine run at 10 MPH, then it goes to 22 mph (in the case of Digitrax) and finds the throtttle setting, etc. It keeps going to build the compete curve. The average amount of time per engine, so far to run the program is about 12-15 minutes but I have had engines take 30 minutes to run the whole program.

The end result is that all engines run in a similar speed pattern and I theoretically can mix and match engines. Still needs more fine tuning but it seems to work pretty well.


Working Pasco Yard

Looking West on Pasco Yard, the Yardmaster has Passenger siding near the aisle and 3 yard tracks in the back off the mainline. The far end goes either around the bluff towards Wishram, or through a tunnel to the Helix or through a tunnel to West Pasco for more industries.

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