Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost Operations

I keep getting closer to having operations on the Santa Barbara Subdivision but am still not there. The SP Santa Barbara Sub has come a long way since that abreviated op session on January 23, 2007. You can see a photo and read about that night in an early blog post here.

Some of the same friends from the South Coast Society of Model Engineers, the local Santa Barbara model railroad club I belong to, were over again on December 6, 2011. I still have some track tune-up to do so we struggled running trains. Michael Lopez, one of the club's junior members made an attempt and finally got a short passenger train running on the second level.

Here are some photos and a video.

Behind and between Paul G and Michael L is the location of that first impromptu operating session mentioned above

Here is the rest of the crew assembled at the curve of Santa Barbara Yard

Here is a short video of the second level passenger run

Monday, December 12, 2011

Second Level Fascia

While some of the second level fascia was installed almost a year ago, there was still some to install and all of it had to be painted. I had delayed putting the fascia along the track at Surf as there were 7 turnouts and slow-motion switch motors that needed to be installed. Once the fascia is installed it becomes more difficult to work in the areas.

Area at West Surf before fascia was installed

The Surf wye and the helix before the fascia was installed

The east portion of Surf on the outside of the helix before the fascia was installed. Note the fascia installed on the Lompoc shelf on the right side of the photo

I also decided to install fascia on the Lompoc shelf and the White Hills shelf. Both of these shelves are constructed of plywood and homasote. The second level fascia is narrow in most areas to maximize the views of the lower level and the open space between the two levels.

Wherever a switch for a slow-motion switch motor was to be mounted on the fascia, I cut a 1 1/2 inch hole so I could fit a PVC tubing end cap into the hole. The switch is mounted inside the end cap and does not stick out into the aisle. I first saw this technique on Rick Fortin's ATSF Valley Division Fourth District layout.

A close up of the PVC end cap with a DPDT switch installed

DPDT switch pre-wired before installation

Installed end cap and DPDT switch

I did not install the endcaps until I had painted the fascia.

When I finally had all the fascia in I painted it with the same color I used on the lower level. I had used a computer color matcher to select a color that roughly approximates the Southern Pacific Dark Grey used in the two-tone passenger scheme and the post-1958 scarlet and grey locomotive scheme.

Surf area after fascia was installed and painted. Note end caps installed

Painted second level fascia above Santa Barbara

Painted second level fascia at White Hills and Devon