Thursday, May 17, 2018


Well my 50-Watt Laser Cutter finally arrived Tuesday. I removed the crate yesterday to get my first look at this huge machine. I now need to build a strong workbench with wheels for it. Then some 6-inch piping for flumes, a tank for distilled water, and then hook it up and give it a go. We need more than 100 structures for the layout and this machine will certainly help. Hopefully will make first cut next week.  The machine cuts using drawings done in one of several CADs including the one I use, Visual Cadd.  It can engrave and cut at the same time.  For example, it can engrave bricks on several different surfaces e.g. wood or acrylic and then cut out the building.  All the stuff on top are parts that hook up to the cutter.  It is huge, 40 x 26 x 20 and weighs about 145 pounds.  Here is a video featuring this cutter if you are interested.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm4RaIZS1Eg

Monday, May 7, 2018

Update to lift bridge and a brief history of the layout and future projects.

After giving it more thought I think a vertical lift bridge might be easier to build and easier to be sure in lines up with the tracks on each in.  Below is an example of a vertical lift bridge.




HISTORY OF JAY’S O SCALE LAYOUT
FROM THE SOUTH SHORE LINE TO THE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY LINE
The layout began in 2000 as the Chicago, South Shore, and South Bend Railroad, an electric railroad between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana hauling passengers and freight.  After Jim Withrow and I had built the structure and most of the track was in and before any scenery, I wanted to include some variety of scenery including a mountainous area at the area now known as Warren’s Gap.    At this point Warren Hart got involved and Sceniced the gap and began building scenery basically characteristic of the Western Maryland Railway.  To retain my interest in traction and overhead I modified the track layout to represent the Pennsy and Baltimore and Penn Station.   In 2016 Fred Johnson, Will Snyder, and Vance Valenzo started working on the layout.  After some years Warren and I have differences of opinion in the scenery and the direction the layout was going, and we parted company in 2017.  In an effort to move forward I decided that a fictional prototype layout would serve our purposes better and provide more freedom in direction.  With the advice of the crew and Julie the Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Joppa Railway was created.  The modeled portion runs from a coal field in Pennsylvania into Baltimore and to Joppa, Maryland.  The era is the late 1950s and the PB&J runs diesels and electrics.  Also, a portion of the Baltimore Transit Company is also represented. Two steam engines are used.  One a switcher and hold over from the company’s steam and the WMRY engine which will run occasional rail fan trips pulling older varnish passenger cars.  The CTC and CMRI was started shortly after construction started on the layout in 2000.  It has been adapted for the PB&J and currently is used in the ABS signaling mode and, in the future, will be used by a dispatcher in CTC mode to run operating sessions.

FUTURE AND UNFINISHED PROJECTS
Future projects include the construction of a lift bridge for the PRR to use to help create the high volume of traffic typical of Penn Station in Baltimore.  It will cross the aisle at the bottom of the steps at the end of the coal mine area.
The coal mine will have the ability to actually load hoppers with some type of material to simulate coal.
Completion of the theater in Baltimore with seats, people, sets, lighting, and etc.
Completion of the concourse, platforms, and train shed for Penn Station
Finish the harbor and construction of the SS District of Columbia, a ship the ran from Baltimore to Norfolk, VA in our era.  And a number of other small craft that were typical in the Chesapeake in the 1950s.
Construction of a small amusement park between Fulton Junction and the “Green” bridge.
A small hydroelectric plant at the dam on the river at the long retaining wall on the PB&J is in the planning stage.
Addition of sound and some animation at various points on the layout including a thunder storm in the area of the retaining wall.
Replacement of CFLs with dimmable LEDs so we can transition from day to night and back to day.
Currently I am starting to use 3D printing and shortly will have a laser cutter.  Also want to learn brass etching for various details I need.  I also make a lot of castings to build structures including many castings that make up Penn Station. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Some recent photos of the layout.

Improvements to Warren's Gap

Where is the game warden when you need one?

Along the PRR NE Main toward Union Tunnel in Baltimore.  Baltimore Transit coming down the grade to join the freight line to the harbor,

At the engine service yard in SW Pennsylvania, location TBD

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Our Mine for the layout

This is Consolidated Coal Company No. 87.
It and several other deep shaft tipples are the basis for a free lanced tipple which will be located in one of the southern PA coal fields and served by the PB&J. It will be known as J. Withrow #1.