Engine Terminal

Engine Terminal
Empties tracks at the Laurel Ridge Prep Plant- Summit Springs, WV

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes...

Big changes are under way at Logan on the Chesapeake, Wheeling and Erie Railroad. Several e-mail exchanges with good friends Stuart Thayer and Anthony Hardy earlier in the week pointed out the lack of an ammonium nitrate unloader on the layout. I told them that I had always wanted one but had been unable to find an appropriate location. I pointed out several potential locations and the problems with each. While the issues weren't insurmountable, the locations weren't ideal. Then it hit me- it could be located at Logan. The short spur here has served as a team track during operating sessions, but I had never come up with how the area would be treated from a scenery and structure perspective. Possible options included remnants of a now out-of-service truck dump loader or some other small structure. I was also concerned about the scenery in this area as there is a bit of space between the end of the spur and a small culvert just out of site to the left of the photo.

A quick check revealed that the unloader would fit here and would probably leave room for a team track at the end of the spur. However, the spur would have to be moved and extended. And as long as I was tearing up track in this area, I decided to replace the commercial turnout. While it hasn't given me trouble yet, several others had and I was planning to replace it at some point anyway.

The photo below shows the area after removal of the old spur and turnout and after the new homosote and switch ties were put down.

In the picture below, you can the extension of the spur. There will be enough room for a two-bin unloader and a team track area at the very end of the spur.

I use Micro Engineering wood ties for the track and 3/32" x 3/32" basswood for the turnout ties. The turnout ties are sanded until they are level with the surrounding track ties. Over the years, as I laid new track I pulled out ties that were slightly irregular or damaged  and saved them in a separate bag for use on spurs. I also made a jig for ties that had slightly wider spacing than mainline track. The photo below shows the spur ties, and you can see the slight difference in spacing versus the mainline in the background.

Thanks to the input and prodding from two good friends, I'm fixing a problem area that had perplexed me for years, adding a new industry that I had always wanted to model, and replacing a turnout that had been on the to-do list for a long time. More to come on this as progress continues.

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