Engine Terminal

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Progress Update #3

The control panel for the west end staging yard is now finished as you can see in the photo below.

In the past, I have used Letraset dry transfer lettering and Chartpak tape for my panels. Once the lettering and track diagrams are in place, I spray the panel with a clear flat finish to protect everything. However, for this panel I wanted a different solution. Dry transfer lettering is getting hard to find and isn't easy to apply. 

The first place I went to look for alternatives was the Model Railroad Hobbyist forum. I quickly found a solution in a post by George Booth. You can read the post here: http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/7237. I printed the labels in Word and took them to Staples for lamination. I then cut them out and glued them to the panel. What a great idea- thanks to George for posting this idea on the MRH forum.

Speaking of lamination, I noticed that the train cards on the layout were beginning to show signs of wear after a number of operating sessions. In order to protect the cards, I bought some plastic sleeves to hold them. Unfortunately, they wouldn't fit in the bill boxes on the fascia. I mentioned this to Jim Rollwage, one of the regular operators, and he suggested I get the train cards laminated. Another great idea! All of the train cards were updated and printed on card stock. I then took them to Staples to get laminated. As you can see below, the lamination looks great and will protect the cards for a long time to come.

I'll bet there's something else around here that I could laminate...


  1. Tom,

    They look really good. What are the switches embedded inside the staging yard tracks for? Will this be direct wired or are you wiring through a DCC device?

    Greg Amer

  2. Greg,

    Thanks for the kind comment. The switches are on/off switches for track power to each individual staging track. There's really no reason to keep the power on for any units that are in staging, and as each consist has at least one sound unit in it, the noise would become irritating. I'm also looking for an auto stop device that will cut the power once a train gets to the end of the staging track. More to come on this.