Stencil on the side of a BN caboose at East Lewiston

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mill-ing About

Its been a few weeks since my last post, but, at long last is an update to the blog and the railroad model of  the Lewiston Terminal.  I've been working rather steadily since February to get Forebay and the PFI mill complex to the point where limited operations could occur.  Limited operations (switching of the mill and using Forebay to yard an inbound/outbound train) will hopefully commence within the next six weeks or so.  

Deadlines are also a great motivator!  A friend from half a world away, visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth has certainly inspired progress.

Below are some progress pictures...
February.  The East end of Forebay Yard and the end of the modeled part of the railroad.  Switches and track placed for fitting.  Track and roadbed had only been installed just beyond the staging yard at this point.

March. My friend John Bauer visited late in the month to give a tutorial on hand laying switches.  Using Micro Engineering Rail, Kappler wood ties and Fast Tracks frog point and stock rail making tools, he is hand laying the Potlatch lead switch.

*Of note...For anyone who plans to hand lay and spike the rail, the Tightbond glue seen in the right of the photo is not so great for the process.  The glue is exceptionally hard, making it good for wood working, but quite difficult to push spikes through! I have switched back good ole' Elmers wood glue, which is no problem.  DAP adhesive caulk is another alternative.

Dave Lehlbach, of Tangent Scale Models, joined our work party toward the end of the week for a day.  He's sanding the luan plywood roadbed for the mill trackage.  

June.  PFI mill trackage.  All but three switches in the mill are built and installed.  A couple of the switches are rebuilt Shinohara switches I had left over from a previous project.  The remainder are hand built.

Another view of mill trackage.  Part of the reason for hand laying switches was to accommodate the curved switch geometry necessary to fit in the necessary tracks. The two switches in the foreground are the first hand built curved switches on the layout. I anticipate the next ones to be easier to build and a little better looking.

Operations are right around the corner...

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