On February 20th, 2006, I went to Home Depot and picked up the first supplies for the construction of the railroad. Now a little under two years latter, The New York Harbor Railroad had its first shake down on Saturday, February 16, 2008. The shakedown started around 11:00 AM and ended around 3:00 PM. The crew consisted of: Tom Callan, Ralph Heiss, Vince Lee, Arthur Ross, Neil Henning, Ted Pamperin, Jim Schweitzer and Wayne Shortman. The session started off with tour of the layout and a brief description of how the railroad worked. Then the fun began. The first problem that popped up was short throw rod at 30th Street. The throw rod needs to be replaced after the session. Ted, Vince Lee and Wayne operated 28th Street and found that if the turnouts for Lifshultz 1 and two where moved westward a small distance then four cars can be runaround on the ladder instead of three. There was also a problem with the carfloat mating with the float bridge. I trust that this issue will be fixed as soon as the toggle bolts arrive that I ordered from Sea Port Model Works. There where also problems with the diamonds. They need more work to smooth out cars rolling over them. There is also a need for more power drops to be made from the three-way turnout and the double crossover at Terminal Stores.
Tom, Ralph and Arthur worked 30th street. There are a couple of turnouts in need of work in the throat of 30th Street. All in all 30th Street seem to run well but there is room for improvement. Most of the improvement for 30th Street seems to be paper work need. I need a time schedule for trains heading north to 60th Street and south to 30th Street. Also there might be a need for another crossover to allow inbound locomotives to escape. This is not what the prototype had in this area but in the compression of the yard I cut out the actual ones that existed. So I will be adding another one next to the existing one.
The cars and couplers had issues. I need to shop most of the cars to make sure that they meet NMRA standards for weight and coupler heights. I will be taking Ted Pamperin’s suggestion to remove all of the cars of the layout and replace them to the rails when they meet the standards. I need to replace all of the plastic wheels with metal wheel sets.
I would like to thank Neal for putting out many fires that popped up and for the work he did Friday night to be ready for the session. I would also like to thank Jim for his insight on how to improve the operations for the railroad. I would also like to thank Vince Lee and Tom Flagg. It was their article that inspired the construction of the railroad. Also this shake down would not have happened without the work of the band of regular work night crews. To them I say thank you! Until the next shake down.