Tonigh started off with some work being done. I installed two more lights on the layout. One on the mole and one over 30th Street yard. The crew arrived and jobs where divided up. Raplh was the 28th Street Clerk, Craig and Wayne were the 28th Street crew while Neil and Tom operated 30th Street. I was tonights mole operator. Ralph started off the night for 28th Street with the first switch list of the night along with the first morning carfloat.

Mole Light Working 28th Street 30th Street Ralph Clerking Clerking

Craig and Wayne work 28th Street until Wayne had to leave. Wayne worked the carfloats. Ralph supplied a steady stream of switch lists for Craig and Wayne to work on all night.

Crew Craig and Wayne Carfloat Working 28th Street

Ralph took over for Wayne and worked the last carfloat with Craig. Neil and Tom worked every train at 30th Street and will lead me to adding the afternoon trains to the schedule as well. DES-3 505 worked all of 30th Street and Terminal Stores.

Terminal Stores Ralph and the Car Float Ralph Raplh at 28th Street DES-3

The last part of the evening came with Craig working the last carfloat while Ralph worked the yard, Neil and Tom looked on having finished working 30th Street.

Switching 30th Street Last Job

Wrap Up

Tonight was the third shakedown of the current layout.  There were a few recurring issues from the first two that need to be addressed before the next Shakedown.  Foremost is the approach turnout from staging.  There has been a “bump” that has developed since the connector track was installed through the mechanical room.  I think that the connectors will have to be removed and the connection repaired with a better design.  This issues effects all in and outbound traffic to 30th Street from the mole yard.  Second, the drop bridge from 28th Street.  The curve is too sharp and there is a kink in the rail that was caused by the initial cutting of the rail.  I need to broaden the radius of the curve and that should fix this issue.  Third, the electrical issue with the double crossover at Terminal Stores still needs to be addressed.  Fourth, belly proof turnout controllers!  I have an operator that continually throws turnout when he leans on the controllers.  I don’t know what to do about this on since it is not a wide spread issue but a redesign may be in order.

New issues that popped up tonight were a gauge problem at Lifschultz 1 that Craig adjusted, dirty wheel sets on the Proto 2000 Erie S-1 and a few bad ordered cars some of which were fixed on the spot.  There was a request that came out of the 30th Street crew of adding a set of tracks were they can build north bound trains.  Since the yard is a fragment of what it would have been, Tom, Neil and I discussed what could be done.  A solution could be adding two more tracks the lead off the dump track approach.  These would follow Eleventh Avenue under the High Line and end in the wall. 
The session itself went well.  28th Street moved 3 car floats which is more than any session before.   That means that they moved eighty-four cars over the night four cars at a time.  That is the maximum number of cars that can go on the ladder and that the locomotive is able to run around.  30th Street went well and the DES-3 was the main locomotive (as in the prototype).  The 30th Street crew complete all of their trains, also a first.  This means that both yards finish the morning runs.  Terminal Stores was also service more often and a few new wrinkles where tossed into the pot.  New car cleaning card where added making 30th Street to move cars to the dump track which was not use in previous sessions. 

I want to thank the crew members that came down and braved the layout.  I plan to continue refining the layout and get it right!  The next few months the repairs that have to be done will be implemented. The High Line is now completed to St. John’s Park Freight Terminal.  All of the Blue Points are in and awaiting wiring.  Hopefully the next shakedown will include the High Line.