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June 2002 - Page 36


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Passengers eagerly await the arrival of Amtrak Train 5 at Sage.

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the track and switches are Peco code 75, painted and weathered to provide a more realistic appearance. Number six switches are used throughout the layout and number eight switches are used on the crossovers between the double-track mainline. Minimum track radius is kept at 28" and spiral e asements have been used to keep train movements smooth and reliable. Almost all switches are thrown by Caboose Industries handthrows. Any turnouts past a 24" operator reach distance use under-the-table electrical switch machines. Structures on the layout are primarily a mix of commercially available kits, which have been built either stand-alone or kitbashed together depending on space availability and requirements of the industry. Commercially available scenery products and detail parts are also used in the final scenery, as their quality and effect equals or surpasses what I can build at the workbench.

Digital Command Control
Digital command control was recently i nstalled on the layout, and I regret not making the changeover years ago. A Digitrax Radio Chief II was selected because o f its capacity to handle a large number of trains, ease of programming (using the DT400 throttle), and because its the same s ystem that my local club uses. Once I became familiar with the intricacies of this system, using it became simple and second nature. Although the transition expense was difficult to finance, benefits such as train control, operating flexibility and realistic sound/lighting effects made it a worthwhile investment. Anyone evaluating which DCC s ystem to purchase should carefully list what each system has to offer and then make a decision based on current and possible future needs.

Meets on the double-track mainline happen frequently. Byrds Sand and Gravel provides ballast used on both the BNSF and Union Pacific railroads.

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B usiness is steady a t Hoffa Cement, as BNSF GP35 2519 switches out a cement hopper.

Designed for Operations
T he BNSF Fall River Subdivision is designed for both railfanning and operations. There are times when I retreat to t he train room to simply run trains and w atch. There are also times when I host

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A n eastbound autorack train passes through Ardmore. Workers of the nearby Metro Scrap Metal Corporation often frequent Kittys adult bookstore (in the background).

36 MODEL RAILROADING

JUNE 2002

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