[Four cars is the limit for pulling up that grade. With five, the train gets about halfway up and then just sits there spinning its wheels. I've also got to sort out the couplers on the rolling stock. There's a ragtag collection of coupler types and some work better than others. Right now it's finicky to get things properly linked into a train.]
Yesterday it was around -23C during the day and they say with the wind chill it felt like -30C. Normally it's around -5C, but a 'Polar Vortex' is sweeping down from the arctic and has put us in the deep freeze for a couple weeks. I had no desire to venture out, so I hunkered down in the basement and worked on testing the EVRR's grade and upper loop.
A couple weeks ago I started soldering the power leads to the valley track. I bought a new plug-in-the-wall soldering iron because my battery powered one - that's it in the upper left - didn't provide uniform heat. It's good for soldering in tight quarters on the HO layout when it has fresh batteries, but that's about it.
Over on the workbench the EVRR coaches are being re-decaled and now need a spray of dullcote, but with the frigid weather I don't know when that'll be. Maybe now's the time to look into setting up a spray booth. The 4-wheel caboose is an ancient Bachmann item I found at George's. It's quite toy-like, but with some painting it should look acceptable.
Once soldering in the valley was wrapped up, I started on building the grade to the upper loop through the mountains.
Pink insulation foam was used for the upper loop base. Those blocks where the bridge crosses the valley are temporary.
In case there is a scholar in the 22nd century who wants to ponder the meaning of my workshop in the same way I've pondered E. L. Moore's, there you go.
And there's the loop in all its foamy glory! The track is all Peco flex and it's held in place with transfer tape and glued pins inserted through the centre of a number of ties. All the switches are also Peco.
Underneath it's still a jumble of power leads. The next job is to put together the control box so I can run trains over the whole layout. So far testing has been piecemeal with jumpers here and jumpers there to test out the blocks. For the test over the mountain loop I jumpered the grade track to the mountain loop so I could get a long run, but since I don't have any reversing toggles installed yet, I couldn't run the train back down the grade - it had to be backed down.
I was looking over the layout and comparing it to some of E. L. Moore's EVRR pictures to see if I had things in more-or-less the right place when I came across that one up there. Turns out I hadn't posted it, but more importantly, I saw the lake has that little point sticking into the water.
[This is the back of that photo. 20 November 1956 is the date. And you can see he was still living at his old Pine St. apartment and hadn't yet moved to Oakland Ave.]
Take a look at his plan and you'll see the point isn't there. So, since I want this layout to be close to his as-built layout, I added that point back in by gluing down an appropriately shaped piece of cork.
If you look closely at the lake scene, you'll see a peeper hiding behind the fallen tree on the point watching those bathing beauties. And, I didn't realize that is a stone wall along the shore and there's clearly a road on the other side.
They say the weather won't ease up to a balmy -14C until Tuesday, so until then I'll drop you off in 1949 and leave you with Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Ricardo Montalbán, Betty Garrett, Keenan Wynn, Xavier Cugat and Mel Blanc.