02/12/2003 Progress Report
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Since the 01/06/2003 Progress Report, a lot of work has been accomplished in Shenandoah Country, resulting in several new items being added to the list of mileposts on the Shenandoah Division.

I've been busy doing lots of different things on the layout since the last update, but rather than go through them in any detail, I'll simply summarize some of the major accomplishments and let the photos below, along with the updated mileposts, speak for the progress that's been made. Of course, a summary doesn't always reflect the actual time and effort involved in completing a task. ;-)

I've been cutting and installing risers and subroadbed on the layout. All of the subroadbed and risers for the lower level have been cut, and all but the last section of subroadbed at Broad Run (between Abbott and New Castle) has been installed.

As I've been installing subroadbed, I've been able to follow fairly closely behind with the installation of Subvinylbed and Vinylbed roadbed to prepare for laying additional track. The mainline roadbed has been extended to Chimney Rock Tunnel north of Abbott.

I also built and installed a temporary bridge for the Catawba Creek Viaduct. Once the railroad is operational, I'll go back and build the real viaduct.

In preparation for the coming installation of the Connellsville/Winchester staging yards on the upper level, I have laid all of the straight track in the Wadesboro staging yard. I wanted to get this task done before installing plywood subroadbed at Connellsville/Winchester, which will reduce the headroom at Wadesboro. I put 2 pairs of rerailers on each of the Wadesboro tracks to make restaging trains easier.

After getting subroadbed into Abbott, I decided to relocate the Craig Creek Chip Co. across the mainline. I used 3rd PlanIt to draw this change and print a template for the subroadbed.

At the time of the last progress report, the mainline only extended around the curve at Hanging Rock, Va. Since that report, I have spent a lot of time laying track and the mainline now extends all the way to the Craig Creek Chip Co. turnout at Abbott, Va. I have also laid the Catawba, Va. passing siding and both yard tracks in Catawba. Laying track is one of my favorite parts of the hobby, so it goes fast!

During the time since the last report, I hosted two work sessions. I held one evening session, attended by Rich, Jan, and Chuck. At that session, we worked on determining how best to level the New Castle peninsula and realign the tracks on that peninsula. Larry and Marcus came up for a weekend  work session. They helped me make tremendous progress on benchwork related items, including the installation of subroadbed from Catawba to Chimney Rock Tunnel. I appreciate the help that all of these guys have given me as it spurs me to do additional work on the layout.

I'm very pleased with the amount of progress that I've made on the layout in spite of several other time commitments early this year. I hope to build on recent construction momentum and keep pushing forward.

Progress as of January 12, 2003

Looking northward from the future Catawba Creek Viaduct towards the south end of Catawba, Va.


Overall view of newly installed subroadbed at the south end of Catawba.


Curved subroadbed at the south end of Catawba.


Looking southward towards the future Catawba Creek Viaduct.


Progress as of February 1, 2003

Overall view of the temporary Catawba Creek Viaduct.


Another view of the Catawba Creek Viaduct looking northward towards Catawba. The rolling stock on the mainline is sitting in the future Hanging Rock Tunnel.


Temporary Catawba Creek Viaduct, looking southward towards Hanging Rock, Va.


As of February 1, 2003, the mainline had been laid into Catawba, and the Catawba passing siding had been started.


Farthest extent of the mainline at Catawba on February 1.


Overall view of the south end of Catawba, showing the installation of Vinylbed through town. The spur curving off to the right serves Catawba Propane and Alleghany Building Supply. The spur in the background is for the Valley Feed Company.


Overall view of the aisle end of Catawba.


Overall view of the north end of Catawba. The plywood in the foreground will be Knob Creek.


Another view of Catawba.


North end of Catawba, looking towards the future Catawba Tunnel. The two tracks immediately to the right of Knob Creek are the Catawba Yard tracks. The next track is the Catawba passing siding, and the mainline is the Vinylbed installed on top of Subvinylbed. The track on the far right is the James River Lead.


Overall view of the curves heading north out of Catawba, looking southward towards Catawba.


Turnback curve at the end of the Catawba peninsula. Eventually, this curve will be hidden in Catawba Tunnel.


Low-level view of the Catawba Tunnel area.


In this picture, the Subvinylbed has been extended to just beyond the north portal of Catawba Tunnel into Abbott, Va.


Overall view of Abbott, looking northward.


Overall view of the Abbott, looking southward toward Catawba Tunnel.


Progress as of February 12, 2003

Overall view of the Wadesboro staging yard showing the latest progress. Several tracks at the rear of the picture have been extended in preparation for future wiring and installation of the Connellsville/Winchester staging yards on the upper level.


Overall view of the south end of Salem, Va. showing the newly installed section of backdrop. SE Cabin is to the left of the picture. The plywood in the foreground waiting to be installed will be the Roanoke River.


Close-up of the new backdrop section, showing the cut-out for the mainline.


South end of the newly completed passing siding at Catawba, Va., looking northward


South end of Catawba passing siding, looking southward.


Curves coming to the main town area of Catawba.

South end of Catawba. The roadbed for the Alleghany Building Supply spur is in the foreground. The backdrop is temporarily placed here.


Another view of Catawba. The spur in the background is Valley Feed.


South end of the yard at Catawba. The CN and BC Rail boxcars are on yard track #1, while the hoppers are on the mainline.


Overall view of Catawba showing the newly completed mainline, passing siding, and yard tracks. The yard will hold 25-30 cars between the two tracks.


North end of  Catawba.


Close-up of the turnouts at the north end of Catawba.


Overall view of the Catawba area, with the temporary Catawba Creek Viaduct on the right.


Overall view of Catawba looking northward.


North end of Catawba, looking northward to Catawba Tunnel.


View of the end of the Catawba peninsula. Again, the backdrop sections are just propped temporarily for the photos.


The curve inside the future Catawba Tunnel. The turnout on the mainline at the left will lead to the Martin Marietta quarry at Abbott, Va.


Overall view of Abbott, Va. looking northward.


The mainline now extends to the turnout for the Craig Creek Chip Company. This spur has been relocated across the mainline from its original location on the plan.


Close-up of the current farthest extent of the mainline. The Martin Marietta spurs are in the foreground.


Overall view of the Martin Marietta quarry spurs at Abbott, Va. The mainline curve in the background will be in Chimney Rock Tunnel.


Overall view of Abbott looking southward.


Close-up of the south end of Abbott, looking southward.


This page was last updated on 01/01/11.


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