03/31/2004 Progress Report
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Signal Maintainers Begin Activating Salem Terminal Mainline Trackage!

CSXT Shenandoah Division crews have been busy since the 01/31/2004 Progress Report. As usual, a variety of projects are either underway or completed, but the biggest news in this update is that the signal maintainers are activating the power wiring in the Salem Terminal. Beginning with MC Cabin at the north end of the terminal, the signal maintainers have been steadily working southward to return the No. 1 and No. 2 mainlines to service. Currently, the No. 1 track has been activated to Roanoke Junction and the No. 2 track has been activated to the crossover at SY Cabin.

To accomplish this feat, the signal maintainers have installed the final control panel boards. The railroad's third PM42 and fourth BDL162 were installed below SX Cabin, while the fifth, and final, BDL162 was installed at SY Cabin. (Refer to the Lower Level layout design for these locations.) Also, Larry helped pull wire and solder feeders to the bus at a recent work session.

The signal maintainers will now finish wiring the Salem Terminal south from Roanoke Junction to the Wadesboro staging yard. Once the Salem Terminal wiring has been completed, the Wadesboro and Connellsville/Winchester staging yards will be wired.

Connellsville/Winchester Staging

Roadway crews continue to make progress laying Vinylbed in the Connellsville/Winchester staging yard in preparation for additional track to be installed.

Track Crews Continue Progress

After Vinylbed roadbed has been installed, track crews proceeded with working on the Connellsville/Winchester staging yard. All the turnouts have been installed in the yard throat, and crews have continued extending body tracks as well. In addition, track crews have continued laying track in the yard and industrial area at Covington, Va.

Fascia and Backdrop Installation Begins

Taking advantage of the nice late winter/early spring weather (not too cold and not too hot), I've been spending weekend afternoons cutting Masonite fascia and backdrop sections to size and installing them on the railroad. I've also had help from Marcus and Rich with these tasks, and Cherie has been priming and painting fascia as well.

As a result, extensive progress has been made on fascia installation for the lower level of the railroad. Backdrop sections have been installed on portions of both the lower and upper levels of the railroad. I'm trying to get as much of this work done as possible this spring before the weather gets too hot to spend lots of time outside cutting sections to size and shape. I want to get this project completed before populating the railroad with rolling stock. Also, the fascia needs to be installed so that throttle jacks can be placed and car card boxes installed in preparation for future operating sessions.


Photos of Progress as of March 31, 2003
New Control Panel Boards

Control panel board located under SX Cabin. A Digitrax PM42 is on the left, with a BDL162 on the right. This PM42 powers the Salem Terminal and Wadesboro staging yard. The BDL162 provides detection from MC Cabin to SY Cabin.


Control panel board located under SY Cabin with a single BDL162, which provides detection from SY Cabin to Wadesboro.

Fascia and Backdrop

As I mentioned in the report above, the task of installing fascia and backdrop sections has begun. At a recent work session, Marcus and Rich at a recent work section installed the double height curved fascia on the right in this photograph. This section of fascia will hide the Wadesboro and Connellsville/Winchester staging yards.


Another view of the fascia at the end of the staging yards. Fascia along the layout edges has also been installed here.


Another view of the end of the staging yards showing how they are hidden from view now. The fascia here has been primed but not yet painted.


Overall view of aisle separating North Salem on the left from Salem on the right showing the fascia. Some of the Loy's Toys PH-UP throttle jacks have been installed at North Salem. Roanoke Junction is straight ahead at the end of the aisle.


Another view of the aisle between Salem (on the left this time) and North Salem (on the right). The fascia curves out at the south end of Salem to accommodate the end of the peninsula and the Roanoke River.


A view of the fascia and backdrop sections at Hanging Rock, Va.


Fascia has been installed in the Catawba Creek Viaduct area as well. The piece of fascia located at the viaduct itself will be trimmed to final shape once the plaster scenery is installed. Also, the backdrop sections have been installed in this area.


Another view of the Catawba Creek Viaduct area. Notice that backdrop sections have also been installed on the upper level above at Ridgemont, Va.


Here's a shot of the fascia in the Catawba, Va. area.


Another view of the newly installed fascia at Catawba.


The fascia rises up at the north end of Catawba because Catawba Tunnel is located here. This section has yet to be primed.


View of the curved fascia on the Abbott side of the peninsula after northbound trains will have exited Catawba Tunnel.


View of the fascia installed in the Abbott aisle.


Vinylbed and Track

Track crews have finished laying the turnouts in the yard throat at Connellsville/Winchester and have proceeded working on the body tracks. The signal maintainers have placed some feeders in the throat but have yet to solder them.


Looking southward at the Connellsville/Winchester yard throat showing the framework built to support the fascia at the end of the peninsula.


Additional plywood subroadbed and Vinylbed have been installed in the return loop area of Connellsville/Winchester.


Track crews have also laid additional track in the yard at Covington, Va.


The risers, subroadbed, and Vinylbed have been installed for the Potts Valley Railway heading south from Potts Junction in Covington, Va.


View of new track work in Covington, including the Westvaco spur which curves behind the future backdrop.


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


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