First Look

First look at Phase I benchwork. The lower level will be Lewistown Junction. The main will be on the left, looking west, and the yard on the right. The upper level will be Yeagertown, again looking west.


Today I completed the first segment of Phase I benchwork, largely to provide family storage underneath. The footprint of this section is five feet by sixteen feet. The first photo shows the five foot wide expanse that will be the Lewistown Junction yard. The main line will be on the left edge, heading west. The Lewistown Secondary will leave the yard to the right, behind the vantage point of the camera. The main line will wrap around the far wall to the left.

The yard itself will have several freight destinations, including the locomotive facility, the car shops, and the American Viscose Company, a rayon manufacturer. Main line operators will work from the main aisle on the left. The yard operators will work from a private aisle on the back side. Although five feet wide, the reach to the center is quite comfortable.

Lighting for the yard level is from fixtures embedded in the framing for the upper level. I am using 18 watt compact florescent lights (CFL's) that provide the equivalent of a 75 watt bulb. The color temperature is "daylight". Only five of the ten fixtures have bulbs in this photo.

The upper level will be the site of Yeagertown, Pa., on the Milroy Secondary, looking west. The line will also curve to the left at the far wall, heading into Burnham, Pa. Just before the curve will be spurs to the left into the Standard Steel Plant, the predominant industry on the line. On the right side of the right-of-way will be two sidings for the J. M. Yeager Company, a mill, and a passing siding.

The "back aisle" is where the yard operators will work. On the back side of the upper level will be the yard control panel, a bulletin board, and the car card boxes.


I had to get a bit creative on the structural design of the upper level. I needed for it to cross the 24' length of the room with no support from below. Furthermore, I didn't want any suspended supports on the front edge. I opted for 8" wide 3/4" plywood vertical supports bolted to the joists above. To these I attached 3/4" plywood horizontals. The inverted cantilever projects 24" out the front for the Yeagertown depiction, plus 6" out the back for a shelf for the yard crew.

The second photo shows the aisle on the back side of the yard, from which the yardmaster and drill teams will operate. The back side of the upper level will hold the yard's control panels and a bulletin board for procedures, schedules, and orders. A shelf will provide room for sorting and the car card boxes will be mounted on the front edge of the upper level framing. There will be additional lighting from overhead.

Unfortunately, there won't be much more progress until fall. I have a rock garden to build around a new pond in the back yard. Working on the model railroad during the summer months is a rarity, so I am quite satisfied with what I have accomplished. Till the next train out...

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