Since getting El Dorado, rebuilt nothing has been done on the layout since.
Shortly after I that I was conversing with some friends about operations on zoom meeting and they asked me what I use for my Ops. After telling them about my Tab On Cars they asked if I might be interested in using JMRI Ops which they both use.
Well it didn't take much convincing for me to give it a try. I downloaded it and started playing with but I just couldn't get my head wrapped around setting it up and using it. I got the jist of it but then Dave offered to help me with it.
At first I had planned to go with car types but soon decided that I might as well give using car numbers a go. I was going to have to break down and plan to use my cheaters in order to see some of the smaller numbers on some of the cars, but i figured what the hell, why not.
The first thing I had to do was to get on top of my car list which had gotten out of hand over the years. So that was my first big project. The first thing I did was start going through my vast rolling stock and start culling the duplicates and cars that were out of my era. I had also gotten a lot of newer versions of cars and culled out the older lower detailed cars.
This took me almost a month to go through the cars and I culled out over 100 cars which now allowed me to add the newer cars that I had picked up over time and add them to the list and my storage drawers.
This proved to be a big challenge as I had sold off around 300 cars several years ago and some I had not removed from my list. After getting the list straightened out and adding the newer cars I was shown how to copy the .CSV file from JMRI and add the cras from my master list so that I would be able to import all the cars on the list in one single shot.
This worked out good and it was done within a few minutes as opposed to adding them all one at a time.
My next project was to go through the remaining cars in the drawers and make sure all the Accumate trucks and couplers were replaced with Micro Trains trucks and couplers.
That was followed by finding all the duplicate numbered cars that I wanted to keep and changing the number by either removing a number, applying new decals for a different number or by using a #0000 spotters brush and actually painting a new number. By painting I mean like changing an 8 to a 0, an 8 to a 3. This took a little time to do but in the long run it saved me $ by selling the dupes off and buying new numbered cars. The cost of the cars have have increased to the point that t would have almost broke me, so I took the time and redid the numbers the best I could.
Another minor project that I had meant to do years ago were to restencil several cars that I had picked up that I had planned to apply new reporting marks and logos by making the decals myself. But in the time that had passed, some of these cars had been released by other companies such as Intermountain who made the Red TCAX grain hoppers that were already in the scheme I planned for so the Atlas versions of the TCAX hoppers I had, I just decided to redo them with new stencils by means of painting out the patches and relettering them with some new decals.
I had picked up six of the Atlas Trainman 4750 hoppers which were lettered for NOKL. Since NOKL was too new for my era, I dug through my decals and found some new reporting marks and numbers and simply redid them as second cars.
Here's what I wanted to make them as originally but missed them when they got released.
Instead this is what I wound doing with them. I know several of them are probably Foobies, but I doubt many will know the difference if they come over and operate with me.
Here's a MoPac
How about a couple of ROCK second hand cars?
In time I'll further define them with weathering and maybe adding patches of paint to represent the white lettering painted over on the red car body as seen in the first photo.
I also recently picked up a pre weathered MTL GN Airslide hopper, but the number was kind of small and was kind of hard to see with it being weathered. So I did a little research and barrowed a friends BN decals sheet and turned it into a BN renumbered airslide hopper. While I like what MTL is doing with their pre weathered stuff, I have shied away from buying many of them as I enjoy weathering myself, plus I won't wind up with the same exact car that hundreds of others modelers will have on their layout.
I don't think we're too far from getting JMRI Ops implemented? Once it's done and operational, of course we'll have to give it a test run or two.
Then I plan to get back to working on the layout in several areas: get the Ouachita River Bridge scene started, maybe get the area between Calion and Fordyce done with the basic ground cover and then start working on some buildings for El Dorado.
2023 might see a lot of work done on the layout?