Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Complete revamp of the ICG tracks at Ruston, LA

I had always planned to have the ICG tracks disappear between the backdrop and a tree line at Ruston.  The more I thought about it and talked with some friends, the more I thought about redoing the entire area.

I had always thought about putting a farm scene or Mobile home court between the ICG tracks and the Rock's mainline, but the trouble starting showing up when I wanted to install a small siding/run around on the ICG tracks to help improve operations.

With turnouts to throw and couplers that would need to be uncoupled, having a tree line that would semi conceal the tracks, I would have to reach over the tree line or scenery and have to reach to the backdrop, about 18", which wouldn't be bad.  But I could see a constant scenery repairs being needed.

A friend suggested that since I removed the short siding earlier on the Rock main near Tioga Jct. that I move the ICG track out away from the backdrop and "Hide it in plain sight" close to the Rock's trackage?  So I started doodling some plans and came up with this:


Once I found something I liked and thought could work I played around with some older turnouts that I had on hand.  When I decided it could work, I ordered some new turnouts and got after it.

Here's a quick video I made of how it'll work.




Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Re-alignment at Tioga Jct.

Since I reduced my Ops plan several years ago, the short siding at Tioga Jct. near Winnfield has no use any longer.

Back when I had two locals that worked North and South out of El Dorado, the South local would work Union Scrap in Winnfield, which it usually only needed a couple of gondolas.

Since there wasn't very much room there and only that short siding, the local would leave most of its cars sitting in Dubach and drag down only the few gons needed.  Once it worked Union Scrap, the power would run around the loaded gons and return to Dubach, grab the rest of its train and make its way back to El Dorado.

Now only the NB local works Union Scrap and it's a trailing point switch, so no run around is needed.  So the other night I called out the track gangs and I had them remove the siding and realign the tracks at the junction.

This is what I started with:

Here's a quick video of how I reworked it.