M&K Junction Railroad

M&K Junction Railroad
Another train of eastbound coal crosses the Cheat River

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Well my open house has come and gone and I judge it to be a success; but first the back story.

Friday night I was still making some electrical connections in hidden staging. When I was almost finished, I discovered a short where there should not have been one - and it's now 10 pm. This time I restrained myself from ripping out the just completed wiring and did some troubleshooting with an ohm meter. There was a short sure enough, but the circumstances were such that it could not have been the wiring that I had just put in. Long story short - some straps on a turnout that I had installed had not been removed - my bad.

Saturday morning I discovered, much to my chagrin, that my B&O B-18 Ten Wheeler was picking the turnout into what will be Alpha Portland Cement (See the Curved Turnout 4/26/10). This could not have been discovered heretofore as this switch was the end of track before last weekend. When the loco went through trailing-point style, it was fine. When the loco tries to go through facing-point it picks the switch every time. Rolling stock goes through fine in both directions. Well, no time to diagnose it before the guys show up, I'll just have to warn everyone about it.

People showed up in dribs and drabs until there were 8 guests. Everyone had an opportunity to run trains, although not everyone availed himself of it.

During my last open house, through my own oversight, I took no pictures during the event. This time I resolved not to make that mistake and I carried my camera around my neck - but I still took no pictures! I was so busy being the host that I did not have the bandwidth to get it done. The best that I could accomplish was some pictures during lunch and a group shot outside.

That's me, the guy who's out of uniform. It's not that strange that almost everyone else is wearing a blue golf shirt as most of the guys have the shirts from hosting the 2004 and 2009 O Scale Nationals, and they usually wear them to train night.

My best performing loco, a Weaver die cast Pacific, which usually can crawl through the crossovers at M&K Junction was acting up, of course. However elsewhere on the track it would crawl like a champ, everyone was impressed.

The final faux pas of the day was that all of the DCC locomotives did not seem to be receiving the packets to reverse direction well. My guess is that the layout now has gotten so big that it cannot be handled from one command station/booster and more boosters are needed for the length of run. I have the boosters, and the layout is wired for them, but have been reluctant to take the time to put them in. I guess that I cannot put it off any longer.

Other than that, the track which had only been installed the week before and not given a thorough shake-down performed well and there were no derailments that were not caused by operator error (the B18 excepted).

My Fast Tracks jig-built turnouts were an object of some curiosity; although everyone agreed that they were very smooth running.

Special thanks to my good wife for preparing the cookout, including her homemade potato salad and cookies. I could not have pulled it off without her.

The next open house will be in the spring and, hopefully, I will have completed the central helix by then to allow for continuous running.

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