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  July 27 Update

Below are pictures of the construction progress for your enjoyment. Click on the thumbnails to open larger, full screen size, pictures.

It's been another two weeks since the last update. Progress has been slower than anticipated. I was just not in a particularly motivated mood. I was selected as a juror for a case that lasted eight days. Since it dealt with the serious and deplorable sexual assault of two children ages four and six, it was not a pleasant experience, even though we eventually found the perpetrator guilty on all four counts that he had been charged with. Some days I came home a bit depressed, especially the days when the kids testified about what he did to them.

But progress was made nevertheless. I am pleased to report that all the ties for the Redding area are installed, stained and ready for ballasting. This includes all clearance holes for switch motors in the roadbed and for the motor controls in the fascia. To keep the fascia as thin as possible, I will be mounting the slide switches for the turnout controls as high as possible. This required cutting clearance holes for our fingers in the plywood subroadbed surface. The homasote surface will cover these holes.

Now that this is complete, I can begin laying track and turnouts to get Redding operational again.

The images following show all the tracks in Redding, with identifying labels for each of them. Careful observation will show that there are several new tracks in this area, more than we previously had. For instance, there will be a small five-track classification yard with yard leads at both ends where the old staging yard once was. There will also be several more industry tracks than before. Instead of two Simpson tracks, there are now three. Instead of one Champion track, there will now be three. And there will be a team track here as well.

The mainline is as before. It replaces the old North Main. There will be a passing siding. This replaces the old South Main. Plus, there will be a longer industry siding than before. Adjacent to that track will be a short siding to be used for "off-spot" cars and to park the helpers waiting for their next assignment pushing trains up the hill out of Redding.

Hopefully these tracks will give the Redding area increased and more interesting switching opportunites.

Along with laying track and turnouts in Redding, it is hoped we can continue up the mainline to Douglas (the cantilevered section), with the goal of having the mainline operational up to the relocated and expanded temporary staging yards along the Red Bluff wall, before we have our next operating session in October.

Thanks to Ron Orlando and Gary Zaro, I had several tie strips available to install in Redding. I still had to make up dozens more, plus all of the turnout ties strips. In this image the mainline, with the rails in place, has just split into a passing siding (to the left of the main) and a yard lead (to the right of the main)! The split is just out of the lower edge of the image.

Looking towards the west end of Redding it is apparent that there are several more tracks here than before. However, because a working classification yard is being installed here, we have lost the length needed to be able to use the yard tracks as staging tracks like we had with the "aircraft carrier" staging yard which was temporarily located here before construction began.

To the right of the image is the classification yard. The yard lead at the bottom left is the remnant of the old mainline before the line relocation required by the construction of Shasta Lake (similar to what happened to the real SP). It is now being used as the west yard lead and will end at a tunnel portal that has been sealed since it is below the water level of the lake. The tracks in the bottom middle of the image is where the passing siding (to the right) connects with the main (to the left). All tracks are within uncoupling reach of the aisle.

Well, that's it for this update. Thanks for checking out the progress!

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