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Comment by Jennifer on June 23, 2013 at 10:47pm

Here's one of our trains last week at the SBHRS in Santa Clara.  It's a dream come true to run big trains and big cars on such an awesome layout.  Enjoy!

Comment by Jennifer on June 21, 2013 at 3:04pm

Blast from the past.

Comment by Jennifer on June 21, 2013 at 2:57pm

Thank you both for your comments!  I'll see what I can do...   The same sentiments have been expressed by some at the sbhrs in Santa Clara, where we're members. :-)

Thank you Mike!  I believe the concept on the reverse bridge was that when open, it's already as far down as it can go.  Frankly I'm really amazed by it.  Jamie's engineering has been astounding.  :-)

Christopher thank you too.  I passed your kind words on the the designer and builder of the layout.  She incidentally, is also the person you're looking for to improve the throttle app.  She's a designer/developer for one of the device manufacturers.  We have jmri and it's operated on my old dead laptop that Jamie reconfigured with Linux.  We use Kindle's and the ui has a lot of opportunity for improvement.  The throttle needs to be isolated sufficiently from other buttons; it needs to have a better feel too.   I had a lot of fun with the ice house and scratchbuilt some details.  Ha ha, just when I needed it, Red Caboose released a series of Ice Service reefers; looks just like the ones in the book.

As we speak the bridge interrupt system is being checked out.

Thanks again for your kind comments and happy Summer Solstice!

* pic is my original concept for the layout

Comment by Christopher Palomarez on June 19, 2013 at 6:16pm

I agree Mike...Mars needs women!

Jennifer the Ice house is shaping up really well! The level of execution on the benchwork is incredible. I agree with the DCC (lack of)'s horrible. DCC could really benefit if a UI designer and tech savvy model railroader would hang out and write a good iPhone/Android app. In protest of bad UI experience, I haven't bought a DCC throttle. Instead use a home built DCC throttle and computer with JMRI to do all my programming.

Comment by Mike Davis on June 18, 2013 at 4:55pm

@ Jennifer: Please encourage more of your friends to join the hobby, model railroading right now is such a boys club and in my opinion needs a lot more women in. BTW keep up the good work I built too built drop bridges on my layout, however, mine raise up instead of lower, fewer components involved and no risk of something breaking causing it to fall or drop out from under a train.

Comment by Jennifer on June 18, 2013 at 3:54pm

Some updates since my last.  The bridge has been working brilliantly.  Easy to unlatch and lower and very straightforward to realign when raised.  A portion of the layout has been elevated.  The yard tracks and main on the far side.  The ice house has been largely completed as has the freight station.  Lotsa fun, and amazing to operate.  We upgraded the electronics and added two solid state reversers and added a giant power supply and booster.  It's getting there.  

Comment by Jennifer on June 18, 2013 at 3:46pm

Comment by Jennifer on June 6, 2013 at 2:17pm

Hi Sean.  Ten years ago I had my first Kato layout occupying my dining room floor and part of the kitchen.  A year ago in our last place the PSRR was on the floor.  It drove me crazy lol!  But we learned to run underneath and behind things and we had about the same trackage as now.  This one is a dream come true.  We're going to work on getting some elevation with it...  I suspect that the Kato tack will be replaced with conventional.

Back in February I scored one of those and an FEF with very few hours on them, nearly brand new at The Train Shop in Santa Clara.  That really made my day, lol.  We canx our order for the new one, but probably will grab a 4000 when they come around.  A 9000 would be a gas...  Those we'll run at the club of course.  ;-)

Thanks for your comments!

Comment by Sean Mitchell on June 6, 2013 at 10:07am

I wish I had space for a layout, I pretty much only have a floor layout at my place, no plywood yet. My crown jewel is an Athearn 4-6-6-4 UP 3985 with a tsunami decoder I installed. 

Comment by Jennifer on June 5, 2013 at 12:53pm

Thank you Jim.  DCC is really amazing.  The UI for it however is nothing short of ridiculous in this day and age, but progress is being made.  Changing the various sound parameters is really a pain but the results are amazing.  Most smart phones and devices can also interface. 

We've got lots of steam as you can see.  I'm from Wyoming and grew up in Petaluma/Cotati but spent the summers out there where my grandfather worked on the UP, so it all sunk in.  I missed steam, but remember the turbines for sure.

Thanks for the info on the ice facilities in Sonoma.  Very interesting!  According to the PFE book Santa Rosa had an icing facility there...

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