This week we pretty-much wrapped up the scenery at the Idaho Falls Stock yards. Alan donated some self-stick grass tufts that finished it off. We’re going to make a gravel lot at the south end (on the right in the photos), and I plan to add some “dirt” inside the corrals/pens, but other than that, I think we’re there.
We’ve now started laying the cinder ballast on the yard tracks. During the steam era, the railroads would often recycle the cinders from the locomotive fireboxes and use it as ballast in the freight yards. I purchased a ballast spreader to see how it works, and it does a pretty good job. You still have to go back and brush the ballast off the ties, but the ballast spreader puts the ballast down a lot faster and a lot more evenly than a teaspoon.
I ballasted the track along the stockyard and glued the ballast down. Next week, I’ll vacuum up the excess.
Dave brought the turntable that he’s been rebuilding/redesigning for some testing. He’s just about got it. I’m guessing in the next week or two we’ll be able to re-install it on the layout.
Alan continues to work on the Island Park area. This week he added some more ground cover and foliage.
I also shot a video clip of Alan’s “flip-up tunnel”. He hinged the mountain so that it can flip up for access in case of a derailment or for maintenance.
Tim added some more trees and re-worked the treeline he’s been working on.
Tim also made some small bushes to go near his cabin on the other side of the mountain.
A couple more weeks and the Idaho Falls yard should be in pretty good shape. Our hope is to have the yard and loco facility done in time for the train show in October.
I also spent a few minutes this week and took some photos of some other areas of the layout. Here they are for your enjoyment.