21 OCTOBER 2017
Several new items of rolling stock have been added to the fleet, including two private owner chemical tank cars, two CNWX cylindrical grain hoppers, and a dry van trailer for Caravan Trailer Rentals. The trailer was inspired by a 1974 photograph from Keith Hansen depicting a Caravan trailer at the BCR trailer ramp in Dawson Creek.
15 OCTOBER 2017
The final phase of tracklaying gets underway today with the commencement of work on Chetwynd Yard. This view looking north shows the cleared benchwork and the various track components assembled for the project, including flex track, offcuts from previous tracklaying, rail joiners, and turnouts.
14 OCTOBER 2017
My three M-630 locomotives have returned home after a long absence. They are now equipped with ESU LokSound decoders and Star Micron speakers, and feature the latest ESU sound file for the ALCO 251 16 cylinder prime mover which was recorded from an actual M-636. They are seen here at Septimus. At right is C-630M No. 701 whose decoder has been updated with the new sound file. ALCO C-420 No. 632 and C-425 No. 810 will be the next units to be converted and have departed the layout for a while.
31 AUGUST 2017
I have taken a break from layout construction to work on some new models which will soon join the fleet. I have also completed a major upgrade to the website with completion of the Motive Power and Rolling Stock pages. The photographs illustrate the locomotives, freight cars, trailers and work equipment which will operate on the layout. I invite you to check out these new pages.
The final phase of track-laying and wiring will be for the yard at Chetwynd. I have acquired most of the required track components and work at Chetwynd will begin this fall.
23 JULY 2017
The yard at Dawson Creek is now fully operational, and several locomotives have been brought up to Dawson Creek for the testing and adjusting of turnouts. Seen here beside the station are C-420 No. 632 on Shed Track 2, and RS-18 No. 613, RS-10 No. 581 and RS-18 No. 607 on the station track.
23 JULY 2017
The final phase of wiring for Dawson Creek Yard is complete. The control panels and toggle switches have been installed and all of the turnouts in the yard can now be controlled from the fascia. This completes a three month long process to prepare the yard for operations and is a significant step forward for the layout. More photos at the bottom of the Wiring and Turnout Control Pages. A period of testing and adjustments will now be in order. A big thank you to several friends including Anthony Craig, Doug Hicks and Michael Batten who provided assistance with various aspects of the turnout control project.
15 JUNE 2017
The servos and frog juicers for all of the turnouts in the yard at Dawson Creek are now installed. Work will now commence to install the control panels, toggles and servo controllers. This is the final step in preparing the yard for regular operations.
15 MAY 2017
The first two phases of wiring underneath the yard at Dawson Creek are now complete. The track bus is in place and connected to the feeder wires for the track sections and frog juicers. The auxiliary bus is also in place and connected to the feeder wires for the servo controllers. Work is now underway to install the servos, controllers and frog juicers.
15 MARCH 2017
Track-laying is now complete at Dawson Creek, with all of the remaining tracks for the east half of the yard now laid down. This includes the elevator lead, the spur tracks for Peace River Lime and BC Hydro, and the tracks serving the station and freight shed. I have yet to install missing ties at the joints between track sections.
Several months of track bus wiring and turnout control are next.
5 MARCH 2017
Track-laying continues at Dawson Creek, with all of the tracks for the west half of the yard now laid down. This includes the spur track to the Alberta Wheat Pool and the two tracks to the trailer ramp. This view is looking west:
My attention now turns to the elevator track on the far side of the yard, and the east half of the yard tracks.
25 FEBRUARY 2017
C-630M No. 701 came home today after a lengthy absence and has rejoined the motive power fleet. The TCS AMD4 decoder has been replaced with an ESU LokSound Micro Select programmed with the ALCO 16 cylinder 251 engine (air start version) and the distinctive K5H horn. It becomes my second locomotive with sound, and is pictured here with C-425 No. 801 southbound through Septimus:
Locomotive Location Report 2017-02-25
570 RS-3 out of service with defective gear tower
573 RS-3 in service in DC mode for shows only
581 RS-10 in service; u/a on hand at Septimus
584 RS-10 in service; u/a on hand at Septimus
607 RS-18 in service; u/a on hand at Septimus
613 RS-18 in service; u/a on hand at Septimus
632 C-420 in service; Work Extra 632 Dawson Creek
701 C-630M in service; Extra 701 South Septimus
708 M-630 out of service with defective truck
710 M-630 out of service; away for sound installation
717 M-630 out of service; away for sound installation
804 C-425 in service; Work Extra 812 Sundance
810 C-425 in service; Extra 701 South Septimus
812 C-425 in service; Work Extra 812 Sundance
20 FEBRUARY 2017
All of the sub-roadbed for the yard at Dawson Creek is now in place, and the track centres have been marked on the foam track-bed. The yard is now ready for track to be laid:
15 FEBRUARY 2017
The trackage for the Northwest Wood Preservers mill at Dawson Creek has been installed. This includes the turnouts, a chip loading track, a lumber loading track, and a tie spur as per the prototype. Work Extra 584 arrived with a train of revenue freight cars to test the new trackage:
5 FEBRUARY 2017
Tracklaying at Dawson Creek has commenced with installation of the approach curve from the end of the Kiskatinaw power district up to the first turnout in Dawson Creek yard. Work Extra 632 was the first train to pass over the new trackage. This was also the first train to reach the benchwork on the south wall and the first to arrive at the start of the Dawson Creek yard:
15 JANUARY 2017
Welcome to my new website which has replaced the old one using the same URL. The first site was online from 2006 to 2016 and reached the point where it became too difficult to maintain, or even update. This new site retains much of the content from the original site, but there has been an effort to simplify and streamline the content. Please note that some pages (Operations, Structures, Motive Power, Rolling Stock) are still under construction and will be completed in due course.
New features include a slider for photographs on the Home Page, a new page in the Construction section on turnout control, a new page listing articles and books I have written over the years, a new page acknowledging those who have assisted with my layout construction, and a Contact Page for getting in touch with me or providing feedback.
Much has happened on the layout since the last update to the old site. During 2016 the entire mainline was laid with Atlas Code 55 track and permanently wired. The turnouts at Septimus, Sundance and Tremblay were powered with servos and the control panels were installed. It is now possible to run work trains over the mainline and along the staging tracks at Septimus, and all of the turnouts can be operated from the fascia control panels. Several successful Open Houses were held in November 2016.
On the equipment side, I acquired nine new BCOL bulkhead flatcars as part of the second run from Prairie Shadows, and completed my fleet of BCR van trailers and flatdeck trailers. The trailers are pictured on the Rolling Stock Sub-Page titled Home Road Trailers.
As we enter 2017, work is in progress to re-install the permanent bridge across the Pine River with Micro Engineering Code 55 bridge flex track, and preparations are underway for tracklaying at Dawson Creek. The scenic mats, temporary structures and vehicles have been cleared away from the benchwork and surveying for location of the yard tracks is now in progress.