LAYOUT ODDS & ENDS

There are a number of features on the layout that allow for function and convenience of operations.

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On the passenger/express side, we see a Digitrax UP5 plug-in.  I have these every four feet.  Generally, they are located where operators typically stand.  Even though I run Duplex radio, one still needs to plug-in if and when the throttle loses contract with LocoNET.  Wherever there is a UP5, there are throttle pockets (the Digitrax DT402D in the pocket has a dangling lanyard attached).  The tray to the right is for uncoupling tools while a layout diagram placard is hooked below.  Even though the layout is not very large, the placard shows the names of all tracks and car spots (I did not want signs on the layout itself).  There is one placard on each side of the layout, but the diagram is orientated from each view point.

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Typical on the engine terminal side, we have a bank of timers used during operations (more on that later).  There are three banks of timers located along the locomotive servicing stations: Inspection Pits/Water, Coaling Tower/Sanding Tower, and Ash Pits/Wash Pits.  A bank is made up of two timers, one each for Inbound Tracks 1 & 2.  The upper tray contains Sergent uncoupling tool and a wand magnet (for removing loads from service train freight cars – more on that later).  The tray below is to store removable loads – in this case sand.

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The DCC command station and booster are mounted in a hinged tray that folds as shown when the layout is stored against the wall.  The plastic tray is for locomotive fault cards (more on that later).

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The tray is opened.  Upper shelf is for Digitrax 5 Amp command station with same next to it as a booster.  Lower shelf is for stuff; in this case an RRamp meter.  Inside the layout wall are plug-ins for related power packs for command stations/boosters, UP5’s, layout lighting, turntable power, etc.

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At opposite end from last picture, four feet away, a folding tray holds the control box and power switch for the Walthers turntable.  To the left is the engine terminal side layout diagram placard.

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Turntable control box in the deployed position with hasp locking it in place.  The push button switches above provide track power, when depressed, to the tracks inside the roundhouse.  I call these “safety switches” to prevent a locomotive from busting into a back wall and landing on Fillmore Avenue!  It is easy to get dis-oriented at times when operating a throttle, fast take-offs or wrong direction.  If one senses something wrong all he has to do is release the button (locomotive stops), sort himself and the throttle out, press the button again, and carry on.

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The UR92 receiver for Duplex radio is mounted in a wooden bracket and hung on two wall hooks.  It is removed and stored inside the layout when not in use.

So far, all these arrangements have worked well.

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