Tuscarora Railroad

The Tuscarora Railroad is a 1:20.3 garden railroad located in suburban Denver, Colorado. The railroad is based on the East Broad Top RR which still operates today as a tourist line in Orbisonia, PA (south-central PA). Be sure to check out Garden Railway Basics , Kevin's book on building and maintaining garden railroads for information on how the TRR was built.

Location: Denver, CO

Friday, March 16, 2012

An early Spring, and the sap starts to rise

At the risk of sounding environmentally unfriendly, if I can have a week of 70-degree temps in March, I may get used to this "global warming" thing.

Anyway, given that we've had a full week of 70-degree weather, I figured I'd see what it would take to get the railroad in full operating condition. Most of the railroad was free from snow, and only needed minor tweaking to get things leveled and cleaned so that trains could run. That took two days. However, the back part of the loop of track at Blacklog runs next to the fence, which in the vernacular is "where the sun don't shine." So, what I had was the remnants of a Winter's worth of snow (probably darned near 4' of the stuff over the course of the winter) that had fallen, melted, frozen, melted, and frozen again compacted into about 4" of solid ice. I knew there was track under there somewhere, but where?

Well, a few hours spent with a pick-axe (gently) chipping away at the ice so not to damage the rails if I were to actually find them, and here's what I ended up with:

How's that for a muddy mess? But by George, the train runs right through, and I think this may go down as the earliest I've resumed "regular" operations on the TRR.

Of course, I haven't gotten very far on my Winter "to-do" list. About the only thing I've accomplished on it so far is to repair all my broken bits on my rolling stock. I did add one flat car, and have another box car almost ready for the paint shop, so that's progress. I haven't gotten around to rebuilding Blacklog depot yet, but its interior walls finally gave up the ghost and the station literally collapsed. I shoulda taken a picture--it looked very prototypical when compared to some of the EBT's depots which have met similar fates. I had also fully intended to have built a new depot for Neelyton by now, too. My goal is to have both those projects done by June, so when the railroad is back in "full bloom," the buildings can be out there with the plants.

I've got to repair a bunch of my other buildings as well, mostly due to damage caused by a combination of deep snows and two dogs who don't quite know what's underfoot when romping through those deep snows.

It's hard to get motivated over the winter sometimes because there's no "reward" for getting stuff done in January. You can't exactly sit it back outside and enjoy it. But at least trains are now running, so there's some incentive to get some of these projects off the ground again.

Speaking of projects, work on #7 continues, though--like so much else--not at anything that resembles a speedy pace. I've ordered sound and control for it, so hopefully that will inspire me to get moving on that project as well. I've got photos, I just need to upload them.


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