Sunday, January 26, 2020

PCR SIG weekend - Morada Belt Operations

For the Sunday operations session I had the great pleasure to visit David Stanley's Morada Belt layout. This is a two-level layout with many industries and lots of switching work. I got the job of the Morada Yard master.

Here's what the yard looked like when we started. Dave has each yard track assigned to a specific purpose and labeled accordingly on the control panel and the layout, which helps a lot with switching moves. The Morada Yard Master also is responsible for servicing the industries around the yard. Due to the track layout working the Schmierer industry in the far corner requires some planning ahead to not conflict with servicing the ice rack.

Other large industries on the layout include the sawmill seen in the lead photo above, a gravel pit, and a cement plant. All the industries are nicely done and detailed

There's also small-town switching in Acampo on the upper level, which has this nice Swift meat-packing warehouse. This is an old Suydam cardboard and wood kit, and fits the location perfectly.

Industries on the branch line are more rural like this finely detailed sugar beet loader.

The town of Morada has a brand-new, modern car dealership, built by Dave's friend Pat Davis.

Like many two-level layouts, Dave had to work through figuring out the right height for the respective levels. In order to achieve proper deck separation, while keeping the second deck easily accessible, he chose to set the lower deck low enough that it can be conveniently worked while sitting down. Here I am working at Morada yard.

Dave also included space saving features. The retractable control panel for hidden staging underneath Morada Yard was designed and built by Pat Davis, too. I was thinking about using a similar approach for some control panels on the Murrbahn project and it was really nice to see this realized here.

When starting my shift as the yard master I got a note of what I was supposed to do when, and what to expect over the course of the session. Having a line-up like this made my work in a foreign yard on a layout I've never seen before so much easier. I really appreciated that.

The operations paperwork is produced by JMRI's operations module, hence looked familiar and was easy to follow.

Dave is a great host and  I thoroughly enjoyed banging cars around all day long. Chatting and debrief after the session took up the rest of the afternoon. A great day, and a great weekend.

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