Sunday, February 2, 2014

Progress at Limoilou Yard

The layout benchwork rebuilding program is now ongoing. The part located in the furnace closet was streamlined as much as possible to get an easier acces to electronic devices. Anyway, this part ouf the layout only held a 2-track staging to hold locomotives. This part of the layout has a small 0,5% grade to make up for the 1/2 inch higher track level between the two layout room.

I tested the track location of the new yard. Looks like my XtrakCAD drawing was quite accurate, which is a good thing. The track in the foreground is about 3 inches from the fascia. I contemplated the idea how adding an extra 2" x 3" lumber to widen it a bit for an access road but I’m not so sure anymore. I would need to lenghten the highway overpass which is something I don’t want to do.

I also built a quick mockup of Lairet Station with foamcore to get a better idea of the scene at Canardière Road. Honestly, the scene will be visually more interesting than I first envisionned it. It must be cause it’s a two-level station.

Finally, we started planning the benchwork modification for Canardière Road. The overpass will be an accurate rendition (except the road angle) of the real thing. Unfortunately, I discovered XtrakCAD Peco #7 curved turnout isn’t an exact replica of the actual item. It means the drawing is relatively useless to figure things out. I had to redo everything wth the real tracks which have a smaller radius than the nominal one. No big deal, however it’s a waste of time I didn’t planned. Canardière is definitely going to be a big challenge and we don’t have any spare room to fail because this is among the most iconic railway overpass in all Quebec City. That overpass was built during the 1930s economic crisis to provide work. It’s a pretty neat piece of simplified Art Déco. The abutments can hold up to 6 tracks but the overpass was build for three only. I suspect CN had plan to extend Limoilou yard northward if needed.

Here are some old time pictures of Canardière Road and Lairet Station found on a Facebook group dedicated to Limoilou from the past. Lots of good stuff there helping me to understand the little details like roads, bridges, sidewalks, telephone poles, buildings and advertising billboards. I suspect Coca-Cola did a lot of money out of that borough! They ads were everywhere, almost like a total brainwashing! I own none of those pictures and will delete them upon request from respective owners. I thanks the people who posted these invaluable sources of information.

Looking West from the CN overpass

Looking at the overpass from the West

Looking at the overpass from the East, Lairet Station is at left (under the smokestack)

Lairet Station in the 1970s with huge car dealer advertising. Limoilou yard is behind, on a 10ft high fill.
I also received a 89’ Atlas CP Rail flatcar. Very nice all metal car. Runs smooth as silk and will be helpful to set clearances on the layout! I also got a True Line 8 hatches CN reefer in aluminium. I was quite surprised to receive a second shell painted in the correct color (the factory messed up the color, painting them in grey instead of aluminium). I’m planning to repaint the wrong color shell and scratchbuilt a new underframe to get a second one. It will help lower the purchase cost.