Our Ashmore Overhaul is now Finished !!!

The Ashmore yard and turntable has been one of our most interesting areas and a great place for lots of loco activity. Unfortunately, when we moved Ashmore from our prior layout in Holy Trinity School, to its present location, we were never able to get the alignment to stabilize so that we could use it in a carefree manner. As it was, the alignment from the incoming tracks and the engine house tracks to the turntable, was always a problem. Also, because of its location, three feet from the edge of the layout, it was difficult to visually align the tracks. Because of these, and other problems, we decided to remove the entire area and overhaul it with new benchwork, trackwork, and a new turntable. We have recently completed this project.

Special thanks go out to all the guys who have worked on this project -  Ron Bergersen, Jim Hoegg, Hugh Jeffrey, Robby Kransteuber, Phil Myers, Dan Thole, John Weigand.

The turntable is now digitally controlled and the tracks into the roundhouse are selectable by way of a ten key keyboard. The alignment is handled by way of a stepper motor accurate to within .005". This makes the line up of tracks into the roundhouse significantly easier.


The Photos below are all thumbnails of the larger size photo. Just click on them to see the larger frame.


This is a picture of Ashmore taken in December of 2005 before we started the project. We will be removing the area shown and replacing it with new trackwork and a new turntable. The turntable will be digitally controlled and the tracks into the roundhouse will be selectable by way of a ten key keyboard. The alignment is handled by way of a stepper motor accurate to within .005". Construction of the new area is expected to begin in early February.
It's early February and we just received the crown jewel for our new project, the turntable and controller. The turntable was built by Phil Myers. It's material of construction is a clear rigid polymer and should eliminate our warpage and shrinkage problem we have had in the past. Hugh Jeffrey will weather the pit, turntable and surrounding area after its been put in place.
Here we see Phil Myers holding the controller and working to set it up for operation. The controller has 99 positions and is self seeking. It will allow us to select what track we want to roll into or out of, and the tracks will line up automatically.
Our Turntable is beginning to take shape. Hugh Jeffrey is weathering it for placement on to the module. We expect to start construction of the module in another month and can then begin to lay out the track plan and begin the installation of the track and structures.
Its February 20th, 2006 and John Weigand, Robby Kransteuber, and Phil Myers are measuring the Ashmore area for placement of the new base to be built. Here we see the guys taking the readings to determine the size and configuration of the base. Phil and Robby built and designed the measuring device they are using.
This is the existing control which will be removed and replaced. We intend to build a new one which will include of all Ashmore and a small additional section of the layout which is not now handled by this panel.
Its February 24th and we've started on the base for our project. Here we see John Weigand, Phil Myers, and Robby Kransteuber building the plywood and homosote laminate. When this is complete, the Ashmore turntable and structures will be laid out and the turntable placed.
March 24th and we've gotten the turntable placed along with some of the track work. Here we see Hugh Jeffrey starting to lay out the scenery while Phil Myers is shimming the track for a smooth transition into the roundhouse. We are only working one night a week now so our progress is a little slower than we originally thought. Hopefully we will be back to two nights in another month or two.
All the trackwork is complete and we are now doing the scenery and wiring. We have elected to install code 83 flex track on this project as we were a little pressed for time and wanted to get the project done in time for our coming Open House. In this picture, taken on April 4, Hugh Jeffrey with Walt Eckard looking on, is applying his scenery techniques to the pit of the turntable.
Our new Ashmore area is ready for installation. The scenery is done for the most part and the track and buildings are in place. We are now left with the task of setting the module into place, connecting the track and hooking up the wiring.
Its April 20th and Robby Kransteuber and John Weigand are using a saw to cut out the old Ashmore scene and preparing the area for the installation of the new one.
The new Ashmore scene has been set into place and we can begin to screw it permanently into its location. We still have the wiring to connect, the control panel to install, and the turntable controller to place.
One of our two new panels. This one controls the turntable and roundhouse tracks. Notice the control panel for the turntable alignment to the right of the electrical panel.
The 2nd control panel. This one controls the Ashmore yard and all the track within it. It also controls the main power for the yard and one of the main lines going around the yard.
We finally have the project complete. Some minor touch up is still required on the scenery but all the trackwork, turnouts, lighting, and  other misc. details are installed and debuged.
Another view of our yard. This one shows the roundhouse better and some of the maintenance buildings in back of the roundhouse. As a note of interest, two of the stalls in the roundhouse have been detailed with lighting, people, tools, etc.