So, for close to 1 year, I researched making my own manual turntable. Then I figured that would be another one of those never gets done projects so the next best thing? Buy a ready made one. The Atlas turntable has been around almost longer than I have and it's manual (though there is a motorization kit for it) and there had to be some out there for the taking, cheap. New ones cost over $30 so buying one of those was out.
After looking on and off for over a year on eBay, at train shows etc. I found one in Springfield at the Amhearst Show for $8.00, after a little haggling. Joy and jubilation! Now I could put this one obsession behind me and finish building them damn staging modules.
|First the modules needed to be wired.|
|The turntable portion of the portable staging module completed.|
|And finally.. The whole thing assembled together, ready to be put to work.|
After I finished building it, I sat back feeling smug and gave myself the obligatory pat on the back for a job well done. Feeling the relief of getting this monkey off my back I had time to reflect on just how my new creation would fit into my operations scheme. Then it hit me.. the Ma & Pa didn't run out and back locals or manifests or passenger trains. Everything that started in York ended in Baltimore. Everything that started in Baltimore ended in York. Theoretically, nothing needed to be turned in Red Lion staging except for the helper engine that was part of each manifest freight till it got to Delta, PA where it would be turned to help the next train in the other direction. I still have the hand print on my face from the face palm I gave myself.
So with the turntable being semi useless, and the engines still needing to be handled to take them on and off the layout, I'm back to square one figuring out what to do about handling engines.
For now I'll just deal with other things I've been obsessing over: Where am I going to get the ingredients to mix up Ground Goop? Can I use black sanding grout for cinder ballast like I've seen reported about online, and which brand? I see another building construction site has extruded Styrofoam, and I wonder if they have leftover scraps? But them guys in the hard hats look mean, and they'd probably look at me like I had two heads when I tell them what I want it for. And I really want a pickle car but did they ever run over the Ma & Pa? To be continued...