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WGR 2002 Construction
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WGR Construction by year

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September 5, 2002

I got the bug for large scale trains this past June when I visited the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL. They have a large scale display, the Jr. Railroad, with 11 operating trains around recreations of 40 historical landmarks. I had been contemplating where and how to have a train set up in my house, but could not come up with a location that wasn't already in use that I could take over without causing major strife. Once I saw the Jr. Railroad my path became clear, I would have to build one in the back yard. After getting WAF (wife approval factor), I could begin planning. So I have been spending the last few months researching and developing a track plan. I am currently working the track plan using RR-Track. Once I have completed a first draft I will display it here.

September 26, 2002

I have the first draft of the layout done. I've also have an alternate version that puts the crossover between the two loops in a different spot. I'm planning on constructing it in four phases. The plan for each phase is:

September 30, 2002

I've been compiling a potential roster for the WGR. This is a "wish list" for the railway. Since I just bought my first car today, I decided to put the list out here for all to see. Not all of these will be acquired, but they represent the types of equipment and rail lines that I would like to have.

November 5, 2002

I think I'll be going with the alternate layout. I like the location for the crossover better. Of course this may change before I actually get to laying that portion of the track but it is what I will go with for now. I've also reworked the phases for the layout. I believe this plan will let me get some track down sooner than the previous phase plan would. The new plan for each is:

December 1, 2002

The Christmas Division of the WGR went into operation today. The office Christmas tree was erected and the track set up underneath. I expanded the 4' circle that came with the starter set with two 2' straight pieces to make a 4' x 6' oval. It was well received by the kids (including the grown up kids). Here's a couple of pictures. Two minor operating glitches have been encountered. The rubber from the traction wheels for the Rogers locomotive wore off rather quickly onto the rails causing power pickup problems. It was probably due to the fact that the train had been in box for a long time and the traction tires had aged prematurely. Once the outer layer of rubber wore off no new deposits were left on the rails. The rails were cleaned and operation has been fine since. New traction tires will have to ordered.

The second operating problem is that the Aristo 5400 power supply included in the Rogers starter set cannot power the Rogers engine with the three Sierra passenger cars. The overload protection cuts the power when the engine starts going at more than a crawl. So the train operates with only two passenger cars. I have ordered Aristo ball bearing wheel sets (29132B) to replace the existing wheels that use the carbon brushes for power pickup for the Sierra Cars. I hope this will reduce the drag enough to use the 5400 power pack for the Christmas train. If not, I will have to get a larger power supply.

This page last updated March 13, 2007