I started early this spring building Track Panels. I built a jig to assemble 10' straight panels with 4" tie centers. I staggered the rails at a 5.5" offset. This way the tie spacing would work out correctly when the extra ties were added in after the ground line is assembled. I'm using EP Enterprises Plastic tie plates and Kreg #8 1.25" Stainless Steel Course thread Pocket Hole Screws. I found these screws to be excellent for use with these tie plates. The holes in the tie plates come really close to the edges of the ties I'm using and the Razor Tips on these screws sink in very nicely without splitting the wood. No need for predrilling. The best price I've found on these screws is on ebay. By Fall I had 45 panels built.

This spring I decided I needed something to use as a base of operations for my railroad. I went searching for a 40' Land-Sea Container to purchase. Come to find out they were in very short supply as the Chinese manufacturers had stopped producing them due to the downturn in the economy. Used containers were at a premium. So one day I was searching through Craig's list and found a 40' High Cube in Southern NH for sale. Went down the next day and took a look in the pouring rain. At least I knew it was dry inside! It seemed to be in pretty good shape so I bought it. It is an ex Evergreen Container.

A week later my buddy Bill Fothergill and I took Alky Heavy Haul's Landall trailer and went to pick it up. It was in a awkward position where it was sitting but after about an hour we got it loaded and headed home. Here she is sitting at her new home.

Earlier in the season I ran an underground conduit from the house to a pole beside the garden. From there it would run underground to the container. I need power out there because of lighting and to power the battery charger for my Loco.

In May I Spent some time smoothing things out getting ready to start laying stone.

In July my friend Cory and I started in rocking the right-of-way. All of the stone has landscaping fabric underneath to help prevent weeds from growing up through the rocks. We are using 7/8" stone for the roadbed and 3/8" stone for the top ballast for tamping and leveling. Poor Cory worked his butt off raking out the rock trying to keep up with me bucketing it to him with my tractor. It definitely gave my little John Deere 2305 a workout!

That was about it for this season. All winter I'll be building switches. Didn't take any more pics this year. Sandy and I went on Vacation in the Fall to the midwest again. We attended the DLS convention at the Hesston Steam Museum in IN. There I picked up a few freight cars from Scott Weatherford. Scott builds some very nice freight cars in 1/8" scale. See the Equipment Roster for pics.