New NP 4-8-4 Northern engine

I just received my new Broadway Limited Paragon 3, Northern Pacific 4-8-4 Northern steam engine that I ordered last October. I have coded the engine into my JMRI program on my layout PC and turned off the smoke setting. I hope to take the engine to the WMR Club on Thursday and run it in the operation session. I ran it around my layout and it does not like my tight curves.

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Naches river bridge

Bridge walkways

Adding a maintenance walkway to the railroad bridge on my layout gate can not only increase the visual interest of the railroad bridge, but also narrow the space between the bridge and the plexiglass walls on the sides of the gate. While I wait for the plexiglass to be cut, I have been looking for a reference for the width of such a maintenance walkway and height of an outside fence on the walkway. I have yet to find such a reference and don’t know of a real bridge with a walkway that could be measured. References are welcome.

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Ballast test strips

Ballast acquisition

Since I recently started thinking about ballasting track I have visited Model Railroader Video Plus and YouTube to learn more about ballast. Also Chris Jacobs, a friend from SWWMR club, gave me a suggestion of using “Play Sand” for ballast. A 50 lb bag of play sand from Lowe’s cost me less than $5 while Woodland Scenic’s ballast is ten times more expensive. As previously illustrated I just have to sift the Play Sand into three sizes. The attached photo shows two test strips with various sizes of ballast.

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