What's new for this season!
Well, the Emerald Forest has gone through many changes this past summer.
The upper level (which ran on the floor of the porch) has been removed.
There was more than one reason for this.
To regain total access to the porch. We had to worry about stepping on the track, or kicking an engine, and knocking cars off the track. Actually not much of the floor was taken up, because the port holes in the brick railing allowed the train to run in front of the railing through the summer flowers, so that it was in view from the sidewalk, for about 70 percent of it's run.
There are a few new added effects that have been newly created, or re-born if you will. Some of these have not been witnessed for about 7 years. You can see some of these in the gallery section.
It was also due to the fact that as the train left the porch heading west it was on trestles that were over 3 ft. high, and this made it dangerous in high wind. The trestles made it hard to access the flowers below, around a dogwood tree that the track also ran around on these high trestles.
In order to make up for this lost level I took the level below, which had the greatest amount of track, and split it in half. This gave me two tracks at the same level. So not only can I run two trains on the outer track at one time, but on the inner track I decided to run that train in the opposite direction, So this adds magic for the viewers with one train passing the other.
The outer track now also has wider turns at each corner, which will allow me to run longer engines, and cars that can not be run with 5 ft. curved track.
The reason for running two trains on the outer track at one time is because the trains run through the basement on each pass, and the train on the outer main level is inside the house for at least 1/3 of it's run. So the added second train will be in view, while the first train on that outer track is not visible for such a long time. There are also added controllers installed so that the faster train can be slowed down, and kept from running into the second, slower train. The second train can also be parked on the side of the tracks outside the house, or inside which allows me to only run one just train at a time on that outer track if I so chose.
The lower level has also been changed with a few wider curves, and a new inner track that runs only back, and forth from one side of the yard to the other. This track will have a trolley running on it with a reversing unit installed in the track, which will automatically let it run back, and forth without touching the controls. This will also give us the effect with one train passing the other.
Take care, we hope to see you soon!