....after weeks of doing everything else but spending time with my trains i finally found a few hours for my hobby. i installed two digitrax decoders in two lifelike sw9 engines. it was amazing how smooth the installation went. disassembly of the drive, solder two wires to the motor, reassemble, install the decoder and finally solder the wires to the decoder. that's all. approx 10minutes per engine. after that the dcc frenzy continued by adding decoders to 3 kato sd70acu. smooth as silk. i had a discussion with markus who told me i had to mill the frames a bit in order to make installation of the decoders possible. but this was not the case. ok, the front of the decoder is a really tight fit and one might break the board by not taking care. but all 3 engines ran smooth. if you know what you're doing there's no reason to mill the frame.
today i spread ballast on the two tracks leading to the workbench. unfortunately i had to leave without gluing down the ballast. maybe tonight. or tomorrow. shouldn't be a big thing. once done i will be able to install the backdrop on this section of my layout.