You'll notice some bunching and then taking out the slack. The trestle bridge is out of frame to the right. It has a pretty good hump (mistake), which makes for a lot of push-pull with the helper loco in the middle.
Wow, I've been looking back thru the thread and you've accomplished a ton! Very beautiful layout with an equally attractive season, the autumn colors really bring life to everything. Hopefully I can eventually create a layout half as decent.
Finally got around to correcting the gravel load in the Virginian hopper. On the first try it settled more than planned and didn't look right. After I had it looking right I did the alcohol then 50/50 glue/water just like track ballast, which is what it is.
The car is an old Varney. The car body was in the shape you see in the pics when I got it, and you can see - in the 3rd pic especially - that one end of it is warped. Probably stored away in a hot attic for years. I was going to toss it, but then said, WTH, it's already "distressed". Put on Kadee couplers and trucks and it rolls and tracks fine.