Sunday, December 29, 2013

Six Months and no updates

Sorry about that. I have been making slow progress, but my hobby time is rather limited, so I try to spend it on the layout rather than on telling everyone what I've been doing. But I should have a pretty comprehensive updated posted in the next day or two.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Work IS Progressing...

...there just aren't many photos of it.
I've been building turnouts, organizing the storage / work room, and preparing additional benchwork components for assembly / installation.
I've constructed two #8 Fasttracks code 83 turnouts for the entry into Laurel yard from the NP mainline. I have one more to build, then I'll need to construct several code 70 #6 turnouts. Laurel yard is getting more complicated as I go - I'll post an update to that part of the track plan soon.
I've been painting benchwork components for the ten days or so, in preparation for assembly and installation during this weekend's group work session (the first since April). That will provide space for the opposite end of Laurel yard, and take the NP track to the opposite end of the room from where the roundhouse is planned.
As mentioned, I'm having a work session this weekend (Saturday, 15 June), so I expect I'll have some photos to post early next week.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tracklaying Is Underway!

Progress continues on the new CB&Q in Wyoming, albeit a bit slowly.

A couple weeks ago I started laying track on the NP mainline on the side of the peninsula opposite the Laurel yard. The mainline track is code 83. The yard, when I get there, will be code 70. Not sure about the siding at Laurel yet, but I'm leaning towards 70 there as well.

About 15 feet of track is down, including some superelevated track around the end-of-peninsula curve that will skirt the roundhouse.

As you can see from the shot just below, lots more stuff I need it for construction is winding up on the table. I'm short on work table area, so it winds up on future ROW for now:

Here's a close-up of the loco on the curve, showing the superelevation in the loco's inwards tilt:

I've borrowed a set of Fast Tracks #8 turnout jigs from a friend, and will soon be building the mainline turnouts that will go into Laurel yard. The first of these is necessary before much more in the way of track can be laid.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Plywood and Roadbed

Part of the Laurel tabletop for the yard and engine servicing facilities is down, and I've begun laying roadbed. As of April 3rd, it looked like this:

The framing square is in the future turntable / roundhouse area. The roadbed that's laid is for the big turnback curve at the end of the peninsula. The squiggly cork not yet installed is some stuff that was in boxes for our move. I don't know if it will ever flatten out, so I may never use it. What's laid is stuff I cut the previous day from the roll I bought years ago (the roll survived the move in pretty good shape).

This is just a close-up of the roadbed, showing how I simply pin it in place on curves until the glue dries. On tangent sections I just add little bit of weight to ensure that the cork doesn't pull upwards from the roadbed in spots before the glue dries:

Sorry for the marginal photo quality - Clearly I need to get my tripod out to take better photos under room lighting - the flash doesn't cut it very well.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Construction Begins!

I finally have a few photos!

Here's the room where the main part of the layout will be. As you can see, this is a pretty nicely finished room, which means I'll have to be very careful to protect the floor from finish-damaging debris, glue drip and what-not:

I had a work session yesterday (Saturday the 23rd). Five of my model railroading friends from Charleston spent two hours on the road (each way!) to come out and help get the construction ball rolling.

By the end of this first session, we had the Laurel benchwork framing complete and risers installed. We also laid in the first two sheets of plywood at the far end (the wide end) of the peninsula, but I took these photos before we did that. 

This is just a shot sighting down the risers to see if the tops line up reasonably well. I think they do:

And here's my construction crew. Left to right is Allen, Phil, Jim, John and Jimmy. I hope I can convince them to come back again - in four hours we did what would otherwise have taken me weeks to accomplish! They all said they'd be back, but that's as they were all running for their cars before the two hour trip home!
 Thanks, guys!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The basic layout arrangement has now been set (until I change it, anyway!). There have been changes to the NP trackage - I moved Laurel from against the wall over to a peninsula, to allow access to all sides of the 7'-wide tracks and engine terminal. Here's the basic plan:

You can see the new position of Laurel on the NP. Other elements of the track plan are more of the "general arrangement" variety - only the NP is currently detailed.
I think I can fit Lander back into the plan. Initially I thought I would have to leave it out, which would reduce the layout to only one branch (the Cody line), but if I can work out the elevations properly, I'll have a much better operations scheme with both Cody and Lander branches.
I might even be able to fit Lusk (C&NW east staging) back in, positioning it over the turnback curves for NP staging. I'll have to mull that one over a bit...

Monday, February 18, 2013

NP Trackage

Here's a diagram of the new NP Laurel MT / CB&Q Scottsbluff NE interchange and staging (which generally refer to as the NP trackage):

The grayish lines are a 12" grid. I've included some dimensions for this area of the layout to give a sense of size.

Minimum radius on the NP trackage is the same as it was on the NJ layout - 36 inches. The rest of the layout will be 30 inches on mainlines, with some industry trackage possibly a bit tighter.

At the top of the diagram, where the 3'-0" dimension is, is the doorway that leads into the layout. The dotted lines are the edges of the benchwork. I've adopted a 3'-0" minimum aisleway width for the entire layout.

The Laurel interchange yard is actually somewhat larger than the original I built in the NJ version of the layout - there are now three yard tracks rather than two, and the tracks are longer than they were. The engine servicing area will also sport a larger roundhouse than I had room for before.

As you can see in the diagram, there is room for some industry tracks near the engine terminal area inside the turnback curve, and possibly in the area behind the tracks at the opposite end of the yard. Time will tell whether or not I utilize these areas. I may increase the size of the engine servicing facilities (adding a second track to the turntable, for example, and a rip track).

Towards the bottom of the diagram you can see where the tracks penetrate the wall into another room at the bottom. This room will hold the Seattle and Minneapolis stanging yards, which have been combined into one six-track yard with a through track in the center. One side will be used for Minneapolis (or eastbound) and the other for Seattle (westbound).

Sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll post the basic arrangement for the Wyoming mianline and the Cody branch.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Status Update...

Layout planning is continuing. A workable general arrangement of benchwork and major layout features has been developed, and only (only!) detailed planning is left to be done.

This version of the layout will be simpler than the New Jersey version that was under construction, for a couple of reasons:
  • First, I want something I have a chance of completing to a major extent (all trackage, basic scenery, and detailed scenery in some places) within a decade or so. I want to have most of the main tracks operational and be able to start ops sessions within a couple of years.
  • Second, while I have about the same square footage available as before, the configuration is different, and I have also to make allowances for access to areas around the layout that are not train related (storage closets, spare bedrooms, media room, etc.).
  • Finally, and maybe most importantly, I don't just want to undertake a project of such megalithic proportions again - at least right now.
Yeah, I know purely text posts aren't as interesting as photos. As soon as I have the track planning a bit farther along, I'll post some of the in-work diagrams.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Phoenix Begins To Rise!


Work has just begun on the newest incarnation of the CB&Q in Wyoming! Just barely - the first section of benchwork has just been started. But the important thing is that it has started!

Track planning is probably about 20% complete and is ongoing, but one part of the layout has been firmed up enough to begin construction.

Photos and the in-progress track plan will be posted soon, so check back!