Progress on the Triple O

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Posted by chocho willy on Monday, June 18, 2018 10:15 AM

Eric, really looking good, the pile of rocks reminds me of the good old days of coquina rock finding, as they use to say "the mother load". What is the building in the corner picture, in front of the water tower, looks like a 2 story switching tower? Is that one you were working on for the MLK? Keep up the great work, Bill 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:40 AM

Bill & Tom,

Thanks as always for the encouragement and kind words!

Bill, the my father-in-law built a pair of little switch towers to hide light switches tha turn the two station tracsk on and off.  The 2x4 beauty the gang and I crafted for the build challend on Large Scale Central is just visible in the rear.  You can see its outsized observation platform.  This, too, has swithes to turn tracks on and off, but we've yet to wire them in due to family travel and bad weather.

Next on the "need" to build is a replacement for that little truss.  Kid-zilla did a number on it.  It is holding for now as I dither looking at options - wood vs. vinyl; deck girder cs. trestle.  At this stage, simple and durable will win out.

Oh, photo proof of progress...

Oldest Daughter buttressed this turn into Haluku'ilio.  She observed Mr. Otto the Cattle Dog follows this path to the guppy pond, and figured we should double brace the curve:

My father-in-law built the structures from his scrap heap, by the way.

We worked together to countersink stones in here to suppor the outer loop, add visiual separation, and give more sense of mass to the tunnel complex.  These are before and after shots, though obviously taken from opposite sides of the railroad:

Before:   After:   

 

We also replaced a series of small stones with larger rocks to shore up the mainline to Pu'u'oma'o.  Again, you have different angles, but you get the idea.  Also, I thought it time I submit proof I occassionally get dirty on the railroad, too!

Before:     After:  

Trains ran great after we leveled the grade, though the slight rise from right to left where you see the caboose disappearing still seems to slow trains down.

Hope your week is going well!

 

Eric 

 

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, August 5, 2018 2:27 AM

Aloha All!

Just a couple quick updates.  First, Gustav, our venerable 0-6-2T made "his" way back from repairs at Western Edge of Tombstone.  The old fellow had been a featured derelict on this and another site as I chased faults that had accumulated over 30+ years.  Basically, he needed every last link, gear, and rod replaced.  He came home with us after a visit with family in Arizona.  I'll try the video:

<iframe src="https://onedrive.live.com/embed?cid=DBFD37561B825D5F&resid=DBFD37561B825D5F%2114363&authkey=APxI97n7apSIRjA" width="320" height="180" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Failing that, here's the photo:

The trip provided an opportunity to take advantage of the hobby's congeniality, and yet another Tucson railroader opened his home and shop.  I got to hold a live steamer for the first time...Hmmmm....

In the meantime, the "strategic parts order" arrived, so we can slowly build up our war chest of traction tires, idlers, rail clamps, coupler bits, etc.  Again, another generous hobbyist unexpectedly donated a collection of LGB hook-and-loop parts, so we can start double-ending some cars and reparing / replacing worn out couplers.  Oh, the railclamps are the type with vertical screws.  I am curious to see how they compare with "Split Jaws."  They cost much less, for sure.  Anyway, rail clamping is on the agenda for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the tablesaw follies continued.  I'd hoped to find a cheap 4" one in Arizona.  Nope.  Our local big-box hardware store has one for ~$100, making it almost a wash with regards to shipping.   Our truss is giving out, so there is a need (in the hobby sense of the word) to cut timbers for a replacement trestle, probabaly one along the lines of the one in the most recent GR. I have a book full of trestles from our local sugarcane plantations, so I might even make an attempt to at least be evocative of those.  Then again, I might just focus on not cutting off a finger...

Our 1:1 scale fence goes in later this month.  As mentioned elsewhere, I see no better use for the dirt than to put it into raising a portion of our inner loop.  Salvaged lava rocks are on hand for that one!  

I should mention I had to divert time to another project.  A well meaning relative gave Oldest Son a roughly HO-ish toy train for Christmas.  He wants to use it for his own garden railroad.  I had a pallet in my garage from a home improvement project, gave him my hot knife, glue and styrofoam, and off he went.   

  

I am not sure how far he will get, as it is his project, but, at Bill's (aka ChochoWilly) prodding some time back, I have been looking for a way to get him going.  I consider the time diversion as a strategic investment for later.

And that is that!

 

Hope all are having a great weekend!

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by chocho willy on Sunday, August 5, 2018 9:03 AM

Eric it sounds great and I'll bet the youngster well have it done in half your time, sure I don't need to tell you but keep those pictures and post cards coming, Bill

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Posted by Neiler on Sunday, August 5, 2018 2:50 PM

Neat engine. Too wet here to play in the garden. 

My son flew over from Oahu last weekend and helped with stuff that has been bugging me. I should head over to take him to Ewa. He still likes to ride the rails! I did something right. Good for you to instill a passion for creating things in hour children. 

Malahini boy, Neiler

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, August 5, 2018 5:03 PM

Neiler,

 

If you ride the Ewa train, the LIONEL club in the railyard had LGB for sale from a large donation they took in a while ago.  You sort of have to show interest.  I picked up my LGB 2018D for a song, which the guy there still put them ahead relative to a consignment sale.

Lunch and then to the garden!

 

ALoha,

Eric

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Posted by Neiler on Sunday, August 5, 2018 5:50 PM
Thanks for the tip!
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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 4:58 PM

Nice to see the next generation growing into the hobby.

 

Dictated by Tom, typed by Carrie, Tom's daughter.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by chocho willy on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 5:23 PM

Tell Tom I said hi, thinking of him, Bill

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, August 13, 2018 2:14 AM

Aloha All!

Well, the Triple O had its Summer 2018 "Little People on the Railroad Day."  200+ mostly Wild West themed PLAYMOBIL came out to really bring the road to life, and Pu'u'oma'o becomes Green Hills and Haluku'ilio becomes Dogwallow.  To be fair, the trains become secondary to the Little People once I let go and let imaginations take over, but that is OK.  

For me, this event was particulary poignant.   If GR was proof a couple years back this project was possible, Tom Trigg's kindness, guidance, patience, and mentorship pushed possibility into reality.  He has crossed over to a better place, but he made a whistle stop in Hawai'i yesterday to join us, I am sure en route to his final destination.  The trains rain beautifully, Tom, so thanks for stopping by.

If the photos that follow are not train centric, they are a tribute to Tom, who has gifted my these memories by guiding me into this hobby.  ALL ABOARD!!

Set up begins about 0800 by placing drop cloths around the perimeter.  This saves most of the detail parts.  Oldest Son prepars to bring Dogwallow to life:

Meanwhile, the girls get Winnetou's village into order.  Note the "tree-pi."  

Meanwhile, I get to have fun, too.   I get to set up a miners' camp in our gorge. This truss is about to give out and the trestle to come will be the first product of my table saw.  I also get to set up the cattle drive, mostly because I am the only one who has seen one in a Western.

    

OUr authenticity director, aka Kid-zilla, ensured that only US rolling stock was on the railroad today...or about 18" above it, in any case:

Somebody took a shot of an actual scene of railroad personnel doing actual railroad things.  Accidents happen:

It would not be a Wild West day if deperados didn't try to rob a train!  A band of ruffians waits in our forest (rosemary) to hit a passing a freight! The ensuing melee was a two hour affair, settled by none other than Doc Holliday and the Earps, seen approachng from the left in the second picture.

     

The Ladies of the Triple O help Winnetou and his band on a hunting expedition in the Dudestep Range.  The mountain is covered in what are allegedly native succulents called 'akulikuli.  The Dudesteps themselves are lava rock and concrete rubble stacked on half hollowtile.

Meanwhile, Kid-zilla helps the good folk of Green Hills go about their business.  In the background is Hell's Mountain, named for its inability to grow anything...until we gave it a name.  It is aslo a concrete rubble and lava rock creation with "Some kine" sedum, daisies, 'akulikuli, and random succulents than seem to come and go with relative abandon.  The large tower, by the way, lets us turn a passing siding and engine service track on and off.  The townsfolk are flying a banner commemorating its receipt of the "2018 Spirit of the Mik" award on Large Scale Central.  Ugly, but fun to build and functional!  

I am always impressed by the details the kids put into their vignettes, too.  Oldest Son set up 1st Section, Battery B, 2nd US Artillery doing gun drills outside Fort Union, a good Triple O customer, and someone took the time to set up the smith at work and the parson at prayer:

    

 

By 5:00 p.m., though , all was stashed away, and the boilers dropped to cold iron.  We were outside; we were dirty.  I think Tom would've been pleased.

The Nuernberg is in want of a crewman, Tom, and I think you best get aboard!  Until we meet again, aloha 'oe!

 - Eric

 

 

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Posted by ttrigg on Monday, August 13, 2018 4:24 AM

Thanks for the kind words for dad.

If your engine takes off on its own, probably just dad out for a joy ride. As much as dad talked (phone, text, email) about you and your garden railroad he had some pride in your efforts. I was in high school before all of my 'toys' were ejected from dad's railroad. He even shared some pictures of your layout with me. Like I said before, I always thought you were a short drive from his house and I thought he had been to your place a few times.

Carrie

Tom Trigg

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Posted by chocho willy on Monday, August 13, 2018 10:20 AM

Eric, as always, great pictures, great story, great placement of actors, you should have been a movie set director. That's probably why I never got into the war of the sugar cane moguls with you. It would be like a "d" class movie compaired to a block buster. Wonder ful job always like looking and reading your story lines, Bill

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Posted by ttrigg on Monday, August 13, 2018 5:37 PM

Eric

I need your postal mail address. indymis@cox.net 

About a month ago dad told me that there are a couple wood passenger car kits in the garage that he wanted me to send to you. Today I was clearing out mom's closet, dad still had ALL of her stuff after eight years. I found a box wrapped in Christmas paper, tagged from mom to dad but not her handwriting, must have been one of her care givers. I opened the box, a wood kit for a passenger stop. I'm not sure of the proper name, it's not a station but more like an overgrown bus stop shelter. The engraved place name for the roof is "Rosebud Falls" the name of dad's railroad.

If you are interested send me your address. I'll start clearing the garage next week.

Carrie

Tom Trigg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 12:12 AM

Carrie, 

I am touched beyond words, both in that our efforts here brought joy to your Dad and that he should think of us, too.  We will be honored to allow the Triple O to become a physical a piece of your Dad's legacy.

I shall send a personal e-mail entitled "Eric in Hawaii" in a moment, but please do not hurry to respond.

 

 

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, March 8, 2019 1:06 AM

Aloha All!

I cannot believe over half a year has passed since I made an update here!  All is well on the Triple O as it passes into its fourth!!!! year of operations! Normally, I post an overhead shot to show where things stand, but a combination of bad weather, flu, and family activities prevented that this year.  It was now or never to make an annual report of our efforts.

 

First and foremost, the railroad's evolution continues to be an all hands affair.  We took possession of some lava stones, and the last great landscaping push of the Triple O - and our last great effort under the tutelage of Tom Trigg - began.  

 

I documented a slight modification to our "plantation loop" elsewhere on these pages, where we took some recycled cinder blocks and those lava stones to add a slight rise to increase the vertical separation between our loops, taking the somewhat mundane:

  to the pleasant:  

 

Tom's passing had me casting about for help on the next phase, adding a saddle to connect our two "mountains."  Fortunately, over the years, I have befriended Bill / ChochoWilly here and a number of other folks at Large Scale Central (LSC), and clan Mueller parlayed Tom's admonition to "Get outside and get dirty!" into an all-summer, all-fall push that involved the long-agonized over table saw (Thanks Bill, for the prodding!), rocks, concrete, more rocks, more concrete, foam, composite fence pickets, and a host of techniques gleaned from here, GR, and LSC to add what will probably be the last major landscaping item unles...ummm...UNTIL...we expand the Triple O's world!  

 

Beginning with this...

...we moved through various phases of stacking, gluing, painting, testing, and concreting...

  

  

...followed by some more gluing, some foam shaping, and some more painting...

...which all resulted in the following...

For the 1:22.5 men of Battery B, 2nd US Artillery, this was a vast improvement in their lot!

 

Along the way, I hadn't realized what began as a gravel pit slightly dignified by the presence of my ancient LGB into the miniature world below:

In between garden projects, I finally succumbed to Bill's gentle prodding as well as some help from the folks at LSC, and the crew and I began a project to ressurect Little Thomas, the shattered LGB M2075 as a learning project.   Though still underway, the railroad's elder went from this:

..to the more respectable this...

I was amazed what a little paint could do to the old boy!  He briefly lurched to life under his own power for the first time since 1979 or 1980 with a pair of Tamiya toy motors.  One burned out, the project went on pause, but the crew and I have used Little Thomas as a learning project on and off all fall, winter and spring.  He can still make the loop on a single motor, pulling a short train, so he has "earned" an opportunity to serve as a test bed for us to tackle dry transfers and  weathering.  More to come as we tinker and explore possibilities of "junk" equipment.

 

Most recently, we again had fun with LSC's annual build challenge, cobbling craft sticks and a shattered Bachmann Big Hauler chassis into the world's only double-hulled sailing locomotive, or ka'a wa'a, named ka Wahineokaalahao (the Lady of the Iron Road).

The crew, as they always do, drifted in and out of the project that they selected, adding their energy to this off-shoot of their Hawaiian studies courses and their Dad's (and hopefully the family's!) hobby!

 

There are those transformations I cannot picture.  Losing Tom, to whom I credit taking an idea to reality, hit me hard even though I never met him.  On the other hand, through the hobby, I have expanded my network of friends to include Bill and other enthusiasts.  In fact, for the first time ever, the Triple O played host to a traveling garden railroader!  After so many years of recieving advice and hospitality, it was wonderful to return the favor...at least in the hospitality column!

So what will 2019 bring as it enters the 2nd quarter?  I will continue to have a host of projects to attack as material and funds come available, with an emphasis on sourcing things locally when possible to save cash.  I am already researching power supplies, and I will probably explore the DIY approach.  Oldest Daughter and I have begun to sketch a plan for a trestle to replace a failing truss, and, as ever, there will be a plant to try, a fault to fix, a building to repair, Little Thomas to tweak, and maybe....FINALLY...that grand push to actually make some buildings.

 

I do not know if that will translate well into more updates to this long running thread.  If the Triple O has not matured, it is maturing.  It is no longer a railroad struggling to be, it is a railroad that is.   It is a part of our weekends and how we entertain.  It is expected to have something new for visitors to find.  It is an area where we all retreat from time to  time, even if only to trim a plant.  None of these daily interactions provide the same sweeping changes to document in words and photographs, but they all nonetheless provide opportunities to study, imagine, overcome, and, "Get outside and get dirty!"

 

Until next entry, happy railroading!

 

Eric

 

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Posted by chocho willy on Saturday, March 9, 2019 9:18 AM

Eric, as usual another perfect production and nice to see your return, always a pleasure to CFRR tenter and RPOsee and read your posts. Looking forward to seeing the progression of the power supply and the passenger cars. Looks like you have got a few things to keep you busy. Now i want to see those passenger cars in come good Hawaiian colors like my Florida ones, may be with a logo with diamond head, till then, Bill

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:54 AM
Ha! We are actually discussing what our logo will look like. The OR&L Co. was a square with the letter around it and ampersand in the middle. We were thinking of doing likewise but around a triangle. As for paint, the OR&L seems to have been a nice pine green...I see no reason we should be so restricted! Project #857 on the list...
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, April 8, 2019 2:19 AM

Aloha All!

I just wanted to document a little progress...

 

First, I took advantage of a wandering Naval Reservist to hand transport some R2 curves to the Islands, which effectively solved a stalling issue on Deadman's Curve.  Second, the first of two power supplies rolled off the lanai courtesy of Bill's prodding, technical help from Greg E., and encouragement from other.  Whille inelegant, it uses a lap top power supply, a DPDT switch, and a voltage controller, all protected by a fuse:  

Meanwhile, my father-in-law has been at it with one of his contraptions that combines wood workig skills, salvaged toy parts, and a his unbounded creativity:

Oldest Son claims he is not really interested in the railroad.  His expression as he and Grandpa work on the latest contraption says otherwise!  We'll see of this little creation returns to our rails or comes back as something else...

 

Also, below, you'll find our trame Fiery Elias happily at work:

Actually, the picture is awful.  It is noteworthy only in that Elias is happily at work on someone else's railroad!  At long last, I stumbled across fellow enthusiasts and spent a pleasant day running trains, talking trains, hearing trains, etc.  There are, in fact, more garden railroaders here than Civil War reenactors (I know.  I am in both groups!).  This has been a long time coming!

 

Alas, however, this weekend our 0-6-2T came out of the shops again only to strip his gears again, and I fear Gustav may have rolled his last mile, begging some hard thinking about how to treat the rest of my aged and aging fleet.  Also, our new PIKO Clean Machine's battery clip failed, of all things.  On the upside, PIKO came through in spades with near immediate e-mail response, a soon-to-arrive new part, and the offer to pay for shipping should the repair / replacement fail.  I hate to have had to avail myself of it, but THAT is customer service!

 

Have a great week!

 

Eric

 

 

 

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Posted by chocho willy on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 1:11 PM

Only being able to visualize and not really see I believe that the triangle is a better idea than the square as it would symbolize the triple "O" and green is always a good idea as long as it's a pretty green and mix in some other bright color like out line in red , yellow or,orange the brighter the better, make it pop, Bill

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, September 20, 2019 3:23 AM

Wow!  I cannot believe it has beem five months since my last update!  We have had a busy summer, and I have done my best to keep the kids involved with the project.  I have taken some gratification in the fact my daughtes have translated their skills and desire to create from the railroad to their own creative endeavors, but I would be lying if I pretended that I missed their help in each and every project!  Oldest Son has drifted away a bit, but Kid-zilla is in a full on "trains are cool mode," so I am taking advantage of every moment!

 

Crew evolution aside, here is what we have been up to on the Triple O.  Many thanks are due to Bill Barnwell, a frequent poster here, who continues to push me to try new things, as well as forum members here and on Large Scale Central.

 

The big project was replacing a bridge. My fathe-in-law built the truss below...

...but it tended to catch trains and fall out of alignment.   Tropical conditions had taken their toll, too, and it was time to replace it.  We used a combination of techniques, to inclue a recent GR article on easy trestles as well as  2003 article in the PC GR collection to convert a "fiberon" fence picket into a passable bridge.

 

Oldest Daughter helped with measurements and alignments...

...and later on Oldest Son helped to place and plank it...

Failed attempts at ripping this material provided ample material for crude bents...

...and with the addition of some craft stick decking we got a decent bridge:

Meanwhile, we have also slowly plugged away at a decades long dream to repower an ancient, formerly battery powered LGB 2075 that last ran about 1979...

I had delayed this resurrection project on advice of the late Tom Trigg and others until I had an operating railroad and a bit of skill under my belt. Another recent GR article on revamping sad sack locos, more cajoling from Bill, and a challenge for the folks at Large Scale Central got us rolling on this project again late last year.  Along the way, the old boy, Little Thomas in Triple O service, briefly came to life under his own power using Tamiya motors...

 

...but at least the old boy looked better!

This summer, I finally broke down and canvassed e-Bay for parts, and married an LGB "Stainz" chassis to the cab / boiler shell, carved a chassis extension, and mounted some couplers...

 

Little Thomas awaits a new motor, some filling of gaps, some additional painting, and some dry transfers, but the old fellow is closer to entering Triple O service than he has been in years! It has not been a cheap process, but it has been a learnign process, and, while not shown in the photos, the kids and even the surviving Nisei, both nearly a century old, have their hands in this project. 40 years, four generations, three families, and two cultures have their mana in this project. Hopefully, the next update to this blog will include Little Thomas, rechrisened Komaka Iki, underway, making way in new paint and lettering.

Other than that, the Triple O has settled into the pleasant routine of a maturing railroad.  The occasional new piece of equipment makes its way from the local used market the rails, as Lenggriess recently did...

...replacing our beloved but glithcy LGB 2071 Gustav as our heavy for "all in European" days.  This loco, or one like it, served the area near my father's hometown growing up, and it completes our "legacy buys." Maybe...

 

Other improvements included a final installment of 4' track sections...

...which means we can redeploy our railclamps to curves and other trouble spots.  Of course, replacing 24 feet of 12 inch sectional track introduced new bugs, but the boys, Lenggriess, and I isolated and repaired those.

 

 

Lots of little projects, but, as predicted nothing too dramatic.  I anticipate the fall will be more of the same, as we continue to improve the Triple O's reliability and overall appearance.   We have a dock to repair, a pond to consider replacing, Little Thomas to finish, at a miminum, but I predict the coming weeks will unveil new opportunities and new challenges for us to tackle and overome!

 

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by chocho willy on Friday, September 20, 2019 2:43 PM

As always Eric, it looks great and I am ver envious of your supply of "slave labor" I should be so lucky the funny thing is the all look like they are enjoying themselves!!! Tom T would be proud, keep up the great work, Bill

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, September 21, 2019 3:16 PM
Mahalo (thanks), Bill.

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