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RE-Building The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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RE-Building The CB&Q in Wyoming
Posted by Brunton on Friday, May 04, 2018 7:09 AM

Some of you know that I've been preparing for retirement for some time. Some of you also know that I did finally retire as of March first of this year.

Finally, some of you know that I was in a quandry about where to retire - the home I used to occupy in New Jersey, or somewhere in Wyoming, the state in which I grew up.

Well, I finally decided. Saturday, 28 April, I arrived back at the house in New Jersey in a Penske truck with my wife (I am remarried) in the cab and most of our stuff in the back.

So the track plan I started developing a yer or so ago is the one I will build in my very familiar (to me) basement. Here it is:

Lower deck:

Lower Deck

The two main yards are general arrangement. Here they are detailed out (and with Laurel rotated 90 degrees clockwise):

And the upper deck:

I'll be documenting the construction here, for those who want to follow along. Suggestions for improvements and construction approaches are welcome as we go.

Hop aboard!

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Posted by Brunton on Friday, May 04, 2018 7:20 AM

Room Preparation

The first order of business is to start preparing the room for the railroad. This is what it looked wlike when I was building my prior version of the railroad some 14 or so years ago:

I did start adding a ceiling a couple yers later, but did not get very far when the transfer to South Carolina came upon me.

This go-around I want a somewhat more finished place in which to build the layout. I'm not talking drywall and carpeting, as the place is prone to get an inch or two of water every few years in unusually wet conditions. But the ceiling joists will be covered to reduce dust filtering down, and the floor will be leveled and painted a single color.

I've already started some lighting improvements, replacing some fluorescent tubes with LEDs. The fixtures will go completely over the next months, to be replaced with dimmable LED flat panels throughout. I'm going to order one or two to check them out before going for the full quantity I'll need.

Room prep won't be finished before layout construction begins, but it will be under way. I plan to start building the first sections of the layout in a modular fashion in early June. I'll move the modules as necessary as room prep progresses.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, May 04, 2018 11:06 AM

Brunton
I arrived back at the house in New Jersey in a Penske truck with my wife (I am remarried) in the cab

For a model railroader who is moving, remembering to take the wife along constitutes multi-tasking!  Wink

We'll watch your progress with interest.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Brunton on Friday, May 04, 2018 2:51 PM

That was kind of a funny way to say it, I guess, but I didn't think saying "...with my wife and our things in the back" read very well, either. Tongue Tied

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 04, 2018 3:00 PM

Mark, had you kept the home in New Jersey while you were relocated in South Carolina?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, May 04, 2018 10:39 PM

Glad to see you're back in the game. 

Just curious: I notice only two industies, Holly Sugar and Standard Oil. Are you planning to add more as you go, or you primarily a yard man? 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by Brunton on Saturday, May 05, 2018 8:25 AM

Rich,

we tried to sell the house when first moving to SC, but that was when housing crashed, and we couldn't get enough for it. Since then I've tried to sell a few times, but because of the horrific taxes here housing market recovery has been anemic at best. NJ is one of the states that people are fleeing. It worked out okay in the end, though.

Chip,

The two industries shown are only two of the most prominent. The biggest single industry will be the Husky Refinery in Cody, on the upper deck.

A couple of locations will have stock pens (that's all of Powder River that will be modeled, in fact). Casper will have a large reefer icing facility in the yard and an oilfiled equipment supplier plus a grocer's supply house and a pallet maker, among other smaller industries. Lovell has a glass company (makes bottles and such) and possibly a bentonite facility, although that is a bit more modern than my era - modeler's license under consideration. Worland will have Crown Cork & Seal (makers of cork products and other sorts of container seals) in addition to Holly Sugar. Greybull has Greybull Roads, a destination for some of the Husky refinery asphalt, and a sugar beet loading facility that will supply Holly Sugar. Powell also will supply beets to Holly Sugar. Lander will have an apple co-op shipper and Wyola Feeds, which makes animal feeds and delivers to farm suppliers. Douglas has a stone and gravel quarry complex and an agricultural feed processor (will make animal feed from some of the Holly Sugar products and ship to the ag stores). Most towns will also have team tracks, and most alternate between coal / oil dealerships and farm suppliers. 

In addition there is resort traffic to the Thermopolis Hot Springs, and to Cody as the eastern gateway to Yellowstone Nastional Park.

Then there are the interchanges at Frannie/Orin and Laurel.

Most of these locations will be developed in detail as time progresses.

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 05, 2018 9:59 AM

Brunton

 

...as the place is prone to get an inch or two of water every few years in unusually wet conditions.  

 

Terms like "sump pump", "dehumidifier" and "ventilation" come to mind.  Well, "french drains", too.

And "money".  Of course.

 

Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, May 05, 2018 10:42 AM

After looking at photos of the empty space on the website, I think I'd recommend a suspended ceiling, as opposed to sheetrock.  Access, for one.  Flexibility in lighting, for another.

The layout looks very appealing, to me.  I'm just now getting into modeling the Q, a bit:  a couple of the passenger trains on the Twin Cities line.

I look forward to seeing this layout being built, especially the part where I don't have to do any work, but the railroad still grows!

 

Ed 

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, May 05, 2018 10:46 AM

Hey Mark-

I am also glad to see you back in action.

That's a pretty good list of industries and whatnot. I like the idea of having a well-planned layout before construction starts. I actually live in one of those towns along your route, and as far as I know the inudstry you have listed for my town doesn't actually exist here, but I understand modeler's descretion and creative license and all that.

I will offer one little piece of info if you're interested . . . You show a little town between Powder River and Thermopolis; it is labeled as Shobon on the lower level plan. The actual name of that town is Shoshoni. It could be that the prototype route map you show on your website is printed a little fuzzy (it is an old map, after all), or it could be that you took creative license and re-named it to suit your fancy. At any rate, I am so sorry to interject unsolicited advice, and I hate to be the grammar version of a rivet counter. BTW, Shoshoni is a pretty famous speed trap. Warnings are listed on many travel websites and AAA.

Anyhow, carry on. Looking forward to regular progress updates.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Brunton on Saturday, May 05, 2018 1:05 PM

Ed,

I wish I had room for a suspended ceiling. As it is, my hair just brushes the 1st floor supporting beams, and the joists are all of about 1 1/2 inches higher. I'm going with 5mm plywood underlayment in 2X4 (feet) sections, screwed right to the joists. That will preserve most of the headspace.

Robert,

What town? I think you told me once, but I've forgotten. Several of the towns have industries that probably didn't really exist, but I tried to plop the big ones where they really were, if I included them. Adding them all would have put another refinery in Thermopolis, for example, and I thought three was a bit too redundant. That also would have added the (Diamond?) sugar plant in Lovell. There WAS a Lovell Glass Company back in the far reaches of the past, but to my knowledge it never had rail service in real life. Greybull Roads is a figment of my imagination, though somewhere along the line (my guess would be in Casper) there must have been that sort of rail customer. Greybull also had a pretty respectable engine facility, but that, too, was excluded.

I'm aware of Shoshoni. We used to go through it all the time when I was a kid. It was (and still is) the junction between Casper / Cheyenne and Riverton / Lander and Thermopolis / Cody unless you wanted to take the really long way around. Shobon was just a railroad junction between the CB&Q and CNW, about 65 miles west of Casper. During the 1930's, I think, the tracks from Illco ( 15 or so miles west of Casper) to near Shobon on the CNW were pulled up and a new CNW connection to the CB&Q at Shobon was laid when the CNW got trackage rights from Illco, an already-existing (God knows why!) junction of the CNW & CB&Q, to Shobon.

Did you ever stop at Yellowstone Drugs in Shoshoni for one of their malts? I almost cried when I heard that it closed some years ago. The end of an icon!

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Posted by carl425 on Saturday, May 05, 2018 1:41 PM

I'd take that plan and flip it top to bottom.  This would put the opening into the layout at the door and create a more open space where you might have traffic jams of operators and visitors.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, May 05, 2018 2:49 PM

Brunton

I'm aware of Shoshoni. We used to go through it all the time when I was a kid. It was (and still is) the junction between Casper / Cheyenne and Riverton / Lander and Thermopolis / Cody unless you wanted to take the really long way around. Shobon was just a railroad junction between the CB&Q and CNW, about 65 miles west of Casper.  

Hey Mark-

At first I figured Shobon was just your short nickname for Shoshoni-Bonneville, but now that you mention CB&Q/CNW had a junction there it makes sense that Shobon is what they would have called it.

This falls under the category that you learn something new every day. Thanks.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by Brunton on Saturday, May 05, 2018 7:28 PM

carl425
I'd take that plan and flip it top to bottom.  This would put the opening into the layout at the door and create a more open space where you might have traffic jams of operators and visitors.

I can't do that, Carl. It makes too much sense! Confused

Seriously, it seems like a really obvious thing, now that I look at it. Great idea! Thanks!!

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Posted by Brunton on Monday, May 14, 2018 1:11 PM

The well lit far corner of the basement is where construction of the layout is slated to begin. 

The far fluorescent fixtures havenew 4000 Kelvin LED tubes installed in place of the original fluorescents. They're brighter - 4000 lumens, and consume half the power - 40 watts as opposed to 80 watts. 

I've ordered a couple of these LED flat panels at $80 a pop, plus a dimmer, to test:

1ft x 4ft Flat Panel LED - 40 Watt - Dimmable - 4000 Lumens - LumeGen

Color Options
4000K Bright White

They should arrive later this week. They'll go in place of the far fixture in the photo, and one that can't be seen just to its left. If they work out ok, I'll order more of the LEDs (a few at a time) and install them over the next year or so.

The exposed floor joist and house systems will be slowly covered over by 1/4" X2' X 4' white-painted plywood, similar to what you can see in the far part of the photo, as the LED panels are installed.

I'm currently unpacking and putting away many boxes of modeling stuff and tools, in preparation for beginning work on the layout itself.

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Posted by Brunton on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 10:17 AM

Regarding reversing the plan top-for-bottom as suggested by carl425 -

Seemed like a great idea, but I realized the basement sump is right near the main door:

As the plan exists, this is underneath benchwork. If I flip the plan, the hole and piping are in the aisleway. 

Oh well, good suggestion anyway.

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 3:00 PM

Mark, couldn't you adjust your benchwork or something to keep the sump semi-exposed so that eventual maintenance/replacement could be effected...out in the open?  If it's covered by benchwork, way at the back.......

I see that, in the last photo, the floor is uneven.  What are you going to do about flooring?  Could you sacrifice five inches and build a cover for the piping and sump, something that could easily be lifted?

Just thinkin'.....

-Crandell

 

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Posted by Brunton on Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:15 AM

Crandell,

The sump itself will be near the front edge of the benchwork. The piping and other stuff near the wall has never been an issue, so I'm ok with it being behind the benchwork.

When I was building the prior layout at this location, I didn't do anything about the floor - just stepped past the unevenness. In the sump photo, the lowered area behind the sump is only about 3/4" deep, but another part of the floor, visible but not obvious in the prior shot of the corner, is almost two inches lower than the rest. I may fill all of these low points with thinset, but I'm still looking at options there.

One thing I DON'T want to do is add another layer of flooring generally, as head height is already at a minimum.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:42 AM

I was too lazy to read through all the text.  Are you putting up studs on the outer walls you can put dry wall in?


BTW, any relation to the maker or creator of this?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunton_compass

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, May 18, 2018 9:59 AM

Seems to me, if ya were inclined, you could lower the horizontal run a few inches by cutting/breaking out the concrete.  The you have a walkway.

 

Ed

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Posted by Brunton on Friday, May 18, 2018 11:42 AM

riogrande5761
I was too lazy to read through all the text.  Are you putting up studs on the outer walls you can put dry wall in?

Nope. Every few years an inch or two of water gets into the basement when the water table rises temporarily. I would have to dig out the floor and put in a french drain to stop that. Not worth the expense.

BTW, any relation to the maker or creator of this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunton_compass

Again, nope.

7j43k
Seems to me, if ya were inclined, you could lower the horizontal run a few inches by cutting/breaking out the concrete.  The you have a walkway.

Ed

If I'm understanding what you mean, it would be a monumental job to grind the lowered new concrete surface smooth. I may just build up ramps instead.

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, May 18, 2018 11:47 AM

Nope.  I envision two parallel saw cuts in the concrete.  Then break it out.  Then dig out some dirt.  Then lower the pipe.  Then fill the new hole with concrete.  With just a little care, the access hole for the pump should be just fine.  And then you put a cover in the hole.  And you have a "smooth" floor.  One thing to absolutely remember is to put a union in the sump, so that you can get the pump out when there's a problem.  

Doesn't look monumental to me, especially if it improves things.

If the saw cutting is a problem, you can roto-hammer a series of holes, and break it out. 

 

Ed

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Posted by Brunton on Monday, May 21, 2018 8:44 AM

7j43k
Nope.  I envision two parallel saw cuts in the concrete.  Then break it out.  Then dig out some dirt.  Then lower the pipe...

Ed

Clearly I did not understand what you were getting at. The sump in the picture is pretty shallow, and there's no room to lower the pipe without digging it out deeper. So I guess people will just have to look at the Husky Refinery in Cody as the walk the length of the room to get into the layout proper.

Good idea, though. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Posted by Brunton on Monday, May 21, 2018 8:53 AM

I've been spending some time detailing out the benchwork for the Casper area of the layout, where I'll be starting construction, while I wait for the LED fixtures to install in that area.

The benchwork for the layout is going to somewhat modular in design, with a bottom supporting L-girder frame. Resting on that (possibly attached through a simple cleat or two) will be grid-construction boxes (three in the Casper area) upon which the "money" parts of the layout are constructed.

I hope that made sense.

Here's the L-Girder supporting base for Casper (typical 1X4 +1X2 construction). This diagram is idealized - the actual L-girder lengths will vary somewhat to allow for some overlap for rigidity, and to securely support the grids on top:

On top of that will go the three grid "boxes" (built out of 1X3's):

And just to show how it should all fit together, here's the track plan superimposed:

Or I may scrap the modular approach completely and just go with standard L-girder benwork throughout.

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Posted by Brunton on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:20 PM

Finally!

After several years of waiting, planning, waiting some more, and replanning, today I took the first step in actual layout construction. I bought some lumber at Home Despot that I'll use to build the L-girder supporting framework. Cost: about $150.00.

Construction should begin tomorrow - a few days ahead of my estimate June start date.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:50 AM

Brunton

Nope. Every few years an inch or two of water gets into the basement when the water table rises temporarily. I would have to dig out the floor and put in a french drain to stop that. Not worth the expense.

Shame, it would improve the RR room environment by tons.  But isn't there a water resistant drywall you could put in and add a layer of plastic on the back side;  also only bring it down low enough that it doesn't come into contact with any water on the floor.  Does the sump pump not keep up with the water that does come in?

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Posted by Brunton on Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:51 AM

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Posted by Brunton on Friday, May 25, 2018 6:26 AM

If anyone is wondering, I did get started on construction yesterday, but I only had about half an hour in the evening. We're still unpacking and settling in, and doing a lot of landscaping work!

Here's the sum total of yesterday's progress - two 10' L-girders fabricated. Still, out of humble beginnings...

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Posted by Water Level Route on Friday, May 25, 2018 8:42 AM
Out of everything else that need to be done when moving in, you spend time starting benchwork? Good man!!
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, May 25, 2018 11:37 AM

Water Level Route
Out of everything else that need to be done when moving in, you spend time starting benchwork? Good man!! 

Or a very understanding and long suffering wife?

I moved into a home last November but my wife has a list of things that must be done first. Even after that, as much as I would like to start benchwork, I want to have the basement finished to a decent degree or I'll regret it later.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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