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Building the Rock Ridge Railroad

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  • Member since
    May, 2010
  • 2,351 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, February 08, 2018 9:07 PM

All right, cool.  So, the last picture, where the tool boxes are, on the right, is that lay out space?

I'm watching this, I think an old west theme is great.  I have a hidden desire to build an old logging layout the way they actually did it.  Rails leased, ties from the woods, no ballast, only basic road bed grading, ditches and gullies bridged with stacked up logs, and all taken down when the woods was depleted.  But, I digress.

Looking forward to your build.

Mike.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, February 08, 2018 11:39 PM

mbinsewi
So, the last picture, where the tool boxes are, on the right, is that lay out space?

Partly. It goes to where the toolbox is now, I'm building a shelf for it on another wall. There's a cabinet beyond the toolbox. 

 

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, February 09, 2018 7:53 PM

 

Today I started sorting my train stuff.

I found Mongo.

Train Stuff is what was written on the side of the seven boxes when the movers packed them. I unpacked them and this is what I had to go through. I decided I needed to do this right away because I bought rail joiners when it turns out I already had 4 packs HO scale and 1 N scale. 

Anyway, this is what I had to go through.

Everything on the shelf, except the red tool box had to be gone through. On the next shelf down, the four gray bins are also model railroad supplies. On the floor, the two gray bins to the left and the closed bins on the far right are wiring supplies.

This is what I had when I unpacked just the small shelf unit and the plastic container you see on the bench below.

What was I thinking? I have massive amounts of all kinds of stuff. I have probably 200 figures, 20 wagon, and 10 decoders. I don't have 10 engines and of the one's I have, only 2 need decoders. I have maybe 30 gas guzzing vehicles. I have 6 oil columns. I must have been some crazed model railroad buying fanatic.

I have Kaydee couplers that I don't even know what they are for. I also had an envelope of 12 coupler springs. The envelope was empty by the way. Those things can run and hide even in storage.

I found 10 caboose manual turnout switches. With the 10 Humpard switches I already have and a single Tortoise I'm pretty close to haveing all the turnout switches I need. 

Anyway, I didn't finsh going through all the stuff. I'll hit it again tomorrow.

 

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 23,620 posts
Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 09, 2018 8:10 PM

 Coincidently, I had beans with dinner and all I can thing is "care for some more beans, Mr. Taggart?"

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, February 09, 2018 8:30 PM

rrinker
 Coincidently, I had beans with dinner and all I can thing is "care for some more beans, Mr. Taggart?"

LOL

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:29 PM

Got more sorting done today. Then I took a break and started cleaning up the Fastracks turnouts from my previous layout. Actually it was not a Rock Ridge layout they came from. I set up a Pennsy switching layout that was located in Indiana, PA in 1950. I had a map of the town from that period and I tried to be true to the streets and buildings--right down to Jimmy Stewart's fathers hardware store.  I tore it up because what I really wanted to be modeling was Rock Ridge--Big Trees, Small Trains. So it came between Rock Ridge I and Rock Ridge II. And you know the story from there.

Anyway, I felt like I was actually modeling as opposed to cleaning. 

It made me feel good and humbled me as well. As I was cleaning, I saw every mistake and sloppy solder joint I made. I still have to bring out the soldering iron and remove the old feeders and repair any broken solder joints. But like I said, it felt like I was actually in the hobby again. 

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, February 11, 2018 11:56 PM

I didn't get much done today because I had a family thing. My wife decided we needed more together time and so she created one day a week where we do family things. Each week we get together on Sunday, and one of us both cooks and creates the agenda, It was my wife's week and she moved the festivities to the afternoon.

It worked out because although I didn't get much done, I did discover two bagged models, both by Railway Design Associates. One was Durham's Tool and Die, which they described as a converted mill. IT just so happens I need a mill, so I am going to convert it back.

The second one is a Delahey Iron Works, and I need a silver refinery. 

So, to make them work I had to do a bit of redesign. It seems to work. I also changed the street layout. I changed the location of the Frieght Receiving Docks and nudged the roundtable down a bit to allow for an RIP track. Unfortunately, this means I have to change the framing because it lands in a major support member. 

Anyway here is the new plan. 

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, February 12, 2018 12:55 PM

For those of you who think of me as a whimsy-type modeler--okay, I admit it. I like whimsy. But I have also done some serious prototype modeling. Before I moved to Arizona, I lived in the town of Indiana, PA, which used to be a coal town. It was also a train town, so I did a little research and came up with what I thought was a pretty close representation of the town in 1950. The layout was built between The Rock Ridge and Train City I and II. 

I think it was pretty acurate considering that it had to be compressed a bit to fit on a 30" x 15 ft layout. Okay I guessing at that. I don't remember exactly. Here's the Sanborn map of the area. The map was, I believe, from the thirties.

As you can see the compression is pretty evident. I also used aerial photos from 1938.  

But of course this would only get me accuracy if I was modeling the late thirties, so I started combing the net and pictures to fill time gap.

This one shows the train station from the yard side. Quite modelable, don't you think. 

This one shows Jimmy Stewart's dad's hardware store from the side and an old train. Obviously, I can't show you all the photos I collected but it was enough to fill in the time gap and the above plan.

I can't remember why that layout came down. I was doing a lot of operating on layouts within an hour radius.

I probably wanted to get back to whimsy.

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 10:01 AM

I put a lot more research into looking for a logging railroad to model than I did into my Indiana 1950 layout. I looked at Santa Cruz from Gilmore to Los Gatos and it's shipping posibilities from the pier.

I looked at the Eureka area, especially along the Mad River. 

I even looked at a narrow guage on the western side of the Sierra Nevada, but all three had problems. 

The one railroad that came close was the California Western, but the Western Pacific didn't buy out the SP until 1907, and the California Western didn't connect with the Western Pacific main until 1911. But I could live with that. There was the Union Lumber Yard in Fort Bragg that was huge. The California Western was pretty much the railroad of Union Lumber. The rail went through the redwoods to Willits on what is now the Skunk line.  

And they had wierd motive power. They had very little geared steam and what they had was in service for only a short time. Their main fleet was comprised of 2-6-2 side tank engines. I would have found a way to make something reasonably close. it would be a royal pain-in-the-butt but I'd figure it out. 

I think the thing that turned it sour for me was the fact that I wanted a yard and the Western Pacific yard was in Ukiah. Plus the main railroad feature that Willitis is known for is a wye for turning trains. That wye would have taken 3/4 of my layout space. 

So Rock Ridge is really a model of Ft. Bragg/Willits/Ukiah. 

In the movies this is called "Based on a True Story."

So now I just have to model this:

in 6 square feet. Piece of cake.

(Be sure to click the photo to get the full effect.)  

 

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, February 15, 2018 5:51 PM

My screw/impact driver died right before I finished my day's work. That seems to be a pattern. I'm choosing to look at it this way. Hemmingway made a habit of finishing this work for the day right in the middle of a sentence. That way when he started writing the next day, he jumped in and finished the sentence, and he was off writing again. So now, I just have to finish the project, and I'll be off and working again. 

Unfortunatly my battery died about the same time as the screw driver. I haven't been able to stay awake for more than two hours for the last two days. I out-slept my cat. I'm not particularly uncomfortable. Low grade headache, some neck pain, and a slight cough/ I just have to sleep all the time. Yesterday, I slept 23 hours out of 30. 

The plus side is I have been binging YouTube when I could keep my eyes open. I've learned:

  • How to make rivers and waterfalls.
  • How to model rocks three different ways.
  • How to paint rocks 3 different ways (I don't like any of them.)
  • How to make pine trees 5 different ways.
  • How to make a Noch electrostatic grass applicator for $4. 
  • How to apply electrostatic grass in layers for that natural look.
  • How to make custom decals. 
  • How to make custom decals using plain white paper. 
  • How to transfer track plans to the benchwork.
  • How to lay track.
  • How to create easements.
  • How to create superelevateion. (You know they had the Acela in 1890 right?)

I watched two films about steam locomotives.  

Now I know I'll forget everything I learned when I start driving the first spikes. Not to mention the biggest hammer I have is only twelve pounds. 

 

Thing is I know I have only a day or so of framing the benchwork left. And that is just short pieces tofor the risers to attach to. Then, I decided, I'm going to paint the benchwork. I don't trust the plywood to stay straight as much as I'd like. 

Somewhere between framing and painting, I am going to build an incline to see if my geared steam can make it up a 4% grade. If one of you math wizzes can figure it out what the effectual grade is, my smallest radius on the climb is 16.9 inches. Without further input I'll test from 4% to 5% on an 8 foot 2x4.

I haven't been able to test until today. My track finally came. 

I may force myself to work tomorrow. Right after I take a nap. 

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,546 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, February 16, 2018 5:46 PM

I started my grade tests. The results were inconclusive. The grade of my ascent is 4%, but I have curves of 16.9" radius so the adjusted grade as per the formula provided by Bryon, is 5.89%. So I ran my test at 6%.

I testested all my locos, but only two had to make the grade (pun intended). 

My old Roundhouse Climax, and my Spectrum Shay. The Shay was always my best puller, the Climax had been sent out for tuning and when it returned it, my layout had been taken down. So it was an unknown. 

The process took a lot longer than it should have as it seems every engine had one quirk or another that I had to resolve before it could be tested.  Without further adeu, here are the results. 

The Climax pulled six full sixed cars. I only needed it to pull 4 small ore cars. 

  

My Heisler was next. It never was a good puller. I expect to use it as a switcher in the Lumber yard. It could get 3 up.

My oldest 2-6-0 got two cars up.

 

My new Bachmann 0-6-0 and my undecorated 2-6-0 got one each.

 

The reason I'm calling the test inconclusive is that the Shay broke a gear at the start of the test. I need it to haul 4-7 empty log cars up the hill. Also, my new 2-6-0 melted and I need to order a new truck for the tender.

Chip

"Rock Ridge and Rock Ridge Lumber are names that really stand for something" --Randal "Rock" Ridge, Mayor and Founder

"Mining is the very foundation of a free America." --Stanley "Stone" Ridge

"Give me Apathy, or give me something else."--Carlton Ridge, aka "The Cat"

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