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RE-Building The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by Brunton on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:14 PM

Over the past week I built one more set of L-girders, these two being eight feet long.

After that I tackled the ceiling and the room lights.

I picked up four new 2'X4' sheets of 1/4" plywood for ceiling panels and painted them bright white (glossy). Here's one ready to install:

I finally received the two LED panels I ordered about three weeks before. I wired one up and temp installed it to test its color and light output. Both looked very good. A side note: The folks are are not very fast, and their customer service is rather abysmal, but at $40 a panel their price can't be beat!

The center fixture here is the first to be replaced. It's a ballasted fluorescent fixture that draws 80 watts for two bulbs. The LED panel, which only draws 40 amps and is about 15% brighter, is laying across two L-girders in the lower left (the thing with the blue back):

Here's the temp install of the LED panel for testing:

 Here's the panel final installed with the ceiling panels in place (obviously I need additional ceiling panels on the right side):

And here's a closeup of the final mounting method - four extra-wide mirror mounting clips. Since the LED panels are very lightweight, these clips are more than sufficient to secure the LEDs in place. A bonus is their price - $3 at Home Despot for enough clips for two LED's:

Next step is to mount the second LED panel to the right of the first (in the third photo of this post), and complete the ceiling panel installs in that area. After that I'll continue with framework construction for the layout. The plan is to finish the ceiling over every section of the layout as a first step to starting that section (it's much easier to do that without having to climb over benchwork!). I'll be working on Casper for some months before proceeding out onto the mainline, so ceiling construction will temporarily end shortly.

  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by Brunton on Thursday, June 07, 2018 6:57 AM

Take a look at the back of these fluoresent fixtures! This represents about 10 years of dust and dirt filtering down from the rooms above (click on the picture to see it larger. The smaller version tends to wash out the dust).

Over time this stuff would all wind up on the layout. Good argument for putting up a ceiling...

  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by Brunton on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:43 AM

I've posted a video introduction to my train room:

This video is an introduction to the home of the new CB&Q in Wyoming. It shows the basement room which will house the layout, gives a tour of where various locations (towns, scenic highlights, etc.) on the layout will be positioned, and also discusses upgrades being done to the room itself.

The video may not default to an HD format, but you can change it to the full resolution if you wish.


  • Video was shot with a Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge smartphone using the internal microphone. Opening and ending screens were created using Powerpoint, and the entire thing stitched together using Windows Movie Maker.
  • I'm not a professional narrator, but I did spend some of my college days as a radio disc jockey. The narration isn't flawless (nor is the sound quality), but it's generally understandable, and isn't filled with too many "and"s and "uh"s...
  • The video is not professional quality, but it does stay on topic and the video isn't too jumpy. Take it for what it is, ok?

If anyone has any suggestions for improving future videos and the soon-to-begin monthly updates, please let me know. Comment here or send me a PM.

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 17,178 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, June 11, 2018 11:20 AM

Mark, I plan to hit the Report Abuse button for two reasons.

One, you have confiscated the entire basement without your wife's knowledge.

Two, you have your wife's consent and that makes me jealous.

I only have 1/3 of our basement for my layout.

The video is great, and it is quite easy to view on my laptop using Windows 10.

I find your project interesting and relevant since I am in the process of rebuiding my layout in an unfinished basement. While I do not get water in my basement, I have painted all the walls (poured concrete) with 2 coats of Drylok as a moisture barrier. I have also sealed the concrete floor with a concrete sealer. I have not finished the ceiling, but I am in the process of replacing a series of suspended fluorescent fixtures with LED recessed can lights (54 across the entire basement).

You have quite a project on your hands. I understand your impatience between "finishing the basement" and "starting the layout". I tried to do both at once and finally gave in to finishing the basement (Drylok, sealer and LED lights) before going any further with the layout.

This is great stuff so keep us informed as to your progress. Looking forward to your updates.


Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 21,314 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, June 11, 2018 11:35 AM

Thanks for the update and video, Mark.  You have a great deal to work with, and lots to do.  I would not finish/refinish the floor.  As you say, it's already painted three or four times over.  I would use rubber matting or interlocking tiles only where I will be walking and standing.  Also, the walls look as if they have been wet at times, so you might want to take a hard and sober look at perimeter drainage if it exists.  You are very wise not to place structures intended to be permanently in place against all those bad spots and plumbing/gas lines.

I sincerely wish you great, constant, and enduring success and happiness on this vast undertaking.


  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 3,473 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, June 11, 2018 11:28 PM
Gidday Mark, the video is just fine as is, thanks for sharing.
It’s given me food for thought.
Add my vote for the rubber flooring.
Will look forward to updates when they happen, no pressure, of course.Smile, Wink & Grin
Have Fun.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,362 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:50 AM

Hi Mark:

Good video! You are a lucky man to have so much space available for your layout!

I'm curious about the LED lighting panels. Our club has a need to add more lighting to the layout room. I have never seen the LED panels that you are using. Could you provide a few specs, i.e. power requirements, where you got them, etc.?



  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,073 posts
Posted by Brunton on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:05 AM

Thanks everyone, for the very kind comments!

Dave, here's the data on the LED panels I'm using:

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

Color Options
4000K Bright White

The source is Their customer service kinda sucks - it took over two weeks to get the first two panels, and their warehouse is right across the Delaware River from me (standard shipping is next day, I'm so close). I didn't mind the delay all that much, but whenever I checked the order status I was  told "Shipping tomorrow!" That went on for about ten days. Still, at $40 a pop, it was worth that hassle.

I've ordered four more. We'll see how long it takes to get those. Estimated delivery at time of order Sunday was this coming Friday.

Meanwhile, work on the ceiling continues...

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