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RE-Building The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
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  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
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Posted by Pruitt 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 Lightup.com 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.

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Posted by Pruitt 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
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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, June 11, 2018 10:43 AM

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

https://youtu.be/u3GgopJujHQ

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.

Notes:

  • 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
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  • From: Dearborn Station
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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.

Rich

Alton Junction

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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.

-Crandell

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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."

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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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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.?

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by Pruitt 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 Lightup.com. 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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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, June 23, 2018 5:55 PM

Update: 23 June 2018

Work has been progressing on the basement ceiling with the installation of LED panels and white plywood panels that cover the joists. I haven't posted because pictures of painting plywood panels are anything but interesting. Still, enough progress has been made now to share a snapshot:

The installation of one more LED panel and 4-6 more plywood panels back near the gas meter will allow me to start on the Casper area of the layout. That will bring a halt to mandatory ceiling construction for a bit. Unless my wife overrides that and insists on a steady pace on the ceiling.

(And she pitches in and helps with the work quite a bit)

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 23, 2018 8:08 PM

Mark:

Thanks for the information on the LED lighting panels. Sorry it took me so long to acknowledge your answer.

Dave

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  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, June 24, 2018 4:12 AM

Mark, the ceiling is looking real good. It is a great photo because it shows the contrast between the darkness inside the joists and the brightness reflected from the panels.

I probably should be doing this in my own basement, especially since I have now completed the installation of a series of LED recessed can lights, but my wife fears that a ceiling will lower the height of the basement and make it appear too confining.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 8:13 PM

The past several days I've spent cleaning the train room, especially the floor. While it can in no way be considered "spotless," it's at least clean enough for masking tape to stick.

Here's a couple of shots of the room right now:

Tomorrow down will go the benwork outlines. Then construction starts in earnest on the Casper area.

Finally I'm going to start building a layout again!!

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 9:19 AM

My wife and I marked out the benchwork outlines on the floor using masking tape. What a big help in visualizing what is going to be built!

Then we began adding 1X2 stringers to the wall studs to support the backdrop, and test fit the first section of backdrop in place. The backdrop on this wall was salvaged from my first layout here, and also was used briefly on the layout in Allendale, SC. It will work fine with a little bit of touch-up:

And finally, yesterday we built the first of the L-Girder support frames:

Construction is finally underway!

I also put together the very first of what I hope will be long string of monthly layout update videos:

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, July 03, 2018 9:54 AM

Very nice, Mark.  I'm glad someone else has found the masking tape method useful.  It has made the world of difference in my construction of a sensible bench system.  Later, it's a bit of a pain where the sun don't shine, though, when you go to lift it off the painted concrete if, like I tend to do, I leave it in place for close to a year and walk on it several times. Huh? 

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, July 16, 2018 8:52 AM

Update: 16 July 2018

Crandell, I don't plan on ever trying to take up the masking tape. It will just have to wear off!

The benchwork is now well underway, at least in the Casper area:

This is two of the three sections for the Casper yard. 

It's taken this long to get the benchwork up because we were on a family trip out west for a week. After standing next to the benchwork I think it's too high, so I'm going to lower it about 6 inches. Then I'll get the final section for Casper built and install the backdrop in this area. Then it will finally be on to tracklaying!

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 8:04 PM

Update: 24 July 2018

Work is progressing, albeit slowly. The Casper yard benchwork is almost complete, including the sky backdrop:

Next will be fastening the foam down and starting to lay track!

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 8:55 PM

Nice cleatwork!  Cool  I think the progress is reasonable, Mark, unless you're watching reruns of MASH the rest of the time. Huh?

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, July 28, 2018 5:30 PM

Update: 28 July 2018

Today is a red-letter day on the layout. The first track has been laid!

It isn't much - just a couple lengths of flextrack. But it's a start.

This is part of the mainline through Casper, which drives the location of the entire yard and engine facilities.

Once the caulk dries (by tomorrow morning), I'll have a better idea if this approach is going to work (I think it will). Then it's off to the races!

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Saturday, July 28, 2018 6:47 PM

Love the photos, keep them coming!

Did the CBQ have any major interchange points in Wyoming?

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, July 28, 2018 7:52 PM

They interchanged with the UP in Cheyenne via the C&S (a Burlington-owned subsidiary), and with the C&NW in Casper early on, then later at Shobon, about 95 miles west of Casper.

The interchange with the NP was technically at Fromberg, Montana, a few miles north of the state line, but there only a passing siding at Fromberg, so Burlington trains went on into Laurel, MT from what I've been able to gather.

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, August 03, 2018 1:24 PM

I've just posted the second monthly update on layout progress to my Youtube channel.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, August 11, 2018 8:06 PM

11 August 2018

Progress continues in the Casper area, with the beginnings of yard ladder construction:

I had to change the switch lead a bit (that's the cork in the foreground with no track on it yet), because I forgot to include the switch for the runaround track (DOH!). The above is actually a photo after I fixed it.

Here's what the area looked like after I removed the incorrectly located cork:

The cork came up pretty easy using a putty knife. You can see where the foam surface was abraded a bit...

And here's what it looked like after the cork was relaid to include room for the switch:

It looks almost identical to the original alignment, but the lead is shifted about 1/4 inch to the left of the mainline. That was all that was necessary to allow the straight area for the switch, which will go in the foreground at the bottom left of the photo.

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, August 19, 2018 3:32 PM

19 August 2018

Work is progressing on the Casper yard. The yard ladder is slowly growing, and roadbed for the first two body tracks has been placed and is drying:

Over the past week I've also connected feeders to the finished tracks and switches. I no longer need the alligator clips on the rails!

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 27, 2018 5:50 PM

27 August 2018

Work on the Casper yard continues.

Four body tracks are now complete (except for the installation of bumpers on the stub ends), including wiring and installation and testing of Caboose Industries Ground Throws. Trains have been run in and out of all four tracks to ensure that turnouts are up to snuff - they had been in storage for years.

Coming up is completion of the remaining two body tracks and the runaround. This will require semi-major surgery on a few turnouts, which is why I paused to complete the first four tracks before tackling the rest.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, September 01, 2018 5:02 PM

1 September 2018

The Casper classification tracks are all installed and the ladder ladder switches all work properly. Feeders and ground throws are all installed. The runaround track isn't complete yet - I have to build a couple of left hand switches before I can complete it.

I scratchbuilt that station 25 years ago. It isn't the one for Casper - I just placed it there temporarily. 

Today I spent several hours laying out the Casper turntable area. This photo doesn't show the layout too clearly, but if you look close you can see the tracks, turntable and roundhouse locations. You can also see a few crossed out lines where I mislocated a few tracks and had to move them.

And finally, Thursday while out for a walk downtown, we wandered past the local candy factory (Aunt Charlotte's, a local icon) and saw that they had a huge stack of beadboard styrofoam rectangles out for trash pickup Friday. After checking with them, that stack, in very short order, found itself in my basement! It's pretty crappy foam, used as packaging in some order they received a few days ago. But it should make really great landforms for my layout, and once glued together, shaped and sporting ground cover, it won't matter what it looks like underneath. Best of all, it was completely free!

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 03, 2018 6:28 AM

I just posted my latest video update:

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, September 06, 2018 7:13 PM

6 September 2018

I've started the incline behind Casper that goes to Frannie / Orin Junction. I started out with the same pink foam I used for the Casper subroadbed, cut to an angle to produce a 2% grade (basically cut at a 2 degree angle):

The ramp, in three sections, is long enough to raise the roadbed far enough above the Casper subroadbed to allow the grade to continue on its own 1" thick riser-supported roadbed:

The roadbed on the grade is green extruded styrofoam from Lowes, as are the risers and splice plates between sections. Parts are glued together using hot glue (the soda cans are there just to hold the subroadbed down on the risers while the hot glue sets. I just left them while I proceeded to the next riser up the grade). Risers are spaced every 12.5 inches, making each riser 1/4" taller than the preceding one. I'm still a bit out of my comfort zone using foam instead of plywood, but I'm learning fast, and it sure is easier to work with than plywood!

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 10, 2018 9:24 PM

10 September 2018

Roadbed and track have been placed on most of the incline heading east out of Casper (while not arrow straight, the track isn't as curvy as it looks. The low perspective exaggerates lateral variations):

Here's a train on the grade, in a shot taken from the other end of the incline. The Proto 2000 NP Z-4 Mallet is straight out of the box, unweathered as of yet. It pulled 24 cars plus caboose onto the 2% incline, wheels slipping after about car 20 hit the grade. This is more than sufficient pulling power, as the NP locos will be relegated to the as-yet-unbuilt NP trackage on the layout. There will be no grade on the NP section of the layout.

 Here's a short video of the loco backing down the incline:

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 17, 2018 9:23 PM

17 September 2018

I spent most of the past week sorting out all my parts, tools, etc. and finally setting up my model building space. It looked like this when I started:

Now it's organized. Tools, kits and parts are out of the boxes and on shelves placed between the workbench and the wall. Sorry, I didn't take a photo of the cleaned-up workbench.

Once the workbench was ready to use, I started building new turnouts in order to complete the Casper yard engine facility. It's been four years since I've built any turnouts, so I'm having to re-learn how. Here's a completed-except-for-crossties one. I need to build about five more left-hand and a couple of right-hand to complete all yard trackage.

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Posted by agrasyuk on Monday, September 17, 2018 10:08 PM

this is quite an undertaking. i always wondered what does it take to complete a layout like this. unluckily ( or maybe luckily , i can't tell for sure) i will never find out, entire basement is not something i have. 

good luck! then again it seems that luck is not really needed as you know perfectly what you doing. 

subscribed

Regards

Anton.

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