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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
  • 2,252 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, June 29, 2019 7:47 AM

Aw gee, guys, you're making me blush Embarrassed! Thanks for the compliments!

Rich, before I was building my own turnouts, I used Peco and Shinohara. While I liked the way the Shinohara looked better than the Peco, I started going with the Peco because I really liked the over center spring on the Peco points. 

Dave and Crandell, I was very surprised by how much of a difference the fascia made. Somehow it just really says "progress!"

29 June 2019

I've painted all the track outside of Casper.

First I prepped the layout by hanging newsprint over the backdrop and putting painters tape over all the switchstands to protect from overspray. I also laid newsprint over the end of Casper yard. I spray painted the track with a Rustoleum brown. Before the paint hardened I cleaned the top of the rails, first with a paper towel wrapped around a 2X2 block, then with a brightboy to remove the more stubborn stuff. I painted all the track I've laid outside of Casper yard - all in all six switches and around 40 feet of track. It took about half an hour to clean off all the rail tops afterward - not much of a pain at all! Here's what it looked like before I removed all the newsprint:

Here are a couple shots of the finished track. You'll see some bits of paper towel in a few places on some switches - I hadn't picked those out before I took these pictures.

Casper switch to westbound tracks (towards Powder River. Paper towel-wrapped 2X2 cleaning block in the upper left corner):

And the Orin yard throat:

After waiting a few hours for the paint to dry, I went back and ran my crankiest locomotive (from an electrical contact perspective - a Bachmann ten wheeler) over all the newly painted track to make sure it was clean. It had no problems.

Finally, I placed several chunks of foam that will act as scenery base around Powder River and behind Orin:

The next step is to fill in the space between Powder River and Orin with scenery base. Then will come Celluclay over the foam.

  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,252 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 4:50 AM

Here's the July construction update video:

  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,252 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 12:51 PM

Well, big changes coming again.

Note: I'm not talking politics here; just hard data. So please don't anybody get upset.

When I moved to New Jersey last year, I intended to spend the rest of my days there, and started building what I thought would be my last layout (hopefully spending many years building and operating it). But it is not to be. Property taxes for my New Jersey home jumped significantly since May 2018, forcing me to begin looking at options.

I compared costs in New Jersey vs. costs in Wyoming (where I grew up) and found that the minimum reduction in taxes associated with moving to Wyoming will be nearly $18,000 a year! Pretty significant.

So earlier this month my wife and I went on a house hunting trip to Wyoming.

We wound up ordering a new house to be built in Casper. It will be finished in about six months.

That means, of course, disassembling the layout - again - and reuilding in an as-yet-undefined new configuration in the new house.

So the current layout will be disassembled in the next month or so, and everything salvageable packed for moving.

I know the rough configuration and size of the new basement, so I'm going to continue this thread, and my monthly video updates, focusing for several months on redesigning the layout into a somewhat smaller space. 

This will be an iterative process, and much will be based on input from folks who comment here on both the good and the crappy ideas I come up with. I'll also consider and incorporate many comments I receive on my monthly videos and from other sources. 

In a few days I'll post the new basement configuration, followed shortly thereafter by my list of givens and druthers. The ONLY things not open to "adjustment" (even in the givens) are the basement walls, the railroad modeled (CB&Q) and the general location (Wyoming).

So get ready, everyone - I'm asking for your help!

  • Member since
    October, 2018
  • 106 posts
Posted by Bigjim7 on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 1:02 PM
Well your one of thousand fleeing certain states to escape crazy taxes. Hope it works well and good luck. I will miss your post for awhile. You always took great pic.
  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 18,114 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 7:18 PM

Mark, that is sad news for us who are following your layout build. You have put a lot of time and effort into that new layout. 

I wish you well on your relocation to Wyoming. Sounds like a neat adventure. 

Stay with us and keep us posted if you will.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: In the heart of Georgia
  • 3,117 posts
Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:28 PM

Mark does not seem to have many issues getting going in designing and building a large layout at a great pace.  For many of us, this kind of move might be a problem.  For Mark, I'll bet its just a minor hiccup.

Overall, I'd expect a basement in a newly constructed house to be a better overall environment than maybe what the New Jersey basement was, so I see it as a potentially positive change in addition to an adventure.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,876 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, July 18, 2019 12:15 AM

Hey Mark,

I'm sorry that you will have to abandon your current layout given the incredible amount of work that you have done on it in the past year. Moving is supposedly one of the most stressful things a person can go through, especially when you have to tear a layout apart. You have our support!

However, I see many positives!

First, you have just given yourself $18,000 per year to spend on your layout!!! Of course that's not realistic. I'm just joking, but I can see some additional funds being available for the new layout.

Second, you have a chance to correct any of the issues that you created for yourself in the current layout.

Third, you will be in a brand new space! You now have the opportunity to deal with the backdrops before putting benchwork in front of the wall. I also suspect that dealing with the ceiling will be easier.

Fourth, you can have power put wherever you want it along the walls or in the ceiling, and you can wire the basement circuits specifically to match your needs for the layout. For example, you can have a master power shut off switch at the entrance to the room. I'd give some thought to that.

Finally, given that I am a nature lover, I see Wyoming as being a pretty attractive place to live!

We will stay glued to your progress in your new home.

Good luck with the move.

Dave

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 3,903 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, July 19, 2019 3:49 AM

CryingCryingCryingCryingCryingCryingCryingCryingCryingCrying

Hope the move goes well, Mark.

Cheers, the Bear.

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

  • Member since
    February, 2001
  • From: New Jersey, a founding member of the USSA
  • 2,252 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 05, 2019 8:13 AM

5 August 2019

Thanks for the feedback and well wishes, everyone!

Unfortunately the house we were going to have built has gone the way of the dodo. Builder turned out to be a bit unethical in their contract language, which came out in a contract addendum prior to start of actual construction. When I asked for a clarification of a term in the contract regarding the contingency that we had to sell our house first, they balked and terminated the contract (and are now trying to keep our deposit anyway!!).

Oh well, there are lots of other places out there to build or buy.

Meanwhile, here's the latest layout update:

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 21,754 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, August 05, 2019 11:02 AM

If only life wasn't so much of a struggle.  It seems like we have finally gotten out from under a cloud and....poof...another one takes its place.  At this point, Mark, all we can do is wish you the greatest of ease and of success.  This will be VERY stressful for your wife, if only because she knows how stressed you are.  Be resolved to keep an even keel through this trial.  Be strong for each other, and you'll both come out okay on the other end.

Sorry it is happening this way, but I suppose it's better that it happened before you were both fully settled and had built a strong community around you.  Or, that you have to move away from one already established. Tongue Tied

-Crandell

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 9,876 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 05, 2019 7:46 PM

Hi Mark,

Too bad about your new house deal falling through. I hope you get your deposit back.

We will keep an eye on things. I'm sure we will have lots to look forward to in the future.

Dave

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 3,903 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, August 06, 2019 4:43 AM
My kindest regards to your Good Lady and Yourself. Hope things work out fine.
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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