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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:44 PM

We've moved into our new home in Casper, Wyoming, and development of Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming is underway!

Today I posted the first monthly update on the new layout to my YouTube channel.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 4:03 PM

All right, a new start, again.  Laugh

I think I like the 3rd concept you come up with,  I like that long run on the back wall.

You sure are a good narrator Mark, did you work in radio or something? 

Mike.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:57 PM

Great news.  Didn't seem to take long at all to uproot and relocate.  Looking forward to following the build.

Thoughts:

I'd want to be sure that access to the sump pump was easy for future plumbers.  They have a way of damaging things that are in their way.  No offense intended to plumbers in the audience.  Maybe making sure the benchwork is pretty narrow there?

Is the landing for the stairs to right or the left of the diagram?  I'm thinking its to the left. 

Finding a way to get the layout to extend under the stairs (to the right) and loop back from the "storage" area next to the library would add more length.  Looks like you have room to comfortably walk under the stairs and still fit track under there.  Just saying that it looks like there is some dead space near the right side storage area and the stairs that could be used.

- Douglas

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Posted by jim57 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:05 PM

Hi Mark:

I've followed your blog in Version 4 in New Jersey, and I'm almost as eager as you to see the ultimate Version 5 in Wyoming.  With regard to your 3 sketches, all feature continuous running, but have one side of the loop crossing the neck of a long peninsula.  This may prove annoying to follow a train while hustling around the peninsula end. 

Version 1 features an extra "blob" at Lovell: might be better use of space to elongate the inner track so as to approach the "G-shape" which seems to be favored by John Armstrong.  It also appears to have rather narrow aisles on the left.

I think version 2 has better aisles.  I wonder whether the track along the wall at the top (crossing the peninsula) could be re-routed out under the peninsula where Casper Yard is located?  That might be a good place to have leads to staging, and allow the through-train operator to more closely follow one's train.

JimW

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 12:08 AM

Nice to see your at it again! I look forward to seeing your new video, and all future videos on version 5!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 2:04 AM
Yahoo!!!, I can start model railroading again, even if it is vicariously!!
 
On a more serious note, I hope things go well for you and your wife in Casper.
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 6:01 PM

It's good to see you back and getting the boiler hot, Mark. Smile

I need to spend some time thinking about your various layout plans, but can't do that just yet.  Do you anticipate getting at a final plan before, say, the 8th or so?

-Crandell

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, December 5, 2019 10:29 AM

Thanks for the feedback, everybody!

Mike, I too like the long run along the back wall. The peninsula just below it is a pretty decent length as well. 

Thanks for the compliment on the narration. I was a disc jockey way back in college (1970's), but that probably didn't help much. I put together the video images, then write the narration. I record the audio in small clips that I add to the video, adjusting the length of the stills (and sometime the videos) to match. Some of the audio I have to record three times or more to get them right.

Douglas, the current sump pump drain pipe extends straight up and across the ceiling. I'll be re-routing it to the corner to get it out of the way. I've done a lot of house remodeling, so I'm comfortable with dealing with the plumbing in that area.

You're right - the landing for the stairs is to the left.

I'm "saving" the area under the stairs and to the right for staging and perhaps a branch line that will appear as I progress with plan development.

JimW - A lot of feedback from folks shows a preference for the second concept. I'm not sure I quite follow what you're getting at with rerouting track under the Casper peninsula - can you explain a bit more what you mean?

Isaac, Bear - Thanks! I'll try not to disappoint you! Cowboy

Crandell - Final plan before the 8th? Well, maybe the 8th of July, 2020! You know I would lose races to snails! Big Smile

I do hope to have a plan far enough along to begin construction in early January, but that's presupposing I can get at least some of the floor down. I may start reassembling Casper soon after some of the floor is done. I'm thinking of putting it temporarily on casters so I can move it out of the way during room construction.

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Posted by jim57 on Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:09 PM

Pruitt
JimW - A lot of feedback from folks shows a preference for the second concept. I'm not sure I quite follow what you're getting at with rerouting track under the Casper peninsula - can you explain a bit more what you mean?

Hi Mark:  My thought was to bring the peninsula-base crossing track at the top wall out to the perimeter of the peninsula, thus gaining more mainline run and enabling the operator to follow the train, rather than having to rush around to the other side of the peninsula to catch up to the moving train.  So as to avoid having the return track looping through the same scenery (Casper Yard), it occurs to me that a second level might provide scenic separation, as well as an opportunity for access leads to below-layout staging. I am of course presuming you had not planned a fully multi-deck layout with helixes.  Such a below main-level track might not need to be fully "underground", but could run on a narrow perimeter shelf around the Casper peninsula.

I certainly do not wish to discount your very extensive experience (which far exceeds my own).  Your invitation to share in the  design process is for me a learning opportunity, as I look forward to a similar project once attic renovations are complete.  At that point, I will be looking for tips from you and our fellow forum members.

JimW

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 10:02 PM

I like the second version much more than either of the other two.  Does that mean you'll be going with version 2 for sure? Laugh

I know you'll have contingencies in place for sump work, storage, workspace, getting by the benchwork to replace basement appliances, etc.

With the long main line, you'll be able to easily fit some bridges at elevation and climb to them for some relief and realism (I'm guessing there were some of those in the division you're modeling).  I expect there'll have to be a scenic divider at many places?

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 10:51 AM

selector
I expect there'll have to be a scenic divider at many places?

Doubling the height of the backdrops would be an enhancement since the room appears to remain unfinished.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, December 30, 2019 11:22 AM

Hello everyone! 

Thanks for all the input. Sorry for taking so long to respond, but between having to go back to New Jersey to get the last car (and driving it the nearly 2000 miles to Wyoming), a very persistent cold that has hung on for weeks and is finally abating, plus the Christmas holiday, I haven't had the umph! to do a whole lot. But I have done some.

JimW - thanks for your clarification. I understand what you're getting at now, and will probably make use of your suggestions if I go with option 2.

Selector - Your input is, as always, highly valued. Yes, scenic dividers will certainly be used. Their placement will be figured out as the final layout design is fleashed out. As far as which option I'll ultimately go with - see below.

Riogrande5761 - I lind of like being able to see over the backdrops on the peninsulas. Since I've kept the backdrops from the previous layout(s) for reuse here, I'm kinda stuck with the height I already had.

                                          -----

So I have spent a few hours on basement finishing. You'll see the (paltry) progress in the January video.

Mostly the time I've had available (when I've felt well enough to do anything) is in fleshing out one of the track plans. While I haven't made a decision on which option to go with yet, I've been working on a modified version of option 3 - the one with Casper in the lower part of the space. Here is what it currently looks like:

 

You can see that Casper has been set at an angle to the walls, which allows ample room for Lander and Cody, and adequate room for a turnback curve along the left wall. 

This is just a fleshed-out concept still, and doesn't show the level separation (but they have been checked, and aacceptable grades provide appropriate separation between all lines that cross). This plan does incorporate all the major elements into the layout - the NP (with a very much attenuated Laurel yard), the connection between the NP and the CB&W at Frannie / Orin, and of course the entire Burlington mainline through Wyoming. Also included are the lines to Cody and Lander.

While I've ruled out Option 1, I haven't yet ruled out Option 2. I've just fleshed out Option 3 first. The fact that most folks recommend option 2 as best tells me to take a very close look at it before deciding. But I sure do like that unbroken long wall at the top of this option!

So there's where I'm at. I'll continue refining both Option 2 and 3 over the next few months, and of course I still welcome all feedback!

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 30, 2019 2:00 PM

Mark, I do enjoy your videos (watched every one of them), but, for the sake of handiness, could we impose on you to post images of the other two plans.  Instead of opening the video app, we can just go to the posts with the plan images and compare quickly.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, December 30, 2019 2:23 PM

selector
Instead of opening the video app, we can just go to the posts with the plan images and compare quickly.

I hope you don’t mind, Mark, but I may as well try to contribute something useful.
Cheers, the Bear.

Mark 1 by Bear, on Flickr

Mark ll by Bear, on Flickr

Mark 3.1 by Bear, on Flickr

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

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, December 30, 2019 2:28 PM

Thanks, JaBear!

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 3, 2020 5:53 PM

I just uploaded my latest construction video:

This includes some updates to the basement work, plus progress on the track plan, including a new variant inspired by JimW's comments (unfortunately the new variant doesn't address the issue he pointed out - yet!).

 Below are the current options I'm looking at for the new layout:

 Option 1: Discarded.

 Option 2:

Option 3 (variant 1):

Option 3 (variant 2):

Everyone's input on these concepts is still welcome!

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, January 3, 2020 8:56 PM

Hi Mark,

I created a similar situation to your excursions around the peninsula when I designed our club's layout. I didn't have a lot of choice given the minimum radii that we wanted. Our solution is to have the operators stop their trains while they go from one side of the peninsula to the other. It is not ideal, but does avoid collisions, either between trains or between operators when somebody is scrambling to catch up with their train.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by carl425 on Saturday, January 4, 2020 9:19 AM

Mark,

I think you have provided us with a good case study on the difficulty of reusing large sections of a layout designed for a different space.

What I would do is put the Casper module in the upper right corner of the room with the roundhouse to the right, abandon the track at the back of the module and the loop around the roundhouse and continue the mainline track in front of the turntable down the wall to the right.  This would allow many new options to make the best use of your space.

BTW, with the yard in its new location, I'd also add a ladder to the left end to make it double-ended.

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 selector on Saturday, January 4, 2020 5:01 PM

Thank-you very much, JaBear.  Big SmileYes 

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 11:15 AM

8 January 2020

Carl, I've been messing around with your idea a bit. Looks interesting - I'll post more when I've spent more time on it.

Meanwhile, work is finally progressing a bit in the basement. A few sheets of OSB have been laid on the vapor membrane and fastened to the concrete:

It doesn't look like a lot of progress, but each sheet is attached to the floor using Tapcon concrete screws. They aren't easy. After installing them yesterday, I'm sore today! Age and size can be a real pain!

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 19, 2020 2:57 PM

19 January 2020

Work continues, slowly, on the basement floor:

Driving those Tapcon screws into the floor is really difficult. The drill bit is good for 15-20 holes maximum. Even a new bit in my hammer drill isn't easy. I have to put a lot of weight on the back of the drill to make the bit penetrate. Then I have to put a lot of weight on the impact driver too, to keep the phillips bit from jumping out of the head of the screw. Crawling around on my knees doing that at my age is a real challenge! 10-15 screws a day (somewhat less than two sheets fastened down) is what I consider a good day's work.

I had to move all my boxes of books (heavy!), benchwork, etc. from the middle of the cement floor over onto the first half-dozen anchored sheets of OSB. Plus I'm still sorting through a lot of boxes of workroom tools and supplies on the other side of the stairway.


 To top it all off I'm having a heck of a time with the track plan. I now have several concepts I'm working on...

A few you've seen before.

Option 2: No changes to this one since it was first posted:  

Option 3, variant 1: No changes to this one either. It's developed far enough that I know it will work:

Option 3, variant 2: Also no changes to this one. The peninsula next to the long wall reversed. I kinda like it:

Option 4 (new): Here Casper is located at the right end of the long wall. In this plan I've omitted the NP completely, and the Frannie cutoff is a hidden reversing loop at the left end of the long wall. I do like where Lander and Cody are located. Cody would be directly above Lander. I forgot the label for Frannie / Orin - it would be located directly behind Casper, at the top of the diagram. There are some elevation problems with this plan, and it may simply not work at all:

Option 5 (new): And finally, here's Casper at the opposite end of the long wall. In this one, as in the one above, the Frannie cutoff simply ends in a hidden staging yard, and there is no NP. Cody and Lander runs are still be be developed. This one would include a swing gate or lift-out section at one end or the other of the Frannie / Orin Interchange yard:

I'd appreciate any thoughts anyone has on any of these concepts.

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Posted by Doughless on Sunday, January 19, 2020 7:45 PM

Hey Mark.  I like the last plan the best.  You can follow along with the train and there is little double backing on itself.  I think those are attributes that are worth the swing gate necessity. 

- Douglas

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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 19, 2020 9:21 PM

Pruitt
Then I have to put a lot of weight on the impact driver too, to keep the phillips bit from jumping out of the head of the screw.

I've usedTapcons since forever, and I alway used the hex head, drill a counter sink in the wood, as needed.

Doing a counter sink ( it's a simple bit, best if you have a second drill to use, doesn't have to be a hammer drill)  helps with the phillips head too.

Mike.

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:34 PM

Pruitt
Driving those Tapcon screws into the floor is really difficult. The drill bit is good for 15-20 holes maximum. Even a new bit in my hammer drill isn't easy. I have to put a lot of weight on the back of the drill to make the bit penetrate. Then I have to put a lot of weight on the impact driver too, to keep the phillips bit from jumping out of the head of the screw.

Hi Mark,

Look at the bright side! At least your know that the concrete is solid!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh Sorry, your knees probably didn't think that was funny.

Have you considered using a Ramset? They use a gunpowder charge to fire special fasteners into concrete or steel. They make a lot of noise, just like a gun, but they are quick and easy to use. You should be able to rent them locally. Here is one example:

https://www.ramset.com/products/tools/tools-by-application/metal-framing/r25

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by jim57 on Monday, January 20, 2020 7:22 PM

Mark:

I also like #5 best.  Lots of mainline, generous aisles, and easy for train operators to follow the action around the layout,

Jim57

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Posted by carl425 on Monday, January 20, 2020 11:02 PM

On plan 5, do the dotted lines that make up the bottom half of the wall by the furnace mean that part of the wall is to be removed?

If that is the case, and you're confident you can pull off a good gate, I think plan 5 is by far the best.  All the rest have a spot where access is going to be a problem. Number 4 has 2!

A distant 2nd is number 2.  It has one access issue and a spot where the operator has to double back, but at least an operator can follow his train.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:16 AM

I personnally like the look of Option 2, because it looks like it will give a good amount of isle room. The big issue with that option for me is having two parallel main lines in one section of the layout (along the top/left walls). Still I think they will look fine if you sepperate them sufficiently. You may want to have a 2nd deck there if you can fit that with a continuous grade on the layout.

I think Oprions 2/3 suffer from too much parallel “spaghetti bowl” tracks, which in terms of scenery creates unprototypical scenes. It does have the advantage of having more track and more operations. Option 4 has a similar problem. Tight, narrow isles are also a concern on all three options.

Option 5 looks okay but the use of the Casper yard section will be kind of strange. It does avoid too many parallel lines!

Thats just my My 2 Cents!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:49 PM

Great feedback, everybody! Thanks!

Douglas - Option 5 is growing on me. I can see adjustments that will allow me to add the Cody and Lander branches relatively easily. A swing gate can be a pain, but Gerry Leone developed a pretty good one for his last Bona Vista, so I can just follow his approach. He detailed it pretty well on his YouTube channel.

Mike - I've used the hex head Tapcons in my old house for various things, and they are easier to use. But with 5/8 OSB for the subfloor, I'm concerned that counterboring it to recess those won't leave enough wood for a solid connection over time. I am using a second drill & bit to create a countersink for the Phillips heads, and once I replaced the cheapy #3 driver bit with good quality Dewalt bits, it has made the work a bit easier. I broke two of the cheap bits off in the Tapcon heads!

Dave - I use gel type knee pads. Otherwise I'd never get through this! I have a Ramset, and will be using it for the base plate for the stud walls. That may be too much for the OSB and dimpled underlayment, so I didn't consider using it there. I was too concerned that the force of the charge would depress the OSB by collapsing dimples around the fastener. I could just see an installed floor with circular depressions at every fastener!

Jim57 - You're right, and I'm liking Option 5 more and more.

Carl425 - Yes, the dotted lines represent a part of the studwall that will be removed. Interestingly, Option 2 is about my least favorite. It does leave room for a goodies table and a few chairs to the right of Casper, though...

Isaac - Option 2 does provide a lot of aisle space, but beyond a certain point it just becomes a waste of space, as I discovered (and corrected) on my prior version of the layout. 

Great thoughts everyone! You've given me a lot to chew on over the next couple weeks. Thanks much, and if anything else comes to mind, please share!

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:34 PM

With option 5, it looks like there might be a way to pinch the base of the peninsula, moving Thermopolis towards Wind River Canyon, then the entire base into that upper ailse a bit more.  That would allow operators to move around the entire furnace section unimpeded.

It would be a tight fit, but it might be doable with some nip and tucking.

Edit:  Or put Casper yard where Worlund and Graybull is now, allowing the Thermopolis peninsula to get shoved away from the furnace, then readjust the stations accordingly?

 

- Douglas

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 10:33 PM

Pruitt
I have a Ramset, and will be using it for the base plate for the stud walls. That may be too much for the OSB and dimpled underlayment, so I didn't consider using it there. I was too concerned that the force of the charge would depress the OSB by collapsing dimples around the fastener. I could just see an installed floor with circular depressions at every fastener!

I see your point.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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