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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, August 28, 2020 6:11 PM

Pruitt

Backdrops are not installed yet. 

Light blue on the walls would really brighten up the room and look so much better while there are no backdrops.  The dark maroon for a train room isn't doing it.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, August 30, 2020 11:04 PM

30 August 2020

All 15 feet of the track I can lay right now is down. I spent today doing wiring, including an entirely separate buss for the CNW branch. Someday it will be on a separate booster that feeds this line and the Cody branch. It was kinda tight getting up into that narrow channel to add the wiring. Here's the buss:

And here's the terminal strip with all the wires added. 

The last thing I did today was run a test train back and forth a few times to make sure everything was good. It was.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 31, 2020 2:39 AM

Pruitt
I spent today doing wiring, including an entirely separate buss for the CNW branch. Someday it will be on a separate booster that feeds this line and the Cody branch. It was kinda tight getting up into that narrow channel to add the wiring. Here's the buss:

Hi Mark,

That does look like close quarters, especially where the terminal strip is installed.

I'm trying to anticipate where the wiring will go so I can do most of it while the benchwork is wide open. I'm sure that I will run into a few tight areas but I hope to keep them to a minimum.

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 Pruitt on Saturday, September 5, 2020 8:11 AM

5 September 2020

A couple days ago I uploaded my latest update video:

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Saturday, September 5, 2020 10:08 AM

Hey Mark-

Saturday morning. Cup of coffee. New video update on the CB&Q in Wyoming.

Nice!

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 5, 2020 7:25 PM

Hi Mark,

You did make a lot of progress in August! I like the slightly wavy track bed.

Your visual presence in the video is just fine. It adds a personal touch. I thought your old videos were excellent too.

Looking forward to your next video.

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 Pruitt on Friday, September 11, 2020 7:14 AM

Thanks Robert, Dave.


I'm out of town unexpectedly for a few weeks, so not so much progress this month.

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, September 21, 2020 10:27 PM

21 September 2020

I arrived back in Casper late on the 18th, and after recharging my batteries for a couple days (it was a l-o-n-g drive!), I'm back at it on the layout.

I need to finish building the CNW benchwork above Casper at the left end. Before doing that I had to design it. Since this area will be attached to the room walls aound the outside, I needed to plan out in detail where support blocks for joists and stringers will go. That's what THIS diagram tell me:

Over the next few days I should be able to build and install most of this. I hope. Maybe I'm being a bit too optimistic...

I hope I don't run out of materials.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 12:05 AM

Pruitt
I need to finish building the CNW benchwork above Casper at the left end. Before doing that I had to design it. Since this area will be attached to the room walls aound the outside, I needed to plan out in detail where support blocks for joists and stringers will go.

Hi Mark,

Just curious to know what program you are using to design the benchwork. I have used 3rd PlanIt and I love it.

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 Pruitt on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 10:37 AM

Hi Dave,

I use CadRail. The interface has the same "feel" as the top-end CAD systems (CATIA, for example) I worked with as a design engineer.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, September 26, 2020 9:08 PM

26 September 2020

Construction has resumed on the layout. Over the last few days I completed CNW benchwork from the wall behind Casper, around the left end and back along the angled wall, where Hudson will go.

I'll be adding some sort of support to the long free span. At eleven feet, it's too springy in the center of the span to adequately support the area by itself. I'll probably use a threaded rod from the ceiling.

This is as far at the CNW benchwork will go (at least at this end) for some time. Track will be laid into Hudson and scenery completed behind Casper and around to at least the intersection of the angled section to the left-end wall.

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:05 PM

1 October 2020

I mounted the backdrop frames for the section from the end of the back wall over Casper through the Hudson area:

And then cut one of  the backdrops from the previous layout to the correct height and mounted it. This "new" part of the backdrop is 24 feet long.

Sanding it and repainting it is next. You can't really tell from this picture, but the blue surface is all scratched up from being rolled up and moved most of the way across the country.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 2, 2020 8:30 PM

I'd read your post, but I'm waiting for the movie to come out. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 2, 2020 11:32 PM

Pruitt
...moved most of the way across the country.

Hi Mark,

As always you are making fantastic progress!

Just curious - how are you finding your new home town and surroundings? You made quite a move!

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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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, October 3, 2020 12:19 AM

Chip,

You've got quite a sense of humor. How does your wife put up with you?

Dave,

Thanks! 

I lived in Casper two different times, for a total of about seven years when I was a kid. So for the most part I knew what I was getting in to. Mostly it's the same old Casper, just a bit bigger on all sides. Where we live now was just prairie hills a couple miles east of town when I lived here in the late 60's. 

Downtown Casper is shockingly the same, for the most part. Some changes of course, but the old Rialto and American movie theaters are still there, as is the underpass beneath the tracks on Center Street. Those are all icons from my youth.

Car registration in Wyoming used to be under 30 bucks, but I paid over 900 on our new Jeep Gladiator! That was rather unexpected!

Having spent so much of my life on the east coast, I'd forgotten how clear and dry the air is here. Being just shy of a mile above sea level, the air is thinner, but paradoxically it's easier to breathe here, too. My reactive airways (from asthma as a young child and a parent that smoked like the Big Boy) have a lot less to react to here than they did in South Carolina and New Jersey. Less pollen, and less pollutants.

I love the sparse population! Ten minutes from the house leaves me six minutes from the nearest human being. And what many who aren't from here (and some that are) see as dry, semi-desolate wasteland has a hidden beauty that's very soothing to my spirit. This part of the America is called "God's country" for good reason (ok, done waxing poetic).

I spent a lot of happy years in New Jersey and elsewhere, but it's great to be back. 

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, October 3, 2020 12:45 AM

Pruitt
I spent a lot of happy years in New Jersey and elsewhere, but it's great to be back. 

Mark, I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying your new (old) location.

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 mbinsewi on Saturday, October 3, 2020 6:58 AM

It's been awhile since I've checked your progress Mark.  Looking great!

Mike.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, October 3, 2020 9:02 AM

Thanks, Mike!

3 October 2020

Yesterday I got the new backdrop painted (repainted).

 

Today I uploaded my latest construction update video:

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, October 4, 2020 12:35 AM
Gidday Mark, thanks for the latest update, am pleased to hear your friends on the mend.
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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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, October 11, 2020 4:39 PM

Thanks, Bear!

11 October 2020

I got the subroadbed installed through Hudson:

And roadbed and track into the curve leading to Hudson was installed a few days ago.

Then I installed the cork base for Hudson, and built the ramp down from the mainline profile to the Hudson base. Here the ramp is under construction:

Yesterday I installed the first section of code 70 track past the east turnout at Hudson. Then I backed a train onto it.

The track past the turnout isn't powered yet. I still have to add the buss lines to Hudson, and the track feeders as well.

In a few days I'll get the code 55 track I ordered from Walthers, and I'll be able to start installing the Hudson siding. I'm really looking forward to trying that small rail track!

Just for reference to see what I'm going for, here's a medium-resolution photo of the real Hudson depot, ca. 1915. There are at least three tracks, but on the layout has only two.

The photo is looking west towards the bridge over the Popo Agie river in the far distance. The actual town of Hudson is in the middle distance to the left of the depot.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 11, 2020 7:28 PM

I'm impressed. While I'm struggling to complete my 29 foot mainline loop, you are adding new towns--benchwork to structures--every other week. 

That is what I call Gettner Done. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, October 11, 2020 7:55 PM

Mark

 

Just for reference to see what I'm going for, here's a medium-resolution photo of the real Hudson depot, ca. 1915. There are at least three tracks, but on the layout has only two.

The photo is looking west towards the bridge over the Popo Agie river in the far distance. The actual town of Hudson is in the middle distance to the left of the depot.

I don't know if you know this, but in between my attempts to get the Rock Ridge Railroad running, I built a 1950 PRR bench layout set in the town of Indiana, PA where I was living before AZ. 

Your picture reminded me.

I based the plan...

   On Sanborn maps:

Aerial photos...

And period photos

The hardware store was owned by Jimmy Stewart's dad. 

I got as far as the trackwork (I have 14 Fast Tracks Turnouts I salvaged from that,) before my wife put her foot down. It seems the layout was blocking access to her art storage shelfing, making it realy difficult to get her paintings in and out. 

Sorry to hijack your thread with my trip down memory lane. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 9:00 PM

14 October 2020

Suddenly I'm getting some benchwork contraction problems in Casper yard.

I should have expected this - my benchwork was built in New Jersey, where the basement humidity was about 35%.

Now that I'm in Casper, where a wet day is 40% and a typical day in the fall is about 20%, The benchwork grid, which is built out of 3/4" Oak Plywood cut into 3" strips, has shrunk a bit in the long direction. A couple of turnouts have bowed up a little bit, and the main turnout into the yard at the west end, which leads right into a curve, has pushed the curve a bit out of alignment.

Harrumph!

It's not major, and I've already fixed the main turnout (took about 30 minutes), but it is an annoyance. I still have to lift two bowing turnouts and trim the ends by about twice a cutoff wheel thickness to lay the turnouts flat.

There's also evidence that one or two body tracks will need to be relieved in a similar way.

What a pain!

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:54 AM

Pruitt
Suddenly I'm getting some benchwork contraction problems in Casper yard.

Just a Jersey layout adjusting to Wyoming freedom. You got this.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, October 15, 2020 12:58 AM

Pruitt
Suddenly I'm getting some benchwork contraction problems in Casper yard. I should have expected this - my benchwork was built in New Jersey, where the basement humidity was about 35%.

Hi Mark,

Would it be worth considering a humidifier?

Dave

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

  • Member since
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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 15, 2020 9:26 AM

Probbly not, Dave. Once the initial "adjustment" is finished, I don't think the seasonal variation will be enough to cause any problems. I don't remember any problems whatsoever when I lived in Cheyenne in the 70's, anyway.

Humidity fluctuates from averages of around 15% in the winter to about 30-35% in the summer. Very dry to dry, then back.

I've barely looked at Casper since starting on the CNW line, but that bowed turnout has been that way for several weeks, at least. Still had summer humidity at that time.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:25 AM

On to number 5.   Gosh!  I wish I had the space you have.Smile   I would still be on number one.

Following with interest.  Well done.

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 22, 2020 12:07 AM

Thanks for the compliment, David!

21 October 2020

Several things have been happening this past week.

I got the code 55 track I ordered from Walthers. I haven't done much but set a section next to the mainline in Hudson, to represent the station siding. Here's how that looks:

In another thread I posted about my experiments with a backdrop. Following some of the suggestions "youse guys" made, I found a printer to produce three copies (one backwards so I can put them end-to-end). Here's what one small section looks like. All three are printed on the shame wide sheet of paper. The backdrop is over 12 feet long, so between the three copies I can whip up 34 feet of backdrop! I'll lose a bit from one or two to avoid having obviously duplicated buildings right together.

Here's a comparison of the printed backdrop versus the one I printed at home. Quite a difference in quality!

I trimmed out two of the three backdrops over the last couple of days (my index finger is a bit sore from handling the Exacto knife for several hours each day!). I temporarily mounted two of the backdrops and took a couple of photos:

What do you all think? 

The printer-produced version is a bit larger than my home-printed one. I'm not sure why, since they came from the same file. But I'm thinking it might look a bit better if I cut 1 1/2 to two inches off the bottom to lower the horizon a bit. As is, the lower part of the backdrop looks out of scale if you look close.

I've also started converting my turnouts to throw them with fingers pushing the points by fabricating an over-center spring (so they can be thrown like a Peco turnout). Turns out that's not as hard to do as I expected, and it works great! I didn't take any pics of the converted turnouts yet. Maybe in a day or two...

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Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, October 22, 2020 1:41 AM

Pruitt
As is, the lower part of the backdrop looks out of scale if you look close.

Yeah, I was thinking (???), lose the bottom third for that very reason, I believe there is also an out of scale fence at the rear of the caboose.
 
Cheers, the Bear, Armchair Critic.Smile

"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 hon30critter on Thursday, October 22, 2020 2:06 AM

Pruitt
I'm thinking it might look a bit better if I cut 1 1/2 to two inches off the bottom to lower the horizon a bit.

Hi Mark,

I agree. When you did the mock up with your home printed backdrop the ratio of sky to scenery was quite pleasing IMHO. Now it looks totally out of whack, again IMHO. The taller scenery doesn't suggest the distance (or depth if you will) that the lower scenery did. I would cut it down to match your original mock up.

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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