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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, December 25, 2020 7:44 PM

Mark

Since my early teens I have always wanted a turntable and roundhouse on my layouts.  I model HO, my first and second layouts were 4’ x 8’ and both had a small turntable and roundhouse (John Allen’s G&D).

My current and last layout (still small) has a CMR 135’ turntable and a Korber kitbashed roundhouse to accommodate my Cab Forwards.  Your Roundhouse and turntable look like the same as mine.  I’m very glad to hear your going to keep it, the night pictures of it with the lights on are fabulous!!!!

You are very talented and it would be a shame to scrap such a beautiful structure.

I have a short fuse too and know where you’re coming from.  I want to see more pictures of your rebuilt roundhouse.

This is my five stall Korber and 135’ CMR on my 10’ x 14’ layout.


 
 

Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 7:54 PM

Pruitt

Rich, I do plan on using the roundhouse extensively, but not all stalls will be filled because several steamers will be out on the road at any given time, most notably in staging with trains ready to enter the layout during an operating session. In fact, counting switchers, I already have more steamers than my roundhouse will hold.

Part of my operating sessions will include "hostling" the locomotives, moving just-arrived losos through the service track and into the roundhouse, while at the same time assigning a fresh loco to the train if it's a through job, or assigning locos to originating trains.  ALL trains will switch out motive power in Casper (that's all assuming I have enough operators to do that).

Thanks, Mark, for posting that info on how you plan to operate the turntable and rounhouse.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, December 25, 2020 8:01 PM

Pruitt

Rich again, I haven't felt like dumping everything into the trash for a long time. With this kind of setback, I'm really questioning if I will get to where I have an operational layout with at least some scenery complete. 

Yep, I often ask myself the same question. I have been working on the construction of my new layout and track testing for almost 3 years now. I start to wonder if I will ever get to the point of operating it instead of dealing with problems. I think that a big part of my frustration is due to the sheer size of the layout and the number of locomotives and rolling stock that require testing and maintenance.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, December 25, 2020 10:33 PM

DARN!!!
seems a rather inadequate response!!!

"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 selector on Saturday, December 26, 2020 1:27 AM

Mark, my first three layouts were all operational, if not complete, within six months.  The one I'm currently building is now 5+ years, and I still don't have a yard or a single structure placed.  This build is just a different fish, in a new home, new, more interesting, garden, and I don't seem to have that overwhelming urge to complete the layout any more.  I do two months, then six go by.

I think I understand your pent-up desire to get this beast whipped and purring with running trains.  You have had a huge setback in having to move.  I think it would have taken the mojo out of me for quite a while, and it really is why I have taken over five years on this one; we moved. 

Now, you have what seems like a catastrophe, but really...it's not.  You have stubbed your toe, and you're making the paint peal as you hop around in a loud voice.  Who hasn't had something unexpected make us take three steps back?  But as you admit, and now understand, your structure was a wreck...a pretty wreck, but it was a wreck all along.  You're gonna rebuild it, and you'll never have to face this again. Stick out tongue

You're doing really well, maybe a bit stretched thin after so many days hard at it.  You're going to put a nice kit together for a break, and you can still do other stuff for the diversion if offers.  It's all good, Mark.

Deep breaths.  Better glue.  More determination.  And wiser now. Headphones

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, December 27, 2020 8:04 PM

27 December 2020

Everyone, thanks for the encouragement and empathy. It helped.

Mel, thanks for the compliments! My turntable is the older (pre-DCC-programmable) Walthers 90-footer, and the roundhouse is their matching three-stall kit with add-on stalls (actually two three-stall kits plus add-ons. I could build a whole 'nuther one-stall roundhouse with the parts I have left over).

Reconstruction has begun, and it's actually going better (and easier) than I thought it would. Current state:

One thing I discovered as I examined the parts is that the liquid glue I used to put the structure together only grabbed in one or two spots along the length of the seams between parts (those seams were not painted), where they actually touched firmly. Everywhere else the parts weren't close enough for the glue to soften the plastic and bond them together. That's why the structure was so weak, but at the same time is why it all just came apart without destroying the parts themselves.

This time I'm using Testors gooey cement to reassemble the structural pieces. No more easy "disassembly" for this structure!

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, December 27, 2020 10:26 PM

Well, that is certainly good news, Mark. Good luck in reassembling the roundhouse.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:31 AM

I know it was a complete shock, but by the 5th of next month it will all be a bad memory. I'm happy you are resilient, Mark.  Anybody who could walk away from that fantastic helix and go in a new direction has my admiration. Cool

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 1:12 AM

It's funny how we resist re-doing what we have already done, but we have to do it. 

In my case, it is relaying sections of track that I have already laid and thought to be bullet proof, only to find out that I was wrong. But, I gotta do it.

Rich.

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Posted by selector on Monday, December 28, 2020 12:52 PM

I did precisely that, Rich.  On my most-imaged layout from back in 2006-2012, I had one section that wouldn't work for a new BLI Hybrid TTT-6 UP 2-10-2. All other locomotives were good on it, but not this one new locomotive.  I was careful to eliminate the locomotive, perhaps the obvious choice for the real problem, so that left the tracks.  I kept lifting the outer rail on a curve until the locomotive ran through it without derailing.  By then, the ballast was a mess.  So, I took up the rail after softening and scraping away the ballast, rejigged the roadbed at the bad spot to keep the outer rail at the correct height, and then reballasted.  No more problems, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 4:26 PM

selector

I did precisely that, Rich.  On my most-imaged layout from back in 2006-2012, I had one section that wouldn't work for a new BLI Hybrid TTT-6 UP 2-10-2. All other locomotives were good on it, but not this one new locomotive.  I was careful to eliminate the locomotive, perhaps the obvious choice for the real problem, so that left the tracks.  I kept lifting the outer rail on a curve until the locomotive ran through it without derailing.  By then, the ballast was a mess.  So, I took up the rail after softening and scraping away the ballast, rejigged the roadbed at the bad spot to keep the outer rail at the correct height, and then reballasted.  No more problems, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes. 

My sentiments exactly, Crandell. And, as you say, thankfully the other locomotives didn't start acting up due to the changes. Amen to that!

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 28, 2020 5:57 PM

deleted

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 1, 2021 11:10 PM

richhotrain
In my case, it is relaying sections of track that I have already laid and thought to be bullet proof, only to find out that I was wrong. But, I gotta do it.

Rich.

Many years ago (mid-1980's), I ran diesels. They seldom derailed - I thought my trakwork was pretty good, with it's 24" radius curves. Then I got my first brass loco. 

I'd dreamed of owning one for years, and finally I did. It was a PFM Great Northern H-6 Pacific. I've still got it. It's beautiful!

It derailed on curves all over that layout! The minimum radius was 24 inches, and they really meant it! I thought my curves were pretty smooth, and my mostly-Athearn fleet handled them fine. But many curves apparently had tight spots where the radius dipped just a bit below 24". The Pacific happily jumped off the rails at each one.

I spent many hours re-laying those curves. When I was done the Pacific stuck to the rails as well as the diesels, but I learned a lesson about quality of trackwork that has stuck with me through all those years - close isn't good enough! It has to be right, or somehow, someday, some tiny little variation will bite you in the backside.

So I feel for what you're going through now, Rich. And I understand what Crandell went through in the past as well. But in the end, the work it takes to fix the problems will be well worth it.

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 1, 2021 11:32 PM

1 January 2021

And now, the first update of the year.

I haven't taken any recent photos of it, but the roundhouse reassembly is proceeding pretty well. It's almost done - should be finished in a couple days. Selector, you're prescient!

A few days ago I finally got the ballast I'd been waiting for from Arizona Rock and Mineral. "Pink Lady," it's called, and it's apparently what the Chicago & NorthWestern used all over their system.

 

So a couple days ago I went out into the back yard to dig up some dirt to mix with the ballast for my barely-maintained Lander branch. I didn't want it to look like a Class I mainline!

I cooked the dirt in the oven for awhile to dry it and kill any seeds and bug eggs, and when it came out it looked like this.

Come to think of it, that's pretty much how it looked going in, too.

After it cooled, I took it down to the train room, where I ran it through a couple of different sized sifters. After that was done, I had two different sizes of dirt, what I call "fine," on the right (just a bit smaller than the ballast), and "dust."

I mixed the ballast with some of the fine dirt, and a bit more of the dust. Now, it was time to ballast. Oh boy! I haven't attempted to ballast track for years - almost since high school in about 1972!

But yesterday evening I jumped in with both feet (what did you do with your New Year's Eve?). After a bit of time passed, I had the ballast laid down for about three feet of track. It looked like this.

I was rather pleased - that almost exactly how I wanted it to look! The only thing left to do was glue it down.

I used the more-or-less standard approach of wetting the ballast with alcohol (70%, since I had that at hand), the applying diluted white glue as the fixative. I wasn't at all sure I hadn't just created a godawful mess - now it looked like this.

I've watched videos on ballasting on MRVP and on YouTube, so I held my despair in check for the evening and headed back up where the normal people hang out.

This morning I went back downstairs to see how bad it looked, and I was greeted with this.

I was both relieved and very happy! That seemed to work out just fine! The ballast with the glue is still a bit damp, which I think is why it's darker than the stuff I haven't glued down yet. It will probably lighten up as it fully dries. But even if it doesn't, it's still okay.

So that was my first foray into ballasting in close to 50 years. Now it's back to the roundhouse, I guess.

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Posted by NorthBrit on Saturday, January 2, 2021 5:33 AM

A good job done, Mark.  Well done.

I hope there was nothing in the oven whilst you were cooking?   Chef  Laugh

 

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 richhotrain on Saturday, January 2, 2021 4:59 PM

It looks good, Mark.  Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 3, 2021 3:14 PM

Thanks, Rich.

I just posted my latest video update:

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 3, 2021 4:37 PM

Hi Mark,

Well I can certainly say that I had a more enjoyable Christmas Eve than you did! I'm glad that you were able to recover the round house, and your wits!

I have always used Tamiya's Extra Thin Cement and I have never had it fail. In fact, separating a joint once the glue has dried is nearly impossible. I find that it goes a long way so the cost is not an issue.

Cheers!!

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, January 8, 2021 5:28 PM

Dave, I've started using the Tamiya's Extra Thin as well. It really stinks, but it seems to work well.

8 January 2020

I've spent a bit of time ballasting, using two different methods for gluing down the ballast. Either way works just fine. The one I like best is what the local model railroad club does - adding dry wallpaper paste (a fine powder) to the ballast. It's about a 20% paste mixture. Then I just spray the laid ballast with wet water and the ballast is stuck down tight! Much easier than the alcohol soak and diluted glue saturating everything.

Here's where I was yesterday. Ballast was in place, but needed some touch-up to cover some exposed cork roadbed edges.

So I did the touch-up and had this after wetting it down.

As of this morning, here's what the ballasted section looks like.

Good enough, I think! Next I'll remove some of the wax paper covering the backdrop and install finished scenery around the track.

I put up a YouTube video about how I make the in-need-of-maintenance ballast.

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, January 8, 2021 5:58 PM

Well, that certainly looks very good, Mark, and I love the backdrop.

Anxious to see more ballasting photos.

Does the powdered wallpaper paste dry clear?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, January 8, 2021 9:22 PM

Rich, I can't see the wallpaper paste at all. Even before spritzing it with water, I couldn't see it in the final mix. That stuff is about as fine as talcum powder.

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 17, 2021 8:28 PM

17 January 2021

Well, with the help of many of you in another thread here on the forum, I survived my first use of a static grass applicator. Here is the result:

The grass may seem a bit sparse, but here in the semi-arid state of Wyoming it seems about right. Below is a photo taken from Rendezvous Road near Hudson WY. You can see that the grass is sparse (and shorter) near the edge of the road at the bottom of the picture. I'm thinking the rail line grass was similar 80 years ago, but maybe a bit longer. What you can't see in the model photo are the small dark green bits of ground foam that I added to represent the weeds that stay green. I probably need to add more of that down the line.

I covered the backdrop all the way down to the curve at the end of the wall, and started adding more Celluclay ground yesterday. It's now about done - just one more batch behind the track way down there where you can't see it in this picture. Then it's back to adding dirt, ballast and more weeds and grass!

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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, January 18, 2021 12:59 AM

Pruitt
What you can't see in the model photo are the small dark green bits of ground foam that I added to represent the weeds that stay green. I probably need to add more of that down the line.

Yes, compared to the 1:1 photo, the green weeds don’t stand out.
But I dunno Mark, but if that was the Bears efforts, I’d be over the Moon!
Marvellous!
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 NorthBrit on Monday, January 18, 2021 4:37 AM

A job well executed, Mark.   I would love to see a side on view of the picture with the train  not showing the baseboard edge.   My guess then,  one would think it really was Wyoming.

 

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 Monday, January 18, 2021 1:28 PM

Thanks Bear and David.

Here's that side view without the fascia. 

You would think the truck would easily be able to keep up with the train, since the train averaged about 25 mph on a good day, but those old roads were little more than wagon trails. The deep ruts make it a rough ride even at 15 mph. At 25 the bouncing threatens to send the barrels in the back right over the sides! But the driver is sure trying!!

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 24, 2021 10:43 PM

24 January 2021

The last week has seen the installation of the Casper skyboard and the beginnings of assembly of the rest of the tank car loading racks for the refinery.

A few days ago I mounted the framing for the skyboard:

Then I cut the old skyboard from the New Jersey layout to the correct height (it was taller) and we began mounting it to the frame. My wife was a big help!

We learned very quickly that installation was much easier with the CNW fascia removed, since it hangs down about an inch and a half below the CNW benchwork, and the backdrop tucks up right against the bottom of the benchwork. Fortunately, removal (and replacement) was easy.

After several hours' work spaced over a few days, the skyboard was up. 

All of the seams need a bit of work. After being rolled and unroalled and jounced along for about 2,500 miles, they're no longer invisibly smooth, and one started to come apart. But some Testors gooey cement, some filler putty and sanding will have it ready for a fresh coat of paint.

I pushed Casper into place in the corner to see how it all looked:

Casper is usually out in the middle of the room, so it's kinda different to see it pushed back into its final position. It leaves a lot of open floorspace!

I received the rest of the tank car loading racks - seven kits - so I got started assembling those. I'm following an assembly line process with this batch. Here's all the stands I'll need for the entire rack.

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 2:59 AM

Pruitt
I pushed Casper into place in the corner to see how it all looked: Casper is usually out in the middle of the room, so it's kinda different to see it pushed back into its final position. It leaves a lot of open floorspace!

Hi Mark,

I guess I'm not too good at interpreting layout plans. I have always thought that you intended to have an aisle behind Casper simply because it wasn't placed against the wall when you were working on it. However I couldn't understand the need for an aisle there. Now that you have moved Casper into its final position against the wall the lightbulb in my head has finally been lit and I have a much better understanding of how that whole wall of the layout will look. It looks great and it finally makes sense to me!! Pardon me for being so slow on the uptake.Dunce

Cheers!!

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, January 29, 2021 10:19 PM

Test...

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 9:59 AM

3 February 2021

I just posted my February layout update...

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 11:11 AM

As usual, Mark, nice video.

You are in the wrong hobby. Forget about model railroading as skilled as you are at it.

You should be narrating YouTube videos or maybe even television broadcasting.

Rich

Alton Junction

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