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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,325 posts
Posted by York1 on Saturday, October 14, 2023 5:20 PM

Mark, this is impressive!  Great work.  I envy you having that much room and the energy to build a layout to fill the room.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,384 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Friday, October 27, 2023 9:46 AM

Thanks guys!

27 October 2023

Since my last update I installed most of the Douglas passing siding. It's connected to the mainline on the west end of Douglas (Casper end), but isn't on the east end yet. For the 24th of October operating session it acted as one of the east staging tracks (holding train 177, the westbound through freight).

 On October 14th I installed temporary roundhouse tracks at Greybull. By the 16th I had them wired. With the number of sound locos on the layout, I have to be approaching the point of no return for my DCC system, so I added on-off switches to the roundhouse tracks. Casper roundhouse will also be retrofitted with on-off switches on the roundhouse tracks - someday. Soon I'll have to add power boosters to the layout.

By the end of the day on the 17th I had the Thermopolis skyboard installed, though the seams aren't yet filled. That will be done in the next week or so and the skyboard will be painted.

I spent several days cleaning the train room and the layout in preparation for the operating session, then generated the trains and staged the off-layout ones. Here train 29, the Burlington "Nightcrawler," is sitting in east staging awaiting the session. The loco is a New York Central Pacific. Consider it an early experiment in pool power. Sometime in the next few months (when I screw up the courage) I'll re-letter it for the Burlington.

Here Greybull engine terminal is ready for the session. The locomotives in the background are awaiting decoders and such to make them operational. One of those is a brass Burlington S-2 Pacific, which will be used to pull train 30, the eastbound Nightcrawler. Compare this picture to the earlier one of Greybull. I actually managed to find a home for all that crap piled on the table (that may be the most impressive thing I've done all year!).

Here's train 177 now staged on the Douglas siding / east staging.

On October 24th we had the operating session. A few of the out-of-town guys' wives came with them. All those that traveled to the session and were able to come early went out to lunch at Pizza Ranch before the session. The day became a great social event.

At the restaurant, left to right, we have Kevin from Harriman, WY, just west of Cheyenne about three hours away, Dave from Basin, WY, about 3 1/2 hours in the opposite direction, Steve from Evanston, WY, in the southwestern corner of the state about five hours away (he has his back to the camera), Johnny from Cape St. Francis, South Africa (yes, that's the country of South Africa!), about two days' flying time away, me, Bill from Sheridan, WY, about 2 1/2 hours north (Bill is the NMRA Northern Wyoming Division Superintendent), Debbie, Steve's wife, and Doris, Dave's wife, in the booth. Juying, my wife, is taking the picture.

This shot gives a better look at some of the guys (me included, unfortunately for you). That's Johnny on the left, then me, Bill, Steve and Dave.

After lunch we headed over to the house and down into the train room (except for the wives - they went shopping).

Before we began the operating session I provided a tour / overview of the layout. Here we're standing in the wide aisleway between Powder River and the Wind River Canyon, just beyond the Casper engine terminal. From left to right we have Johnny, who arrived on October 21st and stayed with my wife and I, Bill, Steve, yours truly and Dave.

Then we got started! Kevin is running the first road train of the session, the CNW passenger train from Casper to Hudson. That train is usually a Doodlebug with a trailer, as it was this day.

Johnny, not knowing any better, agreed to be Casper yard operator for the session. Here he starting to break down the westbound reefer train to take it to the icing rack while Kurt, one of the local guys, is bringing his locomotive out of the engine facility.

Johnny proved to be a very accomplished operator and handled the rather demanding task of running Casper yard without a hiccup.

Bill took on the duties of Greybull yard operator. Like Johnny, he proved up to the task, building the two locals that service the Big Horn Basin towns, and coordinating the arrivals from and departures to east and west staging, all of which have to pass through Frannie / Greybull / Orin on their way onto and off of the layout. Dave is watching Bill work, while Steve (partially behind the pole) is bringing the eastbound reefer express up from west staging.

Dave tried to sneak a diseasel onto the layout (an act punishable by severe flogging!), but I caught him and foiled his plan.

A bit later in the session Bill is looking a bit shell-shocked at Greybull while Kevin is running his second train of the day, the Greybull-Worland-Basin turn. Meanwhile Steve, who is handling the Greybull-Thermopolis-Holly Sugar turn, is planning out his switching strategy.

Larry, who arrived a bit later in the session to take on the duties of the Casper local switcher, isn't in any of the photos I took on the 24th.

For the first time we managed to run all trains on the schedule.

The session was a great success. Everyone said they had a great time. Most of the long-distance folks headed for home by five in the afternoon, but Steve and his wife, who were in town for several days, and Johnny of course, stayed after the session for dinner and to visit. The next day we headed down to the Casper train club for a few hours, then Steve and Debbie headed back to Evanston. Johnny and I ran a few more trains that afternoon and again this morning. About 1 pm I took Johnny to the airport (in a dose of Wyoming autumn weather - a snow storm!) for the next leg of his world tour - a visit with his son in the UK, then back to South Africa.

Thanks for coming Johnny! Juying and I really enjoyed having you stay with us, and your participation in the ops session made it something very special. Your suggestions for future sessions will be helpful as well. I hope we can get together again one of these days!

Unfortunately Johnny got caught up in delays by Mesa airlines in Casper, and had to spend the night roaming around Denver airport (missed his fconnection). He won't fly on to the UK until this afternoon.

Having a group of such exceptional people, some from several hundred miles away (and one from half a world away!), come to my house to run trains on my layout is immensely gratifying as well as humbling. These gentlemen are outstanding modelers (much better than me), and many are expert-level operators as well.  

Last item for this update - On October 25th my last major purchase of the year arrived - this Nickel Plate Products brass CB&Q R-1 Prairie, all the way from Switzerland! Now I need to convert it to DCC (and letter it). Not sure how I'm going to fit a sound decoder and speaker in that tiny little tender.

The Burlington rostered several R-4 Prairies in the Casper division in the mid-1930's. Unfortunately no one has ever made anything but this R-1 Prairie in HO, so I'll make due with these. I need to acquire several more for the layout. Overall this thing is about the same size as my Life-Like / Walthers Heritage 0-6-0s. It will look great hauling eight or nine car locals around the Big Horn basin. The much larger Mikados will handle the longer, higher-speed through trains.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,325 posts
Posted by York1 on Friday, October 27, 2023 9:51 AM

Great layout, great friends, great wife, you're a lucky man!  Thanks for the latest report.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,873 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, October 27, 2023 6:31 PM

Mark, I don't know which I am more by your latest post - - impressed or intimidated. I am totally impressed by your layout - - the best on the forum IMHO. But, I am also totally intimidated by your willingness and ability to host such a well attended and well operated session. I would simply lack the courage to assemble and host such a gathering.

My second favorite layout on the forum is my own, but you put me to shame with your efforts and skills.  BowBowBow

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 27, 2023 9:46 PM

Hi Mark,

Thank you for sharing that excellent operating session with us. I clearly have a lot to learn about model railroading.

You have every right to be proud and happy that your layout attracts such a knowledgable and experienced group of operators. I think we are all impressed!

Cheers!!

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
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, October 28, 2023 4:57 AM

Pruitt
The session was a great success.

Thumbs UpThumbs UpBowBow

Smile

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

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,384 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, November 6, 2023 1:25 PM

I'm taking a sabbatical from Model Railroader, and from these forums. I'll lurk around for a few days, but I won't be posting in at least the near term.

The reason:

Many forum members have complained over the past several years about the continually deteriorating functionality of these forums, but it does not appear to have triggered any concerns or efforts to fix the problems.

This past weekend the forums were essentially "off the air" again. I tried to post an update to this thread (and reply to others), and repeatedly got error messages. I was able to post a new thread about the forums being down again in the "General Discussions" forum, to which several people, including one moderator, replied in support of my post. Kalmbach's reaction was to simply delete the thread.

So for now at least, I'm done. For those who want to follow my layout progress you can find photos of progress on my website, plus the usual monthly updates on my YouTube channel. I'll also still be posting photos and such elsewhere (to the forum which cannot be named).

I've been a subscriber to Model Railroader magazine almost continuously since the early 1980's. I joined this forum roughly two weeks after it first went live back in early 2001. To say Model Railroader has been an integral part of most of my life is not exaggeration. Until recently it was just a given that I would always be a subscriber, and since the early 2000's a member of this forum. But at this point (and I'm rather amazed to be saying this) I have no plans to renew my subscription when it expires. Things are that bad.

For now this is just a "trial separation." How long it lasts, and whether or not it becomes permanent, is dependent upon Kalmbach.

Y'all take care!

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 263 posts
Posted by AEP528 on Monday, November 6, 2023 1:33 PM

Pruitt

 

I've been a subscriber to Model Railroader magazine almost continuously since the early 1980's. I joined this forum roughly two weeks after it first went live back in early 2001. To say Model Railroader has been an integral part of most of my life is not exaggeration. Until recently it was just a given that I would always be a subscriber, and since the early 2000's a member of this forum. But at this point (and I'm rather amazed to be saying this) I have no plans to renew my subscription when it expires. Things are that bad.

For now this is just a "trial separation." How long it lasts, and whether or not it becomes permanent, is dependent upon Kalmbach.

Y'all take care!

 

You're tying your subscription to the functionality of the forum? Up to you, of course, however I'll state thats the existence of Kalmbach and its publications is important. The existence of its forums is not.

Whatever happens to the forums, I'll keep subscribing to MR and Trains, keep buying the annual issues that interest me, keep buying the occasional books and tools.

I read other public forums but haven't joined any, even the more heavily moderated ones are depressing due to the atitudes of the posters. Internet forums are making me more and more embarrased to be a model railroader.

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 12:55 PM

Smile

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

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, December 4, 2023 2:32 AM

Smile

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

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 15,508 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, December 4, 2023 3:14 AM

Hi Bear,

Just a note to point out that Mark miss-labelled Update #49. On the YouTube listing screen it says '#48 - November 3'. It should say '#40 - December 3'.

I'll send Mark a note.

How is your Spring weather? I've already had enough snow and cold to do me for this winter and there are still 4 1/2 months to go!Grumpy

Cheers!!

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
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,873 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, December 4, 2023 9:41 AM

hon30critter

Hi Bear,

Just a note to point out that Mark miss-labelled Update #49. On the YouTube listing screen it says '#48 - November 3'. It should say '#40 - December 3'.

Pruitt

I'm taking a sabbatical from Model Railroader, and from these forums. I'll lurk around for a few days, but I won't be posting in at least the near term.

I was curious why Bear was posting Mark's latest video until I recalled that Mark has had it with this forum.

I wonder if Mark will object to Bear posting this latest video which does appear on another forum which will remain unnamed.

Too bad that Mark felt sufficiently compelled to post elsewhere that he stopped posting updates on this forum.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 3:39 AM

richhotrain
I wonder if Mark will object to Bear posting this latest video which does appear on another forum which will remain unnamed.

Gidday Rich, while it may appear that the Bear blunders about the Forum like the proverbial Bear in a China shop, aside from the Forum Rules, I do have standards, low as they maybe!!
 
The following is the “conversation” I had with Mark.
 
“I read your last comment on your build thread on the MR Forum, and wonder if I’d be overstepping the mark (pun intended) by posting your video updates there when they arise.”
 
“You wouldn’t be overstepping at all with the links, in fact, I’ll kinda appreciate your posting the links. Thanks!”
 
So, as I’m applying for the Powder River “Stock pen sweeper upperer” position, I wish to keep on Marks good side so as to perhaps use his influence to get the job!
 
Besides there has been quite a few Forum members who have been following and enjoying this thread, and it would have been sad to see it just fade away!
 
Also being an optimist I’m hoping in the long term, Mark may reconsider posting here again, though as a pragmatist I’m not holding my breath, so I will keep on updating as required.
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile
 
PS. No Fiji War bonds changed hands!!LaughLaugh

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

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,873 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 7:43 AM

Hi Bear,

I had seen Mark's latest update video yesterday on the "other forum" before I saw it here. I wondered at that point if Mark intended to also post the update on this forum. So, when I signed onto this forum yesterday and saw your screen name on Mark's thread, I assumed that Mark had posted his video here and you were responding. 

I was surprised to see that you had posted the video because Mark previously seemed so upset with this forum that I had presumed that was the end of his videos, at least on this forum. To be honest, I felt bummed out that Mark would leave his followers hanging by abruptly ending the postings.

Anyhow, that is what prompted me to post my remarks yesterday about whether he would be ticked that his video got posted when he had no intention of doing so himself. So, I am glad to hear that Mark had preapproved the posting, but it still strikes me as a bit strange that Mark chooses to not post the video himself.

Rich

P.S. I am not buying your assertion that no Fiji War Bonds changed hands in this arrangement.  Smile, Wink & Grin

 

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, December 26, 2023 3:05 AM
Still haven’t heard how my application for the Powder River “Stock pen sweeper upperer” position has gone, but here’s hoping…

Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, January 7, 2024 4:11 AM

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

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, February 3, 2024 7:53 PM

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

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