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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 22, 2023 9:17 PM

Hi Mark,

Glad to see that you are back at it!

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
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, January 22, 2023 8:35 PM

Thanks for all the good thoughts, everyone! Recovery is continuing. I don't have a lot of stamina right now, but I can still work on the layout in small chunks.

Speaking of the layout...

22 January 2023

In early January I laid the mainline into Basin. On the 4th, the last thing I did before my surgery was wire the mainline into the buss in Basin and run a train into town.

Then I was out of it for several days. I spent two nights in the hospital, coming home on Saturday the 7th. On the 8th I ventured down the stairs (surprisingly easy - I expected to be very weak, but my legs were fine. I just had to be careful not to jar my stomach area too much) and spent a few minutes running a Doodlebug with trailer from Hudson back to Casper. Took all of ten minutes, but it felt really good! Then it was back upstairs for the rest of the day.

On the 10th and 11th I installed the ground throws for the mainline turnouts in Basin. Took about 20 minutes each, and that was all I could manage each day.

I figured sitting at the workbench would be easier, so on the 12th I began renumbering a series of Accurail hoppers with their renumbering decal sets. These will be used for beet service to Holly Sugar. I got the first one done, but the decals were breaking into pieces - one small end number broke into seven or eight slivers! I got them aligned well enough, but it was a real pain. I stopped after the first hopper. Pretty bad looking in this shot, but a few applications of Microsol and Microset helped a lot (no picture though). I ordered a bottle Microscale liquid decal film to coat the rest of the decals to keep them from breaking up. It arrived yesterday.

Over the next few days I built a siding turnout for Basin, then I began installing the siding.

By the 18th I had the Basin trackwork all complete. I wired it the next day.

Then I planned out the benchwork for Greybull, the last benchwork on the mainline.

The last couple days I spent moving the last set of tall shelves in the train room out of the way of the new section for Greybull.

This took a couple days because I can't lift very much and have to take it slow to avoid twisting the wrong way. But by yesterday the spot was cleared. 

By mid-February I should be fully recovered (more or less), so I'll be able to build the Greybull benchwork and get it installed against the wall.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,133 posts
Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 8:14 AM

Its great to hear that surgery went well and that Mark is able to head back to the basement at this point.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 6:15 AM

Pruitt
I'm doing fine.

Hi Mark,

That's good to hear.

Thanks,

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
  • 23,318 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, January 16, 2023 12:12 PM

That's great news, Mark. Keep us posted. Yes

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, January 16, 2023 12:09 PM

Thanks everyone!

I'm doing fine. At the risk of too much information, I have six holes in my stomach not counting the actual incision. They're all itching like crazy (that's good)!

Got a bit more active starting Saturday (wife drove me down to the train club), so Sunday I was a bit sore. Today I feel almost normal, and able to get around and in and out of chairs easily. That's the dangerous time - people forget they're on light effort only and often overdo it. 

I've been working on the train for a few minutes a day. Getting easier. Will finish up a turnout build this afternoon.

Tomorrow is the surgical follow-up. Hopefully the pathology report will be back by then as well, and the last unknowns will be resolved.

Thanks again for all the well wishes and concern!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, January 15, 2023 6:27 PM

Hi Mark,

How are you doing? I haven't seen a post from you for five days. I hope all is progressing as it should.

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
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 8:11 AM

Hi Mark!

Good to see you back!!

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
  • 23,318 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Monday, January 9, 2023 1:22 PM

Pruitt

Thanks Rich, which shirts in particular are you talking about? I'll make sure to always wear them! 

LOL. Welcome back, Mark. 

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 4,597 posts
Posted by York1 on Monday, January 9, 2023 1:13 PM

Good news, Mark!  Very happy to see you are getting better each day.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 12,166 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, January 9, 2023 12:58 PM

Glad you are doing well Mark, get well soon, the layout looks great!

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Monday, January 9, 2023 12:30 PM

Hi folks,

 

Yes I made it through. Pretty rough few days, but things seem to be getting easier each day.

richhotrain
That is very good news. Yes

I can't help but note that the hospital gown looks better than some of those shirts that Mark wears in his videos. Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

Thanks Rich, which shirts in particular are you talking about? I'll make sure to always wear them!

Went down to the train room yesterday and ran a train! Felt great! 

Be a few weeks before I can drive, but later this week I hope to begin building turnouts for Basin.

Thanks for all the concern, folks! 

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 23,240 posts
Posted by selector on Saturday, January 7, 2023 5:45 PM

Very nice to see our pal awake and feeling well enough to say hi.  Get well very soon, Mark, and I really hope the operation will turn out to be a complete success.

-Crandell

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Canada
  • 1,280 posts
Posted by wickman on Saturday, January 7, 2023 2:53 PM

Your vision is coming along really nicely, Ive found time to watch a couple of your videos that I enjoyed, get better quickly.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, January 7, 2023 6:56 AM

That is very good news. Yes

I can't help but note that the hospital gown looks better than some of those shirts that Mark wears in his videos. Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, January 7, 2023 4:28 AM

I just found this on YouTube. Click on 'I survived' at the top of the page:

 

Good news!!

Cheers!!

Dave

P.S.:

Mark, I am certainly not happy to see you in pain, but I am extremely happy to see that you came through the surgery successfully!!

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

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 23,240 posts
Posted by selector on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 7:44 PM

God bless you, Mark.  I hope you're back'n at 'em inside of a few days at most.  I enjoy your videos, and like seeing the progress.   Another wonderful helix from you. Stick out tongue

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 10:30 AM

3 January 2023

My latest layout update video is now up on YouTube:

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, December 31, 2022 11:21 PM

Thanks DaveBig Smile

31 December 2022

The last week I spent getting the Basin area ready for track. After all the headscratching and measuring was done I began by installing subroadbed. Here's how it looked on the 28th:

The level is clamped to the plywood to minimize any waviness as I get ready to install the risers.

On the 29th I finished installing all the risers.

This was a close thing - I was almost out of the 1-by wood I use for the risers, and I can't go out in public right now because of the upcoming surgery (trying to avoid getting sick, as that would delay it). Fortunately I found an old 1X4 in the garage and used it to make the far risers - the brownish ones in the shot.

Yesterday I tied the new Basin subroadbed into the Himes Curve subroadbed at the far end of Basin, then added the cork sheets to Basin itself. I just finished up marking the mainline and sidings centerlines on the cork about 9:30 tonight. This is how this model railroader celebrates the new year!

Tomorrow I plan to start laying the mainline into Basin.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, December 25, 2022 8:37 PM

Merry Christmas Mark,

Seeing the layout all in one video shows just how impressive it really is! The amount of work that you are putting into it is amazing!

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
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, December 25, 2022 8:59 AM

Thanks Dave and Rich! I just hope the surgeon doesn't sneeze at an inconvenient moment... Sad

25 December 2022

I just uploaded my first annual (I hope) Christmas Layout Tour.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,318 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 6:26 AM

Mark, very nice work as usual. I love the helix. What is the circumference?

Best of luck on that surgery. I never like the word "major". Anything short of success is unacceptable at this point. I haven't followed this thread this long to have it come up short. Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 9:19 PM

Hi Mark,

The helix looks great, and it works too!!

Here's hoping that your surgery goes well and that you aren't laid up for too long. I am absolutely certain that you will be posting future updates until the layout is finished, and then we will be able to watch your operating sessions and future improvements for many years.

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
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 8:28 PM

20 December 2022

I finished the first group of three new hoppers - the CNW ones, in early December.

I shoed this shot before, but it needs a bit more explanation. On the far right is where the liftout section will be for access to the train room. To the left in the background you can see the tracks for Holly Sugar. The subroadbed closest to the camera in the center is Himes curve, which leads off camera to the left to Basin and to Frannie / Greybull across the liftout on the right. Behind that, the center curve, is the beginning of the Cody Branch, which comes from Frannie / Greybull on the right and disappears under the bluffs just behind Himes curve, and the farthest back roadbed is for east staging, which also comes out of Frannie / Greybull.

2 December I had the Cody subroadbed from the above shot tied into the subroadbed and track that runs underneath Basin (Basin isn't built yet):

Early in December I got my Christmas present - an Anycubic 3D resin printer and a wash and cure station.

I tried to print out a set of ties for my Fast Tracks turnouts, and the third effort was successful. Over time, this thing should save a lot more money than it cost.

On December 8th I did the last bit of deconstruction on the revised Cody Branch, taking out this turnback curve at the end of Worland peninsula to make way for the new 1-1/2 turn helix that will fit there.

Then I spent a full two weeks building the helix. After cutting out the base and subroadbed from 1/2" plywood I set about fitting everything in. Here most of the base is laid in place to see how it would fit. Note the notches cut in the plywood sections to fit around the risers for the track above (which is the curve from Worland around to Basin on the left).

By 11 December I had the base permanently attached to the benchwork joists (for the most part) and began positioning the subroadbed tiers on top. Then I started drilling the pilot holes for the threaded rods that will support the whole thing, using an 18" long 1/8" drill bit. I stuck wooden skewers into the holes as I went to ensure noting moved while I was drilling.

Over the next few days I opened the holes in teh base to full size - 3/8 inches. I also began cutting the threaded rods to length with a hacksaw and dressing the cut ends on my grinder. That last was cold work. I cut and dressed the rods in the garage, where it was about 30 degrees! I'd do a half dozen or so rods and then come in the house for awhile to warm up! Later I cleaned up the threads at the rod ends a bit more with a file until the nuts would screw on easily. As of the 12th I was this far along:

Then I was able to start adding the helix itself, starting with the lowest tier. The far right end in this shot is where the helix leads out to Powell.

Since it would be nearly impossible to add roadbed and track on the lower tier with the upper one in place, I laid roadbed and track before adding the top tier.

By 17 December I had the top tier added and tied into the track from Greybull on the left.

At this point I needed to adjust the grade in the helix. To do that from the outside would be very difficult so I modified the benchwork by cutting away the center of the middle joist so I could work from inside.

On the 18th I was finally ready to set the grade. To do that I just ran the nuts up and down the threaded rods as needed to adjust each tier. Here I am hard at work (yeah, right!) adjusting one area.

My wife caught this shot of me while I was sitting in the helix. That's about the best I ever look (horrors!).

After running around the helix about three times, the grade was pretty well set. Adjusting those rods was a lot like tuning a guitar - as soon as you adjust one string the rest go a bit out of whack, so it's an interative process. After three iterations, everything looked good. I was able to lay the rest of the track on the 19th, and the finished product looked like this.

The whole assembly needed testing, so I set a train on the tracks and shor this short video.

The Mikado was working hard, but it was able to pull 16 cars plus a waycar up the helix. Cody Branch trains will typically be 12-14 cars, so the test was a success.

I was a bit concerned because, with a 2-and-a-smidgeon % grade in the helix the compensated grade, which takes into account the curvature, is right about 3%. 

=====

By the way, the afib has settled down again, but another problem was found when I was in the ER on 21 November, and I have major surgery scheduled for January 5th. I'll be doing my usual update video on the 3rd, and if there's never another one you'll know the surgery didn't go well. Crying

Meanwhile, y'all have a great Christmas and New Years!

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, December 15, 2022 3:20 PM

I just uploaded episode 9 of Building Casper this morning...

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,712 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, December 3, 2022 9:54 PM

Hi Mark,

Thank you for the very interesting analysis and redesign of your layout! As I said in an earlier post, I think the new plan is excellent.

Your videos are really well done.

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
    February 2001
  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
  • 3,253 posts
Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, December 3, 2022 6:37 PM

That's a scary story, Mister Beasley! I hope things dont go like that for me!

Douglas, my PVC's tend to come in clusters. There almost completely gone again now. Hopefully not to return for a long time.

3 December 2022

I posted my latest layout update video a few hours ago:

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
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Posted by Doughless on Monday, November 28, 2022 9:54 AM

Very interesting update Mark.  Your redesign prompted by the operations discovery was handled very well.  I hope it makes for an even more satisfying layout that wouldn't have happened without the additional information.

Good luck with the heart.  Sounds like you've had plenty of discussions about it with doctors.  I had PVCs come on about three years ago.  At times they were disruptive when I laid on my left side...annoyed me so much I had trouble falling asleep.

I went on small dose BP medicine and eliminated caffeinated drinks, and I haven't had them in over a year.  

- Douglas

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,818 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 26, 2022 7:10 PM

I have AFIB too.  I think the doctors were was too eager to do an ablation and charge the insurance company and Medicare for it.  When I got out of the OR my heart rate was about 30 and the next step was a pacemaker.  The AFIB came back a couple of years later.  Did this do me any good?  Seriously, I would probably be better without it.  My cardiologist now isn't worried and is much less of an interventionist.

This cardiologist is also an electrophysiologist so he understands my pacemaker.  I get along well with him.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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