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Version 5 of The CB&Q in Wyoming

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Posted by selector on Thursday, August 13, 2020 11:39 PM

Aw, you're breaking my heart with those photos!!   Tongue Tied  That was some of the very finest craftsmanship I have ever seen depicted on any forum.

Thanks for the responses.  I wonder if the Sylvania variants are warranted for 15 years or something.  Confused

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 10:54 PM

Three answers for your two questions, SelectorBig Smile

a. The LEDs were about $33 each in a box of two, from Lightup.com. Theyre made by LumaGen. Good, evenly lit panels. If you prefer a more familiar name, they also have Sylvania panels for about $212 each. Roughly the same specs.

b. I actually started doing roadbed this way years ago on my first Merchantville NJ layout. Here's the set-up I used. A friend is doing the cutting: 

Each strip is cut 5/8 inch wide. With the amount of roadbed I needed, a commercial product would have cost two fortunes!

c. No, I just mark the centerline (along with the two edges) on the subroadbed with a radius rod before cutting it out, then just follow the centerline on the plywood with one edge of the cork. The second strip is butted against the first. The ends are staggered by at least half a foot. I lay the cork pretty much like you, except I use long pins to hold the curve until the glue dries (wood glue is my adhesive of choice for cork to plywood). Here's an example from several layouts ago:

I do have Ribbonrail radius gauges in several sizes, and a couple of 30" radius Sweepsticks (from Fast Tracks), but I never use them. The Atlas code 83 I use on the mainline seems to curve very evenly along the length of the curve as I lay it. I use DAP 230 clear caulk to adhere the track to the cork.

But hey, if you need slapping sometime, don't hesitate to call! Stick out tongue

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:26 PM

Two questions, if it wouldn't be intrusive or inappropriate:

a. How much were those LED panels?  I ask because, when I did my train room a short 5 years ago, the two-by panels at HD locally were close to CDN$180...per.  Indifferent  I'm sure they are less than a fifth of that by now; and

b. What's yer plan for cutting strips of a length, and then curving the cork?  For my mains, I sourced a sheet of underlay at a smaller chain hardware store, I think about 4-5mm, locally, and stripped it in 5' lengths.  I asked for a five foot length of the stuff, so that's why 5'.  To keep it in place on curves, I used track nails.  Under it, I used DAP 'clear' Alex Plus with silicone.  That 4' level/straightedge sure came in handy when cutting the cork. 

Okay, third question [added on edit]: Do you use a handy hardboard/masonite template or something on your mains to be darned sure you haven't curved below a minimum radius?  I have one all-brass loco, a 2-10-4, that requires 30" radius, so I cut out a 33" curve template that was always handy to slap over the cork to make sure I wasn't going to have slap myself later. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 6:29 PM

12 August 2020

The last week+ I've spent on a variety of tasks. I installed some new baseboard and ceiling trim in the train room, and also installed the last ceiling fixture (I hope!):

I spent several hours building turnouts for the new industries in Casper. I've finished three and am working on the fourth one. I'll need to build one more.

I also ordered and finally received a 48" X 50' roll of 3mm cork. I'll use that for siding roadbed and underlayment in some industrial areas. It cost about $95 including tax. The same amount of square footage in 3mm Midwest cork sheets would cost almost $7,000! I think I got a bargain! I might have a bit more than I need, though...

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, August 3, 2020 10:28 AM

Thanks, Selector. I kinda pulled those rules out of thin air after a bit of thought, but I think they'll do. If not, I'll simply change them when I start operations.

My shortest classification track is about 6 1/2 feet long, with the longest being about 11 feet.

3 August 2020

I just posted my latest video update to YouTube:

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, August 2, 2020 12:51 AM

Pruitt
Dave! Be sure to share your staging yard build with us here.

I think I'd better get the main layout running before starting any more projects!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaugh

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 "JaBear" on Saturday, August 1, 2020 2:52 PM

Pruitt
Sorry for the long answer.

No need to be sorry Mark.
 
Your answer and Selectors follow up make great sense and is a practical solution for model railroaders wishing to take in account the limitations of their layout i.e. lack of distance, excessive grades etc. It is a solution that I will incorperate when I actually build my own layout
 
Besides your answer, while comprehensive, was easily comprehended by the Bears brain cell, so thank you.
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 selector on Saturday, August 1, 2020 12:00 PM

Mark, I think those are sensible 'guidelines' for people who want to craft a satisfying model train experience.  We both know about the steep grades we sometimes have to accept to get it all to work and come together if it's a loop of some description.  While a real 2-10-2 might be able to handle twice as many cars as drivers on grades up to about 1.5% in the real world, our layouts are likely to make it have to work on 3% grades, which makes your rule a good self-check for assumptions about crossed fingers coming through when the rails are first powered.  And I like your thinking about cuts on ladders, especially if, as I'm just in the process of building, it has to be stub-ended ladders taking up all of about 4-6' when the diagonal lead is figured.  Your yard seems to be somewhat longer, but my entire yard module is ten feet long, plus I squeezed out another 18" at the stub ends.  Once that long Micro Engineering #5 ladder system makes up the branches off to the various ladder tracks, there ain't much left to play with.  Thank God for double-slips, too.

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, August 1, 2020 10:16 AM

Thanks Dave! Be sure to share your staging yard build with us here.

JaBear, Thanks for the compliment.

Regarding the yard rule about cut length - it goes back to an MR editorial written by John Page in the 1950's about "scale powering" a model railroad.

Almost all of my locomotives would be able to haul my longest train, 20 cars counting the caboose, over my entire layout at scale speeds (except maybe the 0-6-0's, the Doodlebugs and the small ten-wheeler). My 0-8-0's could certainly toss that length of cars around the flat yard in Casper no problem. Probably the 0-6-0's would come close to that as well, since there are no grades to contend with. 

I arbitrarily came up with these rules:

  • Yard switchers can handle as many freight cars as they have drivers
  • Road locomotives can handle two times the number of freight cars as they have drivers.

So my 2-10-2 can haul 20 cars. The 2-8-2's can haul 16 cars. The ten-wheeler can haul ten (adjustment of minus two cars because it's a small locomotive for its class).

So in theory, the yard switchers will make up a train they could not move as a single block. Actually they could, but this is make-believe. 

This is a gross simplification of real life in the steam era, ignoring most of the actual variables involved, but it serves my purposes. It forces one to pick motive power based on theoretical tonnage, and can affect train length based on available power. If my layout was designed for longer trains, I'd make adjustments to the rules.

Sorry for the long answer.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, August 1, 2020 1:05 AM
Yahoo!!! Looking Good!! 
However, Mark, what’s the reasoning behind the yard rule limiting the number of cars in a cut to the number of drivers on the switcher?
 
Cheers, the curious 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 hon30critter on Friday, July 31, 2020 2:12 PM

Hi Mark,

Great video! One of the things my new layout lacks is a yard. However, down the road I hope to be able to build a separate visible staging yard to address that issue.

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 Friday, July 31, 2020 9:44 AM

31 July 2020

I finally got my workbench set up! Now I have no excuse not to make progress on the layout.

I added several industries to Casper (labeled in red), taking advantage of space freed up by the removal of the mainline behind the town:

I cleared most of the clutter off Casper (usual problem with horiontal surfaces collecting stuff). Behind the yard was the beginnings of the Frannie / Orin interchange yard I'd brought from the previous layout. I hadn't found anyplace to store it, so it wound up on the Casper tables. Then I had an epiphany, and there it will stay until I'm ready to install it across the room from Casper:

And finally Casper yard is fully functional again! To celebrate, I made up the first train in Casper on the new layout. I made a video of it:

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, July 26, 2020 8:31 PM

Pruitt

I've always done the same thing you do, Rich. Since photography isn't the main reason for me being a model railroader, I'll just live with the visibility in photographs. 

Not to worry, Mark. Everything will look good in photographs. It is the mini camera videos shot from a piece of rolling stock running down the rails that shows up every little flaw.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, July 26, 2020 7:23 PM

I've always done the same thing you do, Rich. Since photography isn't the main reason for me being a model railroader, I'll just live with the visibility in photographs.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, July 26, 2020 1:45 PM

Mark, I am going to be interested to see how you fill in those gaps in the ties where the rail joiners are connected. When I slip ties under those areas, I shave off the spikes and they fit it up sort of snug and look fine to the naked eye. But, when I film the trains running over those spots with my Mobius portable camera, you can tell the difference because those slip-in ties do not fit completely snug.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, July 26, 2020 11:14 AM

26 July 2020

Progress on the layout this past week was pretty minimal. I replaced the wheelsets on 13 cars with the semi-scale ones and worked out how to mount the newly received light panels in the train room (they're the same brand as the others I have, but they've been redesigned and the back is totally different now).

Most importantly, the rail joiners arrived and I've finished reconnecting the yard tracks in Casper!

Obviously I still need to replace the removed ties and weather the track.

I also reconnected the runaround track, so aside from a couple of ground throws that got cranky during the move, the yard is fully operational again.

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, July 19, 2020 2:20 PM

19 July 2020

Rail joiners have still not arrived.

The last few days I spent repowering the entire engine facility, including all the radial tracks off the turntable. Speaking of the turntable, when I got it fired up, I found that all the stops I programmed in back in New Jersey in 2018 were still in memory! I didn't have to do any reprogramming. I zeroed it out, and it was ready to go!

Even though two of the classification tracks are still not spliced back together, I put my rolling stock back into the yard:

A friend bought a hundred semi-scale wheelsets (.088 wheel tread width) some time ago, and discovered they didn't work on his Atlas switches. The frog point gap is too large or something. So he loaned me a couple cars' worth, and I installed them to try them out on my Fast Tracks turnouts.

They work just fine! So we're trading his semi-scale wheelsets for my standard (.110 tread width) Kadee wheelsets. The new wheelsets fit perfectly in my sprung Kadee truck frames. You can see a pile of the new wheelsets in front of the reefers in the photos above.

I've begun swapping out the wheelsets. Here's a comparison of the semi-scale wheels (car on the left) with the standard Kadee wheels. Once the blackening on the wheels have worn off, those thinner treads are going to look great!

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 13, 2020 1:12 AM

Pruitt
I ordered several packs of joiners, but it will be a week to ten days before they arrive. One of the few downsides to living in boondocks USA - I have to order almost everything I need for the layout. No local hobby shop to visit. I sure miss Sattler's in Westmont right now!

Patience Mark, patience!

Personally I think I could give up the convenience of a local hobby shop for the wilds of Wyoming any day! Dianne and I have dreams of moving to a nice place on the water in cottage country. Alas, we will have to win the lottery first!GrumpySighSmile, Wink & GrinLaugh

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 Sunday, July 12, 2020 10:21 PM

Super Angry

I'm going to have to switch gears on the layout reassembly. I ran out of rail joiners! I got all but two of the classification tracks spliced, and the engine facility is still isolated.

I ordered several packs of joiners, but it will be a week to ten days before they arrive. One of the few downsides to living in boondocks USA - I have to order almost everything I need for the layout. No local hobby shop to visit. I sure miss Sattler's in Westmont right now!

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, July 11, 2020 11:05 AM

Pruitt

11 July 2020

I've got a bit of Casper up and running again. I was going to post a short video of the first loco in Casper (in Casper) running up and down the mainline, but it's pretty lame so I decided to spare everyone. EDIT: I changed my mind. The video's only 46 seconds long.

It-s-Alive.jpg

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, July 11, 2020 9:43 AM

Bear, getting older sucks. The only thing worse is not getting older.

11 July 2020

I've got a bit of Casper up and running again. I was going to post a short video of the first loco in Casper (in Casper) running up and down the mainline, but it's pretty lame so I decided to spare everyone. EDIT: I changed my mind. The video's only 46 seconds long.

Other than the engine terminal I have all the feeders reconnected to the power buss under Casper, and now I'm splicing in track at the section joints.

That gap in the rails front of the loco at the end of the clip was at the yard section break. Here's the splice I installed after the clip was taken:

Doesn't look straight,does it? That's because it isn't painted yet. It's actually aligned pretty well. Here's proof:

I've got five tracks left to splice at this break. I've spliced the mainline at the engine terminal break, and reinstalled one of the two switches (didn't take long once I found it!). It was delicate work to fit the switch back into the trackwork, but it wasn't really hard. One more track splice and one more switch to go at that break.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 2:32 AM

Pruitt
Then I found the spade terminals.

I see Mark that you are also acquainted with the scourge of model railroaders, and , to be fair, life in general, Mr. Murphy, however I’m enjoying your progress.
 
“I’m going to start forgetting my own name soon, I swear!
 
I’ve been contemplating getting my name discretely tattooed on the inside of my left arm as a reminder, but have decided not to as I’m afraid that one day I’ll wake up and wonder who on earth the tattoo refers too!!!
 
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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  • From: Wyoming, where men are men, and sheep are nervous!
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Posted by Pruitt on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 12:13 AM

Casper is (very) slowly coming back together.

I've restrung the DCC buss, but as you can see, track feeders are yet to be reconnected:

I use spade terminals for the buss wires to the barrier strips. All my supplies are in disarray, with a lot of stuff still in boxes, so after about five hours of searching I still couldn't find the terminals I needed. And the hardware stores don't have the right sizes, either. But I had some slightly oversize ring terminals that take #12 ga. wire (my buss size), so I laborious cut the sides of those down so they would fit the barrier strips. Then I found the spade terminals. Super Angry

All that moving left particularly the engine terminal section outrageously dusty. You can see how bad it was in this shot of the roundhouse roof - the darker sections are the removeable roof sections that were in a box.

After running my mini-vac with a brush attachment over the glued-down roof sections (the light gray ones above), it looks much better:

So I ran the vacuum over the entire three sections of Casper. The amount of dust collected was amazing!

And today I built a set of shelves for my DCC system and attached it to one of the Casper yard L-Girders. No more setting the system on a paint can for me (that's where it was for over a year in New Jersey):

The other really fun thing I did today was spend hours and hours looking for the turnouts that span the split between the engine terminal and the classification yard. After not finding them anywhere, I had resigned myself to rebuilding them when, with a mix of relief and intense frustration at myself, I found them sitting on the layout right near where they need to be reinstalled! I dug out a box of turnouts a couple days ago and spread all the turnouts on the layout. I missed those two when I looked then. I'm going to start forgetting my own name soon, I swear!

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Posted by Pruitt on Friday, July 3, 2020 12:29 PM

Dave, I was sure I was going to step back at some point and turn the roundhouse back into a kit. The fact that it's mostly intact amazes me too!

3 July 2020

I just posted my latest construction update video:

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 2:19 AM

Pruitt
Dave, I continue to be amazed that folks think I work fast. I feel like I move at a snail's pace.

I'd say you hold a world speed record for snails!

I'm amazed that the roundhouse survived the move as well as it did!YesSmile Every time I saw a picture of it sitting in the background I wondered if it would survive. With my luck I would have hit it with a 2x4 or a ladder and destroyed the whole thing!!Crying

Your posts are very motivating Mark! Please keep it up.

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 Tuesday, June 30, 2020 9:39 AM

Thanks, Selector! I hope it gets more fun!

Exactly my reaction, JaBear!

Dave, I continue to be amazed that folks think I work fast. I feel like I move at a snail's pace.

30 June 2020

I'm continuing to do finish work on the train room, but mostly I've been - wait for it - working on the layout!

I got the Casper L-Girders reassembled:

And then set the Casper yard and engine servicing area into place:

You've probably noticed that there a few windows missing from the roundhouse. They came off during the move, but I have them all (I think) and will reinstall them when I can find my glue.

I reconnected the sections together end-to-end, then attached them to the L-Girders. Now I can start replacing the track at the section breaks. Here's what it looks likes right now at the break in the body tracks:

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, June 27, 2020 9:47 PM

Pruitt
It's not much, I know, but it is a start!

I continue to be amazed by your work pace! I predict that things will take shape quickly, as did the work on the layout room.

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: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, June 27, 2020 4:02 PM

Pruitt
It's not much, I know, but it is a start!

Hoorah!!!

"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, June 27, 2020 1:30 PM

And what a great start it is with so much of your nice work making the journey to a 'nuther life.  It gets a lot more fun now.... Cool

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Posted by Pruitt on Saturday, June 27, 2020 10:58 AM

Erie, Crandell, There are cleanouts near the floor on all the soil pipes. So at least getting a line snaked won't mean cutting off this cap and then sealing it back up.

Dave, I agree with you completely. But as we've been learning, everything in the house was done as cheaply as possible. Workmanship is generally adequate, but clearly the buildert cut every corner he could.

27 June 2020

Work on the layout has finally started!   BeerBeerCake

The evening of June 25th I rounded up all the L-girders and legs for the Casper sections of the layout:

And yesterday I started modifying the legs fof the new layout. Casper sits a bit higher in this design than it was on the old layout, so I had to add extensions to the legs. Because the floor is not just bare concrete, I also need to use something a bit easier on it than just T-nuts and hex bolts. For the Casper sections, since I'll have to move them around a bit for a while, I decided to add casters to the bottom. Other sections will have furniture feet. Here's the first leg for the Casper sections modified and ready to go:

It's not much, I know, but it is a start!

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