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Building the Rock Ridge Railroad Part 2

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 5, 2020 8:08 PM

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284028.aspx

Hi Chip,

Made your link clicable.

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 SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 5, 2020 10:51 PM

hon30critter

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284028.aspx

Hi Chip,

Made your link clicable.

Dave

 

Thanks.

Let me guess. You opened "Source Code" under tools and inserted html code?

 

Chip

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

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, September 5, 2020 11:26 PM

SpaceMouse
Let me guess. You opened "Source Code" under tools and inserted html code?

Nope! I don't even know what the phrase "Source Code" means!

I simply copied your post and removed the "quote user="SpaceMouse"" from between the square brackets and replaced it with "url". Then I went to the end of the link and replaced the word "quote" with "url" between the square brackets, leaving the "/" in place in front of the 'url'. Bingo!

If you want a more detailed explanation, please ask. However, I have never been known as a person who could provide simple explanations! I guarantee that the long version will boggle your mind!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughClown

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 rrinker on Sunday, September 6, 2020 1:37 AM

 It seems to only work on a repost of the original. You can put it in EXACTLY that way on a new post, it comes up as a link, LOOKS like a link when reading the post, but it does nothing. Then someone will come along, repost the SAME link - and now it works! It's just a bug in this forum software.

                                    --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 6, 2020 3:06 AM

hon30critter
I simply copied your post and removed the "quote user="SpaceMouse"" from between the square brackets and replaced it with "url". Then I went to the end of the link and replaced the word "quote" with "url" between the square brackets, leaving the "/" in place in front of the 'url'. Bingo!

Hmmm. That works but typing [url} {/url] doesn't work--but fix the []. 

Randy--I think you're right. Sounds like a bug. They probably want to discourage people trying to siphon of users. And someone on here found a back door.

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 6, 2020 9:35 PM

Today, I started my lumber yard structure--if starting means milling the pieces I need. You can follow the day-by-day progress on topic:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284131.aspx

Either Cut and paste this or some Samaritian might quote it and make it active.

Here's the photo from the box.

Oh, and for those of you on pins and needles, it turns out I can fit Bear Whiz Beer Brewery in. It will be the most ambitious scratch build for me yet, though no comparison to some of the steel mills and ship yards I've seen people build. Some of those were years in the making.

Chip

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

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 6, 2020 9:49 PM

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 SpaceMouse on Monday, September 7, 2020 1:28 AM

Thanks Dave.

Acording to plan, this is the way the structures are supposed to go on my layout.

The problem is you can't see the good side of all my custom structures.

I'm going to have to solve this problem before I build more things you can't see. 

Chip

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

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 7, 2020 1:50 AM

SpaceMouse
The problem is you can't see the good side of all my custom structures.

Hi Chip,

I get the impression that you have already decided where your roads in the town will be located. I'm going to suggest a different approach. Position the buildings with their good sides visible. Then see where the roads might go.

For example, if you were to face the livery stable and the adjacent buildings towards the aisle, then your main road might end up right on the edge of the fascia. The second row of buildings could also face the aisle with a road between them and the first row of buildings. There is no rule that says you have to have buildings back to back. However, if you have the space, you could create a row of shallow 'dummy' buildings showing only the backs. That would give a better impression of having two separate streets.

One thing I would suggest is that you 'cove' the inside corner of the benchwork. In other words, put a small triangle of plywood into the corner to create a curved fascia. That will allow you to model the road on the edge of the fascia curve more naturally.

This just me thinking out loud. I may be totally out to lunch.

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 SpaceMouse on Monday, September 7, 2020 2:49 AM

hon30critter
Position the buildings with their good sides visible. Then see where the roads might go.

I spent the evening doing just that. 

hon30critter
One thing I would suggest is that you 'cove' the inside corner of the benchwork.

I like this idea. 

I'm planning to spend tomorrow working on this. I did have the streets planned based on the track. Tonight I placed the structures on the layout and saw reality. The track served industries were right on. It's the town that needs work. The structures I used in the planning software were smaller than the ones I built. 

I really want to get in the garage and lay my track. But even tonight at 9, it was very hot out there.

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 7, 2020 7:46 PM

Well, I didn't put the corners in--yet.

I spent the day making mock-ups of the kits I intend to use and the scratch-built buildings I have to have. 

I was able to come up with a plan that showcases my efforts instead of show us their backsides. 

Anyway, I think I succeeded. 

I didn't make a mock-up of the lumber yard because the real thing should be here in a week or so.

There are 4 models I'm not going to use here. The two L-shaped ones are cheap snap together kits from the paleolithic age, labeled US Marshal and Western Union. I could paint them up, change their signs and make them good in the back somewhere, but the L-shape is not easy to work with. And I've never really liked them--except as space holders.

The second row contains the first model I ever built, a small house, and I got to see today, what my weathering looked like then. The other building in that row is a run-down small store. Both of them are going across the tracks to Shanty Town.

Along the track, to the right starting at the top are Anderson Freight, Meyers Lumber (coming in a week or so), a mock-up of Bear Whiz Brewery, and the cattle pens that I'll build sometime when I'm bored.

The row after my first model contains two of my favorite structures from my first layout. The one on the left is Lucky Larry's: Saloon, Games of Chance, and debacary with Mary Six-toes. "Larry, Laurence Ridge, is the shady brother of Rock and Duke Ridge. The second building is a boarding house, with "Rooms" painted freehand above the window in white paint.

Behind those structuresare two space holders.

After that, in my opinion, things get interesting. Starting from the right we have the undertaker and doctor's office. Which is pretty convenient if you think about it. The next building is a mock-up of the California Hotel. It is three stories high and has a balcony on each floor that surrounds the building. How would you like to stay in a luxury hotel that offers views of two yards and a turntable. 

Continuing along the front are the General Mercantile, Rose's Cafe (a mock-up), the Sherriff's Office. the jail, and the livery stable.

Along the back row, right to left, is the Flattened Penny Saloon, the Merchantmen's Association (mock-up), Les Fleurs, the Rock Ridge Bank, the Rock Ridge Register (mock-up), and a combination Assay Office and Clothing Store (mock-up.) 

Now that's more than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure.

Now I just have to draw everything in XtrackCAD.   

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 26, 2020 8:37 PM

While I was getting my layout plan ready for 1:1 printing, I realized that if you didn't read part 1 of this post, you wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about when I talk about my layout. 

So I thought I might run through it. It is set in the town of Rock Ridge which is on the Southern Pacific mainline between San Francisco and Eureka in 1895. The SP runs the passenger station and icing platform. The RRRR (Rock Ridge Railroad) runs the yard and service facilities. 

The layout is the better part of half a two car garage. If you notice when I take pictures, there is a lot of stuff stored underneath. This is part of the deal I made with my wife. The stuff is shipping materials for shipping paintings, and some of the artwork that may get shipped.

That's not how it looks now. The wiring is done and it's ready for track. It looks like this: 

All that is to say it is sort of an 8 x13 U-shape.

I digress. The thing you should get from the Plan above is that you are looking at the lower level only. The dotted lines represent track in tunnels. Most of that is reachable because it is visible from the side. It will be finished as if the train is running in a tunnel (go figure, huh.) It will be lit by a string of LEDs and probably be the best lit part of the layout.

The lower underground yard is staging, again visable and easily reachable if I have to fiddle.

Note the lone turnout to the left of staging. That is the start to a 3% climb to the upper level. 

Most of the action (work) occurs in Rock Ridge. 

Let's get something striaght from the get-go. Rock Ridge is not based on the Movie Blazzing Saddles even if the town has a Black sherriff named Bart. In fact, Rock Ridge, named after leading citizen Randall "Rock" Ridge, was founded in 1890, that's 80+ years before the movie. The town may have been the basis for the movie--I mean, there is a guy named Mongo and the councilmen put a toll booth on the road to town. I should probably sue MGM and Mel Brooks.  

Back to the layout. Starting from the bottom, you have an icing track. SP tops off its refers before continuing north taking food to Eureka.  The next track is the SP main. 

The next track is a multi-functional AD track, runaround with the main, and entrance to the town of Rock Ridge's industrial district, and passenger station. Oh, and caboose storage at the far right. 

Next we have a 3-track classification yard--local, north-bound and south-bound. 

Moving clockwise around the U, we have a passenger station on the left with a small-freight service, platform, and Western Union/post office. The engine service area to the right has fuel service, (wood and oil), water tower, and sandhouse. The turntable turns locomotives for return trips and feeds the engine house and RIP track.

Continuing clockwise, Rock Ridge has 6 industries serviced by rail: Andersen Freight, Meyers Lumber, Bear Whiz Beer Brewery, and cattle pens--mostly from Rock Ridge's Lazy R and the G&D Ranch, owned by Al Gorre and Ben Daphetid. 

The two major insdustries are the Rock Ridge Lumber Mill and the Ridge Refinery. The mill has 5 tracks: the log dump at top, three splitting six rows of different sizes of Redwood and Douglas Fir lumber. The last track is for boxcars filled with completed orders. A switcher is required full time to move the boxcars from place to place to fill these orders. It gets its timber from Rock Ridge Lumber camp.

The refinery gets its silver from the Ridge Mine. Both the mine and refinery are owned by Douglas "Duke" Ridge, Rock's younger brother. The three tracks are for full ore cars, empty ore cars, and outgoing shipments of refined silver.

Going to the upper level.

Starting from the turnout I mentioned to the right of staging, you climb a 3% grade around the larger pennisula and above the Rock Ridge Yard to the upper levels. First you come to A, Ridge Mine then around to B, Rock Ridge's lumber camp. 

This is the railfan part of the layout because I plan to have scale Redwood Trees--2 1/2- 3 feet tall. 

My Motto: Small Steam, Big Trees. 

    

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 28, 2020 10:41 PM

All signs of structure building are gone from the dining room table. Meyer's Lumber is finished and awating trackwork on a shelf. I spent some time and sorted through everything that I have that could be useful to scratching or bashing. Took 5-6 hours, but it was time well spent.

Part of what I did was rummage through my "to sell" pile and I found a M.T. Arms Hotel kit. Now I recently added a hotel to my scratch-build wish list. I imagined something about 3 x 4 inches, three stories high. The kit is 8" wide x 6 inches and four stories high, and 2 3/4 deep, with half of that two story maintainance. So I have some major bashing to do.

The table now is ready for making Fast Tracks turnouts. 

Those of you following the "Can You Date this Loco" thread in General, might have noticed the Prairie, the transformer, and the piece of track. When I get bored I thought I might solder that broken wire and see how she runs. I also included my son's Hogwarts engine that took a 3.5 foot header into the sea of concrete and lost some linkage--if I'm still bored.  

Actually, I should also show you pictures of Meyer's Lumber. You might not be following the Building a Lumber Yard thread. 

Buiding a Lumber Yard

I put that in in html code, but if it doesn't link, the address is: http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/t/284131.aspx

 

After I took my son to work at 3, I opened XtrackCAD to put together a 1:1 printout of my layout. At my wife's insistance, I took out all the structures, benchwork, and anything else that might use up the toner in my wife's printer. It will only be 150 pages or so.

But I got side tracked. As I was looking at the yard, a couple of things bothered me. I didn't really have enough room to landscape the layout the way I wanted with the ice platform where it was. And the passenger train had to use the A/D track to reach the station. 

THe solution was simple. I deleted the icing platform and its siding, making the main, seem much smoother. And I put in a crossover so the passenger train can bypass the A/D track and go directly to the station. Let's face it, the only reason I had the icing station siding in the first place is that the model looked really cool. 

I could use a double crossoverThumbs Up.

I guess you guys should see what I'm talking about. 

It's actually better without the double crossover. And I'm following my own resolution to avoid unnecessary agrivation.

I did finish the pdf file with nothing but track and table borders. Depending upon when my wife gets around to printing the file, I can start cutting out the turntable and the grade to the upper level in a day or two. In the meantime, I need to build about 30 turnouts. 

The plan is to work on the track until I need to come in, then make a turnout or two. 

Finally, getting the track installed is in motion.   

 

 

Chip

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

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:25 AM

SpaceMouse
I need to build about 30 turnouts.  The plan is to work on the track until I need to come in, then make a turnout or two. 

This all sounds good and exciting. I am looking foward to more updates.

-Kevin

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:45 AM

I like the adjustment to the track plan.  Smoother and less complex is better.  More compact with more room for scenery.

You could change the extreme lower left turnout from a LH to a RH and it would both eliminate the S curve and start the lower curve sooner, providing a more graceful flow and more space for scenery.

- Douglas

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:30 PM

Kevin
This all sounds good and exciting. I am looking foward to more updates.

My sentiments exactly.

Douglas
You could change the extreme lower left turnout from a LH to a RH and it would both eliminate the S curve and start the lower curve sooner, providing a more graceful flow and more space for scenery.

I got all excited and changed my plan. Unfortunately, the new geometry interfered with the upper level and the transition between them. Sigh

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 1, 2020 8:03 PM

It feels like I'm finally back working on the layout. Last night my wife printed out the XtrackCAD 1:1 scale layout plan and I taped them to the benchwork.

It didn't come out as expacted. Here were little variances between the plan and the benchwork. I have 4 extra inches in the Mill peninsula, which translates into making my town a lot easier to workout. But the outer loop of the big pennisula brings the tract to within a half inch of the edge. Luckily, my staging yard can easily donate an inch to get it back on the layout. 

At least, I can do the next step, which is to cookie-cut the 3% grade to the mine and logging camp (inside loop on the near-side) and cut out a space for the turntable. 

That 'll be tomorrow's project. 

I'm managing to get out a Fast Tracks turnout a day. They are taking about 2 1/2 a piece right now, but I'm getting better and faster.

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 1, 2020 10:50 PM

Hi Chip,

"It didn't come out as expected".

Did you check that the printouts are actually the true size? Some printers don't print at exactly 100 %. The printouts may be slightly off. Check the printouts with an actual turnout, and maybe check a piece of straight track with a known length.

Dave

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Posted by Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2020 11:09 PM

Good progress, Chip!

Tim Warris of Fast Tracks says you can make a turnout in about an hour, and I watched him do it once in a clinic at an NMRA national convention (he even gave me the turnout after the clinic!). But he's made probably thousands of them now, and could do it with his eyes closed. It still takes me between an hour and a half and two hours, and I've probably made forty or more by now.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 2, 2020 6:43 AM

Dave

Hi Chip,

"It didn't come out as expected".

Did you check that the printouts are actually the true size? Some printers don't print at exactly 100 %. The printouts may be slightly off. Check the printouts with an actual turnout, and maybe check a piece of straight track with a known length.

Dave

I've decided that it doesn't matter where the errors came from. The only critical turnout is the one on the lower right. It determines the entrance into the town and the angle of the yard.

  

If I can get that one, everything else should fall into place.

Mark

Good progress, Chip!

Tim Warris of Fast Tracks says you can make a turnout in about an hour, and I watched him do it once in a clinic at an NMRA national convention (he even gave me the turnout after the clinic!). But he's made probably thousands of them now, and could do it with his eyes closed. It still takes me between an hour and a half and two hours, and I've probably made forty or more by now.

I watched him do one in an hour on video. 

My biggest time suck now is getting the track to bend right for the curved outside rail and the curved point. Not getting it perfect creates a bunch of fine tuning challenges. 

I had previously made 14 turnouts 12 years ago. I had them on a layout I had to take out, but I feel like I'm starting over. 

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 4, 2020 8:58 PM

I'm under 2 hours for a Fast Tracks turnout build. I'm going to run out of rail in 5 days at one-per-day. Yesterday I built 2. I'm going to be 10 short. 

It's taken two days, but tomorrow I'm finally ready to cookie-cut the grade. The problem was that the lower loop came too close to the edge of the layout. When I moved back onto the layout, the grade is too close to the lower track. It is 3.7 inched difference in height, but I wanted to scenic the tunnel to look like a tunnel, and that proximity didn't leave me a lot of options.

So today I joined 4 pieces of flex track and let Grampa Atlas take over.

Who would have thunk it would take 4 hours to do?

Temperature is still hitting 100 as a high, but it gets down to low sixties at night. Still, by noon, it is oppressive. This is October. It's supposed to be low 80's for a high. This heat wave is getting old--5 months of 100+ temperatures. Normal is a month and a half. I digress. 

But the upshot is that I got it done with all the perameters in place. I endied up sacrificing some turning radius. I went from 18 to 16.5. But the only locos using this spur will be geared steam and rolling stock will be short dogs--log cars and ore cars.

If you are wondering why there is 1 1/2 inches on the outside of the loop and 2 1/2 inches on the inside, that extra inch will give me a lot of scenic options.

Tomorrow, I cut out the cookie and the turntable. Then I can start working on the first level. I might just have a mainline loop soon. 

P.S. As a side note, there's not a lot of places you can put a 12 foot piece of flex track that's not on the layout. 

   

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 5, 2020 8:33 PM

Today, I cut my cookies--sounds dirty when you say it that way--and put in my 3% grade. 

  

Then reality set in. 

Look back in the corner of the U near the highest point of the grade. The elevation difference between the grade and the track below is 8+ inches. The tracks are horizontally 1 1/2 inches apart tie to tie. 

So I think I am going to try a 2.25% grade. That will leave me with a 6" differntial between tracks, and I think I can work with that.  

But that also changes the elevation diffence between the upper level and staging. It drops from 10 inches to 7 1/4 in terms of sticking-your-hand-in-there-and-rerailing-a-tank-car kind of clearance.

I'll make a mock-up and see if 7.25 inches clearance is doable on the 4th staging track back (about a foot deep into the tunnel.) If push comes to shove, I can always clear the trains in front of the car.

I better make my staging track bulletproof.

On the other hand, all my geared steam will like the 2.25%  grade better than the 3% grade. 

 

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:14 PM

 Well, you CAN just put a sheer rock cliff in there - just don;t overdue it so it becomes cliche - I HATE that cliche! Or you could use them everywhere as sort of an insider joke about a specific cliche. Especially if there are no handy mountain passes - you'll need a different cliche anyway.

                                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, October 5, 2020 9:39 PM

rrinker
Well, you CAN just put a sheer rock cliff in there - just don;t overdue it so it becomes cliche - I HATE that cliche!

I was thinking a tressel and maybe a shale slide.

Chip

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

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 7:41 PM

I changed the grade to 2.25% and I feel a lot better about it. I've been playing around in my head with different terrains, and a 6 inch separation between two tracks is a lot easier to deal with than 8 inches. 

And, as Randy implied, nothing says "I really screwed up big time" like an 8 inch rock cliff between two tracks.

I also got most of the foam glued down in the tunnel. Staging and the first part of the grade happen underground and you can see everything that happens in the tunnel from the side. It will be fully lit and sceniced.

I would have taken a picture, but I felt more like popping a beer than showing you the contents of my wife's pantry spread all over my layout holding the foam down.

Chip

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 8:25 AM

 Well, not exactly - nothing says you screwed up like an 8" rock cliff between the trqacks around half the layout. A short section of 8" rock cliff says the railroad had to loop back on itself to gain altitude to cross the mountains. Once is a neat scenic feature - over and over is a scenic cliche. One spot with the railroad passing above itself on a cliff (so long as there is a mountain in the area) is completely reasonable and gives you a good place to try rock carving.

                                  --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 8, 2020 6:47 PM

Today, I felt like I finally made progress. I laid the roadbed for the main.  Twenty-nine feet of SP Main--all but 8 feet of which are in a tunnel. Here is the part you get to view. 

 

Just to the right of the main is the 4-track, Rock Ridge Classification Yard.

Here's the part the part of the main that's in the tunnel.

To the right of the main is a 4-track staging yard. To the right of that is the beginning of a 2.25% climb up the mountain to the Ridge Mine and Rock Ridge Lumber's Logging Camp #1. Most of which is visable. Who doesn't love watching geared-steam climbing up a craggy wall.

Randall "Rock" Ridge heard that logging camps were numbered, so his Rock Ridge Lumber Camp is #1 even though it's the only one he has. The Ridge Mine (silver) is owned by Douglas "Duke" Ridge. Lawrence Ridge owns "Lucky Larry's" a dive saloon/ gambling house/ house of ill repute. He isn't nearly as rich as the other two. 

Maybe with any luck, I'll have a roundy-rounder by the end of the weekend--ending a 15-year drought. 

 

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 8, 2020 10:00 PM

I forgot to ask. Do you sand the top of your roadbed?

Chip

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Posted by selector on Thursday, October 8, 2020 11:52 PM

I don't, Chip, but I do take care to ensure it doesn't have any dips or rough patches that might cause it to be 'lumpy'.  As you must know, lumpy is not good on curves, particularly with long-bodied diesels and three-axle trucks.  At least, in my limited diesel experience, with a couple of Genesis SD-75M's, they don't do well on curves unless the rails are dead-even transversely, or if the curves are supered, the outer rails must be at an even elevation within any inch...no dips that will allow the lead flange to slide over the rail top and cause a derailment.

However, it's a good idea to place a straightedge over all your joints if you're doing splines and cookiecutter roadbed.  Where you see the straightedge do a teeter-totter motion over the joint, you'll need to sand that flat.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 13,528 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, October 9, 2020 2:10 AM

If I can offer my My 2 Cents worth about long straight rock faces, there is a way to add some variation to them. To do that, add some moderate hills and valleys that run perpendicular to the tracks, and then make cuts through the high spots and add bridges over the low spots so the track is not running through unrealistically even terrain.

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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