2017-2018 10th Annual International Winter Layout Party

ppuinn Dec 17, 2017

  1. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Jim:
    This is a page from a BNSF Team Manual (Track Efficiency and Maintenance Manual) that I found at a garage sale a few years ago. I assume your's is comparable. Would it be possible for you to post a pic so we can see the sort of info that was offered by a different RR and era?
    [​IMG]
    I also got a BNSF TSS Customer Spotting Instructions Manual at the same sale. This booklet is their CLIC Manual (Car Location Inventory Control Manual), which provides lots of info about switching/spotting cars at specific industries. I've heard that other RRs call these manuals CLIP Manuals (Car Location and Industry Profile Manual) because of the industry contact information provided. The Team Manual above is dated 1996, and I suspect the CLIC Manual is from about the same time, but I couldn't find an actual date.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  2. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Finally got the editing of the 2nd pic's rotation to go through! Apparently I needed to get all the way out of RailImages and then go back in to get the editing to "take". That had actually occurred when I edited the first pic in the album and added the edited pic to my post, but when I added the 2nd pic, I hadn't exited RI before putting the 2nd pic's code into my post...so the album editing was not yet saved into the code for posting pics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  3. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    "Before" pics of the BN Peoria Yard and BN North Alley Industrial District.
    When originally built in 2003, the BN Yard was designed for trains that were 12 to 15 cars long. Now that I'm running BN trains that are 20 cars long, I need to lengthen my arrival track and add a longer Engine escape at the north end of the yard. Also, the new tracks will be configured to provide a nearby run-around track for the North Alley industries to improve switching operations.

    RI Beltline Main and Siding are at upper left of this pic. The 3 tracks at top-center are the north end of PPU's Middle Yard and combine into the PPU Main that crosses the BN's TOFC track (left edge of pic) and then runs parallel with the RI. The BN green caboose is on BN Yard Track 8; Track 6 is the Arrival/Departure track that I plan to lengthen; and Tracks 8 and 7 and Tracks 5 and 4 will feed into Track 6. Tracks 3,2, and 1 currently feed the North Alley Tracks, which has 7 spots with facing points and 2 spots on trailing point spurs (in the pic, the 2 spurs with the yellow box and the red covered gon), but presently, the only run-around option is to go all the way to the south end of the Yard...hence the need for a nearby run-around.

    These are the industries in the middle of North Alley. The RI Main is at the top, 2 BN TOFC tracks are next, then the PPU Main. The frog is to the turnout where the end of Track 6 from the BN Yard connects into the PPU Main. My plan is to extend Track 6 parallel with the North Alley Tracks exact where the PPU Main currently runs. and curve the PPU Main out of the crossing so it runs parallel to the extension of Track 6 instead of joining it. I'll probably shift the TOFC tracks closer to the RI Main for more room by replacing the TOFC left turnout with a right turnout.

    The RI Main is at the top of this pic. The PPU curves toward the left to run parallel with it and the turnout(s) at the left edge of the pic are a cross-over to RI Main. The CNW boxcar is on the farthest/last North Alley spot. When completed, that North Alley track will be in the same spot, the BN extension of Track 6 will run where the PPU Main is currently and parallel to the last North Alley track; the PPU Main will run parallel with the BN Track 6 extension, and tie in with a cross-over to the BN about where the RI/PPU cross-over is currently; and the RI will be shifted up a little, so it can run parallel to the PPU and still be connected through a RI/PPU cross-over. The 3 parallel tracks (BN escape, PPU Main, and RI Main) will pass around a corner that is at the left end of the CNW boxcar on the last North Alley Track, so it will be important to have the cross-overs positioned in reach.

    I've used 19 inch radius sectional curves and #4 turnouts for my track planning, but I may need to use flex track for slightly tighter curves to ensure I have access to all of the ground throws in the cross-overs before they pass around the corner.
     
  4. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Happy New Year everyone,

    While I was away from the computer for the last week I did get some chances to work on the Battle Mountain section of my layout. The warehouse has now had it basic painting finished and I am now working on details.

    2018TBLP09.jpg


    At the grade crossing the road surfaces have been finished and the wood crossing stained. The crossing signals have been installed and I now have the module up on edge again to give me easy access to install all the electronics underneath.

    2018TBLP10.jpg
     
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  5. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Will do Dave, I hope to have some time this weekend to post some of the preliminary things to get a build thread underway. By the way, as weird as it was, my lead into Butler near the curve was about 90% accurate. Weird how those turnouts were installed.
     
  6. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  7. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The first thing I wanted to tackle was the module system itself. As stated earlier, the originals were over engineered thanks to my inability to properly use basic wood working tools. The original modules were made up of 1 x 3 lumbar, 1/2-inch plywood for a sub roadbed, 2-inch pink foam for terrain, 1/8-inch hardboard for fascia and 1.5 x 1.5 legs plus some hardware. Hindsight on this design showed me this was a bit too much for a relatively flat industrial area in a relatively flat state. For the new module design, I got my inspiration from the FreeMo chaps and realized I could do better with less. Simply put, the new modules are still 48-inches long by 18-inches deep but they are a simple tabletop style and everything including the legs is made from Baltic Birch plywood. The module ends and leg mounts are made of 3/4-inch Baltic Birch and the 48-inch sides, cross members and top are made from 1/4-inch Baltic Birch. The legs, which fold up into the module now, are made from both 3/4-inch and 1/4-inch Baltic Birch glued into an L girder for both rigidity and straightness. So far the bill of materials for the module is, like its design, is light.

    • 1 2 x 4 sheet of 3/4-inch Baltic Birch
    • 2 2 x 4 sheets of 1/4-inch Baltic Birch
    • 2 5/16 3-inch long carriage bolts
    • 2 5/16 wing nuts
    • 6 5/16 T-Nuts
    • 8 #8 washers
    • 8 #8 x 3 wood screws
    • 4 5/16 4-inch long carriage bolts
    • 1 bottle of Titebond yellow wood glue (Green Label)

    Tools needed to complete the construction of the module was as follows:


    • Table saw
    • Drill press
    • Miter Saw (chop saw)
    • Cordless drill
    • Drill bits
    • 1-inch spade bit
    • 24-inch adjustable clamps
    • 4 corner brace or framing clamps
    I next set up my table saw making sure everything was square and even used a fine wood working or cabinet saw blade in the machine and set out ripping the sheets into the desired widths. Starting from the widest to most narrow.


    • 18-inches wide (1/4-inch sheet)
    • 5.75-inches wide (1/4-inch sheet X 2) & (3/4-inch sheet)
    • 3-inches wide (1/4-inch sheet X 2) & (3/4-inch sheet)
    • 2-inches wide (1/4-inch sheet X 4)
    • 1.75-inches wide (3/4-inch sheet)


    Next I set my table saw up with a slide table. This would allow me to “router” a channel for the three stringers to slide in. With the two 1/4-inch sides, I marked the middle and 1/3rd sections. Using a square I marked the location of the channels on the inside of the ply approximately at the 2 foot on center and measured out 1/8-inch in either direction creating a marking for my to follow that would be 1/4-inch wide. It is important to mark your pencil lines on the outside or the finish side as you will be cutting the channels on the inside of the board. I set the table saw height to cut at 1/8-inch, placed the side in my slide table and simply pushed the board back and forth in between the lines I had drawn earlier. I now have a nice square router that will accept the stringer and keep things square as well as strong without the use of screws. I cut my end pieces of 3/4-inch to 17.5 inches long using my miter saw then inserted a 1-inch spade bit into my drill press. I centered my hole to the exact center of the width of the end plate and three inches down from the top. This hole will be used to pass the electrical bus line from one module to the next. Following that, I took the two 3-inch wide 1/4-inch pieces of wood and cut three pieces 17.75-inches long. These will be the stringers that will go into the channels I had just previously cut. Three 1-inch holes rae drilled into the stringers for electrical needs. They are centered at 1.5-inches from each end and the middle one is approximately 8.75-inches from the end. All three holes are centered at 1.5-inches from the top to bottom.

    I glued the sideboards flush to the ends of the endplates and used the corner clamps to keep everything square while the glue dried over night. Once the side boards are glued to the ends of the endplates, the modules dimensions are 48-inches long by 18-inches wide. After the glue had dried, I inserted the three stringers and made measurements to ensure there was no bowing. Everything must be 18-inches wide. Once happy with the fit, I glued these in as well with the top being flush with the eventual table top. The space below will allow space for the legs when folded up.

    Module 001.JPG
    This was round one and a "dry fit" of the major components of the module. I have not drilled the holes in either the end plates or the stringers at this point.

    Module 002.JPG
    Here the necessary 1-inch holes have been drilled in and both the leg mounts and early legs have been mounted.

    Up next, the design of light weight legs that fold up into the module for easy show set up and take down....
     
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  8. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Since my last post I have got the grade crossing signal working. In this photo I am pushing a string of cars through the sensors to test it. Still much work to be done to complete the scene but the electronics part of the project is now done.

    BattleMtn21.jpg


    This next photo shows all the stuff mounted under the bench work to make the grade crossing work. The infrared sensors are out of view to the right and left. I am working on a drawing and hopefully soon will post the technical information for those that are interested.

    BattleMtn20.jpg


    And I got the ballast done for the WP / eastbound track along the front edge of the Battle Mountain section. Look closely and the IR receiver can be seen in the cave in the rock at the top center of this photo.

    2018TBLP11.jpg
     
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  9. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Thanks for the pic of the various components...I'm looking forward to the technical summary. Could you include approximate costs of the various components and/or also recommend resources (books, websites/links/tutorials you found helpful?
     
  10. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    After Pics...finally! What I thought would take 2 days, ended up taking 8. I took some pics yesterday and today, and finished soldering the remaining feeders this morning.
    During the first couple days, I shifted the RI Main and PPU Main over about 2 inches, and then added the lead to the BN Arrival/Departure Track parallel to the PPU Main and RI Main, but had to tear it all out because the RI/PPU cross-over was too hard to reach in its new position.
    Relayed all three tracks with the RI/PPU in reach, and added the run-around tracks at the other end of the work area. I had 4 of the 10 industry tracks in place when I discovered that I didn't have enough space to reposition the remaining 6 as I'd hoped...so, I tore out the run-around and first 4 industries and spent several days playing with variations. (I wasn't too happy with that first version of the run-around tracks anyway, because of S-curves.)
    In the end, I moved the RI/PPU cross-over around the corner about 3 feet to a place with easy access...and reconfigured the north end of the 3 yard tracks feeding the North Alley industries and a 2nd version of the run-around tracks to eliminate the S-curves.

    The repositioned RI/PPU Crossover:

    The Run-around with no S-Curves (3rd and 4th tracks from right) and 2 North Alley industries (2nd and 1st tracks from right):

    I used Google Maps to guide my track and buildings placements and decided to eliminate one of the 10 industries because it was too far away from the others to properly include it, even with significant selective compression and extensive use of my modelers license. The Washington Street buildings reflect 4 blocks selectively compressed to 1 block. I also used Google Maps Street View to design some better cardstock mock-ups for 3 industries, and I temporarily taped 4 DPM models together to represent some other industries.
    North Alley Tracks behind the Washington Street buildings:
    Track 1 = Wilkins Pipe
    Track 2 = Freidman Warehouse, McKessen Chemical, and Cohen Furniture Warehouse
    Track 3 = O'Neill Transport
    Track 4 = the new BN Lead
    Track 5 = PPU Main
    Track 6 = RI Main

    North Alley Middle Industries--New cardstock mock-ups reflecting actual shapes of buildings as seen in Google Maps and Google Street View:
    This pic shows the front of the Washington Street Buildings on the right, and the left is a series of Google Street Views of the buildings directly across from the 4 Washington Street industries.

    When I repositioned the RI/PPU Cross-over, I was reminded that the mock-up of the I-74 bridge (which I made almost 10 years ago) had been deteriorating very badly, because the acid in the rubber cement I had used to glue the picture to the foamboard had turned the picture brown over time. So I used Google Street View to get new pictures of the bridge, printed them, and stuck them on foamboard with 2-sided tape.
    This is the original I-74 bridge mock-up made in March 2008 for comparison:

    The new bridge is a little farther to the right than the old one, and the repositioned cross-over is located out of view off to the lower left in both pictures.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  11. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Over the next week, I expect to add a caboose track and short (4-car) interchange track to my ICG Decatur Yard. This is where the new tracks will be added:

    I'll also reconfigure tracks at the ADM plant, so in-plant switching can be done by an ADM loco, instead of the PPU Peoria Local switching the ADM tank cars from the PPU Middle Yard and PPU ADM Siding on the bluff (west) side of the plant and the RI Beltline Job switching all covered hoppers and boxcars on the river (east) side ADM tracks. To make the tracks on both sides of the plant accessible by a single ADM loco, I will:
    1. extend one of the 4 tank tracks coming off of the PPU ADM Siding on the west side so it connects all the way to one of the RI sidings on the east. That connecting track will be where the ADM loco parks when not working.
    2. join the 2 RI sidings on the east side of the plant (the RI Growmark Siding and the RI ADM Siding) into a single long RI ADM Siding that has 2 crossovers near the middle where each of the sidings had originally connected back to the RI Main.
    3. make the 4 covered hopper and boxcar single end tracks into double end tracks, so the ADM Loco can pull cars from the RI ADM Siding onto the Growmark portion of the long siding, and (using the Growmark portion as a lead), push them onto the 4 covered hopper and boxcar tracks.
    The primary reasons for making this into a single in-plant job instead of 2 separate jobs by the PPU and RI, is that the PPU Peoria Local Job, which switches the ADM tank cars and 8 other industries in Peoria, was taking too long to complete, and the RI Job (which only had access from the south end of the ADM tracks), had to pull cars back and forth across the PPU Mains at Bridge Jct just 2 car lengths to the south of the ADM tracks, which meant the RI Beltline would have to wait for a break in any PPU traffic each time it had to pull or push cars from/to the ADM tracks.
    With the double-ended tracks and the longer ADM siding, any inbound cars set out by the RI Beltline Job could be easily switched by the ADM loco from the Growmark end of the ADM siding.

    The new tracks will be laid out like this:
    The south end of the RI Growmark Siding where the extended tank track will tie in and where the Growmark siding used to connect back to the Ri Main:
    The 2 crossovers in the middle of the long siding on the right, and the ADM loco track and some of the tank tracks on the left. PPU Middle Yard and PPU ADM Siding on left edge of pic.
    Where the new turnouts will connect to the covered hopper and box car tracks. Left track = RI Main, 2nd track = RI ADM Siding, 34d, 4th, 5th, and 6th tracks for CHs and Boxcars.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  12. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Making a few test runs with everything installed on the grade crossing and everything is working. As this section is not connected to the rest of the layout yet there is only about 7 feet of track to run a short train on then back it up.

    [​IMG]


    As promised I am including a schematic diagram and the Arduino code. Please feel free to pick it apart let me know if you find any errors.

    GradeCrossingSchematic.jpg

    GradeCrossingCode.jpg

    I have further explanation about the circuit and the code on my blog.
    http://palisadecanyonrr.blogspot.com/2018/01/my-first-arduino-project-grade-crossing.html
     
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  13. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    And did a bit more on the warehouse. Added gravel to the roof, the roll up doors in various positions, and numbered the doors 1 to 4. Still need to add some interior details and some LED lights inside so those details can be seen through the open doors.
    2018TBLP12.jpg
     
  14. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting schematic and code, Brad.
    I visited your blog...impressive.
     
  15. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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  16. sp4009

    sp4009 TrainBoard Member

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    I finished up a couple of custom projects that were on my bench and freed up some time to work on the layout. I worked on the backdrop, probably added a little more detail than I will need since there will be a bridge and trees in front of a lot of it. The pink foam is an experiment, I have always been a cardboard weave/plaster guy, but thought foam would work better in this area. I bought a couple of 2' square panels to see how well it cuts/carves, how the height works out, etc..

    [​IMG]

    I also laid some more code 40 track, Standard Oil on the left and the house track on the right.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. ppuinn

    ppuinn Staff Member

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    The RI Beltline Job is a turn that serves industries between the RI Peoria Yard at its north end and the RI Colliers Yard in Bartonville at its south end. The ADM plant is located near the north end of the Beltline. On the southbound leg of the turn, cars are set out on southern end of the ADM Siding. On the northbound leg of the job, ADM cars are picked up from the north end of the ADM Siding. The ADM in-plant loco pulls cars from the various industry spots and sets them out on the north end of the long ADM Siding. After the RI Beltline Job is run, the ADM loco then pulls the Beltline's set outs from the southern end of the ADM Siding and spots them as needed.

    After pics of ADM Siding reconfiguration:
    This view looks north. The RI Main is on the right; second track (in middle) is where the outbound cars are set out to be picked up by the RI Beltline Job (when it is returning north to the RI Peoria Yard). The 3rd track is the AMD Lead.
    This view looks south. The RI Main is on the left; the second track in the distance is where the RI Beltline Job sets out cars from the RI Peoria Yard when it is on the southbound (outbound) leg of the job. The 3rd and 4th tracks are for covered hoppers, and the 5th track curves between the buildings and receives boxcars. The 6th track in the distance (difficult to see) takes tank cars. The 2nd track at the bottom of the picture is the middle portion of the long ADM Siding and also functions as the ADM Lead. The loco is on the Engine Track which connects the PPU ADM Siding on the west side of the plant with the RI ADM Siding on the east side of the plant. [Yeah, I know that isn't prototypical, but then the real RI was already out of business when ADM actually started doing business in Peoria, so my modeler's license is being used bigtime.]
     
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  18. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last post showed my start of the module that will be my new standard. Now it is time to get the folding legs installed.

    Module 006.JPG
    One of the two mounts that is flush with the inside of the sideboard. I used a 1-inch countersunk versions here and pressed a T-nut into each one. With the T-Nut hardware facing the inside of the sideboard, I carefully made sure the upper portion of the leg mounts was flush with the top of the module.

    Module 007.JPG
    The opposite side leg mounts are centered 3-inches from the side board. The 3/4-inch leg is countersunk for the locking nut as seen above.

    Module 009.JPG
    This picture shows the end plate with the wood screws attaching the leg mounts. This was the only assembly that was not glued. I wanted to make the mounts removable in case they got damaged in some way.
     
  19. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Module 003.JPG
    Here is a preliminary test of the folding legs before the 1/4-inch ply had been installed on the legs. As you can see the inner portion of the legs receives a wing nut. This can be loosened or tightened during set up and taking down.

    Module 008.jpg Cross members were made from 1/4-inch plywood cut 2 inches wide by 13.5 inches long. Because of the folding action of the legs, they must nest into each other so the cross members are placed on the outside of one set of legs and inside of the other set as shown here.

    Module 005.JPG
    Lastly, the 3/4-inch 1.75 x 1.25-inch blocks were given T-Nuts and glued to the bottom of the legs. Carriage bolts are used as leveling feet.

    Not as pretty as the other posts but important as i want a good foundation that is strong and travels light.

    Next weekend it is supposed to be close to 50 degrees here so the plan is to get more Baltic Birch and build two more modules. Since I know what I'm doing now, I hope they go faster.
     
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  20. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    This weekend I have started on the diesel distributor while at the same time adding finishing touches to the grade crossing scene. The diesel distributor has really been fun as I am reuniting parts from a Walthers Interstate Oil kit that I purchased about 25 years ago. Various parts have been used on modules and other layouts and now with a little fixing up they will be together again in the same scene.

    2018TBLP13.jpg

    I had to rebuild the loading dock for the building that had been used in a junk yard scene on another layout. I had enough new tank parts left to make up a couple of vertical storage tanks so those are new. The pump house from the original kit had been used in an oil field and the loading platform in a refinery. The gas pump is a white metal casting from a Micro Engineering gas station and will be used for this facility to fuel it's own delivery trucks. The truck shown in this photo an old "Tires and Tracks" kit. I do hope to replace it eventually with a couple of trucks that will more closely match the prototype and era of my layout.

    2018TBLP14.jpg
     
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