Building the KY&N: Planning, Prep & Benchwork

GP30 Mar 27, 2020

  1. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    This thread will feature periodic layout construction updates on the Kanawha, Youngtown & Northern (KY&N). The updates may be brief, or may be wordy. Detailed updates may also be found on our blog (link below). Please ask questions, provide suggestions and or general comments, all are appreciated.

    First a brief background: My wife and I bought our current home in June of 2019. It features a 36'x23' basement with full bath as well as a 39'x16' basement garage that is being converted to a play space for our three children. The layout will be a two-deck shelf layout mostly along the walls, varying in depth not exceeding 36 inches.

    The KY&N is an Appalachian coal hauling regional railroad running between Charleston, WV and Cleveland, OH. Passing through cities such as Wheeling and Weirton in WV and Youngstown in Ohio, this railroad also boasts a significant amount of steel industry traffic as well as bridge traffic by the Penn Central between their ex-NYC WV Secondary and their Ex-PRR Panhandle Division and from the N&W between their ex-VGN Deepwater Branch and their ex-W&LE connection near Wheeling, WV. Set in mid winter 1973-74, the KY&N boasts a healthy roster of first generation power with new power beginning to make their mark on railroading.

    For modeling purposes the layout will be based on the southern-most terminus of the railroad at Charleston, WV with significant interchange traffic with the C&O, Penn Central, N&W and the legendary V&O. Representing a stretch of 74 miles, the layout focuses on a stretch of single-track mainline between Charleston and Grantsville, WV.

    For more detailed information about the construction, please visit my blog at: http://kyn-rr.blogspot.com
     
  2. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    September 2019: The basement is unfinished but has had a history of moisture issues. After we bought the house, we discovered the sump pump wasn't working. After replacement of the system the basement has been dry and without any obnoxious smells and has remained dry all through the winter and spring to date. I was still hesitant to build full 2x4 studded walls and completely finish the layout area of the basement should any issues arise in the future. After consulting my dad, who has built houses and taught carpentry at a trade school for 30 years, he suggested Tap-Cons to attach vertical boards to the wall and mounting the back of the benchwork to those, thereby leaving much wall space accessible to some extent.

    The wiring on the main level of the house had previously been upgraded with grounded outlets and fixtures, but the basement was still original ungrounded wiring and outlets from the house's construction in 1962. So the first things to be done are to work on wiring and attaching the vertical 2x3's to the walls as time permits.

    Lets have a look at the lower level track plan:
    KY&N_Plan35_Bottom_scenic.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  3. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Upper Level Track Plan:
    KY&N_Plan35_Top_scenic.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
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  4. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I have considered a helix at Elkview instead of the nolix design and that is still a possibility but I have time to decide one way or another. It would allow a little bit more room for the industry at Elkview and an extension of the mine at Wills.

    Here is an example of the 2x3 vertical boards attached to the masonry. This will be in the middle of staging to the lower right . I am going to replace the basement windows with new vinyl hopper windows before the benchwork goes up. This is wall is 50% above grade, so I am going to use 1" foam board between the boards to help keep this corner warm. Backdrop would eventually cover the boards and the foam, obviously.
    IMG_2863.JPG

    After putting up beaded paneling in the kids play room, I had a lot of scraps left over. I ripped several pieces into 1" strips, these will be perfect for spline roadbed eventually.
    IMG_3036.JPG
     
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  5. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Last Sunday 3/22, everything is closed, including church! It was so nice and warm, I managed to find an hour or two and cut some old used plywood into 3-1/2” strips for benchwork later. [​IMG]


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  6. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I spent about an hour wiring up two temporary light fixtures using basic, single bulb fixtures until I’m ready for LED fixtures. These are part of all new wiring throughout the basement and general space lighting. Hopefully I’ll have the rest of it completed enough in the next couple weeks to get this part of the basement connected to a new breaker.
    [​IMG]


    “It ain’t much, but it’s honest work!”
    [​IMG]


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  7. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Long time since Ive updated. The basement in the bathroom now has stud walls and a door way and the electrical has all been updated. [​IMG]

    My wife wanted her own space in the basement, so that required an adjustment to the track plan and two more stud walls, which is in progress. I’m allowed to start benchwork as soon as her room is ready.

    Progress has been slow this summer between work, painting the house, building a new deck and camping. I can finally see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.[​IMG]


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  8. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I had the house to myself last night and spent the entire evening building and putting up the first benchwork for the Kanawha, Youngstown & Northern Railroad.

    Lower level is set at 39”. What we have here is technically Timetable South of Charleston,WV, which will basically be an industrial district in the West Side. This also leads (to the left behind me) to a helix down to staging which will theoretically be where all traffic for C&O, PC, N&W and V&O go. (Charleston is southern terminus of the KY&N)

    To the left (and behind me) will be an Electric Arc Furnace Steel Mill, and a small yard for coal traffic. Directly on the left side, Weinheimer Chemical will provide a significant source of traffic. Directly ahead will be the engie service tracks, roundhouse, turntable and MoW/RIP tracks, the main makes 180 degree turn on a 36” radius to reach the classification yard along the wall on the right (yard will be behind me). Planned aisle width of 36” with a 42” balloon directly in front of me, with a 30” pinch point 15 feet behind me between the main yard and the previously mentioned helix down to staging. (And a suspended helix from second level to upper staging... eventually)[​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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  9. dalebaker

    dalebaker TrainBoard Member

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    Hand made turnouts? I’m impressed!
     
  10. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    This section was salvaged from the previous layout, Fast Tracks turnouts. I won’t have 100% hand laid turnouts on this new layout, but I do intend to build more, and I have a new #8 turnout jig to use, as well.


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  11. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Recent benchwork progress, including staging access:

    1) Narrow (3-1/2”) shelf for accessing the staging yard on the opposite wall. Trains will be protected by a 2 inch strip of paneling nailed to the side.

    2) Having completed the narrow shelf and 180 degree, 31-1/2” radius curve. We are now at the throat of the staging yard.

    3) 6’ transition and 8’ of staging yard benchwork complete. Planning on 9 tracks and a through track to more staging just beyond.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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  12. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure what my plans are for the U33C to he GP30 will become an N&W unit unless I change my modeling direction

    Like the layout progress you've made
     

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    Last edited: Dec 10, 2020
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  13. vince p

    vince p TrainBoard Member

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    Following your road and layout with interest
     
  14. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I laid about 20 feet of track on the staging access. Later, I pulled 18 cars out of their boxes and used them to test the track work. Here is a set of 5 Athearn 40’ boxcars on the staging access.[​IMG]


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  15. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Well, the kids woke up earlier than usual this morning, so this is all that was accomplished this morning.

    This an old Wilson’s of Cleveland turntable that is about 110’ long in scale. I didn’t want a 90’ table and I didn’t want to pay $300 for a 130’. I previously painted the bottom with textured spray paint and glued timbers an tie strips on the deck. I ordered a Diamond Scale turntable arch kit and I’ll make other changes to spruce up this old structure.[​IMG]


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  16. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pat,
    It's been a while since I've followed your progress, like many years. I like your layout geographic focus. My grandfather worked PRR/PC/CR from Youngstown Hazelton yard to Conway yard. I have a soft spot for those roads, even though I never saw PC or PRR in action. Your era really rings well with me, as I too enjoy the second gen motive power. SD45s, GP30s, GP40s, loads of covered wagons and early Geeps.... Looking forward to more progress!
     
  17. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank You. We’ve moved twice since 2015, with a brief layout attempt between those moves, so my activity here has been limited. We finally bought a basement in summer 2019, and spent a year doing house projects.

    I grew up on the old B&O Cowen Sub west of Grafton, WV and the famous Mountain Subdivision/West End. It has experienced a sharp decline in the last 20 years and is north leased to another operator. I originally wanted to model the Cowen Sub in its prime in the early 70’s between Grafton and my hometown of Buckhannon, but simply couldn’t fit both yards in the track plan and have them both fully functional.

    So, I stuck with the KY&N concept, which works quite well.... at least in my mind


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  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pat- Is there any influence from McClelland's V&O? :)
     
  19. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    How did you guess? Lol

    I think it actually started, for me, with Tony Koester’s Midland Road. From there, I learned about the V&O. Later on, I joined a club and learned about operations and got to visit private home layouts and do operating sessions. I think my primary influences are the V&O, the AM and about 3 or 4 friends’ private layouts.

    EDIT: I cannot list influences and leave Mike Confalone’s beautiful Allagash Railway and Tom Patterson’s excellent Chesapeake, Wheeling & Erie out.


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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  20. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Updated Track Plans, should be able to click to view larger.

    Lower Level
    KY&N_Plan 53_A.png

    Upper Level
    KY&N_Plan 53_B.png

    After having descended into an extreme level of Analysis Paralysis this summer, these are the final plans until after the layout is operational. I have already made a couple of changes not reflected on these plans but nothing extreme.
     

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