Building Union Pacific's N Scale Canyon Division....

Sumner Nov 9, 2019

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    This will be the build pages for my N scale layout. In the late '60's early 70's I had some N scale track and one loco and a handful of cars but was living in a small apartment going to college so had a very simple layout. Then developed other interests and left the hobby but felt I'd always return and did in late 2018.

    Still I was very occupied with sailing so just started catching up on where N scale was now. Wow lots of new things to learn like DCC and the whole hobby was very advanced from the 70's. After taking the sailboat to the Bahamas in the spring of 2019 with my wife Dottie and then selling it, time had come to more completely return to N scale.

    I was in the process of building a small camper and still am as I write this but I started buying rolling stock and engines, some DCC ready and others not. Built an Arduino/Raspberry Pi/JMRI DCC control station with a short piece of test track and started wiring DC locos to DCC. My shop is in two parts. One quite large where I do my 'car stuff' and other projects. The other side, about 13' X 32' is being cleared out slowly for the train room.

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    I've worked on track plans for the past 10 months and have come up with a potential plan for what I'd like to work on. At 75 now will it ever be completed? Probably no way, but I'll have fun getting as much of it done as possible. I'll be running UP equipment as that is what I saw when I lived in Laramie, Wyoming for years. It will be set in the time period from after WWII to the mid '70's. The location will be fictional and based somewhat on where I live now, which is in Utah's southeast canyon country. UP does have a spur here running down into the canyon along side the Colorado River by Moab, UT but that is the extent of their 'Canyon Country Division'.

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    I'm ready to start work on the Staging Yard which will service the two towns at both ends of the layout, Canyon City and Helper. Hopefully building it will get me laying track, installing the switches I've been making, wiring and some scenery. When it is up and running and the part of the shop where it will go is cleaned out it will be moved there, but meanwhile I'll have a place to run and test equipment.

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    Once things are ready for the rest of the layout then I'll build bench work and try to get the mainline in place so I can run trains over a longer distance and then start the town areas and other businesses along the right of way.

    The rest of these pictures show the main line which originates in the staging yard and heads to either Canyon City to the west or Helper to the east. Above the main line has left the staging yard and heads west into Canyon City. From Canyon City it heads towards Summit.

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    There is a loop before summit where the track climbs towards summit. Also by Summit is a reversing loop that along with another one by Mesa allows continuous running on the higher elevation tracks. After leaving Summit the …

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    main line heads to Coalbed Loop where there is a smaller coal mine. There are three coal mines, Summit, Coalbed Loop and Mesa that mine low sulfur coal that is shipped east. After making the loop at Coalbed the line continues running above and behind Canyon City to Mesa and on towards Helper. At Mesa we find the second reversing loop for the upper level.

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    After passing Mesa the line continues descending down into Helper where it drops its helper engines if going east or picks them up if going west. Continuing past Helper the main line heads east to the south side of the Staging Yard. Another option is for a train to turn back on a short section of track that will take the train towards Canyon City for continuous running. There the train can take the bypass track around Canyon City or go into Canyon City.

    This will be an ambitious project and don't expect to ever have it finished to the degree that I've seen from others but it will be fun no matter how far it goes.

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    I'm hoping that starting to post this will get me moving faster with finishing the camper and getting into the railroading on a full time basis.

    Thanks for any input and I'll try and keep this going as I progress here and also on my web site (see link below to that),

    Sumner

     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  2. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I think there is way too much track in those plans. It's not a bowl of spaghetti, its the whole spaghetti factory. It will mean you will have to live to 120 to get to where you can run trains.I'm only a couple of years behind you, and lost my cajon layout in a divorce, and now don't have the space for a layout. I'm getting set up to just build models. Especially the ATSF and UP passenger trains I never got finished. And that's for me good, because building models was what always was my favorite part of trains,, and operations were totally out for me.

    ADditionally, I consider N the ideal scale because of the potential for a more realistic size differential between scenery and rolling stock. To me most all HO layouts look far too much like Lionel, with trees just about the same height as a boxcar.
     
  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the input Bill. A couple observations. Not sure if you read the text or not. I agree that I'll probably never get all the track down but designing and building is a passion of mine so can't help that.

    Also that track is over 26 feet of space and here it is shown over 9 or 10 inches with a lot of the lines you are seeing being topo lines and not track. I'll be concentrating only on the staging yard at first and don't even plan on laying all that track to start with. Then the bench-work in sections, with mainly just the track shown in red, blue and purple being put down.

    Sumner
     
  4. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! That is an ambitious project. I'm crapping over the expenses for my relatively small and upcoming 8'x4' layout LOL. Good luck on the build and look forward to seeing your progress.
     
  5. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    Sumner, I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on the layout. Like you I'm going to install the mainline first and add spurs and yard later. Have about half of the mainline installed and one spur so I can do some switching. That's the only spur that I will do at this time, will install the others later. The name of my layout is Boston Mountains Sub Division and have a build thread on this website and frisco.org.

    Joe
     
  6. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Joe and I've been following your build. Really impressive and further along than I'll probably make it. To me it isn't the end so much but the journey so wherever the journey ends I will have had a good time getting there.

    I see you are in Broken Arrow. I have friends near there that we hope to visit late in the spring. A guy from there built a '48 GMC pickup street rod which inspired me to turn mine into a street rod,

    Sumner
     
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  7. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett TrainBoard Member

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    When you visit your friends stop by and see my layout. Guest are always welcome.
    I will PM you with the address.

    Joe
     
    Sumner likes this.
  8. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    If things work out that would be good. We don't have firm dates at this time,

    Sumner
     
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  9. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! This is going to be fun to watch! Pics, pics, pics!

    By the way, neat little camper!
     
    Sumner likes this.
  10. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I took the track plan I had posted earlier and removed all the contour lines and the industries so that it would be easier to see what I have planned.

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    Also finished the front of the camper and took a day off from it and built the benchwork for the staging yard. I have a friend coming over today to help move it to the train room. More pictures of the construction of it in a day or so,

    Sumner
     
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  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    As stated earlier, it is an ambitious project. Nevertheless, I wish you success in building it. I wish I had thst much space!
     
    Sumner likes this.
  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    Facinating project. I'd love photos of your bench work as I'm about to start mine.
     
  13. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Grey One here are a few pictures of the benchwork under construction...

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    I used the 1 X 6's to gain a little more depth below the plywood for this section of the layout. Besides this staging yard, the towns of Canyon City and Helper will probably be pretty much the same construction with the rest of the layout being a more open construction.

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    By using the 1 X 6's for the sides I now have enough depth to run crossmembers and vertical supports in places where they shouldn't interfere with switch machines located below the table, which will be either manual or servo types. There is 2 1/2” of clearance between the top of the crossmembers and the bottom of the plywood.

    The crossmembers don't have to go at right angles to the table sides and the uprights can be placed anywhere. Hopefully this will give good access to the underside of the layout.

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    The table is 46 inches from the floor to the top of the foam. The nearby Helper yard will be 48 inches and the Canyon City yard will be 47 inches. The Staging yard, shown above, and the Helper and Canyon City yards will be of this construction. They will basically be flat but the foam will allow a little relief to be cut in where desired. The rest of the layout where there will be elevation changes, canyons and mountains will be of a more open style of construction with no major areas of flat plywood.

    Time to start marking out the track plan and laying track. Oh yes, still have a lot of turnouts to build.

    You can find a few more pictures here...

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/UP Canyon Division/page-2.html


    Sumner

     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  14. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

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    That was great! and very nicely documented on each photo.
     
  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    And could probably hold an elephant! :D
     
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  16. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice benchwork. Looking forward to following the progress of your build.
     
  17. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Haven't started laying roadbed and track yet but have been building turnouts.

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    I have all the #6 left-hand turnouts I need but still need to build 15 right-hand and 3 more of the 3-way turnouts. I took my turnout building stuff to Denver for Thanksgiving with the son-in-laws and built 6 of the left-hand turnouts there. Built two more since returning and one more 3-way. The curved and other #6's I had built previously. I use a Fast-Tracks fixture on the #6's and they go pretty quick now. Can't do them in an hour yet but under two hours and getting faster if I make up the guard rails, points, frog, and stock rails in batches. The point forming tools and stock aid tools really help also in both speed and quality of the turnout.

    I'm making the curved turnouts and the 3-ways with double sided tape on paper templates and that is a little slower and for the 3-ways quite a bit slower but then when you finish one you have actually finished two.

    I can also use the point forming tools and the stock aid tools building the 3-ways as they have two #6 Frog and one 16 degree frog that I can make with the point forming tool I got that will build a 19 degree crossing along with the #6 turnouts and a double cross-over. The 19 degree isn't quite right for the 16 degree frog but a little file work outside the tool fixes that.

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    I wasn't sure about building more 3-ways but the one at the top took about half the time to get to where it need ties vs. the first one at the bottom, about 4 hours. It will take about an hour to cut and glue the ties to it to finish it and still need to do that with a lot of the others but they will go faster. I'll try and get the other three 3-way turnouts done before Christmas and then take my building equipment and supplies to Phoenix for Christmas and see how many right-hand #6's I can knock out there.

    Still plugging away on the camper and hope to have it where it could go outside when we get back,

    Sumner
     
  18. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! :eek:. Someone has been busy!
     
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  19. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    New Year's update.

    I'm getting close to laying roadbed and track for the staging yard on the platform I built. The staging yard will be finished first and won't be prototypical of real railroading. Still I'll probably build a couple industries to gain some knowledge in that direction also. The main purpose of the yard will be building and staging trains that go onto the main part of the layout from the east or west. The layout will primarily be a point to point layout but there will be an option to also run continuously or to or from the staging yard in either direction. The other function of the staging yard is that there will be a programming track where I can program decoders and a couple parallel tracks in a loop where engines can be run in and/or tested.

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    Before starting with the roadbed and track I wanted to have all the turnouts made for the staging yard. I need 15 right hand, 11 left hand and 5 3-way turnouts if I make the staging yard like above. I'd bought a #6 double cross-over fixture from FastTracks along with PointForm and StockAid tools to go along with the fixture. I build a couple #6 turnouts with the fixture and some curved turnouts using paper templates. I needed a lot more so right before Thanksgiving I started making more #6 turnouts and also a #6 3-Way turnout using a paper template as outlined in a previous post.

    I finished the remainder of the #6 left hand turnouts before we went to Phoenix for Christmas along with another 3-way.

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    I took my turnout building tools and supplies to Phoenix and started on the right hand turnouts and got seven of them done there.

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    Upon returning home I built the final two 3-Way turnouts. Still need 8 more right hand turnouts but I'm getting close to being done with turnouts for the time being.

    I want to build a jig to hold a turnout in with a short section of track on the legs so I can run a loco with a car or two through it to make sure it works well before installing it on the layout.

    The above is also covered on my web site here...

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/UP Canyon Division/page-3.html


    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020

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