N Scale Build of the Delaware, Susquehanna & Northern Railroad

Hardcoaler Dec 20, 2021

  1. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks like your portals are models of cast concrete portals. You could make a latex mold of of the lower portion of the portals, cast in plaster to match the existing portals perfectly.
     
  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe in HO or larger scales, but that sawzall is a bit big for portal surgery on an N scale portal...

    Re: 'enhanced' (functionally) tunnel portals, I say beauty is as beauty does. We left behind the streamliners a long time ago.
     
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I've been making portal/retaining wall foundations on the DS&N all this week, so as to lift them to Kato Unitrack roadbed height and even pre-painting them as @pomperaugrr suggested. It perfectly meets the height issue and I'm happy with the results, though the lack of width needed for the overhang of 86 FT cars on my 11" radius curves remains somewhat. If I move the portal off center to the inside of the curve so as to provide room, it looks a little odd, but the cars will clear, if just barely.

    I'm still not convinced that I want to work all of this out so that I can run cars I never planned to run. I have only two 86' High Cubes, one with a missing truck and both with Rapido couplers. :) I can run normal length passenger cars, domes and 60' High Cubes with no problem and I think I'll stick with that.

    P.S. Yes, I use Popsicle sticks for a lot of things. :) After leading a Girl Scout troop for over a decade, my wife has a bunch.

    2022-07-01 001 Offset Portal.jpg

    2022-07-01 002 Offset Portal.jpg
     
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  4. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Are double-stack container well-cars a worst-case example for clearance in both height and width? Not sure how long the longest container well cars are, not counting articulated cars.
     
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  5. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    (y)(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)(y)
     
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  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    From what I read, 20' 3" (Plate K) is the maximum clearance and there are both triple deck auto racks and double stacks that are this dimension, but double deck auto racks are less. Here's a picture I shot prior to the clearance work on 02/22/1998 at Big Four, WV with an auto rack in the train, but it looks short compared to the boxcar in front of it. I'll bet it's a double deck auto rack.

    1998-02-22 001 Big Four WV - for upload.jpg

    Not that models always reflect the prototype, but with my models, the stacks are significantly taller.

    2022-07-01 003 Hi Cube vs Stack.jpg
     
  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Great pic's!

    We can see that the containers in the well cars don't extend past the bolsters of the trucks, so the container corners would not swing wide on the outside of a curve. They will still be wide on the inside of a curve at the midpoint of the well car.

    The portal shot also shows a nice feature: most tunnels do not enter or exit the mountainside perpendicular to its slope. This means the mountainside has to be cut back further on the near side of the tracks than the far side, to clear the slope of the mountainside. A shot from the other side of the tracks, without a train passing, would show this more obviously.

    Another important detail of this portal is that it is set back far enough into the mountainside that the tunnel roof is still rather thick at the portal, to support the span over the tunnel entrance.
     
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  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Ends up that I made my tunnel portal footings a wee bit too thin for comfort, especially on one portal that's near the start of a grade. Rather than start all over, I decided to add a thin layer of wood under my existing footings. In looking around for material, I discovered some 40 year old balsa wood, stained and all from DS&N RR v1.0. It's 3/32" thick (1 FT 3" in N Scale) and is just perfect.

    It was @mtntrainman who said here to "NEVER throw anything away". (y)

    2022-07-03 Old Balsa Wood.jpg
     
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  9. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    If balsa is like good whisky, then that stuff ought to be great!
     
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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Interestingly, it's not been stored particularly well, but the pieces are perfectly flat. It's kind of like my Dad's lumber that I brought to my house when they passed away. Pine, oak, mahogany, cedar and some cherry too. All of it is 30 to 50 years old and is perfect -- no warping, no cupping and no knots. Unlike my balsa, my Dad stored his wood well. :) Hard to believe that you could once buy lumber like this.
     
  11. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I have some very old balsa wood, too, and also a can of Life-Like liquid ballast cement from around 1962. It's still good.

    Doug
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    :) I think I remember that stuff. I still have a bottle of Life-Like smoke for our Lionel steamer that no doubt dates from the same era as your ballast cement.

    2022-07-04 Life Like Smoke.jpg
     
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  13. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, same basic Life-Like label.

    Doug
     
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  14. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Example: the bottom row is carved plaster.
    20220705_092313.jpg
     
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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Tight fit!
     
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  16. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I think that qualifies as a "slip fit". Well done!
     
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  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, that's some really nice work! I ended up taking the lazy way out and built aprons to set the portal and wing walls on. Ballast and scenery will help them blend in with the surface. The single track portals won't need to be lifted quite as much, but I'll work the same general thing with them. When all six portal assemblies are complete, I'll take them outside and airbush them in concrete color so that all of the components are consistent in appearance.

    2022-07-05 Tunnel Portal.jpg
     
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  18. logging loco

    logging loco TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looking good!
     
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  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Looking at the photo just above, I've been mulling over the width of the aprons I used to lift my tunnel portals and retaining walls to Kato Unitrack height and decided to slim them down to a narrower size. I was reluctant to attempt this because the portal, walls and aprons on each are glued together and getting various saws and files in there to make straight cuts was no small feat. Anyway, I like the result.

    I bought some Scalecoat II Concrete colored paint at my local hobby shop this morning, but nothing's been painted yet. I still need to engineer the same thing as you see here for four single track portals, three located on curves.

    2022-07-09 Reworked TunnelPortal Assemblies.jpg
     
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  20. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I need to do this to my layout as I recently acquired a set of Kato MAXI-I. BUT, unlike you, both twin track portals are already glued and built into the mountain. [​IMG]

    Yes, it's only Sculptamold and nothing that an X-Acto razor saw can't handle but still -> [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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