Oct 23, 2004
Since it is to be semi portable do you plan on starting on a module soon?
The modules are packed up, as bare benchwork. Just add legs, and scenery. I have 12 built, need to build 2 more, and then staging benchwork.
This picture is worth showing again. That is some really EXCELLENT work on the hillsides, dirt road, trackside cuts, and trackwork. Man I love seeing layouts that look like that.
Views like these make people dream!!!
Last timeI walked up there, I was right where the caboose is, and a train came by. BTW there is a half buried rivetted tank car up there. It's pretty cool to get up close to one of those beasts.
Geeky - Few questions:
Is this post - Tounge in Cheek?
How many rivets in the tank car?
Which is the beast - the tank car of the engine?
What? do you mean that is _not_ a photo of the real thing?
Does anyone have the link to his railimages folder?
That foamboard mockup is cool, really helps visualize what you're going to do. Bet you can't wait to get started, (I can't wait to see you get started) Have you schmoozed Mike D. into doing your backdrops? Or at least a lesson? I have confidence that your layout will be just as good as Mr.D's. Oh, and just a nag, GET THAT CABOOSE DONE! sheesh, got dollars burnin' holes in my pockets dude!! (hee, hee) Seriously, I've got to have a few of those to run with my modified Atlas jobs.
My wife had suggested I should build smaller... Just in case a house we get into doesn't have a basement.. Good point... I hate it when she's right!
I'm working on an 8x8' plan, more of a wedding cake style deal, twice around, but on a 2.5% grade. Track separation will be more than 13" from start to finish... A helix with 4 tracks in the middle will make up staging, and allow continuous running. Plan pic soon...
I think if I keep mainline radii at 18", and drop the hidden trackage to about 15-16" I may be able to work it, without too many sections appearing straight. Very little track in this area on the prototype is actually straight. This plan seems a bit odd, but with 13+ inches of separation from Tunnel 1-Tunnel 19, I think it can work well. A little creative engineering can actually hide the tracks from each other, as viewed thru a camera lens, I hope! I don't want a spaghetti-bowl look, either.
I love it!
Will it look strange with a train threading several tunnles at once?
Will it be modular? Is the plan to operate from outside? Or in "the pit?"
The plan will use modules, built new and built longer, and wider. The ops will be from the outside, with operators being able to see the helix from the outside. The inside is accessible to clear helix derailments. The only way in is a duckunder, so it will be an emergency type access.
No stranger than the prototype threading several tunnels at once!
If you looked at the side profile, it would look like a wedding cake...
That looks to be a creative and unique solution to the challenge. I am very interested in how you proceed with it, especially the transitions between scenes, such as on the left side--plains to mountains.
Have you worked out how many tracks will be in the helix, and if you will be able to use it as some sort of staging?
Most of the scenic blocks will be the actual mountains that are tunneled through. The plains-mountains transition will be as faithful to the prototype as I can get it. It really changes from rolling hills to distinctly vertical scenery in a very dramatic fashion. After passing thru Rainbow Cut, the first curve beyond the long tangent in the siding, the scenery becomes increasingly wooded, and vertical. By the time you reach the end of plain siding, the mountainside (which was blasted out into a shelf on which the track is laid) starts to get steeper, before sharply curving into Tunnel 2. Beyond Tunnel 2, all the way to T8, the track's elevation gain and the steepness of the lay of the land gets more and more extreme, till the tracks on a shelf high on the mountainside almost appear to be laid on a sheer cliff side.
The helix, 4 tracks wide, 5 turns will be at a 2.5% grade. The helix is used to allow continuous running, and provide a small amount of staging. I really need to study this some more, as my guesstimated mainline length at 44' is not as exact as I want it. The actuial elevation difference could be as much as +/- 2" from my estimate of 13.75" from Tunnel 1, to Tunnel 19. The helix will have 6, 10-11' sidings, based on the 2.5 turns per siding length. If the elevation is not 13.75", the helix may grow, or shrink to allow for the change. Also, the helix will be built at a 2.5% grade to allow for 2.8" of clearance from rail to rail. I can then build it with 3/8" plywood, versus 1/4", and still run doublestacks. The real Moffat Route won't clear doubles, but mine will, for the reason of allowing any visiting equipment to run.
I hope I didn't just put you to sleep!!
That is impressive, and the terrain sounds like it will lend itself to scene separation naturally, and if you are thinking in terms of photography, the individual scenes should look fantastic. Even if it may mean living with the two loops.
It looks like I am moving into a new basement soon, so I may have a chance to "start over" again and will be heavily influenced by this line, and the photo set you put together. Back in '92, I took Amtrak from Worcester MA to Truckee CA via this route and look back fondly on that trip. It would be great to model parts of it. I am leaning towards a series of 1' deep modules with some blobs to accomplish it, so your work is opening my eyes again.
I'm flattered.... Anyhow, Intermountain makes great Tunnel motors, F-units; Atlas makes Geep 30/35/40/40-2's, SD7/9/50's; Kato makes nice F40's, SD45's, PA-1's, F-units, Life Like makes nice GP60's too.... Kato also makes a California Zephyr for 3 eras: The CZ set they released last year works for the CZ,a nd post '71, the RGZ as well; and the Superliners, for '83-today. Trainworx makes 100T quad coal hoppers, MDC makes hi-side coal gons, Red Caboose (formerly precision masters) makes 100T Ortner 5-bays for a Colorado Springs Dept. of Utilities (CSDU) train. I could go on and on, and on, and on; but if you need more info, just ask!!
Is it unreasonable to have staging built into the helix? Will it be easy to see what trains are in what sidings? I'm only 5/10 tall, so even witht he base track level at 40", the Tunnel 19 exit to staging/helix will be 53", not to mention scenery, add another 6-9" to that total. I really don't see that staging in the helix being feasible, or practical, without ducking under (there's the D-word again!) the layout, and crawling into the center of the helix to identify the train, select its address on the throttle, and proceed with the train. Sine I need to build a 5-turn helix anyhow, what's the big hairy deal with extending the helix another 4 turns below track level (don't forget the framing, and 4" of foam on the benchwork) to an under-layout staging area? Wouldn't that eliminate ducking under to grab trains from the helix staging area? Wouldn't the staging under layout eliminate some dust problems?
Any other problem areas you can see that I'm missing?
Believe I'd go with that under benchwork staging. Rather than in a helix.
The creative juices are flowing again...
With a hybrid cookie cutter style benchwork, and foam scenery. This is really getting to me--being ready to build, and still awaiting a house...
While I don't have a nice table saw to rip the plywood down (I'm planning on using ripped plywood rather than dimensional lumber), I have access to a nice wood shop.
A table saw is still on my list of tools to get eventually!