NP Northern Pacific, "Really Terrific"

Ashpit Oct 2, 2019

  1. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I model the Northern Pacific in HO Scale. In fact I am a member of and just attended the NPRHA annual conference in Brainerd, Minnesota on September 8th through the 11th. I think a very strong contingent of the membership in the NPRHA are N.P. modelers. While at the conference, we visited the former N.P. Shops at Brainerd. The Northern Pacific actually built the town of Brainerd because of the shops there.

    My layout started as simply a freelanced layout of no particular location. While in a hobby shop, I chanced upon a copy of the NPRHA's The Mainstreeter Magazine. Having grown up seeing Northern Pacific trains operating between the Twin Cities and Motley, MN, where we headed north to go to our lake place, I was familiar with the N.P. Because of this familiarity, I started thinking about where on the N.P. my layout might fit into. because I love and had modeled the Mountains, I decided to model the Butte Shortline. Although nothing on my layout actually looks like the trackage from Logan Montana, through Butte and on to Garrison Montana, Modeling license has been used extensively! Also, the Butte Shortline was really a passenger route; however, my layout mostly runs freight. Again the use of modelers license. I model the transition and specifically 1953 to pin a date down.

    Thanks for reading this!
     
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  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Do you have any photos from the convention? Or of your layout? If so, could we please see a few?

    PS- If you know of anyone looking for NPRHA Mainstreeter back issues, let me know..... :)
     
  3. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I'm all for seeing photos too! Always love seeing anything NP.

    I model mostly NP, BN, and MRL in Z Scale, and am getting a train shed ready to build my first Z Scale home layout in. I have not nailed down exactly where I want to model, and am thinking it will be freelanced route, with scenes from Montana through Idaho along NP's right of way.
     
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  4. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Mark, excellent choice for that area to model! Went on vacation last year to Yellowstone NP, and naturally you have to follow the "Mainstreet of the Northwest" to get there! Beautiful countryside there!

    Keep us up to date with pics and such, always love to see NP!(y)
     
  5. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    here are some photos: The first is a shot of my Turntable and roundhouse.
    HPIM7281.JPG

    The second here is a photo of the back drop and some of down town Butte.
    HPIM7280.JPG
     
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  6. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    A couple more photos. Again, some buildings near the Roundhouse. The second photo is of the Hoodoo Gulch Trestle. More photos to follow later.
    HPIM7282.JPG HPIM7346.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2019
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  7. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    BoxcabE50, I did not bring a camera to the convention, unfortunately!

    Why did the first two photo simply appear as I would like, in the post and the next two with File information?
     
  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    That's a cool layout. I really like the high trestle!
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    When uploading, be certain to select the full size option.
     
  10. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    Here is another photo. This is the straight Campbells Trestle Kit; but, built with a curve. In the background you can see The N.P. Butte Yard.

    HPIM7341.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2019
  11. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    And a couple more:

    The photo below shows two bridges over what will eventually become a waterfall. As can be seen, this part of my layout still needs to be finished. The bridge with the S-4 switcher was built from two Atlas Deck Truss bridges spliced together at the center.

    HPIM7344.JPG

    The scene below is moved to the left about two feet from the one above. If you look above the cab of the switcher above, you can see that there is a track coming up river and passes below the second bridge, which is covering up the track, where it goes into a short tunnel. On the other side of the short tunnel the track exits; but, then enters a Snow Shed/Rock Slide shed, where the same locomotive is now running under.
    HPIM7350.JPG

    Since manufacturers don't seem to be very interested in producing Northern Pacific locomotives. You need to grabe everyone that does get made. Bachmann produced a Northern Pacific Also S-4 Switcher w/DCC; but, without sound. They do/did produce sound S-4s for other roads, so I bought a Milwaukee Road S-4 that did have sound and swapped the Milwaukee Shell with the N.P. shell and then sold the Milwaukee and DCC version on Ebay. Why they don't simply produce both sound and non-sound chassis and let the modeler choose which shell they want seems like a better way to go, to me. But, hey, what the heck do I know?
     
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  12. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    The F unit consist in this Photo are all the old Athearn Blue Box F-7s. The A unit on the left and the B-unit have been re-powered with NWSL Can motors and all have decoders installed the A-unit on the right has a cheap decoder installed so it's headlight works when the consist is backed up. All three have been re-painted, re-detailed and re-decaled, as Athearn felt N.P.'s F should be a solid green in color, which is not even close to correct. This consist is a powerful puller.

    HPIM7280.JPG

    If you model the Northern Pacific, you know you will have to repaint and re-detail your locomotives, as the Pickings are rather slim for N.P.
     
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  13. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    HPIM7324.JPG
    Here is a couple of the industries I modeled in Butte
     
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  14. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    More items to view in the above photo is the control panel that was built for the layout back when it was operated in simple DC Mode. In fact if I threw the block toggle switches to the right, the layout can still be operated via my GML throttle just ahead of the two place Bill Box at the lower left of the photo. HPIM7324.JPG The Packing Plant is a Walthers Champion Packing Plant with their stockyards, also to the left. Both were built per designed with no modifications. In back of the Packing Plant (not visible) is Walthers Icing Plant. I also believe that the Signal Tower just right of the Packing Plant is a Walther's kit.
     
  15. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    More photos of things on my layout.
    HPIM7325.JPG You get a little better view of the Walther's Stock Yard in this view. Behind and to the left of the Stock Yard is a Brewery (kit manufacture is not remembered). To the left of the Brewery is a Kit bashed Freight House, built per Art Currens book on Kit Bashing. This photo also shows my older Digitrax Zephyr DCS50, which has now been replaced with the new Digitrax DCS52 Zephyr Express. I have been very happy with my Digitrax powered layout. The only reason I decided to up-grade to the DCS52 is that the DCS52 will remember 20 locomotive addresses instead of the 10 of the DCS50.

    HPIM7333.JPG

    here is little bit better shot of my scratch built Snow and Rock Slide Shed.
     
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  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    It looks like you layout is built to provide lots of fun operations too. Keep up the great work!
     
  17. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    While on the drawing board, I did think I was providing adequate operations to the layout. However, upon it's use, I have found it to be somewhat lacking in the amount of sidings and industries needed to keep operations interesting. I also found that the overhead space I provided for my staging yard was wholly inadequate! The staging yard is directly below Butte and consists of five tracks. As it sits right now I do not use staging tracks 2E, 3W
    as they are too difficult to reach into due to lack of space. Tracks 1 (out of sight off the bottom of the photo)and Track 2 are the mainline. On tracks 4E and 5E-W, I store Ore Trains.
    HPIM7329.JPG 0000
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2019
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  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've known a couple of fellows who discovered their hidden staging access was inadequate. :(
     
  19. Ashpit

    Ashpit TrainBoard Member

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    HPIM7632.JPG Here is a new Staging Yard in the process of being built in 2017.

    HPIM7629.JPG

    There will be four tracks as well as a wye for turning trains.


    HPIM7630.JPG
    The above photo shows where the long staging tracks will be.
     
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  20. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    May have forgot to click on the "Insert full image" button. I fixed it for you.
    Screen Shot 2019-10-08 at 6.51.48 AM copy.jpg
     

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