NP Lester WA T-Trak Z Module Set Project

rray Feb 11, 2020

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    So I didn't do anything trackwise till today. I was trying to figure out how to maximize the space for the coal dock, and the best I can do is this track arrangement, giving 8.5" of space for the coal dock. Alternately I can steal another inch from the adjacent module, and use my magnetic base method, and allow the base to sit on both modules. Fishing for suggestions, what thinks ye?
    1.jpg
     
  2. Z train things

    Z train things TrainBoard Member

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    Where does the track go from the switch that butts up to the coal dock end?
     
  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just thinking out loud--if structures overhang from module to the next, it eliminates the illusion all structures are aligned with the module boundary. I say go for it!
     
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  4. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    I think that must be the loading track. Jim
     
  5. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Once it is scenicked you won't even notice that it overlaps. The rare earth magnets will hold it firmly in place. I think this is your only option, unless you want to lop off another inch. Jim
     
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  6. davejones

    davejones TrainBoard Member

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    Main issue I can see with overhanging building would be it getting damaged when the modules are apart and being move around. Maybe make the end part of the coal dock totally removable so there is no overhang when not in use.
     
  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Up the dock ramp, they are drop side gondolas used for the coal:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I'm going to! I got to make it so Shack can see it, and he will drop the bouncing rail spike on a rope to flush out Cigaret from riding under the cars!
     
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  9. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    The magnetic base idea is excellent. It will help hide the illusion and just look more "right."
     
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  10. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I got all the track for the coal dock module laid, soldered, and painted roof brown today, in prep for ballasting tomorrow. In today's progress photo, I included the roundhouse module too, with all the removable structures removed so you can see what I am doing with magnetic based structures.

    So what I am trying to do is make all the structures that could possibly ever get damaged while cleaning track removable, so I can clean the track without worrying about damage. The structures have super magnets inside them, as well as the foundations on the modules, just to make sure the grip is strong.

    I also had to tear out the small right approach track on the right side of the turntable, and re-lay it because the angle was too hard for me to achieve with the adjacent module's flex track.

    1.jpg
     
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  11. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    So, finally, how do Atlas turnouts work ? I've not yet put mine into service but' I've heard of issues dealing with points here and there..

    Dom
     
  12. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I just finished making my first Tortoise/Hare switch machine assembly mount, and have yet to mount it to a module, but the Atlas turnouts are electrically like this:
    [​IMG]

    The turnouts have an "Over Center" spring just like Peco Electrofrog turnout that kind of snap the points to one side or the other for a more solid throw:
    Atlas.jpg

    Peco Electrofrog turnout modified for DCC:
    Modified Electrofrog.jpg
     
  13. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Totally DCC friendly (like the märklin’s from 1970 !! )
    You just need to flip the Frog with the throw bar. Most all switch machines include contacts for it. NO need for a Frog Juicer or such electronics.
     
  14. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Well, I finally got my Coal Dock module wired. I had to repair burnt out Hare switch machines, and replace one Tortoise that draws too much current and thus don't make it to the end of travel with 10.5V. So all the turnouts now throw, but the Atlas Z Scale turnouts operate just like a Peco Electrofrog, and have that over center spring that clicks the turnout into place. I like that feature, but unfortunately the slow motion effect of the Tortoise is eliminated.

    The module is now ready for scenery:
    [​IMG]

    I made a track schematic for the module, and put yellow/green bi-color LED's behind each turnout, wired such that they are all green in the through route condition, which is the way all the switches should be set for trains to run at shows. This way at a glance, I can see that this module is ready for running on the mainline tracks. What I did was drill 1/16" holes through the module facia using a laser cut template, then drilled the backside with a 3mm bit so I can push the bi-colored LED's in place. Here is a closeup of the schematic:
    [​IMG]

    Here on the underside at the top left you can see a hidden switch panel, where I can manually throw the turnouts. I hid the panel here because after years of train show experience I found that kids like to press the buttons, so only leave buttons visible that you want people to press. This is the 4th module of my Lester WA module set, so I numbered the turnouts 41-45 for the Fourth Module, turnouts 1 through 5.

    At the bottom center there is an Anderson Powerpole connector with a wire going to the Tortoises. This is the DCC Accessory bus, and I can unplug it from track power when running this module on DC power, and just plug the DCC Accessories into my own DCC system for show operation.

    The black and blue device to the bottom left is my 12 VDC accessory power. It has screw terminals for 5 devices, and a bridge rectifier so any 12V DC or 12V AC accessory supply can be used. Some people use Marklin AC accessories, and sometimes someone accidently crosses their positive and negative wires, so I put protection in place with that 15A bridge rectifier.

    In the four corners you can see I am using 1/4-20 x 2" set screws with black rubber caps on for leg levelers that will not scratch up the banquet tables, and the rubber makes the modules less likely to slide around as they grip pretty good.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. OlyPen

    OlyPen TrainBoard Member

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    This is an amazing and inspirational project. That it's in Z scale. ...holy smokes.

    I'm in Lester 5-7 times a year. The foundation for the roundhouse is still there.

    The old NP line from Auburn to Yakima is spectacular, but the section from milepost 70 to 43 just the other side of Tunnel 3 is extra special. The memories of 130-plus years are thick in these 27 miles, they roll effortlessly down the ridges and peaks, which watched as it all came to be, and almost all vanished.

    Thanks for showcasing something that has a lot of meaning to many.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I want to model the Stampede tunnel entrance with the tunnel ventilation equipment, but I have frightfully few photos of it. If you know anyone who can post a couple pictures of it please do, as I am trying to model the area as a faithfully as possible.

    I chose Lester WA for my TTZ module subject because I like the Pacific Northwest, I rode the fan trip from King St station through the Stampede Tunnel to Cle-Elum in 2004, and because it is hard to do. Anyone can slapp together a module, then take it to the shows full of store bought structures, and resembling nothing that ever existed, but just have fun being there running trains, where I get my fun from hearing people saying stuff like "I remember that place" or "My Grandpa worked there".
     
  17. OlyPen

    OlyPen TrainBoard Member

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    I will keep that in mind.

    There was also a resort/hotel just west of Lester proper. https://www.google.com/amp/s/blackd...2/04/green-river-hot-springs-the-kloeber/amp/
     
  18. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yeah, I thought about adding it, but I am trying to model between 1956-1957, and I think it had burned down decades earlier, with only goat farms in the area afterwards.
     
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  19. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    My Dad and I did the same on one of the Alki Tour's trains to the Yakima Fair, was a great ride over the old NP!
    Lot's of dome cars including the last Amtrak ex-Great Northern "Great Dome", awesome memories!:love:
     
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  20. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Here is a video showing the module wiring and switches:
     

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