SP San Luis Obispo & Cuesta Grade

Fluid Dynamics Jan 29, 2013

  1. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Now if I could just find the archive images from 1980. :) The main line thru the pass is basically the same but the yard has changed over the past 30 years.

    I'm trying a longer curve at the yard throat, so a parked train will wrap around the side of the station and disappear behind the trees. Still swapping switches around and changing angles.... The upstream module needs to be worked out before I can lay any of this permanently but I like how it flows.
     

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  2. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    I couldn't stand the thought of gluing down track without completely settling the position of the yard throat, so I built the next segment of benchwork. I would like to keep the radii on the first two tracks above ~30" (where passenger trains will operate) and avoid any tight S turns.

    The purple lines are track that I have not yet added, orange box is a small bridge over a ravine, blue is where the station will be, and brown is additional benchwork.

    This new module wasn't part of the original plan, but the yard will be much shorter than anticipated so it leaves enough room to model some of downtown San Luis Obispo, and create a buffer between the trestle (a huge landmark) and the yard. As it was, the tail end of a moderate train would still be on the trestle as the locos crossed the first switch.
     

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  3. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Contract work has brought me to Los Angeles and I'm considering buying a foreclosed house in Tehachapi (I'd be home on weekends, staying in the RV near the plant during the week). The place I found is built on a hillside and has a half basement with 35' x 15' of space, although there are support posts in a few places. It's about a 15 minute drive to the loop.

    Such luck! Who knows if they'll take my offer, it's off grid (solar, wind & propane generator power).
     
  4. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hey gang, minor update. Bought a house and now have 15.5' x 23' of space for the layout. Here is the revised track plan and some rough track layout shots of the first two modules.

    I think there is room for a helix going down to a lower level, to the right of the station. This would give an opportunity to model Guadalupe, the branch line to Santa Maria, Vandenburg AF base, and perhaps some coastal scenes on the way to Santa Barbara. I'm still not sure what to do with the termination point at the upper end of the pass, though.
     

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  5. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    A basement in California. You are indeed a very lucky man. Thanks for the update and keep them coming...
     
  6. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member

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    Congrats on the house purchase! Great to see another update from you too. The modules are looking great, look forward to seeing your continued progress.

    Cheers!
     
  7. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks. I actually didn't get the house I wanted because it was off grid, so the financing fell through. But I found a super-cheap manufactured home in the same area and bought it outright with what would have been my down payment. It's pretty modern, just needed some light renovation. They were practically giving homes away here in Tehachapi last year.

    The layout room is the two front bedrooms combined, after the center wall is removed. I'm planning on buying an acre in the foothills, moving the house, and adding a garage and prow view window as money permits. It's plain jane but tons of space for the money.

    It's amazing what you can get away with when you're not married! :D

    Here is a sketchup model of the house on the lot, after modifications.
     

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  8. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

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    Congrats! So, you have a house in Tehachapi but you are modelling the Coast Line? My money is on you falling in love w/ the Tehachapi line :). . . .
     
  9. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hey Dave, I just drove past the loop yesterday while a BNSF consist was grinding its way through. I really love it here, and it's still somewhat affordable unlike San Luis Obispo where the coast line is. My house is right next to the tracks, about a mile from Monolith.
     

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  10. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow, that''s awesome - congrats. It's definitely one of my favorite places of all time. I haven't been in several years, but next time I'm up there I'll let you know. It's not quite the same access-wise as it was back in the SP days, but still some of the best railfanning around, hands down.
     
  11. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here is some minor progress on laying the track. I'm just about to glue down the yard throat. The first two switches are peco #8 and curved, then a pair of Atlas #7s, and finally a trio of Micro Engineering #6s. I'm not sure how I ended up with such a mix but it seemed be the best combination after a lot of "switching" around. :)

    I'm no layout expert and really have no idea what I'm doing, but I love building scenery and track is just scenery to me. It really matters to me to get smooth easements, superelevation and proportional curves. The only part of this yard that is bugging me is the lack of easement from the inner (18") radius on the Peco curved to the straight before it. The passenger cars will jerk a little when they enter the #2 track from the throat because of this, but it will be hidden somewhat by trees.
     

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  12. Fluid Dynamics

    Fluid Dynamics TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yard throat is all glued down and now the 8 yard tracks are getting sorted out. Lots of track cutting, filing, tie removal, lead soldering and hole drilling take place before finally getting glued down with CA (super) glue. I left out a sub roadbed in the yard because the trains will be moving so slowly here that I don't think the sound will be a problem.
     

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