The Connellsville Extension of the Western Maryland

mr1967 Dec 11, 2011

  1. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    i am excited to be returning to work on my N scale Western Maryland Connellsville Extension. i had some serious health issues over the past 14 months that have really stopped my layout progress, but all seems to be sorted now. let's just say Lyme's is a PITA to diagnose, esp. if you never present the tell-tale bullseye bruising. the fatigue and lack of concentration took their toll and then some. toss in a family history of diabetes and well, i urge everyone to listen to their body.

    with that out of the way, i have made some progress today - i cleared the subroadbed and the remains of the trackwork i had put down then removed due to a planning error and am getting ready to attack the layout fresh. here is the semi-sorta mostly track plan that corrects some planning errors. it's not completely accurate, but you'll get the idea of how things are going to be - i would like to have two passing sidings on the main, but that just might not work out.


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    the goal is to have the main, staging, and yard completed by 1 Jan 2012. the branch should be ready a few weeks after the main is completely debugged and operational. i am currently developing an Arduino based CTC machine to control the mainline turnouts and signaling system. it will behave like a real interlocking machine with time locks and the click clack sound of relays.

    the era is a blurring from 1967 to 1973 - N&W is running thick and heavy and the P&LE overhead traffic is still going strong. never mention the kitty cat nor the mating worms for they do not exist if the WM exists.
     
  2. MVW

    MVW E-Mail Bounces

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    Hey '67,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems, but glad to hear you're on the upswing. Good luck on the layout! Hope you'll post plenty of progress reports. I'd be especially interested in learning more about your CTC machine.

    Hope you meet your January goal!

    Jim
     
  3. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    i have everything i need, i just need to get crackin. :)
     
  4. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    My goodness, that track plan sure does looks familiar (let me know if you'd like me to dust it off and make the changes you've shown). At any rate, I'm glad to know it's seeing a fresh burst of activity--keep it up!

    Oh, and photos... we need photos...
     
  5. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    the Atlas curved turnouts are proving to be problematic - the 21.25" outside radius isn't playing nice with the plan - i might have to omit a staging track, but i can add a passing siding to the visible main in front of the staging tracks.

    i'd be curious to see a cleaned up version with the Atlas 21.25/15R turnouts.

    photos will be coming once i have something to show.
     
  6. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you Mr. Smith for the revised drawing and adjustments.

    i have set some goals for each work session - i figure two hours each session should be plenty to finish the goal and possibly work into the next goal.
     
  7. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    here is the revised plan from David

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    i think i have room to add an additional two industries on the branch, i'll have to see what it looks like as i'm laying the track. i cut the last of the benchwork last night making room for the backdrop in the corners which should go up this weekend. i'll have a heck of a progress report on Sunday.
     
  8. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looking forward to the Sunday report. Don't forget... pics... post those pics!
     
  9. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    yes, i will post pictures.
     
  10. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    instead of having pink plains, i've decided to cookie cutter the pink foam - this gives me a raised ROW to allow scenery below the track and reduces the layout's environmental footprint - that pink foam is made from oil you know. no point in using the foam as filler when i have a supply of cardboard for terraforming from shipping boxes - Dell servers come double boxed!



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    i came home from work and made a template with cardboard for the raised curve on the left lobe and then traced and cut it out of a piece of foam i had left over from an NTrak module i did a number of years ago. the cookie cutter pieces will be 3 inches wide - this gives me plenty of room for two tracks or a space where the second track should have been since the WM's New Line was built for two tracks if the traffic density warranted.

    swallow cuts with a new blade make this go smoothly.


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    here are the pieces placed on the subroadbed to see how they fit - i used a sander to true up the ends so they would match up a bit better. a tight fit is not needed, cork will go on top. i will use some joint compound to fill the gaps so the ballast isn't lost into the void. the subroadbed level has not been set yet, i need to install the backdrop first, and that should be up this weekend and the subroadbed in place waiting for the pink foam treatment. in the distance is a double track portal but will only have a single track. prior to the tunnel with be my omage to the Wheeler Bottom viaduct between Bowest and Greenwood, a long single track plate girder bridge and a double track through truss with only a single track through it over the B&O.


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    here is the Wheeler Bottom trestle over the B&O "FM&P" branch (Fairmont, Morgantown & Pittsburgh). to reduce the length of the trestle, a large amount of fill was put in and a second plate girder affair was used to cross Dunbar Creek, the PRR's Southwest Secondary Branch and the West Penn traction line to Dunbar.

    here is the entire Wheeler Bottom as seen from the air

    http://binged.it/ur97mO


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    here is the best part of this method... if i need to go below the track with a ditch or stream, i just cut out a section and i have a 1 inch chasm. in N scale that is a 13 foot drop. if i want to go lower, i need to drop the subroadbed or add a second layer of foam. since i will be using the gel medium method for water in this stream, i think 13 feet is deep enough.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2011
  11. y0chang

    y0chang TrainBoard Member

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    That is a good idea, I use something similar for my branch line, except I use the woodland scenics 1" risers for sharp curves. I have much sharper curves though than your plan and as long as you keep the edges of the foam even with sanding your idea is a lot cheaper and more flexible for sidings. The foam subroadbed also really helps with sound deadening. The Western Maryland is my favorite prototype so I can't wait to see more stuff.
     
  12. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    i cut my teeth many years ago with a plywood subroadbed, then homasote, then cork. the pink foam is lightweight, easy to work with, and inert in humidity, unlike homasote. i looked at the cost of the pre-fab bendy stuff and then at the cost of a sheet of pink foam. if i wanted to have a gentle 2% grade* i would buy a 2" thick insulation sheet and then cut it at an angle - 2 inch wide with the rise i need.

    why spend money on foam that is going to by buried away unseen when i could spend it on rolling stock and motive power? cardboard is free and everywhere.
     
  13. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    feeling the muse tonight - ran to the HD and picked up 2 2x8 sheets of foam - these are thinker than what i "practiced" with today - i think i can make it all work. i also picked up 2 4x8 sheets of hardboard (masonite) and had them rip them in half. i wasn' thinking, i should have had them rip the 4th piece in half again to use as fascia since i won't need it for the backdrop. i'm not driving to Cambridge to do that ;)

    [​IMG]

    here is the test fit of the backdrop - i will have 3 seams, no way to get around that - not sure how to deal with those. very exciting to see things jump into reality after laying dormant for so long. i will need to buy some curtains to replace the zigzag storage area doors behind the backdrop - there goes the budget :)
     
  14. David K. Smith

    David K. Smith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Could not have said it better myself. Awesome seeing this happening. Many thanks for taking the time to shoot and post the images.
     
  15. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    i think i goofed when i had them cut the hardboard - should have had them do three 16" pieces, not two 24" pieces, it's gonna have a HUGE sky and no place for me to hang a calendar or choice proto photos. hrm.
     
  16. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    well, now that i have spent some time in the alcove, i think the larger backdrop was the right choice after all. 16" would have given me very little sky above the mountain in the tunnel area and i really want to have some sky above the ridge line.

    [​IMG]

    here is yet more progress. i have the yard laid out and now i'm focusing my attention on the curve to connect the main with the staging yard. i can build the staging yard in front and then lift the foam board into place feeding the wire jumpers down to make it a little easier on my back, neck, and legs. model railroading is hard work ;) the tough part will be the switch machines, but i have a trick up my sleeve for that.
     
  17. wm3798

    wm3798 New Member

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    Looking good, Steve. I've got some cab fronts for all those chopnose geeps you'll need...
    Lee
     
  18. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    no chop noses for me - 1xRS-3, 2xF7, 2xGP35, 3xSD35. and the 3 or 4 N&W units, 1 P&LE unit, and an NKP Berkshire for the excursion trips
     
  19. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    making real progress

    i am determined to have the mainline in place and running before the end of the year and to that end i have made a very large amount of progress in just a few days. i find it interesting that the more i do, the more i want to do. i figured the most complex portion of the main was going to be the curved turnout into the staging and that i really should start my track laying efforts with that location. everything else is just going by eye.

    keeping with the desire to have cookie cutter foam shapes to reduce the amount of waste and endless pink plains, i decided the best way to approach the curved turnout section was by making a cardboard template and using pushpins to secure the track while i fiddled with the alignment and radius.


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    more after the jump
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  20. mr1967

    mr1967 TrainBoard Member

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    [​IMG]

    the radius comes in about 15.75" at the tightest section and a good deal of it will be hidden from view. ta-da :)
     

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