The Tillamook and Astoria Terminal Railway

SteamDonkey74 Oct 23, 2017

  1. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wrote the text below years ago in a topic here on Trainboard. Now that I have a lot of life upheaval under control I'm proceeding once again with the layout ideas and the construction.

    Without further delay, this is how I saw the layout in about 2011:

    What's the name of your railroad? Is it freelanced, prototype, or something in between?
    Tillamook and Astoria Terminal Railway (TATR), which is a "coudabin" railroad connecting the prototype SP Tillamook line and the SP&S A-line.

    What scale are you working in?
    N scale is the scale. Most pieces are/will be modular.

    What's the era, time setting, and location of your layout?
    Era is mid-20th Century. The location is on the Oregon Coast.

    What locomotives and rolling stock are you using?
    Steam and diesel coexist on the Tillamook and Astoria Terminal Railway in the early 1950s. Being a connector, a lot of the equipment is inherited from the parent roads SP and SP&S, and from predecessor roads Tillamook Terminal and Astoria Harbor Belt. Log bunks are a frequent sight on the road, owing to the industry, as well as gondolas and boxcars. Passenger service is provided by heavyweight locals.

    What's the backstory for your railroad?
    The Tillamook and Astoria Terminal Railway (TATR) is the realization, in N scale, of an idea that had existed in the early 20th Century to connect the SP&S line to Astoria and Seaside with the SP line to Tillamook. The connector, in reality, was never built, but on my layout it has been built.

    Without the connector, coastal traffic originating in Tillamook would have to travel to Portland and then be switched to SP&S's A-line to continue to Astoria. Further, lots of coastal areas suffered without rail service, and resource extraction was more difficult for lack of rail access.

    During periods of poor weather with frequent landslides on one or the other lines, the TATR link proved invaluable in maintaining vital rail traffic.
     
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  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    A very well thought story. :)

    Mine is actually similar. In the 1890's, a small railroad operation began building south, from Port Townsend, Washington. It was to meet construction coming north from the Olympia vicinity. That effort failed, although the portion built continued on until 1984, in a reduced form.

    In my world, that line was actually two foot gauge. It was completely built and the time is now Post-WWII. (Circa 1945-1959.) Their line wanders along the scenic west shore of Hood Canal. The operation has dieselized with war surplus critters, but much other equipment dates back many decades. It is quaint, very, very similar in nature to those operations once known in Maine. Revenue is quite similar, forest products, agriculture and sea fisheries.
     
  3. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    I love both of the areas you two are talking about! Great ideas from both of you!!(y)(y)
     
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  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    The basics from the first post have shifted a bit since 2011, when I wrote that. I will likely be further changing them up, so periodically I will post the most recent version.

    Here are the current basics, some of which vary with the first post.

    Name: Tillamook and Astoria Terminal Railway, a "coudabin" pike connecting the SP&S's A-line and the SP's Tillamook Branch
    Railroads: TATR, SP&S, SP mostly
    Era: Still nailing this down. I am drifting toward 1960s/70s.
    Geographic Area: Roughly speaking, NW Oregon, with bits in Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook, and Washington Counties. The primary focus is coastal and out in the woods with logging and country with rural industries. There will be a "Multnomah County" chunk but it's basically the yard in the back-room. Communities represented include Astoria, Seaside, Tillamook, Garibaldi, "Salmonberry River" area, possibly Timber, somewhere in Washington County like Banks or North Plains or Hillsboro, Rainier (street running!), a made up "coudabin" logging area, and as space allows, other places.
    Industries Served: Logging/wood products (of course!), canneries, warehouses, airship hangars, and still thinking up others.
    Equipment: Mostly diesel with occasional steam excursion.
    Scale: N
    Track plan type: Mostly around the room in a basement room measuring a little over 15 ft x 25 ft, with a "backspace" room that is less finished and about 10x15. Focus is on being able to operate trains, and recognizing I am not the greatest of track-layers. Reliability of track and operation takes precedence over finescale modeling to achieve the goals of being able to get it done, being able to run some trains, and being able to do some operations.
    Track type: Mostly Kato Unitrack and Atlas flex-track.
    Control: DCC Digitrax with radio (eventually both D and R typed radio) throttles and throttle panels. Turnouts off mainline can be "locked" by dispatcher. Turnouts in yards and industries will have controls on the fascia, utilizing Kato's own "in-turnout" mechanisms.
    Operations Type: Leaning car card and track warrant, but I really like what Mark Dance did with his railroad with the train order stations and he has it well documented so I may end up doing that. I like the cards for cars as I like the tactile nature and sort of "game-like" quality of being able to physically manipulate the cards. Fast clocks will be around the layout. I've used aspects of this system in some places as an operator and I've really liked it. I need to learn a bit more about how to set it up and the mechanics of it.
    Communications: I really like the idea of fixed hand-sets. That being said, they may be a little too rich for my tastes, so I may end up using FRS radios at least in the beginning.

    Coming soon, some diagrammatic plan ideas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  5. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sound's like a great plan, looking forward to seeing how this develops.
     
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  6. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    TATR_diagrammatic plan_2017.10.24.png

    Here's the diagrammatic plan, a few passes down from the initial scribble. The grid here is 1 ft (~30.5 CM) and shows the outlines of the two adjacent rooms. and major locations. Not every track/spur/yard/etc. is shown, yet. I find that in general I tend to come up with detailed plans of individual areas and then have a hard time fitting them within an overall track plan. By forcing myself to think big at first hopefully I will avoid that this time, and thereby avoid the single biggest impediment to me keeping track plan development going.

    It may very well happen that basic benchwork gets built all at once, like in a weekend or two, and that I then start laying a basic loop around both rooms, but tacking it down in a way that allows me to selectively remove it and rebuild portions. Getting trains running is also an important principle in keeping me working on something.

    Starting from the bottom, that is a scribble of the yard which will probably be called something like Portland. Basically it's the backstage "wings" that trains enter from and exit to. Going then counter-clockwise, we go up the SP&S A-line, with Linnton Plywood as a customer, possibly one other industry on the way, and a street running scene in Rainier, Oregon. From there a "tunnel" will take trains through the wall in my house to Astoria, with a waterfront and cannery switching. There will be a "Youngs Bay Bridge" that will either be a lift up section or a lift-out to allow for the no-duckunder (I am 6'-3" and terrible at limboing) entry into the layout, which then leads to a possible rail barge and then Seaside. After that is a tunnel/hill/bridge section through Neahkahnie Mtn and the capes, with trains then emerging in some town that has a wye that goes up to the coudabin logging/lumber operation in the coast range. Continuing on is possibly Garibaldi (lumber products?) and then Tillamook (blimp hangar, industries), and from there up through the coast range via Salmonberry River area (more scenery!) and possibly through Timber back down into Washington County. I have to figure out what's going to be on this stretch still. Switching out cars and industries is the main interest, but I need to figure out what these will be.

    Adam
     
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  7. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's a video Mark Dance did for his Columbia & Western railroad on this TT&TO operations. I am pretty sure he shared this somewhere on TrainBoard before, but I couldn't find the post to link it, so I'll just put the video here instead.

     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    One thing I did, which took a bit of time, (well worth it!!!), was to Google Earth the RR's route. I have screen captures for the entire potential route, on file for potential use or daydreaming.
     
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  9. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've Google Earth'd a bunch of the route. I am fortunate in that Brian McCamish of Active and Abandoned Railroads of the Pacific Northwest has also photo-documented a lot of these areas, and I also have Tom Dill And Ed Austin's books on the SP&S and the Southern Pacific.

    What I need to do now is select some of those scenes and locations because I don't have room for all of them.
     
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  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Selective compression has always been a task for me. I have vivid pictures in mind, from years ago. Somehow squeezing them down just always makes it a little bit of struggle.
     
  11. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I started looking at my plans for operations and I think I am going to re-scheme a bit. There's a lot of variety and richness available in Astoria with lots of piers and industries with setting out cars and picking them up, and I had squeezed Astoria too hard for space. Also, I had shorted Tillamook. I am going to think about ways to give these two locations more their due and how to also include my logging pike and scribble something up. Some of the other locations may get eliminated in the process, but I think the layout will get stronger.
     
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Was it you who at one time was interested in the old log depot at Timber?
     
  13. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am not sure who that was. I have looked at Oregon-American as a possibility for modeling, but I am currently thinking a coudabin sort of operation in the coast range instead.
     
  14. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Reviving this thread. I know it's been a while. My father got sicker after my last post and then died of cancer summer 2018, and then my teens moved to try living with their mother for a while, and then I got really busy with work stuff.

    Since I am home all the time now anyway and due to the recent infusion of some benchwork I got for the price of going and picking it up I am moving ahead again.

    I inherited some damaged modules that have pretty wrecked scenery and pretty wrecked trackwork but the benchwork beneath is fine. My current task is basically scraping off and trashing almost everything above the plywood. They had been NTrak modules but I am not doing N-Trak for my layout. The exciting bit is that I have four corner modules, with what looks like spacing for comfortably putting on a 44" radius curve, which if I put all four together that's a nice broad end loop.
     
  15. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry to hear of your dads passing. :(

    Looking forward to seeing the new progress. (y)
     
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  16. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear about your loss.
     
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  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Condolences for your loss.

    It's good to see you here again! Looking forward to following your progress with those module bases.
     
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  18. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Very sorry to hear your Father's passed, tough times for sure.

    Start plugging away on this layout, and show us some of your progress. ;)
     
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