Author Topic: Phase 2 begins!  (Read 8973 times)

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wm3798

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Phase 2 begins!
« on: June 23, 2010, 10:45:18 AM »
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Enough powlabbering about the state of the industry...  Let's work on the layout!

Last night I re-wired the staging yard to account for the reverse loop.  I still have to add a few drops, and the eastbound throat needs rebuilt, but we're not too far away from having the staging tuned up and ready to be buried.  I test drove a 4 axle, then a 6 axle, then the big 4-8-4, and so far so good.  The only problems that turned up were in the old section that I already knew about.

Next, this morning I rebuilt the area around Shaw.  This is where the original section of the layout joined the temporary section, and the benchwork was a scabbed together mess.  I needed to change the elevation, since the grade would be ascending here now, instead of descending as the temp loop had it.  I also wanted to replace the subroadbed with proper 1/2" plywood, instead of the 1/4" paneling/3/4" foam sandwich I used originally.  Here's what it was:



You can see pretty clearly that the engine is headed down grade.  The point where the locomotive is in that picture is now about a full inch and a quarter higher than it was.



You can also see that I've made provision to add a Tortoise to run the siding at Shaw.  There will be two short passing tracks on the Thomas sub, on either side of the scenic divider.  Probably long enough to handle about 15 cars, or 20 55-T hoppers.  I'm going to put the controls for both at the end of the peninsula so one tower operator can control movements on both sides.  The switch into the truck dump at Shaw will remain manually operated by the train crew.



This shot reveals that the alignment will remain the same through the junction, just at a higher elevation.



The grade change has put the truss bridge at just about level.  Compare this to the old view:


The bridge dropped about 3/8" from left to right, which was to accommodate the original track plan.  I grew weary of having to adjust photos to compensate for the stiff grade, and I'm glad to be rid of it.  Now I just have to build up the center pier, which now will have room for proper bridge feet.



Here's the track to the Shaw truck dump.  I think I'm going to re-purpose this siding as a sand load out.  There was a source for silica sand near Shaw that was shipped to PPG in Cumberland in two-bay covered hoppers...  I sure have a lot of them, and this will put them to good use.  I'll carefully relocate the truck dump over to Thomas on the other side of the peninsula.  You can see in the picture that I filled the void left by the grade change with some HO scale ballast I have laying around.  I use this a lot for filler.  I just dump it through the track, brush it out so it's all below the ties, then apply my glue soup to it.  Once it sets up, I go back over it with N scale ballast and scenic materials, and when it's done, it'll be nice and blended in.

I'll have to get some of those clip strips for the Tortoise here, because it's located smack dab over the staging yard, and there's no way I'll be able to wire it from underneath.  This will also be the first pairing of machines that will get the decoder experiment.  I'd also like to apply some simple signaling here.  (open-green, closed red) probably as fascia indicators since the Thomas Sub was TO/TT territory.  A working TO signal would be fun to have at Shaw, too, and this is where the lighted TO stand from Williamsport Jct. will likely end up.

I'm trying to get all the connection elevations set so when the crew comes down for a work day all the math is already done.

Lee
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 10:50:48 AM by wm3798 »
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

davefoxx

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 11:17:45 AM »
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Looking good, Lee!

If you still have the original Kato piers that came with your truss bridges, you can cut reasonable-looking bridge shoes out of them to fill the gap under the bridges.  It's tough to see in the following picture, but that's what I did on my old layout that used the same Kato bridge.



Of course, you could always just fabricate something out of pieces of styrene, but, if you already have the piers, using those shoes would probably be easier.

Hope this helps,
Dave

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
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wm3798

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2010, 11:22:07 AM »
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I'll have to rummage around the junk box.  I'm pretty sure I kept them for that very purpose.  There used to be a pretty nice white metal casting, (Sunrise?) but I haven't seen them in a long time.  Odds are I'll end up using some bits of styrene.  We'll see!

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

sizemore

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 11:40:42 AM »
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I'll have to rummage around the junk box.  I'm pretty sure I kept them for that very purpose.  There used to be a pretty nice white metal casting, (Sunrise?) but I haven't seen them in a long time.  Odds are I'll end up using some bits of styrene.  We'll see!

Lee

Micro-Engineering HO bridge piers are great and not as large as you would think.

The S.

SirTainly

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 01:50:31 PM »
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Like the progress, but man are you bothering to sleep or something? thought you'd be done by now!  ;D

wm3798

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 10:25:07 PM »
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Entertained the Goon Squad today, and made considerable progress with their assistance.



Tim and Brian were ready to apply the ground foam before we cut the first piece of lumber.



Dave worked on adding the "freight car diaper" to the helix.



Gary spent the better part of the day tangled up in the benchwork...



and I did what I do best...  Offered numerous suggestions that were largely ignored.  (probably to the benefit of the layout!)

We had a great time, got a ton of work done (It would have taken me a month to get this far) and really enjoyed seeing the plan start to come together.  As always, there's a couple of minor kinks to work out, but overall, it's coming out just the way I imagined it, and following the plan drawn up by David K Smith has been a breeze.  This is going to be a great layout to scenic and run trains on.



More pictures of the action here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Lee.WildCard.Graphics/ReconstructionPh2?feat=directlink

I can't thank you guys enough.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 10:38:47 PM »
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Had a great time Lee.  Hopefully the Thomas Sub works out in spite of that 'NASA engineering".  ;)

Added - you already made a lot of progress since I left!  Track on the lower loop and the Casselman bridge back in.   8)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 10:54:11 PM by GaryHinshaw »

Iain

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 11:05:37 PM »
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and I did what I do best...  Offered numerous suggestions that were largely ignored.  (probably to the benefit of the layout!)


I notice the head-scratching as well.
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

SirTainly

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2010, 11:17:15 PM »
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Who did you say designed this section....it looks like the culprit was tracing the trackplan over his copy of Playboy!

Yours

Hugh Hefner

wm3798

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 08:36:03 AM »
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Monday Morning...

Finished laying out the final alignment of the Thomas Sub.


I squished the loop a little to get a straight section on the bridge, and to get the storage yard to shift a little.  The minimum curve is still 15"  On the right side, I'm going to "terrace down" via a switchback to a couple of coal mines.  This is the replacement for the late, great Chaffee Branch so I can "get my coal on."



Other than the old switch at Shaw, this side of the peninsula will be nothing but scenery.  A long slope down to a winding river, with railroads on both banks.  Very Western Marylandy...



Here's a closer look at the storage yard at Thomas.  The left hand track will be the main (installed on cork) and the other two tracks will be on the ply for a little grade separation.  To the left will be sawmill, and to the right a couple of coal tipples.



Finally, while it's totally not a Western Maryland bridge, this is how we'll be bridging the gorge at the end of the peninsula.  I'll use the 40' deck girders from the old Potomac Crossing to get around the bendy bits.  The long truss is scabbed together from Atlas deck truss bridges.  I'll be installing Micro Engineering's bridge track over the full length of the span, and adding a walk way along the side closest to the aisle.

I'm going to try to get the rest of the track in over the next couple of days, and hopefully by the weekend be able to run a train from Maryland Junction to Elkins!

Lee
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 08:47:26 AM by wm3798 »
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sizemore

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2010, 08:52:46 AM »
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Finally, while it's totally not a Western Maryland bridge, this is how we'll be bridging the gorge at the end of the peninsula.  I'll use the 40' deck girders from the old Potomac Crossing to get around the bendy bits.  The long truss is scabbed together from Atlas deck truss bridges.  I'll be installing Micro Engineering's bridge track over the full length of the span, and adding a walk way along the side closest to the aisle.

Lee

All JUICY! But I think you should really do that bridge some justice using a ME plate girder bridge, to me that open frame truss is reminiscent of B&O -not the modern WM (yeah I know there were quite a few open truss bridges crossing the Potomac on the Thomas Sub, but thats a box truss). Maybe use a gentle curve all the way across the bridge.





Humbly Submitted,
The S.

wm3798

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 08:59:59 AM »
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I weighed all those options.  One of the issues is the height of it.  The deeper truss eats up a little more of the air below the rails.  Scratchbuilding a bridge like McCoy's Ferry, which is on a curve, would be optimal, and could still be worked in, but it will have to work with the angle of the Connellsville line below it.

This will at least get a train running NOW.  ;D
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davefoxx

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 09:07:59 AM »
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I'm with The S. on this one.  I don't think that the 15" radius curve will be an issue at all on the Thomas Sub, considering the motive power and rolling stock that will ply the rails.  But a curve on the bridge will make the track flow sooooo much better.  I'll admit that I'm speculating, but it would seem that three spans of a plate girder bridge and two piers would do.  Considering the sheer cliffs on each side, the piers may not be as tall as you would think.  I'm sure that there's a way to engineer it to look right.  Hey, bring back that NASA engineer guy!

DFF

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sizemore

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 11:31:56 AM »
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I weighed all those options.  One of the issues is the height of it.  The deeper truss eats up a little more of the air below the rails.  Scratchbuilding a bridge like McCoy's Ferry, which is on a curve, would be optimal, and could still be worked in, but it will have to work with the angle of the Connellsville line below it.

This will at least get a train running NOW.  ;D

I dunno Lee, that straight-away in the middle of the curve is about as sexy as a fatroll on a supermodel. I know you want to get it up and running, but I'd hate to see you want to tear it out later. You could use concrete piers, I don't remember the location on the WM but they were TALL almost the same size as the 1x3 you have there holding the existing structure up. You could use the HO plate truss that ME makes which would eat the same amount of vertical space without looking overdone. Also consider that the foliage hanging for dear life on those cliffs will add to the clutter that will eat up that vertical space.

The S.

John

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Re: Phase 2 begins!
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 11:46:37 AM »
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I know how you hate to listen to us mere unpublished mortals .. but in the case of this bridge, you are getting some real good advice that you would be wise to follow ..