Author Topic: WM Western Lines Engineering Report  (Read 91256 times)

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wm3798

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WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« on: March 30, 2011, 08:47:43 AM »
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I've been keeping a fairly steady journal of the progress of reconstructing my layout elsewhere, so I won't bore you with all the details, but here's a quick synopsis of how far we've come since the project began in the fall of 2009...

First, here's the track plan that we had been working with, which included some temporary loops on the peninsula to allow for some roundy roundy, a "utility sub" to connect the yard at Ridgeley and the staging yard to the layout, and at times, a small boy's bedroom furniture...



Here's a quick photographic review of what it looked like:

The yard was compact, but functional.  It was also easily overwhelmed with the volume of trains, especially since it was constantly interrupted by traffic flowing in and out of staging.


The temporary peninsula provided some passing sidings and switching, but were terribly cramped and spaghetti like.  Form followed function, and tight radius on the low line hampered longer rolling stock.  Still, it was fun to experiment with scenery and structures here...



To make all of this work, there was a wye junction that took trains from the utility sub and sent them either eastbound or westbound around the layout.


And yes, you needed an advanced degree in physics to figure it out.  In the end it was useful, and I could get trains to sort of feel like they were going somewhere, but there remained obvious shortcomings.

So, after a considerable amount of consultations with my operating group, and with the help of David K. Smith's wizardry with track planning software, I arrived at a more or less final new system plan, which is shown here:


Although the main lines and staging loops have been completed, I'm still working the kinks out of the yard design, but for all intents and purposes, this is what I'm now working with.  Here's the staging yards that will support all the action:


Here's a tour of what's been changed.

First, we gleefully tore out the dreaded Utility Sub, and dismantled the yard.  With the help of Phil Hoffmann and Dave Foxx (behind the camera) we laid the foundation for the new west end staging yard.  At the same time, we fired the first shot at the Thomas Sub, hanging the bare shelf that would be Elkins.



A while later, I girded my loins for the prospect of an extended period of being unable to run trains, and abandoned the old peninsula.  Denuded of trees, rolling stock and details, it had an eerie look to it.


I completely dismantled the peninsula and constructed a new frame for it, and officially got underway in June of 2010.

I spent most of the summer reworking the peninsula, which now looks like this:






Inspired, I took on extending the Thomas Sub all the way up to the previously installed Elkins shelf, which involved another work crew day, installation of the impossibly tight helix in the corner, and the engineering of a removable bridge for across the front window.

More later as I get time to review and re-edit...

Lee

Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

wm3798

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 11:51:12 PM »
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Before we continue, let's take a break and watch a train...


There.  That's better!

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Philip H

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 08:50:49 AM »
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Ha! looks like my tabby - though he's too fat to get that close to my layout.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

davefoxx

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 10:51:46 AM »
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How ironic that Lee has cats, and he lets them oversee the layout where they, like the Chessie System Lines in the early 1970s, will eventually plot a takeover, thereby destroying Lee's version of the Western Maryland Ry.  That which will be spared from abandonment will be permitted to rust away.  Right, Lee?   ;D
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 10:53:54 AM by davefoxx »

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
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wm3798

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 01:42:55 AM »
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Okay, back to dull updates...

After, well, during the peninsula reconstruction, I undertook the connection of the Thomas Sub to the yard at Elkins.  This involved the construction of a 12" radius three turn helix to rise about 8 or so inches between the west end of Thomas and the beginning of the long siding at Kerens.



This stretch also includes a location I've dubbed "Hinshaw" for our own Gary, who was instrumental in laying the ground work there.



This is Hinshaw in it's current state.  The building to the left is the back end of the Kingsford Charcoal plant at the west end of Thomas, followed by the bridge carrying the Thomas Sub over Wills Creek.  The highway is to represent US 40 west of Cumberland through the Narrows, and will be lined with used cars and fast food, just like the real one.  So far this is only mocked up, but you get the idea.



The section around Cumberland remains largely unfinished at this point.  The deck is a little over 4' wide front to back, so I'll have to fill in the scenery from the back first before I can detail the lead edge. 

Once this area was tracked, however, I realized what a short hop it would be to finish the connections I needed to get all the way into that nice new east end staging yard...  So we had another crew call, and Dave Foxx and Bryan Bohn (Sirenwerks) helped get the first stage of the yard area framed up.  But first, I had to build the 32" diameter helix (2.5 turns) that would connect the west staging yard you saw earlier, to the Cumberland side of the railroad...



This was the last difficult piece of the puzzle to build, but it went together pretty smoothly thanks to the experience of building the 24" twist on the other side of the room, and some materials that became available.


Emboldened by the construction, I set about to layout the east end yard throat and engine terminal area, which also had to span a drop leaf bridge built to accommodate the closet door in the room.

All of this is based on the plan that was kicked around by the operating crew, literally for months!  ...and ultimately captured in pixels by the able Mr. Smith...





This construction, which enabled locating the 20 stall roundhouse I've been working on since last February, also led to the completion of the main line trackage all the way from east to west staging, to complement the completed Thomas Sub up to Elkins. 



Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Bendtracker1

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 09:12:10 AM »
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Lee & Crew,

That may seem like dull updates to you guys, but I find it interesting.  Like being able to take a look at what all goes on
behind the scenes of a stage production.
Also, for folks like I who have never seen your layout and can only see it through pics; it can explain a lot and helps us visualize it better when we see only a single picture or a certain shot of the layout.  Like the shot of the high bridge awhile back where someone mentioned something about being like the prototype and always having trees or a poles in the way of a good camera angle.

Nice Job!
Looking forward to seeing more of your layout through pictures.

Thanks,
Allen...

EDIT:  Come to think of it, you guys should do what a local enthusiast has done with his 1" scale live steam layout.  He has setup several web cams so you can still watch the trains run if your not able to be there in person!  That would let others feel like we're there on operating nights, but then again, maybe you've already done that?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 09:21:42 AM by Bendtracker1 »

DKS

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 09:43:45 AM »
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Come to think of it, you guys should do what a local enthusiast has done with his 1" scale live steam layout.  He has setup several web cams so you can still watch the trains run if your not able to be there in person!  That would let others feel like we're there on operating nights, but then again, maybe you've already done that?

Might not be "family friendly"...

seusscaboose

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 11:01:25 AM »
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"I have a train full of basements"

NKPH&TS #3589


Inspiration at:
http://nkphts.org/modelersnotebook

wm3798

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 01:07:30 PM »
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Last night I got a decoder in my Reading GP35... (For those of you who haven't finished your birthday shopping, I need a pair of GP30's, too... ;)) I'm gradually adding rolling stock to the layout, and getting ever more confident that the physical plant is up to the challenge of operating...

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

wm3798

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2011, 08:50:36 AM »
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Last night, I had the Oriole game on the radio, a fresh pair of Bachmann engine shop kits in the mailbox (Thanks, Dave Schneider!) and the heady smell of glue fumes in the air...  The timing couldn't have been better, because I needed to finalize the car shops before I can wrap the far yard track around to catch the engine terminal tracks, something I hope to accomplish by close of business tomorrow...  Here's the reconfigured building juxtaposed to the roundhouse.



I stretched the first kit to 6 bays, and left the other alone, adding a "steel" beam in the opening where they join.  I still have to fabricate some new roof panels, and spend some time in the paint booth, but you get the idea...

Here's a couple of angles that I'm looking forward to detailing (and operating!)


I've never been impressed with this kit's level of detail... Its sort of post-Stalinist architecture is a little more modern than what I was looking for, so I added some Evergreen strip stock to build up some cornices and window sills.  These will be painted a concrete color when I paint the building.


For those of you who remember the Hagerstown Roundhouse and shops, I hope this view has you reaching for your hanky.



An overview from the west end of the shops...  Again, a very Hagerstowny view.  The yellow platform there signifies the west bound ready track.

And for those of you taking notes at home, the main lines behind the shops have plenty of clearance...


Depending on how you define "plenty..." :)

More later as the scene continues to unfold...

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Dave Schneider

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2011, 01:01:37 PM »
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Lee
Glad to see those kits put to good use. As for the clearance issue, have you thought about tossing in some rerailer sections behind the roundhouse and shops where they will be hidden? You could even roll your own with some track and some glue/epoxy.

Best wishes
Dave 
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

davefoxx

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2011, 02:46:45 PM »
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Lee,

I really like the way that Hagerstown is coming together.  Like you, I also have an affection for locomotive maintenance facilities with my preference being developed at the RF&P's Bryan Park Terminal in the early 1990s in that road's waning days.  I look forward to hostling some locomotives around the yard one day.  Seeing your roundhouse in person in February, I know it's taken a slight beating in the reconstruction of your layout, so I also look forward to seeing you rehabilitate it, as you complete the engine facility, which really is starting to take on a "Hagerstowny" feel.

With all due respect to Dave S., I don't really agree about placing rerailers on the main line tracks at the rear of Hagerstown.  This area is expected to be very visible (okay, perhaps not so much behind the roundhouse) and will be subjected to many photographs.  Hopefully, since there's no turnouts on the main back there, derailments shouldn't be a big problem.

Any chance of a panoramic shot of the whole yard to give us a good idea of its current state in one picture?

DFF

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wm3798

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2011, 04:52:06 PM »
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Not yet... But I assure you... it won't be long... ;)



Off the garage to cut some plywood...   :D
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

wm3798

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 08:05:35 PM »
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Last update for Sunday...  Got the east end of the yard decked.  Temporary, but instructive as to the final track plan...


Still have some wiring to do before the final install, but there's only two more small pieces of plywood to cut, and the super structure of the layout is complete.

Now it's time to watch the Civil War.  I hear the South has good pitching, but the Union has the power hitters.  Should be interesting.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

davefoxx

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Re: WM Western Lines Engineering Report
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2011, 07:16:01 AM »
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Lee,

How's the final elevation of the yard?  Is everything still going to roll eastward humpyard-style or were you able to successfully flatten the grade from one end of the yard to the other?

Dave

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