Author Topic: The Transcontinental PRR  (Read 97867 times)

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cv_acr

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2011, 09:54:18 AM »
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Looks like you're off to a good start. Staging looks pretty good. Can never have too much of that.

eric220

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2011, 10:48:46 PM »
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The crew is coming over tomorrow for some quality build time.  I'm bribing them with a BBQ lunch, so hopefully there will be sufficient numbers to make some good progress.  I doubt I'll have time to update before Sunday night, but I will post pictures ASAP.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

eric220

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2011, 07:30:33 AM »
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So it took me a little longer than I anticipated to get the photos up.  Before I get to this weekend's progress, I realized that there was no evidence of the progress made during the last build session.  We got the base supports up for the coach yard and upper return loop.  We had to get somewhat creative in spanning a 12-foot wide room with an 80-inch wide window in the middle of the wall.



The next step here is to install wooden risers on top of the metal supports.

Instead of building those risers this weekend, we focused on continuing the supports for the upper level around the room.  We installed the custom-built angle-iron brackets that will support River City and added risers to them.



Here you can see the grooves cut for the upper staging yard.



I think that finishing the upper staging yard will be my next priority.  That means going back to the metal supports and adding the risers with appropriate grooves cut.  Then I can add the deck and install track.  I'm thinking that I'm going to go with code 80 again, as this yard will be completely hidden, even more so than the lower staging yard.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

nscalemike

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2011, 11:14:51 AM »
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That is a creative way to span that opening.  I kinda wished I'd thought of that when spanning my room on the second and third levels!  Is that angle stock or is a tube?  Would guess that it'll be plenty strong enough for nscale either way.

Mike

eric220

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2011, 05:38:41 PM »
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That is a creative way to span that opening.  I kinda wished I'd thought of that when spanning my room on the second and third levels!  Is that angle stock or is a tube?  Would guess that it'll be plenty strong enough for nscale either way.

Mike

That is steel channel, and it is indeed very strong.  I can almost hang from the middle with very little flexing.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

wm3798

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2011, 07:36:06 PM »
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But you weigh what, 45 lbs wringing wet?  Let us east coast fatties at that thing, and it will crumple like tin foil!

Lee
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eric220

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #36 on: July 03, 2011, 08:33:05 PM »
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I didn't get as much done as I had been hoping today because it turned out that translating the west ladder of the upper staging yard:



to plywood was a bit tricky.  It took awhile, but I finally got it down and got the plywood cut.



After that nonsense, getting a few 5" strips for the main body of the yard was a cinch.  I put one up and clamped it to the end of the throat.  Then I threw down a few pieces of track to get an idea of what the area will eventually look like.  I also included a piece of scrap plywood and track showing where the closest platform track will be.  I tweaked that measurement to be sure that there's enough space there to reach up and retrieve a wayward car.



As I've said before, the next job is to build the risers that will sit above the channel steel.  I decided to make the base for the west ladder first so that I could just mark off where to cut the supporting grooves without having to measure around the curve.  I think it's going to be a good decision, because it's giving me a much better idea of where to put the risers (like not right under a turnout).

One of the other things that kept me from accomplishing more in the way of construction was a return to the computer and a bit of a redesign.  Once the supports for River City were up, I didn't like how deep the shelf was.  I went back to the design, and I found an easy place to make a change.  River City was originally built at an angle because it was on the lower deck, and one end had to be deeper to accommodate the curve coming from Altoona.  The platform tracks were designed to terminate in the back corner.  After numerous revisions, a move to the upper deck, and a transformation from a stub to a through terminal, I realized that there's really no need to have River City at an angle.  Furthermore, blending the city into the backdrop will probably be easier at right angles.  I played around with it and here's where it ended up:



Most of the shelf is now 28 inches deep, and the furthest platform track is 19 inches from the front. The new orientation also let me clean up and expand the freight yard, which doesn't have to tie into the platform tracks anymore to provide a route to the engine terminal.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

wm3798

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2011, 09:08:58 PM »
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The one reason to keep it at an angle, even a shallow one, would be the overall aesthetic of the thing.

All those parallel lines and right angles give me the heebie jeebies.

I like to add angles wherever possible, especially in relation to the edge of the benchwork, because it adds to the illusion that your layout is a "slice" of the real world, where the division between the model and the aisle is an arbitrary thing, not a rigid form dictated by the model...

I was careful to include a little kink in the boundary of even my yard, a feature which typically demands parallel lines and right angles:


Even my small yard at Elkins, built on a 12" HCD, has a bend in it for aesthetic interest.


Granted, the PRR was notorious for moving mountains and rivers for the purpose of achieving a straight right of way, but I still think adding a few gentle curves and angles will enhance the overall appearance of your design.

I suppose I say this because I want to encourage you to think of your layout as depicting a railroad traversing a realistic landscape, not a model track traversing your benchwork...
Lee
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 09:13:51 PM by wm3798 »
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2011, 09:17:10 PM »
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The one reason to keep it at an angle, even a shallow one, would be the overall aesthetic of the thing.

All those parallel lines and right angles give me the heebie jeebies.

I suppose I say this because I want to encourage you to think of your layout as depicting a railroad traversing a realistic landscape, not a model track traversing your benchwork...
Lee

Props for that post Lee.  Very well said.  BTW your yards do look terrific.  The odd angles do help.  Too much straight trackage is boring.

wm3798

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2011, 09:22:24 PM »
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Looks like I just stumbled upon my commentary topic for November/December!!

Thanks, Eric!
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

eric220

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2011, 10:50:10 PM »
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Looks like I just stumbled upon my commentary topic for November/December!!

Thanks, Eric!

No problem!

Actually, the very issues that you raise were design criteria for the whole layout.  I tried very hard wherever possible to keep the rail lines from being parallel to either the wall or the facia.  In this particular area, there's going to be a city scene covering most of the rail lines.  Only the freight yard in the front and the terminal throat will be visible.  Also, the city is going to be a laid out in a grid, so the right angles and parallel lines make sense here.

I do have a thought, thought.  Stand by.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 05:28:27 PM by eric220 »
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

eric220

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2011, 11:23:32 PM »
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Well, so much for that theory.  My thought was to angle the freight yard a little relative to the passenger terminal.  Unfortunately, the distances involved mean that even a slight angle causes one end of the yard to stick way out.  The original design was angled by a little over 4° relative to the wall, and that resulted in almost an extra foot of benchwork at the west end.  I tried putting an angle in the yard by shifting it to the east and wrapping it around the terminal throat, but I'm not comfortable storing cars in front of the throat.  Forcing operators to reach over stored cars to rerail a passenger train that picks a point in the throat sounds like a real good way to invoke Murphy's Law.  Oh well.
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
http://www.pennsylvania-railroad.com

John

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2011, 06:57:50 AM »
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Eric - just because Lee says so doesn't make it wrong  ;D 

 .. if your space dictates that you maintain your yard parallel to the fascia, then that is what you need to , no matter what us wags say ;)

 .. there are a lot of railroads, mine included, where the yards are just like that ..

..  you can always add interest in other areas, such as varying the distance of the mainline from the fascia, meandering the line. 

wm3798

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2011, 09:13:36 AM »
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Simple solution:  Angle the street grid slightly vis a vis the railroad.  The city scape will obviously be the more visible element, and much easier to monkey around with.  Behold Penn Station in Baltimore, for instance:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Penn+Station+Baltimore&hl=en&ll=39.307339,-76.614618&spn=0.007505,0.016372&sll=39.641763,-77.719993&sspn=0.126107,0.261955&t=h&z=16

You do what you gotta do with the track plan, then fool the eye with the scenery around it.
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DKS

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Re: The Transcontinental PRR
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2011, 10:50:00 AM »
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At the risk of invoking groans of "there he goes again," I popped this chunk of layout into AnyRail and found a few options--as well as a few problems.

You can angle the station tracks a few degrees without adding any significant depth to the benchwork; actually, it's wider on the left end by only an inch or so, and slims down at the right end by a few inches.
 


One problem I found is that the staging yard throat at the left end was impossible to render with Atlas switches as it was drawn. By rearranging the switches and using #5s, I could squash it in, but I think that area needs a lot more tinkering to smooth it out. Also, the geometry of the left end of the station throat is pretty hairy. #5s and a couple of curved TOs was the only way I could get things to fit, so that probably warrants more work as well. Not to mention some of the minimum radii are down in the 12-14 inch range in that area.