Author Topic: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure  (Read 3984 times)

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MichaelT

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In its' heyday this little line ran from the Missouri Pacific mainline through the industrial section of town, and onto Little Rock Air Force base, handling a number of different squadron needs for the military, and servicing a number of industries in Jacksonville, among them a midsize cabinet company, a box company, an aluminum manufacturer, and a couple of small chemical companies.

Today it's handled by the Arkansas Midland Railroad as a 2.5 mile spur which stops well short of the military base. The local customers are a chemical company, a small natural gas dealer, and a box and crate company.

On a whim and at the Mrs. question to see if we could setup a small railroad to display in our front window for the Christmas season, I started gluing roadbed and laying track on a 24" x 80" old bathroom door (what was laying around in the shed) and put down some c80 Atlas track (again what was on hand, will consider c55 at a later date or on a possible addition). So for suggestions and comments and advice, here is the beginnings of the Missouri Pacific Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial spur.

The outer curve is 11"radius, inner is about 9-3/4, the crossing was an idea (mainly cause I had one on hand and thought it would make a little interesting switching work). Turnouts are manually thrown at the switchplate (for now).









Will set this up DCC with two MP GP38-2's and an MP15 switcher, along with a GP15 (once I get a decoder installed).

mdt
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 06:37:00 PM by MichaelT »

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 07:32:20 PM »
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In between troubleshooting and setting up the Christmas train outside, we were able to get the bus wire and feeders hooked up on the JnNW spur, and hooked up the Digitrax setup. Ran our three DCC engines to give them some track time. Tomorrow between church I hope to start putting some scenery in and next week plan on getting a few buildings put together to get on the layout.

mdt

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2011, 06:02:50 PM »
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Sunday update:

After church and lunch with one of our ministry groups, was able to get home and get a pre-fab warehouse put together, and started on a Water Street Terminal warehouse. Not exactly the buildings I would regularly use for the JnNW, but had them here and on hand, so for now they'll do well. Probably won't get much more done until Thursday at the earliest; have bowling tomorrow, and three nights of choir rehearsal at church for our Christmas cantata next Sunday.

After church tonight I'm planning on running the GP38's for awhile.

mdt

wm3798

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 10:25:00 PM »
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Looks like a pretty solid start.  Obviously the "Christmas Window" theme precludes much discussion about how it will operate... (Fast and circular would be my first guess!).

Have fun with this one, maybe there will be some teachable moments as you plan for something more elaborate down the line.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 10:02:52 AM »
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Thanks Lee, not so sure about fast, but circular is definitely accurate.
With Christmas two weeks away, I'm not sure this will make the window this year
And the Mrs. Has already given a green light to a design for 2012 that will enhance her Christmas building metropolis, so I'm going to continue working on this little door and get is scenicked and try some different techniques that I've read on here. I'm going to add another 24" door off the interchange for a staging area and a larger switching complex ( thinking some type of mill) perhaps lumber oriented.


MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 06:38:09 PM »
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So Lee what do you think? Another HCD at a 90 degree to make an L shape into a small staging area, but also thinking about taking the outer line around the other side of the new door and making some industry areas there to work with the RR.??

wm3798

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 09:32:40 PM »
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That's a pretty typical way to make an HCD loop layout more functional.  See if you can sketch out what you want to do on the second door.

Are you thinking a 12" wide door for the staging, or something a little wider to do the industrial area too?

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 10:45:57 PM »
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That's a pretty typical way to make an HCD loop layout more functional.  See if you can sketch out what you want to do on the second door.
Are you thinking a 12" wide door for the staging, or something a little wider to do the industrial area too?
Lee

I'm thinking another 24" door at least (mainly cause I have on in the shed that I can use).

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2011, 11:00:47 AM »
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One thing I might add; while moving some boxes in the closet and trying to find some Christmas lights I thought were in there, I came across a box of c55 turnouts and behind the box on the shelf was quite a few sections of c55 flex....so the plan is to make the additional HCD a c55 venture. I've never used any to this point and the first thing that I see is having to figure out what to use for ground throws. My first thought is to get the caboose hobbies N throws, unless there are some other options that aren't as expensive as tortoises (although I'd love to have them, at the price per, don't want to invest that much right now).

wm3798

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 01:51:28 PM »
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Easy peasy on the switch throws.  Go on ebay, and look up "micro slide switches" and find the DPST variety (Double pole/Single Throw).  Really, a single pole single throw will work, too.  Anyway, you'll need a piece of piano wire, a pin vise with a small drill bit, and a pair of needlenose pliers.



The slide switch gives you a solid mechanical connection, especially if you have a little bend in the wire to create some spring action.
The switch also gives you the opportunity to wire the frog so you have continuous power when you roll through the turnout.

The best part is, if you don't mind doing business with China, is you can get a bag of 20 for around $10 shipped.

Hope this helps.
Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2011, 03:52:04 PM »
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Easy peasy on the switch throws.  Go on ebay, and look up "micro slide switches" and find the DPST variety (Double pole/Single Throw).  Really, a single pole single throw will work, too.  Anyway, you'll need a piece of piano wire, a pin vise with a small drill bit, and a pair of needlenose pliers.
The slide switch gives you a solid mechanical connection, especially if you have a little bend in the wire to create some spring action.
The switch also gives you the opportunity to wire the frog so you have continuous power when you roll through the turnout.

The best part is, if you don't mind doing business with China, is you can get a bag of 20 for around $10 shipped.

Hope this helps.
Lee

Thanks Lee, I'll look those up.
When you mention wiring the frog, is that from the switch to the frog and then somewhere else? Or just the switch and the frog?

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2011, 05:43:19 PM »
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What a week! Being the "acting" worship leader at our church, I've been directing our choir while we rehearse for the Christmas Cantata, and it's been an every night rehearsal this week (Canata is this Sunday), so there has been no railroad work this week. After Sunday things calm down for awhile, so I'll be able to get back to it then.


wm3798

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2011, 08:27:39 AM »
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Holidays are funny that way... You think you'll get a chance to relax, but all the activities keep you moving.  For the first time in 16 years, my wife and I had absolutely nothing to do with the Christmas Parade in our town, we just sat on the curb and watched it go by.  Very refreshing.



Not the best picture, but it should give you the right idea...  This is a slide switch I rigged up to operate from a click pen on the fascia.  That's not important.  What is important is wires.  The red wire in the middle goes to the little tab on the side of the Atlas c55 turnout, which powers the frog.  The white and black wires would be wired to the rails to carry power to the switch. 

When the switch is thrown over the white wire, that rail is now powering the frog.  The black wire feeds when thrown the other way.  It's important to make sure you have the correct wire going to the rail you want feeding the frog.

If you're using a separate power bus line under the layout, you can wire the switch directly to it without having to solder wires to the rail again.

Hope this helps!  And from an old bass chorale singer, "Nun Danket alles Gott!"

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2011, 08:56:53 PM »
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The 2011 Christmas train is running outside tonight! Have already had a couple folks stop and watch for a bit!



Mopac power leading the way! Just a small five car train this year, but it's level and running great!
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 08:59:04 PM by MichaelT »

MichaelT

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Re: MP Jacksonville and Northwestern Industrial Spur-an HCD adventure
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2011, 06:10:55 PM »
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WOO HOO! An uninterrupted evening of layout work tonight!!!