Author Topic: Missouri Valley Western  (Read 2387 times)

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MVW

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Missouri Valley Western
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:50:51 PM »
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I'm building a fictional line set in southwest Iowa, a bridge route between the UP and Chicago & North Western (based on some real and imagined history, but we won't get into that now.) I'm using HCDs to ensure portability. The ultimate track plan will require about 14 HCDs; I don't currently have the space for that, so I'm building it one HCD at a time. The design is scaleable, so the layout will have operational interest at each stage of construction (just in case I never get the 400 square feet I hunger for).

I built the first HCD about a year ago. It contained a meat packing plant and a couple yard tracks.



The plant was mocked up with Photoshop and art board:



Over the last several weeks, the layout has grown into this:



These tables represent the fictional city of Cedricsburg, which will eventually cover four HCDs.

Here's a closer look at the changes to Table 1. Keep in mind another HCD will eventually be tacked on to the end, extending the yard.



Cedricsburg yard is starting to take shape. The mainline is at the far right, of course. The next three tracks are the start of the A/D yard, followed by the first two tracks of the classification yard. That crossover from the A/D yard to the main will eventually be pushed back when the next table is added; the A/D yard will then accommodate 30-car trains. All tracks will be double-ended, of course, as will all the class tracks. Ultimately, there will be five class tracks, a caboose track and a thoroughfare track to the other end of the yard.

Here's the new HCD:



There will be some changes made here eventually. The next phase of construction will add a third HCD at a 90-degree angle extending from the left end above. That table will hold a freight station and stub-ended passenger station. The two spurs just to the left of center at the far end will be moved to the other end of the layout when the next table is tacked on there. The long, straight yard lead will eventually veer more to the center, making room for a turntable and roundhouse. (That will probably be one of the last things I do on this layout.) That short engine pocket will eventually be the roundhouse lead.

I road-tested all the trackwork extensively with jerry-rigged wiring. Everything checked out, so I've soldered all the track feeders. Now all I have to do is tip these babies over, run the power buses (the yard will be its own power district), and hook up the feeders.

I'd hoped to have my first operating session on the expanded layout in March. Looks like I'll miss that by a few weeks. Oh well.

If the trackwork continues to hold up, I'll be able to get the track painted and some ballast and basic ground cover down over a large portion of the layout this summer. Structures will be mocked up using Photoshop and art board. Can't wait to say good-bye to the "Pink Pacific."

Jim

wm3798

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 02:53:40 PM »
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A quick trip to the paint store and $5 for a gallon of mis-tint earth tone will take care of that pink in a hurry...  Neat concept.  It will be fun to watch it grow and adapt to your space.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MVW

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 03:07:28 PM »
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Thanks, Lee. The discussion of your new yard design on your build thread helped clarify what I'm doing, and led to a better design (I hope) than I originally had.

I appreciate your checking in, and I look forward to following your progress as well.

Jim

MVW

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 06:06:09 PM »
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Finally some progress to report after a busy summer.

Over the last several weekends I painted a good chunk of the track, started getting a layer of basic ground cover and ballast down, and mocked up some of the industrial buildings.



Cedricsburg yard (in the foreground) and the Armstrong meat packing company are only a couple inches apart … but operationally speaking there’s nearly five miles distance between the two. The Armstrong plant will likely be the biggest (and busiest) industry on the layout. It’s served by four tracks, with nine different spotting zones. I could see 30 to 40 cars being run through the plant over a 24-hour operational day.



I was hoping the icing platforms and shed at left (the final structure will look nothing like this) would provide a bit of a view block between the yard and plant. Good enough.



Below is a better look at some of the plant trackage, as well as the east end of the yard. This more clearly shows the two tracks in front of the plant, one for icing reefers and the other for loading them. The plant is also served by a utility track and another track to a stockyard behind the buildings (the blue Great Northern stock cars in the first two photos of this post are on this track).



Pay no attention to those two SP units. A C&NW shell will be swapped for one, and the other will likely be repainted for the MVW (someday).

The GP in the Kodak scheme is on the drill track. The first two classification tracks are visible at the top, just to the right of the packing plant. (More class tracks will be installed eventually, probably when I add the next HCD at the far end of the tables above.) The other three tracks at top right are part of the A/D yard. The Bloody Nose GP is on the lead to the eventual engine servicing area.

That 50' CGW box car at center left is spotted at Doolittle Manufacturing, one of three new industries added when the second HCD was brought online. This particular place was kind of shoe-horned in to provide a single facing-point spur.

Just about ready to run through the operating sequence for the first time since I expanded to two HCDs. Considering a schedule that would include six through freights and five switching jobs to the industries on the back side of the layout (the large number of jobs is dictated by the shuffling of reefers at the packing plant). Ops will be designed for two people, although I can easily do it lone wolf by just running train sequences.

I know from past experience the five switch jobs to the Armstrong meat packing plant alone take about one hour, forthy-five minutes in real time. This should push the ops session up to close to three hours for two people, which seems ideal.

Just returned from raiding what passes for my LHS (nearly two hours away in St. Paul). Picked up some more basic ground cover materials and some scratchbuilding supplies. Getting my nerve up to try scratchbuilding most of the structures. New experience for me.

I'll share the laughs.

Jim

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 09:24:34 PM »
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Interesting trackplan Jim... Very nice.

Also like the painted rails.

MVW

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 10:08:24 PM »
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Thanks, Michael. I've never painted the track before ... and it's amazing the difference it makes.

I like the way the track plan is coming together. I'm trying to build a big layout one HCD at a time, and keep the layout operationally interesting every step of the way. So far so good ... but things really won't take off operationally until I add the next HCD.

Jim

MVW

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 01:31:37 AM »
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I never got around to posting a track plan, so here it is. You'll have to pardon the crudity. It was made with the old Atlas freeware, and I didn't bother to beautify it much (in real life the spur at the left nicely follows the mainline curve, for instance).



This is Phase II. With any luck, I'll be onto Phase III sometime this year, adding a third HCD perpendicularly from the lower left.

Phase IV will be another HCD added to right of the existing layout.

This is the fictional city of Cedricsburg, with its division point yard and a good mix of industries. When Phase IV is completed, the yard will be completely double-ended, and will include three A/D tracks, five classification tracks, a caboose track and an engine servicing area, and will be able to handle trains of up to 20-22 cars.

Phase III will include a stub-ended, five-track passenger station, two-track coach yard, and a large freight house. When it's first built, the passenger facilities will actually serve as staging until I get around to Phase V.

Although it's a loop, the layout is operated as a point-to-point, with local trains exiting the yard at the left and traveling clockwise around to the industries on the backside. Armstrong Packing is a particularly busy place, requiring 4-5 switching runs a day. Although the yard and packing plant are side-by-side on the table, they're more than 4 miles apart, operationally speaking.

For now, staging is minimal. The spur at the far left (which will eventually be one of the leads to the passenger station) holds one 11-car train. A similarly sized train is parked on the turnback curve at the right. They represent generic eastbound or westbound freights, making their way at the appropriate time to the yard to drop off or pick up cars, then head right back to staging. My current, simplified operational scheme has each through train making four trips to the yard during a "day." At the end of the fourth trip, each train heads back to staging, and the layout is ready for the next session.

There will eventually be some changes to the table at the left when Phase IV goes in. Rhee Produce will be moved to the new table at far right, and the Clinton Ceral trackage will be altered slightly. The switching lead will be curved back toward Clinton Ceral, making way for a turntable, roundhouse, etc.

My goal when I started was to develop a layout I could build in stages, but which would provide operational interest every step of the way. So far, so good.

Jim

LIRR

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 06:50:45 AM »
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i like it....

MVW

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 08:42:38 PM »
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This addition is months away, at best, but I guess it's not too early to throw it out there for any suggestions.

As mentioned earlier, the new addition will have a four-track passenger station, two-track coach yard, and a freight station/team track area at right.

For the next couple years, the passenger tracks will serve as staging to feed freight operations. It will probably be that long until I get the fourth HCD added and I get around to building actual staging.



Jim

R.Groff

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 11:25:45 AM »
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Looks good hope to see more.
Rick

MVW

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Re: Missouri Valley Western
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 02:01:16 AM »
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I've been playing with some mockups for building placement, to get an idea of what the scenic possibilities are for the Missouri Valley Western. Here's a quick tour.



Above is the view from the east end of Cedricsburg yard. That white scrap in the foreground marks the spot for the future yard tower, based on a C&NW prototype.

The first industry encountered traveling eastward is Clinton Cereal Company.



The two tracks in the foreground are for a temporary industry that will eventually be shifted to the other end of the layout. The cereal company will eventually look something like this Quaker oats plant in Davenport, Iowa:





I'm not modeling that particular plant, but just trying to capture the feel.

Clinton Cereal is located inside a turnback curve. I thought its height would help hiding the curve, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how effective it is. Watching a train disappear behind it and pop out traveling in another direction gives the distinct feel that we've fast-forwarded to a different section of the railroad.

Here's the mainline emerging from behind the elevators. The train in the background is parked on one of the leads to the passenger station, which will be added in the next expansion.



I used four DPM kits to make up both sides of the street for a city block. The DPM buildings seen from the back will be 2-2.5" deep, while the building fronts across the street will only be about 1/4" deep.



I'll be playing with the locations, probably adding a parking lot or two to provide a better glimpse of the street and the building fronts. These buildings are about 3/4" higher than the mainline; I'll taper off that ridge with Sculptamold or something. I'll eventually want to gain about 2" in street height as the backdrop wraps around toward the future passenger station. Doolittle Manufacturing in the lower right corner is currently the only facing-point spur on the layout. There will eventually be others.

The little "uptown" area is terminated by this street.



Right across the street from Doolittle is one of the most important customers on the line -- Armstrong packing plant.



Here's a view from what will eventually be the center of the layout.



Yep, Armstrong packing is right behind Cedricsburg yard. They're a couple inches apart, but about 4.5 miles apart operationally speaking.

And finally, here are a couple shots of the layout overall.





Lots to do yet. But everything is fully operational, so I can run trains and operate as I plod along on the scenery. This is my first N scale layout, and the first layout I've ever developed this far, so I'm learning as I go.

Jim