Author Topic: Santa Fe in China Basin  (Read 31423 times)

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railnerd

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Santa Fe in China Basin
« on: January 09, 2014, 05:53:41 PM »
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A few years back, the Santa Fe Historical Society ran an interesting article about the "The Santa Fe Navy." For whatever reason, this magazine managed to scratch every itch I had (trains, car ferries, gnarly track, etc.):



Then one of the other guys in my Free-moN group started building modules based upon the State Belt down near Fisherman's wharf in SF.  The itch just got worse. Against my better judgement, my plan is to create a small set of modules (emphasis on small, since they must fit in my car) to recreate the weirdest little part of the ATSF I've ever seen.

Before I go off and build the whole layout, I've decided to start work on a über-critical bit of the track involved which connects the Pier 52 ferry slip with the yard:



Car Float operations are the entire point of the layout, so the track has to be bullet proof. This is a new challenge for me, as I've just recently gotten into hand laid track-- big thanks to :ashat: MC for getting me past the mental roadblock.

I'm a professional nerd, so you'd think I'd whip out CAD tools, or something crazy like TEMPLOT to draw things up.  Unfortunately after spending 3 hours running TEMPLOT I am convinced that I am not capable of driving the program.  So I instead spent a lot of quality time with printed templates, a sharp pair of scissors, and some magic tape:



I'm still not 100% happy with the scale of the crossing, but I have decided that this version will be good enough for my "pilot model".  This was about the 6th version I taped up, and it ended up being so close to the prior version, I mumbled to myself: "Hey, STOP with the paper already!"

I think I'm starting to show signs of OCD (Obsessed with Crossing Disorder):



Will update this thread as I make more progress— my plan is to use ME Code 40 rail, as the prototype looks even lighter.

-Dave

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 06:37:21 PM »
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The trick is that the left turnout is not a straight but more of a wye methinks.
And the rails passing through the crossing are not straight through:



Looking straight is straight, but the red crossing over are not.
They curve.
As do the rails coming directly off both turnouts.

Personally I'd probably do this section "almost last" in the design phase: since you're constrained by space at home / car,  make sure you have space for the yard ladder and tracks, and to make it to the other sections of the module.

That will dictate what radius curve are coming off of both turnouts and crossing.
Then POOF! build it as one fixture and install it first, as it's the key component to both the yard and passage to other parts of the layout.
If that makes sense  :D
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN
http://sv-free-mon.org/

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 07:47:25 PM »
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Nice concept - will watch with interest.

It looks to me like the left turnout is a LH one.  Is that what you've used in your template?  I can't quite tell from the photos.

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 08:31:00 PM »
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Don't forget Historic Aerials ( http://www.historicaerials.com/ ), which gives you China Basin in 1956:



And 1946 (before the AFSF float slip was moved south):



And even 1931 (though only part of China Basin is shown, show how much more rail traffic was down there):



Know you want to get started on the turnoutcrossing, but perhaps a detailed plan of the modules and space might serve as a better starting point.
That crossing & turnout fixture is going to be very specific to that location  :scared:
Will be fun!
 :D
M.C. Fujiwara
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railnerd

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2014, 02:48:46 AM »
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It looks to me like the left turnout is a LH one.  Is that what you've used in your template?  I can't quite tell from the photos.

I've tried both a LH #7, and a #7 WYE switch as well.  The latest mockup uses a wye switch to start the right hand bend a bit sooner— the blueprints I have actually seem to show that as well.

-Dave

railnerd

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 03:18:28 AM »
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Don't forget Historic Aerials ( http://www.historicaerials.com/ ), which gives you China Basin in 1956:

Dude, if you want to be blown away, check out this awesome high quality set of pictures that capture ALL of San Francisco in 1938: http://www.davidrumsey.com/blog/2011/10/24/san-francisco-aerial-photographs-1938

 :drool:

Know you want to get started on the turnoutcrossing, but perhaps a detailed plan of the modules and space might serve as a better starting point.
That crossing & turnout fixture is going to be very specific to that location  :scared:
Will be fun!
 :D

Yep.  Already have drawn the sketch up many times. Here is one of my working copies of a nicely compressed version based on Atlas Code 55 track.



(Ive got a few other variations of this, most importantly one which is breaks into several 36" sections  :D)

S Class

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 06:56:39 AM »
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FWIW Pete Nolan makes a model of the Tug used by ATSF in San Fran.

Cool concept.
Regards
Tony A

jagged ben

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 09:37:37 AM »
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Oh man...  This thread is awesome.

babbo_enzo

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 11:27:05 AM »
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Oh man...  This thread is awesome.

YEP _ agree !  ;)
As I'm interested on City history and I model 3rd & Townsend .... ( my staging yard simulate Mission and AT&SF freigth cars interchange)

Thanks for the link to David Rumsey blog
! I've never see that!

railnerd

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 06:57:41 PM »
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FWIW Pete Nolan makes a model of the Tug used by ATSF in San Fran.

Cool concept.

Some of his floats, and one of his boats on my wish list...

-Dave

railnerd

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2014, 03:04:55 PM »
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Ok, one more pass with the templates... before I cut the PCB ties.



(no the templates aren't flat, but I'm finally happy with the look)

-Dave

Chris333

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 03:27:38 PM »
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Ok, one more pass with the templates... before I cut the PCB ties.



(no the templates aren't flat, but I'm finally happy with the look)

-Dave

You can just sort of freestyle that curve to the left to connect the 2 turnouts. Those templates have straight sections in the diverging route, you can curve them a little.

railnerd

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 02:58:55 PM »
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You can just sort of freestyle that curve to the left to connect the 2 turnouts. Those templates have straight sections in the diverging route, you can curve them a little.

Yeah, that is what I realized— let the rail make my easements.  Just spent the first half of the 49ers game cutting PCB ties:



(sorry for the low-res shot)

wazzou

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 03:35:36 PM »
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I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind having all of the PCB ties in the "easement" part between the turnouts.
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railnerd

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Re: Santa Fe in China Basin
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 05:54:38 PM »
+1
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind having all of the PCB ties in the "easement" part between the turnouts.

'cause prototype had ties that ran all the way across?  :D

As I do my second pass (to cut gaps), I have been editing down the number of ties I'm using, too:



Those two inner ties are probably redundant, but according the the FastTracks template they should be PCB.