Author Topic: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout  (Read 12126 times)

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conrail98

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Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« on: April 04, 2014, 01:25:36 AM »
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I told myself when I reached a certain number of posts, I'd finally start a Layout Engineering thread for the layout being constructed extremely slowly in my basement. First, the idea behind the layout. I want an operating railroad, one that has a mix of through and local freights, ideally a passenger train or two, that can hold the interest of about 6 or 7 people. Second, it is to feature Conrail because we all need another one of those around here and it's what I grew up with. Third, I'd like it to faithful to a prototype, making necessary compromises to fit in the model form of track arrangements and industries.

Why the Ft. Wayne Line?

Truthfully, it's taken me 4 years to get to this point. When I started out, I was looking at the Harrisburg Line, going out an railfanning it and taking lots of pictures, picking the brains of other Conrail foamers here and elsewhere. Over time as I operated on other layouts, I realized it wouldn't meet the #1 goal I had, which was interesting operations. I realized that maybe 2 years ago. In the meantime, I built benchwork, because, well, there's only about 3 different ways I could build benchwork in the space I have, 11' x 18'. Over the last 2 years I've gone from what-if scenarios to freelanced areas to focussing on what I really like, large industries as that tended to be Conrail's base in the later year's of its existence. I was talking to one of the layout owners I operate with and he gave me some advice that was my "Ahah moment": draw out what I wanted on the layout with the footprint I had as his layout was actually built with no real prototype in mind but fell into one once he started looking at various sections of the Pennsy that matched his layout's operational flow. This lead me to this schematic:



He then suggested I look around the prototype, Conrail in this case, for an area to match it which led me to this portion of the Conrail System:



The major highlights of this area are the WCI Steel Mill in Warren, Oh., the GM Lordstown Assembly Plant, Republic Steel's Canton facility with supporting facility in Massillon, Timken plant in Canton, and an industrial base within Canton itself. In doing research on the line, I really wanted to get out to Mansfield, Oh., but space really didn't allow for it. If I ever expand into the other side of my basement, I will be adding Wooster, Oh, and Mansifeld, Oh, to the layout. The nice thing about this section of Conrail is that it was used as a short cut for trains going from Pittsburgh to St. Louis/Indianapolis/Columbus. This resulted in only a handful of manifests in each direction plus the COLT/LTCO to/from the Lordstown area yard which meant I could almost model the operations prototypically as well including all the proper trains. Finally here are my first level plan as of this moment which captures the Alliance, Oh, to Orrville, Oh, portion of the Ft. Wayne Line:



I have enough turnouts and flex to get started with the staging yards and mainline and have been purchasing other used track, all Atlas C55. I do plan on building my own turnouts as I move along in construction and have built 2 FastTack ones (no photographic evidence because no wheels would ever go through them, but I'm still practicing).
- Phil

Chris333

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 01:42:54 AM »
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The steel mill in Warren is literally at the end of the road I live on. It is now closed and highly doubtfull it will ever reopen. But the coke plant there is still up an running. Funny fact is they have a conveyor from the coke ovens to the blast furnace, but they instead got their coke from an outside source  :?

And the year before it closed it was "Severstal".

Chris333

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 06:22:00 AM »
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I see you plan to include the coke ovens:





Chris333

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 06:33:56 AM »
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Mill switcher at one time:


Back of the furnace:


Mill in the 1930's


Conrail yard behind the Lordstown plant:


They have a unique sanding tower there made from a tankcar

I believe it has since been painted.  Yep, it's grey now: http://binged.it/1efejWo
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 06:36:00 AM by Chris333 »

Rich_S

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 08:11:16 AM »
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Mill switcher at one time:



Whoa, where did that caboose come from? I've only seen Conrail blue cabin cars used in mainline and local work and a couple Conrail gray cabin cars used in MOW work, never saw a Conrail boxcar brown cabin car?


MichaelWinicki

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 09:07:18 AM »
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Nice design Phil!

3' wide aisle ways for the most part too– that's a good thing!

conrail98

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 10:18:18 AM »
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Chris,

Ok, we're going to be in conversation in the future for your shots of the area. I had actually heard the mill had been torn down. Is the BF still there but the BOF and LMF gone? I have found PDFs of both the mill capabilities and coke plant's capabilities which wouldn't have changed tremendously from my 1996 timeframe. I've also got the stats from 2007 for production of each. I want to really model the flow of traffic so I guess I'll have to find out if the coke in 1996 went to the BOF or not. Everything in my ZTS chart indicate WCI Steel but I can't find when they sold them separately as I believe they were part of the same complex. All in all, it's such a small, model able mill with 1 BF, only 84 coke batteries, 1 BOF, 1 LMF/Caster and 2 rolling mills, all of which isn't overly space eating,

Phil
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conrail98

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2014, 10:19:33 AM »
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Nice design Phil!

3' wide aisle ways for the most part too– that's a good thing!

Yes, I had a 3' piece of wood I used to layout the benchwork specifically for that. The only pinch points are the turn back curves but even then, we're looking at roughly 32" space there at it's narrowest point. I need to clean some stuff up before I put pictures of the benchwork in it's current format up,

Phil
- Phil

DKS

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2014, 10:24:29 AM »
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They have a unique sanding tower there made from a tankcar


Now, that is seriously cool. Hmmm...

Chris333

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2014, 04:17:10 PM »
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Phil,
It has been a few months since I drove past it, but I haven't heard of it being torn down. They had an auction to sell off a lot of equipment. A friend of mine tried to buy a hot metal car for $20000, but they were all sold in a lot. They have torn down a few un-used buildings because they get taxed if they are standing (somthing like that). It is spooky driving past there at night now, it is so dark! That place has been running my whole life. Another friend of mine works at the coke plant. When the mill closed the coke plant had to buy some of the equimpment in order to keep running (like a boiler house I think) They still make coke for Cleveland. I used to get stuck at the crossing waiting as the coke trains pulled up to the switch and then stopped and backed up all the way to the rear of the furnace. My step Dad was in charge of security there, my next door neighbor loading coils there.

I'll have to take a ride.

Baronjutter

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2014, 04:59:26 PM »
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This is an absolutely massive layout, look forward to seeing it form, specially the whole mill scene.

Chris333

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2014, 07:44:50 PM »
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Also if you have the room there is a heavy duty bridge between the furnace and the BOF:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.215029,-80.816592,3a,75y,359.28h,95.65t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sL-B-v-DOC0gkoGYSHVrDGw!2e0

conrail98

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2014, 08:00:57 PM »
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So when I first started out with the benchwork, I knew to get a decent length mainline without too much looping over, I chose a double deck layout. That choice has been both a blessing and curse at the same time. But, to get the height right, I put up some of the slotted brackets and moved them up and down to find the most comfortable height and separation for each deck:



This resulted in a lower deck around 42" and an upper deck around 56". My basement floor slopes so I started putting up the slots measured at the highest point along my walls. I then experimented after reading a few different blogs on others who were building double deck layouts and was looking at doing something like this:



I eventually decided to use the shelf brackets for the lower level as the bottom supports could be used for either staging under the layout or shelving (which is what they've become):



To support risers on the shelf bracket, I ripped 2x2s from left over 2x4s from studding out the layout area and attached them to the brackets:



and then started using 1x3s to secure each together:



I experimented with a few different techniques for the 2nd level and it's valence before deciding on create C-brackets and screwing them into the bare studs:



Eventually, I didn't like the look of the valence, as I've said a few times in other posts, and cut them off, sawzall's are wonderful. My next detailed post will talk about the building of the peninsula using L-girders and "T"s,

Phil
- Phil

conrail98

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Re: Conrail Ft. Wayne Line and Lordstown Secondary Layout
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 08:05:31 PM »
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Also if you have the room there is a heavy duty bridge between the furnace and the BOF:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.215029,-80.816592,3a,75y,359.28h,95.65t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sL-B-v-DOC0gkoGYSHVrDGw!2e0
/>

That's definitely something I'd like to do I just have to figure out how to work that into the turn back. Here's a "area map" I used to place towns/industries around the two levels:



At least this is the overall guidance and plan,

Phil
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 08:09:39 PM by conrail98 »
- Phil