Author Topic: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale  (Read 13061 times)

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ChrisKLAS

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SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« on: April 14, 2014, 02:47:16 AM »
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Hi everyone,

I'm not sure how I was never aware of The Railwire before but, having having finally found it and spent the last week weeks browsing, the level of modeling on display is very impressive. I'm happy to be a part of it!

My layout has actually been referenced here once before (in Gary Hinshaw's outstanding Tehachapi BC thread - that's how I found The Railwire, in fact), but I thought I would start a thread to give a little bit more info.

I'm modeling a line very near and dear to my heart, the Southern Pacific's San Joaquin Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass), in the mid-90s, when SP tunnel motors and ATSF warbonnets and bluebonnets still ruled the roost and the folks who would ultimately conspire to completely ruin the railfanning hobby by virtue of fitting every single train with four or five orange GEs hadn't even dreamt up their evil plan yet, let alone begun its implementation. I moved to Vegas from Kentucky back in 2003 and never saw Tehachapi in the SP days, but I wish I had, so I suppose that's why I chose this period to model.

Construction on the layout began in July 2013 after nearly two years of work on (and literally hundreds of revisions to) the track plan. The construction is a combination of single, double and, in a couple instances where required, triple decks. It lives in my 20x30ft (yes, climate controlled) garage in Henderson, a suburb of Vegas. The mainline run is just shy of 450ft from Mojave to Bakersfield (about 13.4 scale miles) and all trackage is Atlas c55/ME c40. All mainline turnouts are #10s; #7s for spurs, house tracks, industries, and yards. There is one helix (between Mojave and Cameron) and I hate it, but there was really no other option. Max grade is 2.1%, just like the real pass; minimum curve radius is 24in, very much unlike the real pass.

Since lots of people ask, the Tehachapi Loop is 29" radius on the main (inside track), which puts it about 70% to scale.

My primary interest is running multiple long trains over a long, twisting, grade-laden mainline while making meets, etc. Local/industry operations, just as on the real pass, will be fairly limited - the fruit packing plants at Edison, house tracks at Caliente, Bealville, Woodford, and Walong, Chemtool Inc. in Tehachapi (this wasn't here yet in the mid-90s, but I invoked modeler's license to include it as another stop for the locals), and the cement plant at Monolith. Helper pockets are in place at Bena and summit (Tehachapi, in this case) to allow for that operational possibility. Local and helper service should provide more than plenty to do for 3-4 crews who are so inclined during an operating session.

The layout will be fully CTC'd using JMRI and Rodney Black's wonderful CATS software. As of today, it's fully detected (73 detected blocks) and all 52 Tortii are in place providing position feedback to CATS as well as allowing for DS control where applicable. Signalling, save for 2 oddball signals which are currently being custom-built, is complete from Kern Jct. through Walong, a well as the control points at Cable, Cameron and W Mojave. I haven't done the math, but I figure it's 75-80% finished.

I plan to begin track weathering/ballasting over the next week. Scenery will be a mixture of pink foam and plaster cloth and certainly isn't too far away from starting at this point.

That's really about it. Again, I'm happy to be part of the group and able to share my layout build with those of you who might be interested.

Track Plan:



CATS Dispatcher Workstation:



Crappy iphone Panorama from this evening w/ signal approach lighting disabled:


Chris333

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 03:18:37 AM »
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 :o That's a little bit bigger than a door!

peteski

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 04:40:04 AM »
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Wow, that sure is a lot of lumber there!  Nice!  :D
BTW, that panorama shot does not look crappy.
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basementcalling

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 05:10:00 AM »
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Impressive benchwork porn shot.
 :D


Trackplan was somewhat confusing looking, but that might be cause I am on my Nook. You are gonna cause a fit with the Loop fans on here.
Peter Pfotenhauer

James Costello

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 05:20:39 AM »
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Glad to see you and your masterpiece here Chris, you'll fit right in!
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

LIRR

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 08:41:11 AM »
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now that's benchwork!

Scottl

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 08:47:46 AM »
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Welcome Chris.  That looks likes a fantastic layout and vision.  Thanks for sharing and I hope you post regular updates. 

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 10:16:53 AM »
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Now I know where all the track has been going!

Looks awesome. I dig it.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 10:17:34 AM »
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Welcome to Railwire Chris!  Thanks for posting your progress here - I am still truly awestruck at how much you have accomplished in such a short amount of time.   I love your plan, especially the way you were able to incorporate Kern Junction and the SP/ATSF split at Mojave, but I could never take on such a large rendition of the hill myself - it would take me more than a lifetime!

I hope you will continue to report on progress here.  I am especially interested to learn more about how you implemented signalling and block detection, as those elements are high on my must-have list.

Oh, and regarding ops, I think you could keep a crew of 15 busy for hours with this pike.  A crew of only 3-4 will have to really bust their a$$es to get all those trains moved in a session. You're a slave driver!  ;)

-Gary

ednadolski

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 11:17:25 AM »
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Holy Walong, Batman!    That is a **very** impressive effort!   It's as much a landmark for Tehachapi in N scale as the La Mesa Club in San Diego is for HO scale   8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Chris, I recall seeing some of your youtube videos on this, could you please re-post the links here?   I really enjoyed the one that follows the train up the hill....  even without the scenery in place, it was cool to recognize all the various locations along the line as the train moved along.

I'm really looking forward to following your progress on this!  ;)

Ed

VirginaCSX

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 07:13:54 PM »
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VERY inpressive!  That's alot of track.

primavw

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 12:59:39 AM »
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Modeling The Dark Horse


YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/gogetta2ohsc

Dave Schneider

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 03:23:43 AM »
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Now I know where all the track has been going!

Looks awesome. I dig it.

Too funny.  I had that exact same thought about track when I first saw the photo. I also concur the the awesomeness of this layout.....Gary, you should  have found a house with a garage this size!

Best wishes, Dave
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MichaelWinicki

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 10:31:28 AM »
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Too funny.  I had that exact same thought about track when I first saw the photo. I also concur the the awesomeness of this layout.....Gary, you should  have found a house with a garage this size!

Best wishes, Dave

I dunno... I think Gary realizes he has his hands full with the one he has.  LOL!

This layout that Chris is building is simply wonderful!  Love the signaling system!

But Gary wants to hand-build all his turnouts and super detail all the cars with "z" couplers and that sort of thing takes time... And lots of it.  Larger space– more track, switches.  You need more freight cars to run it.  On top of that you need more operators to run it at its fullest potential– and everyone now a days has a busy schedule so it's easier to get 3-4 together to run a medium sized layout than it is 8-10 to run a larger one.

Flagler

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Re: SP Mountain District (Tehachapi Pass) - N scale
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 07:30:04 PM »
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Nice