Author Topic: Arizona & California RR  (Read 4338 times)

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mu26aeh

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2014, 09:38:09 PM »
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I have about the same space/footprint available in my basement.  Will be watching this for ideas, though mine is going to be set in south central PA

dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 10:04:52 PM »
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Dean - You've done an amazing job on your layout, I always enjoy seeing any updates you post.  You are correct in interpreting the CBRY run; it would be staged as a loaded train at the mine, no switching/building, and the engineer would pick it up there, then run it the long way to the upper deck to unload.  They would need to run around the entire train to come back down to the mine with an empty, all on trackage rights.   That's an interesting concept for the interchange between the CBRY and ARZC.  The real CBRY has captive service gons and the trains just run in circles all day, performing one run around move at the unloader to turn the train, however, they also own all of the track.  I had thought about doing an exchange in the class yard, it would be the first major siding after the entrance of the CBRY train anyway.  I don't want to do the interchange coordination at the lower level siding because it is directly under the industrial area where someone will be working all session.  I also want the CBRY locomotives to have a decent amount of run since I custom painted them.


As for the furniture factory, I liked the ring of Searls Furniture.  Searls is the name of one of my crew, but the industry could be anything housed in a large warehouse that receives and ships boxcars.  That particular building is drawn at 16x22 inches, a nice big building that would actually support rail service.

Town names should appear on the plans on the first page now.

Doug

coldriver

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 12:58:44 AM »
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Dean - You've done an amazing job on your layout, I always enjoy seeing any updates you post.  You are correct in interpreting the CBRY run; it would be staged as a loaded train at the mine, no switching/building, and the engineer would pick it up there, then run it the long way to the upper deck to unload.  They would need to run around the entire train to come back down to the mine with an empty, all on trackage rights.   That's an interesting concept for the interchange between the CBRY and ARZC.  The real CBRY has captive service gons and the trains just run in circles all day, performing one run around move at the unloader to turn the train, however, they also own all of the track.  I had thought about doing an exchange in the class yard, it would be the first major siding after the entrance of the CBRY train anyway.  I don't want to do the interchange coordination at the lower level siding because it is directly under the industrial area where someone will be working all session.  I also want the CBRY locomotives to have a decent amount of run since I custom painted them.


As for the furniture factory, I liked the ring of Searls Furniture.  Searls is the name of one of my crew, but the industry could be anything housed in a large warehouse that receives and ships boxcars.  That particular building is drawn at 16x22 inches, a nice big building that would actually support rail service.

Town names should appear on the plans on the first page now.

Doug

Doug,
I can't blame you for wanting to show off an awesome set of custom painted power!  And you're right it certainly would be awkward with three guys all in the same area bumping butts.  Based on the experience I have with several opt sessions now under my belt I would encourage you to think about other ways to develop interactive operating scenarios to get the crew working together as an operating team - it makes for a lot of fun.  Perhaps in addition to the CBRY unit train you could also have an additional track in the copper mine area to run a CBRY turn to interchange carload traffic with the AZRC at Parker.  Even if it was just a few cars behind a single geep it would add a lot of operating interest. 

Searls is a great desert operations name - although it's spelled Searles in California's Mojave Desert.  SP's Searles Turn operated out of Mojave to interchange with the Trona Railway at Searles, California which is by chance one of the scenarios I had in mind when I mentioned rock-based desert industries  http://www.carrtracks.com/cateh379sp9722.htm.  You'll simply have to tell your friend that he needs to adjust the spelling of his last name...

dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2014, 02:39:36 PM »
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Based on the experience I have with several opt sessions now under my belt I would encourage you to think about other ways to develop interactive operating scenarios to get the crew working together as an operating team - it makes for a lot of fun.  Perhaps in addition to the CBRY unit train you could also have an additional track in the copper mine area to run a CBRY turn to interchange carload traffic with the AZRC at Parker.  Even if it was just a few cars behind a single geep it would add a lot of operating interest.

This sounds like a great idea and would be very easy to implement.  The copper mine has got to get supplies from somewhere, right?  Why not bring them in on a turn?

Had no idea about Searles...  I'll let me friend know.  If not furniture, what would use a warehouse in the desert?  Even if I call it 'Distribution', someone will always ask what they are distributing.  Maybe finished product along the lines of tile, flagstone, countertops would work.

Doug

coldriver

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2014, 07:07:59 PM »
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Had no idea about Searles...  I'll let me friend know.  If not furniture, what would use a warehouse in the desert?  Even if I call it 'Distribution', someone will always ask what they are distributing.  Maybe finished product along the lines of tile, flagstone, countertops would work.

Doug

A couple ideas for you - Talc in Montana and Bentonite (Kitty Litter) in Wyoming/South Dakota are both shipped in boxcars as well as covered hoppers.  Think either of these would look at home in the desert.   Suppose you could do a transload at a warehouse if you didn't want to model the full plants.  http://www.bhbentonite.com/plantsites.htm   http://mrl369dude.blogspot.com/2012_01_01_archive.html

dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2014, 07:05:21 PM »
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Started some benchwork this weekend!  I am going to cantilever the shelves from the studs and then use plywood on risers for subroadbed.  I'll fill in the areas around the subroadbed with foam for scenery work.  A masonite fascia will be screwed to the front of the transverse pieces, and a 16" masonite backdrop will run around the room at the top of the benchwork.  I was a little nervous about how rigid this system would be without legs, but it holds up well even when someone leans on it.  Track height for the majority of the railroad will be 54" on the upper level and 39" on the lower.  I've got a set of blinds that I still need to paint and mount over the window.




Doug

dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2015, 10:24:33 PM »
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I haven't posted to this in a long time, shame on me.  Anyway...

There has been a lot of woodwork done in that time thanks to some good friends.  I'm also starting to lay cork roadbed down and am building switches.  I'm starting to see how much room I actually have with the roadbed, it feels much bigger in the room than it looked on my trackplan.  This is a good thing as I want to model large industries that will support multiple cars worth of freight and take advantage of the large scenery to track/train ratio available in N scale.  There is not very much benchwork left to construct, just a small portion on the upper deck.  I'm still waiting for some help from a friend to build the helices.

On to pictures!








Doug

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 03:00:49 AM »
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Great progress!  I'm curious about a couple of things: 1) How did you attach the 2x4's to the railing along the wall?  Were those screwed to the railing from the backside then attached to the wall?  2) What is the tan material that forms the coved corners of your backdrop?  What are your plans for finishing the backdrops?

-gfh

dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 09:37:00 AM »
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Thanks, Gary!

1) I screwed the 2x4's to the back of the railing before mounting it to the wall.  I had some QC issues with my helpers and a few of them went up loose, so the railing had to come back down.  Once we got everything tight though, I haven't had any issue with movement.

2) The tan material is vinyl wall coving.  I saw an article in the Dec. 2013 Model Railroad Hobbyist (http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/19198) for using this as you can get really tight radii.  It has some flex to it, which is good and bad, but once foam goes in the benchwork voids, it should not be a problem.  I also figured it would work well to cover the joints, rather than taping and mudding.  The backdrops will be painted, not printed.

Doug

basementcalling

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 04:02:38 PM »
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Thanks, Gary!

1) I screwed the 2x4's to the back of the railing before mounting it to the wall.  I had some QC issues with my helpers and a few of them went up loose, so the railing had to come back down.  Once we got everything tight though, I haven't had any issue with movement.

2) The tan material is vinyl wall coving.  I saw an article in the Dec. 2013 Model Railroad Hobbyist (http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/19198) for using this as you can get really tight radii.  It has some flex to it, which is good and bad, but once foam goes in the benchwork voids, it should not be a problem.  I also figured it would work well to cover the joints, rather than taping and mudding.  The backdrops will be painted, not printed.

Doug

Doug, I read the same article and am using the same treatment for joints in my MDF backdrop. Easy peasy way to hide them. Cove cement is amazing stuff.  Are you going to use spackle or some type of joint compound to hide the edges of the vinyl? I go the product the article author recommended and it is easy to work with.
Peter Pfotenhauer

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 07:06:54 PM »
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If I can add something about the coved corners. I used Laminex from a cabinet makers scrap box. I was able to get down to a 30mm (12 inch) radius. The top or good side faces the wall and was glued on using contact adhesive. I first cut a cardboard template of the radius marked the wall then drew a vertical line up the wall on both sides. Then I cut the Laminex to size using the template as a guide but added about 75mm (3) inches on each side. Nailed a piece of 2 x1 pine on the outside of the previously drawn line(plus the 75mm) to hold the Laminex in position. I applied the contact cement to both the wall and Laminex, let it get touch dry and the pushed it into place inside the timber. Once dry just removed the timber and applied some plaster to take up the edge. Laminex is very thin and flexible and the top surface faces inside (the rough out)the corner when applying.
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Trust this is of some use.
Rod.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 07:16:59 PM by Santa Fe Guy »
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dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2015, 09:47:52 AM »
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Doug, I read the same article and am using the same treatment for joints in my MDF backdrop. Easy peasy way to hide them. Cove cement is amazing stuff.  Are you going to use spackle or some type of joint compound to hide the edges of the vinyl? I go the product the article author recommended and it is easy to work with.

I knew I had seen the same coving at least one other place here on The Railwire.  I will use joint compound to feather out the edges of the vinyl.  Have you painted your's yet?  I thinking some Kilz primer and then basic interior paint should do the trick.

Rod - Your coves look great.  Never would have thought to use the laminate for countertops, I'm sure that is stiffer than the vinyl we are using, but still pliable enough to get the sharp bends.  Thanks for sharing.

Doug

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2015, 05:45:05 PM »
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Thanks Doug.
Like many things in our hobby the idea was not mine. I read about it in the Narrow Gauge Gazette many years ago and thought it would be a lot easier than 1/4 inch ply that I used 20 years ago for my SFRSD that took 3 of us to bend LOL. I did the three corners in this room in about 1 hour once all of the measurements were taken.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

dmidkiff

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2018, 04:39:01 PM »
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Well, this is embarrassing.... more than 3 years after the last post. This layout is still alive and saw it's first op session this month. A lot has changed since the first post, as I know most layouts do. A lot of discussion with a former trainmaster has seen changes to the layout to hopefully replicate the railroad more prototypically.

I finally held the first official operating session on my N Scale Arizona & California Railroad on Dec 15, 2018. The session consisted of a two man crew switching the town of Blythe on the branchline. We only ran one train, the Blythe Local, but it took the crew about 2.5 hours to run the job, plus about half an hour of work before moving the train getting familiar with the trackwork, writing their switchlist, and prepping moves. I'm really glad they took the time to think ahead and didn't just grab the throttle right away.

We had a few equipment issues, but overall things ran very well and the crew really enjoyed the job. We had one switch that had the a point pop off the throwbar, so I had to break out the soldering iron mid session. I have another switch which gets picked by the lead loco truck only in the diverging route, the only thing I can think of is guage on the loco, so that work order has been put in. Lastly, we had some couplers that didn't want to play well. All cars will be coming off the layout before the next session to make sure trucks roll properly and that couplers are greased and moving correctly. The locomotives ran beautifully and we never had any issues with power pickup or dead spots. It's definitely worth it to have a feeder to every piece of rail and to have powered frogs.

The Blythe Local job mimics the prototype operations of the Arizona & California. The day starts with power staged in Blythe. The crews generally do all of their pulls in the morning and get cars classified by outbound destination, either Phoenix (EB) or Cadiz (WB). They should also spot any off spots that were left. Once they've got that done, they run up to Rice, CA to setout their cars for a mainline train to pick up later. At Rice, they'll find cars that were setout by yesterday mainline train destined for Blythe. They pull these cars back to town and get to work spotting the inbound cars. They'll either finish the work or die on the clock at this point.

The car forwarding is a single CC&WB system that I developed in Excel. Each car on the railroad has a single waybill with all the information needed on it. This single waybill follows the car from staging until it is delivered. Once delivered, I pull the car card, and possibly the car off the layout, and replace with a new single sided waybill for the move back to staging. I mention I may pull the car... I've come to the conclusion that some open cars will have loads that are not removable; I enjoy modeling the rigging, chains, ties, etc... and it's easier to glue these things onto the cars/loads than to make them removable. In this case, once a loaded car is delivered, the car is then removed from the layout. With a single sided waybill, there is no need to put an empty car back on the layout, unless I want too. The same is true for empty cars that are loaded after being spotted. To determine the actual car forwarding, my Excel sheet randomly selects a number of cars from an industry to be spotted/pulled and I simply flip through the waybills and grab that number.  This gives me some flexibility in the loading time of cars at industries and the spot/pull frequency. Everything is free flowing so I'm not dependent on trains arriving at certain locations at certain times to keep the car forwarding correct, as many computer programs do.

Waybill by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr

This waybill shows that KCS 146, a three bay covered hopper is to be spotted at Arizona Grain. That industry ordered an empty car for loading, so this single sided waybill is an "Consigned Empty" waybill. Once spotted, and loaded, I'll replace the waybill with a "Transit Freight" waybill that shows loaded contents.

I'm also using a single waybill box at a location rather than one at each industry.  This simulates a yard office where everything is stored and then the crew gets only a switchlist to work. I hate shuffling car cards when I operate, but love the freedom of the system, this is my compromise. This one box has four slots: Pickup, Off Spot, Hold, and Setout. Hopefully these are pretty self explanatory, but as I found out, there are still questions as the operators didn't quite follow what I was trying to accomplish. Pickups are cars that are already at the industries and need to be pulled on this job. Off Spot cars are cars that need to be spotted at the industry, however, the last crew had no space at the industry, so they are waiting in an off spot; these have priority over anything coming inbound on other trains. Hold cars are cars that are located at the industries and need to remain. Setout cars are the cars that the crew has spotted during this session. At the beginning of a session, the setout box should be empty. At the end of a session, the Pickup box should be empty. Of course, if a crew dies on the clock, there may be work left undone.

Car Card Box by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr

Onto some photos of the session..

Blythe Flyover by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
An overview of Blythe. The tracks to the right going into the wall are the end of line and Arizona Grain, a real industry. Moving back along the line, you can see Five Star Pallet, another real industry, where the boxcar is spotted. Opposite that is Grothe Scrap, a fictional industry. The large warehouse with the two boxcars is Searls Appliance, another fictional industry. The line curves around Searls and heads toward Blythe Yard. Hard to see from this angle, but Bol Concrete is behind Searls on the interior of the peninsula, a fictional industry. RDO Equipment is also behind Searls, inside the curve to the wall, a real industry. The line continues down the wall and curves above the helix in the back, where you can see the inbound cars sitting in Rice.

Blythe Local Power by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
Today's power, a pair of GP35's.

Blythe Yard by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
This is Blythe Yard. The foremost track is Toshin Trading, a real industry.

RDO Equipment Bol Concrete by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
A shot of RDO Equipment in the foreground and Bol Concrete in the back.

Searls Appliance by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
This is Searls Appliance with four doors spaced to receive up to 60-ft boxcars.

Inbound Outbound by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
I unfortunately do not have the trackwork completed at Rice yet. So, the crew had to pull the inbound cars into Blythe before pushing the outbound cars out. This exchange should be done in Rice, not Blythe, but it worked out for the session. The inbound cars are on the far track, and the outbound cars on the near track.

Pushing outbound cars by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
Here the crew is pushing the outbound cars through the crossover and back up the line.

I've also got a couple of videos from the session up on my Facebook page. If I can find a good host for them (welcome to any suggestions), I'll link them as well; I may end up creating a YouTube page at some point...

Let me know if you have any questions. It was great to see the railroad come to life and watch a couple of other operators work the job after I've done it so many times, both in my head and with the throttle.

Doug

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Arizona & California RR
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2018, 05:36:06 PM »
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Congratulations!  The first ops session is a real milestone, and really what a layout is all about for me.  Don't be surprised if tuning freight cars (especially couplers) becomes a recurring theme from here on out.  But congrats nonetheless