Author Topic: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement  (Read 7858 times)

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Cajonpassfan

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2016, 12:12:16 PM »
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Otto, summit is at 54" although it might move up even more after seeing how low the benchwork is on the other wall. I don't want san berdoo to be too low. Im most likely going to move it up 56-58" 
I do have some rough sketches that i can post up later but it's an ever changing processwhile i see how the scenes will look as i go.

Adam, permit me to add some comments because I've been designing and building Cajon layouts for a long time.
In my experience, you've got to think in 3D.  Designing a mountain railroad like Cajon, setting the top and bottom elevations is the single most important design decision you're going to make. If I understand your elevations correctly, 18" of elevation gain at protobased 1 in 96 grade gives you only 72' of mainline between San Bdno and Summit. That wouldn't give you much room for intermediate sidings. Adding a few inches elevation at Summit will help, but just a little, proportionately. Each additional inch will give you an additional 4' of mainline, not that much.

You can flatten the grade to lengthen the run (which is what Ted York has done on his beautiful HO layout). At 1%, you about double the run, but in my opinion, the whole idea of a tough mountain rairoad is compromised. It's a tough call, but one that will drive your entire design. Anyway you look at it, there will be compromises, and it's up to you to decide which ones you can live with and which ones you can't. :?

The way I approached this problem, and I'm not saying that's the only way to go, was to stick with proto grades. To me, that's the essence of Cajon Pass. That required a substantial elevation differential between the top and bottom, and compromises I could live with. I set the San Bdno yard at sitting height of 31". I reasoned that the three fixed operators (5th Streer Tower, Yardmaster, and West Yard Tower) could be comfortable at desk height and be able to reach a reasonable distance. The three small swivel chairs have casters and the floor next to the yard is linoleum, see first photo. It's actually quite comfortable and an added bonus is that it puts the seated operators' eyeballs at about the lower edge of the upper deck so that underside lighting is screened from their view. The yard so bit low for road crews but they don't do any work there, just pick up and drop their  trains there, and they start climbing as soon as they leave the yard. I am 6'2 and I mocked up the yard elevation first to make sure it was a compromise I could live with.

Once the road crews leave the yard, the climb is a tough 34" in about 155'; the grade flattens in just a couple intermediate locations. That puts Summit at 65". That is of course way too high for comfort, so I built the floor up about 12", with a 6" intermediate step/platform for optimal viewing, see second photo. You may want to consider a raised platform along Summit. A couple of 2X8's, some screws and a sheet of plywood could give you the extra climb you need. Just a thought...

Sorry if I rambled too much, but I've been playing with this a long time and learned a lot in the process. I've also designed Cajon layouts for other people and spaces and it always comes down to the amount of available climb. Fortunately, it's much easier in N scale, Ted York's HO layout with proto grades would have had to punch through the basement ceiling into his dining room :P

Hope this helps with your planning.
Otto K.


« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 12:19:39 PM by Cajonpassfan »

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2016, 01:47:30 PM »
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Otto, between cajon and summit,  ill have about 38' of mainline and I've figured in about a 9" drop with a 2% grade. The benchwork along the left wall although flat,  is just the bar shelving with the row floating above. Once my step sons are here this evening,  i plan on raising summit to maybe 60" or more. I do like the platform idea for summit and that will cajon help in keeping san berdoo up off of the floor.
I'll get the track plan up later today.

Adam Draskovich
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2016, 06:00:59 PM »
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Here's a very crude drawing of the plan as i couldn't find my original. The area from summit to alray will probably change as i lay track. The westbound main from before the alray tunnels down to pine lodge will actually be hidden due to space constraints and the fact that the downhill main just isn't as interesting as helpers shoving freights up to summit. 

Adam Draskovich
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2016, 06:01:44 PM »
+2
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2016, 12:01:09 AM »
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I've taken ottos advice and redone the upper level a bit. Summit has been raised to 60" and the other benchwork had followed suit. I've also stair stepped the sections down to provide for the 2% grade up from cajon. It will be a roughly 10" climb from cajon to summit.

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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

lajmdlr

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2016, 12:34:31 AM »
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There's a lot of good info on the Cajon Pass Yahoo Group:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CAJON/conversations/messages
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA
LAJ Modeler

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2016, 12:44:31 AM »
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Yes there is!  I've been on there since 2009 or 10! I have a whole folder with saved emails from that group!
EFM (Elite Fleet Modeler) member #1
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2016, 05:01:01 PM »
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Cajon and Sullivan's curve base benchwork is up. Just need to finish up a little bit of bracing and legs under cajon. I also need to add a little to the front of the cajon area. It's just about time to start cutting roadbed so i can get an idea of how everything will tie together and make adjustments before i start laying track.
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I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

superchief

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2016, 11:17:15 PM »
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looking good Adam!!!!!  GREAT to see progress on the bench work, next on to track laying and then running trains!!!!!!! I just spent today riding and operating 7 1/2" live steamers railroad. I was the conductor and two n scale club members were our front and rear brakemen. My engineer was JB he owns two GP7 and A and a cabless B both in Zebra stripes, It was a GOOD day. Gordon, Santa Fe- All the way

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2016, 11:38:44 PM »
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Thanks Gordon! Hopefully I'll take a huge dent out of this thing on vacation!
Sounds like you had fun today!

Adam Draskovich
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2016, 10:38:39 AM »
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Got my work area cleaned up before i headed out of town for real railroad work this morning.
I'm getting pretty excited to stay laying track at areas besides summit. This will be my first every real layout besides the 4x8 sheet of plywood i had as a kid.
After November 18th, i plan on building the summit helix(15" drop) followed by the cajon helix(24"drop) down to San Berdoo. I'll be using code 80 on these. The plan is to build these in the garage as separate modular units that will mount to the current benchwork. That's the reason for the big opening under Sullivan's curve.
Adam Draskovich
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2016, 08:50:07 PM »
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Well it looks like my end of the year vacation is gone due to a big signal installation project with a new machine. Im the guinea pig sooooooo no vacation for me!

Adam Draskovich
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I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #27 on: November 06, 2016, 08:00:09 PM »
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After being out of town for 11 days, i had a whole 3 days off before i go out of town tomorrow for another 11 day cycle. Not much progress but I did eliminate the helix at summit. The track descends at a 1.5% grade to a return loop under the west end of summit. Ill have a couple staging tracks here. Access will be from underneath and should be easily whirled on. I plan to use code 80 flex or unitrack,most likely unitrack, in the hidden area for hopefully bulletproof operation and options to easily expand if i want to have even more staging.
Ill be home for a couple weeks after this stint at work. The plan is to hit summit hard and finish laying the east end and complete the staging loop. After this, ill continue laying track west, hopefully completing most of, if not all, of the upper deck. I tend to work pretty fast.
Adam Draskovich

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EFM (Elite Fleet Modeler) member #1
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2016, 08:01:38 PM »
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EFM (Elite Fleet Modeler) member #1
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

draskouasshat

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Re: Cajon pass-1947 in a Kansas basement
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2016, 08:02:30 PM »
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EFM (Elite Fleet Modeler) member #1
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947