Author Topic: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"  (Read 179501 times)

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mu26aeh

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1770 on: November 03, 2019, 07:13:43 PM »
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I was working with a friend to prep his layout to be featured on a layout tour for a convention.. and after weeks of nights and weekends and a several 12 hour days.. we got the layout to where we could run trains..

Then came convention day... the schedule got thrown off and we had a total of 2.. (TWO) visitors for the convention.  He didnt touch the layout for a year after that. And we haven't worked on the layout since
. (That was 3 or 4 years ago now)..  But we can run trains!!

~Ian

JFRT !

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1771 on: November 15, 2019, 03:15:29 PM »
+1
The latest UPHS Streamliner (their house organ) arrived this morning, and it could just have well been a "this issue is for you, Mike." Feature article and sub-articles were all about UP's diesel operations in 1968 to 1972. It's what I'm trying to model. My favorite was this opening line from the photo piece:

Quote
Union Pacific always seemed to have interesting motive power on its roster but it is hard to beat the late 1960s for the variety of power...

Well, duh. :D

Most of the key discussion was about "power pools", highlighting power assignment groups between various points on the RR in mid-1968. Quite a learning experience.

First was a confirmation of something we've talked about before - DD35s and DDA35s on ore trains. This was in the context of coupling 27-foot iron ore jennies to 85-foot-long locomotives. I had dismissed it as a Howard Fogg fantasy for the 1969 Centennial calendar. Guess what? He was painting from a photograph. In '68 the two major ore runs, Silver Bow (ID) to Pocatello and Atlantic City (WY) to Provo, were both held by the DDs as assigned power. They had taken over from C630s, now assigned to North Plate to Portland and Council Bluff/KC to Ogden, just as the C630s had replaced SD24s and SD24B, with 64 of those (!!!) dumped on the LA&SL, along with ten GP20s in the assigned Ogden-to-L.A. pool.

Interesting (to me) is that while two of the U50s were in the NP to LA pool, I never managed to see them. I didn't get my driver's license until 1970 and prior was only able to railfan Cajon on the fly as a passenger in Dad's car, so I guess they must have been exiled to the Kansas pool by the time I could do solo trips.

For @Ed Kapuscinski , the roster of power assigned between Council Bluffs and all points west was... well... friggin' everything, ranging from GP9s to RS-27s to DDs to GTEL turbines. In fact, the 15 GTELs living out their last days were all in an assigned pool between CB and Ogden. So yes, the odd, really big stuff plied the east end of the railroad, as my firsthand impressions as a young teen will attest.

Disappointed in that C855s are barely mentioned. There is a photo of a handwritten "Guide for Dispatching Power" for Salt Lake City, which is a full roster dated 8/70. Noted on numbers 60-61 and 60B was "No restrictions, avoid sending south and/or west." "South or west" from SLC would be the LA&SL. Same, oddly, applied to the then-brand-new GE U50Cs. Surprising to me was the fleet of SD40s, noted "Send to Ogden for SP. Do not send south or west." No wonder I rarely saw UP SD40s. F9s were still on the active roster than, but also marked to avoid sending to LA.

Of special note were the Centennials, which we saw a lot of in LA then. They're marked "N. Platte-Los Angeles. Avoid Turning. Continue same direction." Gee, could that be because they were too big for the wye in LA, and the turntable was long gone?  :facepalm:  Also noteworthy was the listing on the computer printout part of the roster labelling the model "DD40X". That's where the "DDA40X" vs. "DD40X" debate started, all because UP's computer at the time only had five characters for the model field.

For you SPFs, there is a (very) cool spread shot of a PRR GP35 (2328) on the turntable in Cheyenne, as well as one inside the roundhouse being serviced. The caption noted that Pennsy had a run-through agreement with UP and CB&Q between 6/67 and 11/68, cancelled by PC. Caption comment, which I shall leave here:

Quote
Pennsylvania/Penn Central power would normally pass through Cheyenne on their run-through trains, but these units likely needed a quick repair or inspection before being sent home...
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1772 on: November 23, 2019, 12:23:49 PM »
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Here we go again...



It appears the view of the RRs from the studio's virtual window is about to be blocked, this time for keeps. You might be able to make out the white marker flags I highlighted (click for bigger view), they are in the same location as the fence that blew down last year. If you'll recall, that vinyl fence was the oil speculator cowing to the park foundation wanting his well-drilling crap out of view. He's out of the picture now. The flags appeared last week, so somebody (park on the right, city on the left) decided they want the fence back, or something similar. If it's the city it'll probably be a chain link fence extending their maintenance yard. That doesn't bode well as I have overheard mention of new sheds, plus they acquired more trash trucks this year that have already been temporarily parked in the camera view. If what I surmise bears out, then we'll have to rent a lift and erect the 36' tower currently stored in the attic.

One more big project I don't need. :x
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1773 on: January 05, 2020, 11:46:49 PM »
+2
Yikes! Over a month since an update! Things have been happening, but mostly little stuff like testing scenery techniques and diddling around with geoforming. Then there've been the signal projects.

Completely by coincidence (Hi, @GaryHinshaw ! :D ), one of the bigger tasks the past week has been working on more "soft" control panels in JMRI:



I have a process now, working directly in the XML layout definition code rather than tearing my hair out with Panel Editor and the JMRI table tools, only using Panel Editor for final positioning tweaks. Also have had some success building higher-resolution icons including animated GIFs for things like flashing signal aspects on the panels:



This evening was getting back to building electronics assemblies to put working parts behind the new soft panels. A couple of these need to be fully-functional so I can resume track painting and ballasting. Non-working turnouts risk being glued shut!
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1774 on: January 06, 2020, 01:42:37 AM »
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Looking good Mike.  The GIFs are really nice - do you plan to share them with jmri?  I would think they would be well received.

How are you going to manage turnout control in places like Daggett?  Are they d/s controlled, or locally through one of these panels?  Will you have a soft panel at each control point (assuming that was a thing in your era)?

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1775 on: January 06, 2020, 10:19:56 AM »
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Yes, I was hoping to share the signal GIFs, but it's going to take a while unless I can automate the process. There are 9 possible aspects per head - dark, red, yellow, green, lunar and flashing of each color - and then we get to factor the possible permutations with multiple heads. Unfortunately JMRI isn't smart enough to address each head separately, it requires a distinct graphic for every full aspect. My goal is the UP rule book, which will entail ~60 images.

As far as turnout control for each junction, the plan is both local and DS, it'll depend on the operating session. They can coexist to a certain degree, for example in my era Colton Tower was a locally-controlled interlocking "island" in the middle of two CTC districts. Industries and yards will probably be a local panel only.

Of course all would be available to the DS, just open another window on the monitor and browse to the desired local panel. I envision a two-screen setup where one person could do both DS and "universal tower operator" - left monitor gets the whole mainline, right monitor has the local panels tiled on the screen, or split these into two operators. I've already setup and tested remote DS, so these assignments don't have to be on-site.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1776 on: January 06, 2020, 11:37:19 AM »
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Are you sure jmri can't manage each head separately?  That's how I have all my logic and graphics set up, but I may be misinterpreting your statement.  Specifically, I only define signal heads in JMRI and CATS, then let CATS manage the logic on a per-head basis.  The multi-head masts in my panels (as in, e.g., this post) are just overlays of signal-head icons with the lowest head on the top layer.  The graphics aren't nearly as nice as yours, but perfectly functional for operating sessions.

Another question: how do you configure your system for remote d/s?  I know you have a server on site.  Does your remote d/s run JMRI on their local machine, or do you have them punch into an on-site JMRI machine?

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1777 on: January 06, 2020, 12:18:24 PM »
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I'll look again. Reverse-engineering the mast aspects for at least the UP rule set found that every aspect links to a unique graphic. When you drill down into the XML, this stuff is ugly. Maybe one of the advantages CATS has is the per-head management?

The remote DS is easy-ish, and doesn't need any of the servers. What I do is temporarily free-up one of my barely-used fixed IPs, and have it NAT through the router on the JMRI network (normally closed/isolated). Point a browser to the public-side IP and you can bring up the JMRI web service via its normal port (although I can change that, too). Any panel on JMRI can be served as a web page. I'm pleasantly surprised that so far it "just works". There is some concern that the way JMRI handles web access - sending and refreshing the whole page as an image - might bog down with a full-screen DS panel.

All this on a Raspberry Pi 4. However, I was amused the other night after a round of testing that the "over-temp" icon would occasionally blip on the screen, so apparently I'm stressing things a bit. Taking the cover off the case fixed it at the time. I ought to pickup a fan case for it next time I send off an order for another Pi.

A side idea is putting-up the DS panel on the big screen TV for everyone's enjoyment during an operating session. The quandary is losing the virtual window overlooking the 1:1 operations outside. I know... a second TV!  :roll-eyes:
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 01:15:25 PM by C855B »
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1778 on: January 12, 2020, 12:47:44 PM »
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General updates, nothing worth pictures:

1) The GC&W website is updated, including a new page outlining the unusual features of the space and layout design. Nothing new, just a gathering of bullet points already discussed here.

2) Electronics for the junction at Gibbon are 44% working (4 out of 9 turnouts) with JMRI control. The circuit panel builds are going much faster now, so hopefully the entire east wall - 22 turnouts - should be fully controlled in a couple of weeks, barring running out of wire.  :facepalm:

3) Basic signal function is in place for Gibbon, but programming for realism there has become a big time sink. I need to wave-off on the perfection for the time being and concentrate on getting all the turnouts up and running so I can resume ballasting (and run trains!).

4) Ties have been severed with the museum down the street after an unfortunate change of administration. I made the mistake of telegraphing that after 10 years I was stepping down a notch to spend more time on other projects (like the layout). As a result, a cabal of $#!+-disturbers seized control at the recent annual meeting, and their designated minion has been working feverishly in the past few weeks since to erase my legacy. The museum's manager resigned as a result, we've (uh... they've) lost several volunteers, and I expect the board of directors to start bleeding members shortly. It's sad, I give the place a couple of years, tops, until the money runs out and nobody "of means" wants to get near the mess. Same thing happened about four years ago with a downtown movie theater restoration project. The city took that over if only to save the structure, but I don't anticipate a similar bailout for the museum. I knew small-town politics could get nasty, but this and an unrelated civic-participation encounter in as many months uncovered a stunning amount of venom. F 'em, time to go play with trains.

[Robyn and I have joked for years over writing a book about life in a small town, or, rather, small towns in general where in our railfanning travels we have witnessed interesting snippets of local peculiarities ranging from weird to fun to sometimes tragic. Good example was breakfast at a Tucumcari diner a decade ago, clearly the daily gathering spot for the local farmers and ranchers. Two long tables in the center of the room, all cowboy hats at one, all baseball caps at the other. Funny. Anyway, the museum, theater and an especially ugly mayoral election are getting their own chapter.]
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 12:49:16 PM by C855B »
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

CRL

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1779 on: January 12, 2020, 01:10:08 PM »
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Been there, done that & have the t-shirt to cover the scars.

jagged ben

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1780 on: January 12, 2020, 05:23:00 PM »
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I'm about 90 percent sure that what I'm gonna say here is correct.

JMRI has at least two generations of signal logic, of which signal masts are the latest.   If you're using the earlier generation Simple Signal Logic, or straight Logix or some combination thereof, then you control signal heads individually.   If you're using masts then I believe you don't.

My understanding is that CATS uses an earlier version of JMRI without the mast logic.   Has CATS been updated lately?

MRLX1020

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1781 on: January 12, 2020, 08:28:01 PM »
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Who knew a cabal of little blue haired ladies could be so heinous...

I hope they enjoy their 2/3s finished waycar.

C855B

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Re: Gibbon, Cozad & Western - "The 100th Meridian Line"
« Reply #1782 on: January 12, 2020, 09:25:03 PM »
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What's funny... know what it took for me to press the "Enough!" button? An N scale layout! Allison and I were preparing to receive a small IC-themed layout, 3'x8', to put in the southeast corner of the lobby, only awaiting coordination with the owner's son to transport (still pending). In a brief meeting with the new Fearless Leader (some here will get that reference), this layout was mentioned, and she proceeded to argue forcefully, "Impossible! It has to be 4x8! Everyone knows that plywood is 4x8. 3x8 makes no sense!" Yikes. It highlighted my decade there that nothing involving FL transacted without a fight. Lot's more to it of course, but that was the last straw.

BTW, since you're here, tomorrow I'm going to attempt to recover a couple of display objects I loaned - a G scale RS-2 (SOU green) and an unused box of Aristo 48" curves. They're yours if you want 'em. That ICG Geep on the Lionel layout is mine, too, although it is worn out and doesn't run, like the IC F replaced by the Santa Fe unit Jackson so astutely spotted.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross