Author Topic: CSX Cumberland Division  (Read 5366 times)

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Bob

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CSX Cumberland Division
« on: September 01, 2018, 08:16:38 AM »
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After many years of thinking about a layout depicting the CSX Cumberland Subdivision, starting with Harpers Ferry and having this historic town be a focal point, things have come to fruition.  I am thankful to Byron Henderson who took my many rough ideas and generated a track plan (which he described in Model Railroad Planning 2017) and to Lance Mindheim, who talked some sense in to me (making the layout a manageable single-deck extending from HF to Cherry Run, WV rather than an overwhelming double-deck version) and constructed the layout - an amazing experience for me.  The entire first level shown in Byron's plan, with some relatively minor adjustments in the Harpers Ferry area, is now completely operational. I am now working on the scenery, and first up is Maryland Heights which towers over the Potomac and that conveniently hides the helix that leads to the staging tracks. Also on the list for very early action is the 1931 double-track bridge that spans the Potomac.  Using a variety of USGS topo maps, I made a series of PowerPoint slides and projected the maps on to a full-size rendition of the Maryland Heights portion of the layout that I taped to a wall, drawing the contour lines by hand.  As each line represents an elevation change of 20 feet, I used 1.5" Styrofoam which of course is 20' in N scale.  The first photo (at least I think it will be the first - this is my first post and I may mess things up) shows Maryland Heights from the HF side of the river, likely taken from the vantage point of Hilltop House (now closed), and the second shows my first wedding-cake view of the assembled mountain.  You can see that their overall shapes are very close.  N scale is so great - I did not have to compress the scene at all, and so the overall shape of Maryland Heights is topographically accurate.   Smoothing the surface will come next, and the rock castings will be a challenge, but at least I have started.  The bridges are 90% of scale size, with the 1931 bridge clocking in at more than 6 feet in length.  Akem Scale Models produced the iconic HF tunnel portal (a mock up is in the photo), and Ngineer from Shapeways will be producing the concrete bridge piers - I was able to measure one of these last weekend when visiting HF, as one of them is next to the C&O canal towpath, and Erik produced a model plan within minutes - the final version will be posted soon as I have to make sure I have measured the needed height accurately.  I have really enjoyed following Railwire posts over the past two years, and hope to put what I have learned from the many excellent modelers who take the time to describe their efforts to good use! [ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

John

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 08:21:32 AM »
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Wow .. and welcome ..

MVW

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 04:18:59 PM »
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Wow! That's one hell of an intro. This is going to be fun!

Jim

jargonlet

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 02:58:30 AM »
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Looking forward to your progress. I’ve lived in WV my whole life. I haven’t been to Harpers Ferry since I was a child which was in the early days of CSX. However if there is any modeling WV questions you have, don’t hesitate to ask.

Point353

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 03:38:33 AM »
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After many years of thinking about a layout depicting the CSX Cumberland Subdivision, starting with Harpers Ferry and having this historic town be a focal point, things have come to fruition.


What a marvelous method for hiding a helix!

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2018, 08:11:18 AM »
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Thanks!  HF will keep me busy for quite some time, but I will follow up with you when I move further west (in layout terms, that is!).  Specific sites along the mainline run include the Duffields commuter station where MARC trains stop; Shenandoah junction; HOBBS, which is the interlocking that is at the top of the long grade from HF and that then descends to Martinsburg (helper engines were kept in Martinsburg for many years to help heavy eastbound trains make the grade); Couchman's curve, Martinsburg WV with its various industrial spurs; Pearson's yard which is just north of Martinsburg at a large GM parts plant, the low-grade line that leaves the mainline at Cumbo, and then finally the Cherry Run interlocking before the tracks disappear into the second helix that returns them to the staging area that then leads to the first helix under Maryland Heights.  What I really want to do is model the Magnolia cutoff, and Alkem Scale Models has already produced the tunnel portals for Stuart, Graham, Carothers and Randolph, but this is simply going to have to wait - I have to prove to myself that I can concentrate on scenery and make good progress before negotiating with my wife to take over another portion of the basement!

LIRR

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2018, 08:06:45 PM »
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....that’s a lot of foam....

Cajonpassfan

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 09:27:06 PM »
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....that’s a lot of foam....

That's an understatement :D
Looking forward to see progress, ought to be interesting.
Otto K.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 11:14:16 AM »
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That's quite the statement to start things off with.

I love it!!!

Can't wait to see more.

Smike

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2018, 09:14:42 PM »
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I love it, and familiar with the original track plan.  I'm glad to see part of it come to life (the best part) Such an iconic scene, and given N scale you can do it justice.

wm3798

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2018, 02:15:43 PM »
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One of my favorite places on Earth.  I would be more interested in modeling the Winchester Branch, though... more local and some thru traffic, and the single track branch line ethos appeals more to my sensibilities.  And if I was modeling to Cherry Run, I'd come down the other side of the river from Hagerstown... ;)

Is it possible to post the track plan?  I'm interested in how you're handling the traffic flow.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 11:16:16 AM »
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Hi Lee,

I'll post the track plan this weekend.  Yes, I thought about the Winchester branch - I think it is really interesting and would be an incredible line to model for those who really like switching opportunities.  But at the end of the day I decided I liked mainline line running to a greater extent, and I just love Harpers Ferry and the Magnolia cutoff!  The Lurgan subdivision that you noted is just represented on the track plan - at some point in the future I would like to see if I can make this operational to generate traffic.  Anyway, I'll get the track plan up, and then post something about how I am approaching the 1931 bridge - the first custom 3D-printed bridge piers from Ngineer are enroute.

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 11:35:38 AM »
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Here is the track plan, but first a question: when I add to the post, do I click on 'Reply', or do I do something else?  I'm still a novice!  I've identified the major scenic elements on the trackplan; my efforts will be focused for quite some time on Maryland Heights and the 1931 bridge, and I hope to have something up on the bridges within the week. [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

Bob

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2018, 11:40:25 AM »
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I should reiterate that this is the plan developed by Byron Henderson and then modified a bit by Lance Mindheim, as they each worked to bring what I had been thinking about for many years to reality.  I would have made a hash of this, and then would have had to re-design and re-build things going through the iterative process most modelers experience. With Byron and Lance, I was able to jump-start the process, and I am grateful to them.  I am really going to enjoy putting the scenery in place, including the famous, albeit faded. "Mennen's Borated Talcum Toilet Powder' sign on Maryland Heights.

Erik aka Ngineer

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Re: CSX Cumberland Division
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 03:01:01 AM »
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What an awesome layout! I'm proud to play a small role in it... Keep us updated with lots of pictures. Don't be embarassed by non-finished parts or non-prototype things. Just enjoy the ride ;)

Here is the track plan, but first a question: when I add to the post, do I click on 'Reply', or do I do something else?  I'm still a novice!  I've identified the major scenic elements on the trackplan; my efforts will be focused for quite some time on Maryland Heights and the 1931 bridge, and I hope to have something up on the bridges within the week. (Attachment Link)
Yep, just hit reply