Author Topic: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak  (Read 5452 times)

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wm3798

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Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« on: March 16, 2019, 09:58:34 PM »
+4
I was headed down a completely different path for this challenge, when @Ed Kapuscinski pointed out that I have a good subject matter right at my fingertips.

If you've been following my work, you'll know there hasn't been much of it for a long time.  My old Western Maryland layout was dismantled 6 years ago, and everything was packed up or packed off to new homes.

One of the last things I worked on for that project was a scratchbuilt model of the Western Maryland Railway station in Cumberland, Maryland.



After a number of years packed away in a box, I started building my current retro layout using track and equipment my cousin dropped off to me.  It gave the station a place to be, although I still wasn't sure, since the model wasn't in keeping with the retro theme... 



But that project also accomplished something else...  it reopened my eyes to the simple joys of just running a train around in circles.  That's what led me to come up with the idea of a Ttrak Module Challenge.

Initially, I wanted to build a couple of boxes to work into Ed's Ma&Pa concept, but that conversation with Ed brought me back to Cumberland.

Here's the satellite view of the area.



At one point I toyed with the idea of building out  this scene on a series of N trak or FreemoN modules, but there isn't really a club that operates near me.  I also don't have room to store a series of larger modules, so that idea died on the vine.

But Ttrak opens up some better opportunities.  A double module is only 24.25" inches wide, so I can "store" the station module on a shelf in my office.  Since a bunch of Railwire asshats get together on a reasonably regular basis, and several of us already have Ttrak rigs, and the small modules are reasonaby portable, well... I can throw this stuff in the car, go drink a beer and kibitz, and enjoy watching trains run loops.
I had a delightful day in the garage today, building two double Ttrak module frames to represent the area from the highway bridge, past the station to the steel beam bridge across Wills Creek.  Since I had already built the major elements for my old layout... the highway bridge, the station and the beam bridge, all I had to do was rework them to fit in the new format.  I started with one double module, but that wasn't big enough to get the spacing I wanted.



So two doubles became the core of the project.



Upon laying out the basic positioning of the elements, I also discovered, by happy accident, that 7 years ago, I built the steel beam bridge to exact Ttrak spec, with the tracks exactly 33 mm apart on center...



Anyway, I made good progress, getting the boxes built and ready to begin trackwork and detailing.  Here's where I am at this point.



This is going to be fun.  I just have to be careful not start building every inch of the beloved Western Maryland... on module at a time...

Lee
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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 05:11:17 PM »
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Nice! I like the different elevations. And the station, of course.
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wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 03:31:26 PM »
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Just got the email that my track package has shipped...  Very excite!! :D
Rho is going to be out of town most of next week on business... this could go pretty quickly!

Lee
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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 03:55:56 PM »
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Just got the email that my track package has shipped...  Very excite!! :D
Rho is going to be out of town most of next week on business... this could go pretty quickly!

Lee

Hope it goes faster than mine is going.  I haven't been in the train room to build anything or even run a train for two or three weeks!  :facepalm:

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 04:37:13 PM »
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That prototype photo makes me believe this will be one of the most interesting T-Track modules I have seen. Having the centerpiece done is a bonus. Looks very promising, following with interest!
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wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 09:42:16 PM »
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Speaking of prototype images, here's a couple of shots of the area that I'll be working to emulate.

For the station, here is a shot by my friend Jack Brown, taken back in the 80s just as the tourist railroad took it over.



And here's a closer view of the beam bridge.



And a good view of the model that I'm re-using when it was installed on the old layout.



While it's nice that the major components are built, there's a ton of details to work on, from fixing some minor damage to the station during storage, changing the rail on the beam bridge, and reconfiguring the highway bridge for its new venue, to building the flood wall and stream bed, platforms, and of course, the busy city scape behind the station.  I also have to finish detailing the boxes themselves with leveling screws and a few more framing bits to solidify them.

Lee
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 09:58:56 PM by wm3798 »
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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 10:14:25 PM »
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I went train chasing with my father-in-law (yeah, I know, my wife comes from a railfan family too!) at Cumberland some years back and it's just such a cool place.  I can't wait to see this come together.  The beam bridge and depot already make the scene.
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wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 11:04:19 PM »
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Found a shot of the underside of the bridge...  Just how pedantic will I get with this project?  Hmmm.



And how about that bridge pier...



...to say nothing of the collection of goons standing under it...

Lee
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wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 03:42:59 PM »
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Track arrived today...  Racing through the work I must do to allow myself some play time this evening.

Rudimentary test fitting tells me I've got all the box dimensions just right!

Question for you T trackers... I've got a subroadbed of 1/4" luaun plywood... I'm planning to drill out the pin holes in the unitrak and secure it with those little Atlas track nails for a secure mechanical connection, and some construction adhesive, or perhaps yellow wood glue to get a good chemical bond.  Any recommendations of something better?

I figure I'm going to be dolling up the track with paint and ballast, so the nail heads will disappear fairly quickly, but I don't want the pins to have to go it alone given the need to tote these boxes all over creation for the foreseeable future.

All the Best
Lee
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wm3798

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 12:21:28 AM »
+4
Made some progress on the beam bridge tonight.  Track one is installed and glued in place, track two is aligned but not yet glued.  Both are wired. 
I figure the station module will be easy, since it's just straight up track, so I tackled this one first
.

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 12:00:16 PM »
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Track arrived today...  Racing through the work I must do to allow myself some play time this evening.

Rudimentary test fitting tells me I've got all the box dimensions just right!

Question for you T trackers... I've got a subroadbed of 1/4" luaun plywood... I'm planning to drill out the pin holes in the unitrak and secure it with those little Atlas track nails for a secure mechanical connection, and some construction adhesive, or perhaps yellow wood glue to get a good chemical bond.  Any recommendations of something better?

I figure I'm going to be dolling up the track with paint and ballast, so the nail heads will disappear fairly quickly, but I don't want the pins to have to go it alone given the need to tote these boxes all over creation for the foreseeable future.

All the Best
Lee

I go from the underside so there's no screw/nail heads to hide...

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 04:15:09 PM »
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I go from the underside so there's no screw/nail heads to hide...

Jeff

Ding, ding, ding!  This.

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 04:39:22 PM »
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Me, I'd just glue the track down with thick CA. I do it all the time with Unitrack--works like a charm.
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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 04:41:27 PM »
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Me, I'd just glue the track down with thick CA. I do it all the time with Kato Unitrack.

I'm sure that works fine, but with the beating that a portable T-TRAK module will likely take, especially repeatedly connecting and disconnecting the track between modules, I prefer overkill.

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Re: Challenge #3: Cumberland Station TTrak
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2019, 04:59:20 PM »
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I'm sure that works fine, but with the beating that a portable T-TRAK module will likely take, especially repeatedly connecting and disconnecting the track between modules, I prefer overkill.

Actually, when I've removed track I've glued down, it requires a lot of effort, and if the track isn't ruined, it often takes some of the wood that it's glued to with it. Consider: the bond runs 100% the length of the track, making it stronger than nails or screws. Plus, it's usually (re)ballasted, which adds even more strength.

 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 05:15:18 PM by David K. Smith »
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