Author Topic: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford Creek crossing.  (Read 7621 times)

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craigolio1

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Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford Creek crossing.
« on: November 29, 2019, 06:34:31 PM »
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Hey all.

I’ve resigned to the reality that a basement empire isn’t going to happen. So with the encouragement of some friends I’ve decided to build some modules. I’ve been modelling in N scale for almost 20 years. It’s about time I try a small piece of an actual layout! 

Here goes. This is the beginning of my version of the Gluelam span crossing the Rutherford Creek  at MP 89.9 of BC Rail’s Squamish Subdivision. It’s a small 18” x 24” Free-mo-N module.

My goal is to depict this location on the former BC Rail mainline around about 1987:



What’s always drawn me to this location is the cool looking glacial melt river and the type of bridge. This crossing of the Rutherford Creek has a storied past with several washouts.

In this time period, the original steel span, about 80ft long, was washed away and replaced with a 101ft glue-lam span made of four laminated wood I beams. One end rests on the original concrete abutment from the 1930’s, and the other end (that was washed out and subsequently created the longer river crossing) was held up with a crib of dimensional lumber sitting atop a reinforced concrete retaining wall. There is so much going here engineering wise that I knew I had to model it at some point. Free-mo-N is perfect for this kind of thing.

I was fortunate enough to find plans for the bridge on a CD filled with such things that I purchased on eBay.

My bridge is made of four beams as well. All four started with cherry wood paint sticks from Home Hardware that I painstakingly shaved down on my 10” table saw. As we all know, a table saw is not exactly a precision modelling instrument It took a few attempts to get uniform pieces that matched the measurements I wanted.

To model the laminated beams I used the smallest scale strip wood I could find which turned out to be HO scale 1X2. All pieces were stained individually before being laminated row by row to the paint stick beams that would face the outside edges. Surfaces inside the bridge we stained but no strip wood was added. The bottom chord of the beams are HO scale 2X6. The bridge was assembled and finally nut bolt washer castings were painted and individually drilled and applied per photo references. 160 of them.







With the main bridge span complete it was time to move on to the wooden cribs at each end. At the original end of the span, the bridge rests on a simple box crib. Where as, at the washed out end it rests on a magnificent structure made of massive 12” x 12” timbers. Both ends of my model were made form appropriate scale sized lumber, stained prior to assembly and the assembled per drawings.





The next step was to build the module itself. I made a wooden frame from plywood and filled it with blue foam which i carved out to make what I think is a close approximation of the river at that time. The drawings on the CD include a profile of the river bottom under that bridge so I made a cardboard template and started with that. The rest of the river uses a bit of modellers license and will be further contoured based on photos for reference once I have the final bridge placement locked in.







On that note, I now needed some concrete abutments to hold up the ends of the bridges. With those, I’ll finally be able to figure out exactly where the river’s shore line will be.

For the abutments I thought about various methods of construction. The prototype were poured concrete and in photos I can see form lines so I wanted to replicate that on my models. I decided to cast them in plaster. Combining measurements from my module, my bridge, company drawings, and reference photos, I made my own plans to build forms from styrene. I wanted to create realistic forming seams so instead of scribing lines on the completed models, I carefully laid out scale sized 4’x8’ sheets of .005” styrene inside the surfaces of my moulds to simulate plywood built forms.









I’m really pleased with the effect. The only thing is that I got an itchy trigger finger and removed my forms while the casting was will green so some smaller bits broke off. I glued them back on with CA and will fill some other blemishes, and now I have realistic cracks.

The second abutment is poured and I’ll let it rest for a few days before removing it from the forms. The next step is to put all of the  pieces of the bridge in the river bed and cut away more of the shore to create the profile I’m after.

Thanks for looking.

Craig.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 02:30:03 PM by craigolio1 »

CNR5529

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2019, 07:13:31 PM »
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Was wondering when you would start a build thread for this... Great work as always!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 07:21:50 PM by CNR5529 »
Because why not...

Scottl

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2019, 08:17:13 PM »
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Awesome.  This will be a great module

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2019, 08:36:19 PM »
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Love it. Very railroady. Simple everyday stuff done well.
Looking forward to your progress.
Otto K.

craigolio1

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 08:04:48 AM »
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Thanks guys. @BCR 570 has provided me with a few photos he took of the bridge in the time period I’m modelling which add some up to now amazing unknown detail, including the old washed out steel bridge laying in the dirt where they pulled it out of the river, and some additional concrete abutment upgrades. I’m really looking forward to adding those details, especially the scrapped bridge.

One additional detail that I’ve discovered is that’s wing wall broke on the prototype in exactly the same spot I broke the second one I cast, when I removed it from the form last night. So I’m on my way to a very protypical model in that respect. It looks like that damage is the reason for the additional concrete upgrades in the new pics I received.

The research on a project like this is like a detective game.

@Scottl , you know I have a thing for bridges. Just one more I can model now!!


Scottl

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 09:16:57 AM »
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@craigolio1 , bridges are an addiction  :D

Big Train

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 10:48:12 AM »
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 I like the attention to detail for the cribbing and abutments and if that is an indication of the level of detail for the module it should be spectacular when completed. It kind of proves my thinking that it doesn't have to be huge to be good. There is plenty of room for smaller diorama types of modules in FreeMoN as well.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2019, 01:49:25 PM »
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Very nice!  I especially like the plywood form technique.  (Great prototype too.)

craigolio1

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 02:29:22 PM »
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Thanks guys.

I am concerned about the scenery aspect. I can build models. Been working on those skills forever. But I have never even once spread earth, made a tree, planted a shrub. Nothing. I’m concerned that all of this effort and at the end it will look like a kids train-set. But, I know you guys will help and with the level of skill here I know I can persevere.

With the abutments done I was able to terraform the rest of the foam. Here is pretty much how it will look with exception of a hill that I need to add in one corner.









craigolio1

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2019, 02:56:03 PM »
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Very nice!  I especially like the plywood form technique.  (Great prototype too.)

Thank you. I’m super pleased with how it turned out. The lines are 3D and very random in their thickness, just like on the prototype. I think they’ll really pop once painted and weathered. If it matters for information sake I’m using Durabond 90 powdered drywall compound.


mark dance

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford River crossing.
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 03:37:20 PM »
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@craigolio1 , bridges are an addiction  :D

Oh Yeah...what he said.   :)

And don't worry 'bout the scenery...it is the easiest part.  Just keep working it 'til you get what you want.

md
Youtube Videos of the N Scale Columbia & Western at: markdance63
Photos and track plan of of the N Scale Columbia & Western at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27907618@N02/sets/72157624106602402/

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford Creek crossing.
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 05:13:11 PM »
+1
Only issue I see you might run into are those empty gaps with exposed module framing, in the river bed area. They (and the rest of the river bed) will need to filled and sealed, tight, before adding any type of “water”. The liquid acrylics and epoxies typically used find any  and every path to leak through.

Scenery itself is relatively easy (I was deathly afraid of doing it, too, when I first started). Check into using plaster cloth or Sculptamold. Practice, first, using some scrap foam to create a mini landscape.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

craigolio1

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford Creek crossing.
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2019, 07:51:29 PM »
+1
Only issue I see you might run into are those empty gaps with exposed module framing, in the river bed area. They (and the rest of the river bed) will need to filled and sealed, tight, before adding any type of “water”. The liquid acrylics and epoxies typically used find any  and every path to leak through.

Scenery itself is relatively easy (I was deathly afraid of doing it, too, when I first started). Check into using plaster cloth or Sculptamold. Practice, first, using some scrap foam to create a mini landscape.

Yes as you can see i misjudged the river bed location when I framed. It will all be filled in and sealed.

Mark W

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford Creek crossing.
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2019, 09:10:23 PM »
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If your bridge work is any indication, you'll be the one giving all of us the scenery tips soon!
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craigolio1

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Re: Free-mo-N. BC Rail Rutherford Creek crossing.
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2019, 10:05:46 PM »
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If your bridge work is any indication, you'll be the one giving all of us the scenery tips soon!

Ha! That’s very kind of you. We’ll see how it goes. There’s some pretty humbling modellers here. Have you seen the pine tree thread!?  Man oh man. I need some of those for this module.