Author Topic: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975  (Read 12420 times)

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #90 on: February 20, 2022, 02:23:39 PM »
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The Southern moved its shops to Sheffield when they outgrew downtown Tuscumbia. These facilities were in existance to the early 70s. How much for how long I am not positive but early 70s aerials show some buildings remaining. My grandfather used to tell me about the shops when I was 8ish but that was 1980 and they were gone by then. And now as a teacher I understand why I had a hard time understanding what he was saying to me. I didn’t know what railroad shops were and could not make a connection between what he was saying and what I could picture in my head. He was born around 1920 so he could remember those shops in their heyday. We used to pick up spikes in the field where they were. According to my grandfather, they made good fertilizer. I am going to model some buildings in significant disrepair  with some empty foundations. The carshops lasted the longest with old cars being stored there in the aerials I have of the area. Some Walthers buildings are being significantly modified to work here. Half of a Vulcan manufacturing goes into the backdrop. A Union Crane and Shovel gets stretched for the car shop and various leftovers and other odds and ends will fill out the rest. I have no pics of the place from street level. Only aerials.

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #91 on: May 31, 2022, 12:22:55 PM »
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The layout still exists but teaching and soccer(both watching and coaching) and now swimming soak up the time. But things do progress here and there. I put in some UP5 panels and proved that I can still crimp connectors on the wireing I installed to be the locobus. So that will eventually work out. Ran the buss to the new location of the JMRI laptop in the workshp area. Built a temporary stand with shelves for the spray booth. Installed a monitor on a swingarm over the workbench. Probably end up getting some old camera system to plug into the network to be able to watch trains run from the workbench. Just something else to do, right? Cleaned out my long term storage area and sorted and bagged all my horded wire. Ran trains for my mom when she came to visit. While I was telling her about the layout she recorded me for her own enjoyment and to be able to watch at her leisure. She actually knows all of the points on the railroad and recognized a couple of the mock ups. Which was cool.

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2022, 04:49:26 PM »
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Sheffield Steel is a rail served large fabrication business in Sheffield AL in 1975. Today it is a fenced in empty lot. Thanks to google street view I have some idea of what existed there. This will be a large scene with one building that will be open on the aisle side. I believe it to be their warehouse. I am sketching out plans with some compression(even in N scale this would be a huge facility.

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #93 on: July 15, 2022, 04:52:32 PM »
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Some 2008 google street views. [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #94 on: July 15, 2022, 04:56:28 PM »
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Sketched plans. Top is an overhead, bottom is a side view. [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #95 on: July 15, 2022, 05:07:49 PM »
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The building is completely corrugated metal. Surprise for a steel company, right? The windows will be fun to do but I believe I can find some commercially. Sheet styrene(and lots of it) for walls. I beams and such from plastruct for the crane and the cutaway building supports. Garage doors from multiple places. The only thing I am wondering about is what looks like a tall covering structure that starts over the crane building and stretches down toward the right. It covers the bay doors out to the rail line. This would make some sense as it would protect the loading of materials from those bay doors to the rail cars. What types of materials? I can only guess. Scrap? Finished product? Or is the whole thing a figment of weird lighting on fairly low res aerial pics. I dont know but it certainly looks like something is there. [ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #96 on: July 16, 2022, 01:24:48 PM »
+2
A little work with some reclaimed styrene and we have a stand in for the overhead crane that looks ok size wise. Definitely wont get as much of the “warehouse” in as I thought. But it will be a neat scene when finished.
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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #97 on: July 21, 2022, 09:37:58 AM »
+2
The end of the peninsula area where th-e track turns nearly 180 degrees to return back down the other side of the peninsula has been a continuing source of dissonance for my since it was originally laid out. In running some trains it became obvious that some level of change was going to be required. It has already been changed majorly once since it was originally laid out. The original plan was this,

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It is very representative of the actual railroad. Unfortunately the actual railroad is used by 90 car trains. My model railroad is set up for 22 car trains. When I hooked up the shoo fly and started running some design length trains the spacing between Flexco on the end of the peninsula and Sheffield became readily apparent to be too much. It also became apparent that there was going to be a need for trains to get from one main to the other in Sheffield that could not be in downtown Sheffield like the prototype. So I added a double crossover on the long wall between the station and downtown that allows for design length trains to get around each other. It also sets up the fictional passenger operations I will have going on. In reality passenger operations ended in Sheffield in 1969. But the prime directive states “It’s my railroad and I can do what I want”. So passenger ops will continue here in 1975. In a nutshell when Amtrak took over passenger travel they kept 4 East to West passenger routes in the US. Boston to NYC water level route to Chicago and up into the Dakotas over to Seattle. Next is DC to Pittsburgh to Columbus, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Denver to  San Francisco. Next one is where Georgia and Alabama got left out with the line running from Raleigh to Salisbury(near Charlotte)to Asheville Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Dallas, Albuquerque, Vegas, LA. Last trans con was Jacksonville, Pensicola, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, San Diego. Since the Tennessee lobbyists obviously paid someone off the Southern decided to run its own trains from Savannah to Macon, to Atlanta, to B’ham, to Sheffield and on to Memphis to connect the the national system. Back to why a crossover in Sheffield now. Both west and Eastbound passenger trains want to be on the track close to the station so being able to change right before the station and have any eastbound freights that wander by be able to clear the waiting passenger train is useful. Now we have more capability for train movement with our design length trains in Sheffield but back out on the peninsula we are still kind of off.
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 I initially move Flexco from the end of the 180 blob to mid way on the left(looking from door) of the peninsula. It takes away the ability to model the building. It shortens the spur to the industry. Keeps the number of tracks and on the correct side of the railroad and with the turnout oriented the correct way. Now the long boring stretch moves from the west side of Flexco to the east side. Go back to our aerial views. is there anything else out there to model. I found another industry along the line that in older aerials has a rail line to it. I decide to include this industry  in the original Flexco spot.
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Run more trains. It still doesn’t feel right and the turnout for the new industry is on the 180 curve and is really making things unhappy. Take everything up again and move Flexco to the end of the left side of the peninsula. Route the main to the inside.
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It makes for better looks, gives me the ability to model a building for Flexco, lengthens the siding which is prototypical, and has where an operator will be coupling and uncoupling cars closer to the aisle. Now on the flip side it forces a tighter main line curve. I place the tightest part at a cut where there are a lot of trees and the operator will be moving around the end of the peninsula to get to the other side. So that helps with the visual issue at the low radius spot. I am running a number of 89ft cars through there to make sure everything is copacetic. There will definitely have to be care taken with the cars next to the long ones just like in real life. In my times TOFC was added to the end of the regular freights. This will aid in the tight turn issue as well. Now we get on around the curve and the new industry, called Robbins, will be on the far side of the tracks in the corner with the turnout in a nice place.
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Just have to watch the reach to where the cars will be spotted as they will be on the back side of the building. Since I know nothing of this place it will receive and ship in strings of boxcars that will be moved as cuts to keep the reach down. I have complete this last realignment and am running trains again to test how well things will work.
 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2022, 11:31:31 AM by Specter3 »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #98 on: July 21, 2022, 12:41:54 PM »
+1
I see you are a sharpie scenery planner too!

Do yourself a favor. If you have rough land forms figured out, CARVE THEM NOW before everything gets glued down. It's a LOT easier to cut reverse slopes when you can actually pick up the pieces.

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #99 on: July 21, 2022, 03:01:34 PM »
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Thanks Ed. Yup, the sharpie is your friend. Until you change it for about the third time. And then you are sliding paper under everything to reset your canvas. Nothing is secure on this layout yet. Track is held down by gravity and small loops of stiff wire pressed into the foam. THe foam is just sitting on the benchwork. Now some areas are finally reaching what I am thinking will be their final arrangements so that will be changing in the near future. One of my excuses I keep repeating to myself is that the longer I draw this out the more common(and less expensive) signaling electronics and related items are going to become. Of course that gets upended by the whole inflation and supply issue but that is material for a whole separate forum. Thanks for looking!

Ryan

MDW

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #100 on: July 21, 2022, 05:52:33 PM »
+1
Thanks Ed. Yup, the sharpie is your friend. Until you change it for about the third time. And then you are sliding paper under everything to reset your canvas.

That’s why I always have blue & red pens ready for the 3rd, 4th & 5th iterations!
Making great progress.

Michel

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #101 on: July 22, 2022, 09:05:13 AM »
+2
So here is my first attempt at a layout video. Hopefully I will get better at this.

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Ryan

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #102 on: July 29, 2022, 12:33:45 PM »
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With great thanks to my Mom for a wonderful 50th birthday gift I present an update on the Memphis Division 1975ish.

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As I mention in the video I am seriously, and at this point pretty much have decided to forgo the sceniced mid deck and leave this as a single decked railroad with a helix to staging. As the thoughts have gone on I have now figured out a couple of changes I can make to increase operational interest on the single deck along with a potential lower deck branch that would run on the already completed outside wall lower shelves. This part would definitely be a third phase of construction.

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Live L&N and TVA interchange now a possibility.

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Thanks!

Ryan

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #103 on: August 14, 2022, 08:18:21 PM »
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So….I have significantly curtailed the scope of my railroad. For the most part I have deleted the sceniced mid deck representing the line south from NorAla junction to Haleyville with staging representing south of there to Birmingham, AL. The helix will be remarkably simpler than what I was having to plan to have the operations I wanted. After operating the upper deck in pieces I have realized that there is plenty to do with the single deck. A double track helix will give me enough capacity to run the through trains necessary. There will be plenty of staging(I know, is it really possible?). Two things kind of present themselves now that the switch has been made. One is the deck leading to the Eastbound helix entrance. If I widen it I can have a live interchange with the L&N and TVA reservation over in Sheffield. It can go through the backdrop into the corner and have a two track hidden staging that would run along the wall towards the helix entrance. It could actually attach to the helix nd be able to be served by actual trains from staging. But that might be overkill, but the helix is right there… The second thing is that if there ends up being not enough to do, the already constructed lower deck on the outside walls could be linked to staging and run as the spur up to the Alcoa plant in Sheffield. Lots of potential there for multiple switch jobs  for the industries on that line. You can check out the video of that line in the above post.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 08:24:17 PM by Specter3 »

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #104 on: August 14, 2022, 08:27:13 PM »
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