Author Topic: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad  (Read 45835 times)

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DKS

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The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« on: March 20, 2020, 05:53:23 PM »
+18
As has been noted elsewhere, I'm at the effect of end stage congestive heart failure, and while my prognosis is in flux at present, it doesn't appear as though I'll have enough time to do justice to the Black River & Western. So, that project has been abandoned in favor of one last portable (seemingly my "specialty") that I ought to be able to bring close to completion.

The WR&N VIII is set in New Hampshire in the late 1940s/early 1950s. It measures 2 x 4 feet, with a minimum radius of 8.5" and a maximum grade of <4%. Track is Rail Craft Code 40 and Micro Engineering Code 55, with custom handlaid Code 40 turnouts and Micro Engineering Code 55 turnouts. Control is a homemade PWM throttle, and "benchwork" is 1/2-inch Gatorfoam.



Planning started with a quick pencil sketch (above), which was then transcribed into AnyRail for proper track geometry rendering (below). It's a simple point-to-point for the most visual drama with the least crowding. I tried my best to provide continuous running, but it just created too many visual compromises. Note, too that the final rendering is flipped from the original sketch because of the way the Shay faces.



This layout is returning me to a very early place—much earlier in fact than the Black River & Western. Since the age of four, I'd spent nearly twenty summers (and loads of other vacations) in New Hampshire, and setting the layout squarely in that locale has removed me from classic Northeastern urban industrial—my modeling "home" for many decades—and taken me back to my childhood. While I've remained intimate with the locale, I still had to research the visual language of New England railroads in the 1940s/1950s. Consequently there have been many changes to the layout since its inception around 11 March 2020: it's now rooted a little more in reality, rather than just a fantasy fling as I'd originally planned, which may make it more satisfying to build.

But this will also be my final layout, adding a whole host of layers to its raison d'être. Will it be my "best?" No, far from it. Nor would I have expected it to be. It's simply my last artistic expression in a hobby I've enjoyed almost as long as I've been breathing. That said, I'm trying out some relatively new things, such as a point-to-point plan and Code 40 track.

As I developed the track plan over the course of a week or so, I couldn't help but invent stories in the back of my mind to justify all of the goofy things I was modeling. So, here's my fake history of the last White River & Northern:



Sometime in the early- to mid-1800s, as was popular in that era, a mineral spring resort popped up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Developed by James D. Kingsley, the Bearcamp Springs Resort was a little unusual in that a train, running on part of an abandoned granite quarry branchline, ferried vacationers to and from the nearby town of Augustine, where Kingsley's new White River & Northern Railroad met the Boston, Concord, Montreal and White Mountains (later the Boston & Maine).



By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the resort had fallen on hard times, and the abandoned railroad was purchased by Stephen "Stephy" A. Greene, who established a brewing company in a failed furniture factory at the WR&N Augustine yard. The railroad sat idle until Prohibition, when Mr. Greene put his investment to full use selling mineral spring water and other tonics as a means to help keep his business alive, using the railroad to haul it down from the mountains to his brewery for bottling.



Once Prohibition was lifted, business resumed as before, with the added twist of using the spring water for the brewing process, which improved the flavor and provided a marketing advantage—and also kept the railroad running. As of the 1950s, Greene's grandson, Stephen III, was the owner of the brewery, and was planning to re-open the resort, using a steam train ride as part of the attraction... bringing us to the "present."

Many of the structures are being recycled from a prior unfinished layout (the Greystone & Rock Bottom).



1. Bearcamp Spring
2. Bearcamp Station
3. Bearcamp Springs Resort (abandoned)
4. Tanna Hill Grist Mill
5. Trestle
6. Riverside Homes
7. Cody's General Store
8. Haber Lumber, Coal & Grain
9. Augustine Station
10. Yard Office
11. Enginehouse
12. Oil
13. Water
14. Sand
15. Augustine Freight
16. Stephen A. Greene Brewery
17. Spano's Mobil Station
18. Schmuck Fuel Oil
19. Crossing Shanty
20. Lineside Shack

At this point in time, I have the Gatorfoam ready to start the base, all of the required track, and several structures under construction.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:22:46 AM by DKS »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

MK

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 06:00:57 PM »
+1
Good to see you back on the horse again DKS!  Bravo!

DKS

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 06:45:26 PM »
+5
Got tracklaying well under way today. The nail-biting was over in a few hours after I completed two of three Code 40-to-Code 55 transitions and got my first custom Code 40 turnout installed. (The two bright squares at the lower far right comprise a homemade uncoupler.)



Soon I had the third (and last) 40-to-55 transition done, and my second Code 40 turnout installed. It should be relatively smooth sailing from here.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:23:03 AM by DKS »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Chris333

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 06:48:56 PM »
0
Running trains by Sunday!   :P

Given the history of the railroad. I'd guess the era could be varied?

DKS

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 06:55:37 PM »
+1
Given the history of the railroad. I'd guess the era could be varied?

Not hugely; I'm focusing on 1940s-1950s. No particular reason other than I like the vehicles then.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

DKS

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2020, 07:48:46 AM »
+2
Running trains by Sunday!   :P

Quite possibly. By 7:30 AM this morning, all of the track is laid (save for the trestle). I still need to drop a bunch of track feeders.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:23:18 AM by DKS »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

DKS

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2020, 11:56:51 AM »
+3
Almost lunchtime and the wiring is done (except for the frogs).

« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:52:27 AM by DKS »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

wm3798

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2020, 01:24:11 PM »
+3
Please sign the original track plan sketch and send it to me that it might be framed and displayed above my layout.

You know, if you want to.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

MK

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2020, 01:31:10 PM »
0
Highest bidder!   :D

narrowminded

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2020, 02:39:05 PM »
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Almost lunchtime and the wiring is done (except for the frogs).


Am I seeing correctly that the "bus" is a few pieces of rail drops (or brass bar?) with feeders soldered to them?  That's pretty clever. 8)  Easy install and easily modified.  Stable location, easy to trace, no need to worry about insulation, always soldered joints, compact...  Solid method, coming and going.   :)
Mark G.

DKS

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2020, 03:25:33 PM »
+8
Am I seeing correctly that the "bus" is a few pieces of rail drops (or brass bar?) with feeders soldered to them?  That's pretty clever. 8)  Easy install and easily modified.  Stable location, easy to trace, no need to worry about insulation, always soldered joints, compact...  Solid method, coming and going.   :)

Close... they're strips of PC board glued right to the base.

Now here is a turnout control: it comprises a brass tube to which a piece of spring steel wire is soldered; the wire protrudes up through the layout base and into a hole in the throwbar. The brass tube is held in place on the base with a pair of guides made from square styrene stock bonded to mounting plates. Finally, a micro-miniature SPDT toggle switch mounted to the base engages a slot ground in the side of the brass tube to hold it in one position or the other, and also route power to the frog. Eventually I'll attach some sort of knob to the end of the brass tube.





« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:23:33 AM by DKS »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

narrowminded

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2020, 04:19:57 PM »
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Cleverness abounds! 8)  The modelling community's accolades are not the results of an anointing. ;) :D
Mark G.

DKS

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2020, 05:34:55 PM »
+2
Thanks! I finished 7 out of the 8 controls. The last one can't be done until the roadbed is installed on the base with risers.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 06:23:44 AM by DKS »
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

peteski

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2020, 05:41:55 PM »
+1
Cleverness abounds! 8)  The modelling community's accolades are not the results of an anointing. ;) :D

I'll be watching the construction progress here with baited breath.  :D

Like DKS, I have been using PC board material for junction block for quite some time.  It is very handy.  Here is an example showing several such blocks on my carnival module. Some are also used for holding small electronic components.

. . . 42 . . .

Chris333

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Re: The Very Last White River and Northern Railroad
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2020, 11:19:01 PM »
+1
Wondering if there is anything you might need to finish the layout? Perhaps one of us has it laying around.