Author Topic: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975  (Read 6928 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

MDW

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Respect: +44
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2020, 08:32:18 AM »
0
Cool - Making great progress.
What’s up next?

Michel

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2020, 09:08:12 PM »
+1
Staging level covered. Drawing out the tracks for staging and contemplating the operations I want to do and how I want the trains to be organized. With three tracks coming down the helix it will be interesting. On the wall shelf there is space for 8 tracks. The Birmingham lead will get two, and Sheffield and Memphis will get three. In my head I am calling these arrival and departure tracks. One track for each will be the through track that will go around the blob and connect to the other end. Memphis and Birmingham will connect for continuous running. Sheffield yard will run around to itself for sure with potential to connect to either Bham or Memphis. There is room for about 15 tracks in the yard portion. They will all be plenty long for the 8ft planned train length. With the arrival and departure tracks I should have staging for about 17 trains. Double park the shorter locals and in my head that should give me plenty of space. I will probably drag out some locos and cabeese to stage some pretend trains and run them out. At a friends he had a point to point with 8-9 tracks at either end and each train simply exchanged tracks with the train headed the other way. With an operating session going  probably having 4 through trains and 1 local on the layout at any time would probably be about the normal load. 7 would require some slim operators. I am going to use code 80 in staging. And it isn’t available anywhere I can find at the moment. Well I still have to get the floor in so track will be something I am keeping an eye out for. Now turnouts are another story. I liked Peco in my Ntrak modules for the easy manual throw. In staging that wont be easily possible so some sort of machine will be needed. So if one is using code 80 and either electric or manual remote(blue points?) which turnout do you use?


Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2020, 12:53:13 PM »
0
I put up the upper deck around the outside of the room. I teach and with our 2nd collision with covid about to happen progress on big things will slow mightily. So playing with the upper deck structures bridges and the top lighting valence will be the primary modeling for a while.
[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

Swapped the door around to open out and started playing with how I am going to cross that gap. Swing bridge with FreemoN style ends is up first. 
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ]

MDW

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Respect: +44
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2020, 12:41:49 AM »
0
Looking good!
You can use Peco turnouts in staging, remove the spring, and add the motor of your choice.   

Michel

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2020, 01:17:40 PM »
0
Michael

That is the plan at the moment. I have a lot of reclaimed Peco turnouts from my Ntrak days. Also Peco seems to be available whereas Atlas does not.

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2020, 04:53:36 PM »
+1
So with some recycled foam down on the top level temporarily I rolled out the 1:1 paper plans and started to have a look at how the elements I drew would actually sit on the layout and how they would mesh with each other. For what I have up there are three scenes that I want to have in there and replicate them pretty faithfully. Top on the list is the crossing at Old Memphis Pike west of Tuscumbia. This is where I spent a ton of time either in or sitting on the hood of my grandfathers car watching trains. Next is the station in Sheffield. Never active when I was there(last passenger train was 67 or 69) it was a great place to watch trains go by and listen to my grandfather tell me about the shops that used to exist just the other side of the tracks. Dating back to the days of steam it had a full roundhouse, car shops, and loco servicing. By 71 there were only two buildings left, the car shop building and one of the backshop buildings. In the next aerial I have in 78 its all gone. I am going to model the car shops serving their last days with that backshop building being torn down in progress. Pulled up track, rotten wooden boxcars, maybe a HW wood car on the ground. The new Sheffield hump yard is open, rolling stock is made by subcontractors now and the facilities department spends most of its days removing the past and cleaning up the mess.

The last is a couple of sheet metal cotton warehouses in Tuscumbia that had rail run into them. I never saw a boxcar over there but my grandfather said they used to load boxcars there regularly. It will get regular service on my layout. There will be spots for 2 40ft cars.

So I moved things around on the plan a bit until the looked ok on the foam. Got out some old buildings for sizing. Lastly used a bunch of ME flex to actually lay down track for a look see.  Got carried away,(surprise) and layed out every piece of code 55 I have. Since I was already going over the top I broke out some rolling stock for a look. Train length is aimed at 3 locos, 20-22 cars and a caboose. With one train at 4 and 20 and the other at 3 and 21 this looks like it works out well.

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2020, 08:32:38 AM »
+2
Around the wall lower deck is roughed in. This will allow the lower deck door crossing to be completed. Starting to plan blocks for detection and signaling. For operational ease I am adding a set of crossovers on the twin mains midway down the section where the old Sheffield station. In real life there are none but for the things I want to do with passenger trains and my train lengths I will be changing that aspect.


Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2020, 11:42:34 AM »
0
So playing around with staging design. There are three tracks coming down the helix. One is Memphis the west end. Middle is Sheffield yard and points east, and the third is Birmingham and points south. There is an AD area that is along the wall. Each track coming down the helix spreads into three tracks. Those three extend at least 8 ft and then transition to the main staging yard. Some tracks go straight through and some branch. I stick with tge original 1-9 designations and additional yard branches get a prime tick on their originating track number. The outside tracks balloon around the penninsula , 6 and 5 attach to the inner balloon. They could get their own balloon track, I just thought of this. But basically there will be a balloon track that any train coming down the helix can access if necessary. Gives space for 22 full trains, 3-4 locals and potentially 3 more full trains in the balloon tracks. So potentially 28 trains in staging. That should be enough for a full operating session if I get it to that point.

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2020, 07:14:23 PM »
0
So I got home and I had a package from Ebay waiting on me. I got the Kato through truss. I pulled the deck off and cut the ends vertical. I looked at the picture and using a divider measured the kayak. I think most are 12 feet. Using that measurement the bridge is 150 ft. If the kayak is 10 ft the bridge is 120 feet. Either way I could get a good measure of the height above the water and the vertical height of the bridge. In order to figure out how much clearance I am going to need to create with a drop in benchwork or some extra foam on top. The Kato bridge is 120ft long but it is too tall by about 8-12 ft. I am not sure I want to chop the height out of this bridge. If I do I will effectively be rebuilding the bridge because I will have to change the angles of the cross braces. Once you get to that point you might as well scratch the whole bridge. I think I will shorten the piers and install this bridge. When the layout gets further along and I am looking for projects I will scratch build the actual bridge. I know that is probably 4-6 years down the road. But to signal this thing like I want to I will be spending a lot of time scratching D type signals. Those are further up the list than a correct bridge. Especially one that I have personally never seen. Now the next bridge is one I have viewed many times and fidelity will be much more important to me.

MDW

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 89
  • Respect: +44
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2020, 07:53:04 PM »
0
I feel you.....
Life would be soooo much easier if the Kato bridges had just a bit better proportions.
Making great progress, btw!

Michel

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2020, 01:30:19 PM »
0
Thanks Michael. Played this morn for a bit with the Spring Creek bridge. Cut the outer edge of benchwork for the creek bed. Glued in a piece of 1/4 in ply for the base. Cut the foam to give a shape to the banks. Then put in a flat piece that will have the abandoned trolley roadbed on it. Placed the bridge in situ with tracks just sitting on it. I think the approahes are deck girder. I have girders from another project that will probably work. Also played around with some landforms to create some elevation at the Memphis Pike crossing. The tracks are decidely higher than the road that parallels them. I used dividers to measure the houses that will be along the road east of the crossing. Based my measurements off of the door widths. Using those came up with what look like reasonable measurements for the three houses that will be there.

Did some calculations and figured out there will be over 100 sticks of flex in the helix and a similar number in the staging yard. Save up!

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #41 on: August 15, 2020, 03:55:34 PM »
0
Bought some lights.Cheap 4ft LED tubes off Amazon. Specs are 5000K, 2200 lumen. After temporarily putting them up to check out their output I think I need more light. I am happy with the temperature. You can get these in temps from 3k to 6.5k from what I see on Amazon. But I think next order will be some 4000 lumen versions. After testing those I will decide which will be the layout lights and the others will be purposed as room lights.


Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #42 on: August 16, 2020, 02:11:29 PM »
0
I received some supplies and started playing around with the track layout in Shefield. This location is one of those that looks funny on a map now railroad wise, but made perfect sense 100 years ago when the railroads were building and expanding. Tuscumbia,which today is the smallest of the three(four if you count Florence) towns is the oldest in the area. The Memphis and Charleston had a yard in Tuscumbia that it quickly outgrew. It moved out to Sheffield. The L&N came across the Tennessee river on a bridge from Florence and ran to a station in Tuscumbia and a station in Sheffield. Another railroad, the Northern Alabama Railway built north from Birmingham crossed the Memphis and Charleston at NorAla junction and continued on to a terminus with a yard in Sheffield where it interchanged with the L&N. When JP Morgan bought up and reorganized a bunch of railroads the M&C and the NAR were included in the new Southern Railway. The Southern kept both of the yard facilities in Sheffield and used them both until the new hump yard which is still in operation(I think, looked pretty empty on the last current aerial I saw) opened in 1975ish. So, like I said, this lays out some interesting track layouts if you have a look from the air. I have kept the flavor of the area with the double mains and three yard tracks railroad west of downtown Sheffield. I am inserting a set of crossovers on the mains where a set did not actually exist in life. But my train lengths are majorly different from the real world and my intention to run passenger ops necessitates a way to get fro main 2 to the passenger platform on main 1. Also, in Sheffield between S Montgomery and S Atlanta streets I am adding a crossover from main 2 to yard 1 westbound. This will facilitate the local coming from the new Sheffield yard(staging) to bypass the east end of yard 1 where the empty inbound coal train sometimes tied down waiting on it's counterpart to clear the loader out at the Pride Transload. The local when then be able to work the L&N interchange, industries in Sheffield, and the two west of Sheffield down by the station. In real life the Nitrate plant(large brick building) never really did much of anything in my time frame. Of course on my railroad it will still be doing something. The other spur down by the station has been a metal fabrication plant(old Alcoa facility I think) nearly all its life as far as I know and is currently owned by Wise Alloys. It currently does not seem to be active. Behind the station is the remnants of the 2nd Memphis and Charleston shops being torn down. There is a building sitting there which is standing in for the car shops building which as far as I can tell was the last building to be active in that area. A larger brick building behind and to the left will be perpendicular running into the backdrop and it will be being torn down. There will be some rotting wooden cars on the derelict tracks leading into the car shops. The 1971 aerial photo shows cars on those tracks. I don't know if they were being worked on or were simply being stored there. By the 1978 aerial nothing is left. I plan on running a layer of cork for the mains and yard 1,2,3 tracks with the mains on additional standard roadbed. The derelict tracks will be directly on the foam. This will give different elevations for all of these lines to help separate out their uses and ages. Just west of Sheffield a lone track branches off of yard 3 and runs to a couple of stand in buildings. There used to be stub tracks branching off this and the remnants of these stub tracks will be modeled, ballast, ties, random lengths of rail.

For the first two pics you are looking from above the station back towards Sheffield. The last two are Sheffield from railroad east of town. The L&N interchange will be under the camera. S. Montgomery ave is the closer of the two roads crossing the tracks.

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2020, 09:43:08 PM »
0
Here is an issue that I am bumping up against right now. The Spring Creek bridge is a really neat bridge across Spring Creek. It is visually interesting and has the old trolley ROW running along the creek. I knew the trolley ran under it from prior investigations and seeing a picture in the Tuscumbia railway museum. My grandmother told me about riding the trolley to Florence for special occasions. Despite those features had I not found the picture on bridgehunter I would not have included the bridge on the layout. Even now I am still kind of questioning my decision as I never saw this bridge as a kid chasing trains with my grandfather. That is the whole premise of the upper deck to kind of recreate those places where I spent a lot of time counting cars and enjoying being a kid with old people who just wanted to make me happy. Lots of great memories and the hope that I can recreate those scenes. But the bridge....so with aerials providing evidence that the approach spans are deck girder that is the way I built them. I will order some Micro Engineering bridge track with the next supply order to put across it. I have no idea what the abutments look like besides some vague shapes from aerials. I will probably find some other bridges in the area that I know date back to the correct time period of construction and wing it from there. And based on the picture most of it will be obscured by trees anyway. lol. One of these days I will amass enough unanswered questions and internet research dead ends that I will plan a trip to the area. My grandparents have passed and we no longer have family in the area so I will let the "needed info" list grow to make the long haul to North Alabama worth it. Probably take my oldest next spring and visit some colleges to get the trip spouse approved. She is already sensitive to how much time I have been spending in the train room lately.

Specter3

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 759
  • Respect: +96
Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2020, 05:19:00 PM »
0
In Tuscumbia itself, the key spotting feature(to me) are the warehouses that sit on N. Hook St. They are gone now but still exist for the moment on google street view. According to my grandfather these were used to store cotton. In old aerial photos the one north of the tracks was there in 1948. The one south of the largest building appears to be an original Tuscumbia shops building. The largest is not in the 48 picture but it is in the 62 pic. I am not sure why it would have stored cotton at that late of a date but that is what he told me they were used for. In the time that I was aware that I would eventually model these things and paying attention to the small things I only saw them signed for a plastics business. I can not imagine they did anything other than use them for storage. But again, dating back to the period I was chasing trains with my grandfather they were a huge visual factor while running through Tuscumbia to get down to the station in Sheffield. On the layout the shelf is 12 inches wide. As I kept poking around with how I was going to position these things on the layout I knew I was going to have the business be an active rail shipper. It's my railroad, I get to make the rules. I wanted to get two 40 ft boxcars on the spur. But as I did more research on the buildings and started figuring out sizes and positioning I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to get two cars on the spur in a manner that I was happy with. So I laid it out and figured if I had a couple of inches I could get it in and be happy. So a couple of pieces of wood and a quick trim of foam and I had a 2.5 inch bump in the bench work. Using pictures from Google and my own on the last trip through town I estimated the size of the building using the trailers in the picture for scale. The space I have allows the largest building to be built nearly full size. There will be two loading spots like I planned and the building on the north side will be there as well. The southern(directional) building will be there but moved in orientation to accommodate the different N. Hook St. alignment. The original Memphis and Charleston alignment through Tuscumbia runs just south of this building and will be modeled as well. The whole complex has to be scratched so I am starting to feel my way through some of the buildings. I am throwing the big building up with some scraps to flesh out the site and to see what I can fit in and still have it look right.