Author Topic: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975  (Read 10138 times)

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #75 on: February 15, 2021, 05:50:40 PM »
+2
A pair of SDs drags some empty flats around looking for bad trackwork. If anything will point out track issues, these will.

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #76 on: April 03, 2021, 07:57:12 AM »
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Not much picture worthy but I pulled everything off the layout and covered the lower level in drop cloths. I took down the top level lights.  I am coving the corners, filling the gaps in the valences, and painting the overhead structure flat black. Everything above the valence will be black. Another thing that is going on is I am extending the deck on the back side of the house and have to have access to the 1sr floor sill to have the bolts drilled through and inspected. So not much is going on RR wise at the moment.

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #77 on: June 28, 2021, 01:39:45 PM »
+2
So the school year ended and I thought I would definitely get some layout time in. Nahh. Built a nice deck extension though. Lots of projects and new work responsibilities seem to be sucking up my time. Oh well.

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #78 on: December 23, 2021, 07:20:57 PM »
+1
So it has truly been a long while since I posted and frankly since I have done much work. But it is Christmas break and I have done some work. One of the places that holds a huge visual memory for me is the old wharehouse section in Tuscumbia AL. They have mostly been torn down now but before they were I managed to get some good pics. There was a rail spur that ran into them that used to continue on down to the station in Tuscumbia. The upper deck area where this element was to be was initially only 12 inches deep. After mock ups and lots of back and forth I have bumped out the benchwork for this area about 4 inches. There is nothing on the lower deck under that spot to conflict with nor is there anything opposed to it on the upper deck. So aisle space should not suffer with this addition.

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I replaced a lot of the upper deck foam with new pieces. The original foam was a bunch of pieced together chunks from previous layouts and modules. Once the new foam was in place I started drawing out the track and laying out the industrial site that represents Flexco on 6th st between Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals. Flexco was rail served and by the look of the building and equipment could have had two tracks like I am modeling. Either way it will have two tracks with one being inbound chemicals and other raw materials and the other being outbound product in boxcars. The double track section ends shortly after Flexco and then crosses 6th st at grade. According to my grandmother this is where I saw my first train and got really excited at about three years of age.

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A rudimentary set of shelves was put together to move the Digitrax base station to it’s permanent home spot. I need to upgrade the command station as this one is an anchient Chief system so it’s installation is temporary.

I also expanded the benchwork where the Sheffield station is.

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This will be another iconic scene from my memory. Passenger service ended in the late 60s and for my entire railfanning period as a kid it was boarded up and vacant. Someone had a partially disassembled steam loco on the team track for many years but nothing ever came of it as far as I know. But in my world passenger service continues here. Amtrak is around but the Southern kept running its own equipment. National service kept one more east west route that started in DC and went west to Lynchburg, Knoxville, Chattanooga and then came down across the top of AL on its way to Memphis. It continued west to Little Rock, Oklahoma City and then NW to Denver. Then west to San Fran. You could pick up national service N and S at Memphis to go to New Orleans or Chicago. However Southern kept up a few more trains as well including connecting service between Birmingham which is on the DC to New Orleans southern route and Sheffield which is the DC to Memphis and points west mid America route. So on my layout there will be a 2-3 car passenger train that will swap a sleeper that goes Birmingham to Sheffield and back. And then the long distance Tenneseean that will run E-W Sheffield to Memphis.

wazzou

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #79 on: December 23, 2021, 07:59:43 PM »
0
Don’t be afraid to post larger photos.
Bryan

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #80 on: December 24, 2021, 03:42:42 PM »
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My phone takes larger than the 5 meg limit so I have to resize and the free program is not the most user friendly to use. I really should spend a bit more time playing around with it.

Now for the good news. For the second time in three years I have Covid for Christmas. I teach and have not been sick with anything all year. I go on break and within 72 hours, bam! Sick. Just my luck.

wazzou

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #81 on: December 24, 2021, 04:58:30 PM »
0
Try Irfanview.  It’s free and easy.
Bryan

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http://www.nprha.org/
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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #82 on: December 24, 2021, 05:25:17 PM »
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Thanks I will try it!

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #83 on: December 27, 2021, 11:38:41 AM »
+5
As is the guiding mantra here “JRFT”

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I have the main line running around the entire upper deck. I wired up the main bus and made a few temporary track connections. I have already found a couple of things I am  not happy with how it ended up and will be reworking. I am definitely going to put in a shoo fly where the helix goes to close the loop for continuous running.

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #84 on: December 29, 2021, 02:29:02 PM »
+1
Added a shoo-fly to close the top deck. Ran two trains chasing each other for a bit. Dropped a couple more feeders.

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Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #85 on: December 30, 2021, 10:56:49 PM »
+2
So after running some trains for a bit I had a couple of hmmm moments. One was the original position of Flexco. On the turnback blob. The plan had a turnout on the curve which no matter how it was arranged was really awkward. Another hmmm was the large amount of run time between Flexco and Sheffield. On the prototype this was used for parking full length trains between Avalon Ave and the Atlanta Ave crossing in Sheffield. If you look at a map of the area the track layout here in Sheffield is kind of unusual. A little background. The first railroad west of the Appalachians was in Tuscumbia that allowed river traffic to transload to land travel to get around the shoals on the Tennessee river. The railroad was eventually extended west to Memphis and East to Chattenooga. Eventually the L&N crossed the river from Decatur and the Northern Alabama Railway came up from the Birmingham area. So this weird looking area was the northern terminal yard of the Northern, the Sheffield yard of the Memphis and Charleston(Southern) and the interchange yard of the L&N.(which actually crossed both railroads at grade and went on to Tuscumbia, which is the oldest town in the area).
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Notice the abandoned roadbed heading down and left.
Fast forward to 1976 and all of the above except the nearly defunct L&N interchange belongs to the Southern. The railroad had outgrown the yard facilities again and had just opened the current Sheffield yard.
So for my layout and my designed train lengths the area between downtown sheffield and Flexco was too long. It just didnt feel right or look right with the length trains I would be running. So 1:1 redesign to the rescue. I rolled out the large format paper and drew out some changes.
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I liked what I drew and quickly realigned the main to what I was thinking. I put some track on for the secondary track and brought out the unit coal train I will be running. Now with it sitting on it’s waiting track it looks right.
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 I lose the large industry that was going to be Flexco. It’s building now moves into the aisle.
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I gain another industry in the old flexco spot that is a real online customer but I will have to do some research on it. Period pics show the spur wrapping around behind the building to some sort of trestle unloading set up.
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I wrap around from the other side but it works. This looks to be a good change so far from looking at it. I will run some more trains and see how it goes.

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2021, 04:47:18 PM »
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I managed to piece together the second main through Sheffield. I got it running and threw a second coal train up. This video shows the meet between a loaded and an empty train in Sheffield. The Southern started running these unit coal trains from a transload facility at Pride just west of Tuscumbia, AL. Coal was barged downriver to Pride and transloaded to three trainsets that ran to, IIRC, 4 Georgia Power generation plants. As a kid I hated running out jumping in the car with my grandfather and running into town only to have “that ol coal train” hove into view. 7 locos, 1 brain car, 98 hoppers and a caboose. Every Single Time. Now in my later years I remember it far more fondly. I have enough hoppers(albeit the wrong prototype, but when I started gathering these it was the only option) and locos to run it actual length when I get to run with my Ntrak club. The only thing I dont have is a brain car. It is on the short list of things to scratch up when I get a chance. The HO guys have a kit option. By the time Inreally need it I figure someone will have a 3d version sketched up. If things go as planned I will have a representation of the Pride loader sitting on top of the helix. I had an elaborate N trak set up years ago with a half of the monster loader sitting on it.

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amato1969

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #87 on: January 01, 2022, 11:44:43 AM »
+1
Very cool to see your flexible approach to your construction.  Your coal drag demonstrates one of the strengths of N scale!

  Frank

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #88 on: January 01, 2022, 02:58:46 PM »
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Thanks Frank!

Specter3

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Re: The Southern Railway Memphis division circa 1975
« Reply #89 on: January 05, 2022, 10:58:23 AM »
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Work is continuing. But I am having trouble posting in my own thread.