Author Topic: Ashuelot Branch 1939  (Read 3123 times)

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garethashenden

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Ashuelot Branch 1939
« on: September 04, 2023, 10:09:24 AM »
+6
I have finally found somewhere to model that fits in the available space. Sticking with the Boston & Maine, but branchline and steam instead of mainline and diesel. Part of the appeal of this particular branch is that I can model it accurately with only one locomotive. The Ashuelot branch is located in southwestern New Hampshire and follows the Ashuelot river from the Connecticut river to Keene NH in a roughly SW to NE direction. The river powered a lot of industries which in turn provided a healthy freight business for the railroad. Four or five papermills, three box factories, and a tannery, plus the more common local businesses of a granary and fuel dealers. The B&M ran the branch until 1980 when the Green Mountain took over for a couple years. It was abandoned in 1984. One of the papermills survived until 2005 when it was flooded.

I am going to be modeling two stations, Ashuelot and Winchester. To be slightly confusing Ashuelot is a village in the town of Winchester, but it has its own station and post office. Trains run northwards (counterclockwise on the trackplan) from East Deerfield to Keene and return, working industries along the way. One freight train a day, three return trips of a doodlebug for passenger service. I'm deliberately choosing an era before WWII when the railroad was still dominant. I don't want to go too early as that gets harder to find equipment for. 1939 will be a good year for the sort of railroad that I want to portray, but it will present some scenery challenges. In September 1938 a category 3 hurricane swept up the Connecticut river valley and destroyed most of the forests. The forestry service organized a quite successful plan to save the timber, prevent massive fires, and not destroy the price of lumber. But I now will need to model what it looked like when they were done. Planning on approximately the first week of November 1939. Late fall, after the pretty colors but before the snow.

I have labeled towns, industries, and features. The river is blue, dams black, and road crossings brown. The staging yard isn't great, but its sufficient. I'm planning on basically having one northbound and one southbound train staged on the outer two tracks in the yard. Once a train makes a circuit of the room the engine will cut off, turn, and attach to the other train for the return trip. There are a few tracks for the doodlebug and other equipment. The operational challenge will be keeping the main clear for the passenger service. Minimum radius 20", 10 car trains.

garethashenden

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2023, 10:25:15 AM »
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The first step is to provide suitable motive power. As only one steam engine is really needed its not too much of a challenge. There are four truss bridges north of Ashuelot, one modeled and three not, that are all lightly built. The heaviest locomotives allowed over then were K7 class 2-8-0s. K8s were allowed as far as Ashuelot. The Bachmann 2-8-0 makes a good starting point. It runs well, the drivers are close to the right size and spacing, and I already had one. But there are improvements that can be made. The biggest visual difference is the tender, which is way too long on the model. I have been scratchbuilding a tender from styrene. The Fox trucks are 3d printed from Lemosteam via Shapeways and use the Bachmann pickups and axles. I've fitted a speaker, Loksound micro decoder, Run-N-Smooth capacitors, and some tungsten cubes to the insides of the tender.

Prototype:

Starting point:





I have also taken steps to make the pony truck less toylike. I used some NWSL wheels and made a new truck out of brass bar and thin double sided pcb.


garethashenden

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2023, 05:37:53 PM »
+3
Before I start attaching shelves to the walls I decided to be responsible and paint the walls first. If I don't do it now I never will, and they were pretty grubby. It can be hard to see the difference between two shades of white paint, but it shows up in this in process picture.


garethashenden

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2023, 10:28:06 AM »
+3
Yesterday my father and I ripped a sheet of 3/4" plywood into 2.75" wide strips. I'm currently waiting on Amazon to bring me a chop saw, then I'll be able to proceed with assembling the benchwork. I'm going to build a grid, with foam sheet on top. I've set a few strips on the brackets to get a sense of how it will feel. I like the height and how it feels in the room, but I'm not sure about the foam. I had been planning on two layers of 1" foam insulation, but I'm wondering if one would be enough. There is a river at the front in some places. If I go with 1" of foam I'd definitely be going down to the plywood in a few spots. I don't really see anything wrong with doing that and it would save a lot of foam. Rail height is 53/54"




packers#1

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2023, 10:35:17 AM »
0
I think the key question is would 1” of foam give you enough negative relief below the rail for the scenery you’ve got planned. Nothing wrong with going down to the plywood, but unless you bitch it and the grid you’re not going any lower and anything at plywood will be flat. But if that’s just your river bed, then that’s probably more a bonus than an issue.
Sawyer Berry
Clemson University graduate, c/o 2018
American manufacturing isn’t dead, it’s just gotten high tech

garethashenden

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2023, 04:56:35 PM »
+6
I started above the workbench and proceeded around the room. I may add some 45° pieces in a couple of corners, but I want to print out the trackplan and see how that looks first.



nickelplate759

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2023, 06:30:40 PM »
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Nice looking benchwork!    What size shelf brackets are you using, and where did you find them?
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

garethashenden

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2023, 06:43:48 PM »
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Nice looking benchwork!    What size shelf brackets are you using, and where did you find them?

They're 18"x12" and I got them from Amazon. I used a couple in the 12" configuration, but now that I've actually built the benchwork I see that they weren't necessary in the corners. The shelves are 18" wide on three walls and 24" wide on one.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C1MW5KXW?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

nickelplate759

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2023, 07:48:07 PM »
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Thanks for the pointer.  They come as deep as 22", and the price is cheaper than making them out of lumber!
George
NKPH&TS #3628

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

wm3798

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2023, 09:40:24 PM »
0
That's going to be a great layout.
I'm only moderately sad that you bought all that stuff from Amazon instead of doing the 1939 New Hampshire thing and go to the local hardware store with the old men and the wooden floor.  You might have paid a few dollars more, but you'd have been cutting wood all weekend.

And those old guys would make a buck or two.
But this isn't far from the theme I'm working on with my Laurel Valley.  Prewar steam, kind of a branch line...  Although I've accumulated enough old steam to run a division...  When they're as old as mine, you need a back up!

Really looking forward to seeing this get fleshed out.
Have you considered making your shelf boxes a bit smaller and more...dare I say it... modular?  It might be useful in the event of a relocation...

Lee
« Last Edit: September 24, 2023, 09:42:49 PM by wm3798 »
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

signalmaintainer

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2023, 11:56:07 PM »
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I like that layout construction technique too. Strong and lightweight, the brackets do an excellent job of keeping things stable and simple, and I'm a huge EPS foam board proponent. Been using it for almost 30 years.

I know 2" EPS  is more pricey, but once I found pink 1-1/2" at the local DIY. It's on my current layout. Maybe that's an option?
NSMR #1975, RMR #4

garethashenden

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2023, 06:20:46 AM »
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That's going to be a great layout.
I'm only moderately sad that you bought all that stuff from Amazon instead of doing the 1939 New Hampshire thing and go to the local hardware store with the old men and the wooden floor.  You might have paid a few dollars more, but you'd have been cutting wood all weekend.

And those old guys would make a buck or two.
But this isn't far from the theme I'm working on with my Laurel Valley.  Prewar steam, kind of a branch line...  Although I've accumulated enough old steam to run a division...  When they're as old as mine, you need a back up!

Really looking forward to seeing this get fleshed out.
Have you considered making your shelf boxes a bit smaller and more...dare I say it... modular?  It might be useful in the event of a relocation...

Lee


Each wall section is separate. There are a couple of screws holding them in position relative to each other, but I did plan for that. I will cut the foam on those lines as well to keep the underlying sections separate.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2023, 09:48:58 AM »
0
I like that layout construction technique too. Strong and lightweight, the brackets do an excellent job of keeping things stable and simple, and I'm a huge EPS foam board proponent. Been using it for almost 30 years.

I know 2" EPS  is more pricey, but once I found pink 1-1/2" at the local DIY. It's on my current layout. Maybe that's an option?

A word of warning on 2" foam: it's a pain in the a$$ to cut through on the diagonal. It'd probably make a decent "bottom layer" but don't plan on using it to build scenery up. You're much better off with two layers of 1".

wm3798

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2023, 12:57:39 PM »
0
Ed lies like a rug.
2" works like a charm.


I cut it on my bandsaw, just run it through at the angle you need.  Don't have a band saw?  A serrated knife and a shop vac will work just fine.
The center section over the tunnel isn't glued in, and lifts out to retrieve stray hoppers and such.

Slop it up with hoopy goop, plant your trees and BAM.



Lee
« Last Edit: September 25, 2023, 01:06:15 PM by wm3798 »
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signalmaintainer

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Re: Ashuelot Branch 1939
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2023, 02:02:52 PM »
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A word of warning on 2" foam: it's a pain in the a$$ to cut through on the diagonal. It'd probably make a decent "bottom layer" but don't plan on using it to build scenery up. You're much better off with two layers of 1".

It is at that, Ed, especially for hills/mountains. If 1-1/2" is available, it's much easier to cut on a diagonal. Either way, I rough in my cut with a hot-wire knife and rasps, and use ground goop to smooth and contour.
NSMR #1975, RMR #4