Sunday, November 29, 2009

Layout Construction - November 23, 2009

Tunneling the Hill
I decided to take a break from building turnouts. I’ve completed the three so far and the newest one is better then the one built before it. My soldering technique and building time are getting faster. I thought it was time to build the half tunnel wall between Denton and Lewistown. I tried using aluminum flashing thinking it would curve easy and maintain that curve without support. Well, that didn’t quite work out. The aluminum was very hard to work with over the 39” length of the tunnel. I opted to use poster board and foam core supports.

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The top edge started to become wavy without support. That did not seem to matter since the bottom of the ravine floor flatten out the waviness.

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Next came the fun part of ballasting the track. This had to be done since access will be very restricted after the ravine floor is installed. Here is a before and after of the track.

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This a artistic rendition of what the area will look like after the bridge, scenery and fascia is installed.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Layout Construction - November 11, 2009

Now that the roadbed is starting to go down, it is time to begin building turnouts. I have hand built turnouts in the past and decided to give it a try again. After doing a lot of research on building turnouts, I decided that the method described by Joe Fugate would be the best method. This method has been posted on Joe’s Siskiyou Lines website. He uses Central Valley tie strips and printed circuit board ties. I won’t go into the construction explanation in this blog. Here is a link to his forums where he describes how to build a turnout. (Click Here) This method is  definitely easier then the way I have done it in the past.

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These turnouts shown below were built off the layout on a template and used the “fill the frog and guard rail with solder, then use a saw blade to clean everything out” method. This worked, but did not create a smooth turnout. I will provide more photos after the new turnouts are installed.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Train Show - November 7, 2009

How to Empty a Wallet
We attended the Utah NMRA show at the Utah State Fairgrounds. This was one of the largest shows they have had in years. There were lots of layouts and vendors to choose from. Picked up a few cars to add to the collection and metal wheels to replace some of the plastic sets that come with kits. Overall, a very enjoyable show with lots to see.

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A few of the goodies collected from the show.

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Layout Construction - October 31, 2009

Back to the Track Gang
The next project after our vacation was to finish gluing down the roadbed in the Lewistown area. I made a slight variation from the original track plan. The industrial spur and storage tracks were moved closer to the front of the layout. I did this after seeing the tight space for reaching back and re-railing cars. It will also allow more room for industries in that area.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Vacation Time - October 23-30, 2009

Back to the Bridge
It was time for our annual vacation to a time share condo in Island Park, Idaho. I did not get any work done on the layout, but I worked on the plans for the trestle over the middle of the layout. I will create the bridge abutments for each end.


This a Google Sketch 3D view of how the bridge abutment and small section of the trestle will look. I placed a figure to try and give a representation of the size of the trestle.


We saw a few Montana Rail Link trains while traveling to Billings, Montana to visit with family. We were not able to stop and photograph them. We did stop in Bozeman and shoot a few photos of the old Northern Pacific depot there.

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West Yellowstone
This is the Union Pacific depot in West Yellowstone and a friend that we found while in the park.

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