Saturday, May 29, 2010

Golden Spike Layout - Update 5-29-10

After a few weeks of plotting and planning, I decided to simply grab the bull by the horns and jump in. No pain, no glory. Went for a very simplified modular design, simple uprights made of 1x2" Poplar (Good grained lumber, a bit more expensive than common pine, but at least you know you're getting something straight!) Uprights support standard 12" wide hollow core closet doors. Whole thing designed to be quick and easy to set-up and maintain, and is designed to straddle the bookcases in the train room. All in all, it's a fairly flimsy design, but like many things, once you put it all together, it becomes very self supporting.

The overall design is perfect for smaller scales (at least to my mind). Using this in O scale is a bit of a stretch, but for my purposes, typical one-two car interurban trains, 40-50 ft long cars, it'll work fine. Would be great for ON30 as well. Even the lightweight nature of things could be bolstered by simply adding more uprights and bracing, these doors are pretty sturdy really, I don't see much chance of flex/sag in them unless you're putting some big O scale steam engines on it with some substantial weight.

This is the basic design, 1x2" uprights, with more 1x2" cross pieces. One at each end (doors are typically 68-70" long), door simply sits on top of the crosspieces as seen below. All of this can be fastened together as loosely or tightly as desired. The design show here, with the support legs to the inside and outside, which leaves a gap along the back, is intentional. It will leave room for a drop in, combination spacer/backdrop.

Here you can see how the door/table top sits on top of the uprights.

All in all, including going to Menard's for lumber and supplies, what you see here was constructed in less than 2 hours. It's a small room, a standard 10x10" bedroom which actually has a bit of it cut-off due to an offset door. Just enough for a small point-to-point operation, just enough to run the rust off the wheels. Think of it as a nicely detailed (eventually) test track or an operating diorama.

And now, the tour (like any other like-minded modeler, once you have that bare benchwork, you start throwing track on it to see what things will look like) This is all temporary, a little salve to run a train back and forth and reward myself, as well as a template of sorts to see what will fit, and how. Waiting for the shipment of vinyl roadbed to arrive, I'm pretty satisfied with the layout of things, and once the roadbed is here, I can lay the track and start detailing this thing.

Starting just inside the door of the train room. This station is here for mock-up purposes only, it will be replaced with a semi-scaled down, scratchbuilt version of the Elgin & Belvidere's station/substation that used to be in Union, IL.

One of my fleet of early 1960's Ken Kidder Fox River cars at the ready.

Same spot, viewed from the other way. The station will have a short team track, LCL loading platform for LCL, milk, newspaper shipments. Typical midwest interurban stuff. A pair of Clouser North Shore cars (on shop trucks) occupy the siding at present.

First corner, the track will run under a steam road overpass (something to hide the corner effect), and run into "town", this will be just the proverbial wide spot in the road kind of thing, couple of storefronts, gas station, a blink of the eye, and you missed it.

Out of town, down the back wall, about to turn again for the next corner.

Into the corner, and the final leg

(at present, we're going to have a simple U-Shape)

Not sure what's going to cover this corner yet (a gas works like there used to be in Aurora is a strong possibility) Also want to work a small stream or culvert somewhere in this general area, either just before or just after the corner. Track flows into the last leg, and will end at a double sided, high platform station (This will be patterned after the CTA's 50th Ave station at IRM.)

The Rich Yoder GE 45-tonner (soon to be lettered for AE&FRE #5) with a couple of Atlas freight cars stands at the ready, and a mock-up of an IT freight trailer on the other track.

PS - These are all Jason's Brass Poles, another "expedient" to get things up and running ASAP.
More to come,, just waiting on that damn roadbed !

Let's do a quick checklist, where do we stand with Golden Spike requirements ??

Layout needs to be at least 8 square feet.
CHECK - Current configuration is approx. 23 square feet

Layout needs to display six units of rolling stock
CHECK - This is the easiest part, I have WAY TOO much stuff.

Layout needs to display 5 structures.
This one is in progress, plotting and planning exact structures here, but the ideas are in place

Three types of trackage (special work) are required
CHECK - Three turnouts in place, will also include a crossing, and possibly a gauntlet track on the steam road overpass.

Track needs to be properly ballasted, raised roadbed, etc
Also in progress, basic trackplan in place, waiting on the roadbed to get this underway

Layout must be wired so two trains can be operated simulataneously.
In progress, plan will be simple DC, block control

Layout must have one additional electrical feature, signals, powered turnout, lighted building, etc
Small interuban like this would not have signaling, turnouts will be either push rod or ground throws (still considering this one), so we'll go with lighted structures, streetlights in town and yard lights at the stations. In planning/progress.

All in all, not a bad start.

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