Thursday, February 16, 2012

Transferring The Plan | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Now armed with a track plan, my next objective is to transfer it to the layout. I first sealed the Homasote with flat grey latex paint. Many thanks to my friend Doug Heitkamp. He copied the plan from the valuation map and drew it full scale in Autocad. The drawing is complete with center line, rails and scale turnouts. I'm pleased to see that the Autocad drawing matches up the with the valuation map.
A very low resolution  jpeg scan of the large Autocad file is below:

Doug's girlfriend Michelle then plotted the plan full size at her place of employment. I temporarily attached the plan to the layout surface with masking tape. Using a perforation tool from Hobby Lobby, I traced the center line of the track, which cut through the plan leaving a groove in the soft Homasote. I then went back over the grooves with a Sharpie pen to highlight them:

With the center line of the track now transferred to the surface, it's time to lay some ties!
- Cowboy Up!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Plan for Dickey - Updated Images | 2 Comments - Click Here :

The idea about how this layout would be designed, built and operated has been in my head for some time. Since the area is primarily flat, completing the bench-work before the track plan was finalized did not cause a problem. I knew exactly what part of Dickey I wanted to model, and had sketched it out many times.
Rick Steele kindly provided the 1918 C&S valuation map below. Using Autocad, he painstakingly copied this into an electronic PDF format from the original located at the National Archives in Washington DC.

Using the zoom tool in Adobe Reader, I enlarged the valuation map until I had an exact scale section of railroad that would fit on the 28"x10' layout with NO compression.

The layout will be constructed as a UK style exhibition layout. It will have a backdrop along three sides. Clamp on fiddle tracks on both ends will allow new equipment to be introduced. Hinged wings will hide the fiddle tracks and display information and photographs of Dickey. Integrated lighting will be provided via a picture frame valance.
Dickey will be a busy place capable of some very interesting operation for two. The three way turnout makes into a wonderful Inglenook shunting puzzle. While at the same time, another operator will fuel and assemble a fleet of locomotives in a pre-determined order to push a rotary snowplow. The previous day's storm the reason for needing to re-open Boreas Pass with the rotary.  
An employee recounts in Tom Klinger's excellent book "C&S High Line Memories and Then Some"  that eastbound trains would sometimes come over from Leadville, leaving it's cars at Dickey and return. A train would then come over from Como to pick up the cars. This move will be recreated, but sorting the cars in a pre-determined order in the Dickey yard beforehand. In theory, this 6 car train would then trail the 6 locomotives and rotary back to Como. 
Next up is to transfer the plan onto the Homasote surface....
- Cowboy Up!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Construction Begins | 1 Comments - Click Here :

As I mentioned in a previous post, my intent is to build an exhibition style layout. I have acquired a 28" x 12' section of open grid benchwork being disposed of by my friend Doug Heitkamp . While the width is perfect, the length was longer than what I desired. So I've cut it down to 10' in length, squared up all the cross members, and attached a 1/2" plywood top. A sheet of 1/2" Homasote was then glued to the top of the plywood. The legs originally put the height too low for my liking. I modified these to put the rail height at 52".

While this benchwork is considerably heavier than it would have been had I used alternative materials and construction methods; the fact that it was free and already assembled weighed heavily (pun intended) in my decision to re-use it. And it saved Doug from a trip to the landfill!
Now a design to fit a portion of the C&S at Dickey Colorado is in order....
- Cowboy Up!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dickey, Colorado | 2 Comments - Click Here :

Dickey, MP 116.47 from Denver, was first known as Placer Junction (altitude 9,004 feet). Rails reached this location in 1882. Located along the Como to Leadville High Line, it was the junction point for the Dillon and Keystone branch.  More of a ranching community than a town, this served as a helper station and also staging for the rotary snowplow trains going out east over Boreas Pass or west through Ten Mile Canyon. The facilities at Dickey included an engine house, depot, water tank, pump house, bunk house, section house and coaling trestle. Siding capacity was 188 cars. There was a wye for the turning of locomotives. The tail of the wye continued north as the branch to Dillon and Keystone. The rails were removed from Dickey in 1938, and the area is now submerged under Dillon Reservoir, which was completed in 1963.

 Looking north; depot and engine house circa 1900

Water tank in 1903

Depot circa 1910

Water tank in 1915

Depot circa 1930's