Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Operating Session - Finally! | 18 Comments - Click Here :

    This last weekend marked a milestone for my current layout; as after two years of basic construction, I was able to complete the first mini operating session. The layout is designed for multiple types of operating schemes for one or two operators. But until I finish the two staging cassettes, I'm limited to a simpler solitaire system. Thus, I operated on Saturday morning using the Inglenook puzzle scheme. You can read more about how an Inglenook operates here:


    I modified the scheme as a 6-4-4 Inglenook. This was great fun! And operating with prototypical procedures at scale speeds, it consumed an hour and a half to complete the work. I cannot express in words the feeling of what it is like to have finally reached this milestone. 
    I was able to snap a few pictures of the action with my mobile phone. I still have absolutely no artistic talent when it comes to backdrop painting (Do you? Call me!), so please imagine pretty mountains in the background and follow along if you'd like!

This was the situation when the crew arrived after a hearty breakfast at the section house. Nine assorted cars resided on three tracks. Six of them are going to be put in order for a run up the line and set-out at Breckenridge. The other three will be set aside for the next westbound freight. The index car-cards are only temporary, as I will eventually make permanent ones from prototype photographs. The cards rest on custom made molding designed to hold Scrabble game tiles. 

The motive power for this mornings extra to Breckenridge is consolidation number 71. The first order of business is to top off the tank. The coal bunker was filled the night before at the coal dock a few hundred feet farther down the line (not modeled).

Number 71 and crew set about making up today's extra. This operating session was made possible by my other brother Derrell. He sent me a half dozen cars on loan until I build up more of my fleet.

Complicating things this morning (part of the planned operating scheme) are some section men working to repair the lead rails of a switch.

The switch repairs will limit the number of cars between the two turnouts to four.


All of this mornings maneuvers are performed on the three tracks coming off of the three-way turnout and head shunt. A couple of bad order passenger cars limit two of the tracks to four cars each, while the mainline can hold six. Here we see all six cars in their completed order on the mainline.

The three remaining cars are set aside and are to be picked up by the next westbound freight to Leadville.

 After about 90 minutes of real-time work, today's extra awaits clearance for departure to Breckenridge once the switch repairs are completed by the section gang.



~ Cowboy Up!
18 Comments - Click Here :
  1. That scrabble molding intrigues me - can you tell us more about it, and how I might find some? Seems like a great idea.

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    1. Thanks Steve. The racks work great for holding car cards, waybills, uncoupling tools etc.
      I ordered my 36" Custom Wood Tile Racks from:
      http://secure.tjco.net/products.asp?cat=ExtraLong

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  2. Congratulations, Darel. It is a great feeling, isn't it?

    Can you snap some closeups of Brother d's boxcar roofs? Looks like he painted them black. Plus, he needs to paint the roofwalks :-)

    Keith Hayes
    Leadville in Sn3

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    1. Thank you Keith. I guess operating on your fine C&S layout was enough motivation to get me to this point.
      I will send some pics of the roof offline. I tend to agree with not painting roofwalks.

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    2. The roofs are a metallic sorta dark grey. I didn't actually build these cars. I'm not sure who did. They came to me built and lettered for the RGS. I contemplated backdating them but decided I'd just repaint them and letter them PROPERLY ( used the C&S equivelant numbers out of respect for the builder). I left the roofs the color they came with - which I more or less agree with. Besides the cars are not weathered yet. It isn't so much that they were painted black as it was perhaps they were left bare metal OR the paint quickly flaked away and left bare weathered metal. I would say that the initial paint job would have had painted roofs so in the teens you would have had faded out red on top. It's really hard to tell from B&W photos.

      I cannot say with certainty that the C&S did not paint the roof walks. BUT. A painted roof walk made of wood was Hazardous and a lot of railroads didn't. And the USRA (iirc) forbade it. I'm inclined that the C&S followed the recommended practices - ESPECIALLY since they were a Standard Gauge common carrier with a lot of equipment out all over the country. The practice would have carried over into their NG operation.

      Derrell

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  3. Wow! Very cool. To see all that C&S equipment in S scale I mean. And nary a rio grunge thing in sight. Pure C&S - a rarity in 3/16ths scale. I guess because it is so demanding. You have to hunt for the motive power and you don't have RTR cars - you must build them all. Most of all it is great to see a prototype spot like Dickey actually done to scale (more or less).

    Great work, D!

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    1. Couldn't have done it without you brother d. Thanks again!
      The walk from the depot to the water tank in a blinding blizzard is the same distance for my miniature employees as it was for those brave souls now long gone.

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    2. That's what I thought since you used a blow-up of the ICC map for the plan. Very cool! I am getting a real Layout jones! I need to replace the switch on my table saw but I think as soon as the weather warms up a little (keep exhaling) I'm gonna turn a couple sheets of plywood into some bench work and get some rail down! Your efforts are very much an inspiration!

      d

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Ted! I'm looking forward to sharing the operation with friends someday.

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  5. Very nicely done! Always better when some equipment can realistically move about the trackage.
    I really like the water tank. Is it a kit or scratchbuilt model, either way it turned out fantastic.

    Best,
    Todd Ferguson
    Harrisburg, NC

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    1. Hi Todd. Thanks! The tank shell is a casting from V&T shops. Everything else was scratch-built to resemble the Forks Creek tank. This will eventually be replaced with a scratch-built Dickey tank.

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  6. What about using photo murals taken in the Dickey area for the backdrop?Have you seen the MODEL RAILROADER issue with the article by Andrew Dodge about using Plexiglas in building structures?Your layout is an inspiration for the layout I am building representing the Weston (Park Co.) area.
    Bob McFarland "Weston1879"
    Wichita,Kansas

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    1. Thanks Bob. I've considered a photo mural. I've taken the pictures to do so already. Problem is it doesn't look like it used to up there. There are many roads cut into the hillsides and the beetle kill has pretty much obliterated the tree population. I realize that Photoshop can work wonders, but I just don't have the experience to make it happen.
      I've seen Andrew's excellent article. I have so few structures left to build that normal scratch-building techniques will suffice.
      Can't wait to see Weston come to life. What scale?

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  7. Great job Darel. Having some operating potential will surely encourage you in further construction. You can push the rails onward or focus on completing the Dickey scene. The best part is that it's your 1:64 world and your choice. Enjoy! Gavin, C&S down under

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  8. Thank you Gavin! I'm still waiting for that encouragement to happen, but I'm sure it is coming Lol!
    What are you modeling down there?

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  9. Robert McFarlandMay 31, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Would it be possible to enlarge,colorize,and play around with C&S era photographs?In Darrel's Bender photographs he had a recognizable small photo mural near the CM overpass.

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  10. Brother d, as late as the 30s, were boxcar roofs properly painted black. Or rather, if a car went to the shop, the roof would be galvanized metal to start and painted with a roofing bitumen, or something similar?

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Keith Hayes
    Leadville in Sn3

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