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The Gopher Mining Company
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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2012 10:17 pm
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Dwayne
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Changes are being made to the layout. First change is a new name: The Gopher Mining Company. Second change is a complete change to the layout itself. I began the process of removing the million tons of dirt I had initially placed for a loop to loop design, half of which was elevated. The new layout will be a simple point-to-point layout. The Gopher's terminus will be located above the patio that I had promised my wife I'd install. In my mind's eye the patio will be "water" and make the terminus town of Keylock a port. To achieve this I began laying down a course of cinder blocks along the outer two edges of the patio. Once installed backfill will be hauled in providing a level area for the waterside town. From there the line will head off to some yet undetermined Point B.

 

A primary goal of this layout will to have it blend into the landscape as much as possible. Since moving into the house last October I've been gradually turning yard into flower/garden beds as I hate mowing grass. Most of these beds are/will be located along the perimeter of the yard which will be the perfect place to run the track. I envision the rails meandering through these beds, popping out for short distances before disappearing into and under vegetation. The reason I've opted for the change is that the loop-to-loop design left me wondering where to start. Because of my job which keeps me away from home too much, I was becoming frustrated with the fact that I wasn't getting any track down. This change should allow me to start with a single track of only a few feet. As time permits, I'll add more track the same way the real railroads did. A spur here, a spur there and in time a layout with a sense of purpose as lineside customers are added and ready to be served by the port town of Keylock. :)



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 Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2012 10:24 pm
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Dwayne
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I got home today and once again continued with dirt work in spite of the temps being in the upper 90's and the humidity. The port town of Keylock will be located in the dirt area in the foreground. The patio to be installed (currently overgrown with grass) will represent water. Gonna have to build a dock and a small barge...



Hope to put down a few feet of track this weekend before heading back to Canada on Monday.

I also ordered a Bachmann Davenport today as other motive power I have is still being worked on and isn't yet ready to roll.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 7th, 2012 05:06 pm
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Dwayne
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Began laying track a couple of weeks ago. Code 250 aluminum rail spiked to hand cut ties. This six foot section took about two hours to put together and position.









The new Bachmann Davenport awaits conversion to RC/battery power. :) 

Last edited on Wed Aug 8th, 2012 01:14 am by Dwayne



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 Posted: Tue Aug 7th, 2012 11:59 pm
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W C Greene
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PROGRESS! Now you can actually operate. I love that track, much better than RTR stuff..looks like mining road track.

Woodrow



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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2012 01:19 am
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Dwayne
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True enough. It's a start, albeit a slow one. Gone to much to make fast progress, especially with the heat we're dealing with.

Glad you like the track. Too many narrow gauge modelers try to keep everything perfect. My ties are spaced two scale feet on center... give or take. Some are further to the right, the left or not even perfectly square to the rails. :)



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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2012 05:10 pm
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Dwayne
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Worked outside yesterday in spite of the 106°F temperature. Finished installing the last of the cinder blocks that are a part of the patio as well as dumping several wheelbarrow loads of backfill behind the blocks.

Have sorta settled on the route. L:

As it leaves Keylock (where I'm likely going to install an Inglenook for operations) the route curves to the left around the house to the west edge of the yard where it then will curve to the right along the fence towards the back edge of the yard. From there it'll take another right curve and follow the back edge to the northeast corner of the yard where the Gopher Mine will be located. In all actually the Gopher Mine will be about seventy-five feet as the crow flies from Keylock... but about three hundred feet with this plan.



 

The main thing is to keep as much of the line in the shade as possible. Unfortunately two years of drought is beginning to take a toll on the existing trees and I may lose a few more this year. :f:



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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2012 05:49 pm
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dodgezilla04
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i like the track, how much does a 6' chunk cost in comparison to buying rtr aluminum?



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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2012 05:59 pm
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mwiz64
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Whatever you do, don't place any fill dirt around those trees that you would like to save. Trees don't tolerate that very well. Believe it or not, they breathe through their shallow roots.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2012 07:00 pm
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Dwayne
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dodgezilla04 wrote: i like the track, how much does a 6' chunk cost in comparison to buying rtr aluminum?

I bought the rail from Switchcrafters. 16 pcs (96 feet total) goes for about $48 (not counting shipping)... so the cost runs about $1 per foot for the rail itself. My ties are cut from 5/8" x 6ft treated fence boards that cost about $1.20, with each board giving me about 110 ties.

I'd guess that overall each foot of track costs me about $1.10.

Many have this misconception that large scale is expensive. Because I'm not attempting to run huge diesels or Big Boys... I find it comparable to smaller scales. I just bought a new Bachmann Davenport for $99 + shipping. Heck... even an Accucraft live steam engine can be had new for less than $500 which is cheaper than most everything Bachmann offers in plastic.

The only drawback for large scale is if you live in the snow belt. Then you'll be limited on the time you can actually run trains. Fortunately I live in a climate where that is rarely an issue. :) 



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 Posted: Wed Aug 8th, 2012 07:10 pm
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Dwayne
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mwiz64 wrote: Whatever you do, don't place any fill dirt around those trees that you would like to save. Trees don't tolerate that very well. Believe it or not, they breathe through their shallow roots.
So I've been told. The patio corner closest to where the switches will be located was cut into the slope. Fortunately there weren't too many roots from the silver maple seen in the above photo. The few I did dig up were less than a 1/4" diameter. What fill I did add is only a few inches deep where I leveled the ground to the tops of the cinder blocks. Hasn't seemed to affect the tree any. The drought we're experiencing on the other hand is rapidly taking a toll on a few trees in my yard. Two years of too little rain with weeks of 100F+ temperatures is causing all plants in our area to start dying. :(



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