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The Bard Creek Railroad
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 Posted: Sun Nov 3rd, 2013 08:40 pm
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jtrain
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As some of the regular contributors to free rails already know, I've been trying (and somewhat struggling) to find way to build a small and versatile G scale railroad. I'll e the first to admit that many of my 'starts' have died quickly, but not anymore.

I've had 3 months of planning what my next step is going to be and I finally found the answer I was looking for. I realized it is not so much in the design as it is in the character that makes a railroad great and so my focus has shifted from planning the deisgn to planning the elements included in the railroad.

I am currently consolidating all my thoughts into a new blog I launched last night. http://www.bardcreekrr.blogspot.com is the official blog for my new project. The first several posts will be for planning the railroad as well as interpreting prototype information. Then I plan to begin construction of various small projects: Trees, smaller buildings, figures, weathering rolling stock and locomotives, exc...
Please note, I have changed the name and address of the blog, so all old links do not work.

EDIT: 4/9/2014 I have decided to change the name and address of the blog to the following:
http://www.clearcreekrr.blogspot.com To represent the Colorado and Southern More, the name has been changed to the Clear Creek Railroad, which is the creek that the C&S followed up to Georgetown.

So far here is the story for this railroad:

"Just like other railroads near the Clear Creek mining district, the Bard Creek is a small railroad only a few miles in length which services the mines which the larger Colorado Central decided to pass by in favor of the much larger mines in Silver Plume and Georgetown. The railroad began construction in 1864 (150 years ago as of 2014)near the small mining settlement of Empire. The Bard Creek runs west from Empire into three narrow valleys that have several small mining operations. To the East and south of Empire, the Bard Creek interchanges with the Colorado Central.

As Time moves on, several boom and busts occur. First Gold, then silver, then other precious metals. The Bard Creek really begins to suffer by 1906 with the arrival of the Argentine Central which cuts across the district in a southwest to northeast direction. from 1925 to 1940, the railroad is struggling to stay afloat until finally going bankrupt in 1943 as the workforce is taken up by World War Two."

I believe this is a perfect reflection of what actually occurred in the Front Range, and I believe this story is an accurate generalization of most railroads in the mountains of Colorado. My overall goal is not to depict one railroad in particular, but rather to give a general story that people can learn from not unlike the way acting and plays are depicted today.

In real life, Bard Creek is a shallow trickle of water in a valley that runs parallel to Clear Creek before dumping into Clear Creek below Empire. According to the US Geological survey, several claims were made in this valley, but I don't believe a rail spur went into this narrow inlet because using hiking trail information, the grade would have to average 5% to climb the valley (1000 ft climb over 4 mile length) but at times the road is forced into 10% grades. This is still possible with shay locomotives, but not for most other types of equipment. I also wanted to include land to the North and South of Empire, where many claims were made. based on old maps, the Argentine Central ran through these valleys, but I found out that the Argentine did not start until 1905 (source wikipedia) so by setting the date further back, that allows for my fictional line to fill a niche in history.

As I progress through smaller projects, I want to accumulate materials to build the first module. On previous railroads, I built as I went; but on this railroad I want to do all the prep work and then build a module over a small period of time. I also plan to build one or tow modules at a time so that the railroad slowly expands. My dream for this project is that it eventually gets large enough that I can take the layout to shows in the summer, but that is too far down the road to really plan.

My next step is to begin to budget both time and money for this project and decide exactly what I want to be included first on the layout. All I've done so far on the blog is explain what I want the railroad to depict, and I've figured out I want to have a mine on the first module.

Anyways, I'll be updating both the blog as well as this forum topic regularly so keep tuned in and keep those trains running.

--James :java:

Oh, and two more things:

1. One of the modules in the future will include that very unique piece of dual gauge track Woodie brought to our attention in a topic a few weeks ago:
http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=5588&forum_id=52

2. I've come up with my logo which is now my profile picture:


Photo is based on an actual photo I took of the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railway. Engine seen is an 0-4-0T engine #3

Last edited on Thu Apr 10th, 2014 03:31 am by jtrain



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James W.

New Blog (permanent this time)

blackhillsrr.blogspot.com
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 Posted: Mon Nov 4th, 2013 03:14 pm
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bill
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Great start on what will be a terrific RR. I share your interests in SW CO mining. I am working on rolling stock to support both mining and logging interests in Fn3. I will watch your blog with interest. Good luck in your college endeavors.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 4th, 2013 11:14 pm
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jtrain
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I've now got the basic concept for the decals that I want to use on the locomotives:



The black background mimics the flat black color of the steam locomotives. For any diesel locos I get, which won't be too many since I'm trying to model pre-diesel, I'll use a basic one or two tone color scheme.

Upper left logo will be for small steamers. the set of numbers underneath this logo will be centered underneath the road name.

For locomotives with a tender I'll use the lower left design with the mountain. I think this would look good on a 2-6-0 or similar type. Bachmann's larger 2-4-2 is on my radar and this logo might look good on it as well. Any diesels will display this logo along the side of the motor housing (with the exception of the davenport and GE __ Tonners where the logo will be worn under the cab windows).

For any shay's or climaxes that are bought for this railway, the upper right logo would look great I think on the tender with a large number under the cab sills.

I'll post some rough pictures in a few minutes.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Mon Nov 4th, 2013 11:36 pm
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jtrain
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Here is some basic design concepts for the locomotive decals:
Photos from hobby store website and edited on paint.



My own porter, but instead of Colorado Mining Co, has my design for the Bard Creek.



A 2-4-2 is something that's high on my checklist because of the unique design and relative low cost.



Don't know if the railroad will ever get big enough to run these babies, but we can dream.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Mon Nov 4th, 2013 11:46 pm
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jtrain
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From what I've seen, Mack locomotives make very good back up or switching type locomotives. One or two of these would never hurt, so here's the decal design for it:



photo courtesy of ebay.

--James

:java:



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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2013 05:30 pm
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W C Greene
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James, the big Shay is very cool...I got one for writing a product review in a hobby mag, it had sound & all. I was considering a layout at the time and had about 25 feet of LGB track and 2 LGB "D&RG" coaches. I set the loco and coaches on the 25 feet and was able to run forward and backward...just a few feet. That's when I knew that (1) the loco was way too big for me (2)it would take mucho dinero $$$ to build a proper layout for it (3)I needed money more than a big Shay. Oh well, I'm happy with what I have now.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Nov 7th, 2013 12:22 am
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jtrain
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Woodie, you are correct in that the Bachmann shay is a monster of a locomotive. Personally, if I ever get the chance to own one (I've seen them sell new for as little as $400 through micromark.com. Still not cheap, but for a loco that has an MSRP of over $800, micromark makes a pretty good offer) I'd definitely seize the opportunity. As I was contemplating how the layout would be set up, I realized it isn't that big of a trick to get 8' diameter curves, so a shay is possible. However I do agree you in that a shay is an unnecessary luxury, especially on a small set up. I'm happy with my porter as well as my LGB stainz and DRGW 0-4-0 diesel #50, also from LGB. All three run great and I'm counting on them to serve me well for a while.

Of course, the majority of my funds will go towards creating rolling stock and setting up a couple of modules, at least that is this winter's goal. I'm currently looking into heavily modifying Hartland locomotive works flat cars into drop bottom gondolas. I was going to use rolling stock kits, and will probably buy my share of them later on because they are so well detailed, but for now everything must be done on the cheap.

In other words, no shay...

...yet;)

By the way, congratulations on your promotion Woodie!

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sun Dec 15th, 2013 06:29 am
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Just a quick set of updates. As of Now, I have the module design almost finished. After going back and forth a few times between a couple different design concepts, I decided to go with a design where the module acts as a stage for the trains, giving a backdrop and an overhead frame work with built in lighting. This design allows for modules to be stacked easily when in transport plus then I won't need to worry about smashed buildings and the like as well as all the boxes of my previous design. Now everything, if attached appropriately, will be safe fro harm unless I get in an accident or someone puts a post through the module. So check out the blog for some updates.

Thanks!

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sun Dec 29th, 2013 04:50 am
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jtrain
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Time for another update on my progress of the Bard Creek Railroad project. After considering what track to use, as well as what I'm attempting to model, I have recently been floating benchwork ideas around. My first idea was this for the modules:


I liked this look a lot, but I found that the plywood I was planning on using to make the required C shaped braces would be too fragile for the rigors of a show layout. For that matter, simple physics dictates that such a module would need too much lumber to support a 30" overhang such as that, and so the weight would get to be too much.

I did not want to add a frame or bracing to the front of the module because it would break up the layout into a series of scenes. I needed to have support to keep the module stable and strong. The solution was simple, put away the plywood and go with dimensional lumber.

My design is based around framework from 2x2, 1x2 and 1x3 lumber:


The blue represents 2x2 lumber which gives a sturdy vertical support along the backside. The red represents 1x3 pieces that are the main supporting braces for both the scenery base and for the overhead.

The green represents the 1x2 pieces which are secondary support for the 1x3 braces. The 1x2 and 1x3's are combined at right angles to make the familiar L girder bracing popularized by Linn Westcott. However, instead of L girders spanning the full length of the module I instead use the girders as cross braces.

The main difference between this design and the previous design is that instead of a 30" overhang, I plan to have a vertical 1x2 with bracing about halfway down the cross braces on each end. Structurally, this cuts the overhang roughly in half and the brace will give the back framwork some leverage that puts the lumber under tension rather than compression. This design allows for the trains to pass in front obscured, resulting in an uninterrupted view of the layout.



A curved, panoramic backdrop for each module instead sets the scene. One thing I left out of the diagram is that there would be several 1x2 cross braces along the bottom framework which will support the foam scenery base.



The addition of pink or blue foam on top of the cross braces provides a solid and light scenery base. Additional layers can be added to give a varying ground elevation within each module.



Each module can then be completed with very light plywood along the top and possibly the sides and bottom. The 2x2's along the back will do a good job of protecting that side by itself.



The addition of track, scenery and structures plus a lighting system in the valance completes the module. The design protects everything that is within the module while also making the layout look more professional. The backdrops, curving towards the front at each module end, frames the scene while also allowing trains to pass obscured. I'd prefer that the space between the vertical support and the front of the layout be enough that two tracks could be laid down, allowing for sidings to be constructed.

--James:java:

Last edited on Sun Dec 29th, 2013 04:51 am by jtrain



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 Posted: Sun Dec 29th, 2013 05:12 am
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jtrain
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Here is what I'm talking about for the design change:



The diagram on the left represents the end bracket of the previous design. It is essentially an arch on it's side. The problem with arches is that they only work when upright. The forces and stresses on the lumber are shown with colored arrows, red representing the forces exhibited when weight is placed on the module top. Green represents small stresses and orange represents moderate stresses.

The design on the left, the previous design, would have force causing the valance to collapse under pressure. The weak point would be in the upper left, which would sheer and the top of the module would collapse.

The design on the right is my new design, which transfers the same force through a central column and minimizes the sheering action in the upper left by giving the module framework leverage. The left will house the backdrop and the right is open to allow trains to pass.

--James:java:



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James W.

New Blog (permanent this time)

blackhillsrr.blogspot.com
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