Freerails Home 
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register

Because of non-railroad abuse of the site, new members MUST use their first names (at least) to join NO EXCEPTIONS!

South Dakota in N scale
 Moderated by: Herb Kephart Page:    1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page  
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Sun Feb 15th, 2015 08:15 pm
  PMQuoteReply
1st Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
As most of the regular members might know, I've been in sort of a limbo with my modeling. After all, college does come first...:sad:

Anyway, I've decided to spend my weekends this winter building an N scale layout. I know, first I wanted to do 1/20.3 scale (I still want to, I just don't have the space), then I briefly thought about O scale 2 rail, On30, On3, HO, HOn3, finally I settled on N scale. I now, I went right down the scale spectrum.

I was then thinking of doing an N scale layout of the colorado Midland, before I realized I needed it to be flat enough to fit under a bed, hang on a wall, store in a closet, etc...

I started thinking, "What prototypes operated on flat terrain?" The obvious answer is South Dakota!

One of the main railroads in the state is called the Dakota Southern. It has a mainline that looks more like it's abandoned than in operating condition, but the railroad is there. Here's a couple photos from the Railroad Picture Archives website:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net


David Vogt photo


John Schumann photo

There are my reference shots, plus all the others on the website, for this layout. In addition, I've already done my homework for this railroad in another thread from a couple months ago:

http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=6371&forum_id=43

The last post in the short thread has three links to videos and information on the Dakota Southern Railroad plus a short overview, including the 9 locomotive roster (only 5-6 are operating, the others include an ex-Sooline GP30 without power, and a DDA40X rusting away on a side track.

So far I've completed the framework, bought the track, sculpted the scenery base, and laid roadbed, sanded, glued, and painted the surface of the layout. At this point, I need to finish painting the creek bed and lay the track, wire it, and get some trains running! That'll be for next weekend though.

The next couple of posts will have photos of my progress thus far.

Thanks!

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Feb 15th, 2015 08:16 pm
  PMQuoteReply
2nd Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Okay, a few progress photos that summarize the project:















For more photos, you can visit my latest blog post:

http://jjwtrains.blogspot.com/2015/02/south-dakota-in-n-scale-part-i.html

Now, to summarize what I'm doing in words:

Essentially, This layout will represent a part of the mainline for the Dakota Southern Railroad. This mainline will have weeds right up to the rails, tall grass about 3-4 scale feet tall, and an old grain elevator with a team track for industry. I want this layout to be photo-friendly, so the scenes will be separated by line of trees, just as in the prototype. On one side of the trees will sit the grain elevator. The trees will act as a view block for the camera, preventing the entire layout to be seen at once.

On the other side of the tree line will be a culvert and an intermittent stream coming out of a small swamp. This particular scene will try to capture a commonplace scene in real life. Many fields are "tiled" which allows for excess water to drain into swamps, and are carried out by small creeks.

Bordering the small creek will be a grassy field for livestock. While a grain field of some sort might make more sense, it simply can't be done in this small of a space. Instead, livestock will be present, perhaps a snowfence rotting away in the weeds, and a 50 foot wide ROW. Typically on mainlines, the ROW is 100 feet across, but on the Dakota Southern, the ROW is only 50 foot wide in many places, with fields getting to within 25 feet of the track. Take a look at a couple of the videos, and it becomes apparent.

This field will be great for getting shots of my N scale roster and rolling stock. When taking pictures back towards the elevator, the line of trees will hide the track and roads, while the buildings can be removed easily.

Thanks!

--James :java:

Last edited on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 08:44 pm by jtrain



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Feb 15th, 2015 10:34 pm
  PMQuoteReply
3rd Post
dwyaneward
Registered


Joined: Wed May 3rd, 2006
Location: Fairview, Texas USA
Posts: 502
Status: 
Offline
Looking good, James :2t:



____________________
Dwyane Ward | Fairview, TX
------------------------------------
Texas & Pacific - Bonham Division in N Scale
http://kdrail.blogspot.com/
------------------------------------
KD Models - 3D printing
https://www.shapeways.com/shops/kdmodels
-----
Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Feb 16th, 2015 12:34 pm
  PMQuoteReply
4th Post
W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 7343
Status: 
Online
James, that's really nice. Have you done some more? Man, we really love photos!!!

Woodie



____________________
Go ahead, make my day!
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Feb 17th, 2015 09:05 pm
  PMQuoteReply
5th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Thanks guys!

No extra photos yet, I'm trying to just work weekends. But... Track will soon be laid and hopefully in one or two more weekend sessions I'll have trains running!

For now though, I've been touching up the paint job and researching the prototype. One thing I've wanted to figure out is the true ROW width. The following images came from Google Earth, and the arrows were edited in, of course:






I think this is a great comparison. Both are the main line of the Dakota Southern, the first image is East of the Missouri and the second image is West of the Missouri.

Does anyone see the difference?

Essentially, the East River division sees a lot more traffic, mostly grain products, and is in a much more moist environment that supports grain crops. The ROW has plenty of weeds and tall grass to within a couple feet of the rails, but the track itself is weed free. A solid 50 foot ROW is also in place on both sides of the track.

Hwy 16 is south of the tracks, is about 48 feet wide (12+ wide lands and about a 10-12 foot shoulder) and also has a 50 foot ROW which borders the tracks. In between is a drainage ditch to collect rain water and move it to the nearest creek, which occurs every few miles or so.

Compare that to the West River image. The tracks are overgrown with weeds, receiving very little traffic (about 4-5 years since the last train) and the ROW is marginally enforced, with a permanent fence coming to within 20 feet of the tracks in at least one place.

Due to the drier climate, there is less grain traffic, and fields of hay dominate the landscape, although cattle pastures are equally present.

The good news is that the West River division of the Dakota Southern will be upgraded in the near future with a TIGER grant. This includes replacing rotting ties, upgrading to heavier rail for at least a few dozen miles west of the Missouri River, relaying grade crossings (some were filled in) and cleaning up the ROW.

Soon, it is thought that the Dakota Southern Will be back from the brink and can haul grain from Kadoka, South Dakota, to Mitchell, South Dakota.

It also explains why I'm going with the East River rather than the West River. Kinda hard to have weeds growing on N scale track with poor alignment.

Thanks!

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Sun Feb 22nd, 2015 01:34 am
  PMQuoteReply
6th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a post on this thread about the West River portion of the Dakota Southern. While on this project I'm focusing on the East River, the West River portion of the DSRC has begun a process of change.

As of this spring, the Dakota Southern has put forth plans for the summer of 2015 to fix portions of the line which has been dormant since 2007 and hasn't received any significant maintenance since the Milwaukee Road pulled out of South Dakota. I took a few hours of researching on Google Maps to come up with this overview of the route west of the Missouri.



When I did this overview, I realised the diagram does not truly show the distance of the line, it only gives numbers and town names, so here is the route pulled from Google Maps and edited to show everything from Oacoma by the Missouri River to Kadoka, the end of the line. It is roughly in scale to the 10 mi distance I put into the image:



The thick orange line is I-90 whereas the smaller red line is the route the Dakota Southern takes. As you can see, it's quite a distance, spanning nearly 1/3 of the state. From Mitchell, South Dakota, to Kadoka, South Dakota, the DSRC has 190 miles of mainline.

Anyway, back to the rail project, this West River portion of the line will receive upgrades from Oacoma to Presho, and the line (hopefully by 2016) will have a regularly scheduled train from Chamberlain (by Oacoma) to Kadoka. Many times, these proposed "upgrades" are full of hot-air and never get completed, but this one is an exception because the funding is there, the railroad will have a near monopoly with only the Rapid City, Pierre, and Eastern Railroad as competition, but the tracks average 30-40 miles away from the tracks of the DSRC. Additionally, the profit is there because two new grain facilities are currently under construction along the line to serve local farms which will provide profitable tonnage for the line. I don't expect daily trains west of Presho, but I do think a weekly service will resume in the near future to Kadoka, and perhaps breathe some new life into region of the state that has been devoid of reliable rail service since the 1980's.

Anyway, that's my bit about the West River portion of the Dakota Southern Railroad.

For an update on the layout, I just bought ballast, N scale roadway, and a pair of grade crossings. I'll have to make a custom pair for the curved tracks, but the pair I bought will do for the straight sections with crossings.

As for the track, I'll have to see how reliable the connections are before I decide to solder all the joints or not. I'm not the cleanest at soldering, and in N scale, the last time I soldered joints I ruined the track. So maybe I'll have feeder wires to a few places, but will leave the joints open? Besides that, I need the track to be fairly flexible on this layout since it'll being the cold, in the heat, in the trunk, the closet, under the bed, etc... Basically it's an expanded train set.

--James



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Fri Feb 27th, 2015 08:11 pm
  PMQuoteReply
7th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Not Quite an update, but close...

I have the basic scenery ordered and should be in next week. So, within a couple weeks I ought to have a running train!!!

Not only that, I've been admitted to attend with the layout at a swap meet on April 18th, so I now have a deadline and I've got a long way to go...

However, for now I thought I'd take a couple photos of a train sitting on the tracks:







I have a few more that I put on a quick post in my blog:

http://jjwtrains.blogspot.com/2015/02/south-dakota-in-n-scale-part-ia.html

Thanks for taking a look!

Last edited on Tue Apr 14th, 2015 08:57 pm by jtrain



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2015 09:41 pm
  PMQuoteReply
8th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Time for the first real update in a long time. Power is not hooked up yet, but the feeder wires are in place. A little trick I picked up is that for more reliable connections, use code 55 joiners on code 80 track. They have a smaller profile, fit very tightly, and hence have a much better mechanical connection. Any trouble spots I find, I'll simply solder together later down the road.

So with the track in place, scenery could commence, and so far half the layout has got it's basic scenery. The ditch turned out to be too small for a realistic pond so instead it's a dry ditch, full of weeds, and a very good pheasant habitat. Fall is always nice around here due to the colors (even though fall in South Dakota lasts about 2 weeks before the wind starts blowing in arctic air), so the bushes and trees are in full fall colors. For this project, I wanted a reasonable balance between realism and durability, I've found that Woodland Scenics fine lead foliage does the trick. Yes, it's expensive, but the tree budget doesn't have to be too large for a small layout depicting the Great Plains.











You might notice that the ballast is AROUND the turnout in a couple of photos, but not IN the turnout. I've figured out that no matter how good something looks, if it doesn't operate correctly, it's worthless. So, instead of goobering up the turnout with ballast and glue, I've made the illusion that the turnout is ballasted when in reality, the ballast is just around the outside but not anywhere near the mechanism or frog.

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2015 09:49 pm
  PMQuoteReply
9th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Now for the second part of tonight's update.

After the glue was dry (almost dry), I added some deadfall and various details , plus I used the remainder of the fine leaf foliage as bushes, especially the red and orange colors, which are most often seen in non-trees (aka bushes and vines) in eastern South Dakota. From the photos I see an opportunity to add fences, a windmill, and a few cows at a later date. The track looks pretty obvious, I'll need to paint it later on so that the apparent height of the track isn't so obvious. That's code 80 for ya, looks terrible, runs well.











So in a literal sense, the layout is half done:bg:

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top

 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2015 10:12 pm
  PMQuoteReply
10th Post
jtrain
Registered


Joined: Sun May 27th, 2012
Location: Bozeman, Montana USA
Posts: 912
Status: 
Offline
Third and final part, a look into what's still to come...

By now, the layout could be taken to the show if it were this weekend, but seeing that I've still got some time until the show in Sioux Falls, here's a list of things I would like to finish:

1 Grain elevator
2 basic scenery for the rest of the layout
3 touch up the roadways
4 get the track cleaned and operating

The track shouldn't take too long, I've already made sure there's no derailment issues, I just have to cleanup the sides of the rails from all that ballast which raised up in the glueing process and clean the railheads for good electrical contact. Making the roadways look nice won't be hard either, just another coat of paint and applying sandpaper face up to the gravel surfaces (another trick I learned) Works every time, just need to watch the seams.

After another bottle of glue/water mix is made, I'll be ready for applying the remaining ballast and ground cover. So then, what about the elevator? Well, I have the styrene to make a really basic elevator and I was sure to have a cut piece of thick plastic for the base (which I put in the plaster roadbed to ensure I have a level spot amongst the gravel with a seamless transition.

All I needed was a prototype, and I found it a couple miles out of town:








This is an old wood-cribbed elevator that used 6x8 lumber stacked like you would built a log cabin. The exterior is covered in galvanized steel that has had a few coats of paint applied to it.

The design is simple and it's about the right size (it's situated on a siding that can only hold about 20 cars, so it scales well for this small layout.

The differences I plan to make for this elevator is a separate office building, a ground level truck unloading pit instead of a raised one (hence the ramp leading up to the garage door in photo 2), and a simplified trackside loading chute.

I have no desire or the space to add the additional steel grain silos, so I'll leave that alone.

For the other track, I have a small parking lot that crosses over the elevator siding to connect with the main road. This trackside parking lot shall be my team-track loading area. I'm able to safely fit 5 cars in the two sidings (3 on the elevator track, 2 on the team track) which, when combined with the main loop, gives me a 2-3-3 inglenook pattern. Of course, since I will mostly use this layout at train shows, operation is secondary to reliable running.

Well, that concludes tonight's update. I should have a couple more posts, maybe a video, before the train show.

Oh yes, one last thing, I'm going to add a decorative facia using trim boards, painted black or dark brown, to make an attractive border and hide my shotty benchwork (also to stiffen it up a bit). Overall, the layout will only weight about 15 lbs at the most. I then will also add a couple of black cabinet handles to carry the layout with. A quick shake-off outside to remove loose material, and this layout will be ready for the show!

As always, thanks for taking time to look around and read.

--James:java:



____________________
James W.

See progress on the Crown Peak Logging Railroad

http://apartmentrailroad.blogspot.com

And:

http://rapidcityrr.blogspot.com

A blog with modeling ideas and prototype information about my favorite regional railroad, the Rapid City Pie
Back To Top


 Current time is 04:26 pm
Page:    1  2  3  4  Next Page Last Page  

Top



UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2016 Data 1 Systems