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The Crown Peak Logging Co.
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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 07:05 am
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jtrain
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I've finally had it with all the other pros-cons of selecting a scale to model in.  For the last three years I've been all over the map trying to find something and stick with it, and have failed miserably.  I can give this advice now that I've fallen into the trap, and am digging myself out as we speak; don't take this hobby too seriously.

>>>I had two problems leading me into this trap.  First, I wanted to model something impressive, despite not having time, space, or money.  This was leading me to take research WAY too seriously, as I'm sure some could note from topics on the forum.

>>>The second problem I've been having is self-doubt.  I tend to take Dr. Ben Franklin's advice too seriously, "When in doubt, don't."  Thus I've been leading myself into an endless circle of researching prototypes, having some issue with the prototype, and walking away from the project.

So I finally decided the best remedy for this situation is to establish what I want most, and go from there.  I like many modelers, just want to run trains, but I also want a railroad with character and scenery, and thus I've arrived at the On30 crowd! But talk is cheap, so I'm proud to announce this new railroad has it's first locomotive on the way.  CLCRR #1 is a Bachmann 4-4-0.  Not a heavy puller, but it'll do well on flat ground carrying MOW equipment.  The engine should arrive in a week or two, in the meantime I'll have to kick around some ideas.

What I want/need in this railroad is the following:

>Back-country scenes from the Crown of the Continent, places like the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and Glacier National Park.  Clear streams, deep blue lakes, moss on trees, steep and winding valleys, and small, open meadows.

>Modular/sectional in design so that it will store in a closet easily. (Might be a good time to finally employ my idea for a enclosed module like Michael had recommended a few projects back)

>Switching operations for logging and/or mining.  The Crown of the Continent had plenty of both logging and mining railroads.

>Freedom from the burdens of following a prototype.  This time I have given myself strict orders to only draw INSPIRATION from the prototype railroads, not historical data.  Cool to look at, but such research is time consuming and exhausting.  At this point I'd rather just build stuff and have fun with it.

>Ability to scratchbuild/kitbash despite not having very good skills at either.  (Thus why I chose, finally, On30)

And that's really all there is to the introduction of the railroad!

EDIT:  No longer focused specifically around Glacier, but rather the Interior Northwest as a whole.

--James

Last edited on Sun Nov 20th, 2016 09:34 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 08:06 am
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Si.
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Hi James :wave:

I think you could have hit the mother-lode !
Or rather, the big-timber !!

It's obvious you like researching the prototype, so do I.
I used to build it as well, now I don't.

The U.S.A has had so many small railroads, in it's history...
...that the 'there's a prototype for everything' tag, really is true !

So why not mix 'em all up, how YOU want, and create a new American railroad !
That the way we roll at Mysterious Moose Mountain anyways.

Space, money, time.
Yep, they can be genuine issues.
But, there are always things that can be done, without much of any of them.

The prototype often had a make & make do approach as well.
Something that funky narrow gauge, like On30 can be perfect for.
Model railroading impresses me very little, when it's just a money spending contest !
A crappy $10 kit from eBay, turned into something with character, is way more interesting.

Space to run trains, is sometime tricky.
But space to make trains, is a few sq.feet on the bench top.
There are plenty of cool MOW cars for that 4-4-0 to make, before you even need track.
When more space comes in the future, you will have a great collection to run in it.

A collection of raw materials for building stuff, is far more worth while than a load of brass in boxes.
There are no rules of course.
Freerails & On30 don't seem to have too many rule books !
Thank goodness !!

:moose:

Si.



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 04:01 pm
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W C Greene
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Yep, develop the skills to "go your own way" and you will be satisfied. It ain't rocket surgery (I have been shot at by "pickers" for that phrase) but then......

The little 4-4-0 is a fine lokie and would be right at home on a logger or mining road. If you want to see something run, just get ahold of a loop of HO sectional track that you can set up on a table or even the floor and just sit & watch her git after it.

As you now know, there are many who research, read, ponder, evaluate, etc...and then one day St Peter calls and they never got to do anything but "think". I have known guys who went that way. DON'T LET YOURSELF BE ONE OF THOSE!

Have fun and run a train...today!
Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 05:42 pm
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jtrain
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Woodie and Si,

Exactly!  Couldn't have said it better myself!  And that's why I've come to believe in the idea of On30 trains, the freedom to have funky little trains doing prototypical running, absolutely brilliant and I kick myself for not seeing it earlier.

Now then, that table will be getting some good use at home, and at train shows.  But hopefully I can build a few modules, and if not I've always got a workbench to build the models themselves.

--James



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 06:17 pm
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Herb Kephart
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James---Just how big is this closet?

Don't be surprised to find that your list of things that you want to model has to be seriously pruned to be able to store all in a closet.

Herb



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 06:44 pm
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jtrain
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Closet is about 18 inches deep by 7 feet wide by 5 foot tall to the clothes rack shelf.  However, it won't be the permanent home for this railroad, it will merely be the storage area when not in use.  If I want to run, I've got a full garage to run in, it's just that I share the garage with other people, and cars, and stuff.

The plan isn't to model big scenes, just small and compact scenes like you would find in the bottom of a canyon, but I can fit six modules with the following dimensions:

Height: 20"
Width: 16"
Length: 36"

When set up, this layout can be as big as 20 inches wide by 18 feet long.

The reason for doing self-contained modules is so that I don't have to find a permanent home for the layout, and here's the inspiration:


Small Model Railroads

This is a construction photo from Prof Klyzlr's layout that I am quite fond of, "Brooklyn 3AM."  Think of something the size of Brooklyn, and it becomes apparent that this layout captured the flavor of the city beautifully in a 2x4 module.  I won't have any sweeping vistas of the crown of the Continent, but I can certainly have some compact scenes on a compact layout that forces operators and viewers to see the details rather than the overall scene.

I tried to make this work in G scale, but the modules would have been far too big.  But O scale is less than half the size of 1:20.3, so it should be small enough to build manageable size modules.

I'll have to get specific dimensions of the closet, but I should be able to have a layout between 10 and 20 feet in length and wide enough for compact scenes.  The only thing I have yet to determine is the height of the modules, and that depends on how big the trains are.  So I really can't do too much until the locomotive arrives, but I just got notice that the package has shipped, so it could be here before Thanksgiving.

As for the scenes, they will have to be compact.  It's somewhat hard to describe, but the area around Glacier National Park is very, very diverse.  In some areas of lower elevation you have a temperate rain forest with massive Western Cedar trees draped in moss.  Higher elevations are more like Leadville Colorado than anything with more open and dramatic scenery.  And on the East end of the Crown there is a massive high-plains desert where the mountains are almost bare and lower elevations have vegetation similar to that of New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

Obviously the logging railroads weren't climbing 5000 feet to get at the high elevation trees, but they were inside the temperate rain forests hauling out trees that rival the size of Redwoods.  Some of the old growth forests have cedar trees that top 100 feet tall and are two centuries old, and there was likely bigger specimens in the 1920's.

BTW, for you On30 guys, Trainworld is having a huge sale on some of their On30 steamers.  I got my 4-4-0 for $50, and it's one of the newer models with DCC installed!

Last edited on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 07:00 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2016 11:18 pm
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Reg H
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Good thinking, James. And welcome to the world of On30.

I chose that scale/gauge pretty much for the same reasons you did, except I have a little more space.

My original plan was that the layout would operate two Bachmann moguls.

Railroad inflation being what it is, I now have two moguls, two consolidations, a ten wheeler and a Porter.

:)

Reg



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 Posted: Sat Nov 19th, 2016 04:46 am
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jtrain
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Thanks Reg!

When I mentioned compact scenes, I meant it.  I ran across this photo showing what the Montana wilderness looks like from the perspective of a guy standing in the woods:



Photo Credit: http://www.american-rails.com/mt-lgs.html

Not exactly a sweeping view, is it?  But for the loggers, they were all seeing dollar signs!

But this proves that I can model something representing the area, even in a small space.

--James



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 Posted: Sat Nov 19th, 2016 02:37 pm
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Ken C
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James

Interesting list of Montana logging RR, some had names longer then the track they operated :Crazy:



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 Posted: Sat Nov 19th, 2016 10:04 pm
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jtrain
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Yeah, not a lot of logging lines operated for too long, but that was the case pretty much everywhere. Railroads like the Westside Lumber Company lasted so long because they could beat out their competition.

As for the names?  My best guess is that the books were pretty full of simpler original names by the 1920's.  A lot of these same outfits came directly from Minnesota and Michigan and so as a company was re-organized, the names were changed.  Also, I think that these are just some of the lines which people knew about, there was probably dozens of little outfits in the region that never received much public attention.  Part of the reason why I picked NW Montana is simply because it hasn't been modeled to death, so there's room for artistic license and giving my railroad a unique flavor.

--James



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