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Reg H
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It is time to start this thread.

Up to a few weeks ago I was building (I am always building, they are never finished) an On30 layout named the Henderson Bay Railway and Navigation Company.  

That project has been terminated and I have started on an HO layout that will be the Henderson Bay Branch of the Burlington Northern.  

The "Henderson" sticks because it honors my long time friend and dedicated railroad historian, John Henderson.  Some of you may be familiar with his work related to logging and industrial railroads.  He is most noted as a major contributor to the defunct magazine "Tall Timber, Short Lines".  His obituary was in the last issue of that magazine.  Probably not a coincidence.  He also contributed to other publications, primarily "The Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette", as well as having by-lines and photo credits in many books and publications related to industrial, logging and short line railroading in the Pacific Northwest. 


The new layout will be a fictitious branch line similar to the Northern Pacific's branch to Raymond, Washington on Willapa Bay.  That line was one of John's favorite short lines.  The right of way is now a bike/hiking trail.  The era will be right at the beginning of the merger of the GN, NP, SP&S and CB&Q.   So I can run equipment from all those railroads plus the BN.  

I am using the benchwork from the HBR&TCo.  The layout will be point-to-point.  The trackplan will be, essentially, two of the "Thomasville" modules joined by a mainline run.  The "Thomasville" module is based on the old John Allen "Time Saver" and is at the center of the book "Your Next Model Railroad".  I have been wanting to build that trackplan for a long time.

Equipment will be mostly ready-to-run and structures will be Walthers Cornerstone and similar plastic kits.  Contrary to my normal practice (all handlaid) track will be commercial turnouts and flex track.  The object is to be able to include my grandkids in the construction and operation.

Train controls will be DCC and turnouts will be hand thrown using over-center springs.  Simplicity is an important element of this layout.

Photos will start soon. 

Reg

W C Greene
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Sounds great! I remember John Henderson, a great author and logging historian. A nice tribute indeed. As for a logger, there are many old, steam powered logging lines being built these days, most are narrow gauge. And while I dearly love narrow gauge and logging (even though I build mining lines), I have seen few "modern" loggers in standard gauge. You could have GP's and the like and maybe an old teakettle near the enginehouse. Flex track & switches? Sounds fine by me. Easy to build kit structures-something the kids could really get into.
One of my best friends forsook (?) modeling a 2 footer mining line to build a modern layout with flex and kits and his grandkids love it (as does he).
Have fun and when the main is down, you & the kids run the wheels off. There's the fun of this hobby!

Woodie

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Woodie:

I have a friend in Hertford England modeling Simpson.  I think he is modeling modern era with the SW type locomotives.

It occurs to me I have never seen photos.

I need to buck him up.

John was a very close friend who saw me through some very tough times, as well as some really great ones. He was the best man at my wedding.  We were often mistaken for brothers, and pretty much functioned that way. 
Lots of great railfan trips together.  I miss him a great deal.

Reg

Last edited on Tue Nov 28th, 2017 10:10 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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Here are some photos from my friend, Alan Sewell, in Hertford, England. 

His is a "fantasy" logging line based on modern Simpson and Weyerhauser practices and equipment. 

He was a close friend of John Henderson's, as well. 

I have tried to talk Alan into joining Freerails.  So far no luck.

"Edited"...he has joined and contributed a great beginning article on his layout.


Reg






Last edited on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 04:13 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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Last edited on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 04:14 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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Next one...






Last edited on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 04:15 pm by Reg H

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Last one ...





Last edited on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 04:16 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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Chrome doesn't play well with the Gallery.  In times past I couldn't upload photos to the Gallery in Chrome.  At least I can do that now.

But I can't access the Gallery while composing a "Reply" while in Chrome.

I could probably do it in Firefox, except the Linux version of Firefox has a tendency to lock up my computer.

Reg

Si.
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Hi Reg :wave:



Nice HO logging pix. from your Brit. buddy ! :)



1 'attachment' per Post is normal operation for that feature. :cool:



If you want to Post photos which you have uploaded to your Freerails Members Gallery in 'Chrome' ...

... Try this :-


:thumb:


Go to your Freerails Gallery

In your Gallery window click on the photo you want to Post

The photo will then be enlarged on your screen

Now ... Right-Click ... a drop down menu will appear

From this drop down menu ... click on 'COPY IMAGE'


Now ... go to the Freerails Reply Window open in another tab

Place your cursor where you want your photo to appear

Then you need to Right-Click again ... another drop down menu will appear

From this drop down menu ... click on 'PASTE IMAGE'


The photo you want to Post from your Gallery should now be in the Reply Window.

Simply repeat the above sequence to add more photos to your Post


:thumb:


This method overcomes problems caused by a Microsoft 'Windows-10' update.

I believe it may work with other 2nd rate products like 'Chrome' as well. ;)

Jose reports that for Linux, he uses the 'Opera' browser & everything ROCKS with that software on Linux !



:moose:



Si.

Reg H
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Well, the first building for the Henderson Bay Branch has been completed.

We (the grandkids and I) are building the structures first so that we can arrange them the way we like and plan the track around them.  Definitely the first time I have built a layout this way.

I have been in the hobby for more decades than I care to count.  This is the first plastic structure I have ever built.  It is a Walthers Cornerstone kit.  Having built plastic models of other things (cars, boats, rolling stock, airplanes) I can say that this kit is very good quality.



With a bit of paint and some weathering, plus a few additional details, this could be a model as good as any craftsman kit.   This structure is built right out of the box.  For the first time in my many years of model railroading, reaching a certain level of layout completion is a primary goal.

The only difficulty I had in assembly had to do with the brick colored parts.  The acetone (which I have used for many decades in building styrene models from scratch) did not bond the brick colored parts.  It worked fine on everything else. 

So I picked up a quart of MEK.  That worked.

Here is the crew at work...



One other objective of using the plastic kits is the minimal need for tools.  We (I) can work on the card table in the family room instead of being sequestered in the basement or the shop. 

Now we need to start on the next structure.  There will be a total of five, at least to start, at the west end of the layout.

I haven't assigned town names yet.  I have made a change in the concept from the On30.  That plan included the entire railroad.  The small narrow gauge shortline could be justified by the traffic generated by the industries on the layout.

The HO version will need justification for longer trains.  So the west end of the layout will not be the west end of the railroad (Henderson).  There will be a kind of interchange track at the west terminus of the layout to park rolling stock destined to go further west to Henderson. That operational concept is similar to Puget Sound & Pacific operations where Elma serves somewhat like a division point.  Trains come from the interchange with the BN at Chehalis and go to Elma, where they can either go west to Aberdeen, or northeast to Shelton, Bremerton and Bangor.  Adopting this operational model justifies more traffic than can be accounted for by the industries actually modeled on the layout.

So I need three place names in addition to Henderson.  I want to use names from the original NP Raymond branch.  They give a sense of place, plus there are colorful names from which to choose:  Pe Ell, LeBam, Mox, Malone, as well as some less colorful: Oakville, Rochester. 

Reg

Last edited on Tue Nov 28th, 2017 03:03 am by Reg H

Reg H
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More thoughts as the layout takes shape in my mind.

As stated earlier, the "Thomasville" trackplan from the book "Your Next Model Railroad" will be the basis for both ends of the point-to-point layout. 

The basic plan in the book calls for the use of #8 turnouts on the mainline.  As my benchwork was originally built to accommodate a 1/4" scale railroad, there is plenty of wide open space in HO.  So the use of #8's on mainline turnouts was attractive.

So I ordered a couple of Atlas #8's to see what they look like.  And I don't really like them very much.  The frog is way too long and ugly.  I think the #6's look much better.

I considered using Fast Tracks jigs to build up some #8's.  I can justify the cost financially.  The cost of the jigs and associated aids and materials would be a wash in comparison to purchasing commercial turnouts, given the number of #8 turnouts envisioned.  But this approach is contrary to one of the objectives of this layout, which is to blaze in track and basic scenery in as short a time as possible.   I have NEVER done that.  But I am involving young children and they are not long on patience.  The idea of spending a year building trackwork is not attractive to them.

I haven't ruled out Fast Tracks for the #8's (all sidings and spurs will be #6) but my current thinking is to use #6 turnouts throughout.  The #6's look pretty good, but there is something majestic about a well-built #8. I have a few more days to fuss about it.

All construction will be as simple as possible.  All track will be Atlas flex-track, code 83.  I haven't used flex-track in decades.  Most of my track in the past has been handlaid.  

I have adopted an over-center spring type of "switch machine".  The over-center springs will eliminate the problems I had with PCB ties, should I break down and opt for the Fast Tracks #8's. But the main objective of that type of turnout control is to make operation as "hands on" as possible and to eliminate under the layout construction.  I have "built" one over-center spring and installed it on a turnout.  It works great.  It took me about 10 minutes to "build" the first one. "Building" an over-center spring involves putting three bends in a piece of piano wire and clipping the ends to length.  

Locomotive control will be DCC.  The DCC bus is already in place from the On30 layout. 

Reg

Reg H
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Si:

Thanks for the alternative method for posting photos from the Gallery.  That will save me some hassle. 

I presume that when you are referring to "second rate" you are thinking of Windows 10.

I use Chrome because of the cross-platform nature of both the browser and the calendar. 

Reg


Reg H
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I wanted to try out Si's photo posting method, so I went in search of this one:





This is not HO.  It is 1/4" scale. Tracks in the foreground are On30.  This is the kind of structure I have built in the past.  Except for the shingles, which are a commercial cedar product, the depot is scratchbuilt entirely from sheet and strip styrene.  Even the windows and doors are built up.  

It is not quite complete, needing glazing and a platform, and is now stored away in a box while I immerse myself in HO for awhile. 

This kind of construction, while rewarding and relaxing, is not suited to my efforts to include my grandkids in the process.  The first Cornerstone kit went together in about the same time as it took to build one of the double-hung windows in this depot.  

Reg


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" Si:

Thanks for the alternative method for posting photos from the Gallery. That will save me some hassle. 

I presume that when you are referring to "second rate" you are thinking of Windows 10.

I use Chrome because of the cross-platform nature of both the browser and the calendar."



Hi Reg :wave:



Pleased to be able to help Reg ! :)

It's obviously working on your LINUX as well !! :bg:



It's nice to see that when advice is read carefully & followed, IT WORKS ! ;)



:cool:



Si.



Nice looking Depot ! :mex:


Reg H
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Progress (other than what is going on inside my head) has been slowed by holiday activities. 

But things have been going on inside my head.  

One thing I would like to include is some provision for continuous running.  Previous thoughts only concluded that the only way to include something was to tear out the existing benchwork and design a layout that would include either a lift out or a duck under.  Neither of which I am willing to consider. 

But then I started thinking of adding a "tourist" HOn30 loop.  With 18", or even sharper curves, I might be able to squeeze something in.  

Further cogitating brought to mind that I have two HOn3 industrial diesel kits lurking somewhere in my stash of stuff.  I have had them so long I can't remember where, when,  or why they were acquired.  But I am sure they are still in the stash.

Those little bitty engines would look just fine on 15" radius curves.  I could model a modern make-believe narrow gauge logging show with these little diesels as power.

Yeah, I know, nothing like that has ever existed.  So what?

That aspect of the layout could be made to appear point-to-point (mill to re-load, perhaps) but include a sneak around to complete an oval.  

There would be an added benefit.  This part of the layout might go some ways towards slaking my thirst for narrow gauge.

But I am way ahead of myself.  I don't even have the track mapped out for the west end yet.  

I still have three structures to complete before I can begin that process.

Reg

W C Greene
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Howdy Reg, holidays are an intense time for most anyway. As for the HOn3 "critters", would they be the Grandt Line kits from years ago? If so, why not "mu" them together to be a logging "locomotive". The little dudes would be able to pull a sizeable cut of log cars.
Just thinking...

Woodie

Reg H
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Woodie:
I am going to have to check the manufacturer.  One of them may be Grandt Line.  I don't even remember what types they are, though I am pretty sure one of them is GE.  They are both brass and produced many decades ago.  I can't remember why I even bought them.  I have never modeled HO narrow gauge, nor intended to.   "Back in the day" if I was going to buy an industrial diesel it would have been HO or O standard gauge.  Anyway, I am glad I have them, now. 

I will dig them out and take some photographs.


I am a ways from thinking about how I am going to operate them.  It has been awhile since I dug into my "stash" and looked at them.  I am curious as to what other HO items I might have lurking in that cabinet.  If memory serves, I have a set of three GN box cars in the green and orange, and an undecorated Athearn caboose with some GN decals stowed in the box. 

I did some rough measurements last evening and squeezing in a bit of narrow gauge is quite feasible.  

I have five structure kits, all Walthers Cornerstone,  I want to complete before I start actually laying out track center lines at the west end of the layout.  Two of those are now complete.  I set up a card table in the family room and worked on one while we all watched a Christmas movie (The Santa Clause) last evening.   That may turn into a pattern.   The nice thing about the plastic kits is that I don't need a complete shop to put them together.  Though to really do them up right they need some additional paint.  I will probably do some touch up on them at a later date.  Right now, the objective is to get something up and running as soon as possible.  

I also have a bit of a bridge project.  You will recall the wood Howe truss bridge I built for the On30.   I left the water feature in place.  I was kind of hoping just to use that bridge, but when I posed some HO equipment on it, it really looked silly.  Also, my current concept calls for double track across there. 

So I ordered a couple of the Atlas through plate girder bridges, double track.   I ordered two because the span is a bit more than the as-built span of the Atlas bridge.  I plan to do a bit of cutting and pasting in order to come up with a bridge that spans the space.  It may end up being a bit long for a single span plate girder bridge, but I'm not going to tell anybody.  The span is 15-1/4" (110 scale feet), which doesn't quite match up with anything available right out of the box. 

I am hoping the kitbash will take less time than scratch building a bridge.  But we will see.  Sometimes the cutting, fitting, and finagling takes up as much time as just building the thing from raw materials.    

I think if I were to scratch build I would do a through truss bridge in styrene.  That is a lot of work.  What I may do is do the kitbash for the time being and build a truss bridge at my leisure.  

Anyway, a lot more going on in my head than on the layout at the moment.  

Complicating matters is the horizontal mill engine model (steam) under construction in the shop.  I have the 1" X 3" cylinder bored out, but that is the extent of progress on the project.  It has been slowed down by the same situations slowing the layout, and some modifications I am making to the plans.  Whoever drew the plans obviously has access to a Bridgeport mill.  I just have my little bench top Seig.  So I need to modify the plans to some extent in order to be able to fit the pieces into the capabilities of my equipment. 

The plans call for milling the cylinder and the crosshead guide from a single piece of 7" long stock.  The rear cylinder head not being a separate piece, just boring the cylinder as a blind hole.  My equipment is not big enough to do that.  So the cylinder is bored through and the rear cylinder head and crosshead guide will be milled from a single piece of stock, but separate from the cylinder. 

Also, the plans do not include a packing gland where the piston rod goes through the rear cylinder head.  That won't work, and the photos of the author's model shows what looks like an arrangement to include a packing gland.  In order to make room for a packing gland I have to make some modifications not only to the rear cylinder head, but also the crosshead guide. 

Now, if I could just figure out a way to retire and still have the money to do all this stuff...

Reg

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Reg,
GREAT work on that depot, I love it!
Of course I caught on right away what scale it was. Us On30 types immediately can pick up on something like that.
I can't wait to see more progress!

Reg H
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Woodie:

Here is the set up for starting the cylinder bore.   Progressively larger bits until the hole is big enough for the boring bar.
This set is when I still thought I could machine the cylinder assembly from one piece of stock.
Therefore, the steady rest. 

Reg





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Woodie:

As promised, I dug into my deep, dark, storage closet to find out what HO goodies I had lurking there.

First, let's talk about the boxcars I thought were in green and orange.  Not exactly:



In boxcar red:  two versions of the 50' double door boxcar and one 40' single door. But nice kits none the less.

Now to talk about the narrow gauge diesel.  Note the singular.    



This is a model of the SP #1 used briefly by the SP on one of their acquired narrow gauge branches to replace a steam locomotive.  It was only in service a few years, but it is a quite little number.



And I mean "little".

What is interesting is that there is another set of wheels and truck side frames in the box.  Narrow gauge as well.  I thought they might be HOn30 at first.  Nope.  HOn3.  Strange.



Second "narrow gauge" diesel is not narrow gauge at all, but is a standard gauge GE 44 tonner by Keystone.



It is very thoroughly a kit:



Which assembles into a very standard, and standard gauge, GE 44 ton switcher.



I already have a GE 44 ton locomotive by Bachmann in green and orange.   Photo to come shortly.

I also have another Accurail GN boxcar, this one definitely in green and orange, in a box on top of a bookcase in my den.  It will be unboxed and added to the rolling stock.

Reg


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Woodie:

The Bachmann GE 44-ton:




Now!  How does one get DCC decoders into these little gems.  Actually, the narrow gauge diesel will not need to be DCC.   The narrow gauge will have but one locomotive.

I haven't decided which 44-tonner I might want to use, if any. 

Reg

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Well, the last building for the west end of the layout has been completed.  I am acquiring the major buildings before laying out track center lines so that I can be sure of having room for what I want to do.

One of the shortcomings of the defunct On30 project was not having room for anything but track.



This is Walthers Cornerstone station.  it is a great kit.  I put this together in about two hours with the tools displayed.  Actually, I only used one of the files.  The kit could use a bit of paint and definitely a bit of weathering.  The siding has great detail that doesn't show up very well.  A dilute wash of india ink would really bring that detail out.

When completed, and with a little bit, a very little bit, of dress up, this easy-to-assemble, inexpensive kit could rival a craftsman type kit. 

I plan to do some paint and weathering on these plastic buildings down the road.  My structures are always mounted on the layout to be easy to pull off for detail/repair/what-have-you.  But right now things are getting slammed together in order to get trains running. 

The stand for the MEK is a must.  I use a tiny bottle with a fine point brush.  The small bottle cuts down on the escape of fumes.  The block prevents spills and serves as a holder for the brush.  

The project board is another "must have" tool.  The right angles help line up right angle joints, and can be used as a back stop when trying to hold something in place while applying the solvent. I have several of different sizes.  Not only does that approach provide a work surface commensurate with the size of the project, I can have several projects going at once without having to clear one project off the work bench to make room for a second project.  Just move the whole project, on the board, onto a shelf off the work bench.

I have also completed the plate girder bridge to span the "slough".  I built the bridge by splicing two Atlas plate girder bridges together.   The span is 14-9/16", so it is a pretty long plate girder bridge.  As predicted, it looks a bit unlikely.  But it will serve for the time being.  This bridge will be easy to take out and replace. 

I have a long term plan to build a through truss bridge for this location.  But the plate girder bridge will serve to get trains up and running.

Photos of the bridge to follow.

Reg

Last edited on Wed Jan 3rd, 2018 01:39 am by Reg H

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It's a tight fit Reg, but those 44 tonners can hold a small decoder.  Test the amp draw on that Bachmann unit and then choose the smallest decoder you can find.  Digitrax N and Z decoders are tiny and should fit inside the engine.

By the way if you're looking to include the grand kids, take a look over at card stock structures forum, a lot of neat stuff there.

Keep going on the layout Reg, it looks great!

--James

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Jim:
I actually started a couple of card stock model projects not long ago.  

Very addicting.  I will probably finish the projects I have squirreled away sometime in the misty future.  

The card models are another type of project where you can set up on a card table in the family room, close to the family action, instead of being sequestered away in the shop or basement. 

At the moment, plastic goes together a lot faster than card.  Working with MEK as a solvent parts can go together just about as fast as you can cut them off the sprues.  Using ACC on the card models makes assembly pretty rapid, but accurate cutting and folding is time consuming.  But fun and relaxing.

Reg

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I got started in laying out the track center lines for the west end.

I discovered that two of the buildings I purchased are simply too large.  

I found that the trick of photo copying turnouts as layout aids works really well. 

I have been going back and forth on the use of #8 turnouts.  I think the Atlas #8's are simply too ugly.  I don't see an alternative to hand laying those, and that is outside the goals of this layout. 

I have seen some Fast Tracks #8's and they look really good.   But the cost of admission, for the few I would need, is just too steep.

I decided to stick with #6 turnouts throughout.  I have two Atlas #6's and will be ordering six more today.  

I will also be looking for a kit for an industry that is no more than 7" wide.  I will also order at least two more Walthers "background" kits.  

Reg

Reg H
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The west end has been laid out.

The trick of making photo copies of turnouts and gluing the copies in the turnout locations works great.

There will be a few more structures.  Mostly "background" buildings along the backdrop. 

The "unlikely" plate girder bridge is in the background.

Putting down the cork roadbed is next.

Reg 


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I notice I need to sweep the floor.  There is still debris left over from taking out the On30.

Reg

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Ordered the turnouts I needed for the west end from Walthers.

They back ordered most of what I ordered (Atlas #6's).

Canceled the back ordered items.

Ordered Micro Engineering #6's.

Still waiting.

Reg 

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Hi Reg :wave:



Lookin' good.

Benchwork seems pretty flat & solid, after taking out the previous stuff.

Roll on those 'rare' No.6s !



:)



Si.

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Howdy Reg...I haven't ordered anything from Walthers for many years, that's about how long they take to get something you ordered to you! If I need anything, I order direct from the manufacturer. Micro Engineering, Grandt Line, Precision Scale, and all the others have websites and welcome taking orders. If they don't have something, they will let you know at once. Here in the states, we have the luxury of being able to call the companies and ask if they have the needed item(s), if so, then a Paypal or debit card number can get the thing in a hurry. An example, I needed 20 packs of Grandt #16 NBW's and the LHS told me that they would have to order them from Walthers who in turn orders from Grandt...when they have enough orders to make it worthwhile. Well, I called Grandt Line and found that they did indeed have 20 packs of the stuff, I gave them my debit card # on a Tuesday and a box with the NBW's was on my doorstep by Friday! The same for PSC and ME also.
You might try it anyway.

Woodie

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Woodie and Si:

Customer service at Walthers actually was quite helpful.   I have received the first order and the second order is on the way.  I will probably follow your advice, Woodie, henceforth ordering direct from the manufacturer.  

We used to have some great hobby shops within striking distance.  All gone, now. 

The On30 trackwork came up reasonably easy.  There were some rough spots, but I managed to smooth them out with a sander.  There are some spots where wood came up with the cork road bed, but none of them ended up in locations where new track work is going.

Taking up the On30 track in this area was, emotionally, pretty easy, as there was some water damage and some of the turnouts, having been the first ones I had built in some few years, needed to be pulled up and replaced anyway.  Locomotives tended to waddle through them like a duck.

The next stretch will be more difficult, as there are three really great looking and smooth operating turnouts in that area.  

The final area, the east end of the layout, will be much easier.  That is where I used the kit turnouts, all of which have failed.  The kit turnouts were actually nice turnouts.  I just didn't realize that the PC tie type of construction was not rugged enough to stand up to the Switch Master switch machines.

I hope to get the cork road bed down this weekend.  My attention has been somewhat occupied with other hobbies.  A big one is a horizontal mill engine I am building in the machine shop.  I am learning some valuable lessons.  But each lesson usually means tossing a part in the scrap bin and starting that part over again. 

I am pretty excited about the look of the #6 turnouts.  The On30 had #5's, which look pretty good, but were a compromise between the space savings of #4's and the appearance of the #6's.  The #6's will look very nice.  

Reg

Last edited on Thu Jan 18th, 2018 10:03 pm by Reg H

slateworks
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Reg H wrote: My attention has been somewhat occupied with other hobbies.  A big one is a horizontal mill engine I am building in the machine shop.  I am learning some valuable lessons.  But each lesson usually means tossing a part in the scrap bin and starting that part over again.

Reg

This seems to coincide neatly with your comments in the Updah thread Reg! hope you don't have to bin too many parts!

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slateworks wrote: Reg H wrote: My attention has been somewhat occupied with other hobbies.  A big one is a horizontal mill engine I am building in the machine shop.  I am learning some valuable lessons.  But each lesson usually means tossing a part in the scrap bin and starting that part over again.

Reg

This seems to coincide neatly with your comments in the Updah thread Reg! hope you don't have to bin too many parts!

The nice thing is that the parts that end up in the scrap bin can often serve as stock for other projects. 

:)

Reg

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Well, I got the cork roadbed down in whatever town this is going to be (probably PeEll) and started laying out the most intricate piece of trackwork.



I lay cork roadbed with contact cement.  That method goes really fast.  

I used to work very hard at cutting and fitting the roadbed under turnouts.  Until I figured out that it gets covered with ballast and all that is necessary is adequate support for the turnout.  Now I am kind of sloppy about it. 

I have started piecing together the most intricate piece of trackwork.  In keeping with the simplicity theme, it is actually not particularly intricate.  But even this simple it is a good idea to take extra care in putting this sort of thing together.  It wouldn't take much mis-alignment to cause years of headaches.  These three turnouts will be soldered together into one unit.

You can see my wire "switch machine" on the closest turnout.  It, and all of its siblings, will be somewhat camouflaged after the first paint application.  I will spray paint all the track a dark grey (ties are NEVER brown around here.  They weather to a dark gray pretty fast) and then paint the rail brown.  

Most of the rest of the turnouts will be Micro Engineering.  They have a built-in spring arrangement.




This is the view from the east end with the "unlikely" plate girder bridge in the foreground.  Yeah.  I know.  I need to dust off the "water" in Higgins slough.

I have to sweep the floor, too.  

It is obvious I am going to need some more structures.  I need a couple of more industries, plus some other structures just to dress this area up a bit.  

It looks like I will need to go beyond the Walthers Cornerstone buildings for some of it.  There are only so many variations in that line.

The track plan for this area is a modification of the Thomasville track plan from "Your Next Model Railroad" which is a modification of John Allen's Time Saver switching game. 

Reg


Last edited on Tue Jan 23rd, 2018 11:54 pm by Reg H

Lee B
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Coming along nicely!

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No progress on the railroad this week end.  The wife and I are on a getaway weekend.

My youngest daughter, with her two amazing kids, are living with us for awhile.  We love the kids, but every now and then (about once a quarter) we have to go find some peace and quiet.  So we have escaped to the ocean.

It is just what I hoped.  High winds screaming past our ocean view room, the surf pounding in.  Quite delightful.  Nothing to do but sit in the quiet room watching the wonders of mother nature.

Reg

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Actually, despite things being a bit crazy in our family at the moment, some work has gotten done on the new HO layout.

I got quite a bit of track down in a 2-hour session last weekend (well, weekend before last, now).  

It has been many years since I have laid flex track, but it went very well.  With the big benefit of laying more track in two hours than I could have hand laid in four full weekends.  

When I get all the track laid at the west end I will clean up the mess and take some photo. 

Reg

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I was able to get some work done on the layout.

Pardon the "under construction"  appearance.  Though almost all the track is down, there is still a lot of work to do.  
The last section of track leading to the turntable has not been laid.  That will get done when I have finished assembling the turntable.  I want to be sure that the track and the turntable line up properly.

Also, that last bit of track will serve as the programming track. 

"Filler" ties under the rail joints will be installed once all the soldering is done.  All rail joints will be soldered and the DCC feeders will be soldered in the area of the rail joints. 





The track plan is based on the plan in the book "Your Next Model Railroad" with modifications to fit into my narrower space.

I plan to use their idea of "scene libraries".   So far, the buildings have been chosen to be appropriate for any era from the 1920's to today.  That will continue.  Just by changing motive power and rolling stock (and vehicles once I have some) the era can be changed, and any prototype (or fictional) railroad operated.

There will be a few more buildings added to this part of the layout.  I need at least three more "flat" type buildings and probably some incidentals, like maintenance sheds, etc.

Currently I can run late Great Northern or early Burlington Northern with the locos and rolling stock I have.    I hope to be able to run steam-era GN and/or NP, and maybe Puget Sound & Pacific.

Reg


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All the track at the west end has now been laid and all rail joints soldered.  Though I have a bit of a problem with the joints.  I purchased a flux advertised as "non-corrosive".  Not exactly.  I am going to have to take a brush in my Dremel and clean up about half of the rail joints. I caught on and switched to  a rosin core solder after doing about half of the joints.

I am bowing to the expedient and using "suitcase" crimp fittings for the power feeders.  Previously I used terminal strips for each length of track.  But that didn't include this part of the previous layout.  When you start talking about 22 connections, the idea of using terminal strips loses it's appeal. 

This area had originally been wired for cab control and I simply spliced the DCC into the power bus for the control panel and switched all the toggles to "Cab A".  I had forgotten that I did that.  The real bonus is that last night I cut out all that 18 gauge wire and now have a vast supply to use as feeders. 

All the turnouts are now equipped with the "finger flick" switch machines.  See the photo below.  I ran across this idea on the FastTracks web site.  They seem to work quite well.  Final verdict after some operational time.  Construction is easy, obviously.  Each one takes about 10 minutes to bend up and adjust.  

I only had to do this for the Atlas turnouts.  The ME turnouts have a spring built in.






I couldn't find a way to delete the old image.


Reg

Last edited on Thu Apr 19th, 2018 04:10 am by Reg H

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Changed my mind.  I am going to solder the feeders instead of using the suitcase connectors.

Reg

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Good work so far!
I love the harbor area, but I was wondering how far those bridges go into the harbor or is that a ferry dock?
I also like the actuator rods for the turnout points.
I used ME track/turnouts and found them to be amazingly fragile when installing them and the rods for the blue points on my own layout.
(I'd have gone with Peco track had I known how fragile ME stuff was)
I also removed those springs as the rods for the blue points didn't want to overcome the resistance they provided.


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" I couldn't find a way to delete the old image "



Hi Reg :wave:



If you click on the 'EDIT' button, to change your original Post ...

... all you have to do, to REMOVE a photo ...

... is CLICK ON IT, and then when it's selected, hit BACKSPACE, and it will be ...

... GONE !  :shocked:



Lookin' good Reg. :thumb:

Going pretty well by the looks of things. :)



:bg:



Si.


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Lee:

Going with the "finger flick" arrangement is in direct response to the problems I had with some turnout kits being destroyed by the switch machines.

The bridge goes all the way across the little slough.  It is really too long for a plate girder bridge, but is kind of temporary.  A more believable bridge or trestle will be going in at a later date.

Si:

Thanks for the tip.  The obvious is obviously so obvious as to, obviously, be overlooked.   :)

It is coming along, but not nearly as rapidly as I could wish.  I could probably have the trackwork done and wired in one long day.  The problem is that I never get one long day to devote to the railroad. 

Which reminds me...none of the vast collection of locomotives I inherited are DCC equipped.  A couple of the Kato locos are DCC ready.  I need to hop to it and order a couple of decoders.

Reg

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I spent about three hours on the railroad on Saturday.  Definitely good for my state of mind.  

But I managed to completely mess up a Cornerstone 90' turntable.  I set a goal to get the turntable complete that day.

Very bad idea.  I rushed and made a couple of irreversible mistakes.  I have another one on the shelf, so I can tackle it with a greater measure of experience and wisdom.

I will still need to buy another one eventually.  The engine terminal at the other end of the layout will need one. 

After determining that I had ruined the turntable, I turned my attention to the wiring for the western end.  The DCC bus is still in place from the old On30 layout.  So I didn't need to do that again.   I was going back and forth on how to hook up the feeder wires.  Historically I use terminal strips, one for each length of track. I experimented with the suitcase connectors and, much to my surprise, found that I really like them.  They seem to make very secure connections and they install VERY fast.  I was concerned about troubleshooting problems, but one can pop the cover to get a multimeter probe on the actual connector very easily.  

So I got most of the west end wiring done using those connectors. I had to end the day before the wiring was completed, but I only have four more connections to make, I think. 

Two of the locomotives I inherited are DCC ready Kato GN GP-35's.  I ordered a couple of basic Digitrax decoders for those locomotives.  They arrived and I will get them installed about the time I have the wiring complete.  So I will be able to do some test runs and find out where I screwed up.

I also have an SD-9 in GN paint (Life Like if memory serves) that I really want to see on the layout.  It is not DCC ready.  I ordered a decoder for it, too.  It will require quite a bit of work to get that decoder installed.  

And that is all for awhile.  The upcoming week will be very busy, as we are preparing to take the whole crew (My wife, my son, my youngest daughter, her two kids, and myself) to Disney Land.  I also have to complete the installation of a handrail on the stairs leading to my wife's sewing room.  

We are flying to California.  Secretly, I would rather take a road trip to Ely, Nevada to spend some time around the Nevada Northern Railroad.   Maybe next year...

Reg

Last edited on Tue May 1st, 2018 12:22 am by Reg H

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Have taken the grandkids to Disneyland.  I will check in here in the mornings.
There won't be anything left of me in the afternoons.

Reg

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" There won't be anything left of me in the afternoons "  :y:



Hi Reg :wave:



A lot of energy , these young folk, so I've noticed !  :rah: :glad:

Hope you made it OK up to lunch anyway.  ;)



Please don't waste all your valuable time there Reg ... :time:

... on Cinderella, Snow White, cotton-candy & all that girly stuff ! [whack]



We need a FULL REPORT with lots of  C :cool: :cool: L  photos ...

... of all the " known to be FANTASTIC " awesome DISNEY PARK TRAINS !  :bg:



:old dude: We are depending on you !



Si.


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Si:

Just packing up getting ready to fly home.  

It has been a good time.   The new Cars section, especially the "Racers" ride is very fine stuff.

Getting good photos of the little steam engines is difficult.  They always seem to stop in some inaccessible location.  

I learned that the river boat is a genuine steamer.   I missed a chance to ride it and sneak down close to the engines.   This trip, is, after all, for the kids. 

But the whistle is a treat.  I managed to find a quiet corner of the park (I really don't like crowds) that was a good vantage point to watch the river boat go past.

I will lift some of my wife's photos.  I tend not to take pictures during experiences.  I prefer to experience the experience.  But she took quite a few and posted them to Facebook.

We will be home late this evening.  Tomorrow is dedicated to the layout and the shop.

Reg

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Trains are running!!!  At least at the west end of the railroad.



The handrails are off the locomotive because it took some trial and error to get the decoder installed correctly.  The eight-pin medium DCC plug is great, but it is not keyed. 

The locomotive is a Kato GP-35. It runs very nicely. I have a second Kato GP-35 that is DCC ready.  It will be next to receive a decoder. 

I really want to get a decoder into the SD-7 (well, it is an SD, I think it is a 7) that I have.  It is a Life Like locomotive and is not DCC ready.  So that one will be a bit of a chore. 

I have some work to do on the rolling stock I inherited.  A couple of cars are occasionally picking frogs.  That is probably a gauge problem.  It is not a big deal.  All the freight cars have plastic wheels and all of those are going to get replaced with metal wheels. 

Lots of work yet to go on this part of the layout.  Especially since my original goal was to have all the track laid by last Thanksgiving.  Too many schedule conflicts.
The buildings are just set in place in likely locations.  They will get foundations once scenery is started. 
 
I ended up using the suitcase connectors to make the track connections to the main bus.  They worked out very well.  Not quite as neat and tidy as terminal strips, but whole lot faster.  A lesson learned...if the blade does not click down into position as it is supposed to, you do not have a connection.  You can mash the dickens out of it and all you do is distort the blade.   No contact.

I came across a very simple approach to wiring a program track.  In my instance, the leads from the command station go to terminal strip TS01.  From there they go to the center terminals on a DPDT toggle switch SW01.  From SW01 one side goes to the main bus, the other side goes to the programming track.  So, in one position, SW01 routes power to the programming track, and in the other position, power goes to terminal strip TS02, which is the starting point for the main bus. (All my switches and terminal strips are numbered.) 

All well and good if you have a dedicated programming track.  I don't.  My programming track is the lead to the PeEll turntable.  I awoke at 2:00AM with the realization that configuration would not work.
The fix was simple.  I moved the leads to the programming track from SW01 to TS01, upstream from the toggle switch.

So the programming track always has power from the command station, but power only goes to the main bus if the toggle switch is thrown in that direction.  The DPDT toggle has been, essentially, turned into an on-off switch. 

Not sure which steps I will tackle next.  The decoder on the GP-35 needs some programming.  Right now it has the factory default address (03).  I want four digit addresses.  There are some other CV's that need tweaking as well.

I really want to get some rudimentary scenery started on this end, but I am jazzed about getting the track laid all the way to the east end.  That job starts with ripping up all the On30 track.  A task to which I am not looking forward. 

Reg

Last edited on Tue May 29th, 2018 04:27 am by Reg H

Steven B
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Yippee!  :glad:

Always nice to have trains running Reg.
My deadlines come and go like commuter trains, Thanksgiving wasn't too long ago.
Glad to see things running.


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I have to share a track cleaning secret (again) that I learned about some two years ago.

I hate track cleaning.  And my basement is a text book example of why you want to make your train area a finished room.  My problem, back 18 years ago, was that I could finish the basement in sheet rock or build a layout.  I didn't have the resources to do both.  So I have a layout in a rough basement. 

My On30 layout was a constant source of irritation due to dirty track.  I had to clean track before running anything, every time.  Even then there were often hitches in the gitalong. I tried all the usual remedies.

Then someone (I forget who) turned me on to the magic of graphite.   The routine is to give your track (and wheels) a good cleaning.  Then rub some artist's graphite (available at art supply. I got mine at the Variety Store, in Elma, WA.  If I could find it there, you shouldn't have any trouble finding it anywhere) along the track.  Light pressure is all you need.  I did that on the On30 layout.  For 18 months, until I started tearing it up to build the HO layout, I never cleaned track or wheels.  I could operate my locomotives at their slowest speeds with no hiccups or hitches.  I checked out the HO locomotives I acquired on a stretch of the On30 by using alligator clips to the track and an old DC power pack.  After months of sitting unused, still, no hesitations.

It is magic.

I did that on this part of the HO layout, too.  Once the trackwork was all in place and wired, I ran my little abrasive track cleaner (the one like a big eraser.  I actually have several) over all the track, and then ran the graphite lightly over the track.  Theoretically, you only have to apply the graphite to a short stretch of track on which everything runs.  The wheels will spread it around the layout.  But I figured for a new installation I would apply the treatment everywhere.  It is a treat watching that GP-35 barely creep through the turnouts. 

Reg

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Well, I had a weak moment.

I don't think I have shared how many HO locomotives I got in this estate sale.  

In fact, I haven't counted them myself.   But there are a MESS of 'em.  Most are in GN paint, but there are a few in BN and one in BNSF.  I am thinking there are at least 15 locomotives.  I will count tonight.  

So I concluded that the last thing I needed was more HO diesel locomotives.

Well, I fell off the wagon yesterday.  Among this large collection, the GP-30 is not represented. I have a soft spot for GN GP-30's.  I ran across an ad on the Train World site for the Bachmann GP-30 in GN green and orange, DCC equipped for $77.95.  

Heck yes!!!

It is on its way.

Reg

 

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" I have to share a track cleaning secret (again) that I learned about some two years ago.
I hate track cleaning.
Then someone (I forget who) turned me on to the magic of graphite.

The routine is to give your track (and wheels) a good cleaning.
Then rub some artist's graphite ... Light pressure is all you need.

For 18 months ... I never cleaned track or wheels.
I could operate my locomotives at their slowest speeds with no hiccups or hitches.

After months of sitting unused, still, no hesitations.
It is magic "



Hi Reg  :wave:



:rah: G R A P H I T E ! :rah: G R A P H I T E ! :rah: G R A P H I T E ! :rah:



Costs $$$ (virtually) NOTHING  $0.00c ... No extra WIRING required ! ... Lasts AGES !  :old dude:

What's not to like about a  C :cool: :cool: L  easy way to having 101% good running.  :thumb:





Nice to get some locos going on the new track ...

... sounds like a TWENTY STALL roundhouse is next on the cards !  ;)



:moose: :moose: :moose: :moose: :moose:



Si.


Reg H
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If it is no longer in production, why is it still in your catalog!!!!!!?????

I will NOT be receiving a GN GP-30.

Reg

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If it is no longer in production, why is it still in your catalog!!!!!!?????
... seems you are barking at the wrong tree...
Jose.

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pipopak wrote: If it is no longer in production, why is it still in your catalog!!!!!!?????
... seems you are barking at the wrong tree...
Jose.


Just expressing my frustration.

Reg

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Si:
I don't have room for a 20-stall roundhouse.  It would be impressive though.

Total number of locomotives:  23

Two are for sure DCC-ready (one of those has been converted), and maybe a third.  The doodlebugs might be DCC ready.  But I haven't figured out how to get them apart yet.

I am having some decoder issues with the one Kato GP-35 in which I have installed a decoder.   I hope to get that resolved today.

Reg

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I got the DCC problem straightened out.  

I also managed to get the shell off the Life Like SD-7.  I love the GN SD-7's, though there were not a lot of them (21).  The Life Like model is very well detailed.

The GN had some SD-9's as well.  But the Life Like model is an SD-7 by number, 569.  

The beauty is that the SD-7 turned out to be DCC ready.  So I plugged a decoder in it, got it programmed and away we went.

There will be photos coming.  It seems to take forever lately for photos to arrive from my phone.  

Actually, when I get a decoder in the other GP-35, I will have enough locomotives to operate the railroad.  So I may drag my feet getting decoders into the other 20 locomotives.  Though I might move along on at least one of the doodlebugs.

Reg

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As promised, here are some more photos.  I sure am looking forward to getting the rails painted and some scenery and ballast down.


What is wrong with this picture?



Fixed




Up until the purchase of the first GP-30's GN ran their hood units long hood forward.
Here is the gas-electric to which I have referred.  It has not been converted to DCC, so this is a photo-op.  I have hopes it is DCC ready (actually, I have two of them) but I won't know until I figure out how to break into them.





A long shot.





I had adventures programming the GP-35's decoder.  There is one little step that goes by in a big hurry if you are not watching for it.  Fortunately, someone on the DCC thread set me straight.  

Installing the decoder into the SD-7 was easy once I got the shell off.  That was a real pain.  I ended up breaking most of the tabs.  The shell fits pretty tight around the weight, so that is not a big problem as long as I remember to pick the locomotive up by the side rails.  
I don't know why most of these turned out a little out of focus.

Reg

Last edited on Sat Jun 2nd, 2018 09:03 pm by Reg H

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I got some time in the basement over the weekend.   The temperature on Saturday was starting to edge up to the high 70's (that is hot around here) and the basement was nice and cool.

Spent some time painting rail.  It is a tedious exercise, but it pays off.  I am using Floquil rail brown.  I have some old Floquil paints that I have been reluctant to use since Floquil went toes up.  

But I realized the alternative was to let the bottles sit around until the paint dried up.  Not a good idea.  

When I hand lay track I spray paint the rail and turnout components before they get laid. 

I have been struggling with some direction.  The objective of this layout is to stay simple.  But I have been considering adding more structures to this part of the layout.  But I think I will resist that impulse.  

I have two small "industries", a team track, and the depot.  That should be enough to justify simple operations.  There are also two tracks that, in theory, lead off to other destinations.  That justifies trains longer than would be the case if PeEll were the western terminus.  

Reg

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I installed the uncoupling ramps last evening.   It is evident that I need to spend some time on coupler maintenance.

In fact, I need to go through each of the freight cars and tune them up.  I already have plans to replace the plastic wheels with metal.  I have a small stock of Kadee wheels and more on the way.  

I have to say that I am not thrilled to death with either the Atlas or the Micro-Engineering turnouts. They work OK.  I have been running a variety of equipment over them and I am not experiencing derailments, but they just are not as smooth as I would hope.  Equipment rocks and bumps over them about the same as my sloppiest handlaid turnouts.  The kit turnouts that I used on part of the old On30 layout, and got destroyed by the switch machines, were smooth as glass, as are my best handlaid turnouts.

I am seriously considering going the FastTracks route for the rest of the layout.  They would represent a compromise between the lengthy process of hand building and the quick installation of manufactured turnouts. 

Still thinking.

Reg

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Looking good, Reg!
I have cultivated a liking for the GN, having spent time up on Stevens Pass and having ridden the entire route of the Empire Builder in 2015. I also got that great new book on the GN when it first came out, which is well worth the cover price if you're a GN fan! https://shop.whiteriverproductions.com/products/gnry

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Yeah, I should get the new one.  I have the old one.  

I spent so much time in Stevens Pass in the '70s.   I have a large collection of slides and negatives from that era.  

I need to sort, scan, and make available.  Alan Sewell is suggesting I write a book.  

Sure. And I can devote the second Tuesday of every week to that project.  :)

Reg

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" I already have plans to replace the plastic wheels with metal.
I have a small stock of Kadee wheels and more on the way.  

I have to say that I am not thrilled to death with either the Atlas or the Micro-Engineering turnouts.
I have been running a variety of equipment over them and I am not experiencing derailments,
but they just are not as smooth as I would hope.
Equipment rocks and bumps over them about the same as my sloppiest handlaid turnouts."


Hi Reg  :wave:


I checked out some 'Hornby' OO track last year, for running some of my vintage 'Tri-ang' HO stuff on.  :old dude:



The pretty deep wheel flanges clear the quite low-profile 'spikes' easily, on the 'Hornby' straights & curves.  :)

However, on the switches, the flange depth clearance decreases MASSIVELY at the frogs.  :shocked:

Where they have moulded the frog-base pretty darn HIGH, compared to the generous Code-100 rail clearance.



Some older HO plastic wheelsets can be fairly deep, with Kadees being not deep at all.

Tricky with deep flanged locos though.  :f:



L:



Si.


Reg H
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Si:
That is the part I can't understand.  The SD-7 waddles pretty significantly.  Its wheels check out.  All the freight cars' wheels meet the RP25 specs and are in gauge.

I still have a couple of my hand built turnouts in place.  I should run some of this equipment through them and see what happens.

Reg

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My faith in the commercial turnouts is somewhat restored.

I have a box car that was occasionally picking points and frogs.  Not quite to the point of derailment, but still annoying.  Last night it derailed after picking the points on a turnout.  

I checked the plastic wheels against the NMRA gauge, and they looked OK.  But I was kind of disgusted with it so decided to change out the wheels.  I have some Kadee 33" wheels lying around from an On30 "hunkering" project. So I did a complete tune-up on that car, including changing out the wheels.

Wow! What a difference.  It really improved the performance of that car.   

I was inspired, so pulled a car that was the prize rock and roller on the layout and tuned it up.  Amazing.  The prime contributor to the rockin' and rollin' was loose trucks.  The previous owner seemed to think that really wobbly trucks had some kind of performance advantage.  It appears that quite a few cars have wobbly trucks.

He was incorrect.  

Changing out the wheels and adjusting the trucks properly really improved the behavior of that car.  

A piece of advice.  If you have cars with plastic wheels, get some metal wheels (the Kadees are great) and ditch the plastic wheels.  It will really make a big difference.

Now, of course, I have to do all the rest of the cars.  At the moment I am out of wheels, but I have more coming.  It is obvious that changing out the wheels on all the freight cars I have is going to improve Kadee's bottom line. 

All the cars are going to need some attention to their couplers.  Some will need new couplers.   That will not be of benefit to Kadee.  For some reason lost in the depths of time, I have a very large collection of HO Kadee couplers squirreled away.  I can't remember why.  Until this most recent venture I haven't modeled in HO for over 30 years.

On this section of the layout I have one more performance problem I need to solve.   The SD-7 stalls on one frog.  The GP-35 (I have only two locos converted to DCC, out of the 23 I own) does not even hesitate on that frog.  Nor does the SD-7 hesitate on any of the other frogs, let alone stall.  As I am using the over-center springs as my "switch machines" all of the turnouts have dead frogs. 

As a side note...the over center springs are working out great. 

Reg

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" The prime contributor to the rockin' and rollin' was loose trucks.
The previous owner seemed to think that really wobbly trucks had some kind of performance advantage.
Changing out the wheels and adjusting the trucks properly really improved the behavior of that car."


Hi Reg  :wave:



Yeah ... 'wobblers' always made my ol' friend Brian laugh like a drain !

He always said that those boxcar loads were ... JELLY !  :P



I've been swapping out swingin' '60s 'Tri-ang' plastic wheels, on my modded diecast trucks ...

... for 'Kadee' On30 D.& R.G.W. Griffin ones, & 'Hornby' Brit. spoked & disc wheels ...

... plus just lately, I've tried some 'Intermountain' HO wheels, imported from the U.S.  L:



Quite a few sizes to choose from, for my different builds & all run real smooth & look great.  :thumb:



I always try & adjust my truck mounting screws really carefully & drill TIGHT ! holes for them ...

... a very small, thin & smooth washer, between the truck & underframe is good as well.


Could even whack a bit of GRAPHITE in there as well.  :brill:



Good to hear that the only 'Rock n Roll' will be on the radio now, at Henderson Bay !  ;)



:)



Si.


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Bass man for J5OM and Diamonds in the Rough!


:)


Reg



Last edited on Wed Jun 20th, 2018 04:37 pm by Reg H

Steven B
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Maybe the cars were just keeping' time?  ;)

Reg H
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I have built a new building for this west end (photos to follow) and have started painting rail.

I still don't have a paint I really like.  The Floquil turned out to be just a bit thin.  The nickel silver shined through.

I bought some "flat" enamel.  It isn't really all that flat.

I think for the rest of the layout I will spray paint the flex track and just hand paint the turnouts.

Reg

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Hi Reg  :wave:



If you want the 'flattest' paint there is IMO ...

... Look no further than Matt 'Humbrol' Enamel.

It also has the densest pigment I've ever seen as well.

Can't be beat.



An excellent colour for rust is their shade named 'Leather'.

They also do a shade called 'Rust' of course, as well as many many others.



It's worth trying to get hold of a FREE 'Humbrol' colour-chart.

They aren't of course that accurate needless to say.

But for really serious users, they sell a PRO colour-chart, mixing guide kinda thing.



:moose:



Si.


Reg H
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Thanks.  I looked them up.  

I believe I will order some, but there is a point of frustration.

Not all that many years ago I would have called the local hobby shop and see if they carried it.  That shop closed, but there was a radio control hobby shop in Olympia (20 minutes away) that carried a lot of useful things.  They closed. 

Now the closest hobby shop, and the only one in Western Washington that I can find that carries MRR supplies, is in Chehalis, which is more than an hour away.  

So...I will need to order the stuff.  So I will order more than more immediate needs in order to justify the shipping costs.  

End of rant.

Reg

Lee B
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Reg H wrote:
Now the closest hobby shop, and the only one in Western Washington that I can find that carries MRR supplies, is in Chehalis, which is more than an hour away.  
And it isn't that good. I'm not terribly far away from there but on several occasions, the place is just randomly closed when it should be open, not even a sign saying why.
And the place has more "ancient used hobby shop stock" than anything else. The place it like a time warp as they have stuff I haven't seen for sale in a hobby shop in decades.
Just because it's there., doesn't mean they have what you want.
If I really need to hit a good hobby shop, I'll save up on projects and find a reason to go to Portland to hit Whistle Stop, Hobbysmith and (if I'm truly desperate) Tammies....

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Lee:
My time is so crunched right now, if it isn't close, I just have to resort to the internet.

Which can have it's problems, too.  I tried to order some paint directly from Humbrol.  Their web site loads sloooooowwwwly, or not at all.  At several points just switching pages resulted in time outs.  

Found Mega Hobby. They seem to stock most of Humbrol paints, plus some others.  Very reasonable shipping, too. 

Reg

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Reg,
I get it, I really do. The small hobby shop downtown Shelton wasn't all that big but at least it was close to you.
I was just saying that even if you didn't have to drive to Chehalis, you might not find it open and likely not having what you wanted. I've found the new location of Online Hobbies in Tacoma (on South Tacoma Way) isn't all that bad and good deals can be found there. But for someone in Shelton, yeah, that's a LONG haul!

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Hi Reg
Good progress with the branch.
I know this might be  bit late but have found at last a “Layout Design Journal”  I picked up at the NMRA National in 2015. It has an article on proto-freelancing the Grays Harbor Branch. I can scan and send a copy if you want. Yesterday I got the latest NP Historical Society magazine,. It has an article on operations on the South Bend branch, ahead of their convention in Centralia. I could send that if you wanted
 Re: Humbrol matt paint I could get some and send – no minimum charge or try Model Junction in Slough UK. sales@modeljunction.info Can mention my name as a satisfied customer and see what they can offer

 Hope it is not too hot on your side of the pond

 Alan
 

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Alan:

Information is always timely.  I would greatly appreciate that.  But send it email rather than through this forum.  

I sure wish I had time to attend all these events.  I bet the NP Historical Society meeting would be very interesting.  

I ordered some Humbrol paint (and some other things) through MegaHobby.com.   Somewhat of a discount and reasonable shipping.  The 14ml bottle doesn't sound like much paint, so I ordered four bottles.  

Yesterday was a machine shop day (well, I spent a couple of hours hanging out in the pilot's lounge as well).   I spent an hour and half setting up the second to the last operation on the steam chest for the mill engine.  After taking the first cut, I realized I hadn't been paying very good attention and I had ruined this rather complex part.  Adding insult to injury I don't have a big enough piece of stock to start the second attempt.  The original piece was out of the scrap box.  Now I am going to have to purchase a piece of cold rolled steel. 

Failing in that operation, I started work on the flywheel.  It is a rather large piece of round steel stock.  It won't fit in my three-jaw chuck in the inside jaws and somewhere in it's long life the outside jaws got lost.   So I had to set that up in the four-jaw chuck.  It is a bit of a tedious task, but, theoretical, is more accurate than the three-jaw.  "Theoretically" because the degree of accuracy depends a great deal on the skill of the machinest.  I am still a beginner.   

I guess the upside is that I will be able to correct some minor errors that occurred in the first attempt. 

Reg

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OK!  Hand painting the rail is just not going to cut it.  I simply don't have the patience.

Purchased two cans of flat brown spray paint today.  

I will mask off the plate girder bridge, mask the rail at the switch points, and apply a bit of plastic compatible oil at the tie bars.  

I have the buildings in place, but I always make my buildings removable.  

Reg

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Hi Reg  :wave:



How has the spray-paint worked out ?  ???

What sort did you get ?  L:



:)



Si.


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Si:

I have been hanging out, but not saying much lately.

The spray paint worked perfectly.  Exactly the result I was looking for.  I will get some photos posted.  I used a Rust-o-leum flat brown picked up at the local Home Depot. 

I also did a small patch of scenery and a short stretch of ballast.  The scenery turned out really awful.  My scenery skills have always fallen short of my vision.  Still working on it.

The ballast worked out pretty well.  I am pleased with that.  A medium gray ballast with the brown painted track gives me what I am looking for.  I will get photos of that, too.

Part of my vision was to just ballast the main line tracks and bury the sidings in "dirt".  That is not working out so well, partly because it depends on the rest of the scenery for the vision I have.  I use sanded grout for "dirt".  It actually works pretty well.  It's when I get past the "dirt" application that my skills fall apart. So I am going to ballast all the track.

I think what I am going to do with the scenery is keep it really, really, really simple.  I am going to try another patch with just some ground foam sprinkled around topped off with some static grass.  Bushes, trees and other details can come later. 

Railroad (and machine shop) work is being slowed somewhat from finances.  My faithful Honda Civic commuter car hit the 200,000 mile point.  While it was still running and driving great, I am in the water business (with a 41 mile  commute each way) and I have to have reliable transportation.  With that many miles, something is bound to break.  With my luck, it would be on an occasion when I needed to get to the water district as rapidly as possible.  The Civic had some other shortcomings, so it was time.  It got traded in on a Honda CRV.  I like the CRV very much, but it wasn't exactly cheap.  

Then my airplane broke.  Not a big deal.  The carb heat cable came out in my hand on downwind the other day.  Unless you have a death wish, you do not fly behind a Continental O-200 without carb heat control. The Marvel-Shebly carb on the O-200 is a notorious ice maker.  So I am awaiting the part (essentially a lawn mower throttle cable, but at aviation part prices) and my mechanic.  The repair is relatively simple, but it has to be done by a certified aviation mechanic.  I don't know what the total cost of that repair is going to be.  Sometimes I think my mechanic hires Jay Leno to change the spark plugs. 

The upshot is that I can only accomplish tasks for which I already have the material/parts for the time being. 

Work has been crazy too.  I spent my whole life in the private sector.  My magnum opus was a company dedicated to providing management services and engineering to water utilities.  I stepped down from CEO of that company and took this public sector job because I was just plain worn out.   Fifteen years of 60-80 hour weeks gets old. 

But lately, it has gotten a bit out of control.  There are three big projects here in the community that require the water district's attention.  By this afternoon I will have worked a full 40-hour week.  That doesn't happen very often anymore.   :)

And I suppose I better get back at it.

Reg

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Reg H wrote: My scenery skills have always fallen short of my vision.  Still working on it.Join the club. I don't know anyone who can make scenery to match their mental picture of what they want. I know I sure can't!
Sometimes it works out better than you'd hoped, but I don't think scenery on a layout ever turns out like the builder had in mind.

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As promised, some photos:

First, the painted and buried in "dirt" track:





OK. 
Why so big? 
Sheesh. 

Anyway, It looks better in the photo than in person. 
The scenery off to the left that looks OK is a perfect accident. 
I collected the sad looking texture from around the layout and just pile it up here.
Doesn't look to bad here.
 
There is just a small patch of scenery done as an experiment. 
There for the razor blade wrapper in the back ground and the expanse of bare plywood.

And now for the ballast:





I am pleased the result. 
Though I do need to get around to getting the handrails back on the GP-35.

It is my intention to cover the bottom of the backdrop, including the gouges and screws, with foliage. 
We will see how that works out.

Reg


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Even though it is cool in the basement, by the time I get home from a hot day at work and settled, the motivational level is extremely low.

Plus, my calendar right now looks like I am a Russian novelist trying to conserve paper. 

Sheesh.

Reg

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" my calendar right now looks like I am a Russian novelist trying to conserve paper "


Hi Reg  :wave:



Tee Hee Hee.  :P

You're right ! ... They can't chop the trees down fast enough, when those damn Ruskies pick up a pen !  ;)



I am amazed at just how much progress you have made Reg, all things considered.  L:

For sure it is a great move to get the basic ground cover down as quick as you can.

It magically transforms things towards 'finishedness'.  :cool:



The track looks real nice, with the GP-35 appearing to be 'at home' on it !  :thumb:



:)



Si.


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Hi, Si:

Yes. 
Even getting a small patch of ground cover down makes a difference. 

I learned some lessons.  
My first thought was to put the ground cover down before ballasting the track thinking that the ground was there before the track. 
I am reversing that thinking. 
The rest of the ballast will go down before ground cover. 
It was difficult shaping the ballast with the ground cover in place. 

Before much more ground cover, or ballast, goes down, I need to complete the turntable. 
That is probably just a few hours work. 
Then I can go crazy with ballast and ground cover.

I am also changing the "switch machines".  
I like the clever little springs, but they do present some challenges.  
One of which is helping "newbies" figure out how to throw a switch.  
It should be obvious, but it isn't.

So I am going to go with ground throws. 
I was resisting them because, in order to function, they have to be larger than scale, especially in HO. 
But I have some nice ones that were originally purchased for an O scale layout years ago. 
That layout was still born and the ground throws are still in their originally packaging.
HO ground throws work great in O scale. 

Another change I am probably going to make is to bite the bullet and order the turnout building jigs from FastTracks. 
I am just not completely happy with the commercial turnouts, but I really want to be able to speed up the turnout fabrication process. 
I think FastTracks will do that, and it will be a wash in terms of cost.  

The PC board construction should stand up OK to the ground throws. 
If you will recall, the SwitchMaster switch machines tore apart some purchased turnouts built on PC ties on the On30 layout.  

Besides, I want to decide on the final track configurations in a somewhat organic fashion. 
So I might not know if a turnout is going to be left or right hand until I mess with positioning a bit.  

Reg


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Given my "scene library" concept, this paint scheme may be in my future.





I haven't painted anything to any great extent in a long time and this is a complex scheme, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

I hope I can find the decals somewhere.

The Puget Sound & Pacific is a short line that runs from Chehalis (or is it Centralia, I need to check) to Elma. 
From there it branches to Aberdeen and Shelton.
The branch to Shelton continues on and serves the Bremerton Naval Shipyard and Submarine Base Bangor.  

Reg


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Funny, you must have taken the PS&P shot lately,
because I passed through Shelton on my way to Bremerton on Sunday and saw that exact lineup sitting there...


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Lee B wrote:
 
Funny, you must have taken the PS&P shot lately,
because I passed through Shelton on my way to Bremerton on Sunday and saw that exact lineup sitting there...


The shot was taken on Labor Day.  I was running an errand to Toziers.

Reg


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Got some ballasting done.  

It is kind of tedious.  Not enough for photos, yet.  

Reg

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Hi Reg
Nice set of power and good to see railroad operations in Shelton. Is this the power that switches the Sierra Pacific mill or are they laying over between runs to Bremerton 
Progress on the Henderson Bay  layout is great. Wish I had something to report on mine but hot weather and visits to grandchildren in Edinburgh have slowed things. Weather is now back to normal English so might see some movement soon 
Regards
Alan

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Alan:

My observations are that this power makes the run to the shipyard and the sub base, switches the SP mill and makes the run from Shelton to Centralia. 

The PS&P uses leased six-axle units for the run from Centralia to the Port of Aberdeen.  I see a lot of BNSF units mixed in with a few others.  Saw a CSX unit the other day.  Most of those trains are unit trains of either grain or auto carriers. I am not often in a position to grab photos, but will try and do better. 

A lot of my modeling activity is impinged by grand children events.  Wouldn't change it for the world.

Reg

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Reg H wrote:
The PS&P uses leased six-axle units for the run from Centralia to the Port of Aberdeen.  I see a lot of BNSF units mixed in with a few others.  Saw a CSX unit the other day. 


Reg, I might be wrong but I thought all that BNSF/UP power was run-through (so to speak) and not leased. They have plenty of G&W-marked PS&P power of their own as well as some clearly leased former EMDs around.
I caught this out toward the coast (went to Westport) a few weeks ago:

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Lee:

You may well be correct.  I haven't had much railfan time lately, and no research time at all.

I really miss my friend, John Henderson, who seemed to absorb this kind of information from ether.

Reg

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Lee:

You were moments from my office. 

Reg

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In Snoqualmie this weekend at the famous Snoqualmie Falls Lodge celebrating two birthdays (mine, 70, my wife's 60) and our 35th anniversary.

We will be visiting the Northwest Railroad Museum today.  I was a regular volunteer as a teenager when it was a pretty much down at the heels operation.  

I haven't been back since, so really looking forward to seeing how far they have come.

Reg

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Happy Birthday to you Reg and your wife and Happy Anniversary as well.
Hope you enjoy the Museum. Were you a volunteer when JohnH was volunteering. Somewhere I have a couple of photos he sent of Weyerhaeuser 2-6-6-2 #6 at work there. I think he was on part of the crew on that train.
Have a good day
Alan 

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John and I didn't know each other then.  He would have been at the University of Idaho or still living in Fairbanks.

We are having a good time.

Reg

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We had a good time at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, WA.

It has come a long, long ways since I hung out here in the mid '60's.

Here is the little Baldwin that hauled the 3-car train.



We rode in a 1912 SP&S coach.  Beautifully restore.



At the "shed" they have quite a collection of equipment in various stages of restoration, including the almost completed and absolutely gorgeous chapel car.


The Little River 2-4-4-2 is parked along with a lot of other projects waiting their turn.  At least the boiler is on the frame, the cab is intact, and the tender is behind it.  It is not in an easy location to get a photo.


I enjoyed the visit.  It is a good place to wander if you are in the area.  But if I could only do one railroad museum in Washington State, it would be Mt. Rainier Scenic.

Last edited on Sat Sep 8th, 2018 11:17 pm by Reg H

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Since all of my previous efforts at scenery have been less than stunning, I am purchasing Woodland Scenics materials and blindly following their processes.

This is a major change for me.  I grew up in the era when everybody was building scenery from whatever they could find.  The old plaster over screen with dyed sawdust "grass" school of thought.

We will see how it works out.

Reg

Lee B
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Reg,
You do what you gotta do. It's not a contest (though some in the hobby act like it is).
I've seen some pretty good results from colored sawdust. I'm just lazy in that if I can get a pre-fab something that looks good, it'll save me the time of making it myself, so why not?
It's the benefit of a smaller layout; you can splurge on nicer stuff if it only has to cover a small area.

Alan Sewell
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Hi Reg
I have used Woodlands Scenics almost exclusively for the nearly forty years I have been modelling US railroads. I find it goes on well, matches with the range is good and most of all it looks realistic to me. There are some close ups in the post I did to Diesel Logging yesterday
Hope all is well in Shelton
Alan 

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Well, the turntable has been assembled and fitted.



But it is a disappointment.  If someone is considering a turntable, I would advise going a different route.  The Walthers turntable is not satisfactory.  I am not even going to wire it up.  For now, it is a scenery item.

Should you think of using it as a starting point, here is a list of the mods I would make.
1.  Fabricate metal bearings to replace the plastic ones.  Use much tighter tolerances than the kit.  You will need a drill press and a set of over/under reamers to get this right.

2.   Remove the plastic perimeter rail and replace with metal.

3.   Do not use the molded plastic wheels on the bogies.   Machine brass or steel wheels using the plastic wheels for dimensions.  You could probably do the machine work ala Mel Thornburgh with an electric drill and files.  It would be much easier with a lathe. 

The poor quality of this item has me rethinking my operational concepts.  I just might eliminate turntables altogether.  I have two Kato GP-35's.   I could couple them back to back and MU the controls.   The SD-9 can operate in either direction.  That gives me plenty of motive power for this small operation and eliminates the need for turntables. 

I am considering trashing this turntable, extending the siding, and putting another industry here.

My nasty little brain also had the thought of eliminating the engine terminal and building a lumber mill in that space. 

Reg 

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Then there are these beauties.



The track looks weird because it is remnants of the On30.

Reg

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Hi Reg
I had some issues with a turntable - was going to use it a stand-in for a wye in hidden storage  but that did mot work out and I saw lots of potential issues, as you have actually found out.
Given diesels and even with steam I would forget the turntable and engine terminal  build a lumber mill and have the locos tie up there. Could even have some simple servicing shared with a plant switcher 
Your progress continues to be well ahead of mine
Best wishes
Alan 

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Alan:

After sleeping on it, the decision is made.  The turntables (two were planned) are out and the lumber mill is in.  

I am even dreaming of a bit of logging railroad trackage.   I am not sure I can make it work, but it has me thinking.  I might be able to make it fit if I do a switch-back arrangement. 

But, for the present, I need to finish this west end of the line and then get started ripping up the remainder of the On30 so I can do some detailed planning. 

I have a nice little NWSL (I think) kit for a GE 44-tonner.  I can't remember where I got it but it might have been passed to me from John.  On occasion he would spot things I might like and would hand them to me when I wasn't expecting it.  

Having the road power tie up at the mill is a good idea.   PS&P often parks locos on the old Simpson sidings behind Tozier's.  I have photos, which I will post presently. 

Reg 

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As promised:



Some PS&P power parked behind Tozier's.  What was once the Simpson dispatch office is out of the picture just to the left. 

Reg

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I had to try some of Lee's techniques.  I obviously have some detail work ahead of me.

But still, it came out better than I expected.



I was inspired by a photo on Page 90 of a book about the Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad.  

It was an electrified interurban line in Eastern Washington eventually owned by the GN.  The GN even operated it as an electric line for awhile.  

Reg

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Reg H wrote: I had to try some of Lee's techniques.  I obviously have some detail work ahead of me.










Reg





Reg,
Looks great but I have to know; what did I do to inspire this (assuming I'm the Lee you're talking about, that is)...

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Assuming I know what I am talking about...

Your low angle photos using just the cell phone.  Plus a bit of monochrome.

Reg

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Ah, I get it now.
Heck, I even got some of those low angle cell shots published in my narrow gauge and short line gazette article this year...

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Lee:

Yeah, I saw those.  Great article.

Reg

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Hi Reg  :wave:



Mmm ... Turntable ...  :f:

Looks like it's a lumber yard then !  :thumb:

Makes me wonder if having a go at making one is a good idea or not.  ???





Nice pair !

:cool: :cool: L  colours !!
The B&W with the depot aint bad either.  :old dude:



Lookin' good Reg  :)  ... & beating Alan as well, so he says.  ;)



:moose:




Si.


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I pulled the trigger on the B.T.S. McCabe lumber mill today.  Not sure I can really afford it, but I have liked that kit ever since it first came out.

I got kind of worried it might live up to the "Limited Edition" billing and go out of production.

I ordered the mill and the log dump.  I don't have a big enough area for the complete complex.  Either on the layout or in the bank. 

It will definitely serve as motivation to get the west end into some form of completion, tear up the remaining On30 trackage, and get track laid around to the east end, as that is where the spur for the mill will come off. 

Reg

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Hi Reg
 Pleased you are getting something together on the Henderson Branch lumber mill project. I quite like the BTS mill. It is large enough to require and process enough lumber to make railroad operations worthwhile and the structures have a nice feel about them. I can understand about not having the room for other parts of the series – and I guess few of us do. 
However I would remember the words of John H when I was discussing my mill with him. He said concentrate on the rail facilities on the wet (log handling ) and dry sides – i.e. just build the dump and the shipping shed and, if they go by rail, wood-chip loading. Having the sawmill lets people know what the plant is but you really don’t have to model stuff not on a rail spur. 
As I said I like the BTS kit but have only one reservation. The dump is good and better that I have seen elsewhere but the unloader looks like a grounded Barnhart loader so is not very Washington specific. I would have to change the siding or do some other modifications.
 I know TTSL or Timbertimes ran some articles on unloading engines and log dumps I I will have a look if you want. Also I found a couple of pictures in my files. I think both from John
 The first is the dump at Cathlamet on Crown Zellerbach  operation
Alan 

Attachment: CWPdump.jpg (Downloaded 56 times)

Alan Sewell
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This is a Ivan Ergish photo of the overgrown Schafer dump with a Chapman style Unloader  probably made by Washington Iron and Steel
Alan 

Attachment: schdmp.jpg (Downloaded 54 times)

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Now I am a little worried.

I just came across a construction article on the Slaty Fork mill.  The guy took 10 years to build it!!

He was using it to gain his Master Model Railroader certification...but still.

Well, I have ordered the kit, so I am committed.

Reg


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Reg H wrote:
I just came across a construction article on the Slaty Fork mill.  The guy took 10 years to build it!!




Don't be so worried, Reg. I knew a guy who took 6 months to build an Atlas Switch Tower kit, something that normally can be build in a weekend if you take your time!


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Lee B wrote: Reg H wrote:
I just came across a construction article on the Slaty Fork mill.  The guy took 10 years to build it!!




Don't be so worried, Reg. I knew a guy who took 6 months to build an Atlas Switch Tower kit, something that normally can be build in a weekend if you take your time!



That's encouraging.  The most difficult Walthers kit I have built (bar the #$&%^&*&^ turntable) took me a Sunday afternoon.

Reg

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I have been in the basement measuring and figuring and scratching my head.

There just isn't a way to include any kind of logging line.  

One thought was the logging operation could have trackage rights over the common carrier.   But I don't think that ever happened in the real world.  The need for the logger to conform to common carrier standards would squelch that.  

So, the logging railroad "operation" will probably be an engine facility diorama to include the log dump.  

We will see how things fit once I have the mill building built.

Reg

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Hi Reg
There were quite a few examples of loggers having rights over class-1 railraods . As I am in Edinburgh again I have not got my files with me but those I can think of off hand include
Long Bell /International Paper from Vader to Longview over the NP/UP Shelvin Hixon over the SP to Bend OregonPacific Lumber over the SP(NWP) to Scotia CAWeyerhaeuser ( Chehalis Western) to South Bend
I am sure there were others but I can't remember these at presentAlso there are quite a few examples of loggers turning over trains to a class one who would haul logs to the mill and there either switch the mill or hand over to the mill's switcher. The MacMillian Bloedel operation into Chemainus on Vancouver Island is an example.
Also I can't see the Slaty Fork mill is going to take a huge amount of time. Maybe if you were going for full interior details and the whole mill set  it might take a year but you are not doing that I think.
Anyway good luck with it.
Best regards
Alan 

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Alan:

Thanks for the info.  I sure miss John.   

Of course, that complicates my life.

Reg

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Yes Reg

I miss John also. He would have come up with the definitive list plus other information in the time I takes me to scratch around

Alan

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Not award winning by any means, but the best scenery work I have ever done.









Still some clean up and detail work to do (like trees), but I am generally pleased with the results.

My next task is to focus on the demo work to the east in preparation for laying more track.

Reg

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My wife says the reason I struggle with scenery is because I am a mechanic, not an artist.

No truer words were ever spoken.

Reg

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Hey, it sure beats bare lumber. :)

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Kitbash0n30 wrote: Hey, it sure beats bare lumber. :)

Lots of layouts in my history that never got any scenery at all.  Handlaid track, scratch built structures, even some scratch built locomotives...but no scenery.

One of my goals with this layout was to have at least some kind of scenery...and to spend less time on the "mechanics".  The plan was to use r-t-r equipment, quick build structure kits and commercial track. 

And then I ordered a $450.00 craftsman kit.
The secret to this small degree of success is to spend money and blindly follow the instructions. 
Reg


Last edited on Wed Oct 17th, 2018 08:11 pm by Reg H

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" And then I ordered a $450.00 craftsman kit "


:doh:




Hi Reg  :wave:



How many parts does it have ?  ???

My MiniArt Catapillar D7 has over 600 !  :f:

I'll race you !!  ;)



Layout is lookin' good.  :thumb:



:moose:




Si.


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Hi Reg
Scenery looks really good. I am always surprised how just some basic ground cover and ballasting brings the layout to life. Always spurs me on to do more. Just have to have the motivation to start!!
I just looked up the mill on the BTS website and there is a comment that they did all the  framing for a O-scale version in a day. So hopefully a couple of weeks might see the basic structure completed
As I am back home another couple of loggers with running  over a class one were Puget Sound and Pacific over the GN in Skagit county, Oregon American/IP into Vernonia OR using disconnects over the SP&S. Also Weyco's OC&E at Klamath Falls had to run log trains over the SP and BN to get from the logging railroad to the mill 
Alan 

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Being a mechanic hasn't hindered your scenic work at all Reg and it's good to see how well it's coming on. Trees, as you say, will lift it even further as will undergrowth and weeds, all available r-t-r or as material for you to make up yourself. :2t::apl:

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Try this with a medium or large format camera.




Long live the cell phone camera.  I even had to be a bit tricky to get this one.  I had to hold the phone upside down.

I need to work on the lighting.

Reg

Last edited on Fri Oct 19th, 2018 12:22 am by Reg H

Lee B
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slateworks wrote: Being a mechanic hasn't hindered your scenic work at all Reg and it's good to see how well it's coming on. Trees, as you say, will lift it even further as will undergrowth and weeds, all available r-t-r or as material for you to make up yourself.

I agree. All you need is a lot of undergrowth away from the tracks, a lot of trees (which can easily be found commercially for the fir trees that are the most common in the area) and it'll look a lot like the Pacific Northwest. I think you're about 75-80% there when it comes to scenery as the 'heavy lifting' part appears to be already done!

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Lee:

I have a box of trees (145 if my memory serves) that are pretty good representations of the Douglas Fir we have around here, except they have no trunks.  They are from a German company.

So I need to invent somewhat convincing trunks.  I was thinking of using dowel, but that doesn't take stain very well.  So I will probably turn trunks from balsa. 

Here in the southwest corner of the state, the valleys have a lot of deciduous trees, mostly alder and maple.  So I am thinking of scattering some of the those around.  I will hit Woodland Scenics for those. 

I will pick away at that.  I really want to get the rest of the On30 pulled up and start laying more track.  Alan Sewell has let me know that it is not all that unusual for logging operations to have trackage rights over Class 1's.  That pushes me into including some logging operations. I am excited about that.  But it means getting track layed around to the mill site. 

I should publish my track plan.

Reg

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Reg H wrote: Alan Sewell has let me know that it is not all that unusual for logging operations to have trackage rights over Class 1's. 

An vice versa. Milwaukee Road was running around many of the WA state logging operations through the 60s and 70s (though not so much on the Simpson that I've seen).
if you don't have this book, I strongly recommend it: https://morningsunbooks.com/products/logging-railroads-of-the-pacific-northwest-in-color-volume-1-washington-state

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Hi Lee and Reg
I have a whole  bunch ot trees still to install which I guess represent second growth timber. I hope to go to the NMRA British Region Convention at the end of the week and one of the vendors is selling a variety of trees so will see what they have

I believe most of the MILW log handling was due to their agreements with Weyerhaeuser dating I think from the 1940's although it really seems to have come into play in the late 1960's. There is some good information in recent "MILW Railroader" Magazines. Simpson  never used MILW as they were on a NP branch and seemed to have superior switching rights over the class 1. I think NP/GN/UP all hauled logs and did mill switching. I agree the "Logging Railroads of the Pacific Northwest - Washington" book is great and has some good ideas.
I dug out a couple of photos  the first shows a Long Bell/International Paper LP&N log train on the UP/NP main I think in the late 1950's
Alan 

Attachment: lpnml.jpg (Downloaded 69 times)

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The other is a Chehalis Western ( Weyco ) train on  the UP/NP main near Chehalis. Not sure when this is dated 1940's ? 
Alan 

Attachment: CW120train.jpg (Downloaded 70 times)

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Lee B wrote: Reg H wrote: Alan Sewell has let me know that it is not all that unusual for logging operations to have trackage rights over Class 1's. 

An vice versa. Milwaukee Road was running around many of the WA state logging operations through the 60s and 70s (though not so much on the Simpson that I've seen).
if you don't have this book, I strongly recommend it: https://morningsunbooks.com/products/logging-railroads-of-the-pacific-northwest-in-color-volume-1-washington-state



I will have to check my book cases.  I have a mess of books.

I rode the Chehalis and Western in the 1970's.  Power was a Milwaukee SW.  

Reg

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I am convinced.  There will be a logging show branched off the class 1.  Log trains from a reload will come down the logging line onto the class 1 and proceed to the mill.

If I can figure a way to make it fit, the mill will have its own switcher, a GE 44 ton.

Log runs will probably be handled by an SW1200.   I think it will need to be fitted with dynamic brakes.   :)

I need to look through my books to see how I want to configure the reload.

I visited the Simpson reload west of Mill 5 with John Henderson a couple of times.  But it was out of operation by then and the trackage was being used to store equipment. 

Reg

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The mill kit arrives tomorrow.

:)   :)   :)

Reg

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This is the old On30 trackplan, but it will serve to show what I am doing.




Henderson, the west end of the line is somewhat different.  The track plan there is the takeoff of the "Time Saver"  featured in "Your Next Model Railroad".  No turntable.

The curve marked "trestle" will actually be in a tunnel because the reload will be above it.
LeBam will be similar (and may retain its name) except that the stub end siding will face the other way and will extend over the mainline and up to the reload.  That will be the logging line.

The sawmill will be relocated to where the engine facility is shown on this plan.  The siding serving the sawmill in the plan will be eliminated.  A town will go into that space.

The dotted line is a backdrop.

Buildings occupy a lot of space because this plan was drawn for 1/4" scale.

It is a pretty simple layout.  But I have learned the hard way that, for me, large and/or complex layouts simply don't get built.

I promise to get around to drawing up something that represents the current plans.

Reg

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Hi Reg 
That looks a good area to put a layout in and keeping it simple helps with getting the railroad to some degree of completion in a reasonable period.  I like how you are going to use the space and that you have some good ideas.
There is danger that this is becoming a appendix to "Diesel Forest Railraoding" but if you need any mill/ other plans I have a few. Also  thought you might be able to compress the attached which come from a Simpson dispatchers map.
The first is for Fir Creek Transfer which I always think is a nice prototype
Alan

Attachment: fircreek 001.jpg (Downloaded 36 times)

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The other is of Grisdale - probably at its fullest extent and with the Schafer branch to Olympic Camp
Alan 

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Now with the map!!!!

Attachment: grisdale 001.jpg (Downloaded 104 times)

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Alan:

Yes, this part of the layout should probably head on over to "Diesel Logging".  

I will need some reload ideas.  I want it to be simple, but have a run around capability.  

I don't know what kind of loading arrangement I want to do.  Lots of time before that is critical.

Reg

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Demolition of the previous On30 has proceeded.



This section was a bit more difficult, emotionally, to pull up.  It is outside the area damaged by the water leak, and the three turnouts were REALLY smooth.  

But it was easier physically.  On the first section it took me a whole day to get the track up.  I pulled all the rail and then went to work on the ties and roadbed.

This time around, I cut the rail about every foot or so with the dremel.  Then I applied that small wrecking bar visible in the photo and drove it under the roadbed with the hammer. 

In under a half hour I had all that track pulled up.  I need to do a little detail work, but this section is just about ready for center lines.

I need to do a little sub-roadbed work where the trestle once stood before I can start laying out center lines. 

Very excited.

I added some additional lighting on this side of the layout this afternoon.

In keeping with Alan Sewell's suggestion, further discussion regarding the lumber mill and the logging line will go over to "Diesel Logging".

Reg 



Last edited on Mon Oct 22nd, 2018 01:57 am by Reg H

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Alan,
  The photo of the Chehalis Western #120 mallet was taken at NW State St. near the corner of NW Folsum St. in Chehalis. According to Lyle Spears tonight as he remembers the photo was taken in 1948. By the way the auto repair shop shown behind the pilot of #120 was Lyle's father's business.   Another scoop is that the Skookum #7 2-4-4-2 was fired up and ran for the first time under its own power on the Oregon Scenic RR last Tuesday, Oct. 16th. on a night run and a few days later it was fired up during the day.   Trains magazine is hosting a special excursion run on March 17th and 18th next year and then a few days later the Skookum is being sent down to California more than likely to Willits. The tickets for the special Trains magazine are $899 each which I imagine is going to help pay for the cost to send it to California.   Here are links to the first two videos of the Skookum in steam finally:
      
 https://www.facebook.com/108162132544982/videos/576150612829830/


  Attached is also a photo of the Skookum under steam.

  
  Jack M.



Attachment: Skookum.jpg (Downloaded 70 times)

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  For some reason the link for the first video didn't post right so here is the first video for the first steam up of the Skookum again.

   https://www.facebook.com/OregonCoastScenicRR/videos/251308275730848/?q=oregon%20coast%20scenic%20railroad

  Also attached is another photo of the Skookum, the McCloud #25 and the Polson Logging Co. #2 which is a 2-8-0 all under steam.

  Jack M

Attachment: Oregon Scenic RR.jpg (Downloaded 69 times)

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Hi Jack 
Great photos and a great story. I had just finished reading the article in the latest "Trains" magazine and wondered when they would get it back in operation. Do you know if it going to the California Western or to Roots of Motive Power?
Also thanks for the additional information on the CW photo. My copy says June 1948 and by Al Farrow. Also good to know Lyle Spears is still active. Wish he could be persuaded to share his memories and photos. They must be a significant resource and it would be good for him to get recognition  today for what he did. He was one of the pioneers providing drawings etc  so we do not have to make "models of models" but can refer to the real thing".  
I also liked the three locos in steam photo but Polson #2 is a logging mike., so unless they "lost" the rear truck she would not  be a 2-8-0. I attach a photo of her as Rayonier #2 - clearly shows the rear truck
Thanks again 
Alan 

Attachment: ray2c.jpg (Downloaded 61 times)

Alan Sewell
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Reg

I have posted a couple of things over on the Diesel Forest thread

Alan

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So if the Skookum 2-4-4-2 was fired up in Oregon, what did I see in Snoqualmie?

I am almost certain it was a 2-4-4-2.

Reg

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Hi Reg
Could it have been the ex-Weyerhaeuser #6 a 2-6-6-2 maybe with the wheels out. The museum website says it has not worked ( or been worked on perhaps ) for over FORTY years. Last ran in 1974
Alan 

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Reg:
  If the locomotive you saw at Snoqualmie  Falls was laying on the ground in pieces it was indeed the Skookum which later on was sent to Elbe and then sold  to Chris Baldo I believe and then was sent to Tillamook, OR where it was rebuilt.
  The other mallet at Snoqualmie Falls was a Weyerhaeuser 2-6-6-2 which in operation when I went there sometime in the middle 1960's. It just ran back and forth on a section of track but I was excited anyway as I hadn't seen a mallet running in years. The last operating mallets that I had seen was when we lived in Longview and dad used to take me to Kelso to watch the big Weyerhaeuser 2-8-8-2's passing through Headquarters Camp hauling logs to the mill in Longview. It was an impressive site watching them come across the long trestle into Kelso. I can still see them in my mind.
 In later years we moved to Toledo, WA and he got a job driving a local old 1948 Ford gas truck delivering gas and oil to local customers. I use to ride with him on Saturdays. One day I had the opportunity to see a Long Bell 2-6-6-2 steaming out of Ryderwood. 
  I never took any photos back then as film and developing was too expensive for a young kid. The only photos I ever took back then was a few of the Goodyear Blimp when it passed over town. If only we had the technology back then that we have today then I would have a lot of logging history on memory chips. I have never seen any film of the big Weyerhaeuser 2-8-8-2's and I sometimes wonder if anyone has ever taken any film of them in action. 
  It is sad to see how some treat old steam locomotives. Below are two links to the vast collection of old steam locomotives rusting away down in Merrill, OR which is near the California border. Among the collection is what is left of the Oregon American #105 which was a 2-6-2. Last time I had seen it was sitting along side the I5 freeway near Eugene, OR covered with berry vines. I had rode behind it on a tourist operation out of Banks, OR a few years earlier. Also there is the Pickering #8 3 truck shay which I had last saw a Banks, OR too when it was shipped there along with the Westside #8 narrow gauge 3 truck shay. A crew was in the process of firing up the Pickering shay and was building up boiler pressure. Some idiot was impatient and kept trying to blow the whistle and it since there wasn't enough steam the whistle mostly threw out water. Also at Merrill is the Rayonier #38 (former Sierra RR #38) or what is left of it. 
  I don't understand why people spend big bucks on old steam locomotives and then let them sit to rust away. I had last seen the #38 operating at Rayonier's Railroad Camp at Humptupils, WA in the last years of the operation. The day I was there they were also operating the Rayonier #110 another 2-6-6-2. Sitting on the rip track was the frame and running gear of the old Chehalis Western #120 (Weyerhaeuser). 

 Here are the links to the two videos of the locomotive bone yard at Merrill, OR


  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgw-0_t2BNU

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwdI9BHsapM


  Jack M

  

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  For some reason the link to the second video of the locomotive boneyard at Merrill, OR doesn't work so here it is again:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwdI9BHsapM

 Jack M

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I saw this one in September.  So must have been the 2-6-6-2.

I used to run around up there in the mid-60's.  

Reg

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  Here is a link to a movie on the Polson Logging Co. #2 which also ran on the Saginaw Logging Co. and Rayonier, Inc. on her test run on the Oregon Scenic Railroad. The attached picture shows her sitting in front of the old blimp hanger at Tillamook, OR where it is stored when not in service.
  Here is the link for her test run:

  https://www.facebook.com/OregonCoastScenicRR/videos/10156028355723103/

  Jack M

Attachment: Polson #2.jpg (Downloaded 101 times)

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Jack:

I really need to make it down to that museum.  I have been to the aviation museum that is in one of the other blimp hangars, but was not even aware there was a railroad museum nearby.

I like the Tillamook aviation museum because I can fly into the airport there and taxi right to the museum.  For some reason most aviation museums, even the ones located on active airports, do not have ramp space.  

I wonder if the hangar housing the locomotive has ramp space.

Reg

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I made some very exciting progress on the Henderson Bay Branch over the weekend.

Track is now mostly laid through PeEll.  "Mostly" because I am waiting for a right hand turnout.  It should arrive on the 1st.  

I will post photos when the last of that bit of track is in.  What is down is operational, and the last bit will be within minutes of being laid.  Well, at least as soon as the Liquid Nails is dry.  I resisted the use of "suitcase" connectors, but have become a believer. 

Track laying sure goes fast with commercial track.  

That will be the last of track laying for awhile.  The track layout east of PeEll depends on the track layout for the lumber mill.  

So the next project will be construction of the mill.  I will document that process in the Logging thread.

Reg

Last edited on Mon Oct 29th, 2018 09:59 pm by Reg H

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Reg:

  I have no idea if you can land at the Tillamook airport and then taxi to the blimp hanger. They just park the Polson #2 in the hanger and maybe the #25 but I have no idea on that either. There is just one hanger now as the second one was torn down some years ago.  As far as I know the Oregon Scenic RR conducts their trips out of Garibaldi about 10 miles away Northwest of Tillamook. The population of Tillamook is only about 5,000 so I don't think that they have a taxi service but maybe they do because this is a tourist town. You need to contact the Chamber of Commerce or the Police Dept. to find out.
  I flew to Tillamook many years ago with a friend who was taking his first cross country flight. We took off from Troutdale, OR then South to Salem, Eugene and then up to Tillamook and back to Troutdale. The Oregon Scenic RR didn't exist back then nor did the Air Museum.
  Attached is a photo of the Tillamook airport and the Air Museum in the background which looks to be about a mile away.

  Jack M.

Attachment: Tillamook Airport.jpg (Downloaded 68 times)

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Jack:

OK.  So they are parking the locomotive along with the aviation museum.  that wasn't the case the last time I was down there.

Nobody objects if one taxis close to the hangar.  

To do the Oregon Coast Scenic I would probably drive down. 

Reg

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The assembly of the lumber mill has started.

For progress on the logging aspects of the layout, see the Diesel Logging thread under Mining and Logging.

The #6 right hand turnout should arrive today, which will allow me to complete the Class 1 trackwork through PeEll.

There will be no more Class 1 trackwork until the mill project is complete.

Reg

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It is somewhat of a surprise that, even though Tillamook is an uncontrolled airport (no control tower) the cross wind runway is still open.  

Most small uncontrolled airports that were built with a cross wind runways have closed those runways.  When the airport was built by, or upgraded for, the military most airplanes were "conventional" gear (tailwheel) rather than tricycle gear.  

Cross winds are a much bigger problem for tailwheel airplanes than tricycle.  Most airplanes are now tricycle gear.  So to cut down on maintenance costs and reduce the possibility of runway incursions at the intersection, cross wind runways are usually closed. 

Reg

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  Attached is a 1904 photo of the Mumby Lumber & Shingle Co. located in Bordeaux, WA which I feel would make a breath taking module. There would be a lot of scratch building involved which I use to love to do.

  I thought that the mill building in the rear was a sawmill but other photos I ran across showed it as a shingle mill.

  Jack M.

Attachment: Mumby Lumber & Shingle Co Bordeaux, WA 1904.jpg (Downloaded 39 times)

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What a great scene Jack. 

Certainly a candidate for a scenic module. 

Photo stored for future reference thanks.


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Yeah, that is a good scene.  A bit out of the diesel era, but lots of interesting detail.

I like to scratch build, but that is a little outside the objectives of this layout.  So is the mill, so there ya go.

Reg

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Track is complete through PeEll






First train into PeEll







Exciting stuff.

Reg


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Hi Reg

Henderson branch is looking good. 

Has inspired me to stop playing trains and get to doing some scenery. Has only taken me two years to make this decision!!!

Will be posting some log loading stuff on the " Loading Logs from Train to truck" thread although I still think this thread has not quite got it right.

Alan 

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Alan:

Yes, I am very pleased with the progress.  The nice thing about commercial track is one can get done in an evening what would require a couple of weeks handlaying. 

In the above photo the logging line will come off that right hand turnout to nowhere and climb over the Class 1.  Most of that turnback curve in the distance will be in tunnel with the reload above it. 

Normally I try and avoid long stretches of straight track.  If you look closely at LeBam you can see that the main line and passing siding are actually long radius curves.

But here in PeEll I had to leave room for the logging line.  So the Class 1 had to be located as close to the edge of the layout as practicable. 

The camera is brutal.  I notice that one of the rail joints is causing a vertical shift in the rail.  It is not an operational problem, as I have run over it several times in both directions and not even noticed it, but it is kind of ugly in this low angle photo. 

The focus of attention now shifts to the mill.  I have started construction, but it is slow.  Parts have to be painted/stained prior to assembly, and subassemblies have to to be glued up and then allowed to dry.  I have completed the pile assemblies.  It represents only about 1.5 hours of work, but has taken four evenings because of drying times. 

I am having some adventures with paint.  I am pretty sure I don't want to sacrifice much of my Floquil stash on such a large project.  But finding suitable model paint in reasonable quantities is proving to be a challenge.  I don't know what is up with all this 1/2 fl.oz. stuff.  

I even entertained using hardware store rattle can spray paint.  I have a can that is a good color.  But the plank detail on the sheathing is so nice I don't want to use that thick a paint.  It really calls for model paint.  I will see if the Elma Variety Store (which is kind of an incredible place) can come through for me.  I don't necessarily need a railroad color, but any flat red with a hint of brown would look great.  

Reg

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East bound Puget Sound & Pacific at Winkleman Road between Montesano and Brady.












Mixed Freight.  
Mostly grain cars and bulkhead flats with a couple of boxcars and a couple of tank cars.
The tank cars are probably empty propane from the dealer in Kamilche south of Shelton. 


Interesting detail note.  
They alternately flash the ditch lights as they approach crossings.  Both steady between crossings.

Reg

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Hi Reg

Interesting power on the train. 
Not what you would expect on a shortline maybe.

Is the Sierra Pacific lumber from Shelton along with the box cars or is there another SP mill shipping over the PS&P ?

Alan 


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Alan:

It is an interesting train.  

There is a Sierra Pacific mill in Aberdeen.  So the SP product could come from either place.  

The power is interesting.  I have seen BNSF units between Shelton and Elma, though they seem to run shiny PS&P GP units on that division.  Mostly I see the BNSF six axle units on the unit grain trains. It is also a lot of power for the train.  It wasn't very long.  I don't think there are any steep grades between Aberdeen and Centralia.  

Come to think of it, it is unlikely that this train came out of Shelton, as this photo was taken between Aberdeen and Elma, actually Montesano.  The line to Shelton joins the main line at Elma. 

Reg




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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



Reg

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General progress on the Henderson Bay Branch is somewhat on hold while I work on aspects of the Henderson Bay Timber Company.

General progress on the timber company railroad operations can be found in the Logging and Mining forum. 

Progress on the construction of the Slatyfork mill can be found in Kit Building forum.

Reg

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I occasionally like to stage photo ops.  I really love these two Alcos. 
Especially since one is in the original GN scheme and the other in the simplified scheme.

This is definitely a staged scene.  Neither locomotive has been converted to DCC yet.





I have a considerable brace of GN and BN motive power purchased from an estate. 
But it is, currently, my intent to run the railroad with the SD-9 and these two Alcos.  

The logging operation will be powered by these two little beauties.





Follow the logging operation in the 'Logging and Mining' Forum under  'Henderson Bay Timber Co.'

Reg


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Follow the construction of the lumber mill in "Kit Building" under Slatyfork Mill.

Reg

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There will be more on this thread as time goes along.

Right now most of what I am posting is in the Kitbuilding section,
as I am buried deep in the construction of the lumber mill.

Following that there will probably be more work presented in the Logging and Mining section. 
Though development of that phase of the layout will go hand in hand with the common carrier. 

I had intended for this HO layout to be much simpler and to proceed much faster.  
But the addition of the logging element changed my direction dramatically. 

No.  I am not complaining.  I am having a great deal of fun.

Reg


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Looking great!




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Hi Reg  :wave:



Looking pretty  C :cool: :cool: L

Good to see the 2 ALCOs & the Lumber Co. locos in action with   LIVE:!:WIRING !  :shocked:



I really like this photo Alan Posted a few Pages << back ...  :thumb:





... I can def. see log hauling on the Henderson Bay Branch looking a bit like this.  L:



:)



Si.


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Yes indeed.  That is a great photo.  

I need to look up some photos for Alan. 
John Henderson and I visited a pulp mill, many decades ago, and I wrote an article about it.  
Alan was wondering if I had more photos of that trip.

I have to think about doing something with my photos.  I have file drawers full of negatives and slides.  
I need to get them digitized and make them available to the railfan/model railroad community. 

Reg


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Hi Reg/Si

Glad you liked the photo.
I think it is of one of the last runs by International Paper/LP&N over the UP/NP mainline from Vader Junction to Longview.
The cars were 70-foot "greyhound" cars.
I seem to remember I read that Long Bell agreed with the class ones the number of cars they could haul BUT did not specify their length!!.
So the LP&N used 70 foot cars rather than 40 foot and about doubled the logs they could haul.

Since Reg has the GE 70-tonners log hauling is more likely to look like the attached  showing Weyerhaeuser's Springfield branch.

Alan


Attachment: GE70white cars.jpg (Downloaded 61 times)

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I guess the mill scene might then look like this also at Springfield.

Alan 


Attachment: wtcsprtld002.jpg (Downloaded 60 times)

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Contemplating handlaying the rest of the track.  

I have a mess of code 83 rail.  It is a wash, cost-wise, between the cost of commercial turnouts and the FastTracks jigs, given the number of turnouts I am planning.

Still thinking about it.  No hurry until the mill is finished (see the thread in "Kit Building").


Reg

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Hi Alan  :wave:



AWESOME diesel forest railroading pics. ^^ in your last 2 Posts.  :thumb:

I'm sure they could be exactly the kinda look Reg is after for 'The Henderson Bay Branch'.  :shocked:


- - - - - - -


Hi Reg  :wave:



I seem to hear only good things about the Fast Tracks jigs.  :)

I have never seen or used any myself though.



Didn't you have some of their On30 ones ?  ???

I don't suppose it's possible to make regular HO turnouts with them is it ?

(probably a totally dumba$$ question)  :P



:moose:



Si.


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I built my On30 turnouts completely from scratch.  

I don't want to spend that much time this time around. 

Reg

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The beauty of the "Scene Library" concept is that one can change eras, or even railroads,
by having a collection of rolling stock and other details that can be changed out at will.

As an example, the years have passed on the Henderson Branch and the GN is no more.
Now it is part of a larger operation, the Burlington Northern.










Actually, this is thoroughly staged.  None of these locomotives are DCC yet.

Reg


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Hi Reg

Really like the photos of Henderson Branch in the early 1970’s.

One of the good things about building a smallish layout and without too much townscape,
is the ability to change eras if desired without too much additional work on the scenery.
 
As I said on my Diesel Logging Thread, I am planning on operating three time frames.
The early 1960’s with some steam and first generation diesels, the mid 1980’s and the early 2000’s.

I am running the 1960 timeframe at present,
but am planning some hopefully minor changes at the mill to bring in the other time periods.

I have lokeys, cars and motor vehicles which I can use,
so I am planning some operations later in the year.

The issue with later time frames is ensuring footboards on lokeys,
and running boards/high brake wheels are removed,
as this was mandated in the late 60’s/early 70’s.

I guess that means your photos were intended to be just after the BN formation in 1972,
as some of your cars still have roof running boards.

Look forward to seeing more.

Alan
 
 

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Alan:

Roof top running boards and cabooses forever!!!

I tend to not get quite that deep into the weeds.
If I am having fun and it looks OK, I am happy. 
I am not going to run any locomotives more modern than GP-35. 
I really would like a GP-30 or two. 
In GN, of course. 

I have set the GP-18's incorrectly. 
They are probably ex-NP units since they have the dynamic brakes. 
The GN GP-18 photos I have seen lack dynamic brakes. 
My memory (not to be trusted),
remembers NP hood units all running short hood first.

I do want to dip into the steam era.  
That will involve some earlier rolling stock. 
Most of my freight cars are post steam in construction and livery. 
Not to mention a couple of appropriate locomotives. 
I might do that library in NP rather than GN. 
I love the old wood NP cabooses,
and the NP locomotives tended to be a bit less distinctive. 

It just isn't possible to "fake" many GN locomotives,
by changing a few details and adding GN lettering.  
The belpaire fireboxes and vanderbilt tenders are just too distinctive. 

GN brass is cost-prohibitive.

Reg


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Reg







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I started work on a new caboose yesterday. 
I have an ancient Athearn steel caboose kit and some GN decals.

The caboose is not EXACTLY like a GN steel caboose,
but close enough for right now.  

Epic fail. 
I have had the decals (and the kit) for more years than I care to think about. 
I could not get the old decals onto the caboose. 
They kept breaking apart.  

I guess I need to buy some fresh decals.

Second epic fail. 
I have two Bachmann GP-35's, both with drive system issues. 
I decided to tear one apart and "dummy" it.  

Right!

I could not get the gears out without destroying parts of the trucks. 
Since I would prefer to make the "dummy" operation reversible, I gave up. 

I will see if I can determine what is causing the drive problem,
fix that, and put the thing back together.
 
Not sure what I am going to do with it. 
Converting to DCC would be a major undertaking,
including some pretty serious machine work to make room for the decoder. 

Reg


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Hi Reg  :wave:



I really like a lot how you've got this looking ...

... & you 'claim' to be no good at scenery !  ???





I actually like the simplicity of the scenery & how it I suppose puts a focus on the trains.





Much as I like drab & rusty ol' narrow gauge ...

... my HO stash is fairly colourfull & moooodern !  :P






:cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:



Si.


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Thanks, Si. 

This is the best looking scenery I have ever done. 
It still needs some work and detail.

The "secret", if you will, is keeping it very simple,
and blindly following Woodland Scenics suggested processes,
and using their products.  


I will eventually add a very small amount of weathering to the rolling stock. 
Most of the weathering will consist of a very light coat of light to medium gray paint,
airbrushed along the running gear and lower parts to suggest a bit of mud splattering up. 
Very light. 
And really, the main purpose will be to bring out the detail in the running gear. 

Some locomotives may get a bit more,
like some black lightly airbrushed around exhaust stacks. 

I think that the rusty and broken down look is pretty cool. 
And the artistic ability to achieve that look in a convincing fashion is very impressive.
But my observation is that most well-run operations feature well-maintained equipment.  

Reg


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Hi Reg
 
I agree with Si that your scenery looks really good.
I especially like the layered effect of the trackside undergrowth,
which looks very realistic to me.

Your comments on the use of Woodlands Scenics material is one I agree with.
I have tried other brands, but none give me the feel I want,
and although they might cost more than others,
you can be sure they will work consistently together
 
The other point you make around weathering  
“ My observation is most well run operations feature well-maintained equipment” 
is very much how I feel.
I think we see too many models of what John H and I referred to as “rolling rust buckets”,
which unless they were a week away from closure,
would not pull a train or get out of the shops.

Lumber companies relied on efficient transportation to make a profit.
I would say the last comments apply particularly to lokeys, cabeese and some other stock.
Log cars were a somewhat more abused,
but even they needed to be ready to haul timber big or small.
 
I think the attached photo by John of switching at Simpson’s Fir Creek transfer in the early 1980’s,
shows this with their SW1200 in great condition.
The log cars less so but still not weathered beyond useful
 
Regards
 
Alan





Alan Sewell
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Even at the end of Steam,
if the company expected useful work from their equipment,
then weathering was not excessive.

The attached Pacific Coast Shay is nearing the end of its days,
on the Englewood railway on Vancouver Island, but still looks good.

Alan 



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Note the horns on the 1201. 
Those were (and probably still are) Pete Replinger's personal horns.  

At one of John Henderson's birthday parties at Truman Glick park,
Pete hooked them up to an air tank, strapped the tank in the back of a pickup truck,
and drove up and down an abandoned stretch of the railroad close to the park blowing those horns.

Five chimes.  They sound mighty fine.

Pete took them with him when he retired from Simpson. 

John typically didn't like to celebrate his birthday, and didn't for many years. 
My wife nagged him in to doing something. 
John loved Truman Glick park and threw a potluck party out there for several years. 
John Taubeneck and I (with a few others present) spread his ashes in the creek there at John H.'s request. 

There is some play equipment there donated by John's estate,
complete with a sign, "In Memory of Jonathan P. Henderson".
 
There was always an interesting collection of folks at those gatherings. 
I will post some photos.  Few people know that "John" was a "Jonathan".  

Every time I fly west out of Sanderson Field (Shelton) I circle Truman Glick Park.

Reg


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Si. wrote: Hi Reg  :wave:



I really like a lot how you've got this looking ...

... & you 'claim' to be no good at scenery !  ???





I actually like the simplicity of the scenery & how it I suppose puts a focus on the trains.





Much as I like drab & rusty ol' narrow gauge ...

... my HO stash is fairly colourfull & moooodern !  :P





Si: 

You are perceptive to note that the scenery is there strictly as a backdrop for the trains.
But even then, I am not a detail hound.  I like to strive for overall effect.
 
It is even a characteristic of my railroad photography. 
While others might be taking roster shots, or trying to record some details,
I would be standing back trying to capture the essence of the scene.  

I gotta get a photo scanner so I can post some of my photos. 

Reg


Reg H
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It occurred to me that I had a few old photos in print form.

This is a terrible scan.  
The original is from a medium format negative and is pin sharp. 
I couldn't get the print out of the album without damaging it.

Yes.  Much of my work is in black & white.





This was taken at Skykomish, WA sometime in the mid '70's.  

Reg


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Here is another one.





This was an interesting conversation. 
It was the first day that BN switched from rear-end helpers to mid-train helpers through Stevens Pass.

Apparently, the train crew got the order but the station master in Skykomish was not informed. 
The gist of this conversation was, "What in the HELL are you doing?".

Again, the scan does not do the print justice.

Reg


Reg H
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I just had to do some more.

I need to look at an ancient file in my filing cabinet labeled "Prints".  
There might be something of interest in there.





This, again, is in Skykomish on some cloudy early morning.
 
Most railfan days started with a pre-dawn departure from Seattle,
and breakfast at the hotel in Skykomish.  

I was in Stevens Pass from one to three weekends a month from 1972 to 1982.

Reg


Reg H
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I promise to have some photos soon.

Most model railroad work lately has been concentrated on the Henderson Bay Timber Company mill. 
That work can be followed in the logging and mining section.

But that doesn't mean that all work on the Henderson Bay Branch has been set aside.
This past weekend I got most of the last of the On30 pulled up, and the layout done for the rest of the track.  

Railroad work will be put on hold while I build a new fence (12"=1'). 
But the last of the track for the branch should be down and operational within the next three weeks or so.  

Once all the track is in I can start thinking about implementing the card order system I have in mind.  

Of course, step one will be to go through all the second hand freight cars I have and tune them up. 
Most will need new wheels (they all seem to have plastic wheels),
and I will need to make sure all the couplers are within specifications.  
I have quite a collection of 40' Athearn boxcars in boxcar red. 
But they all have the same number. 

I think I have enough other cars to make operations interesting,
but I would like to figure out how to change the numbers on those cars.


Reg


Reg H
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Cork roadbed is all down for the remainder of the branch line track.  

I hope to have the track laid in a couple of weeks.

I will take some photos once I get the junk cleared off the layout.

Reg

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Hi Reg  :wave:



AWESOME photos !  :thumb:

Great railroadin'     a   t   m   o   s   p   h   e   r   e





It looks HIGH UP there !  :shocked:

B&W makes it look really 'fresh' somehow.  L:



:)



Si.


Reg H
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Si:


The photo was taken at Skykomish.
 
At the time it was an important part of Stevens Pass operations.
This is where they added helpers to eastbound trains and removed helpers from westbound.  
I haven't been up there in many years and I understand that all power runs through now. 

This is also where the GN used to hook up electric power for the trip through the Cascade Tunnel.

Skykomish is well into the Cascade Mountains, but is only at 928' above sea level. 
It is where the railroad starts serious hill climbing. 

Many think that a town to the west, Startup, is named because the grades start there.
Not true. 
It is named for George Startup, one of the original pioneers in the area. 


B&W was always my favorite medium. 
This print is off a medium format negative. 
I usually worked in medium format,
though I have a pretty big collection of 35mm slides as well.

I would really like to figure out how to make my photos available. 
I would need to figure out a way to charge enough to cover costs. 
The big hurdle is finding the time to do the scanning.


I have made some great progress on the branch line in the last few days. 
Cork roadbed is down for the remainder of the track and I started trackwork last night.
Only to find that I was out of Liquid Nails, which is what I use to hold down track. 


Reg


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Hi Reg  :wave:



I printed my 1st medium-format neg. at home, whilst still in my single-digit years !

Pops did 'em in the bathroom, with a specially-shaped masonite window-cover.



He started me off with individual 120 contact-prints, using his bulb & glass printer.

When I didn't turn too much paper BLACK ! he then figured it was time for enlargements !



:!:



Si.


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Si:

We had a space under the stairs that served my Dad, and then me, as a darkroom. 
We had to schlep water from the kitchen to the basement and prints got rinsed in the kitchen sink. 
But there were no windows in the stairwell. 

My dad had an enlarger and we were printing from 2-1/4 square negatives. 
My Dad had a high end Rolliecord while I was shooting with the somewhat down market Rolliflex.  

There was a hiatus in darkroom work for me starting from my entry into the US Navy,
and extending until after I graduated from college and acquired a home with a basement. 
In which I built a formal darkroom.  

I lost my darkroom when my first wife and I divorced.
Haven't had one since. 

I was a working pro for a few years in Seattle and Alaska. 
The transition from amateur to pro spoiled photography for me for quite a few years,
coupled with the rise of digital photography. 
I sold all the pro gear and purchased a Nikon D3, but I haven't gotten the hang of digital.  

There is also the time factor. 
My deep involvement in photography resulted in me being somewhat remiss in my family duties,
and was a contributing factor in the divorce.  

Too soon old, too late smart.

Reg


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Progress on the layout continues.  

All the track for the branch line is laid and the pigtails for the wiring are in. 
The next step is to connect the pigtails into the power bus and install the ground throws.

I will have photos as soon as I clean the construction detritus off the layout.

Then it will be back to construction of the logging operation. 

Reg


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Some definite progress has been made. 

All the track to the east end of the layout is down, wired and painted. 
Ground throws still need to be installed. 

But that hasn't stopped me from running a "first train",
from the west end (LeBam) to the east end. 
I haven't settled on a name for the east end yet.


Here is the first train departing LeBam.





Photos are brutal. 

I obviously need to clean the surface of the pond. 
And I haven't gotten around to painting the splice on the bridge. 

Now the layout is functional, I can probably put all the handrails back on this GP-35.


Here is the train passing through PeEll.  No scenery beyond LeBam, yet.





Approaching the throat at the east end.





Yes, there is still some left over On30. 

This bit is in an awkward location and I haven't had to remove it yet.   
It will need to be gone when I start laying out the town I have planned.


Arrived!





The two turnouts in this view will eventually lead to the mill and the logging company's engine facility.


Another view.





The paper showing under the roadbed is a turnout template. 
I glue those down as the first step in laying out the final track alignment. 
It will be trimmed before ballast application.


Here is the mill and log dump pretty much in their final locations. 
Once I get the log dump completed (very close),
I will build the engine house and start to work on this scene.  





The scenery in the mill area will be roughed in (scenery is never complete),
before I start to work on the logging line that branches off the main line at PeEll,
and before I start work on the town.

Painting the rail was the last step last night. 
I used the airbrush this time.  First time I have tried that. 
It worked really well, except I tried using the little paint cup, rather than the bottle. 
I won't be doing that again.  I kept spilling the paint out of the cup.

Following rail painting I remove paint from the top of the rail with a file. 
It is the only time I use a file to clean track. 
I also dress any rail joints that need it at that time. 

After the file, I go over the track with a Bright Boy,
and then apply a VERY LIGHT coat of graphite. 
The graphite is the best trick I have ever learned in model railroading. 
Do it once and you won't have to clean track or wheels for a very long time. 
How long?  I don't know yet.

I use artists' graphite that comes in a square stick.  


Reg


Last edited on Mon Aug 5th, 2019 07:03 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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One more.

The operational concept for this layout started out based on the Raymond Branch of the Northern Pacific.  
However, as it developed I was far more attracted to the configuration of the Aberdeen Branch of the Northern Pacific
(now the Puget Sound & Pacific).  

That branch takes off from the north-south mainline at Centralia and travels west to Elma.  
At Elma, the line branches. 
One branch continues west to Aberdeen.  The other branch goes north and east to Shelton. 
From Shelton, the trackage, owned by the U.S. Navy from this point, continues north to Bremerton Junction,
one line going into the Bremerton Naval Shipyard, the other continuing north to the Bangor Submarine Base. 
The PS&P operates the U.S. Navy trackage and serves other industries along the way.  

You may also note that, among other liberties, I have chosen the Great Northern over the Northern Pacific. 
Though sometime in the future I may, using the scene library concept, operate the layout as NP.

Rather than trying to cram all that into my limited space,
the layout covers the line (using the "real" railroad's place names),
from Centralia to Elma, and treats Elma somewhat like a division point, with transfer tracks at each end. 
The real PS&P's main base is Elma.

I have chosen to use two place names from the Raymond Branch,
because because they are just too good to pass up.  
The western terminus, Henderson, is in honor of my close friend, the late John Henderson. 
I don't have firm names for the east end or the Bangor extension yet.  


This is pretty much the extent of the trackage at the east end,
except the coming logging company facilities.





The spur on the right is the "transfer" track. 
Cars coming on and off the branch line are spotted here.  

There is a similar arrangement at the west end. 
LeBam is the west end of the layout, but not of the railroad. 
There are two spurs there. 
One for cars destined further west for Henderson,
and the other destined north to Bangor (tentative location name).  

I plan a card order system. 
A typical operating session starting at the east end, will commence with switching the mill,
and then making up a train of cars destined for points west.  
Once in LeBam (there are no industries in PeEll)
it is a passing siding and the branch to the logging company's reload.
Cars will be switched to industries in LeBam or to one of the transfer tracks. 
A train would then be made up of cars heading east.  

Variations include two trains, one starting at each end and meeting in PeEll. 
Of course, there will also be logging trains, exercising trackage rights from the mill to the reload. 

While the layout can keep one person happily occupied for quite awhile,
a peak operating session could employ up to six people (which would be very crowded). 
An engineer and brakeman for each of the main line calls (4), 
an engineer for the logging operation (1) and a dispatcher (1) for a total of six.  
Oh heck, why not throw in a passenger run (RS-2 and combine?) and plug one of the yards.
 
You don't need a lot of complex trackwork to have interesting operations.

With just me and no real switching operations,
just run a train east bound, swap the engine and caboose and return,
took about an hour.  
That may decrease somewhat once I have uncoupling ramps all installed,
and have tuned up the couplers on all the rolling stock. 
Right now I mostly use a manual uncoupling tool. 

Reg


Lee B
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Wow, looking great so far, Reg!





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VERY NICE! 

Ops are the thing for me. 
I like to have something to do. 

I like the thought that you have put into the ops side.
 
Thinking ahead in operations,
helps to guide me while I am planning.


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I have never been enamored of trains going round and round in circles.  

I once did a very simple layout that consisted of about 10 feet of point to point "mainline",
with a runaround at each end. 

Conversely, every time I have attempted to build a layout with any kind of complexity,
nothing ever got finished.

Reg


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" You don't need a lot of complex trackwork to have interesting operations "


Hi Reg  :wave:


Your railroads ops. plan seems to me  :dope:  ... a work of GENIUS !  :brill:


:java::pop:



Si.


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Yep. 

The genius of the real thing.


Reg.



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Hi Reg  :wave:


The genius of the 'real thing' indeeedeee !  :old dude:



I do like the kinda 'long sweeping' train & track effect ^^ you're getting in HO scale Reg.  :thumb:


The scenery is looking like your B&W photos, with COLOUR added ...  :shocked:

... I love your spacious looking 1:1 photos in B&W ...

... & for the best of both worlds, the models in COLOUR !  :cool:



:)



Si.


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Si.

I guess this reflects my approach when I was a very active railfan. 

While everybody else was recording details,
I was always looking to capture the atmosphere, the look and feel of the entire scene. 

I have always been a fan of Winston Link.

Reg


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I tried an experiment.  

I saw this on some thread or other.





These are small (3/16" diameter by 3/16" long) super magnets. 
The idea is to use them in place of the Kadee uncoupling ramps.

They work amazing!!! 

Even couplers that are in pretty rough condition,
and refuse to work with the Kadee ramps,
work perfectly.  

Using them requires just a bit more precision than the ramps,
but is not remarkably difficult. 

Note the white dot on the rail to mark the location. 
That will have to be enhanced. 
It shows up great with no equipment,
but it is hard to see with rolling stock trundling by.

Just stop the cars with the couplers over the magnets,
create a little slack, the cars uncouple every time
The delayed action process works just fine, too.

They are very inexpensive. 
For about $20 (including shipping)
I got forty (40) of the little blighters. 

Installation is very easy. 
I drilled a friction fit hole into the cork roadbed,
and slid the magnets down until the tops were at tie-top height. 
It seems to be an ideal height.  Well away from the flanges. 
I have problems getting sufficient flangeway width around Kadee ramps.  
A drop of ACC ensures they stay put.

Installation takes less than five minutes.

The biggest challenge is basic handling.  
They are drawn, and will stick to, anything with ferrous metal content. 
I use needle nose pliers to work them into position.
Getting them into the jaws of the pliers takes a bit of finesse.  
I use a bit of rail for the final push into place. 
If you push them down too far,
just pass another magnet over the offender and it will be pulled out. 
The only trick then is to get the two magnets unstuck.  

These two have been painted rail brown, grimy black may work better,
towards making them as inconspicuous as possible. 


Reg



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Reg,

I've been experimenting with the same idea on my layout. 

Been using small rectangle magnets glued to each rail on the outside. 
Works okay. 

Gonna try mounting the magnets on the inside of the rails. 
Should probably work better. 

Just been using cheap magnets picked up off of fleabay.
A lot cheaper than using Kadee's uncoupling ramps. 


Keep up the great work.


Reg H
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Find the uncouplers....





There are actually five pairs in the photo.





They are a bit difficult to spot if you are not looking for them. 
I painted the magnets grimy black.

My first attempt at marking the location was with white paint. 
It fairly screamed "here I am".  It was just too distracting.
 
So I am trying tuscan red.  
It is easily spotted if you are looking for it,
but it is not all that obvious if you are not looking for it.


Reg


Reg H
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I am in the process of making another deviation from the original vision. 
Originally there was to be limited under-the-layout work. 
Turnouts were to be (and currently are) operated by ground throws.  

Small change in plans. 
At the east end of the layout the mill site juts out on a peninsula.
The majority of the small yard at the east end is east of the mill site. 
But the throat turnout for the east end yard is west of the peninsula.  

Soooo, switching the east end involves a lot of walking around the peninsula. 
It has gotten old very fast.  

I have fussed about it for a week. 
Even invented a plan to use three relays and two push buttons,
to control a Switchmaster from either side of the peninsula.

Duh!

I have DCC. 
I just sent off an order for Digitrax DS52 stationary decoder.  
Once it is here I will install a Switchmaster on that turnout controlled by the DS52. 
I have a bunch of Switchmasters laying around. 

Reg


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So I am on to rafters. 
All the walls except the west wall (front) is done. 
Why switching to the rafters I don't know. 
But that is the sequence in the instructions.

The instructions call for building the rafters,
as we used to do building balsa model airplanes. 
Except the material is only 1/16" diameter and is basswood (or similar). 
So sticking pins in it is not a good idea. 
They suggest using plastic wrap over the plans,
and a temporary adhesive to hold things in place.

Not attractive. 
So I borrowed from the Experimental Aircraft Association,
and the process of building wing ribs for full size airplanes. 
I built a jig.





The top jig is the gluing jig.
 
I made the blocks from some scrap balsa I had laying around. 
The lighter pieces are bits from the window cutouts for the walls. 
The material is extremely thin and makes great standoffs,
so the rafter does not get glued to the jig.

The bottom jig, with no blocks, is the cutting guide.

I have glued up one rafter,
and am waiting for the glue (Tightbond II) to set up. 
We will see how that worked. 
I am tempted to try ACC on the next rafter. 

Reg


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This should have been over in the logging/mining area.

The rest will be.

Reg

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I used similar.
1/8 by 3/8 long super magnets, applied in groups of two.

I set them flush with the tops of the rails [between the rails],
and used a short [3/8 high] yellow painted stick pin to indicate these spots.

Regards, warren


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Warren:

So each location has a total of four? 
I am thinking of doing that. 
The spot has to be pretty accurate with just two magnets.
 
It works. 
Of course, it works best with couplers in perfect working order. 
Not all of mine are.

Once I get the mill scene mostly complete,
I intend to spend some time with each piece of rolling stock,
making sure the couplers are all tuned up. 

I also need to do some work on my current primary piece of power. 
It's couplers need work, as well as the hand rails.

Eventually I will get my second GN GP-35 set up for DCC and MU the pair.  

Reg


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No, I just used two magnets, one on each side.

The 'active' range was about 3/8 or a little wider.
Using four would widen the active range.

I -think- the magnets I used had a strength of 48 or 52,
fairly strong.

I aligned both magnets the same way,
just by letting them stack naturally,
and pushing the end of the stack into the hole.

I used white glue to hold them after,
and painted them the same color as the rails.

I used a small straight pin [painted yellow] to identify the area.


Reg H
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Tested and programmed the Digitrax DS52 stationary decoder,
for the east end throat turnout switch machine.

Very simple and it worked great. 
Now I just need to install everything.

Reg


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A vexing problem got solved today.

The problem is based on my wishing to return to my long held routine of manually controlled turnouts. 
I really like the feeling of being part of the action and manually controlled turnouts contribute to that.

The On30 layout featured remote controlled turnouts. 
Switchmaster switch machines to be precise. 
They worked well (except they tore apart the flimsy commercial turnout kits),
but I missed the manual controls.

So on this HO layout, I have returned to manual turnouts using Caboose Industries great little ground throws. 
They are a bit out of scale for HO, but they work well, are reliable, and inexpensive. 

But a problem raised its ugly head.  





You may note that the throat turnout for the small yard at the east end of the layout,
is west of the peninsula on which the mill is being located.

Operations, with the manual turnout control, involved continually walking around the peninsula. 
That got to be a bother.

Upon doing a little research, I learned of the magic of fixed DCC decoders. 
So I ordered up a Digitrax DS52 and installed a Switchmaster on this throat turnout.  

The Switchmasters are very easy, and quick, to install. 
The real magic is that the switch machine can be controlled from the standard controller,
and even more wonderful, the DS52 operates off of track power. 
So I did not have to re-energize the switch machine power bus. 
More "wow" factor, the screen on the controller tells me if the turnout is closed or thrown.  

This mod has increased the fun of east end operations by a very large factor.

The last photo illustrates all that is visible of the Switchmaster.





Another observation...this is an Atlas turnout. 
I have come to prefer the MicroEngineering turnouts for their appearance,
and the Atlas turnouts for their operation.  

Back to work on the engine house.

Reg


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I have had to do some traveling lately. 

While looking for my motel in Ritzville, WA,
I ran across this little beauty.





Track side view:





It is the original NP depot turned into a museum.
Unfortunately closed during the week.

I put the above on an SD card I haven't used in awhile. 
I came across this one.  
A chilly fall day in 2014 in Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad...





I couldn't resist.

Reg


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Just minutes to do this before I have to go off to a conference.

Major mile stone in operations abilities. 

I finally got a decoder in the second Kato GP-35,
got the performance curves of both GP-35s to match
(though I have some adjustments to make)
and figured out how to MU. 

It is actually pretty easy.





I have some details that need attention.
Like getting all the handrails installed, and some new horns on the one loco. 
I also need to figure out how to get the lights to work the way I want them to.

Reg


Reg H
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Kind of random stuff.

I am at a professional conference in Wenatchee at the moment. 
My room overlooks the BNSF mainline.  Lots of fun. 
A string of aircraft fuselages just went through. 
I couldn't get my cell phone camera up and running fast enough.

The conference has not started yet and I am sitting in my hotel room bored. 
So thoughts wander.  There are too many projects I want to undertake.  
I have always loved GN GP-30's.  I have two of the Bachmann models. 
Neither one of which runs. 
My nasty little brain got thinking of putting the Bachmann shells on Kato GP-35 chassis.
I am pleased to the point of amazement at how well the Kato units run. 

I wonder if I can get just the chassis.

Looking at my most recent photos, I really want to do some detail work on my Kato GP-35's. 
Both need handrails replaced.  I have the handrails.  So that one is easy. 
One of them somehow got the horns swiped off in the process of getting them home. 
I didn't get the boxes.  But they both really need visors.  
 
Just a little weathering is in order, too. 
I am not fond of extreme weathering,
but a little light grey along the running gear to simulate road grim,
and just a tweak of overall grimy black to tone things down.

The main purpose of the weathering is to bring out the details. 

I want to do some minor modifications to my two 70-ton GE's for the logging operation.
Visors, for sure, probably some three-chime horns, spark arrestors are almost a must. 
Sounds like a visit to Precision Scale.  

I have started tuning up the freight cars. 
All of the ones I got from the estate have plastic wheels, and many have coupler problems. 
So I am going through and replacing the wheel sets and checking the couplers. 
Which reminds me, I need to refresh my Kadee #5 inventory.  

But first I want to get the railroad itself into a more complete state. 
Right now there is no scenery except at the west end. 
Before I can do more I have to get the mill end of the logging operation into rough shape. 
And then start construction on the woods end. 
The track work will be simple, but I will need to do some bench work. 
Something else that was not planned for this layout.  

Curse you, Alan Sewell!!!  
Just kidding. 
I am very excited about the logging operation. 

I have started construction of the Cornerstone engine house. 
Progress is a bit slow while I get my airbrushes up to speed. 
I am painting the window frames white (in accordance with HBTCo standard practice),
and the doors oxide red (well, tuscan red, but close enough).  
I have given the brickwork a wash of ink diluted in alcohol to tone down the plastic,
and bring out the brick detail, which is actually pretty nice.  
One of the skid shack kits I acquired from Alan in a swap deal,
will serve as a railroad operation dispatcher's office.  

Remember when I was waxing poetic about water cleanup with acrylic paint? 
Probably in the Henderson Bay Timber Company thread.

Too soon.  
Even with the acrylics. the airbrushes need to be cleaned with some kind of solvent.
Mine are both thoroughly clogged. 
I have been working on them, but it is going slowly.  
Getting those tiny orifices cleaned up once they are clogged with old paint is not easy. 
I hope I don't have to buy a replacement. 

I would like to give each car some light weathering during the tuneup process. 
But that will have to wait until I get at least one airbrush operational.

It just occurred to me...the nozzles, where the really tiny orifices reside,
are two piece removable assemblies. 
I wonder if I can get replacements for the Badger airbrush. 
No hope on parts for the Harbor Freight brush, but I only paid $10 for that one. 

Off to Google airbrush parts.

Reg

Reg H
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It is amazing what one can do when away from home, cooped up in a hotel room
(I flew (commercial) over to Wenatchee given the unpredictable weather in the passes, so no car)
with nothing to do but wait for a conference to begin.

Yes!!! 
Replacement parts for the Badger are readily available. 
But, of course, once on the Amazon Prime web site, one can't just buy one item.  

Additional paint jars, a new hose, a pressure regulator with moisture trap, and...
hmm, I think that does it. 
Oh.  Plus a new nozzle assembly. 

All of which should arrive at the Post Office the day before I return. 
I think I will watch TV instead of looking around for more ways to spend money.

I did improve the time by learning how to properly clean an airbrush after using acrylic paints. 
There are some nice, expensive, specialty cleaners. 
Alcohol works well, too.

Reg


Reg H
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I should never be allowed to be alone in a hotel room with nothing to do.

I got crazy last night and decided that I needed to experiment. 
The two Bachmann GP's I have are NOT 30's (my faulty memory at work)
they are 35's.

But paging through eBay last night,
I encountered a Kato GP-35 with Digitrax DCC for $70 (used).

Wow! 
I could mount one of the shells from an inoperative Bachmann GP-35 on the Kato chassis,
and have another operational GP-35.

Moving the idea forward,
I could find someone with an inoperative Bachmann GP-30 in GN livery,
that they were willing to sell cheap,
go looking for another Kato chassis,
and, voila! 

That is, if the GP-35 conversion works.  

I gotta find something to do before I deplete the model railroad budget.

Well...another scheme. 
There are a couple of places on the layout where I had to resort to 22" radius curves,
in order to get the track alignment I wanted. 
I have a Life Like SD-9 that I really like, 
but it will not negotiate the 22" radius curves.  

The word on the street is that the Walthers SD-9 will actually handle 18" radius curves.
Soooo, find a Walters SD-9 (they don't seem to run it in GN paint)
and do another shell swap.  

Reg


Reg H
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I should never be allowed to get bored. 
It is always hard on my bank account.

After ordering up the used Kato GP-35 from eBay,
and remembering that the two Bachmann locomotives I have are GP-35's, not GP-30's,
my appetite for a nicely running GP-30 has not abated.

I went wandering on eBay looking for a good deal on a GN GP-30,
from which I could canabalize (sp?) the shell. 
I found some OK deals.  

But it occurred to me that Bachmann might sell just the shell. 
So I went to their web site and, low and behold,
they do sell, and have in stock, just the shell.

So I ordered up a GN GP-30 shell. 
Under $30 including shipping. 
Now I just hope the used GP-35 is "as advertised". 

Reg


Alan Sewell
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Hi Reg

Hope the conference went well – or as well as these things go.
I know what you mean about being stuck in a hotel room with nothing to do.
At least your solution was better than some others!! 
And should be productive.

Also hope the shell transfers etc. work out as you hope.
I tried that approach once and it was not entirely successful,
although that might be down to my lack of skill,
and desire to see the unit in operation too quickly.

Your progress on the Henderson branch is pretty impressive,
and I look forward to seeing how the logging branch and mill works out.

Sorry if I have made more work for you,
BUT you could not really have a layout inspired by John Henderson,
without a logging section!!

If I can give any info just ask.
 
I have been going through my cars,
and have come up with a number of connected log cars I want to dispose of.
Will contact you directly to see what you might be interested in.

My progress is as usual glacial but running trains is fun.
I have also acquired a couple of FreeMo modules with track etc,
as the basis of my lumber/pulp mill exhibition set up.
Hopefully doing that will not detract from progress on the home layout.

Don’t know if you have seen the latest “Trains” magazine,
but there is an article on current ops on the PS&P.
Very interesting and quite up-beat.

Best wishes

Alan ( curses ringing in my ears )


Reg H
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Alan:

The conference was one of those that was jam-packed with information,
most of which I really did not want to know.
The regulators have been at work,
and the results are blowing my 2020 budget out of the roof.  


You are right, of course. 
Building a model railroad in memory of John Henderson,
without a logging operation, is really not acceptable. 

Progress has been slowed by my airbrush adventures. 
Which stem from my independent attitude,
which often leads me to believe that I know more than the experts. 
In this case, the use of dedicated cleaners for acrylic paint. 
After all, acrylics are water-based, I can clean up with water.
Not true.
 
I spent a good deal of Saturday attempting to bring my airbrush back to life. 
Despite a complete package of replacement parts, and intensive cleaning,
I could not get the airbrush to operate. 
I gave up in despair and ordered a new airbrush.  
The model railroad budget is definitely stressed. 
There is a remote chance that someday I may learn.

Some good news, the used Kato GP-35 arrived in good condition. 
It runs well, though I couldn't get it to operate on 4-digit addressing. 
Since it has the same decoder as my other two GP-35's,
I just need to fiddle with it a bit more. 
 
Regarding the shell, somebody went to a lot of work. 
It has a snow plow, lift rings, after market MU cables, and other additional details. 
It has been knocked around a bit, but I will be treating it gently for my part. 
Though I have already swiped the horns off it for one of the GN GP-35's. 
I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the GP-30 shell from Bachmann.

Once I have an operational airbrush,
concentration will return to getting the logging operation further along.  

Reg


Reg H
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Bottles. 
Who would have thought bottles.

After about two minutes of airbrushing last evening, the brush quit again. 
Very frustrating. 
 
Then I had a thought last night (around 2:00AM of course)
that the hose was too long.  I have a ten foot hose.  

I have a shorter hose.  So I tried that this morning. 
No joy.

Really getting frustrated.  
In swapping media around, I happened to use a genuine Badger bottle.  
Voila!!!  All worked.  

I got looking at the after market bottles I have laying around. 
I noticed three differences. 
The pick up tube is longer, the vent hole is smaller, and there is a gasket in the lid.

I took one of the after market bottle tops,
cut the pick up tube to the same length as the Badger lid,
enlarged the vent hole, and removed the gasket.

It looks (yes, I am bit tentative about that) that the problem is fixed. 

Before those mods, the brush would spray water
(I am using water to eliminate the paint from the equation)
for maybe 10 seconds and then short bursts. 

After the mods, I got a steady spray for a full bottle. 
No stoppage, no pulsing. 

Now to try it with paint.

Reg


Reg H
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Troubleshooting is always an interesting exercise.

After thinking that my airbrush problems were the compressor
(yes, the Harbor Freight compressor is definitely dead)
plugged brush, long hose, or faulty bottles,
I THINK I have actually solved the problem.

One may think one is an expert. 
But one must never forget that an "ex" is a has-been,
and a "spert" is a drip under pressure.  

I have been airbrushing for many decades,
and have never had the problems I have been going through lately. 
So what changed?

The paint. 
A foundational tenant of troubleshooting,
is to start with anything that recently changed.
I neglected to do that.  

To back up just a bit, I have been all over the internet looking for clues. 
Most of the information I encountered dealt with gravity feed brushes. 
I have always used siphon brushes.  

But a day or so ago I ran into an article,
that described my problems from the perspective of a siphon airbrush. 
This article was two pages deep in Google. 
I rarely venture past the first page, so you can see the level of my desperation. 

It turns out that internal mix siphon airbrushes,
have a small cone through which the metering needle passes. 
Some are threaded into the brush body, some have a taper fit. 
If there is the slightest amount of dried paint between the cone and the brush body,
air will bleed from the air side to the paint side,
causing the uptake tube to blow instead of suck. 
Which is an exact description of my problem.

I disassembled the new brush, found the cone (taper fit in this case)
and observed that the recess into which it fits had a very light coating of paint. 
I cleaned that up.

But that is not the end of the story. 
Until very recently I used Floquil paints almost exclusively. 
I thinned those paints very lightly, if at all, and never had a problem. 
Apparently the un-thinned, fine pigment, lacquer based paint,
did not have a build up problem on the small cone.  

Not so the acrylic paints. 
An article I found stated that, if acrylic paint is not sufficiently thinned,
it will contaminate the cone/body interface within a minute or so.
 
Yep.
So what is sufficient thinning? 
Another article that I found on YouTube,
demonstrated the "drip" method of determining proper thinning. 
If the paint slowly drips off a small stir stick dipped in the paint, it is properly thinned. 

So...last night, having thoroughly cleaned the airbrush,
I thinned the grimy black as described above with official acrylic paint thinner. 
I painted all the parts of the engine house in gray plastic with grimy black with no incident. 
There are a lot of parts and some of them (like the pieces for the roof) are quite large. 
I spent about a half hour actually spraying.
Following which I thoroughly cleaned the brush.

Fingers crossed, but I believe my problems are solved.  

If confused, always return to the basics.

The discussion of the engine house kit will now revert to the Logging/Mining thread.

Reg


Reg H
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Bachmann GP-30 on a Kato GP-35 chassis.

The one on the left...

It took quite a bit of grinding and filing on the Kato chassis to make it work,
but work it does. 

I still need to figure out the headlights. 
Bachmann and Kato handle the lights very differently. 
I need a full afternoon ahead of me and a quiet house to figure this one out. 

Those two things do not happen simultaneously in our house very often at the moment.





Reg


Steven B
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Reg, Whew. 
Painting sucking and blowing...   :f:


I too used Floquil exclusively for years. 
It always seemed to work, then it was gone. 

I had been making the switch to Accupaint, then it was gone.
But TruColor is the same stuff.  It is all acetone based. 

I have been using some water based lately,
and through trial and error, like you mentioned, had finally gotten this thing working. 

Just to make you feel better,
I invested in a new brush because I was having such problems. 

I also found time painting temperature and humidity play a role in water based paint. 
Double ugh. 

So I now plan all of my painting by estimated time, before having to clean the brush.
Once I clean the brush, I really don't want to make it dirty again
(read clean again in a single day).  

We also moved and I lost my paint booth. 
I have yet to set it back up, due to so much time spent on rebuilding the wife's house,
so airbrushing has been a very rare thing and has had to be done, ick, outside. 
I hate having to "relearn" how to do it, as well as fighting the dirt, dust and wind.

I like your GP30 on a Kato 35 frame. 
I did that with a P2K Geep to a Atlas/Kato GP frame years ago.  


Reg H
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Steven:

I am using Badger paints and now that I have the thinning process figured out,
they work very well.  And no toxic fumes. 
I am particularly pleased with how it adheres to, and lays down on, plastic.  

I find using a "formal" airbrush cleaning fluid, formulated for the acrylic paint,
works pretty much like using the Floquil thinner back in the old days. 

I have wanted a GN GP-30 for decades. 
Somewhere I have the beginnings of a scratch built one in 1/4" scale. 
That project got lost in daily life.  
Who knows, I may resurrect it someday if I can find the bits and pieces.

There are some details I want to address. 
The most obvious detail being the horns. 
It was GN practice to mount the horns in between the radiator fans. 
It kept them from freezing. 

I want to mount a snowplow, too. 
It doesn't show in the photo,
but the previous owner of the donor chassis did a lot of detail work,
including the brake lines between the brake cylinders and the sanders.  

Reg



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