Tuesday, April 21, 2009

As we said in the previous post, as you turned the far corner, you would reach Paxinos. You can see that the benchwork and the track has a nice curve as it makes the corner and continues up the hill to Paxinos. The grade is 2%. I painted all the subroadbed black to represent the cinders you see under the ballast back in the steam era. After I build the track to Paxinos, I have to go back and build all the sidings in Reed and Crowl. I also have to finish the bridge over the main line. We now have a run of about 75 feet from the yard. The railhead is currently at Paxinos but we will push on shortly. One last point, right at the point, a water tank will be placed that was at Shamrock. The engines uncoupled from their trains at Crowl and went up the single track to Shamrock, watered and came back to their train. It will be nice to duplicate that in our operations.

Well, you can see we lowered the benchwork on the curve, relative to the benchwork at Reed as the mainline has to swing down and go under the branch. We have all the new legs in place and the subroadbed has been put in place and the grades established. You can see the mainline to the rear as it drops down and prepares to go under a bridge that will have to be built before the branch can enter Reed. The door has ended up safely under the benchwork.
As you look at the middle picture you can see the roadbed continuing in the distance around the curve and into Crowl which is at the other end of the siding, along the back wall. We will leave Crowl, heading East, and enter Paxinos after we go around the corner. The water tank at Shamrock will be just before we turn that corner, past the end of the siding at Crowl.

Well, we are now looking from the doorway, where we removed the door, and have begun to cut the subroadbed from those pieces of plywood you saw on the floor. The view towards the right will take you into Northumberland yard in a much later stage of construction. We are going to have to build the branch around the wall first before we can start on the main line.
As we swing around the curve with the double track mainline in the foreground, and the branch to the rear, you can see the bench work where Reed is located and waiting to be connected, down the left wall.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Well, here we are laying out the subroadbed on the floor before cutting the plywood. The radius trammel is visible at the center left of the shot. The long piece of wood is used to make the easements into the curves. The benchwork is lower as the main line tracks have to drop under the branch line. You can see how much lower they are by the extension of the steel legs above the benchwork. They are made for 50 inch high benchwork. I will use 44 inch wooden legs here to save the steel legs for later. The door has been removed and is leaning on the side of the shot. It will soon be stored under the benchwork.
You can see the bendable plywood again which makes a smooth curve for the interior of the benchwork.

As we work our way back west towards Northumberland, it became apparent that it would be easier to paint the walls blue now before putting up all the benchwork. So, you can see the before and after as we look west from Reed.
We are also starting to lay out the benchwork on the floor in the foreground that will go in the alcove to support the three tracks that will be curving around in there. There are the two mainline tracks with a 62 and 66 inch radius, plus the branch on the interior of the curve with a 54 inch radius. Unfortunately, that nice door has to come off to give a better view angle.

Now that we have the siding mostly in, we built the curve through Shamrock using bendable plywood. The clamps hold the two laminates together until the glue dries. We then moved on up to the location for Paxinos which will be inside the corner, under the clock. When we cross over in front of the door, we will be nearing the area of Weigh Scales but that will have to wait about a year. We are now about late summer 2007. The paper on the floor is where I am drawing the actual track plan and laying out the benchwork design. The legs are steel tubing that a friend of mine, Pat Mitchell, taught me how to weld together. He had a scenery company and introduced us to the bendable plywood and other tricks.

Well, we saved one small portion of the old layout and used it for the siding at Crowl. We are extending the west end of that siding to complete the siding through Reed. You can see the original piece as it has roadbed on it. The benchwork only section is the base for the west end of the siding at Reed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Well, here we are in early 2007 and I have a design. We are going to build the Shamokin branch around the outside wall so we can rise to the ceiling to an overhead loop that will represent the interchange with the Lehigh Valley in Mt. Carmel. The main line of the Northern Central will be in the center of the room with the yard at Northumberland as the center point. These views are the beginning of the construction with us crossing the bridges over the Susquahanna out of view to the left facing the door, and then the branch crossing the main line that swings west and across to the left. The branch goes over on the bridge and up the wall into Reed. Crowl is at the far corner.

This shows the last of the construction work on the basement. The boxes are ready to jump over the line into the just completed bay so I can finish the section they are in. I gradually worked my way out of the basement so I was moving the boxes deeper into the abyss as I went along. These views also show that I tried to get rid of stuff so there were fewer boxes as I approached the end. Still plenty of them though. We are now about summer of 2006. We created a nice ballroom to fill up with a layout. I still do not have a layout design I am happy with yet.

This gives a view of the three stages of completion of a section. First I got some lighting in place as I worked over boxes and lumber. Next came finishing the ceiling and heat ducts. Lastly I prepared the floor for the tile and laid it. Here we have the completed bay with everything done, before I moved the boxes intothe space so I could continue around the basement. This space is about 700 square feet. Overall, the basement area for the layout is about 2000 square feet. We also have a shop and a work room for spraying and sand blasting.

It is summer of 2005 and we are getting ready to get started. I finished the walls and baseboards when the house was under construction. I am trying to design a layout for an odd shaped space and now have to finish the ceilings, heating system and floors. It will involve moving everything to open portions of the space while I finish the floor and ceiling. My back muscles are in for some exercise.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting Started

Well, I am going to start a blog that documents the development of my O scale layout that models the Northern Central in the Sunbury/Northumberland area in the mid 1950's. It features a branch line operation from the Northumberland yard through Reed/Crowl, Shamrock, Paxinos, Weigh Scales and Shamokin to a hidden set of loops hanging from the ceiling that represent Mount Carmel. We also will have a double track main line that leaves Northumberland yard and travels south towards Harrisburg and north towards Renovo. Due to the size of O Scale, these will be represented by hidden sidings.
Design was started in 2005 and not completed until mid 2007. Construction started about that time with the branch line underway first as it is around the walls and climbing for the ceiling. There will be a photo trail beginning with the finishing of the basement. We are working with about 2000 square feet in a very unusal lower case H format. I am always seeking prototype photos and details to give me insight on how to finish the scenery. I have been working from 1935/1945/1968 track charts and photos off the internet all sourced from kind friends.
The construction crew includes 4 of us, 3 of whom are O scalers as we meet on Monday evenings every third Monday at my house. The balance of the time, Rich and I put in construction time as available. I amtrying to keep a log of manhours put into the project as everything seems to take too long to complete.