Saturday, December 12, 2009

The beginning of the Main

After about 3 months of work, we have the design essentially completed and now have to transfer it to the basement. You saw us lay the paper, now we are putting in the lower holding tracks with the double track main up the center.
In the shot looking towards the door, you can see the location of an aisle that will allow you to come in the door in the center of the picture, on the left of the column. This is a dead ended aisle that comes towards the center of the 8 track holding area. The main comes from the right, past the vacuum, heading east, and will go into a tunnel just before it flares out. In the next picture you can see the flare on both ends as the holding tracks close back onto the main as we come back in our half circle. This will give me tracks from 20 feet to about 30 feet in length to hold trains going eastbound from Northumberland to Harrisburg, and westbound from Northumberland to Lock Haven. The Northumberland yard will cover the large section of the holding tracks. The yard will be built later after I get this up and can store material under it.
As we look towards that door again, the left end of the line will climb up, circling back to the left and then up into the yard. The right track turns in front of a large house structural member that is behind the column, crosses under the yard throat in a tunnel, comes out of the short tunnel, crosses the Susquahanna and then turns in a half helix to the left to come up and join the branch as the tracks go onto two through truss bridges again crossing the Susquahanna and then enter the yard. This is to try to capture the look of those bridges that the PRR had as they went east out of the yard on the way to Sunbury. If you look carefully, you can see blue in the far distance. that is where the helix is located.
I can't wait to get something running on the main!

Preparing for Main Line construction

Now that we have completed Weigh Scales and come up to the Narrows, we have to start building the main line in the center of the back of the room so we can then store all the boxes and other debris under the layout that we have stashed in the front of the basement. We cannot continue up the branch until we can access the wall that is shown as covered with boxes in the third picture.
After I washed (read scrubbed) and waxed the floor, I covered it with paper in order to both protect it and then allow me to design the framing once I cut out the sub-roadbed for the track. You can see how shiny the floor was before I covered it with the construction paper.
I have used 3rdPlanit as a CAD tool to design the main line and try to fit it into the irregular shape of the room. Ed Rappe, shown in one of the first pictures laying the paper, was my instructor as he has become quite expert in its use as he used it extensively in designing he fantastic PRR layout that he has under construction about 5 blocks from my house. We work together every week on a rotating basis, with John Roberts also in the rotation.
The next series of photos you see will begin construction of the main line.

Weigh Scales Completed

After some hard work, we get the turnouts down and the trackwork completed. You can see the short passing siding where the scale track will be. It is front of the vacuum brush on the second photo. The yellow plastic templete next to the brush is close to where John Roberts will place the scratchbuilt block station and weigh station that he will build. I have to complete the drawings that I am making based on a series of photos that I have. I got them from books as well as from a very kind friend who works on the short line railroad that operates in that area.
In the last two photos you can see the first freight train coming into Weigh Scales. It also gives a good shot of the ;ayout of the yard which wraps around the turn in the room and goes about 15 feet up the rear wall.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Well, still having problems getting photos in order, you see Rich and John Roberts, another O Scaler who lives close by, working to lay the homasote for the yard. Then looking back, you see that I paint the homasote flat black to simulate cinders when I ballast, so no light colors show if anything pops off. I have then laid turnout templates to figure out the yard configuration. It came out pretty good, somewhat closely following the PRR trackplan, albeit with some compression in numbers of tracks. I use white pencil to lay the center lines.

I am still working on getting the photos in order but here are the Narrows. You can see that the benchwork was made to match the reverse curve of the track. Then you can see the raising of the subroadbed and addition of the other scenic elements. In what should be the final photo you see the river in the foreground, the PRR track, then PA Highway 61 and then up on what will be a hill, the subroadbed of the Reading. I will be using S gauge track for that so as to have some scenic compression giving a sense of distance. We have to stop construction here as I now have to start building the main line in the center of the room after I lay the track in Weigh Scales.

Well, we have crossed the creek and now are entering Weigh Scales. We will have a small coal gathering yard and a combination block office and scale house here. The yard will have three tracks. It will also include a long passing siding, a short passing siding for the scale track, and a team track and single track engine servicing area as helpers were added or taken off here. We have hung about 45 linear feet of benchwork off the wall.
In the second photo you can see that we turn to the right at the far end as we go into the Narrows. We need to include PA Highway 61 and the Reading Railroad in that scene. In teh foreground will be Shamokin Creek. We then will turn in an S curve and proceed up tp Shamokin, past the Glen Burne Colliery. More on that later.