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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Coaltrain Posted - 10/13/2010 : 09:14:03 AM
This is the first official post for my new layout I am building in On3, the Slater Creek Railway. I became a fan of the Manns Creek Railway while researching information on coke ovens for a project on my HO railroad, the Roanoke and Southern. Shortly after discovering the MC an article on building MC hoppers in On30 by Sam Swanson was published in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. For fun I built one hopper with the intent of it being a static display. One thing led to another and I built the car to have operating unloading doors controlled by a DCC decoder. Wanting to see the car in action I started to consider building a layout in On30, but since I had only one small space to model railroad in would mean that my HO layout would have to be torn out. My HO layout met all my goals, was published in Model Railroader, and was complete, so I decided I missed layout building and decided that I would tear out the HO layout and try a new modeling adventure.

While I really enjoy modeling prototype railroads and their equipment, and swore that the next time I would model a prototype RR, I decided to once again do a fictional railroad. My reason is I like to have a little freedom to take pieces that I like of other railroads and put them together to form my own railroad that I believe will give the viewer a good idea what form of railroading I am modeling would be like, which I do by carefully picking features of railroads that do what my railroad does. I would do not pick "one of everything" to be on my layout, rather I pick features that would have been typical of railroads that are in my area and do the same work.

I liked many of the features of the Manns Creek railroad, I liked the area where the MC was located, but I wanted to be able to do a few things differently. I wanted to have a couple Rod locomotives, I know the MC did have some at one time but I want something a little bigger than they had, and I wanted to have a few different pieces of rolling stock and do a little more than haul logs, lumber, and coal. So using Google maps I searched around the area of the MC to find a location that I could place my railroad. I found another creek a little further up the New River called Slater Creek, located along the New River at a town called Thayer on the C&O.

From what Google showed Slater Creek looked a lot like Manns Creek and was close enough to each other that I could say that coal was discovered in Slater Creek canyon as well. Actually there was a coal mine there at one time and my story is that as that coal was mined out a narrow gauge RR was built up Slater Creek to reach new seams of coal. I am using many pieces of the Manns Creek on my railroad, one of which is the car shops which I plan on building to scale.

Now I know that some of you expected me to build this layout in On30, so did I, but just recently I decided to switch to On3. I switched to On3 after having a conversation with a fellow HO modeler, who after listening to me describe what I was going to do, what scale I was going to use, and how I was going to scratchbuild almost everything and he asked me why I was going to build it in the wrong gauge. I told him all the reasons why modelers choose On30 to represent three foot gauge railroads but he said that if I was going to hand lay all my track, scratchbuild all my rolling stock, and maybe even scratchbuild a locomotive or two why would I not just build it in scale three foot gauge. I decided that he was right, all the reasons to model in On30 did not really apply to my situation, so I switched to On3.



Here is the final track plan of the Slater Creek Railway. My room is very small so I had to pick a few key scenes that I wanted to model. the first scene along the top wall (by the room door) is the coal dump trestle. I struggled for a long time with this section because I wanted to have a place to dump the coal that could justify the need for lots of coal. The MC first dumped coal into a bin that was used to feed their coke ovens, later as demand for coal increased they built a sizing plant just above the coke ovens. In the later years the coke production decreased and most of the coal went to the sizing plant. I decided that I only had room for one place to receive coal and figured that the sizing plant would be the better choice. I had a hard time fitting in the sizing plant because in O scale the structure would be huge. I condensed the sizing tipple as much as I felt it could but it was still a huge model that took a lot of layout width, pushing the narrow gauge track way to the back of the layout. I decided to try flipping the sizing plant so that the standard gauge loading tipple would be at the back drop and the narrow gauge coal dump house would be at the front edge of the layout, which puts the operating track close to the front where it is easy to reach and watch the hoppers unload coal. Flipping the tipple around also allowed me to use trees to hide the fact that the entire tipple is not modeled, cutting down on the layout width required.

Flipping the coal sizing plant will allow me to model the Manns Creek Ray’s stone engine house close to the front of the layout where it can be viewed up close. I also located a storage track here so I can have a place to store a few freight cars or work equipment. In the later years the MC did not use the stone engine house, they had built a new wood engine house at a different location, so I am going to use the stone engine house to store a passenger car and something else, maybe a locomotive used at this location, not sure yet.

The one strange feature of the flipped sizing plant will be the scenery, which will fall as it moves toward the backdrop. The narrow gauge track at the front of the layout will be at the top of the hill and the scenery will fall 16" actual inches as it goes to the backdrop. I don't know how this is going to work out, I hope it gives the operator a feeling of being high on the side of the mountain but we'll see, this will be a bit of an experiment.

Where I did have to deviate from the MC is where I located my switch back and which direction my RR leaves town, a forced compromise caused by the constraints of my room. My SCRy travels clockwise around the room as we leave the coal dump trestle, across Slater Creek and around a tall rock cliff and out of sight. As the tracks turn to the right wall they will be running along the wall of my layout room where my work bench will be located under the layout, this is the one spot there the benchwork supporting the visible track can be thin and high to provide enough room for a workbench. In the middle of the right wall there will be a turnout, one leg will continue along the south wall without an elevation change to a three track storage yard, the other leg will turn along the south wall and start a stiff grade up to my switch back located in the far left lower corner of the room.

At the switch back I believe I will have some room to model either a mining camp or a lumber camp. I think I can get a siding in here but I am not sure yet how I want to do it so I am leaving that off until I get to that point. the track plan makes it look like the switch back continues on behind the furnace and connects back to the coal dump area, which is how I intended it to be to give me a running loop, but a furnace duct passes too low to allow this and the switch back track will stub end in the wall as far as I can go. Instead the staging tracks that are located under the switch back will come back together and travel behind the furnace to form the running loop.

From the switch back the tracks will climb a slight grade to the car shop and foundry. There will be a spur on this slight grade that goes back next to the switch back to a coal mine. I am going to have a small earth loading ramp and dirt road on the mine spur where just about anything can be loaded or unloaded from railroad cars, like mining equipment, building supplies, and whatever else I can imagine.

The car shop will be the MC car shop located at Cliftop and it will be built to scale with full interior. The tracks around it follow the prototype pretty much to scale. Just pass the car shop will be a run around and a strip coal tipple, also built to scale from the MC's tipple at Cliftop. The strip tipple will be built to actual load coal into the hoppers. I am a little concerned that the tipple will somewhat block the view of the loaded hoppers but I may be able to work the scenery around it to make it work better.

Just past the run around tracks is the new wood engine house, also built to scale to match the MC's engine house at Cliftop. The engine house can hold two geared locomotives. And just as it does on the MC, there is a company store located at the end of the engine house spur. The company store will also be built to scale and have three stories above the road level in front with the scenery falling away to form what we would call a "walk out" lower level, which has a set of doors to allow the narrow gauge track to enter the basement for freight car to be spotted inside for unloading.

I know it seems like operation may be limited, but this layout was meant to be a test to see what I think of O scale narrow gauge modeling. I wanted to have it be a place for me to have some very detailed structures get a taste of this new gauge / scale. I would like to move someday to a get a larger modeling space and if I continue in this scale I can use the structures and scenes from this layout on the next. I made some changes to the room since my HO layout was torn down, one was the enclosure built around the furnace, that somewhat reduced the size of my layout space but will provide a nicer room to model in. I got very tired of the narrow aisles of my HO layout and I decided to run the layout only around the walls of the room to give the largest open space for people in the middle. I also wanted to make sure I had a running loop to be able to test and break in equipment, something I really regretted not having on the HO layout.

Well, that got a little long. I will be starting to benchwork soon, I am still doing the room remodeling. I did install the tracks behind the furnace already because once the walls are completed around the furnace because it was easier. I will be able to reach the tracks from one side if there is an issue but there was no way to install them if I had not done it first.

Jeff
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Coaltrain Posted - 12/02/2020 : 08:46:46 AM
You're welcome, I would do more videos but they take so much work and really slow projects down, hats off to those people that create videos.

I got more shay parts printed for test fitting. or the most part it went good but I broke the worm gear plate and have to print a new one.

I made a special firebox for testing, it is not the firebox I will be using, this one has no details and it has mounting tabs and legs so I can test the drive parts. On the actual model the firebox will basically just be a cover to hide all the drive parts and hold the speakers.

I mounted all the gears in the rear cylinder casting and that went well, it is nice and free rotating without much slack. I cut out the bottom of the gear cover so i could inspect the gears when I test run the drive. The crankshaft is just a rod for now because all I want to test is the gear reduction and check the gear meshes and I did not want the complication of a crankshaft and rods to deal with.

Right away I have to make a design change. I am using a Grandt Line bevel gear set to connect the worm to the spur gears but I found out that the bevel gear has to be flipped around to the other side from what i had designed. this will not be that big of deal, I will just move the spur gear chain to the next crankshaft journal location, but I will have to print new parts to test.




thayer Posted - 12/01/2020 : 12:04:20 AM
Wow indeed. This is a monster project, and I wish you all success. In the meantime, I'll add my thanks for your weathering videos. I have been thinking about dressing up my Bachmann side dump cars, and will definitely be using your recipe as a guide for my efforts.
Chris333 Posted - 11/30/2020 : 5:21:33 PM
Wow!
jbvb Posted - 11/30/2020 : 2:57:44 PM
That's quite a bit of engineering. Hope it works out without too many adjustments.
Coaltrain Posted - 11/30/2020 : 10:11:32 AM
here are test prints for the main truck parts. missing are the brake beams, cross bracing, and the bevel gear covers. The goal here was to test the clearance of the large bevel gears to the back of the side frame and to test the gear mesh. These parts will be 3D printed in brass.

the truck on the right shows the geared side, the truck on the left shows the passive side. on the passive side I left out the spring, which I will use a real spring to simulate. I like the look of a real spring vs a cast in spring. The spring will only be for looks and not functional
Coaltrain Posted - 11/30/2020 : 07:57:28 AM
I started to finalize the details on my next big locomotive project. A while back I purchased the Lima drawings for all the Manns Creek shays (#2, 5, and 8), my goal is to build all three. the main design feature is to use HO sized can motors, which I have from my days in HO scale, and to drive the locomotive from the cylinders and not the tender.

A while back i designed the cylinders but I needed some dimensions and photos of a real shay to work out some parts that I could not get drawings for. Fortunately there is a 37 ton narrow gauge shay close to me and over the summer I took a trip to go measure and photograph it. Manns creek #2 and 8 shays were 42 ton but the parts I needed to see were shared between the 37 and 42 ton shays.

I am 3d printing the test parts now and after test fitting and adjusting I will send some of these parts off for printing out of brass, other parts will be fabricated and photo etched.

here are some images of the 3D model. I have a few hundred hours into the design so far. the domes and the stack are just for proportions, I have the actual drawings I will design those after the drive is all finalized and tested.





here is the drive line section view. the main issue that I had to solve here is that the motor needed to slide into the boiler, but the gears needed to connect to the cylinder drive shaft, both of which I wanted to be easy to service. After I built the Heisler I got the idea to make a mount that I install the motor in and the upper worm gears, then this assembly is slid into the boiler and fastened in place. A short universal shaft connects the motor worm to the lower bevel gears that are installed in the rear cylinder casting. The cylinders are in half and incase the drive shaft, a short series of gears go through a channel into the firebox to a bevel gear. the entire cylinder assembly can be removed from the shay frame. The ash pan is a cover to allow access to the speakers, which will be mounted in the firebox, holes will be in the bottom of the ash pan for the sound to escape.


here you can see the three spur gears used to reach the drive shaft. I tried to use the least amount of gears as possible.
Coaltrain Posted - 11/30/2020 : 07:40:34 AM
[quote]Originally posted by Rail and Tie

Thank you so much for those weathering tutorials. Finally a great explanation of how to use MIG products with great success.

Well done!

THANKS. I feel that those military washes are not used enough by model railroaders, they are much easier to use than acrylics and I feel they give much better results, and they are so fast.
Rail and Tie Posted - 11/27/2020 : 1:55:38 PM
Thank you so much for those weathering tutorials. Finally a great explanation of how to use MIG products with great success.

Well done!

quote:
Originally posted by Coaltrain

I finished up the tank car weathering project

Part 1
https://youtu.be/LhysXntnETo

Part 2
https://youtu.be/RQWfDbHDTlw


Coaltrain Posted - 11/27/2020 : 08:22:35 AM
I finished up the tank car weathering project

Part 1
https://youtu.be/LhysXntnETo

Part 2
https://youtu.be/RQWfDbHDTlw
Bernd Posted - 11/17/2020 : 09:21:17 AM
Nothing wrong with the lighting. Looks good.

Bernd
Coaltrain Posted - 11/17/2020 : 07:49:55 AM
thanks everyone. It's done! (for now). I installed a TCS Wow decoder but I only set the address to #4 for now, I can fine tune it later when I get a layout and actually have to run it more than 36". It has been a long road with this one and I am glad to be done.

here is a quick run by, sorry about the bad lighting
https://youtu.be/LQybn6IOm8c









TRAINS1941 Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:48:50 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Tyson Rayles

Impressive work!



I'll second that for sure!!!
George D Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:48:23 AM
Looking forward to the Heisler video. That's a fine weathering job on the tank car.

George
Tyson Rayles Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:21:49 AM
Impressive work!
Michael Hohn Posted - 11/16/2020 : 08:20:44 AM
Your Heisler looks terrific with the striping.

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