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 Wild Horse Island Railroad

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Grubes Posted - 11/04/2018 : 10:08:01 PM
Welcome to the beginning of my Wild Horse Island RR. thread. I’ll be posting on the construction and the progress of my new venture. I’m experienced in N scale (please see my “Eastern Shore in N scale thread on this site,”) however, this will be a bit of different path. In the past I’ve hand laid all of my track using Code 40 rail, Fast Track products and wood ties. For me, realistic looking track is key which is why I’ve surprised even myself by using Kato sectional track for this new layout.

I ‘ve made this decision for a number of reasons. Although I had no issues with derailments and I feel my track looked good, the super-detailing wasn’t really apparent without looking very close and the fragility of Code 40 rail required a lot of work to ensure smooth running. Additionally, I never found a good way to throw the switches as drilling a hole in an N scale tie frequently resulted in the tie breaking under the stress of Tortoise switch machines. Finally, I didn’t feel like building hand laid switches this time.

I also felt it would be a fun challenge to make the Kato track look as realistic as possible. In creating the track plan, I thought that a combination of paint, concrete pads that decreased the appearance of rail height, and good scenic work might provide the realism I required.

My track plan started as a variation on Iaian Rice’s Chesapeake Harbor RR (picture attached). I found his river entrances as a bit small and not realistic so I began by widening the overall size of the waterway. I also reduced some of the track as his plan would’ve required custom track work. My goals were to have a layout that interested me for operations and, unlike my previous layouts, provided constant running - a big reason for my tearing down my previous layout.

I wanted to hide the oval layout look by widening the river and using some scenic modifications, and by having the river divide the two areas of concentrated track, providing a natural reason for connecting the two sides with an oval.

The overall dimensions and track requirements are:
60” x 30”
12 turnouts
Kato Unitrack to include Kato electrical connectors
Foam base on plywood with plywood frame
Digitrax DCC system

The theme is a small harbor, again on the Eastern Shore of Maryland/Virginia. The name, “Wild Horse Island RR” comes from the island of Chincoteague in Virginia, a national wildlife reserve which is home to a herd of wild horses.

The railroad will serve a small harbor that has survived because of seafood trade, the handling of containers and hazardous cargo that can’t pass through certain areas in the region and because of the local grain industry. The railroad connects with CSX to the north and NS to the south and I originally included an interchange track for both. My initial track plan is below. One of the major advantages of Kato track (as opposed to handlaying) is the ability to easily move track around and experiment with track placement. As you’ll see, my final track plan is very different than my original and the benefits of easily configurable track helped significantly.

To increase my motivation, I purchased a Scale Trains NS GEVo ET44AC. This will be one of the engines used to take harbor traffic south and I intend to eventually buy, super-detail and weather an older Geep as my main engine for switching the harbor. It will probably be lettered for the Eastern Shore RR as I still have that railroad in my heart.

#8232;In the next post I'll show my final track plan and explain why I made the changes.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Tyson Rayles Posted - 01/04/2021 : 09:05:05 AM
Bill Gill Posted - 01/04/2021 : 08:43:21 AM
Dave, even with the disruption 0f construction around them your pine trees look really good.
You mention they are wire. Is there a description anyplace on how you made them?
George D Posted - 01/04/2021 : 08:13:30 AM
Dave, living in Tidewater Virginia and having made many trips over to the Delmarva Peninsula, I think you've done a great job of capturing the look of the area.

TRAINS1941 Posted - 01/04/2021 : 12:11:07 AM
This gets better with every post. Amazing work!!
Grubes Posted - 01/03/2021 : 10:06:26 PM
Always appreciate the looks and the comments.

James, the lights are from Woodland Scenics (N scale) plug in system.

Scott, probably am influenced by the Jersey Shore; grew up in Philly and my parents live in Margate.

Yes Frank, the residents do complain about the Kablunk when they drive across :)

Received my scenery package in the mail and added some texture to the marshlands along with increasing the density of some of the marsh grass. The changes are subtile and not as evident in the pictures but with the naked eye there's less of an artificial look. First few pics show the terrain.

Also have finished the surface of the bridge, built up the embankment on the far side with Sculptimold and added the far side road. I cut a bit of the water surface away so that the bridge piers are more embedded in the ground which also levels the bridge with the adjacent roadway. I hid the lighting wiring and ran it through the benchwork with the intent to hook it up next week. Gonna call this done for a bit and at some point hope to find or make some N scale seagulls that I'd add.

Next week hope to connect all of the lamps I have already on the layout that were either disconnected during construction of the add-on section or by one of the cats. I also have to touch-up many of the areas that have plaster showing or that need a bit more TLC.

robert goslin Posted - 01/02/2021 : 02:58:12 AM
Dave. Looks excellent. The marshland looks so realistic, and rarely modelled.

I like the causeway bridge. I've been looking for some similar type sides for an elevated road to be part of my new layout, so those Rix items look ideal.
The pipe along the side is a nice touch too.
CNE1899 Posted - 01/01/2021 : 11:13:01 AM
That causeway does look the part! I grew up on the Jersey shore, and that looks like a scene I remember growing up. Love how the marsh looks as well.

jbvb Posted - 12/28/2020 : 3:16:22 PM
Yes, that came out well. Are your street lights WeHonest? I got something similar in HO a couple of years ago.
mark_dalrymple Posted - 12/28/2020 : 2:04:24 PM
Looks great, especially the low views along the bridges.

Cheers, Mark.
Frank Palmer Posted - 12/28/2020 : 1:49:35 PM
Nice causeway, I think I've driven over it once or twice. I remember driving over those seems in the concrete slabs, ka-thump-ka-thump.
George D Posted - 12/28/2020 : 11:59:52 AM
Both bridges look great.

Tyson Rayles Posted - 12/28/2020 : 09:24:29 AM
Bridge looks great. Like the pipe (water?) alongside.
Michael Hohn Posted - 12/27/2020 : 11:26:48 PM
The causeway bridge looks great.
Grubes Posted - 12/27/2020 : 10:40:16 PM
A major accomplishment as I've finished the Wild Horse Island causeway bridge that links the mainland with the island. I started with 3 Rix n-scale bridge kits and modified the pylons, added street light platforms and lights and also added a utility pipe along the front side.

The bridge gives me some depth as one of the things that I'm not thrilled about is the track basically running a circle along the edges of the benchwork. I did this so that I have max radius but it reduces the appearance of the track running through the scenery. Putting the bridge in front of the trestle over the marshland helps and I'll add some other details in between the track and the fascia as time goes on.

I still have to finish the decking but the rest is mostly done. The first pictures are prior to painting and adding the details and the last 2 are after the painting and addition of lights and pipe.

Expecting a delivery of from Scenery Express this week so that I can start some second layer scenery.

TRAINS1941 Posted - 11/29/2020 : 12:38:38 AM
Wow! This is really some excellent modeling!!

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