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 Construction of the new PRR Northern Division
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Author Previous Topic: Franklin Junction Layout Progress Topic Next Topic: BN Highline layout construction
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Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 06/14/2015 :  10:20:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, congrats, for sure, Mark! Lots of firsts. What a great accomplishment you have already achieved. Sounds like the entire system ran well. No matter what size layout, there will always be some tweaks required in the early going. I'm looking forward to the scenery developing. I'm very happy for you at this extremely exciting time!

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman



Posted - 06/14/2015 :  12:25:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on your first real operating session, Mark. Looks like all your hard work and preparation paid off. Looking forward to watching further updates as you progress with your scenery.

Al Carter



Country: USA | Posts: 4630 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/14/2015 :  6:17:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks to everyone! Yes, it does feel good. As you may know, operations is one of my favorite parts of the hobby, so getting this phase means a lot to me. And yes Tom, watching the guys work the schedule and seeing it working out is great. So now my focus will shift to scenery and buildings.

I have a lot of buildings that I will be putting on the layout for the time being as 'place holders'. They will serve for the time being as mock ups and help to give me some ideas as to what the final scene may look like.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13235 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 06/15/2015 :  11:53:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on your FIRST formal operating session Mark. It feels good to have your railroad come alive with friends running it doesn't it? Scenery is great. But don't rush it. You may still have to make changes to track work and location of buildings. Your idea of using mock ups will help a lot in letting you see how a scene will develop and see how things fit. Let your operations and crew suggestions help guide you in your final track and scenery development. Put in what you know will not change for the most part first. Model railroaders that always see your railroad are pretty keen on advances in scenery will enjoy the progress. I find that doing scenery in different areas helps give it the more finished look instead of starting at one end and going around. That is just the way I work. Some do it linear. Visitors seeing progress on more than one area will put together a mental picture of what the railroad area your modeling would have looked like. It also takes the "Plywood Central" railroad look out of the layout. One bit of advice. Use painters tape or wet paper towels, if your using a static grass applicator, over the track to keep the plaster drips and static grass from sticking to the ties and rails or going where you don't want it. It's a lot easier to pull up tape or pick up paper towels than cleaning off the ties and rails with drips. Bill

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/16/2015 :  01:19:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Bill! It was great to see the railroad come to life... finally. It's been a long road, but well worth the effort. Someone recently asked me if I were to do it all over again, what would I do differently. After thinking about it for a while, at this point, I can honestly say 'nothing'! So far I am really happy with how things have turned out.

With regard to your suggestions about starting scenery, I appreciate your advice. The scenery I am planning to start is in areas that won't really affect anything that might be subject to change. For example, the area around Selinsgrove Junction is nothing more than mainline with one switch where the Selinsgrove Secondary track comes off the main. The rest of this area is nothing more than hillside and trees. This is one area that will be perfect to start with. As far as some of the switching areas goes, I am still acquiring buildings and developing some scenic ideas in my head so no, I won't be doing any scenery in those areas yet, mainly for the reasons you mentioned. Believe me when I say I have more than enough to keep my busy for a long, long time!

Thanks for checking in.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13235 Go to Top of Page

MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 06/16/2015 :  3:27:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Glad to see the pics posted - and glad things went so well! It will be great now to follow along as you get more into scenery and structures.

Looking forward to getting over to see things at a future session!

Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ



Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page

Harsco
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2015 :  5:34:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was suitably impressed with the Northern Division's much anticipated debut; it's been a long and sometimes frustrating road for Mark, but the results have been nothing short of outstanding. I had a blast working a couple of through freights and S-97, the Buttonwood to South Danville turn. Can't wait to watch the scenery phase unfold...there's lots to futz with: coal mines, forest covered hills, rivers, urban industrial areas, downtown commercial, and a power plant...


Edited by - Harsco on 06/16/2015 5:35:04 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 1320 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2015 :  10:27:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm waiting for all steam night!111111


Country: USA | Posts: 1754 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/16/2015 :  11:17:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys! Mike, I'll get you down here for a session real soon! Rick, glad you enjoyed yourself. And get your scenery mojo going as I plan to get you down here to help with the scenery! And Bruce, well, what can I say. As pretty as the steam can be, I'm looking to have reliable op sessions so I'm sticking with diesels!

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13235 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 06/17/2015 :  07:10:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reliable operations with steam? Ouch that hurt.


Country: USA | Posts: 1754 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 06/17/2015 :  08:04:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's not all bad; He also called you 'pretty' :)


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chrisbconaway
New Hire



Posted - 06/21/2015 :  08:08:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mark, it looks like things went well. I hope to join you next time. Did John R need a step ladder in Buttonwood? Thanks Chris


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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/21/2015 :  09:00:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Chris! Yes they did and everyone had a good time. You were missed! No, John seemed to be able to reach everything pretty well.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13235 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/08/2015 :  01:24:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It’s been a busy few weeks on the Northern Division! After the last operating session, I had the usual list of fixes, tweaks and assorted ‘to dos’, most of which have been taken care of. In addition, I came across a collection that was being liquidated which resulted in the acquisition of about 50 more freight cars, so this resulted in my spending a lot of time going through these cars, adding metal wheelsets and getting them on the railroad.

In addition, I also acquired about 30 assorted structures. What was great is many of these structures are store front structures and houses that I needed so desperately to populate both Sunbury and Shamokin. So I’ve been placing them around the layout and getting some great ideas for these areas. More on that in a later post.

Most recently I began something I’ve been wanting to start for a long time…scenery! I decided I would start in the area around Selinsgrove Junction, which will be primarily hillsides and trees.

Here is an overall view of the area I'll be working in. The mainline is proceeding ‘railroad east’ here from left to right. The Selinsgrove track comes off the main, swings around to the right and crosses the Susquehanna River, just out of view, on its way to Selinsgrove.



This is where I will start this project. This is the eastern end of South Sunbury. The switch in the foreground is the eastern end of Creek Siding. From here, the mainline continues eastbound towards Selinsgrove Jct.



This is a better view of Selinsgrove Jct. Not much to it! Just a turnout out in the middle of no where. In the background will be steep tree covered hills and rock outcroppings. The end effect I hope to achieve will be a densely wooded area with the trains traveling through what will in effect be a ‘tunnel of trees’!



Turning slightly to the right, you can see the mainline continues along the wall making its way ‘eastward’ towards Enola Yard (staging). You can also see the Selinsgrove track as it turns away from the mainline and approaches the bridge that will carry it across the Susquehanna River and into the town of Selinsgrove.



Today I started laying out the forms for the terrain. Using foamcore, I first hot glued a profile board along the wall, defining the shape of the hillside. Then I glued profile boards going from back to front that further define the hillside. Finally, I used crumpled up newspaper to support the hydrocal gauze along with masking tape to form a supporting web.



And finally, the first few pieces of hydrocal plaster cloth is down!



So finally, scenery is underway on the Northern Division. This area should be a really nice area to railfan when finished. Boy, am I going to need a LOT of trees!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13235 Go to Top of Page

tloc
Fireman



Posted - 07/08/2015 :  10:26:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great for you Mark. Before you know it those landforms will have trees, buildings and L/P.


Country: USA | Posts: 1228 Go to Top of Page
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