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Author Previous Topic: Louís Logging Railroad Car Barn Topic Next Topic: 55n3 Reboot - Proof of Concept
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Coaltrain
Fireman

Posted - 10/13/2010 :  09:14:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
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 Rayís 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

Country: | Posts: 1253

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 10/13/2010 :  10:38:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"he asked me why I was going to build it in the wrong gauge"

Yours is a freelanced layout therefore it is impossible for it to be the wrong gauge no matter what gauge you chose. Besides there was 30" and other gauges as well, in every part of the country. That said I look forward to following this thread and I'm sure you will do a great job with your new layout!


Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12751 Go to Top of Page

BBLmber
Fireman



Posted - 10/13/2010 :  10:50:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jeff, I can tell from your explanation that a lot of thought has went in to your layout design and I wish you success in your undertaking. I look forward to your progress reports as I too like the Mann's Creek RR.

Mark


W,L,&E

Country: USA | Posts: 6441 Go to Top of Page

Coaltrain
Fireman

Posted - 10/13/2010 :  11:46:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tyson Rayles

"he asked me why I was going to build it in the wrong gauge"

Yours is a freelanced layout therefore it is impossible for it to be the wrong gauge no matter what gauge you chose. Besides there was 30" and other gauges as well, in every part of the country. That said I look forward to following this thread and I'm sure you will do a great job with your new layout!



OOPS!, I kind of worded that wrong. What he meant was, why would I build a copy of the Manns Creek railroad in 30" gauge and not its real gauge of 36". I could have said that my RR was built to 30" gauge but if I someday decide to get rid of my Slater Creek Ry and actually do a correct version of the MC it will be an easier conversion.

I have already converted some of my rolling stock from 30" to 36" and one locomotive, my Bachmann shay, which I had a construction post over on the On30 forum.

The one issue I stumbled over for a long time when I was trying to decide which gauge to pick was either model On3 and pretty much be on my own, or do On30 which has such a huge community of fun people. I have found that most poeple that model in On3 are western modelers, and most of them seem to be Colorado narrow gauge modelers. To model an Appalachian On3 railroad will be a lonely thing for sure. Of course to me On30 and On3 are pretty much one in the same and I will continue to participate in the On30 forum, although all my projects will be posted here, so please check in every now and then if your an On30er, I would love to hear what you guys think.



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BBLmber
Fireman



Posted - 10/13/2010 :  1:44:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jeff, modeling narrow gauge in the East and it not be EBT or ET&WNC makes you an odddball just as us On30 er's so you will fit right in. There are several of us that model Appalachian narrow gauge railroads in the On30 Forum because we like them and want to be different. You still fit right in with the Dark Side. Don't be afraid to post some of your constrution threads like your shay in the On30 Forum as we enjoy fine narrow gauge modeling.

Mark


W,L,&E

Country: USA | Posts: 6441 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 10/13/2010 :  2:14:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And when you are talking Eastern narrow gauge you gotta remember those neat Maine two footers as well!

Mike

Country: USA | Posts: 12751 Go to Top of Page

vamodeler
Engine Wiper



Posted - 10/13/2010 :  2:26:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit vamodeler's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BBLmber

Jeff, modeling narrow gauge in the East and it not be EBT or ET&WNC makes you an odddball



I resent this statement!

It makes you ORIGINAL and CREATIVE!

Actually, there are several On3 folks modeling eastern narrow gauge. They tend not to have much of a web presence but are out there. Check out the 2011 NG Convention website for a nice On3 eastern layout.

Jeff, glad to see the plans, looks great. Glad to have another On3'er on board!

Brian


My Website: http://sites.google.com/site/deercreekandlaurelry/

Country: | Posts: 340 Go to Top of Page

BBLmber
Fireman



Posted - 10/13/2010 :  4:07:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OOPS, didn't mean to offend, it's just people don't think there are any good narrow gauge railroads railroads in these hills.
By the way I model logging and coal hauling in the WV hills in On30.

Mark


W,L,&E

Edited by - BBLmber on 10/13/2010 7:30:03 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6441 Go to Top of Page

Bill Uffelman
Fireman

Posted - 10/13/2010 :  5:12:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You describe your layout room as small -- what are the dimensions? Looks like a nice rendition of the MC theme. Years ago MR had an MC layout plan in On3 focusing on the coke oven scene -- without the online index can't tell which issue anymore.

Bill Uffelman
Las Vegas NV



Country: USA | Posts: 1103 Go to Top of Page

quarryman
Fireman



Posted - 10/13/2010 :  5:46:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit quarryman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Coaltrain

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



Jeff, was this fellow modeler eyeing that incredible Mogul you built as he was trying to convince you to go with On3? Although, I do understand that if all your various inspirations for the Slater Creek are 3 ft, then it should be also.

Love your plan, except for the lower left corner. Serious access issues. Apparently you are planning to put bifold doors into the utility closet. If the track along the south wall is climbing as steeply as you say, would it be high enough to allow duckunder access to the utility closet if it went across the doorway? If serious access to the utility closet were required, the benchwork would have to be removable of course.

Opening up access in the narrow lower left corner of the room could be used to provide access to the ladder for the hidden storage tracks.

Just a thought.

Mark Chase
Richmond VA



Country: USA | Posts: 1183 Go to Top of Page

racedirector
Engine Wiper



Posted - 10/14/2010 :  12:43:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit racedirector's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good to see the new RR start being documented, nice explanation of the road and it's workings along with your scenery plans. Can't wait to see some construction photos start to make an appearance, if the R&S was anything to go by this one will be a stunner!

Bruce Nordstrand, Riverstone, NSW, Oz-stralia

Back in HO...and stayin there!

Country: Australia | Posts: 333 Go to Top of Page

n6nvr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 10/14/2010 :  04:12:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you are in fact going to hand build many of the facets of your layout, then any scale (ok scale that you can see to work in) or any gauge is appropriate. If you want to spend more time in operating and/or you need to be budget conscious then selecting a scale and/or gauge that has a lot of good value of the shelf rolling stock, then going for the value option makes sense.

I stayed with HO many years ago because I had a fair investment and changing to On3 was not cost effective, it was keep the wife and kids or switch to those really really nice brass models, Gawd they were nice. And after 5 days of having my still living son promising to get the lawn mowed, I keep thinking I made the wrong decision. At least most brass engines work when wanted to work.


Don't push me bureaucrat, I've got a bit of hangover

Country: | Posts: 325 Go to Top of Page

Coaltrain
Fireman

Posted - 10/14/2010 :  07:30:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by quarryman

[quote][i]
Love your plan, except for the lower left corner. Serious access issues. Apparently you are planning to put bifold doors into the utility closet. If the track along the south wall is climbing as steeply as you say, would it be high enough to allow duckunder access to the utility closet if it went across the doorway? If serious access to the utility closet were required, the benchwork would have to be removable of course.




I know, I don't like that spot that much either. Last night I was standing in that spot thinking about what I could do there, one idea I had was to narrow up the benchwork close to the main line so a person could slide in there to build and operate the layout.

My first plans was to have the layout pass in front of the utility closet and have a lift out there, but this past summer while I was away we had an issue with the AC and my wife had to have someone come out to service it. If I had a section of the layout pass in front of the utility closet they won't service it and my wife would not want to have to learn how to move a section of the layout. the track around the furnace is in and I am not worried about it, I can get to it if something derails, it is just too cramped to build anything in place, which is why I built it first and installed it. Unless something is derailed going into the closet I don't see it derailing once it is in there, there are no turnouts and the radius is 30" around there.



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nalmeida
Fireman



Posted - 10/14/2010 :  6:45:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit nalmeida's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Great looking track plan and I liked the way you handled the gauge issue, you can count on me as a follower to your layout progress. Now, about the track plan itself, did you calculate the grades? There's seem to be a lower and a higher track.


Country: Portugal | Posts: 2037 Go to Top of Page

Martin Welberg
Fireman



Posted - 10/14/2010 :  7:26:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Martin Welberg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Count me in to, trackplan looks great


Country: Netherlands | Posts: 6691 Go to Top of Page

wesleybeks
Fireman



Posted - 10/15/2010 :  05:30:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow Jeff

You really have put alot of thought into this. Im really looking forward to all your progress pictures.



Country: South Africa | Posts: 2819 Go to Top of Page
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