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Author Topic Next Topic: Nye, Inyo & Esmeralda Railroad
Page: of 88


Posted - 01/19/2012 :  08:22:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ray Dunakin

You're going to have hopper cars that actually dump their loads on command?

yes, here is a video of one of my hopper cars.

I now have 10 of these cars and I am planning on building 15-20 more. The first set of cars used a DCC decoder to operate the motor, but having a car accidentally dump anywhere on the layout is making me rethink of DCC decoders.

here is a car with a DCC decoder, this was my first car and the door arms are a little crude compaired to how I do them now.

I hope by the end of this weekend to have rails laid across the unloading trestle so I can start testing the hopper cars to see if the car with the contacts will work as good as the cars with DCC. If the DCC cars work better I will continue to use that method and I will just have to use toggle switches to kill track power to hidden staging tracks when trains are sitting in there to protect cars from unloading.

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Posted - 02/06/2012 :  5:38:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thoroughly enjoy your updates, Jeff. I look forward to the next one.


Country: USA | Posts: 5866 Go to Top of Page

Martin Welberg

Posted - 02/06/2012 :  7:02:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Martin Welberg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Same for me, looking forward to another update !

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 6736 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/20/2012 :  08:51:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, I think I have all the difficult and tedious work on the unloading trestle finished. I made a universal mold for the concrete trestle bent footings which I used to cast five of the bent footings. I cast the bent footings from plaster, let them dry for a few days and cut the steps into them with a hack saw. to cut the footings the castings had to be totally dry or the hack saw blade would load up and not cut. after the castings were cut I used a straight edge and the butt end of an Xacto blade to carve in the boards that would have been used for the formers. I also carved in cracks and chips to give the footings some signs of age.

the unloading bin required a special footing, so I made a styrene mold that was the exact required shape of the footing. The mold took several hours to make and used up a lot of 0.060 styrene, luckly I have a friend that gets tons of sheet styrene for free.

the footings do not show up good in the photos because of all the white plaster, once I get some stain, weathering and ground cover in the shape and weathering will show better. I am glad to have all this work done and have the trestle in place, now I can lay rail across it and start testing the hopper unloading.

Speaking of unloading hoppers, I build a set of contacts as a test and mounted them in the unloading bin. I was going to use the slot car braid but I came up with another idea. I used the B string from an acoustic guitar to bend up a set of contacts that I soldered to a PC board. The B string on and acoustic guitar is made from phosphor bronze and works well for this kind of stuff, you can buy them as single strings in most music stores that sell guitars. Electric guitar strings are nickle and work well also but they are normally thinner diameter so using the G string would be a better choice. Anyways, I am going to try two sets of contacts, each with two wipers to insure that at least one will make good contact, the contacts will be mounted on each end of the unloading bin and will make contact with the bottom of the truck on each end of the car, which will deliver power to the door actuator.

the contact wipers look very visible now but I think that once I get the floor in around them, blacken them, and add the shed over the bin they will not stand out so much. The contacts stick up higher than the rails because the contact on the bottom of the trucks of the hopper cars has to be higher so they don't short out when the hoppers go over turnouts.

here is the scene so far. I have only about 14" left to paint on the backdrop on the left end of the image below. things should really start to pull together now and I should be making some faster visible progress very soon.

I have been toying with changing the track plan on the other end of the railroad. I have become used to O scale now and I have a better idea of what I can and can't do with my space. I decided to not build the Mann's Creek scenes and structures that I showed in the start of this thread, they take up too much space and they do not provide much switching operation. I am going to model some smaller structures and concentrate more on modeling mines, tipples and a shabby mining camp. My goal is to have several locations to spot empty hoppers for loading. I will post a track plan once I get one that I think will work.

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Premium Member

Posted - 02/20/2012 :  09:09:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jeff, this scene is shaping up very nicely.
I like the colors you've achieved on your ties and the rest of the timbers and especially like the variation in color of the two hoppers.
Very creative use of the guitar strings and I agree once they are blackened they won't be very noticeable.

Country: USA | Posts: 24509 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/20/2012 :  10:25:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice dump trestle Jeff! Looks like its all coming together nicely.

With your revised trackplan, are you still going to try including an industry that uses boxcars? Keep the variety in your freight consists?

Again nice work!


Modeling The Wisconsin Northern Railroad
"The Weyerhaeuser Route"

Country: USA | Posts: 130 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/20/2012 :  1:13:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Yes, there will still be a company store, it will be smaller than the Cliftop company store that was planning on building. I will provide other traffic as well that will require box and flat cars. my space is pretty limited and working in O scale really makes it hard to have a lot of operation, but I am sure it will be just fine for my solo operating sessions.

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Premium Member

Posted - 02/20/2012 :  1:27:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Automatic unloading is such an awesome plan. Your bin and track work coloring is fantastic.

Country: USA | Posts: 11981 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/20/2012 :  8:28:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The backdrop is looking great, very dramatic. I can't wait to see a youtube video of the dump in action.

Living in Colorado,
home of the Rio Grande

Country: | Posts: 129 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/20/2012 :  9:15:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sully's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jeff.....coal bin & operating hoppers look fantastic. I know what you mean about the large 1/4" scale structures...they are space eaters. I get pretty worked up about coal.....and coal means "tipples"....esp. the smaller tipples in WVa. I think having a few tipples on your coal line will really give you an opportunity to add your own artistic touch to the railroad. (and mines used a lot of canvas curtains to block off the various shafts inside the mine.....they would be delivered in the occasional boxcar) Looking forward to continued progress.....tom

Country: USA | Posts: 2684 Go to Top of Page

Mountain Goat
New Hire

Posted - 02/20/2012 :  9:33:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great backdrop, great trestle... oh heck, it's all great!!!


Country: USA | Posts: 33 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/20/2012 :  11:22:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
it's all coming together nicely.

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5821 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard

Premium Member

Posted - 02/21/2012 :  01:33:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The model and backdrop are nice, but I must I am particularly impressed by your unloading concept and how you built it.

Country: France | Posts: 17652 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 03/01/2012 :  06:55:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am making progress. This week I got the fascia on the section of layout with the unloading trestle. This section of the layout has a lot of stuff going on with the dump trestle, it holds my DCC equipment, supported a book shelf, and a rolling stock shelf. The fascia is what ties all those items together and cleans up the mess.

The book shelf has a removable back so I can get at a switch machine. the hill in the corner above the book shelf reinforces the idea that the viewer / operator is standing on the side of the mountian and not in the river valley like it would be on most layouts. the hill in above the book self also gives me a little more height to clear the top of the books. The light switch on the end of the layout by the book shelf is the main power switch to the layout and the work bench, when I leave that room that switch goes off and all the power in the room goes out, that way no solder iron is left on by mistake. after I paint the fascia I will install trim to finish the shelf off.

the access door for the DCC system is just taped on for now, I am going to put velcro on the back to hold the panel on. behind this panel is the main guts to the DCC system and has the main buss connections for the four different power sections.

The rolling stock shelf is removable as well to access two switch machines. This shelf will also be trimmed out after the fascia is painted. the benchwork on this layout section is very low, yet the track and switch machines are mounted very high, causing a real pain if I had to work on any of the switch machines form below the layout. I also have a few file cabinets under the layout in this section and they are a pain to move if I have to, so I wanted to be able to get to the switch machines from the front of the layout, which is why there are panels that can be removed.

I also finished converting one hopper to my new method for opening the hopper car doors. my camera batteries died so I did not get photos. Once the batteries get charged I will get some photos of the modified SJC truck and how simple it was to do, and how well it works. I can't wait to get some rails laid across the trestle to see these cars in action.

I am going to push hard the month of March to get road bed up to the mines and get the rest of the fascia on and some layout skirting to help give the room a less cluttered look.

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Posted - 03/01/2012 :  07:26:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit quarryman's Homepage  Reply with Quote

This scene is really coming together. The high fascia in front, hillside falling away toward the back of the benchwork, and high ridge painted on the backdrop very effectively give the impression of the little line being cut into the side of a deep canyon. The setting does a great job of highlighting the working coal hoppers. Very dramatic and well done. You fought with that backdrop long enough to get it looking very good.

This scene by itself would make a great working diorama/shelf layout. The mines on the other side of the room are going to be icing on the cake!

Mark Chase
Richmond VA

Country: USA | Posts: 1208 Go to Top of Page
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