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Author Previous Topic: Projects in Progress on the Southern Central RR Topic Next Topic: Small Layout Design Help/Challenge - c.1905 Pennsy
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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2019 :  2:39:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good choices. Starting with Church, I did a fitting on crosshead and related hardware this morning. Making progress but it's back to Domestic 101 for a while today.

Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5141 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2019 :  5:29:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

Iím enjoying watching you make progress. Your layout is going to look wonderful with trains running slowly up the grades, especially with those 28-footers.

I took all 34í cars off my layout and left the 28í cars. The layout grew about 20%.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 5101 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/16/2019 :  6:43:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi fella's!

Bob:

Looking forward to seeing more about your Mogul project.

Mike:

I'm glad you're enjoying it! I'm enjoying it, too!

On the trains looking good!

Like I mentioned above, the small equipment really does look better on the layout than the larger diesel era stuff. I like the way the layout dwarfs the small trains, instead of emphasizing how truly compressed the layout is.

Oh... I don't know that I could take the 34' cars off... that's the bulk of my fleet at this point!

Work Train Called:

The O&S 'spatcher called a work train out of Ozarka with authority to run extra Ozarka to Rock Switch and return and right over all trains.

Yup, I thought it would be fun to play while I powered up the two sections I missed when dropping feeders, as well as spike down the track that had been tacked in place in order to make my dwindling spikes go further.

SO, I switched out some flats and a gon, tacked a caboose behind the engine (followed by the flats, with the gon on the bottom of the train). That done, it was load the flats with tools (files and an Xacto), and whistle off for Jack Fork. (The gon was to be filled with spikes at Jack Fork.)

Once at Jack Fork, I pulled over the north switch and backed the train down into the siding toward the two sections of dead track. Then it was unload the "tools" (and fudged by having the needle nose in hand), and the gandy dancers went to work.

Once I had the two sections powered up, it was load the gon with spikes, tie down the train, cut off the hog and run around on the main, then reach in from the south and nose onto the gon. After backing back out to the main, it was line up and shove upgrade to the next work area, and start spiking.

Here's a pic as the train crew waits for when the gandy dancers are ready for 'em to shove forward for more spikes so the work can continue.



When finished spiking, it was back down to the south end of Jack Fork, shove up and couple on to the waiting train on the siding, then ease back out to the main (stopping to close the switch behind)... then whistle off and drift back down to Ozarka!

Hey, 'ya gotta' have some fun along the way, right? Two birds with one stone: Accomplish some piddly and play trains in the process!

After supper, I intend to go back out to the hut and take some pics of a decent length train along the line so y'all can see how the little trains look on the curves/etc.

More later!

Andre



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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2019 :  8:41:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

After about 25 years of building rolling stock from kits or from scratch, I have about 100 cars for my layout, which was actually getting rather crowded. So removing about half was no big deal aside from finding storage space.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 5101 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/16/2019 :  9:36:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Too much rolling stock: What a nice "problem" to have!

At this point in my modeling, I'm a long ways from even having some TOC19 cars painted/lettered/RTR.

Some pics...

First pic at Ozarka ready to leave. For my ill-fated Colorado theme layout, this was to be a "pass track length" train of 2 eng, 10 cars, caboose. With me going to the Ozarks and doing diesels, I had to increase the pass tracks to get a reasonable length diesel powered train therein, so the current pass tracks swallow up this length TOC19 train.



A view from the end of the peninsula. Looks like the train shrunk!



Leaving town. The train is fully on the grade now.



Rounding the first horseshoe curve. The head end is almost on the switch to Sawmill Spur.



A bit different angle of above.



The head end is past Sawmill Spur and is running along side, and above, Possum Creek.



The bottom of the train is passing Sawmill Spur. The entire train is now running above Possum Creek. The head end nears the south switch at Jack Fork. High above the head end on the side of Buck Mountain you can see a helper waiting at the south switch at Piney Gap for the arrival of the train so it can drift down Buck Mountain and return to Ozarka.



Struggling upgrade past the Jack Fork depot.



On the S curve leaving Jack Fork.



The head end is now deep into Buck Hollow on the big bend. Below the train down on the right, Buck Creek tumbles along at the base of the hollow.



The rear helper is shoving hard as it enters Buck Hollow. The head end is now out of sight. (Use your imagination.)



We take one more look at the train as the head end passes over Rock Switch as it continues its ascent of Buck Mountain up above Jack Fork on its climb to Piney Gap.



So there you have it. Now, just to place set and give you an idea of the train-to-layout ratio, here's a look at the train. The head end is at the current end of track.



Having fun!

All fer now!

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 06/16/2019 9:40:20 PM

Country: | Posts: 794 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2019 :  10:02:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's exciting. The train look good. Good length to it. I like that you can see all of it.

It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5141 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/16/2019 :  10:35:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Super cool! Fantastic look. Thank you for the tour.

Mike



Country: USA | Posts: 5101 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/17/2019 :  12:30:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys.

Sort of at an impasse right now.

I can tell it's been a while since I've laid track/etc. I've let myself run out of two critical items:

* Spikes. New bag is on hand and I'm caught up on spiking. So that didn't slow me up too much.

* Feeder wire. This one I feel really stupid. Thought I had plenty. The new track sucked it up like it wasn't there. Through previous experience I learned there simply is NOT a regional brick and mortar source for 20-22 gauge wire. Zero. So, I'm really kicking myself for "assuming" I had ample supply to finish out the entire lower level (there's two spurs at Ozarka I had forgotten about) as well as reach the top level. I have purchased more wire online, but it will be several days before it arrives.

SO, no more track laying until the wire arrives. (I solder either the underside of joiners or the underside of the rail, thus I must have wire on hand in order to lay track.)

I'm toying with the idea of starting the top level bench work... but I hate to get myself into having the Hut all crapped out again with mess and gaum and thus get in a bind for hosting a get-together in July.

Then again, perhaps this would be a good time to spend some time at the workbench making some progress on equipment?

Decisions. Decisions.

Andre



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OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/17/2019 :  4:57:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mountain Musings...

Went out to the Hut and piddled some:

* Curved the team track to flow with the siding at Jack Fork. (Looks mo bettuh.)

* Tested all the newly laid spurs with a couple of my most finicky 88 wheeled cars: They passed.

I then decided to just go ahead and clean all the previously laid track (from the first work session some months ago) at Ozarka yard while I was thinking about it.

That done, I decided to do a bit of impromptu switching. Started off by walking back over to Jack Fork (where I'd been testing the spurs/etc.) Fired up the engine, then commenced with spotting the test gon at the wood yard at Jack Fork, and the boxcar to the team track. (All of which involved some run-arounds.) That done, I ran light back down to Ozarka to clean up the yard.

Once at Ozarka, I began by nose-coupling onto the train (w/caboose) sitting on the main, and then started backing it so I could get the train out over the north main switch at Ozarka. This so I could spot the caboose by the engine house and then yard the train. As I was clicking along about 10 MPH over the north main switch the little engine's exhaust was cracking smartly. Then the grade started to assert its authority, and my little hog spun to a stop... with the caboose still not clear of the north switch.

Well! Don't that knock yer hat in the creek?

Now what? Shove forward and cut-off the caboose and try to get the rest of the cars up the hill far enough to clear the switch?

Nope. If I'm the conductor, or one of the ground men, that's too much work to walk to the cut, tie down the caboose, relay hand signals to get some slack for the pin, hand signal "Stop" once pinned, pull the pin, then signal to back and catch on the gon to ride out over the switch/etc. Plus, having to cut-off the caboose would have added several more time consuming moves to fetch it/etc.

Instead, I shoved ahead (remember I was nose coupled) into the yard (where it's relatively level), threw it in reverse, and started backing up* to get a run fer another try. This time I had it moving about 15 MPH before the grade started dragging me down and sure 'nuf... I managed to get the entire train out over the switch before it spun out.

Hah! Did it!

Smug with my success, I finished all the moves needed to clean up the yard.

(* Cool thing about steam sound is it helps to run realistically. You can use the exhaust to judge your acceleration/deceleration as well as how fast you're clicking along.)

Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

You see, in the past, this type of stuff is exactly what I had in mind anytime I would dream about a steam layout: REAL tonnage issues that would play into switching and mainline moves.

When I was 1:1 railroading for a living, I can't tell you the times I've had to gather up all the speed I was allowed (and some I wasn't!) in order to make a run at a grade in an attempt at getting tonnage over a switch/whatever. It's just part of railroading and grades. Just think: IF I don't plan my moves when switching Jack Fork, it is a very real possibility that I can drift out (headed downgrade) of the south switch with too many cars, and not be able to shove UPGRADE to make the cut/whatever, or worse, clear the main in time for a meet. IF I get into such a pickle, then I'm really screwed, 'cause I gotta' either:

* Wire the dispatcher to see if there's an engine that can come help.

OR...

* Wire the dispatcher to get authority to go back down the mountain to Ozarka and reduce tonnage.

See? There ISN'T a painless option if I don't do a good job of planning my switching moves, just like it is in real life when working grades.

Yup, I do believe that the steam era is going to be a ton of fun!

All fer now.

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 06/17/2019 5:00:48 PM

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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 06/17/2019 :  8:31:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm so glad you're having fun already with it. You did a good job sharing how sound adds to the experience of train running. Did you have any problem with the sound cutting off?

Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5141 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/17/2019 :  10:45:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi 'ya Bob!

Oh yeah, I'm having fun.

In fact, today was too short. Had some more stuff I wanted to try/experiment with but it's already nearing time to shower and be ready for bed!

Sound cutting out? No, as long as the engine is getting power, the sounds are stable. These little Bachmann NT 4-4-0's do not have any form of "stay alive" circuitry in them, so if it hits a dirty spot or loses electrical continuity, then of course, it stops and the sound likewise. Two ways to address:

* Add more electrical pickup points.
* Add a "stay alive" circuit.

I think Hakan has posted videos about how to add more electrical pickup points, and likewise Harold Minkowitz has posted info for same.

The most effective solution is a stay alive circuit. However, it may be difficult fitting a stay alive circuit into the tiny tender, though.

Layout:

As mentioned, today I reworked the team track at Jack Fork to be flow alongside the siding curve.

In addition, I took a couple/three structures out to the layout and placed them to see what kind of visuals I will be able to create. Here's a look at Jack Fork. Note the reworked team track (where the boxcar is spotted).



And here are some scenes at Ozarka:

Standing by the team tracks looking at the yard and depot area...



In the above pic, the depot location is final, the watertank, not so.

Down by the engine house area looking toward the yard...



I then decided to open up my photo software, and go through my V scale texture library to see what I could do about scaling some of my photo structures to where they would print out at HO scale. I picked some of the more simplistic (square or rectangular) and began experimenting. I am getting close to finding the pixels-to-HO scale-foot ratio needed in order to utilize many of my textures as candidates for my "PhotoFlats" concept.

Here's a glimpse of some of the quickie printouts I placed for a "look see" at Ozarka to try to visualize the potential...



I think I can make them work. In fact, with some effort, I think I can even use them for 3D structures. That is, cut out the window openings and install clear acetate, frame the doors/windows/etc. In other words, make some actual "relief" instead of just a 2D photo.

For sure, it will be easier, more versatile, and cheaper, to do a dual era if I can utilize a goodly amount of PhotoFlats and photo structures.

So there you have it! What I did for fun today!

Andre



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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 06/18/2019 :  12:39:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That station sure looks familiar. I used Hakan's pick up suggestions on the tender. It helped performance a lot.
I don't know that you can add a keep alive to the factory decoder. Do have information on how to do that?

Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5141 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/18/2019 :  12:56:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bob:

Yup, I'll bet that station does look familiar to you! Eventually it will hit the workbench to made into one of the depots for Ozarka. If it ends up being the 1880s depot, then expect it to be painted oxide red when all said and done.

My 4-4-0's are bone stock mechanically and sound wise. (I have added some different stacks to a couple of them, and did a quick air compressor modification to all, visible in the above pic at Ozarka.) I intend to add contacts to the engines... but not anytime soon.

I don't have a clue how they add stay alive circuits, but I do believe they are available as a separate add-on to a decoder. I would start at Harold Minkowitz pages. Here's a link to them. Be reminded that his pages are a labyrinth of information and you sort of have to root around a bit to find things. However, Harold has a LOT of good "how I did it" stuff to be seen.

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/

All fer now!

Andre




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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 06/18/2019 :  08:37:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

Reading about your adventures has me wanting to fire up my 4-4-0 and run a passenger train around the layout a bit. Sounds like youíre having fun.

I like your idea of photo-flats.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 5101 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 06/18/2019 :  10:10:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mornin' Mike!

Well, make like a frog and hop right over there an' run a train!

Indeed I'm having fun as I enjoy the fruits of my labor until the 20 ga feeder wire arrives (it shipped yesterday), then I'm going lay the Rock Spur, and finalize the two-track team area at Ozarka.

That done, I will start installing L-brackets for the top level, followed by ripping the plywood and getting the shelves installed.

I have decided that I'd rather make progress (stopping to clean for the July get-together) rather then twiddling my thumbs waiting for the July get-together to pass before making sawdust again. My goal is for the entire layout to be 100% functional by summer's end. THEN I can start kicking back and spreading out the projects so other aspects can catch up... BUT... I can run trains along the way as I do, which is important to me.

PhotoFlats:

Yes, I'm getting more ideas on how to utilize them. For example, I think I'm going to create the textures needed to make a fully 3D planing mill similar to this one that was at Rogers, AR:



My planing mill structure will be placed at Jack Fork for the 1880s era. Commodities will be inbound rough wood and outbound planed wood. The planing mill structure will be removed for the 1960s and the pair of tracks will merely be a wood yard for tie loading and (possibly) pulpwood.

I'm more and more liking the idea of illustrating the passage of time between the two operational eras.

All fer now!

Out to the Hut to play trains.

As soon as the crew's finished eatin' their helpin' of possum n' sweet taters fer lunch over at Maude's cafe', it will be time for them to switch up a train and make a run up to Jack Fork. That boxcar is empty and the gon needs picked up, plus there's more stuff to set out there, too. Oh, and they's screamin' for some empty flats at Sawmill Spur.

Busy, busy.

All fer now!

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 06/18/2019 10:13:03 AM

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