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 Rebuilding the CB&Q in Wyoming
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Author Previous Topic: Scenery Challenge, camouflage opening Topic Next Topic: HO Layout: Logging at the Turn of the 20th Century
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Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 12/13/2016 :  07:02:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

Oh boy, now you have SteamNut in the fold! Now your in good hands. Just plan it and he will come build it.

Hey Steam, now's your chance to build a helix on a module!

YES! I've been waiting for that!!

Welcome to Wyoming, Steam! I'll be in NJ for a few days right after Christmas - want to come by and get started?
(just kidding - way too soon).

But in the 2nd quarter of 2018...



Edited by - Brunton on 12/13/2016 07:04:18 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 12/13/2016 :  08:44:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brunton
[brWelcome to Wyoming, Steam! I'll be in NJ for a few days right after Christmas - want to come by and get started?
(just kidding - way too soon).

But in the 2nd quarter of 2018...



Just give him the plans and he'll have it built and ready for installation. And don't think I'm kidding!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13727 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 12/31/2016 :  08:25:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Layout development has been continuing. I've been thinking about what I can realistically include and what I can't in the new approach, and letting my hindbrain chew on things for a bit.

I've finally developed a new general arrangement for the layout in the space available:



A bit of explanation:
The rather blurry chart on the left lists all locations from the original layout. Everything in blue is included in the new (Seattle and Minneapolis staging yards have been combined into one). Everything in dark red is eliminated (some painful choices there, believe me!), and the pinkish entry (Lovell) may yet be eliminated.
In the diagram, the orange represents rough benchwork outlines on the lower level, and the green represents upper level benchwork. Yes, there will be an abbreviated upper level. It will not be reached by a helix, but rather by long inclines incorporated into the mainline runs. The upper level will not be 20+ inches above the lower one, either - more like 10-12 inches.

More detailed planning can commence now, which I'm sure will drive modification to this general arrangement.

Suggestions? Ideas? And by the way - Happy New Year! (almost)



Edited by - Brunton on 12/31/2016 08:33:48 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/06/2017 :  09:09:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
All the best laid plans...



After several trips to my house in New Jersey, including one in which I took most of my belongings back to the house, I have come to the conclusion that I will not be moving back there. I have contacted a real estate agent, and soon the house will be on the market for sale.

In fact, I will not be moving back to NJ, and most likely not back to the northeast, at all. Partly this decision is based on health - very bad springtime allergies that always translate into severe and persistent bronchitis - and financial - second-highest-in-the-nation taxes on retiree incomes - reasons. And while I love being in the house itself, the constant reminders of my late wife and those happy memories it stirs up paradoxically create a lot of turmoil that, over the long term, would be very detrimental to my emotional health.

Most likely candidate locations to which I might move are Wyoming (probably Cheyenne) or the Spokane Washington area. There is also an unlikely possibility that I'll emigrate to China or Ireland.

So wither the CB&Q in Wyoming? I do plan to stay in the hobby. My next layout will most likely be my last, and I'm going to devote a significant amount of hobby time turning it into a fully functional dead rail model railroad. Will it be the CB&Q? All I know for sure is that it will be either steam or traction.

I should know in 14-18 months where I'll be retiring, and new layout planning will begin after I have selected a new house (with basement or large spare room, of course!).



Edited by - Brunton on 05/07/2017 06:46:01 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/06/2017 :  1:28:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well that is bitter sweet news Mark. I'm sorry to hear that you will not be returning to NJ, but under the circumstances, I can understand why. Of course, that is a broad range of options you are keeping open. I do hope that your house sells quickly so you can pick up the pieces and move on.

Oh, and by the way, I guess I should have let you know I am a real estate agent with Weichert and would have taken good care of you! Maybe next time.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13727 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/06/2017 :  2:56:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sorry things are that much up in the air, Mark. I'll keep an eye out for your posts as things progress.


Country: USA | Posts: 5860 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/07/2017 :  06:51:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

Well that is bitter sweet news Mark. I'm sorry to hear that you will not be returning to NJ, but under the circumstances, I can understand why. Of course, that is a broad range of options you are keeping open. I do hope that your house sells quickly so you can pick up the pieces and move on.

Oh, and by the way, I guess I should have let you know I am a real estate agent with Weichert and would have taken good care of you! Maybe next time.

Thanks Mark. Two of the big down sides of not moving back to New Jersey is not being able to see the old crew - you, Diamond Bill, Steamnut, Joe and all the others, and not being a part of the local NMRA division.

If I'd known you're a real estate agent, I sure would have contacted you! Unfortunately, at this point I already have something set up with another agent.

jbvb, it's not fun being so up in the air about things! After I posted yesterday, I was thinking (for the hundredth time) how much I do want to move back to my house in Merchantville, NJ, and well, maybe... But because of the tax structure for retirees in NJ, while I can make it there, money would be very tight. In Wyoming or Washington, more reasonable property and income tax rates will make things much easier.



Edited by - Brunton on 05/07/2017 07:01:40 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

Blazeman
Engine Wiper

Posted - 05/08/2017 :  1:36:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you have the problem with allergies, even zero taxes would not overcome that anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic. As for taxes, Delaware seems to attract many retirees as they have low real estate and no sales tax. Income tax is graduated. PA on the other hand does not tax SS or pensions.


Country: USA | Posts: 110 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 05/09/2017 :  06:30:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Blazeman,
Good point, and that's exactly why I'm not seriously considering anywhere in the northeast at this point.



Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 01/15/2018 :  07:31:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A new year, and retirement is getting close! 73 days from today is my last day of work, and things are STILL up in the air about where I'm going to live.

After my last post in May 2017, I was shocked to discover that an extremely rare event occurred in the NJ legislature - they did something that made sense! They revamped the income tax laws for retirees, making it much less expensive for retirees to live there if their gross income after retirement is under $100k per year. I did some calculations, and discovered that I would save over $400 a month off what I expected to have to pay, if I throttle my 401k withdrawals a bit to stay below that 100k threshold.
OK. GREAT! Now I can go back to New Jersey!


Then the federal tax laws were changed, and now the state and local tax writeoffs there are capped at $10k. My property taxes are more than that (disgusting, isn't it?)! So there goes at least part of that $400 a month state tax savings. Harrumph!!


So the house is still on the market, for a dismally low sum - only about $15k more than we initially paid for it (back in 2003!), meaning all the money for upgrades, the addition, and all the remodeling is just lost. That's well over $150k by itself. Oh well.

I still don't think it will sell even at that price (NJ housing market is dismal), and since I need that much in order to have a sufficient down payment for a decent new house, it will not go lower. So I'm probably going back to NJ. Again.

All that's preamble. I've spent a few months developing the new layout plans for the NJ house. Some of the highlights:

- Like the earlier version it's a double decker, but the upper deck is much more attenuated than the old layout's design.
- When building the short-lived South Carolina layout, I discovered I liked the large Laurel yard I had room for there. I found a way to incorporate a slightly reduced version in my new Cove Road design.
- I dropped the Lusk staging area completely.
- No new Behemoth Helix!
- Several towns along the CB&Q mainline were - very reluctantly - left out of the new design.
- I may actually be able to get this somewhat down-scaled version of the layout to the point of hosting operating sessions before I croak!

So here's the new track plan. Keep these things in mind when viewing:

- NP staging is located under Lander and Lovell. It's not shown for clarity.
- The blue mainline is hidden under Cody on the upper deck, so not shown. It connects from the end of Lovell back to the line just above it in the plan. It's also not shown here.
- Towns are shown only as passing sidings. Industry spurs will be added later.

Lower level:



And the now-smaller upper level:



While there is some detail in the Casper and Laurel yards, I did some additional work detailing out track arrangements, yard structures and such. Here's the current state of both those yards:



And Casper:


Note that Laurel has a coal trestle in it's engine servicing facility, rather than the more common coaling tower. The NP used a lot of coal trestles, and I'm really looking forward to building this one.

You can see the track plans in larger images on my newly-revamped website here: http://thecbandqinwyoming.com/current-modeling/. You may have to scroll down as I add more to the top of the page on occasion.



Edited by - Brunton on 01/15/2018 07:45:27 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 02/18/2018 :  08:12:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
And the Die has finally been cast! It came up ---

NEW JERSEY!
(shoot me, please)

I have taken the house off the market. My retirement date has been adjusted to 1 March, less than two weeks from now.

I will be returning to NJ permanently (at least for now )in early May.

First order of business after getting moved in will be to get a heart arrhythmia (afib) corrected through an ablation.

I'm planning to start on the new layout between June and August, depending on exactly when we make a trip around the US we've been planning (I'm already anticipating the freedom from time constraints that retirement offers).

I'm also looking forward to attending the local NMRA division meets again, and maybe even volunteering to help out a bit.

I feel like I'm coming to the end of very long prison sentence. Look out, New Jersey...

I'm B-a-a-a-c-k! (almost)



Edited by - Brunton on 02/18/2018 08:13:28 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

tloc
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/18/2018 :  08:24:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats Mark on the pending retirement. I have been following your adventures in designing your layout on the other forums you write on. Carry on and have fun!

TomO



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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 02/18/2018 :  09:08:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's good to hear Mark! I'll tell SteamNut to get his tools ready.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13727 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/18/2018 :  09:49:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I guess you're happy it's settled? I would be. I expect to be at the September 2018 NER convention in Mahwah. Perhaps I'll see you.


Country: USA | Posts: 5860 Go to Top of Page

Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 02/20/2018 :  06:34:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys!

Tom, Hopefully in a few months there will be less designing and more construction to report.

Mark, I'm looking forward to reconnecting with the group. If invited, I'll have more time to attend operating sessions and work parties.

jbvb, after I took the house off the market, my stress level dropped significantly. I certainly am happy with that decision (wife isn't so sure).



Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page
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