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 Keeping Track of the Desparado Line
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Author Previous Topic: Maine Highlands Topic Next Topic: DPM Pawn Shop
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Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/22/2017 :  4:28:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For a long time I've been wanting to do a website about my California inspired but none the less fictitious HO scale model railroad. It seems likely that years will go by before I can actually make that happen so I think that I will try to post here now, warts and all.

This current version of the pike has been in existence about a decade though I've had a model railroad in some form or another since the fall of 1987. I've never been a member of a club or attended a convention. I did subscribe to Model Railroader magazne for a couple of decades and read it avidly, especially the annual issues. The pike reflects that.

The moniker "Desparado Line" comes from my pikes initials, the DESPRR. The long name is the Dos Equus Simpatico Pacifico RailRoad reflects my inability to come up with a suitable name so why bother.

Of course I really like the image of the Desparado. Well there are two images. The more common one is that of a sociopath who is "bad to the bone". The other takes a kinder view, that desperate times lead to desperate choices and not always good ones.

For the record despite the endlessly recycled images of "Billy the Kid", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "Bonnie and Clyde", and of course "Jessie James" we are all accountable for our own actions.

Thank you very much for reading this far.
Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154

Philip
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 02/22/2017 :  4:52:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The photo speaks highly of someone who payed attention to details. Very nice union station hub!

Philip



Country: USA | Posts: 2134 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 02/22/2017 :  5:51:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Aran, your picture is a teaser. If the rest of the layout looks as good as what you have posted, we want to see more.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 13798 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Fireman



Posted - 02/22/2017 :  6:52:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah ha..Dos Equis, muy bien


Country: USA | Posts: 8546 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/23/2017 :  03:39:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yikes! I misspelled "Equis". I asked for a bottle at a local restaurant and could only get "Corona". The low resolution of the photo does a great job of concealing the many flaws of the actual thing.

For fun I'll try to describe everything in the photo. The station is by Walthers. It is painted but I've yet to install the gazing or skylights (Its only been about 8 years). Its elevated on a foundation made from styrene. The roadway in front is from Rix. The butterfly platforms in front were made from Suydam kits that I found last year on Ebay. I did have the Walthers versions but they just seemed to wimpy so I studied pictures of the F&SM and worked out that George Sellios used the Suydam ones. There about a hundred people on the two platforms

The small shed is from A&M. The two electrical boxes are from AHM. The signal tower from Atlas. A higher res picture would reveal that the door fell out. The track in the picture is all Atlas code 83 flex track with Atlas code 83 number six turnouts. A Proto 2000 PA-PB in Daylight colors pulls a consist of Rivarossi smoothsides. The Union Pacific E6A&B is also from Proto 2000 with more Rivarossi smoothsides.

The warehouse next to the station was cobbled together from some DPM modular components. I hacked apart something I had previously built and recycled it into this. Next to it i stacked the walls of a Walthers REA building. The third building is also from Walthers. Next is a DPM MT Arms Hotel (still no window glass after 20 years), a City Classics Iron Front building (The printed acetate window sheet on this one yellowed out. And on the corner the fabulous Bachmann Trade Tower. The hipped roof structure is a Model Power hospital and the tower has a Walthers brewery under it.

The Heljan Courthouse is the seed that grew into the cityscape. Here its seen from the rear. Please note the second story door that allows for quick access to the ground. The lovely wrought iron fence is from Noch. The edge of a City Classics Tile Front building is just seen on the right.

In the distance I can make out an IHC engine house (with the roof still loose after 25 years and behind my Heljan roundhouse. And finally in the far far corner about sixteen feet from the camera there is a scratch built old timey general store/ hotel chopped into the hillside.

The layout seems visually complete and shouldn't look a whole lot different as I move forward with it. I'll continue to grind away at the loose ends. Posting pictures helps a lot with this. Thanks to all for your interest.


Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 02/23/2017 :  08:56:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Aran very nice.

Just keep us informed always great to have a new thread to follow.


Jerry

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 9317 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/23/2017 :  10:45:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a view looking east (right) from the rear of the courthouse.

Two more Bachmann City Scenes stuctures, a City Classics Tile Front building, A much worked over Walthers Flour mill, Printing building, crane and Allied Rail Rebuilders. The white building on top of the tunnel is from a FSM Roadside Delights kit. In the distance is the Western Town of Boomer Flats.


The Bay Port main panel. All of the turnouts are thrown with Circuitron Tortoises. These are controlled by DPST rocker switches that feed power through a pair of LED's mounted on the track plan schematic, The LED's indicate the position of the turnout. Its a simple matter to follow a route along with a finger to see that all of the LED's along it are lit. SPST (on/off) rocker switches on the left side control power to the station tracks.

DPDT center off rocker switches on the right side feed power to the six electrical blocks.
I'm using an old first edition MRC Prodigy DCC with three throttles and I still find it useful to have the layout divided into electrical blocks.


Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/25/2017 :  5:20:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay. I admit it. Really what I have is a glorified trainset. What I mean is that although I aspire to the "Holy Grail of Model Railroading", that is conducting realistic operating sessions all that I really manage to do is watch my trains go around in circles. They do this three at a time on a roughly U-shaped folded dog-bone. Usually in the morning when I enjoy a cup of coffee I'll set up three trains with respectable distances in between and just watch them cycle through the curves, tangents, tunnels and bridges. Its not and unpleasant thing to do.

When I was planning this layout I set a goal of having fifteen trains in operation. There are twelve staging tracks and the layout can easily accommodate five or six trains on the visible portion. I've actually been able to work 15 trains into my scenario.

These are Proto 2000 Black Widow Cadillacs. I keep them in permanent lash-up because I've removed the motor from one to make it easy to install a decoder, speaker and current keeper. It can handle twelve cars and a caboose on my steepist grade and that works for me.

This sound equipped Western Pacific Mike from Broadway Limited is my most recent acquisition. It came with the front bell detached, sounds great and runs very smoothly. I need to find a way of installing a current keeper because there's one place where it always stalls out.

This Proto 2000 E6A and B pulls a consist of Rivarossi smooth sides. Same format one powered, one dummy. Decoder, speaker and current keeper in the dummy. Can handle the seven car consist up the steepist grade.

The layouts predecessor looked okay with 72 ft passenger cars. This one didn't so I did the switch. Rivarossi cars are cheap and plentiful on Ebay - mine averaged about $10USD apiece. The UP cars came in at least three versions of Armour yellow, a greeny- yellow version imported by Model Expo, a slightly burnt orange version that came with Euro style couplers and warm yellow version that matches the yellow of the older Proto 2000 locomotives that I use. They came with a mix of grey and silver trucks and a large variety of wheel sets. Some have interiors, some don't, forget about diaphragms.

Some came with Kadee 508 couplers installed. These work quite well. On my roundtoit list is installing Kadee 451 on the head end cars to get closer coupling. I tried 505's and cars seem a little gappy.


Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 02/26/2017 :  08:38:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for posting more pictures of your layout Aran. Those last three pictures show some nicely done scenery.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 13798 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/26/2017 :  4:25:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your comment, George. The Layout is more or less finished though the loose ends are endless. Hope is that by posting here I may find the inspiration to keep chewing through them.

A pair of Geeps in Western Pacific livery. Same format one powered one dummy with the electronics.


An Athearn Genesis Mikado with a Roundhouse tender shell. A project. Please notice the lack of handrails on the mike. I've definitely got a love/hate relationship with this one. In DC it ran silky smooth but after installing a Tsunami I got that annoying start/reset/start/ reset thing going so I set it aside. To get a SP look I added a Bachmann "Hicken" (Looks like Vanderbilt to me) tender but it was way too large. Later I found this tender as an unfinished shell for which I had to make an underframe. A current keeper has it running smoothly again and maybe the stars will align some day and I'll get it at least minimally detailed.

Athearn Genesis F3A&B pulling a consist of Walthers Superchief cars (first run - painted not plated). I don't know where one of the horns went and now the etched grills on the B unit are delaminating. Still though its very smooth and only one of the eight cars has tracking issues so I just pull seven. Apparently the screws that hold on the side frames of the trucks are used as contact studs for car lighting and on some cars rub when they shouldn't. Jeepers! Model Railroading is a lot of fun but a lot of work too.


Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/26/2017 :  10:10:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

More of the same Proto 2000 Geeps. About 15 years ago I bought two of each in UP,SP,WP and ATSF. These are the ones with the infamous "cracked gear" problem because the Chinese manufacturer used too much recycled material in the plastic mix. I found out about it at little too late to get free replacements from Walthers. The cost to replace the wheel sets wasn't that much anyway and they are still very nicely detailed fine running locomotives.

Can you tell that I'm still a little ticked at Walthers? I haven't given them much money in the ten years since their service rep more or less told me to stick it. It must be tough for Walthers caught between an aging fuss budget customer base with way more stuff than they will ever be able to fully utilize and ever increasing labor costs in China.



An Athearn Genesis Mountain, very smooth runner especially since I was able to add a current keeper to the factory installed Soundtraxx decoder. A little too quiet though for the hard of hearing. I think I need a better camera.



More Proto 2000 Cadillacs, this time in Tiger Stripe (my favorite) same program. I've got it pulling an express of Overnight box cars. My preference is for the Athearn Ready-to-Roll ones. All I have to do is change out the couplers to Kadee Whiskers. The Atlas kits are also nice. I generally like Accurail rolling stock but still am a little disappointed in the non-silvery paint they chose for their cars. I'm gradually replacing the old Bluebox and Roundhouse kit builds. Train length maxes out at about fourteen 40' cars.

I might as well gripe some more about Walthers. I used to be able to run double stacks before I got around to installing the through truss bridge that is showing on the right. Turns out that there isn't enough clearance. It's true that I have more than enough to do with getting my fifties equipment in good order and it all passes through the bridge easily. Its just that once in a while I like to see some SD40-T's in action especially pulling double stacks with APL containers and I can't do it without giving Walthers some more money for a "modernized" version of this bridge.


Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

CavalryTrooper25
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/27/2017 :  12:26:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Looks like a good start, keep up your effort, and keep us all posted!

Horse




Country: | Posts: 449 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/27/2017 :  2:17:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A couple of weeks ago I sprayed and ballasted some track. It was easier to lift out my structures than to work around them. Pleasant pile don't you think?


Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 02/27/2017 :  3:05:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, a very pleasant pile,
Is the top, left warehouse scratch built or a kit?


It's Only Make Believe

Bob Harris

Country: USA | Posts: 4215 Go to Top of Page

Bindlestiff
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/27/2017 :  3:49:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Its a scratch built reimagining of the FSM Schram's. I bought the kit and still have it in fact unstarted but I wanted something a little larger. A couple years ago I posted a couple of pictures of it on the Chambers forum under a title "Assorted builds and works in progress"

Aran Sendan

Country: USA | Posts: 154 Go to Top of Page

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/27/2017 :  8:56:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Aran, Yes, there is always loose ends'. Yes it is also a lot of work'. And YES, you have
a wonderful well stocked and diverse layout'..so treat yourself to the Walters bridge you need to run those specials'. it will make you and us members happy'...



Ted

Country: USA | Posts: 4523 Go to Top of Page
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