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  • Dolly Varden Mines Ry for Brad

    Some Background on the Layout:

    The number one thing that instantly stands out about the Dolly Varden Mines Ry (DVMR) is its character. I don't think too many railfans could study the line, and not be captivated by its charm and simple "back woods" feel. The one drawback I see about the line is the limited scope of operations in the few years it was in service.

    I think most of us would realize from a modeling perspective that a line can have all the charm in the world, but that doesn't necessarily translate to a model railway that will keep you interested in the long run. Brad is therefore thinking about moving the line forward into the realm of the "what if" world, to try and increase the level of activity on the line.

    Of course many people have taken this approach before and I have also done it on a few model railways that I designed in the past. One thing that both Brad and I agree on is that unless this is done very well, it can have a huge negative impact on the plausibility of layout and can take a huge bite out of the character of the line you're trying to model.

    Brad plans to run the layout alone or with up to four operators. The main crew would consist of a conductor and engineer, while the second crew would consist of the same or a single operator if only three people were available.

    To keep those crews busy for an entire session, we are currently looking at several ways to increase traffic on the line. However, we realize that we must find a way to increase the operations levels of the layout, without losing the character that originally attracted Brad to modeling the line in the first place. So any expansion will be kept within the context and character of the DVMR as it was in the years it operated.

    Currently we are considering these additions to increase the operation potential of the layout (we are also looking for other ideas):

    An added connection to the outside. (This would consist of a few town sidings that trade cars and a passenger run to the outside.)

    Using live loads. (By finding a way to load the ore cars at the tipple and then dump them at the ore bunker similar to what is being done on the Slater Creek Railway being modeled on another thread on this forum. Using live loads will slow the pace down and give the operators more work to do.)

    Adding some logging operations. (After the DVMR was shut down, part of the line was leased by both Granby Logging and FL Housely Logging. These companies used DVMR from 1923-27. I think this has a lot of potential and is a very plausible "what-if" scenario to consider.)

    Opening Wolf Mine. (There is modeling potential in the Wolf Mine site further north up the line which was planned but never reached by the railway.)

    Version #1 (1st Draft)

    Below is the first draft of the plan for Brad's space. I started with a linear design using 18" wide shelves and sincere scenes. I keep the aisles wide at 36", so we have some room to expand scenes, if we need it. I also kept track work to a minimum and gave my suggestions for scenes that Brad should consider including. The design process will take place on this thread and as Brad gives me his feedback, the design will evolve towards the finished plan. I hope you will follow along and offer any suggestions for improvements or ask questions about the design.

    Take care,

    Rob



  • #2
    I'm onboard, let'er rip.
    Frank

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Rob,

      Nice start to the planning. I agree that DVMR if actually modelled as an operating DVMR does have limited operating scope. When you consider the prototype, its sole job was to move ore from the top of the line to the wharf. Nothing too complex about that task, but the scenery and terrain it had to negotiate was amazing. That's why we (myself and John Hunter) modelled it in the first place, because we are into scenes rather than operation, so it suited our modelling angle perfectly. As an exhibition layout with minimal operational needs, it also work very easily, with trains that just shuttled up and down the line, all on an automatic circuit.

      I had considered taking Dolly in as my home layout once we had finished exhibiting her, but did see that it perhaps had that short life span of entertainment. I already knew what the run up and down he hill looked like, so probably would have grown bored with the layout in a permanent setting (hence why planning a different home layout with more operational challenges).

      In your start to the plan, I like the scenes you have chosen to feature along the way. A few of those I would have liked to include in our version, but would have needed to extend the layout by another 20' to make that work (and exceeded the capacity of our transport trailers). The one concern I have with your plan is the current depths allowed for some of those scenes. 18" depth will probably work with some of the scenes, but if possible space wise, I'd be looking to push some of these sections out to more like 30" or more. Spots like the tipple, wharf, and even the Alice Arm township are likely to need more room to create the feel, especially since this is O scale. We compressed our scenes a lot, and some of those felt too tight, and we were working in around 22" depth. The wharf on ours had a separate water module that added another 10" on depth to the front of the scene so we could include a boat and barge (giving the wharf a connection with the water it served).

      Understand this is a very early stage of the planning, so looking forward to seeing how this unfolds.

      Cheers,

      Dan Pickard
      http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:


        Originally posted by danpickard


        Hi Rob,

        Nice start to the planning. I agree that DVMR if actually modelled as an operating DVMR does have limited operating scope. When you consider the prototype, its sole job was to move ore from the top of the line to the wharf. Nothing too complex about that task, but the scenery and terrain it had to negotiate was amazing. That's why we (myself and John Hunter) modelled it in the first place, because we are into scenes rather than operation, so it suited our modelling angle perfectly. As an exhibition layout with minimal operational needs, it also work very easily, with trains that just shuttled up and down the line, all on an automatic circuit.

        I had considered taking Dolly in as my home layout once we had finished exhibiting her, but did see that it perhaps had that short life span of entertainment. I already knew what the run up and down he hill looked like, so probably would have grown bored with the layout in a permanent setting (hence why planning a different home layout with more operational challenges).

        In your start to the plan, I like the scenes you have chosen to feature along the way. A few of those I would have liked to include in our version, but would have needed to extend the layout by another 20' to make that work (and exceeded the capacity of our transport trailers). The one concern I have with your plan is the current depths allowed for some of those scenes. 18" depth will probably work with some of the scenes, but if possible space wise, I'd be looking to push some of these sections out to more like 30" or more. Spots like the tipple, wharf, and even the Alice Arm township are likely to need more room to create the feel, especially since this is O scale. We compressed our scenes a lot, and some of those felt too tight, and we were working in around 22" depth. The wharf on ours had a separate water module that added another 10" on depth to the front of the scene so we could include a boat and barge (giving the wharf a connection with the water it served).

        Understand this is a very early stage of the planning, so looking forward to seeing how this unfolds.

        Cheers,

        Dan Pickard


        Hi Dan,

        Thanks for the detailed response; I really hope that you will keep giving me that kind of much needed feedback. It makes it so much easier to know when you're in on the right track and when we should rethink the design. The scenery on your version was superb and was one of the things that made me realize the line's potential and made me want to explore it further. And when I saw the video, I was sold.

        Since Brad wants to do the design phase on this forum, I purposely avoided asking him too many questions via email, except for the standards stated on the first draft. I actually know very little about what Bard wants to see in the final plan, and he might very well scrap the 18" wide shelves and go in another direction. No doubt you will see many things tried that are just not in Brad's final vision for his layout, but eventually we will get there.

        I do have to ask what you're considering to add to the operational challenges of your home layout? I would also like to know if there are other scenes we should also try to include that you think will have lots of visual impact? I also had asked Brad about how much he knew about the logging operations and he said there was only a bit mentioned in the book, do you have any other details that could help?

        Take care,

        Rob.

        Comment


        • #5
          Rob,

          Great start. Closer to what I was thinking in only a few short emails. Also as discussed during our emails, when someone else gets in and kicks the tires, there can be that "ah ha" moment as paradigms are looked at, broken down, and presented in a different light.

          Below is a plan view of the Dolly Varden ore dock, done to scale, and to Taylor Engineerings original drawings. These were done in Autodesk Inventor. Later today I will be dropping the ore dock into positions as shown on this concept to get a working feel on my end. I will then post images to this thread.

          Rob is working in a track planning software and we were able it send some 2D images of the rooms back and forth to get the process started. I hope as we get further along some of the 3D images can be combined. One thing though, the lounge (man cave) will stay intact. The trains will be shelves, and no more. On the diagonal wall in that room, that shelve will be reduced to 6" or 8" at most to clear the TV and leave access to the A.V. components. The other room and a equipment room are open to any suggestions. Walls can be penetrated, but no knocking down.

          Ore Mine;



          Original concept;


          Essex Northern Railroad ~ “Emperor of the North”

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Brad,

            I tried to address the width issue at Dolly Varden House by moving that shelf to the middle of the room and increasing the width to about 28". I also realigned the high line to get closer to the new track arrangement after the new ore bunker was built. However, that resulted in having to cross the door with the line to Wolf mine and reducing aisle width to 30".

            Crossing the door shouldn't be a major issue since the line would have climbed high enough to make this a nod under, or you could use a removable section. The line could also now be extended as a second deck over the Dolly Varden House peninsula to increase the length of the run and add a few more scenes. As an added bonus, we now have room for some stub ended staging under this shelf if we want to have a live interchange at Alice Arm township.

            I also reduce the shelf in front of the TV down to 8" but that scene shouldn't be affected too much, since I only planned a few crossings of some small creeks. Everything else would be pretty much as it was in version #1, although I didn't put in everything as of yet. I will need some more feedback from you, so I know what direction we should go next.

            Take care,

            Rob.


            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Brad,

              Intersting space you have to play with. Glad to see someone else approaching Dolly Varden as it was, and not just featuring a couple of classic Dolly Varden scenes in a ficticious setting.

              With the "man cave" room, do you have any photos of the existing fittings and features that the model will have to negotiate with? You mention a lot of the benchwork in that room will be restricted to no more than 6-8" wide shelving, which is quite restrictive (especially in On30). Scenes as such would be very minimal, and would suggest either lots of rock wall cuttings or railway supported mainly by scenic backdrop.

              Given this very restrictive setting, maybe a suggestion might be to not actually scenic this narrow section, but do something like a presentation wall. By this, I mean, use this wall as a panel to display the history/story of the line, show the workings and planning of the layout, photo display etc. The track shelf itself could be kept plain black as part of this display space. It would separate the layout into two halves (bottom of the mountain and top of the mountain), but this might be a good thing to help represent some length with the break in the middle. This depends on a) what else is on the walls in this space, and b) it it actually interests you to have this sort of information and background on the layout up for viewing? What would be the intentions for the layout room (ie solo operating, or expecting guests and a number of operators)? Solo operating might not really need this sort of display wall, but if you are expecting guests, then the DVMR story is such and interesting history, that visitors might find plenty of entertainment in a colection of maps, photos, timelines etc. When we displayed our version of DVMR, the history display that was mounted at the end of the layout always had plenty of readers, with many people looking at the prototype photos, and then going bck to compare our versions in model form.

              Cheers,

              Dan Pickard
              http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Rob,

                When I mentioned "more operational challenges", this was in reference to my future home layout, and not associated with anything Dolly Varden. My new layout is based on Victorian (Australia) Narrow Gauge lines, and features a mix of industries along the line (livestock, dairy, timber, potatoes, maybe even a brewery, as well as passenger service). This means there are a few more combinations available in the way of mixed services and switching capabilities, as well as the challenges of restricted yard sizes to deal with.

                Back to DVMR though, and as far as logging operations (and Brad would know this if he has the book), they are only briefly described, so details (aprt from some dates) ae a bit sketchy. The logging side of the line was just a last ditched attempt to maybe salvage a few dollars using the existing infrastructure and some of the locomotive power.

                Cheers,

                Dan Pickard
                http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rob,

                  This is the ore dock dropped as per version 1, and as we discussed the climb to the high line will challenge this location. There would be a need to wrap around into the lounge (man cave) creating two wall penetrations.







                  I moved the ore dock to the other wall and tried a outer loop line that would lower down on its first CW pass to the high line spur. Continuing down another loop to the original wharf spur. This image is of that concept.


                  Essex Northern Railroad ~ “Emperor of the North”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Brad,

                    Which one do you want to see in the plan?

                    Take care,

                    Rob.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dan,

                      Thanks for providing another set of eyes on the new adventures of the Dolly Varden. Having built the model that pushed me into this scale I feel greatly appreciative of your interest. This caused me really take the time to do the research and planning, and hopefully create the correct presentation to pull off a creditable scale representation.

                      You present a interesting option thru the lounge area. As you mentioned this area was to extend the run and catch a scene or two but not push taking too much room up. A challenge to say the least.

                      I am adding the lounge objects into the 3d model and will post along with a few photos of the room.
                      Essex Northern Railroad ~ “Emperor of the North”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rob,

                        Looked at version 2, and blocking the doorway is not a option. Door entering the train room is yet to be hung. It could swing in or out. I am hoping to keep the main room flow like version 1.

                        I was thinking of your thoughts of elevation separation / second deck and was toying with the loops. It keeps the sequence of operations in order, but breaks up the true linear track plan of the original DV. Thoughts??
                        Essex Northern Railroad ~ “Emperor of the North”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:


                          Originally posted by BMW


                          Rob,

                          Looked at version 2, and blocking the doorway is not a option. Door entering the train room is yet to be hung. It could swing in or out. I am hoping to keep the main room flow like version 1.

                          I was thinking of your thoughts of elevation separation / second deck and was toying with the loops. It keeps the sequence of operations in order, but breaks up the true linear track plan of the original DV. Thoughts??


                          If you're going to stay with a 30" minimum radius, any loops are going to eat up a lot of space. A loop will be 5' wide (plus even more width for the bench work) and your space is only 10' wide so that's half the room to make a complete loop. However, it's your call. I will go back to version #1 and keep the doorways clear.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Brad,

                            It probably needs to be asked, but what aspect of the Dolly Varden Mines really captures your modelling interests? The scenery side, or the operation side? Like Rob suggested in the opening of this thread, operating opportunities on a true DVMR will be slightly limiting, but if you have a strong interest in capturing some wonderful scenery in model form (with the train side of it all essentially creating some movement and animation), then you will have great fun with the project. There are enough structural and scenic elements to keep a solo dedicated modeller busy on a project for many years, whilst keeping the track work fairly simple and minimal like the prototype.

                            Your renderings of the ore bunker give a pretty decent perspective of what you will be dealing with. There are a number of key scenes along the DVMR that are the memorable highlights, and important to model if you expect people to enter the layout space and feel they are seeing a good representation of what Dolly Varden was all about. Those being the wharf and ore bunker, plus the highline spur leading up to the bunker, camp 8, and the powerhouse/tipple site. Those locations are the guts of the story. If space permits, then including other features such as some of Alice Arm (hotel, freight house), a variety of bridges, and some of the significant rock cuts, will then serve as additional story tellers to the layout.

                            Given the space you have to play with, adding in some new "what if" operational changes is likely to come at a cost. The cost of course, is scenery space.

                            Cheers,

                            Dan Pickard
                            http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I forgot to add for new viewers these couple of links back to some old threads on my modelling background with Dolly Varden...

                              A construction thread:

                              http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=15424

                              The movie:

                              http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=26299

                              And, the journey:

                              http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=30297

                              Cheers,

                              Dan Pickard
                              http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

                              Comment

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