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Wild Horse Island Railroad

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  • #16
    I've finalized the track plan. Having most of the buildings already built aided in the visualization. The harbor now occupies about 1/3 of the space. Although not evident from the overhead, the buildings serve as view blocks at eye level and there are about 4 different sub-scenes:

    1. The harbor

    2. The container area

    3. The granary/team track (upper right on the overhead)

    4. The town with the lumber yard spur behind

    At the lower right side you can see the a road crossing a single track. I'm in the process of putting together a working crossing signal with flashing lights, sound and moving crossing gates. Waiting for a few more electrical parts.

    One thing I'm trying to accomplish is installation of all wiring before I begin the scenery. I will add signals along with lights to the buildings and harbor and want to complete all of this prior to plaster and ground cover.

    I get enjoyment with the high tech aspects of the hobby and although it's a small harbor and probably doesn't need a signal system I know I'll like having the visual.

    I also have a major project planned of a lift bridge over the harbor entrance that I'd like to make operational. Dreaming about this one and the animation scares me a bit right now. The bridge will be scratch-built and I've never before tackled the mechanics required to make this work.

    In my next post I'll go over my experience as a novice with JMRI. Even someone like me without any knowledge of the program made it work.



    • #17
      That's a great looking wharf scene.


      • #18
        I agree with Frank nice looking wharf!

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


        • #19
          Very nice. Looks like a vibrant community. I like what you’ve done with the original plan.


          Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin


          • #20
            From your original design and photo, I notice you've found room for a few additions to the track plan. It looks vastly improved with movement of the silos. The added tracks and the wharf area fleshed out. Nice!

            (One of the many here named) Dave
            Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


            • #21
              Looking good.

              I think the road shape is a nice leading line into the scene - a nice kind of lazy-S. And then the way it angles to the left running parallel to the inside diagonal track, helps to take the attention away from the tracks running parallel to the front of the layout.

              Looking forward to seeing the rolling lift bridge.

              Cheers, Mark.


              • #22
                Looking good! :up:


                • #23
                  If you need ideas for the bridge, check out the US RT1 Bridge in Mystic Conneticut. Very unique. Never seen it modeled.
                  Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


                  • #24
                    Been waiting for the parts to complete the working crossing gates/lights which has delayed any major progress. In the meantime I've experimented with road construction and have settled on thin foam as the base. Picture below shows the foam and some practice with weathering. I like the texture and overall effect.

                    I'm enjoying the electronic aspects of the hobby, it's something I've not really dealt with before with the exception of basic DCC, engine and switch decoders. I'll confess that the Digitrax advertisement for signals in a recent Model Railroader reeled me in.

                    I've always been amazed with layouts that had working signals and although my theme is a small harbor, I've decided to install a basic signal system.

                    First step after researching was to learn JMRI as all systems seem to require a computer interface. I've never used anything like this before but after some trial error and, a bit of frustration, I've created a track plan with blocks and a signal theme using the software's Panel Pro, been able to interface with my layout and have created working blocks that display occupied track on my computer screen. This also required purchase of block detection hardware and a layout to computer interface unit. I'm using Digiitrax for all components. (Picture 2)

                    I'm enjoying being able to control my turnouts from the computer and seeing the track detection as the train moves around. I've not yet purchased signals or the signal controllers. This isn't an inexpensive venture and need to spread out the purchases.

                    The automated crossing also requires block detection hardware along with the hardware to move the gates. The time and money invested isn't small, but I'm excited about the automation and overall additions.

                    Finally, have put down some of the roads and parking areas using the foam to get a better feel of the overall look and have stared planning the actual scenery in some of the areas.

                    Regarding my goal of having a working lift bridge; David, thanks for the recommendation. I'm looking at the bridge in Galveston, Tx that I get a chance to see during some of my travels down here. If anyone has any ideas of how a lift design I'd appreciate some advice.



                    • #25
                      Chevk out the Ohio St, and Michigan St Lift bridges in Buffalo. The are bith on the Buffalo River, serving access to the grain elevators.
                      Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


                      • #26
                        It takes some motivation for me to do much with electrics and electronics but when I dive in it’s fun, especially learning something new as you are doing.

                        I like the looks of what you’ve done on with both electrons and asphalt.


                        Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. James Baldwin


                        • #27
                          Still waiting for the electronic parts needed to complete my crossing gates. Have to admit it's gotten frustrating as the internet hobby shop I use is usually better with their service.

                          To keep moving forward I've been experimenting with weathering track and more road weathering. I've also added some scenery to a small corner of the layout. Pictures below.


                          • #28
                            Great looking railroad Dave!



                            • #29


                              • #30
                                Still waiting for parts (they're en route and arrive tomorrow!)

                                Some major track changes as I had time to evaluate how the scenes might look after working on scenery in a small section. I realized I could remove some track and not really impact operations.

                                Frank Palmer suggested I make the top runaround shorter. I eliminated it all together and will be able to add more trees in that area hiding the track as it enters the back corner and helping to remove the oval track plan look.

                                Also moved some switches to provide more open space. I'll post the revised track plan next time.

                                For now, I was able to make some headway with some scenery. The track is only temporarily down with no ballast yet. Trees are Scenic Express on top of tree trunks that I collected and painted.