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northern6400
Fireman

Canada
3440 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2010 :  12:22:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great building and great interior. Very nice details.

Chuck Faist
Burlington, Ontario
Enjoy yourself it is later than you think!
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maandg
Engine Wiper

437 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2010 :  10:02:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit maandg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy

Cliff, outstanding modeling! You have very much replicated the original structure.

Question: The outside stairs - did you scratchbuild them, or are they part of a kit?

Question #2, since I'm asking - have you ever been up this way, to visit Dr. Muff?



Thanks, Al! The handrail and tread assemblies of the stairs were laser cut in styrene. For the steps themselves, I used a staircase from a Walthers kit to go between the laser cut treads. I cut the two landings from styrene myself.

No, I have never been up to see Dr. Muff. But I would LOVE to see his layout. He has built a scale model of the Kansas City Union Station that is absolutely unreal. It makes my NOUPT look like a cereal box! He spent nearly 7 years on it and it is the finest example of scale reproduction I have ever seen. Not to mention he has the cab of an actual F-Unit in his basement painted in KCS colors. He has been so generous with his time and talents. I would love to meet him in person some day.

Thanks for your inquiries!

Cliff Powers
The Mississippi Alabama & Gulf
Please visit my layout website at
www.magnoliaroute.com
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maandg
Engine Wiper

437 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2010 :  10:23:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit maandg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by akimmons

This should be a fun thread to follow. Sounds like you have lots of structures to build. Do you have an overall view or trackplan of the facility so we can visualize where everything will go?




Thanks, Arnold! After reading your post, I started updating my last track plan, which is the one currently on my website. However, that track plan was drawn prior to actually laying track on the third level, and some changes were made. As a result, the track plan is not entirely accurate. In some cases, the discrepancies are considerable.

Your question prompted me to go ahead and correct the revisions which I should have done by this weekend. I will post this along with some photo references so that everyone can better interpret how everything fits together. Thanks for inspiring me to make this long-overdue correction!

Cliff Powers
The Mississippi Alabama & Gulf
Please visit my layout website at
www.magnoliaroute.com
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maandg
Engine Wiper

437 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2010 :  11:01:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit maandg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Many thanks Louis, Joe, Mike, Pete, Frederic, Andy, MikeC, Mark, and Chuck! (Whew!) I appreciate not only the kind comments about the modeling itself, but also your support of me posting my work in this thread. Many of you were close followers of the NOUPT project, so I am thrilled to see you join me on this new endeavor!!

I have some major news to share...I will be gutting the interior of the tower this weekend. Before you send the men in white coats to visit me, let me explain.

First, I received an email today from Andy Sperandeo after I had sent him photos of the tower. He responded, "That’s a pretty good model of the Clara Street Tower, but the “Armstrong” interlocking inside is incorrect. Built along with the station, Clara Street had an electric (relay) interlocking. It was an “NX” or “entrance-exit” machine that controlled signals and turnouts out to Carrolton station and the south tail of the wye. The machine was positioned so that the operator had his back to the windows when facing the panel".

I also received a similar e-mail from a gentleman from New Orleans named Todd Stennis. He is the “Director of Government Affairs-South” for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. His office is located in the NOUPT. He had e-mailed me last year expressing an interest in having my model on display for the National Train Day event at NOUPT. Of course this was not possible, but I would have loved to have seen it on display in the real thing! I had sent him photos of my tower as well.

He not only verified Andy's information, but also sent this photo of a towerman at the Interlocking machine.



But wait, it gets better. Todd sent me his phone number and, after I called him, he put me on the phone with the last person to work in the tower (it is no longer used for that purpose). The employee gave me detailed information on the interior including the location of a small bathroom (the doorway behind the panel in the photo), the correct flooring (brown and tan 12" tile), the wall color, the specifics of the cabinet, and about 15 minutes of personal remembrances and anecdotes. It was invaluable information. He's even going so far as to draw out the floor plan for me!

Todd has also graciously offered to give me a full behind the scenes tour of the entire terminal, including the coach yard, Pullman and diesel shop facilities. I can't wait to set this up and take about 500 photos!!!

Needless to say, my newly built Armstrong levers will be coming out along with most of the furniture. This is what I love about historical modeling, though...it's like a magical time machine into the past. I'll be sure and post my revised tower interior when I finish.

Thank goodness I saved that FSM toilet!





Cliff Powers
The Mississippi Alabama & Gulf
Please visit my layout website at
www.magnoliaroute.com
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cofg25
New Hire

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  2:37:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cliff,
I look forward to seeing you re-do the interior in your quest for historical accuaracy. Getting history from someone that work in the tower along with your future tour is great. You might want to get another flash card for your camera in case you take more then just 500 pics.

After looking at the photo I thought I had seen a similar one earlier in the day, gathering more info on the NOPB. The October 2005 CTC Board Railroads Illustrated was a special issue on "Railroadin' New Orleans Style"-it was a post Katrina special. There is an article by Seth Bramson titled "James La Vake's New Orleans, 1954" that is about the newly opened NOUPT.

Mike Hobbs
Bakersfield, CA
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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman

USA
4389 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  4:34:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by maandg

quote:
Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy

Cliff, outstanding modeling! You have very much replicated the original structure.

Question: The outside stairs - did you scratchbuild them, or are they part of a kit?

Question #2, since I'm asking - have you ever been up this way, to visit Dr. Muff?



Thanks, Al! The handrail and tread assemblies of the stairs were laser cut in styrene. For the steps themselves, I used a staircase from a Walthers kit to go between the laser cut treads. I cut the two landings from styrene myself.

No, I have never been up to see Dr. Muff. But I would LOVE to see his layout. He has built a scale model of the Kansas City Union Station that is absolutely unreal. It makes my NOUPT look like a cereal box! He spent nearly 7 years on it and it is the finest example of scale reproduction I have ever seen. Not to mention he has the cab of an actual F-Unit in his basement painted in KCS colors. He has been so generous with his time and talents. I would love to meet him in person some day.

Thanks for your inquiries!



Cliff, I've been to Dr. Muff's house three times (I live near Seattle) and I really encourage you to make a trip up here to visit Dr. Muff. He is a most gracious host, and to get you two together would be really special. BTW, he also has a mockup of a Pullman passenger car, complete with a berthing compartment, washroom, and dining table, that you go through when you enter his train room. It is really amazing!
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maandg
Engine Wiper

437 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  5:00:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit maandg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy

Cliff, I've been to Dr. Muff's house three times (I live near Seattle) and I really encourage you to make a trip up here to visit Dr. Muff. He is a most gracious host, and to get you two together would be really special. BTW, he also has a mockup of a Pullman passenger car, complete with a berthing compartment, washroom, and dining table, that you go through when you enter his train room. It is really amazing!



Thanks for the invite, Al! I would enjoy meeting both of you in person. Nick's layout was featured in MR sometime in the 90's, but I can't recall the issue. I remember that there was a photo of the full-size Pullman car, plus one of a mural of the Union Station interior on the wall. It must be breath-taking in person. Thanks again!

Cliff Powers
The Mississippi Alabama & Gulf
Please visit my layout website at
www.magnoliaroute.com
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maandg
Engine Wiper

437 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  5:06:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit maandg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cofg25


The October 2005 CTC Board Railroads Illustrated was a special issue on "Railroadin' New Orleans Style"-it was a post Katrina special. There is an article by Seth Bramson titled "James La Vake's New Orleans, 1954" that is about the newly opened NOUPT.




Thanks Mike.

That is the exact photo and issue of CTC Board that he sent. In fact, he scanned all of the photos from that article. The numerous ones taken of the coach yard will be particularly helpful. Incidentally, I have been searching for that back issue for a long time, but have never found one. If anybody has one to sell, I would be most interested.

BTW, I think the NOPB would be a great prototype to model. The waterfront alone would make an awesome layout theme. I'll be interested to hear how your plans materialize!

Thanks again!

Cliff Powers
The Mississippi Alabama & Gulf
Please visit my layout website at
www.magnoliaroute.com
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Bbags
Administrator

USA
13132 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  6:20:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cliff,
Again amazing work and your attention to detailing things as they actually were found in real life is also above and beyond what most modelers do with their layout.

It may be just a coincidence but I was reading through some of my old Model Railroader copies and there is an article about Dr Muff's railroad in the October 1990 issue.
This really is more about the basement where the layout is housed since all that has been constructed at this point is the basic benchwork and some of his old layout that he is incorporating into the new layout.
It does show the Pullman car and the KCS E7 #20 that has been mentioned by others.

I also followed your building of the NOUPT from start to finish and commented occasionally.
I felt that rather than clutter up the thread with my "atta boys" over and over the other members would be much happier if they read your posts.

Again I will be along for the ride on this project.[:-thumbu][:-thumbu]


John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.
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MarkF
Engineer

USA
10379 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2010 :  11:17:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit MarkF's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, this is really getting interesting! Cliff, while I have never attempted a project to the level of detail and accuracy that you are, I have done my share of historical research on the area that I model. I hadn't been into that aspect of the hobby until I began my layout, but found it to be fun and rewarding. Its like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, trying to find the pieces and then figure out how they all go together. For me, it has been a lot of fun.

To have the resources that have surfaced at your disposal is a huge bonus. That one picture you posted of the operator at the panel is great! I can't wait to see your 'revision'. And no, I wouldn't call the white coats for you. I admire your determination to get it right!

Mark

See my homepage at http://home.comcast.net/~prrndiv/
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SteveH
Engine Wiper

Canada
457 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2010 :  6:09:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cliff,

I enjoyed the thread on constructing the NOUPT. The attention to detail was second to none IMO.

I look forward to following this thread and collecting a few tips myself.

Receiving the emails about the Clara Street Tower must have felt like striking the Mother lode of information even if it required rebuilding a completed structure. [:-boggled]
At least the information came to light before all of the supporting facilities were contructed and on the layout.

Am I correct in thinking that the supporting facilities will also be included in the future MRP that you mentioned in a previous thread?
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Peterpools
Engineer

USA
12335 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2010 :  7:14:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Peterpools's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Cliff
An amazing story and a thread of historical importance. I'm counting on you to take the 500 photos and post each and every one. This is the next best thing to being there - an expeience we can all share together.
Peter
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Frederic Testard
Engineer

France
17605 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2010 :  8:03:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The story with Andy Sperandeo and Tod Stennis is really nice, Cliff. It will be very interesting to watch your rebuild of the interior of the tower using this new knowledge.

Frederic Testard
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maandg
Engine Wiper

437 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2010 :  9:48:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit maandg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, the Clara St. Tower renovation project is through. Since the exterior did not change, I will only share photos of the new interior.

The biggest change was building the Interlocking Machine. This was totally scratchbuilt from styrene. I used real schematics of the layout track plan (vs. prototype) printed on copy paper to make the panels. It replaced the brand new Armstrong levers. [:-banghead]



The old wood floor was covered with tile. Again, this was done on the computer, only this time printed on cardstock. The pattern and colors were based on information given to me by the NOUPT tower man I spoke to on the phone. While I had no photos to go by, I think this would pass for the prototype floor.



The paper walls were removed and replaced with ones cut from a Plastruct wood siding sheet. The actual tower had wall paneling with a wainscoting-type pattern. Styrene strips were used for the interior window trim and baseboards.



A bathroom was installed based on additional information given over the phone. Luckily, I had a FSM sink and toilet left from a Schramms kit. The door is a leftover AMB part. Notice the newspapers left on the floor.



On closer inspection, I believe the toilet is just a little TOO prototypical!

I re-used the file cabinet, storage cabinet, clock, calendar and chairs. The standing figure was re-purposed to be opening a window. Apparently there was no A/C in the tower when first built. Having visited N'Awlins in the summer, this must have been miserable, even with all of the windows open.

Here is the new interior with the lights on. I am very glad I took the time to correct my inaccuracies.



Lastly, here are some exterior night shots. I particularly like the look of the Interlocking Machine through the windows.









So what do you guys think? Was the pain worth the gain?

Steve, you are correct that the support facilities will be included in the MRP article. That is one of the deadlines that is pushing me to hurry up and complete this area.

Tomorrow I pick up work on the REA building. This is where I left off in the summer of 2008.







Hope to see you back for the next installment! Thanks to everyone for your encouragement and wonderful feedback!


Cliff Powers
The Mississippi Alabama & Gulf
Please visit my layout website at
www.magnoliaroute.com
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MarkF
Engineer

USA
10379 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2010 :  01:29:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit MarkF's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good grief man! You did all that in 3 days??? What kind of coffee do you drink anyway?

Seriously Cliff, was it worth it? YES! It looks fantastic, and you can rest easy knowing that it is even closer to the prototype, if not dead on. The floor, the walls, the bathroom (and yes, even the toilet), the CTC machine - they are all great. I am so impressed with not only the quality of your work, but the time in which you did it. Well done!

Mark

See my homepage at http://home.comcast.net/~prrndiv/
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