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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 03/03/2021 :  4:35:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Andre, What's your minimum radius? Your layout size is about the size on mine. would sure like to see a track plan so did you get your internet back yet?

Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5826 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/03/2021 :  4:47:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Bob!

Just got it back a few minutes ago. Unfortunately, I've got some stuff I need to do before I can try to post up a pic of the track plan.

Fret thou not, I shall return!

EDIT: It might even be later tonight.

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 03/03/2021 4:47:48 PM

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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/03/2021 :  5:23:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Got a lull before having to leave... so I snapped a pic of the trackplan, resized it/etc, and here goes nuttin'...



This is my "Definite Maybe" trackplan for my Colorado & Pacific idea/theme.

You'll notice the configuration has provision for just relaxed continuous running at 0% gradient. However, the fun will be wrestling the tonnage over Moccasin Pass via the switchbacks using helpers.

I also have a condensed fictional history I've concocted that I hope to copy/paste and share.

All fer now!

Andre



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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/03/2021 :  6:41:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oops.

Bob: I forgot to answer your question about minimum radius...

I think I used 18" in about three or so of the curves that are viewed from the inside. I know the curves into the closet area (right) are 18", so that's two of them right there. I also used a lot of cosmetic flowing curves and S curves strictly for effect, though they did complicate the switch requirements by using several curved switches. However, I think they're worth it.

I realize there's lots of curving going on, tight curves, S-curves, and such, along with those steep grades, but this is, after all, supposed to be toughest cuss portion of the Cajones Brazos Mountains 'ya know!

Andre



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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/03/2021 :  7:06:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gonna' try to get this proofed n' posted before leaving for church... wish me luck!

(NOTE from the author: The only actual railroads in this narative are the Denver & Rio Grande, the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, and the Kansas Pacific. Also note that the Kansas Pacific did NOT build their rails to the fictional town indicated in this narrative. Further, ALL location/features in this narrative are either inspired by feature names the author discovered from studying Colorado maps, or totally concocted by his demented mind.)


THE COLORADO & PACIFIC: "The Colorado Wonder Line"

The late 1870s had rail activity buzzing throughout the front range in Colorado. The stakes were high, and the battles raged as the rails raced westward to reach the gold and silver producing regions to be found througout the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

In the southern portion of Colorado, the Denver & Rio Grande and Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe were locked in a mighty struggle to reach the gold and silver via sole access through the narrow passage known as the Royal Gorge.

Mid-state, the Colorado Central was battling Mother Nature to reach the gold and silver fields in the Blackhawk, Central City regions, and beyond.

All of the above were employing the "narrow gauge" (3' gauge) concept in order to reach the gold and silver.

Into this hotbed of activity, a new player quietly entered the picture. Flying in the face of convention, this line was going to boldly attempt to breach the foreboding Cajones Brazos Mountains that lay to the west and reach the silver and gold producing areas therein using, of all things, a standard gauge railroad.

"Insane!", "They's fit fer the loony bin!", and other comments such as that, were heard from the naysayers upon learning the C&P's intention to build into the Cajones Brazos Mountains using standard gauge. However, the founder of the C&P felt that standard gauge would give the C&P a decided edge to the 3' lines by virtue of direct connection with the roads from the east. Furthermore, the Kansas Pacific had taken a great interest in linking up in a friendly manner with the budding C&P.

Thus, serious credulity came to the "absurd" idea of building a standard gauge line into the Cajones Brazos Mountains when the Kansas Pacific begain to lay rails to the proposed junction town of Saguache City.

In the meantime, The C&P's Head Transitman, the notable I.M. Bliend, was already deep within the Cajones Brazos Mountains engaged in the formidable task of plotting a route for the C&P rails.

Upon the arrival of the Kansas Pacific's rai to Saguache City, carloads of construction materials began to flow toward the C&P's material yard. It was now possible for the C&P to start laying rail on the roadbed that had thus far been prepared. Concurrent with rails starting to be laid, an event of huge proportions took place for the C&P and the small (but quickly growing) town of Saguache City: The arrival of the C&P's first engine, a handsome 4-4-0 named "Cajones Brazos". More would follow.

As the 1870s drew to a close, the C&P was heavily engaged in attempting to do what others thought impossible: Build a standard gauge line into the heart of the ruggedly beautiful Cajones Brazos Mountain range. Many were the challenges they were facing, but westward they struggled.

Let's move ahead now to the early 1880s...

The C&P has all but accomplished what they set out to do. They did indeed penetrate the Cajones Brazos Mountains and reached ore-rich nuggets of civilizations such as Silver Springs (in Silver Basin), and the ripest plum to be picked of all, the gold/silver capital of the Cajones Brazos Mountains: Oureka.

Along the way existing mountain settlements in proximity to the rails received rail access. New towns were birthed. In addition to the ore region, the C&P was very fortunate in that they were also able to avail themselves of a nearby region rich with coal via a short branch to Carbon City. However, in order to reach these horns of plenty, the C&P had to surmount some very notable challenges.

So intense is the topography in some places, the crews began to say that the C&P's slogan "The Colorado Wonder Line" is because, in the minds of the crews and the passengers that rode the C&P, "it's a'wonder they made it"!

Given the C&P was the only railroad with the boldness and audacity to tackle such a formidable project, the C&P had the Cajones Brazos region to themselves and the commerce was flowing both westbound and eastbound.

However, all was not rosey on "The Colorado Wonder Line". Given the severity much of the line faced by engaging in an ongoing battle with the Cajones Brazos Mountains, the operating ratio was quite high at times, sometimes to unprofitable levels. Hardest hitting was winter and the awful conditions that could exist in portions of the Cajones Brazos Mountain region. Further, due to the haste in construction, the line had several sections that were very challenging to navigate that were fraught with tight curves and steep grades.

To attempt to alleviate these issues, expenditures were being made to reduce those that could be addressed, which further aggrevated the operating ratio. So, even though the C&P was undertaking betterments and improvments and attempting to address these shortcomings, it takes time, and it can take heavy expenditure. One such location was Moccasin Pass.

At Moccasin Pass, when the rails arrived at Buckhorn (the town on the east side of Moccasin Pass), it was decided that temporary switchbacks were to be constructed in order to continue westward rail progress as as the Moccasin Pass Tunnel was bored, which would begin to be bored once the tunnel crews were finished with the other tunnels being bored. Unfortunately, boring the other tunnels and such took longer than the C&P anticipated, and to exacerbate the issue, Moccasin Pass Tunnel was found to have rock work and conditions that were very obstinate and certainly did not favor acceptable progress. Some weeks progress inside Moccasin Pass Tunnel is measure in inches, WHEN the tunnel crew isn't required to go attend to issues in one of the other numerous bores on the C&P.

This means that in order for trains traveling either direction to surmount Moccasin Pass, they must traverse the Switchbacks which stand between the mountain towns of Buckhorn and Avalanche.

The Switchbacks consist of back-breaking grades ranging from 5% - 5.2%. At times two engines can only get a handful of cars per trip up and over Moccasin Pass. This results in the Switchbacks at Moccasin Pass being the worst bottle neck for the entire C&P. Given the ordeal it is to get a train over the Switchbacks (doubling is typicial and tripling is not uncommon), the Switchbacks have a propensity to cause trains to back up as they wait to get shoved over the Pass in sections. Helpers out of Buckhorn are on duty 24 hours per day to keep the traffic flowing between Buckhorn and Avalanche.

Though the C&P ships untold wealth over their rails, it takes pesos out of the C&P's pockets to transport that wealth with a notable portion of those pesos being consumed by The Switchbacks over Moccasin Pass. That will eventually change with the completion of Moccasin Pass Tunnel, but for now, trains have to stop, hunker down, and shove the tonnage over the top in however many shoves it takes.

But that's railroadin' on the Colorado Wonder Line! So it comes as no surprise the crews say the C&P is the "Wonder Line" because, "it's a wonder they made it!"





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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 03/03/2021 :  7:27:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After all that, how could you not build the C&P?




Edited by - Michael Hohn on 03/03/2021 7:33:59 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 7497 Go to Top of Page

railman28
Fireman



Posted - 03/03/2021 :  7:38:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the track plan. I like the story. It cries to be built.
Enjoy church!


Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5826 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/04/2021 :  12:30:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike:

This situation is the best situation I've ever had in order to have my cake and eat it too. That is, to have both diesels and TOC19. Plus, the basic benchwork already exists. I will only need to refurbish the backdrop seams and repaint the basic blue and it will be ready for its next step (scenes) when that time comes.

As a side benefit, the smaller room caters nicely to the "small" to "tiny" trains of my chosen era.

I can tell by how excited I am at this prospect that TOC19 was far from dead in me. It was only laying dormant for a spell as it has done so many times over the decades since I was bitten by the TOC19 bug. The urge to model it ALWAYS revives. BUT, as I mentioned, this is the first time I have a viable option to indulge in it.

Bob:

Thanks! Glad you found some interest in my humble track plan and some entertainment in my yarn!

I agree: This one needs to be built.

All:

Switching considerations:

Already had an idea to improve "Redcloud". As it is, switching either the west (left) end of Redcloud or east (right) end of Buckhorn: If working a long enough cut, the move will encroach into either scene.

I can help that by "mirroring" Redcloud. The west connecting yard tracks become east. That puts the drop down bridge as the switching lead. There is a backdrop at the end of the benchwork at Avalanche, so the drop bridge is not readily seen. This means that any switching at Redcloud should not be visible when working Avalanche nor will Redcloud switching encroach into the Buckhorn scene.

Still have a bit of a encroachment issue switching Buckhorn on off the east end, but it is what it is.

Motive Power:

A question was asked on another forum as to the heaviest power to be used on the C&P. My answer is that the heaviest power on the C&P will be similar to this St. Louis & San Francisco ("Frisco") engine of 1881 vintage:



As you can readily see, modified MDC Old Timer 2-8-0's can make a fine representation of such an engine. Here's another example from the same span of time, this one for the Eureka Springs Rwy, built by Pittsburg in 1882:



Having a realistic possibility (at long last) for an outlet for my TOC19 fetish AND my penchant I have for Colorado 19th century RR-ing is pretty exciting to me.

All fer now!

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 03/04/2021 09:40:43 AM

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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 03/04/2021 :  01:00:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andre, to get that low rider, husky look you have to drop the boiler of the MDC engine. while that is easy enough to do by cutting down the cylinder yoke and enlarging the mounting hole on the bottom of the cab it leaves less room for the motor. Of course you could just use a
AHM Reno Boiler (you still need to modify the cylinder yoke), add a bunch of weight and keep the original motor.

just some thoughts

Bob


It's only make-believe

Country: USA | Posts: 5826 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/04/2021 :  01:14:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Bob!

So glad you're active here again. Great timing, for as you can see, I have reactivated too!

Lowering MDC Boilers:

Yup. Easy-peasy. Very little fuss. Here's an engine I built decades ago when I was still "finding myself" in early steam in which I dropped the boiler by quite a bit. This started out as an MDC OT 2-8-0:



BTW, the above engine has a Sagami 16x30mm crammed into, also! Very smooth running.

I love tinkering with steam in such a fashion: Mixin' matchin', modifyin'.

Boy, sure is good to be online again. iPhones suck at doing the internet.

Gotta' hit the sack. All fer tonight!

Andre




Edited by - OK Hogger on 03/04/2021 01:19:01 AM

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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/04/2021 :  09:46:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a pic of my set up for testing tonnage on grades.




You're looking at 5.2% on the incline.

The 4-4-0 pulls a "typical" train length for the C&P layout: 4'. The tail tracks on the switchbacks are 4', and with the exception of the pass track at Avalanche (4'), the other pass tracks are longer, closer to 5'.


All fer now!

Andre



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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 03/04/2021 :  10:17:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

I like those photos of prototype locomotives, especially the first one. And that’s an impressive conversion you did. I like it very much although perhaps a little “modern.”

Your track plan looks doable. Especially since the switchbacks are not excessively long relative to train length. Testing beforehand is wise.

Does the benchwork exist already or do you have to start from scratch?

Mike



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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/04/2021 :  11:09:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mike!

Pictured Locomotives:

Yes, I too, really like the pictured 2-8-0's. The "look" of the Frisco's #68 would be more readily achieved using an MDC OT 2-8-0 on account of the drivers being very close to the same. The ES Rwy's Pittsburg 2-8-0 #1 used 44" drivers, so there's no easy way to get that squattier "look" it has in comparison to the Frisco's #68. I do like the "overgrown narrow gauge" (low slung) look of ES Rwy's #1, though!


My Black Mountain & Northern 2-6-2:

As I mentioned above, when I created/built that engine (back in mid-1980s), I was still "finding myself" in steam. At the time I was aiming at the teens. By the early-1990s or so, I had retreated into the 19th century with my TOC19 preferences, which has remained a constant since then. FWIW: BM&N #3 is now in pieces and some of the parts will likely get recycled into my 19th century creations. (Like the mechanism, cab, etc.)


Track Plan:

I agree that the track plan looks like it will work. I'm quite excited about its potential.


Weight/Grade Tests:

Testing was essential. I'm glad there weren't any nasty "surprises" that arose. In fact, there's room for added weight in some of the cars. On such grades, a stout 2-8-0 of the time (i.e. Frisco's #68) would only be good for about 3 (maybe 4) loaded cars on such a grade as found on my switchbacks. (My figures were taken directly from the NP's Stampede Pass switchbacks, which ranged from 5% to 5.6% as I recall.)

My grade/weight tests did indicate one surprise: The Mantua line of short old time cars are the heaviest in the fleet! Their gons came in at 2.3 - 2.4 oz (66-67g) and their boxcars came in at a whopping 2.6 oz (75g)! By comparison, B-mann 34' boxcars comes in at 1.8-2.0 oz(52-56g). Mehano cattle cars compare favorably with B-mann boxes at 1.8 - 2.0 oz (52/56g). Some of my other conversions are lighter by a few tenths of an oz or a few grams, but that's desirable.

I immediately set about adjusting the weights (with a hacksaw!) downward on my Mantua gondolas so the empties were much lighter. My modified Mantua gons now weigh in the 1.3 - 1.5 oz range. I will be aiming for cars to represent cars w/ladings to be heavier (2.6 oz range), and ideally about 3 loaded cars will max out my biggest engines. (MDC-based 2-8-0's.) I will be using weighted drop in-loads to get that in my Mantua and AHM/B-mann gons up to weight when "loaded". That way, empty open top cars (gons/flats) will weigh much less than loaded open top cars, as it should be. This layout will be all about getting tonnage over the divide, and I want to do a good job reflecting that. (Hence the weight tests.)


Benchwork:

Yes, the basic benchwork exists w/slab Homasote installed. Plus, I still have the needed parts for the hinged drop-down bridge across the entry way. I am debating removing the current Homasote and starting with fresh Homasote (I have a full 4'x8' sheet on hand as well as a ready supply at Fort Smith, AR). OR, I'll simply trace out the track lines on the existing Homasote, and reuse IF I can successfully get the current Homasote removed from the plywood sub-bed without damage. Either way, I will install cookie cutter plywood (with risers underneath) to add the elevated sub-bed followed by the Homasote roadbed.

In all, this is very "doable". As I've also said: This is the most realistic shot I've had to date in order to have a TOC19 layout and a diesel layout. The two are simply not mutually compatible on the same layout.

All fer now!

Andre



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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/04/2021 :  3:41:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm in a mood to talk TOC19... so pull up a chair...

Structures:

Took an inventory of where I'm at with structures appropriate for early 1880s Colorado. Good news, and bad news.

The Good News...

I have a lot of structures on hand! I have Kibri sets 8501, 8502, 8504, 8505, and 8506 on hand. That's 15 town structures right there! In addition, I also have the Bachmann Old West set and I have a NIB AHM/Life-Like single stall wooden engine house. I also have a selection of water tanks on hand.

The Bad News...

Not any, really, other than needing to start learning about what kind of mining buildings are available (three mine locations are designed into the layout track plan), and other tidbits.

Observations:

I realize when I've mentioned the Kibri Old West sets in my past comments, I received some "poo-pooing" about their use. That is justified.

Straight from the box they are pretty crude and have shiny circus colors. HOWEVER, in spite of the crudeness of some details, once dull coated and weathered they start looking pretty good.

To wit these pics of the 8504 and 8506 sets with nothing more than dull coating and light weathering...





Starting to look acceptable to my eyes! I think by addressing the crude, thick, casting parts (such as post supports/etc) and totally repainted and appropriately weathered, perhaps new signage as well, they can look pretty stinkin' good. AND, I got them on the cheap. (No longer possible. They seem to go for big bucks now.)


Stations:

Kicking around ideas for stations. I sure like that last station that Bob built... but it's a laser cut wood kit. (Think: Time consuming and you need good work working skill sets.)

I'm pretty sure I want a log cabin structure for the small telegraph station up at Moccasin Pass. My eBay searches produced these examples:

A 3D printed cabin...



A laser kit...



The laser kit represents squared timbers. I think I would prefer more rustic "log" type.

Lastly, a B-mann plastic kit that could be used...



So, some more deliberation on the above log cabin options.

I'm still pondering my other three locations that will need small stations. Wouldn't mind the Avalanche depot looking like the DSP&P's Hortense/Mt. Princeton station, but I think the remaining two (Buckhorn and Redcloud) need to be a bit more substantial.

Well... I need to stop flappin' my chops 'n go modify Redcloud's track arrangement.

All fer now!

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 03/04/2021 3:42:45 PM

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OK Hogger
Fireman

Posted - 03/05/2021 :  1:27:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ha! I done blowed y'all out of the water with all my endless ratchet-jawing!

Ah well... I is what I is. (Excitable and enthusiastic when pumped about a project/idea.)

Piddly Progress:

* Got Redcloud revised. Looks mo'bettuh.

* Also spending a bit of my TOC19 time taking inventory of what locomotive projects I have on hand so I can determine which would be my best (fastest) way to get some more DCC/Sound equipped and assembled for service. Likely be MDC-based for starters.

All fer now!

erdnA




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