Monthly Archives: March 2014

Alberta & Columbia v.1

As suggested last time, here is the very first design I drew for the A&C. There is a single change in the room shape from the time this plan was drawn, that being the 45 degree angle near the entrance door has been changed to a straight 90, as we’ll see down the road in subsequent plans. Of course, the renos to create this space are still some time off, so all of these plans are speculative in nature at this point. The drawing of the room I posted early in the history of this blog can be found here. It accurately reflects the planned railroad space. My basic idea is to figure out what I can fit into the space, and over time refine the plan until I’m confident that the design I have is the best I can do.

There are a few other changes in the requirements for the space since this plan was drawn. I had planned to fit both the second fridge, and deep freeze into the layout room. That restricted me to a single level, eye level plan. Since then I convinced my wife that the laundry room was a much better spot for them, and it also saves her having to trek in and out of the railroad room on a semi-regular basis. The plan is still to have a futon stashed under the layout somewhere, which won’t be a big deal as it also gives operators a chance to sit down in between runs.

Speaking of this plan in particular, I can say that I hate duckunders. Even though the bottom of the layout would have been at 60″ off the floor, I can still foresee a few bumps on the old noggin getting in and out of the room. Not only that, due to the configuration of the mainline, the duckunder would have to be traversed regularly in the course of an operating session. For this design, I wasn’t keen on using any turnback loops, as it would have made it too difficult to fit anything extra (the non-railroad stuff) into the room. The compromise I made was to include a duckunder in the plan. Overall, I was quite satisfied with the rest of the plan, save a couple minor points that I’ll cover as we do a tour.a-and-c-v1

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Switcher powered passengers pt 2

I’ve finally got a chance for a followup post to last time. We’ll carry on this time with our passenger train which, at last sight, was making its station stop at Commerce. The next shot is taken over the ridge at the back of the room, as our train drops down the grade along a river.psgr-bridge

After that the train makes its way to Larkhall, pausing at the station.20140123_171924

The next shot doesn’t actually have the train in it, but I have a soft spot for grain elevators and this backlit (due to the spotlights being on) shot caught my eye after the fact.20140123_172042

After turning behind the scenes, we catch the train back on one of the larger grades on the layout. In the background is an old ore mine formerly served by a small narrow gauge system. That portion has since been replaced by a branchline from Larkhall up to a gas plant.20140123_172517

Once I finished the painting on the other two cars (as mentioned in the last post), I added them back into the train late in the trip. Here are a pair of shots of the now 6 car passenger train, passing the station at Bain.20140127_103426


That’s all for this trip around the layout! Next time I think we’ll take a look at my first design for the basement space, and I have many more photos to post as well. Til then, take care!

Switcher powered passengers pt 1

It’s a standby night here in Edson, as we don’t have to go out to work this particular night shift. It sucks, but so be it! If nothing else, it gives me a chance to make a post here. I’ve got a few shots this time of a passenger train, behind my Proto 2000 0-6-0. It’s a great little switcher, but becomes quite limited in terms of tonnage when you get it on a grade. In the yard though, she’s a beast. I installed a decoder, and as the original bulbs were only rated at 1.5v, I replaced them with LEDs in both the headlight and backup light. As you’ll see they are a bit too bright right now, but I’ll get that corrected eventually.

We start in the typical area, the main yard at Alderson.20140123_165704

Carrying on down the line we roll over a rare grade crossing where the line to the industrial district of Armelgra branches off. Please excuse the controllers visible in the background!20140123_165919

Around the bend is the section again with the large bridges, a chance for a nice low-angle view.20140123_170144

Continue reading Switcher powered passengers pt 1

My ultimate 12×24 plan

It’s been a good days off, but busy as evidenced by the lack of posts in the last couple weeks. I’m headed back to work tonight, and figured I better get another post up before then as I have even less time available when at work! I completed 2 Tichy kits this days off, and got another ready for paint next set of days off. I will share some photos one of these days, but for today, let’s look at what I consider to be the pinnacle of my 12×24 layout designs. I have one more to share yet, but this one is the better of the two.

By the time I drew this plan, I was really starting to refine my interests into the steam era. The note at the top of the page indicates it was drawn, start to finish, from April 29, 2001 to May 10, 2001. I called this one the “Arrow Canyon Railway” Where most of my previous plans had been built around SD40-2s and 15 car trains, this one is designed for Mikados and Consolidations on freight, pulling 8 car (plus caboose) trains. Design lengths for freights top out at about 5’6″, while passenger trains behind a Pacific were intended to be up to 6’4″ (6 cars) I also made a conscious effort to minimize the yard in this design, as yards are huge space hogs which add some operation but at a cost of space. Due to squeezing center peninsulas into the 12′ wide space, aisles are a bit tight all around, 24″ for the most part. Let’s take a look, then a tour.


Continue reading My ultimate 12×24 plan