Monthly Archives: October 2014

Alberta & Columbia v4

This time around we’re going to jump ahead to version 4 of a track plan for the future space in my basement. I have a post on multiple bits and pieces, some of which were drawn between versions three and four, but that will come at a later date.

I titled this plan “Keeping It Simple” It’s a response to a challenge issued by Lance Mindheim back in January. I found it through Trevor Marshall’s blog on his Port Rowan layout. His argument is that layouts sometimes fail due to being overly complex. As such, the suggestion was made to take your typical space, and set a hard limit of 15 switches, as the number of switches is a good measure of the overall complexity of a layout. I kind of cheated by including a multi-train sector plate, but the balance of the layout uses a total of 14 switches.a-and-c-v4

A couple of notes should be made about the plan here. Starting at the bottom at Whisky Gap, I started drawing at the left side, and realized that I needed an aisle to be able to reach into the wye area. To make that happen, the whole town must be shifted to the right, as is noted on the plan. In keeping the layout simpler, I was able to use larger curves for most, and larger switches, particularly on the mainline. The mainline switches are primarily number 7s, with number 6s used on the spurs. Where I fit one of these branch lines into my other plans (schematically), it requires a minimum of a 22″ radius with number 5 switches, here, I’m able to use a 30″ minimum.

The next town is very simple as well, the only complication here is a curved turnout into the elevator track. As generous as the plan is, this space saver was needed to get an elevator track long enough for 3 cars at each elevator. I still wanted to maintain a longer open country run between the two towns, and this forces the town in the middle of the line up into the corner of the room. The rest of the line is more open running to the terminus on the sector plate.

That sector plate, as drawn, obviously won’t work. I need to remove at least one track from it, narrow it, and curve the ends so they will line up properly. I’d have to design a mechanism to both pivot the table at the end (where marked), and slide back into position to send trains out onto the line. That enables it to be used not just to stage trains, but also as a train turntable.

Overall, it’s a very simple plan. Perhaps, that would be a good thing which would allow the layout to be significantly completed. If you decide to build this plan, let me know and send some pictures!

Passenger train for fun pt 2

It’s been too long since I posted here again, but here goes! This time around we’ll follow the passenger train from a few posts back on its return journey from Namaka back to the main station.20140328_121109

The first shot is a tight one taken in the newest part of Larkhall. The welding shop on the right was built by Doug Wingfield, I don’t recall who built the complex on the right. Did I mention that I love the ability of a smartphone to get into locations that a traditional camera just can’t? The next shot was taken as the train winds its way past the small yard and station at Larkhall, a new angle for me. Kindly ignore the red monstrosity on the right hand side of the picture!20140328_121233

Leaving Larkhall we climb towards Commerce, winding along and over a river and a pair of big bridges.20140328_12132220140328_12134420140328_121421

I stand by my claim that Commerce is one of the most difficult locations on this railroad to photograph, but I’ve found a couple angles that seem to do it justice.20140328_12145320140328_121914

Tucked away in the back is this spot that most members of the public don’t get to see. For that matter, most club members don’t get into the spot I’m standing unless there was a derailment they need to fix. This is the other end of the siding at Bradshaw, very basic and unremarkable compared to the station and branchline junction at the other end.20140328_122020

Here’s the other end, in a grade crossing view and aerial view. 20140328_12270020140328_122713

Leaving Bradshaw we cross a couple bridges just before the summit of the railroad.20140328_12274320140328_122850

Halfway down the hill our passenger train winds its way into the lumber mill settlement at Bain.20140328_13182320140328_131904

The last couple shots are taken as the train approaches the terminal, where we turn on the wye and back into the station.20140328_13314020140328_133222

With that we finish another run over the Alberta Southern. Until next time…20140328_133630