Sunday, March 11, 2018

Rearranging some train room furniture

As the layout grows I am learning more of what works and what does not with the layout sharing working space in the train room.   One thing that was not working for me was the paint booth sticking out as far as it did under the Golconda section.

The paint booth itself fits OK under the layout but the cabinet it sat on was 24 inches deep and that is what stuck out.  So a 30" wide by 24" tall wall depth cabinet was purchased at Ikea and wheels were installed to become the new paint booth cabinet.
The original 24 inch deep cabinet that the paint booth sat on now fits nicely under the turn around part of the staging yard.  For now it will hold boxes of items that I have for sale which up to now had been sitting on the floor.

Some time ago I had picked up a nice maple top for $15 at a garage with the idea of making a second work bench for the train room.  Recently I reconsidered the second work bench idea and installed the top on the existing work bench.  Lighting for this work area is done with the same type of LED panels used to light the Wesso section.

When the bench is not in use the lighted magnifier can be swung under the layout so it does not interfere with the layout.

There is a space in between the bench and the paint booth and I plan to purchase a 40 inch tall by 24 inch wide cabinet for there.

With the work bench under the layout the tool chest I had been using did not have enough room to open all the way so I installed a couple of drawers.  One is for electrical tools and the other for modeling tools.

I also installed a back board to the work bench and may hang some tools from there.  I am going to try to keep this new set up neat and clean and  hopefully will complete many projects here.

Monday, March 5, 2018

12 more feet of finished fascia added

After getting the Battle Mountain section integrated into the layout I finally got back to installing more fascia from where I left off over a year ago.   I have added another 12 feet and now have it up to just before where Battle Mountain ends.  I really like the finished look this gives to the layout.

With the fascia done, the turnout control panels for Battle Mountain were installed.  Here is part of the stretch along the Battle Mountain section with 3 of the 6 turnout control panels.

This is the area of the joint between the Golconda and Battle Mountain sections.  Base scenery in this area has been finished and I am beginning to add shrubs and details.  That will be a continuing process along with finishing the industry buildings in Battle Mountain.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A scratch built car puller

In my original plan for the layout there was going to be a coal burning power plant where the Battle Mountain section is.  It was to have it's own 44 ton switch engine to move cars around the facility.   Battle Mountain has 4 smaller industries, each with a single spur track.  In all but one of these industries cars can be spotted by the local in the correct location and won't need to be moved by the facility itself.

The Barite crushing facility in Battle Mountain will have a long enough siding for six 2-bay covered hoppers to be moved through the loader.   One car can be loaded at a time and then the string of cars will need to be moved one car length to get the next car under the loader.  I began to wonder how an industry like this moves railroad cars down the track without having their own locomotive.

Researching this topic on the web I discovered that railroad customers use a variety of methods to move rail cars around between the times the railroad either drops cars off or picks them up.   This prototype photo shows just one of those.

I decided that to position the 2-bay covered hoppers under the loader the barite crushing facility would use an electric winch.   In the mood for a small scratch building project I came up with this.

I keep all my small styrene scraps in a sandwich sized Tupperware bin and that is the first place I go to get materials for a project like this one.  All of the stryene came from that bin.  The spool sides were punched from a scrap of .020 styrene sheet with a hole punch.  The motor is .125 styrene rod and the shaft is .020 brass wire.  The control / reduction gear housing is .080 x .125 strip and the doors .020 x .125 strip.  Some copper magnet wire was wrapped around the spool.

Here is the same model after being painted.  There is the motor and drive shaft.  The drive shaft enters a cabinet where there are reduction gears and also electrical controls.  Doors on the cabinet allow for maintenance access.

Another shaft from the reduction gears then exits the cabinet to drive the pulley.  This would all need to be securely anchored to a thick concrete slab.
Here is how this now looks on the layout with the track ballasted.   When I posted about this project on the replies seem to indicate that these were more common than I thought so it was strange I could not find any ready made models of it.  This seems like it would be a good project for 3D printing.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Barite crushing facility in Battle Mountain

Barite is one of those minerals that is mined in Nevada.  It is used to make a mud like product that has several applications with one of the largest being in the oil industry.  There is a fairly new Barite crushing and rail car loading facility operated by Halliburton not far from Battle Mountain and there is also another similar facility right in town so it is a natural for the 4th industry on this section of the layout.  The dry Barite powder is shipped by covered hopper as it needs to be kept dry until ready to be made into mud.

As a starting point for my facility I chose the Walthers Glacier Gravel Company kit.  I have built many of the Walthers kits in the past and have always found them to be easy to modify to fit whatever space I had available.

The area for this industry is long and narrow at about 4.5 inches deep by 12+ inches wide so a bit of modification would be needed here.   I want to represent a place for trucks with ore to be unloaded, the processing building, and the rail car loading facility.

After quite a bit of playing around with the arrangement and modifying the kit this is how the area looks today.  I recently picked up some more material to add conveyors to the loading structure.

So that is at least a start on all 4 of the industries for Battle Mountain.  Now that this section is in it's place on the layout I will be going through and finishing each industry scene.  As I do, I will post more about each industry in detail.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Installing Battle Mountain

The new 8 foot long Battle Mountain section of the layout has been installed and the turn around loop section relocated to the left or east end of Battle Mountain.  Test trains have been running through the new track without encountering any problems.

The track between the Golconda and Battle Mountain sections has been connected and the work to blend the scenery between the two sections has started.

Next will come additional fascia on the front, finishing more scenery and the rest of the industries in Battle Mountain.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A warehouse with no name.

The 8 ft Battle Mountain section has now been bolted into it's place in the layout and the first of it's four industries is completed.

This first industry is just a shallow relief warehouse building with 4 track doors spaced for 50ft box cars.

I don't have a name for the business that occupies this building but here is the story.   There are a variety of clay like minerals with funny names are mined in this part of Nevada that are used in many products and processes.  The company that is located in this building receives some of these minerals by truck to make their products which are mostly shipped by rail.

This company makes one of the leading premium brands of cat litter which is packaged in 25 or 50 pound bags stacked on pallets and shipped in box cars to several distribution points around North America.    They also ship some of their product by truck but that is not modeled here.  This would be a good sized facility but only the railroad part of the warehouse building is represented on the layout.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Reuniting a Walthers Interstate Fuel & Oil kit

One of the industries that will be in Battle Mountain will be a bulk fuel distributor receiving product by rail and shipping by truck.   Turned out that I really didn't have to buy anything to build this as I had parts from a Walthers Interstate Oil kit that I had purchased about 25 years ago and used parts of it on several different scenes on my modules and old layouts.

The building had been used in a junk yard scene, the loading platform in a refinery, and the pump house in an oil field.  Some finished tanks used in a locomotive facility got sold on ebay but I still had enough tank sections left over to assemble two more tall storage tanks.

So now almost all the remaining parts from the original kit will be together again on this layout.  Goes to show that if you carefully pack items removed from a layout they can be kept safe and used again.

What I like to do with structures or detailed scenes is to create a little depression in the surrounding scenery by gluing styrene strip around the structure or in the case of a scene I create a little base.  The scenery is then built up around the outside and the structure or base can be placed inside the depression.

In the case of the group of smaller structures in the middle of the fuel distributor I made a base from a scrap of fiberglass reinforced plastic with the smooth side up.  This scene can be now completed on the work bench and installed on the layout later.

The original loading dock on the building was damaged so I built a new loading dock that is actually attached to the scenery base which in this case is a .020 thick styrene sheet with .040 x .040 styrene strip perimeter.

This next photo shows the building placed in it's spot.  The fit is snug enough so not to be easily knocked loose with normal layout usage but can be easily removed for access or maintenance.  On modules I do something similar as shown in these examples but with screws added to hold the building or base onto the module.

More on this fuel distributor in future posts.