Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2009 to present - Expanding my SP locomotive roster

When I re-entered active N scale modeling in about 1990 I had decided to keep as narrow a focus as possible in terms of era and railroad.  My initial interest was on the Southern Pacific between 1958 and 1965.  This era fit the theme of my Ntrak modules and first two layouts and I was able to build a good representative fleet of locomotives for that era.

After I got interested in modeling the Palisade Canyon, it opened up the possibility of acquiring many more locomotive models which has been a lot of fun.  Initially I started with expanding my SP roster to the years beyond 1965.

From various sources I compiled a list on an Excel spreadsheet of locomotives sorted by year between 1977 and 1996 and used this as a guide.  This spreadsheet is shown here.

Some of these are not available in N scale but most are.  So I began to purchase locomotives and assign them to one of the three eras that will be represented on this layout. Most of these were found at train shows and on ebay.

So I got a start on expanding my SP roster but also needed to build up a Western Pacific roster of locomotives for my 1976 to 1982 era and I'll talk about that in a future post.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2008 to present - Buying and building bridges

One of the things that I really like about the Palisade Canyon are the many thru truss bridges that I could see on the Google satellite images and also in the images I found on the internet.  As I developed my plans to build this layout I started to acquire models of some of those bridges.  If possible I wanted to try to match the prototype bridges as close as I could.

 In 2008 BLMA came out with a brass 4 section thru truss bridge model.  I felt this would be a good match for the WP bridge that is just west of the two palisade bridges so I picked up one.  This is a beautiful bridge with great detail and set my expectations high for any additional bridges.  At about $200.00 for one bridge, that was going to get expensive even if they could be found.  I wished there was a plastic kit bridge that had the same great detail and that could possibly be modified to match particular bridges on this layout.

Then sometime around 2009 I got my wish when Central Valley Model Works introduced an N scale version of their popular HO scale 150 ft thru truss bridge model.  These kits were less than $30.00 and included see thru cross lacing in the girders just like the HO version.  I picked a model 1810 bridge kit and built it to match the WP bridge at Palisade near the tunnels.  To match the prototype, I shortened the bridge by 1 section and modified the bracing at the top of the portals.  This bridge would be the first actual part of the layout to be completed.

Central Valley  then released their model 1815 bridge with portals that were a good match for the SP bridge at Palisade.  This one was also shortened to 3 sections to match the prototype.  Great, now I had good models of all 3 bridges west of the Palisade tunnels.

The three bridges referred to in this post can all be seen in this photo.  The 2 silver colored ones are on the former WP line and the black one is on the former SP line.  This scene is one of the most photographed in the Palisade Canyon and I found this photo on the internet.

These are the two completed Central Valley Model Works bridges.  These are great kits and now they are also selling the components as separate items for those who want to scratch build a specific bridge.

There are still more bridges to build or collect for this layout and this effort is continuing.