Friday, July 20, 2018

Making Atlas line side poles taller

This is another post on my use and modification of the Atlas 2801 line side poles.  Previous posts have been Line side poles from March of 2017 and Line side poles round 2 from December of 2017.

Most railroad line side poles didn't have to be very tall if there was enough space and there was nothing that had to pass underneath.   This prototype photo shows an example of this.  Shorter poles would have been cheaper for the railroad and might have made maintenance a little easier.

There were even spots where from track level the wires appear to be close to even with the track because the track is built up on fill.  This photo of the SP line between Golconda and Wesso on the layout shows an example of this.

The stock height of the Atlas line side pole is just right for most applications but I am going to have a few places on this layout where the line poles are going to cross a track and are going to need to be taller than the standard height to look right.

Atlas poles are tapered with the bottom being the widest at about .085 inches diameter.  I had some styrene tube that was .095 which gave me an idea of how to extend the height.

After making the bottom of the pole flat with a file, I drilled a .026 hole in the center about 3/8 inch deep.
With a small file I filed away half of the diameter of both bottom of the pole and of a section of the styrene tube.   On both the notch was made about 1/8 inch wide.  A short section of .020 steel wire was placed into the hole on the bottom of the pole and then the tube was attached with CA.

This is what it looks like after some sanding.

I try to keep the two sections straight until the adhesive dries.  If the fit is not perfect any gaps can be filled with CA and then re-sanded.  

Then after painting the extended pole will look like the one on the left in this photo compared to the standard pole on the right.

That .020 steel wire inside gives the extended pole enough strength to endure any minor bumping while on the layout.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Upgrading grade crossing safety

Up to now I had protected some of the grade crossings of unpaved service roads with a few old models of wooden cross buck signs that I had saved from other layouts but did not have enough to do them all.

I recently discovered that Tichy Train Group has a  line of ready made signs and ordered the cross buck set on ebay.  They arrived today and I am very happy with their quality and scale proportions.   These are injection molded, on square poles, and come 18 to a package.

So far I have used 3 pairs of these where service roads or other non paved roads cross the tracks.  Here is the road that leads into the diesel fuel distribution in Battle Mountain where it crosses the siding for the fuel distributor.
The only paved road on the layout so far is this one that leads into the industrial district of Battle Mountain and it already had automatic flashing signals.  I did add the yellow RR crossing ahead signs that were in my stash of stuff from old layouts.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Finishing the Barite crusher / loader

This project started last February with the post The Barite Crushing Facility in Battle Mountain.   The kit referred to here is a Walthers Cornerstone Glacier Gravel Company kit.

The kit bashed crushing building was air brush painted dark ghost gray then the bottom level was hand painted concrete.  The entire structure was given a good weathering using washes and powders.  I made a sign similar to the ones that I have seen in photos of Halliburton's facilities.
I used the conveyors that came with the kit to move the raw Barite ore from the truck unloading pit to the scratch built concrete storage silo and from the silo to the crushing building.  As the photos I found on the Internet of Barite ore indicate it is a light color, I used some unstained Woodland Scenics small talus to represent this on the open conveyors.

The conveyors carrying the processed ore from the crushing building to the rail car loader are covered.  These were made from some parts from the kit and some Plastuct structural shapes.  Using materials left over from the building kit bash I built this tower to connect the two covered conveyors between the crushing building and the loader.
In the original kit the loader structure was intended to be integrated into the building and had different roof parts so I made my own roofs. All the structures except for the crushing building were airbrushed gulf desert sand then weathered.
Here is an overall view of the finished industry.  This will be the largest industry on the layout both in area that it occupies and in the number of rail cars used in it's operation.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Progress on the Barite crusher / loader

This is how the Barite crushing and loading facility in Battle Mountain looked last February.  I had a good start but there was still much left to do.

I had always figured that these structures would need to be removable and they are.  What I have noticed while conducting switching operations on the siding and the industries at the rear of the scene was that I would sometimes bump these taller structures from their locations.  So I needed a way to make them be more firmly in place yet still removable.

To accomplish this I used a similar technique that I did with the Diamond Plastics buildings, small magnets embedded into the bottom of the structures and steel screws in the base.  I am securing all of the structures this way with the conveyors being anchored between the structures.
The loader structure has 6 columns attached to 2 long footings so not much place to put a magnet or a screw.  I added some thickness to the footings and installed a small nails as shown in this photo.  The nails extend through holes in the base .

I made these assemblies to hold the magnets and glued them under the bench work to hold the loader structure. The nails make contact with the magnets and give the loader structure better stability.
Another thing I have been playing around with is to animate the car puller.  There is the same kind of magnet as in the photo above inside this covered hopper car and the black cable (thread) has the head of  a small nail glued to it.

The idea seems to work OK and can pull the entire string of cars through the loader, just not sure if it's worth doing.  Don't have to decide now, it can be added later.

This is what this industry looks like now,  almost ready for the paint booth.  I have also ordered a pair of drop bottom truck trailers for this industry.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Next 5 feet of the layout is on the way.

 As I have been doing for the past several summers now, I am starting the bench work for another section of the layout.  This one is going to be 5 feet long and is called the Harney section.

Harney is the name of the area in the Palisade Canyon where in 1939 the Southern Pacific's City of San Francisco passenger train derailed at a spot where the track had been sabotaged.   After the derailment which destroyed a bridge, the SP diverted the Humboldt River eliminating the need for that bridge and another bridge.

A temporary shoo-fly was built while the work was going on.  From today's satellite photos the old alignment of the river, the path of the shoo-fly, and even some old bridge abutments can be seen.  I have pointed these out in these first two photos.

This is another spot several miles east of the derailment location viewed upside down to match the orientation of my layout.   This more closely matches my plan for this new section of the layout.

With this being a shelf type of layout with the depth being about 18 inches I don't think I could represent the old river path or the shoo-fly path very well.  What I may do is to have the SP line built up on a levy then through the realignment area. 
My plan for this section which will be 5 feet long is to bring the river back in from the front and progress between the SP and WP tracks as it does in many places along this line.  The WP line will be carried across the river by a BLMA brass thru truss bridge I purchased several years ago.  This section will also begin a transition from a photo back drop to a modeled canyon wall back drop.