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teddymich posted:

Erik and John,

Great work, great photography, terrific project.  I have been following this project from the beginning.  John,  I love those O scale dial calipers that appeared in one of the photos.  Where can I purchase one ?


Ted Michaels

The 1/4" scale dial caliper was purchased many years ago at Caboose Hobbies in Denver CO.  It was produced by GENERAL  maker of measuring tools (scales, calipers, etc.).  Sure makes measuring wood easy.  Only calibrated down to 1/2",  but that's plenty good for structure work.


Pingman posted:
Erik C Lindgren posted:

Thanks guys...

Johnson wants to hand lay with tie plates doing the trackwork. I agreed, I used Monster Model Works per Johnson's request. They had the tie plates that Johnson wants or meets his expectations to his custom made spikes.

I would also like to recommend Right of Way for track spikes and tie plates however Johnson could not find the square opening variety he was after at ROW.  Jay Criswell at Right of Way will be supplying us with all the rest of the trackwork detailing. I will be generating a BOM for him this week. 


These are the tie plates offered by Monster Model Works:


This is an opportunity for Johnson to bring his enthusiasm with P48 in on this project. When the exhibit is set up the viewer is close enough to the model inches at times that leaving off crucial trackwork detail such as tie plates is blasphemous, for a lack of a better word. 


I hope this project will be pleasing to the viewers and history buffs.. oh and the toy train enthusiasts. 

I will be back with more, the saga continues. 

Products used seem to have been supplied.   Any info on technique/tools used?

Working on plate girder and trestle deck structure i came up with a trick to make laying rail easier.  I glued the tieplates in place using a straight edge to align them.  Just a little dab of glue to keep them from squirming around while spiking.

Spikes are cut from staples (Swingline SF-1 Sharp Point) using an old pair of 7" diagonal cutters.  Grind down the closer face to adjust the spike head length.  Hold a small group (6 or less) staples against the face and cut.  They will be a little long for bridge work (see pictures posted elsewhere in this thread) but cutting them shorter is no issue and the cut will yield a cutting edge just like the big ones.  Spiking pliers are a couple of homemade  4" long nose pliers modified with grooves in the jaws to help hold the spikes.  Also use a pair of Micro Mark spiking pliers by Xuron.  The grooves are about twice to large but it does seem to be a problem when using the longer spikes.  The Xurons are great,  now if i can just reduce the groove size a little! 

I use Rust Olem Red Oxide primer for the rails.  After laying rail,  Joe's Model Trains Custom Flat Acrylic for rusty rails for painting tieplates, spikes and general touch up.

Spiking is done by anchoring ends, then middle,  then splitting sections until all ties done.  This helps avoid misalignments as the driving of spikes can move rail sideways.

Hope these tips help.  The hardest part of handlaying is getting started.  I speend as much time screwing around with flex track trying to get it to look and run right as i do handlaying.  And that includes turnouts!


Incredible shot of an awesome engine!

I searched for in the history of french steam locomotive but not found a cab forward; according to what I have read, it avoided the engeener not to be troubled by the smoke in the tunnels, is that right?

It's funny, this engine looks like riding always backwards!

jpv in France

John is nearly ready to deliver the bridge ready for scenery! It’s been a long process and worth every effort. John and I have obsessed over every minute detail found in the prototype and the results are astonishing. A true museum exhibit quality section for the LT&N. 

John’s wife snapped these images last night in his shop as both he and I are very excited for the first Trains to pass over the span! 



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Thank you Joe!

John wrote this earlier today:


This display is a project in progress. Please limit remarks to acclamation or suggestions for scenic details.

Details of bridges and supporting structures are well researched and documented. Scene is designed to depict a river crossing by a Front Range short line that replaced a trestle used by the preceding narrow gauge railroad. The east end was washed out by a flood during WWII and wartime restrictions dictated use of available materials rather than new construction. The plate girder bridge was used to span the new channel formed by the flood. It was salvaged from a class 1 road and the trestle approach repaired. A pile pier was used on the east end for speed and economy.

Bridge deck structures and trestle follow D&RGW standards. Guard rails are fully spiked as per D&RGW standards.

The cut on the west end is narrow by Standard gauge standards, but it was excavated by a narrow gauge railroad and with no demand for oversize clearances, it was never widened. Short lines are notable for their economics.

The display breaks down into two five foot modules after the through truss is removed. The modules and legs weight appox 50#.
The structure will support a 200# load without damage.

Project progress photos can be viewed on the Colorado o Scale Modelers web site:

Under construction are new end curve modules of 76” radius to allow smoother operation of larger equipment. The original curves are appox. 54” radius with easements. These were an experiment to test the lightweight (less than 20# per module) construction. After 10 years and over thirty public displays the design has proven itself.



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Last edited by Erik C Lindgren
John Sethian posted:

I am looking forward to how you guys do the water.  A few explanatory sentences would be appreciated!

John, if I had the spare time I would be far more elaborate in my posts as I was in the past. I now have 2 little ones and they command most of my time and I spend my free time producing work rather than writing about it of late. I will in time produce articles maybe a series for a magazine as I’ve been asked in the last 3 months however in the meantime I will share what I can on here and keep it brief, sadly. I do however love your devotion John to the material you produce on OGR they should honestly pay you. Tonight I’m producing the power lines for the river crossing so I am making this as stated above, brief but not without thanking all of you guys for the appreciation and kind support. I think that’s why I participate here. It sure isn’t for the pay grade.  

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