Yo Jerry,

Just noticed that OGR just put this new forum up for us 'odd' people so I thought I'd post a few pictures of the layout.  For the last few months, I've been getting the layout ready for this Sunday when I have a open house for this month's NMRA meeting.  Over the past year, I've picked up about 20 new engines and the bulk of them needed to be painted.  Since GN and NP were 'joined at the hip', I've added several NP engines and painted them up in the gray boiler scheme:  I love multi-colored steam engines.  GN leased yellowstones from DM&IR during the winter when DM&IR couldn't haul ore due to it freezing so I also picked up a 2-8-8-4. 

With 1500' of track covering a 33'X47' area, I had a lot of cleaning to do to get ready for the open house.  But, I think the GN railway is ready for the crowd.

 

Sam

I liked that retail coaling facility.....before people show up, check that building with the stone addition...it may need ties moved and a foundation, to thwart rivet-counters and critics.   How were GN and NP "joined at the hip"?  Knowing little about them, I would have assumed they, between themselves,  and the Milwaukee were fierce competitors

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

The 'critics' get 'show me pictures of your basement size layout and all 150 buildings on your layout and how you did each of them'.   James Hill (founder and owner of GN) owned a lot of stock in NP as well as SP&S and Burlington.  He tried on 3 occasions to merge all these railroads into one but the ICC ruled against it.  The merger finally happened in 1970.   The GN and NP shared the main passenger terminals in St Paul and Seattle and Burlington pulled the GN passenger cars from St Paul to Chicago.  Both GN and NP owned SP&S and shared SP&S's track to bridge some cities.

I think Milwaukee was last to reach the coast and they had the most severe routes to get across the mountains.  I never read much that Milwaukee was a threat to the GN railroad.

Just arrived.

A huge 101' long electric with 5000 HP and all wheels powered, including leading trucks, B-D-D-B, making it comparable to the big boy.
GN only had two of them. 
When they first arrived, engineers were ducking when approaching a tunnel because they were, also, very tall.
 
Sam
 
GN W-1 custom brass 01
 

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One of my favorite locos !!

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Nice layout.  I noticed that HO layouts have the same issues as O Scale layout. Somebody laying down on the job face first. 

1-GNRR117

 

 

 

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  

 

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Like they say: how many work at your company? ...oh about half of them!

I think most model articulateds are set up for just one cam.  There's two cams, one on each set of drivers but the sound would sound like just one continuous noise.  Also, only one motor controls both sets of drivers so they won't go 'in and out' of sink like a full size articulated.   Somethings don't scale down well.   Kind of like scale handrails: make those scale and 1) you probably couldn't see them , 2) they would be extremely delicate and 3) they probably wouldn't look right.  

For me, I consider modeling an art versus an exact duplicate.  It's like looking at an expensive oil painting real close: it's just a bunch of paint brush strokes.  One looks at it from the proper distance to get the feel of realism without painting each leaf on a tree.  Our brain fills in the 'detail' for us. 

If you've ever watched Bob Ross paint, you know what I mean.

samparfitt posted:

Like they say: how many work at your company? ...oh about half of them!

I think most model articulateds are set up for just one cam.  There's two cams, one on each set of drivers but the sound would sound like just one continuous noise.  Also, only one motor controls both sets of drivers so they won't go 'in and out' of sink like a full size articulated.

It seems that the sound systems in the O Scale articulated models have found ways of "generating" that in-and-out of sync exhaust sound. Apparently the HO sound suppliers have not discovered that yet?

  Somethings don't scale down well.   Kind of like scale handrails: make those scale and 1) you probably couldn't see them , 2) they would be extremely delicate and 3) they probably wouldn't look right.  

For me, I consider modeling an art versus an exact duplicate.  It's like looking at an expensive oil painting real close: it's just a bunch of paint brush strokes.  One looks at it from the proper distance to get the feel of realism without painting each leaf on a tree.  Our brain fills in the 'detail' for us. 

If you've ever watched Bob Ross paint, you know what I mean.

 Regardless, you still have a fantastic layout!!!!

I had a talk with the one employee resting and he's back at work.  Not sure why he was tired; back in 1938, you only worked 12 hour days, 6 days a week and just moving 100 pound chunks of ice around!

GNRR188

An easy fix on the W-1 electric.

The engine ran fine upside down on the bench but was shorting out on the track.

The brass is not cast but just bent sheet brass so it was easy to straighten out.

GN W-1 custom brass 03

The original foam was gone so new foam was cut via a scroll saw.

GN W-1 custom brass 05GN W-1 custom brass 06GN W-1 custom brass 07

 

Here's the guts of her:

GN W-1 custom brass 04

The new DCC sound systems may be more enhanced for the chuffing sound.  I'm using the PFM sound system from the 80's.

Back in the 80's and 90's I had 'cutting edge' high tech equipment on my layout and all enjoyed my monthly operation sessions.   Now, The new DCC systems are the latest thing.  I've got around 44 steam/electric engines and am not going to convert that many.  Besides, I'm very happy with my 'stone age' sound.  It has about 24 different sounds, besides the usual chuffing, hiss and whistle, 3 different wheel motion noise, 3 bells sounds, generator, 3 air pump sounds, coupler and blower.

PFM SS2 SDS 01

 Like DCC, I can control my trains remotely so one can 'walk along' with his train on the layout.

One is controlling the PFM sound systems.

The other are RC airplane transmitters that control speed and direction (good for my electrics and any engines others may bring over to operate).

GNRR189GNRR190

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samparfitt posted:

I had a talk with the one employee resting and he's back at work.  Not sure why he was tired; back in 1938, you only worked 12 hour days, 6 days a week and just moving 100 pound chunks of ice around!

Its to bad that you have to stand there and watch him like that.   You just cant get good help these days.

GNRR188

I was watching you videos. The more I see your layout, I like it even more. Question.  Since you have the ore docks and Glacier National Park . Did you model the entire GN system, from Minnesota to Seattle?  Once again thanks for sharing your layout.

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  

 

That old rule seems to apply to everything: there's always that 10%.

I did model the entire system from St. Paul (upper yard that is straight) to Seattle (lower yard that is curved).  Since the mainline is 400' long, I figured I could model both yards (cities).  Takes a good 1/2 hour to go from one city to the other.  Minimum radius is 48" and max grade is about 1/2 percent.

The yards are large being about 22'-30' long holding about 500 cars each with a train of about 35 cars can be in each track.   I made all turnouts #10's on the mainline and yards: they are needed in the yards as the cars would probably derail when a switcher is pushing that many cars through the points of the switch.

I like me some GN!!!

My 1st train HO) was a Bachmann GN 2-8-0 in Glacier scheme.  Probably not prototypical but at the time it was beautiful.

I may be wrong, I really haven't studied GN all that much, but it seems like they had a lot of similar equipment to my Seaboard Air Line, at least their steamers with the front-mounted air pumps seem similar to the SAL Q3 Mikes.

If I was into SAL, GN would be my next choice.

(I need to get a couple of O scale boxcars with Rocky on them)

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

Bob,

The main characteristics of the GN steam were:

flying airpumps on the smokebox.

belpaire fireboxes (Pennsy only other railroad that used them in large numbers).

glacier park colors (green boilers, red cab roofs)

vanderbilt tenders (cylindrical) 

low mounted headlights (when pumps on smokebox)

 

Sam

Other than the Belpaire fireboxes () the rest of those features could also be found on SAL steam (well, except the colors in GN configuration).

I just did a search on GN boxcars for O scale, but I'm not sure who makes the best or if they're even true to prototype.  More searching required!

I do have a few HO GN cars, old Athearn and other brands.

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

samparfitt posted:

Most paint schemes are pretty accurate but GN may not have had that specific box car type, but most people won't notice, or care. 

Either way. You defiantly have a better selection of prototypical rolling stock, Engines and Waycars in HO. Since I do both CB&Q and GN, if I want correct Way Cars I have to kitbash to get what I want. The latest ones I am starting, is a C&S Way Car, U28C Ph1 and U28/30B. 

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  

 

I looked and actually had only 3 GN cars in HO:

DSCN0523_350

All 3 Athearn, thought I had more.  I'd like to get one like the red car in O scale.

When did the sky blue color come and go?

(they feel so fragile, no heft to them compared to O.  It would take some getting use to again)

MODELING SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA

4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

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I think the blue scheme came in around the mid 60's, before the 1970/1 merge of GN, NP, SP&S and CB&Q. 

Even though HO is 1/2 O gauge, when considering 3 dimensions, weight and volume is dramatic.  ie, a 2X2X2" cube is 8 square inches and a 4X4X4 is 64 square inches so bulk and weight increases significantly when doubling dimensions.   That's why the grand kids can play with the lionel stuff but not the HO! 

Each scale has it's advantages.  GN, being in the sparsely populated area of the north west, didn't get all the publicity that the eastern and west coast California railroads got, so modeling GN in HO gave me the largest selection possible. 

Until the last 10 years, or so, there wasn't much made in O gauge.  Not until MTH and 3rd rail started making GN steam engines.  Lionel, for the most part, has only slapped on a GN decal on a steam engine and called it GN when GN never even had such engines, ie: hudsons, yellowstones and other steam engines that didn't have a belpaire firebox on it.

 

My O gauge GN steam:

Except for the 3rd rail M-2, all MTH:

GNM220GN R-2-2-8-8-2 02GN S-2 4-8-4 03GN W-1 B-D-D-B ELECTRIC 04GN Y-1 electric 05GN Z-6 4-6-6-4 02

As I like to say 'GN and NP were joined at the hip' and GN leased engines from DM&IR so I also have a 3rd rail NP Z-5 yellowstone, Z-8 challenger and a MTH DM&IR M-4 yellowstone.

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GN big blue scheme was introduced with the FP45 in early 67. The first three SD 45 were delivered in the Simplified Empire builder scheme. After that all new engines were in the big blue. By the merger probably half the fleet had been repainted. NP didn't start changing to cascade green until the late sixties and even then it was only on new rolling stock. CB&Q with with the delivery of the SD45 in the premerger scheme of Cascade Green and black, White nose stripes, and side panel. I have seen photos of this color scheme as early as late 67 on Burlington engines although they were for publicity shots. After the merger the White strip on the side would go away and this would be the merger scheme. I run 60s to the merger in my world. I now just starting to add some NP to my roster. There is a member who does the merger period. This in its self leads allows for infinite combinations of engine consists and way car uses. It still would be nice if someone made the U25/28C as all three roads had them on their rosters.  

US Army retired

Suncoast Regional Coordinator 

First Florida  Chapter of the MVPA HAZMAT SME(RID,DOD,IATA,ADR,CFR 49)  

 

Sam:

Enjoying the pictures of your GN-based layout. Good stuff.

Agree with you on the PFM sound and adjust-ability quality. I have a (now) unused PFM Mini-Sound console, the 04 Bypass Filter w/external bass speaker, and the PFM coil spring reverb. As you well know, you can just about replicate any whistle, and stage of cutoff/labor in the exhaust, et al, with PFM. Excellent stuff. 

If you would like a really great deal on my PFM Mini system, just shoot me an email and I can make you a deal you can't refuse!

Painting the GN W-1 B-D-D-B 101' long electric.
Putting the very thin masking tape on isn't much fun for the yellow stripping.
Initially, I was going to use chart tape but it's too thick, won't bend around tight corners and gets gummy when heated to 200 degrees to bake the paint on. Decals were not an option as not likely to match the curves and wouldn't be as durable as paint.
Yellow is a terrible color for coverage so it went on first.
GN had two greens (3 if you count the green on heavy weight passenger cars): one great northern green for steam boilers and the empire builders green for diesels and electrics.
The masking for the yellow stripe was left on until the orange and then green was applied.  There were a few spots where the green over spray managed to get on the orange but easy to clean off, before baking, with a little water and a toothpick to rub the green off the already baked orange.
Running gear was black.
Easy disassembly for this model.
The worst is over, just decals and dull coating left.
The shell just fits into my toaster oven tray.
Sam
 
GN W-1 custom brass 08GN W-1 custom brass 09GN W-1 custom brass 10

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GN W-1 electric assembly.

Base assembly:

Just the reverse of disassembly.

Head lights:

I wired up 4 12 volt bulbs for the 4 head lights. 

Access to the headlight area is difficult so I used some 1/8" diameter shrink tubing to pull the bulbs through the front head light casings. 

After the bulbs were pulled through the casings, I put some short pieces  of heat shrink tubing on each bulb, a little carpenters glue and pushed them into the casings, letting the curved bulb stick out for a lens cover.

GN W-1 custom brass 11GN W-1 custom brass 12GN W-1 custom brass 13GN W-1 custom brass 14

The lead weight was added and the the wires taped to the roof of the engine so they don't get snagged by the motors.  Some EMS RC radio connectors were used to make the base removable from the top structure.

GN W-1 custom brass 15GN W-1 custom brass 16GN W-1 custom brass 17

Testing:

Six screws hold the base to the top.

I had trouble with the engine binding on curves. 

1) I had the lead/trailing trucks backwards as the brake cylinders were hitting the steps.

2) Even with 48" minimum curves, I had to bend the steps out a little for clearance.  Fortunately, the steps are screwed on so they can be removed for smaller radii.  These would best be truck mounted.

GN W-1 custom brass 18GN W-1 custom brass 19GN W-1 custom brass 20GN W-1 custom brass 21GN W-1 custom brass 22GN W-1 custom brass 23GN W-1 custom brass 24

 

It's difficult to get the perfect narrow lines as found on factory painted engines.  As you can see in the picture, I applied a little too much green paint so it was thicker than needed and the tape rippled the green paint a little.  Pictures always expose glaring errors whereas, when the engine is sitting on track, even at close range, it's difficult to see those errors.

Interesting, when I paint multi-colored steam engines, those ripples never show up: must be my disdain for diesels!: and that's only in HO, whereas I have a bunch in O gauge (figure that one out!).

sam

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