Mark Boyce posted:

That certainly looks solid enough to me!!

Mark, it is fine.  The table will not be load bearing.  Well, it certainly won't have to hold me up or carry my weight.  It's essentially a shelf layout built under the main layout.

I want enough of it done (and that's now the case) so that I can focus on the Steubenville River Route track, tunnel portal, and scenery down to the water's edge.

We are inching our way closer to being ready for the river pour.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 9/30/2019:

My inventory of plywood has been completed. Good news, I have enough. In fact I have a couple of 2' x 8' sections in reserve. All sections have been marked to avoid confusion later. I plan to try cutting a large curved section of the River Route subroadbed on Thursday.

DSCN6978

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 10/08/2019:

Work continues on the C & P River Route.  I have cut the foundation piece of 5/8” plywood as well as the O42 curved sub-roadbed for the section that will pass under the bridge.  The next step is to pull the bridge and see how well (or how poorly) I measured.  If I did it right, the sections should fit properly.  If not, it’s time for an adjustment.  No big deal.  The photo shows the foundation piece.

DSCN6981 

The next photo shows the area that will receive it.

DSCN6982 

As you can see, we did pull the bridge. 

DSCN6983

It turns out not to be exactly right, so we will need to do a bit of trimming.

DSCN6984DSCN6985

Once these pieces have been trimmed to fit the area, I will screw them down permanently.  At that point it will be time to lay part of the track in that area.  We will follow that up by carving a styrofoam tunnel, fitting the shoreline, and installing a tunnel portal.  In anticipation of getting it right (or close to right), I purchased some scenery items at Hobby Express yesterday.  I’ve got some larger deciduous trees with fall foliage, ground cover, tufts of grass, and rocks.

More when I know it.  

George

 

 

 

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 10/13/2019:

Well, chaos reigns!  We pulled the bridge in preparation for working on the C&P River Route.

DSCN6986

Construction of the River Route began with the laying down of a 5/8" piece of plywood to elevate the area.  Would that be called the sub-sub-roadbed?   Here's a look from the front and from the side along the river.  We needed to match heights with table built under the layout.

DSCN6987DSCN6988

That was followed by the sub-roadbed.  This is another 5/8" piece of plywood cut to match the O42 curve.

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Finally, I started laying track.  The red wire is for super elevation.

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Here's the same area from behind the Pier 7.  It's a little dark, but there is an O54 switch back there.  I'm planning a hidden siding on the C&P River Route.

DSCN6995

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Mark Boyce posted:

Nice overall view of the room!  Looks like the C&P Route is shaping up.  What does C&P stand for again?  I can’t think of it at all.

Thank you!  C & P stands for Cleveland & Pittsburgh.  This is the track along the western shore of the Ohio River.  It runs under the bridge.  Here's a photo.

DSCN2336

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 11/4/2019:

I am sorry to report some bad news.  Yesterday my cat Pumpkin, aged 17 years, had to be put to sleep. 

Pumpkin was a frequent visitor to Panhandle 1.0.  Often I would find her sitting in a hard-to-reach corner, taunting me.  Once I decided to teach her a lesson and parked my Lionel PRR M1 over her head.  Laying on the whistle, I got that long sonorous deep wail out of those 2 fatboy speakers in that coast to coast tender.  She just looked up at me as if to say "Is that all you got?" 

She was beautiful, intelligent, friendly and a huge part of the family.  She will be sorely missed.

Pumpkin001W

Pumpkin Epitaph

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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George,

 Sorry to hear about Pumpkin. I had a cat a few years ago, April, who kept me company in the basement/layout area. 

Tom

Strummer posted:

...beautiful animal... 

Mark in Oregon

Thank you.  She really was beautiful in so many ways.  Pumpkin was 1 in a million.  Honestly, my heart is broken.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Mark Boyce posted:

I remember Pumpkin!  Sorry for your loss, George!

Mark, she left an impression on everyone she met.  What a good cat.

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

MNCW posted:

George,

 Sorry to hear about Pumpkin. I had a cat a few years ago, April, who kept me company in the basement/layout area. 

Tom

Tom,

A few years back her arthritis got so bad she couldn't do a lot of steps.  I used to carry her downstairs every so often.  Wish I had done it more.

Cats do capture our hearts, don't they?

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Yes, they do capture our hearts. Sorry for your loss. You have your memories of her and of her kitty-type "activities" 

Lew

 

All photos are mine unless specifically noted otherwise.

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Updated 11/5/2019:

Because (to my mind) keeping busy is better than dwelling on the sad events of last weekend, I decided to test a few CAB-1's that I acquired as well as my Power Distribution Panel.  Accordingly, I connected all the transformers (2 PH135s and 6 PH180s) to their respective power districts.

As can be seen below by their indicator lights, Power Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 all fired up correctly.  The TPC-400 that operates District 1 has failed for some unknown reason.  It is exhibiting the same problems as the TPC-300s and TPC-400 I tested this summer.  It won't take an ID or respond to commands.  I am planning to replace it with a Legacy Powermaster (6-37146).

DSCN7031DSCN7032DSCN7033DSCN7034

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Strummer posted:

...    ...

Mark in Oregon

Not sure I understand what you're trying to say.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

G3750 posted:
Strummer posted:

...    ...

Mark in Oregon

Not sure I understand what you're trying to say.

George

What I meant by that was..."holy cow, that looks like a lot of work and power supplies!"

Mark in Oregon

George,

I'm sorry to hear about Pumpkin. Many of us model railroaders have pets and they always are part of our layouts in some way. Even if it's being in the train room while we work or run trains. I also know how much pets mean to a family especially since I do not have any children. I'm glad you were able to get some really good photos of her, especially on the layout. That will be a wonderful way to remember her. 

I had to chuckle when you mentioned the horn having no effect on her. She wanted to be around daddy and nothing was going to stop that.

Blessings,

Dave

Strummer posted:
G3750 posted:
Strummer posted:

...    ...

Mark in Oregon

Not sure I understand what you're trying to say.

George

What I meant by that was..."holy cow, that looks like a lot of work and power supplies!"

Mark in Oregon

Yeah, it is.  But the layout is pretty big (47'x11') and has 8 power districts.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

I've been doing detail work on an interlocking tower and several times a day have a purr in my ear when Ginger comes up on the bed right behind my chair. Running the trains doesn't seem to bother either her, or her brother, Oscar, but when the real thing comes out behind the house on the remainder of the PRR and blows the horn, both of them want to be comforted. They do become part of us. Perhaps after the hurt has eased somewhat, you can go to the shelter and let another kitty choose you. 

Vandalia Guy posted:

I've been doing detail work on an interlocking tower and several times a day have a purr in my ear when Ginger comes up on the bed right behind my chair. Running the trains doesn't seem to bother either her, or her brother, Oscar, but when the real thing comes out behind the house on the remainder of the PRR and blows the horn, both of them want to be comforted. They do become part of us. Perhaps after the hurt has eased somewhat, you can go to the shelter and let another kitty choose you. 

The hurt is pretty severe at the moment and we still have Samantha, so I don’t know about adding another kitty at this point.  Samantha seems totally lost without her “sister” and honestly, I’m not sure if I can go through that again.  Pumpkin’s shoes are going to be very tough to fill.  Not sure I can deal with it.

I appreciate the thought.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 11/6/2019:

Today I attempted to troubleshoot and program my TPC-400 that I have owned for years.  It last worked in 2016 when I tore down Panhandle 1.0.  But yesterday and today - no soap.  I finally removed and replaced it with a Legacy Powermaster (6-37146).  As you can see in the photo below, we are now running on all 8 cylinders (Power Districts).

DSCN7035

I am haunted by the thought that I was doing something wrong.  This TPC exhibited the same behavior as the one I acquired and later returned.  And that one is now functioning.  I must have done something wrong, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what.

In any case, I have replaced older technology with the latest version.  So on we go.

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 11/23/2019:

I’ve been struggling with the hillside surrounding the C & P tunnel portal on the Steubenville side of the river.  Shaping it correctly – a balance of reasonable slope (no cliffs) and coverage of all the white space left by the backdrop – has been a challenge.  Ultimately, there will be some white space and I am going to paint that in earth / tree tones (green, ochre, umber).  Here's the first few layers.

DSCN7041

I have also struggled with vertical and horizontal layering of the Styrofoam.  Mixing them has been a problem of my own making.  I have solved that now (I think), by using all horizontal layers.  The face of the tunnel portal and its slope back to the higher benchwork has been mostly a 3-D visioning problem for me.  But now I have that in hand;  I need to make a number of ½” layers to contour the slope correctly.

DSCN7045

We've still got some contouring work to do but I'm much happier with this.  There will be a slope above the tunnel portal (to the right of the bridge).  I am planning on using the Great Stuff foam / quilt batting method to create the final shapes.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Mark Boyce posted:

George, I see what you mean about the slope above the tunnel and the backdrop.  Did that slope have trees on it, or just grass and brush?  Trees could cover the white spot on the backdrop of it was painted as you said, but maybe there were no trees.

Hi Mark,

The tunnel is not prototypical.  I created it as a way to have the C&P River Route loop around that part of the layout.  The River Route can function in either Command or Conventional modes.  In Conventional mode, kids (of all ages) can run some of my older locomotives (beeps, Marx 666, Lionel EP-5, etc) using a CAB-1.  The loop is totally separate from the Panhandle mainline so as to prevent Gomez Addams types of incidents.    

So to directly answer your questions:

  1. That slope doesn't really exist.  It's a concession to utility and practicality.
  2. The slope can have anything on it that I decide is helpful.    Translation:  I will disguise the white space with trees and / or brush.  But I will try to keep the slope reasonable, at least 1:1.

 

Past (to the west of) the Steubenville PRR station, I am planning a wye with the rightmost leg entering the Gould No. 5 tunnel.  That is strictly a dummy spur.  I may put a switch machine there and use the wye to store a small switcher or I may just lock it in the leftmost position to continue the mainline.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Mark Boyce posted:

George, now that you mention it, I do think I remember you writing about the non prototypical tunnel.  Sounds like a great plan!

How is the adjunct professoring going?

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Mark,

Thanks.  I like the plan and think it will be successful when I get it built.

Teaching college has been a challenge, but I am enjoying it.  I'm on the home stretch - finals in less than 2 weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well.

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

Updated 11/28/2019:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I certainly have much to be grateful for.

Thinking aloud:  I have been contemplating how to treat the hillside to the north (slopes toward the backdrop) of the Panhandle mainline just after it comes across the bridge to Steubenville (west bound). 

In the real world, as shown in the photo below (taken from McKim’s Ridge across the Ohio River), the land slopes upward and away from the river.

DSCN3804

Here's the layout section in question. 

Steubenville-North

I am referring to the top (northern-most) track to the left of the “19B” as it runs past (westbound) past the Steubenville PRR station.  Unfortunately, the layout is only 11’ deep from front to back here and the section north of the track is only about 20” deep.  Therefore, I must selectively compress and represent the hillside in only 18-20” of depth.  Fortunately, I think that is enough, especially if I pursue the alternative I am considering. 

Initially, I thought about just starting at table top level and making the terrain slope upwards till it meets the backdrop.  Recently though, I have had reason to re-evaluate the plan.  The alternative is to create a stone wall 8 scale feet (2”) high that will run west from the 4th Street overpass (to the left of the “19B”) to the vicinity of the Gould No. 5 tunnel portal in the northwest corner of the layout.  Near the portal (to the left of Market Street), the wall will expand into a wing wall.  To my mind, that has the following advantages:

  1. The bottom of the wall (maybe most of the wall) will not be generally visible to anyone standing at the far (southern) edge of the layout.  In fact, it is likely that visitors will only be able to see the backs of buildings that face North 4th Street and the street side of the PRR station.  However, anyone standing in the aisle facing the bridge will only have to turn their heads 90 degrees to see down 6th Street and the Pennsy mainline.
  2. Starting the slope 2” (8 scale feet) above the tabletop allows the hill to be much higher overall.  At its northwest corner (~40” from the western wall and ~20” from the northern wall), the track begins its O72 curve toward the southern edge of the layout.  In order to accommodate the Gould No. 5 tunnel portal and the dummy leg of a wye depicting the westward track of the Panhandle, the hillside should reach a height of at least 24” at the backdrop.  That way, the portal will not look out of place.
  3. The wall will add some interest to the scene.  It can be decorated with vines and drain pipes emptying into the ditch along the north side of the track.

 

More when I know it.  

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 11/29/2019:

Work continues on the section above the tunnel portal.

DSCN7046DSCN7047

George

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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Updated 11/30/2019:

More thinking aloud.  When I was a teenager, I used to drive my grandfather across the river to Steubenville, Ohio to a bad part of town to buy fish.  He liked this small grocery store on North 6th Street called Baker's Market.  He and Mr. Baker got along famously.  While my grandfather would go inside to buy "porgies", I would keep the motor running and watch for the gangs that might kick my white, honky ***.     

I’m thinking that Downtown Deco’s DD58 Lindsay’s Grocery might be a good stand-in, particularly if I can find a lit, red and white, hanging Coca-Cola sign (to hang perpendicular to the building front) that can be made to say “Baker’s Mkt” on it.  It has a 5”x7” footprint, which would be perfect for the western side of North 6th Street (a bit to the right of the PRR station).  I know DD’s kits are hydrocal, so there might be some difficulty in assembling them, but it seems an accurate stand-in.

DD58 Lindsays Grocery-stand-in for Baker's Mkt

George

 

TCA, NMRA, PRRT&HS Modeling the PRR Panhandle Division between 1948-1957.

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