Thursday, June 10, 2010

Structures Progress 06.10.10

Last night and this evening, I managed to squeeze out some time to work on the Walthers Interstate Fuel & Oil kit.  I had constructed the HO version of this kit over 10 years ago.  I remember having many problems with construction back then, but I was still a newbie to building kits.  I have learned a lot since then and now take my time.  You have to be especially careful with the detail parts when cleaning up the plastic flashing.  If too aggressive, you will certainly break the detail piece.  I think the kit turned out pretty nice.  Looking forward to finding a home for it on the layout.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rock Island Dispatcher's Train Sheet 06.09.10

Rock Island Train Sheet

Industry Update 06.09.10

Below is a list of proposed industries on the CRI&P layout.

Davenport, IA
  • Town station - Branchline Centre Hall Depot Kit
  • Davenport Yard - receives sand, diesel fuel
  • Davenport Freight House - Walthers Water Street Freight Terminal - receive/ships LTL freight
  • Consumers Ice & Fuel Co - Walthers Golden Flame Co kit - receives coal and LPG
  • Hull Machinery - DPM Gripp's Luggage Mfg kit - receives steel, parts; ships machinery
  • Kohr's Cold Storage - DPM Trackside Transfer kit - receive/ships fruits & vegetables
  • General Electric Co - DPM Woods Furniture Co kit - receives motors, hardware, coil steel; ships appliances
  • Continental Grain Elevator - Walthers ADM Grain Elevator kit - receive/ships grain
  • Davenport Elevator - Walthers ADM Grain Elevator kit - receive/ships grain
Rock Island, IL
  • Town station - Blair Line Leeton Depot kit
  • Sunrise Feed Mill - Walthers Sunrise Feed Mill - receives grain, farm supplies; ships bagged feed
  • Valley Fuel & Supply - AMB A.C. Brown Manufacturing - receive/ships fruits & vegetables
Bureau, IL
  • Town Station - Walthers Golden Valley Depot
  • Farmers Grain Co - Walthers Farmers Coop Kit - ships grain
  • Bader Ag - AMB General Service Building - receives farm supplies
Stockdale, IL
  • Town Station - Blair Line 2-Story Depot kit
  • Markham Produce - AMB Transfer Building Kit - receive/ships fruits & vegetables
  • Illinois Valley Grain Co - AMB Elevator Kit - ships grain
Joliet, IL
  • Town Station - Blair Line Leeton Depot kit
  • American Can Co - DPM Woods Furniture Co kit - receive box fibre, paperboard; ships fibre cans, paper boxes, paper liners
  • American Service Co - Walthers O.L. King & Sons Coal Yard kit - receives LPG and coal
  • Joliet Grain Co - - AMB Silex Elevator kit - ships grains
Blue Island, IL
  • Town Station - Walthers Clarksville Depot kit
  • Midwest Lumber Co - Walton & Sons Lumber kit - receives lumber
  • D&D News - DPM Scratchbuild - receives paper and ink
  • Oberholtzer - DPM Scratchbuild - receives wood, steel, packing materials, paint, varnish, machinery; ships finished tools
  • Putnam Oil Co - Walthers Interstate Fuel & Oil kit - receives coal, heating oil
  • Blue Island Freight House - Walthers Water St Freight Terminal kit - receive/ships LTL freight
  • Chicago Wholesale Foods - DPM Scratchbuild - receive/ships fruits & vegetables and grocery items
  • Otis Elevator Company - DPM Scratchbuild - receives wire rope, machinery and elevator guard rails
  • Town Depot - Atlas Maywood Station
  • Pearl Button Company - Undecided - receives machinery; ships buttons
  • Meredosia Freight House - Undecided - receive/ships LTL freight
  • CIPS Power Plant - DPM Power Plant - receives coal (from N&W)
Peoria, IL
  • Town Station - AMB UP Style One-Story Depot kit
  • Oakley Grain Co - Walthers Farmers Coop kit - ships grain
  • Johnson Grain & Produce - AMB Hinkle Mill - receives groceries; ships grain, fruits & vegetables
  • Rural Gas Service - Undecided - receives LPG
  • Caterpillar Inc - Walthers Superior Paper Mill kit - receives parts, motors, lubricating oil, hydraulic fluid; ships heavy equipment
* AMB - American Model Builders
* DPM - Design Preservation Models

Operations and Design Update 06.09.10

Starting on the lower level...

Davenport West Yard (Staging)
Decided on 8 tracks. According to Larry, you can never have too many staging tracks. I think 8 will definitely be used eventually if not day one. We will split the tracks up into two groups. One group will be fed directly off the mainline and the second set from Davenport Yard. The tracks will be around 5 1/2 ft long with two ladders.

Davenport will be relatively flat with an elevation of only about 50 ft above river level. The edge of the benchwork will be built up with rocks modeling only about 1" of the river along the full length of Davenport. Over toward staging, the river will cut in a little more. There will be pilings driven down where a barge will be for river loading from the concrete grain elevator. The main/siding will travel along the back wall. Along the very back will be a mixture of Walthers and DPM walls for various warehouses and industry. In the far right corner will be another larger grain elevator using Walthers ADM kit (used as building flats). Also, in this area will be the CNW connection to Clinton, IA. As the tracks round off to the right to cross the Mississippi River, the CNW line will branch off and go to a 2" wide pocket behind the Mississippi River backdrop to a hidden storage track. Davenport yard will be five or six tracks wide. There will be a switching lead on the right side that goes up toward the Mississippi River Bridge.

Mississippi River Bridge
There will be a single track line using two Kato through truss and two Atlas plate girder leader bridges. The bridge will not parallel the benchwork edge, but be at an angle coming from the far left and closer to the benchwork on the right.

Rock Island, IL
Now, this is where it gets interesting. After the line crosses the Mississippi River. Instead of making a sharp right turn onto the peninsula, the track will continue basically straight with a slight curve to the right into a cut of trees. It will come out of the cut on the window side of the peninsula and begin a 1.4% grade up through open countryside. As it rounds the end of the peninsula, we will use a new Atlas Code 55 curved turnout to open up into the siding. The main/siding will continue on the long wall side of the peninsula and bridge over the line that came out from the Mississippi River bridge. This will help with a few things: 1) no sharp radius turn off the bridge, 2) creates the effect of climbing the grade out of the river valley. In town, will be basic industries including station, Sunrise Feed Mill and Valley Fuel & Supply (groceries, coal, etc). Between the Mississippi River bridge and Rock Island will be simply farmland with no industries.

Spring Valley
I'm sad to report that originally planned Spring Valley has been erased from existence. Well, not really, but it was fun to say anyway.

Bureau has been beefed up slightly from the original plan. The main will ease into Bureau through a slight s-curve from Rock Island. There will be a siding at Bureau. There will be a station and a small grain elevator. From Bureau, the main/siding will continue behind the ovalix. On the right side of the ovalix will be a wye. You can continue straight to go down the Peoria branch or make the right turn to continue on the mainline to Chicago. The siding will end right before the wye.

Stockdale is becoming a bustling little town. So, we depart the wye at Bureau and head up the ovalix four rounds and come out on the left side of the ovalix. We curve around to the left and enter Stockdale. At Stockdale will be a main/siding with a minimum of two storage tracks. Industries include Markham Produce (storage/repackaging/warehouse) and Illinois Valley Grain. There will probably be a few other small industries in this location too.

Much like the lower level but mirrored, the main will depart Stockdale and ease into the far side of the peninsula (long wall side). The line will run through rural farm land (possibly passing a small grain elevator), curve around the end of the peninsula while descending a 1.6% grade. Half way through the curve at the end will be a curved turnout to begin the siding at Joliet. Joliet will have a station plus a couple of industries (including American Can Co and Joliet Grain Co). At the end of the main/siding will be a branch track that goes off to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (Quincy, IL connetion) which is a hidden storage track behind the backdrop on the upper level (above the Mississippi River area).

Blue Island
As the main leaves Joliet, it will cross over itself (line from Stockdale) and ease along the neighbor wall. This section is above the Mississippi River. Nothing is planned in this area except for farm scenery. The main will curve around onto the long wall. The shelf will be 6" wide. Blue Island will have a main/siding along with a nearly solid Walthers / DPM wall of industry flats.

Burr Oak Yard (Chicago Staging)
The main will continue from Blue Island and open up into 8 staging tracks similar to staging west of Davenport.

From the wye on the right side of the ovalix bottom, the line will pass over the lift out section in front of the window, run behind the TV and enter the shelf above the desk. In the corner over the TV cabinet will be the N&W connection from Decatur. There will be three grain elevators in Peoria and the Johnson Grain & Produce. There will be other industries as well including a passenger station.

From the connection (no wye) on the left side of the ovalix top (straight connection from Meredosia to Stockdale with no connection back toward Davenport). The line will go behind the ovalix on the top level with a small area for Chambersburg. The line will then travel into the TV cabinet passing over the Illinois River in the mini-scene above the TV set. The line will then enter the second shelf above the desk. At this time there will be a station, CIPS power plant and Pearl Button Company factory. The Meredosia line is a fictional branchline of the N&W. The Wabash ceased existences in 1964 when it was purchased by the N&W. The N&W will operate power on the former Wabash line.

So, I believe that covers the railroad layout.
Now, for the trains...

#11/#12 Peoria Rocket
Departs Peoria with a FP7 + 2 silver side coaches. Station stops at Bureau, Stockdale, Joliet, Blue Island, Chicago (staging). At Bureau, the train will pull into the station (located over in front of the window (that can be blocked), pick up the one passenger (CEO's Aunt Maude), perform a reverse move back to the south end of the wye, and then traverse the rest of the route to Chicago. On the return trip, off the ovalix, it will traverse the wye pulling onto the branchline for Peoria, make a reverse move into the station to Bureau to drop off Aunt Maude and then continue to Peoria. EB to Chicago will run early morning, WB departing Chicago around 6:15pm.

#13/#14 Peoria/Meredosia Rocket (Second Section)
Departs Chicago 9am with two Budd RDC-3s. Station stops at Bureau, Stockdale, Joliet, Blue Island, Chicago (staging). At Stockdale, the train will split. The lead unit will continue making its stops. The second unit will depart Stockdale traveling to Meredosia. The Budd RDC-3s also transports the local mail. Operations at Bureau will be the same as #11/#12, but this time picking up Aunt Minerva). Return trip departs Peoria at 3pm. On the return trip, the Peoria Rocket will rejoin with the Meredosia Rocket at Stockdale.

#5/#6 Quad Cities Rocket
Departs Davenport with a E8A and 3 silver side coaches. Station stops at Davenport, Rock Island, Bureau, Stockdale, Joliet, Blue Island and Chicago (staging). Train departs Davenport at 6:45am and departs Chicago at 5:35pm.

Auto Extra East/West
Train departs Chicago staging. Limited to 8 or 9 cars. Mix of open auto racks and 86' hi-cube auto parts box cars. No work on the railroad. Straight through to western staging. 2nd class train. Counterpart departs western staging traversing the line to Chicago staging.

Extra Freight East/West
Train departs Chicago staging. Limited to 12 cars. General freight working Stockdale and Davenport. Counterpart departs western staging working the same towns. 2nd class train.

Peoria Local
Originates at Davenport. Works Rock Island, Bureau, Peoria and return. 3rd class train

Stockdale Local
Originates at Chicago. Works Blue Island, Joliet, Stockdale and return. 3rd class train

Meredosia Local
N&W Local originating in Bluffs, IL traversing through Meredosia. Works Stockdale, interchanges cars, returns to Meredosia/Bluffs. 3rd class train.

Melon Express (Train ID not assigned yet)
Receives fresh fruits and vegetables from California via the AT&SF and UP at Kansas City. Departs western staging. Set off at Davenport yard. Davenport switcher responsible for moving the cars to the local produce warehouse. Set off at Stockdale, pick up empties. Set off at Blue Island, pick up empties. Continue to Chicago (staging). Train is one-way on the layout. Empties return on general freights back out west.

CNW Local
Originates at Clinton, IA (hidden staging) arriving at Davenport, interchanges cars, returns.

CB&Q Local
Originates at Quincy, IL (hidden staging) arriving at Joliet, interchanges cars, returns.

Milwaukee Road Local
Originates at Lacrosse, WI (hidden staging) arriving at Rock Island, interchanges cars, returns.

N&W Local
Originates at Decatur, IL (hidden staging) arriving at Peoria, interchanges cars, returns.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Structures Progress 06.08.10

Assembled two kits this week.

Walthers Golden Valley Depot - Future Bureau, IL Station

Walthers Goldenflame Coal & Fuel Dealer

Walthers Farmers Coop Grain Elevator. Purchased on eBay for cheap - partially assembled. Finished it up last night.

Walthers Sunrise Feed Mill Assembled

Video from the Prototype Rock Island Railroad 06.08.10

A short video from Green Frog videos of the Rock Island in the era I'm modeling (1964-1974). Looking forward to operating the layout.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Construction Begins 05.31.10

With the boys coming over on Monday, I wanted to make some progress beforehand. The girls and I ventured out to the garage. I started marking up the first lumber and fired up the Dewalt compound miter saw. Not even the excitement of the girls' new bikes could keep them away from helping daddy with construction. I taught the girls how to mark the studs 16 inch on center. They also assisted with driving the screws in the 1x4s. They learned how to control the trigger on the variable speed drill and to slowly drive the screw into the wood. I was a proud Papa watching my girls learning how to use power tools at such a young age.

Saturday evening progress:

- 2x8ft 1x4 box frame for Davenport Yard
- 1x8ft 1x4 box frame for Bureau
- 14"x34" 1x4 box frame for East Bureau
- 3x7ft 1x4 box frame for the peninsula

Sunday evening, after the kids were in bed, I returned to the very humid garage to continue construction.

Sunday's Progress:
- 14"x7ft 1x2 box frame for Stockdale (upper level)
- 1x8ft 1x2 box frame for Blue Island (upper level)
- 3x4ft 1x4 box frame for the ovalix (bottom level)

Monday morning, I was joined by the talented, eager construction team made up of Marcus Neubacher of the Charleston, Roanoke & Eastern Railroad and Larry Keller of the Peconic Railroad.

After short discussions, construction began. The first section of benchwork at Bureau was installed. Installation of the frame supporting Davenport Yard quickly followed. The peninsula rose into position under the sharp eye of Marcus checking for level and plumb. By lunch, we had constructed and installed the box frames for West Davenport Yard/Staging, East Bureau, and the Ovalix on the lower level plus Blue Island and Burr Oak Yard/Chicago Staging frames on the upper level. Incredible progress in a short period of time!

After refueling, we continued construction installing the upper level frames for Stockdale and the ingenious T-frame construction for Joliet above the peninsula.

By mid-afternoon (quitting time) we had managed to construct 85% of the benchwork. There are some minor support brackets that need to be installed, but considering the short amount of time, a very productive day!

Photos of the Construction Progress

A special thanks to Marcus Neubacher and Larry Keller for their assistance and guidance in the conversion to N scale. Their knowledge and support has been invaluable!! Thanks guys!