Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rock Island v.2.0 - Just how big is Ottawa Silica?

Over the past few days, I have been drawing to scale the Ottawa Silica plant to see how feasible it would be to model it.  I must say, it's pretty darn big!  The ground sand plant is 3 feet long in N scale.  The filter/sizing plant is 2 1/2 feet long.  If modeled, I would have four tracks with a capacity of 25 cars each.  Empties would be spotted on the south end of the plant and "moved" by conveyor chains to the north end of the plant when loaded.  I would then require 8 box car spots for the loading of bagged sand.  Add in a few other spots for miscellaneous machinery, tools, mining equipment, etc. and this one industry will consume nearly 115 cars!  That's a monster!  Originally, I thought it would all fit within an 8ft sheet of plywood, but after laying it out on the table this morning, I don't think so.  I think you would need 10ft if you included the yard ladders on both ends.  It could fit in a room size of the current layout, but it would tight.  It would probably have to be scaled down a little though.

Here are scale drawings of the four main buildings of the Ottawa Silica Plant.

As much as I would love to create the ROCK v2.0 to prototypically model the ROCK, I don't think it's feasible to tear down the existing layout.  I'm greatly disappointed, but it would be a waste.  Now, if we ever move, all bets are off!  The ROCK v2.0 will be built!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Progress Report 05.01.13 - Extra Sand Train East

This evening, I test ran some locomotives on a unit (empty) sand train to Ottawa.  I took some photos along the way.  Everything is ready for the operating session Saturday.  This will be #11 in the books.

I have also been working on a spreadsheet for creating automatic train lists for an operating session.  I made some significant progress over the past few days.  I'm very excited!

Extra Sand East departing West Kelly Yard

Extra Sand East by the freight house at East Moline, IL

Extra Sand East crossing over the Rock River

Extra Sand East by old man Franklin's Farm

An fuel truck returning to Sunrise Ag waits for Extra Sand East at Rock Island.

Extra Sand East by Farmers Grain in West Bureau, IL

Extra Sand East by Ridge Ave in East Bureau Junction, IL

Extra Sand East crossing the Hennepin Canal

Extra Sand East by the station at LaSalle, IL

Extra Sand East through Utica, IL

Extra Sand East by the station at Ottawa, IL

A railfan catches the train before it pulls under the Caldwell Rd overpass.

And finally the arrival in Ottawa.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pre-Op Session Report 04.29.13 - Bing Updates their Maps

I completed cleaning the track and positioning locomotives for their assignments yesterday and today.  Other than test running the locomotives, I believe we are good for the op session on Saturday.  Oh, I should probably clean up the workbench.  It's a hot mess.

I have been working on creating some scale drawings of the Ottawa Silica Plant.  I'm curious to see just how big this plant would be in N scale.  I managed to calculate the dimensions of the building by using a covered hopper as a reference.  Once I calculated my scale, I was able to measure the other buildings from the Bing Maps.

Speaking of such, I noticed Bing updated their maps of the Ottawa Silica and LOF plants.  That probably explains why is was so incredibly slow the other day.  Now, I have maps in HD!  Yes!!  I'm unsure when the last map was made, but the plant has made quite a few additions since then.  Pretty interesting to see.  I have to review current day photos and reference back to articles and drawings from the late 70s, early 80s to figure out what I would actually need to model.

I'm still contemplating a ROCK v2.0.