Crawford and Cherokee Layout Update

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by rjthomas909, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening All,

    Today I spent some time learning about the AnyRail software and drew up a rough track plan for my layout, the "Crawford and Cherokee" (|-|Frisco, of course!|-|). Attached is an exported image from the track planning software. It is not quite an exact match for the layout and still needs numerous scenery details, but close enough that I hope you will get the picture. I have started an album and will add a few more photos as it progresses.

    The layout is a significant portion of the "Vienna and Carthage" HO scale layout plan by Iain Rice that appears in the 2012 edition of Model Railroad Planning. I thought that I could build a layout representative of the area in Southeast Kansas where the Frisco crossed itself in a couple of locations (like Cherokee and Columbus). It is a one-town layout with five staging tracks to hold the inbound/outbound trains. As such, I am trying to add features representative of the area: Grain elevators, typical businesses, and eventually a branch to a coal mine on the Weir and Pittsburg Coal Field. The plan also provides the opportunity to alternately use one line as an interchange or junction with another line such as the MoPac. The notional timeframe is 1945-1955 and I have been collecting a few of the B&Y early diesels and have a couple of steam locos as well.

    If anyone has knowledge of the area, I could use a few notes and recommendations relevant to operations (notional locomotive equipment in the area and representative train numbers, especially Ft. Scott through to Afton.....). I have been looking for an ETT from that division, but have yet to find an appropriate one.

    As of today, I have the bench work built and all of the track down as shown in the attached plan. The layout is wired and I have all but two switch machines installed and working, all using DCC. As it is now a bit warm here in South Texas, I am concentrating on building structures until it cools off a bit (September/October?). In the fall, I hope to make some progress with scenery, and post a few pictures in the album I created.

    Best wishes to all,

    -Bob T.

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Looks nice. HO? I like the double track crossing the single line by the water tank. It's nice to have all the switching opportunities but still have continuos running available.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    That looks like a fun layout. If you wanted to add a little more interesting to it you could add Edwards junction.

  4. Frisco1515

    Frisco1515 Frisco1515

    Hi Bob, I could help you with passenger trains of this period but not freight. Let me know if you want info on passenger trains. Fred Clem aka Frisco1515
  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Thats an interesting track plan for sure. A lot of action.
  6. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
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  7. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Looking good, Bob. Those are some sharp locomotives.
  8. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Over the past few years, I had built the layout above, inspired by the Iain Rice "Vienna and Carthage" plan which has appeared several times now in books and magazines.

    The track plan appears in my media pages:

    The actual track layout varied just a bit from this image, but it is a good overview. I very much enjoyed the layout and had it built to the point of ground cover, structures and a good deal of scenery. Last spring I decided to tear it down (such that I could put my truck in the garage), and salvaged one section--the mine branch. While much of the rolling stock and locomotives were sold off, enough was salvaged for a small switching layout. The photos here are from the remaining module (loco look familiar? anyone?).


    Reading the articles on modular layouts recently recently, I was inspired to build up a sectional layout which could be assembled for a short period at a time, storing it otherwise as roughly 7ft x 1.5ft modules and 3ft x 3ft modules. The plan starts with the existing section and a couple of new ones. The plan is to build up a bit at a time.....


    Attached Files:

  9. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    The plan is drawn from the 1915 Sanborn maps of the time, and a few other items that appear on this site. You may have seen a few maps posted recently that I found along the way. The Luna Insight Image collections:,-Kansas---1915?qvq=q:weir&mi=28&trs=36

    ...has a number of excellent sheets for the area. I plan to take the existing module for the old mine branch and build Weir and the module north to have a small switching layout. I will then build back toward Cherokee.

    The modules will be paired and bolted together for storage and made a length that allows them to be stored vertically.

    I would appreciate any feedback on the plan before I start building....I have to make the corner modules, but have the others framed with plywood and pink foam.


    -Bob T.

  10. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Good Evening Friends,

    Some good progress this weekend. Assembled the two corner modules' benchwork with foam and ready to lay out some track. I will post some photos of benchwork soon, but my plans for this evening were interrupted by a storm. Spent some time tweaking the plan against the turnout collection that I have (salvaged FastTracks from the old layout). Here is the updated plan:

    Note that I started a gallery to host the photos of this layout. I regret not capturing more from the old Crawford and Cherokee.....there are a few in a previous album.

    -Bob T.
  11. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter

    Added a few pictures to the media for the Crawford and Cherokee (v2) modular layout. The first photos shows the modules lined up as if the "usual suspects".

    The lineup includes the existing Lightning Creek Mine branch from v1 of the old layout. It needs some touching up, but with the exception of the tipple, is fairly far along. There are several pictures, but maybe of interest is the benchwork detail. I have used 5/8 inch plywood with 1-inch pink foam overlaid and 1 x 3 framing. The cross-members with holes are position-able after the turnouts are placed such that the switch machines are not in conflict. They include holes for carrying wiring. The small blocks are used at joints to provide screw connections without using the end grain.

    I worked on a rough layout of track to see about how it would space out and if I had sufficient room for my existing structures. I may need to adjust positions of some of the cross-overs, but overall it is looking OK. I did not lay out the MoPac interchange, but I think that will be straightforward.

    Weir City, 1915:

    The mine branch module will connect to the turnout at the lower left. a small (1x4) fiddle yard will connect to the end of Weir at the south end. Still debating building a short full-width module instead.

    Cherokee South of the diamond, 1915:

    The rough layout shows that I don't really like the small spur for the oil dealership. I think it better just to have the two industries end-to-end on the same siding.

    I hope you enjoy...having a great time with this one. The main lesson learned tonight is that I need to build some legs! I would like to get the whole thing drawn out on the benchwork before putting the track down permanently.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  12. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Bob, your layout is looking good, glad to see your using insulation foam as part of the base. You'll be glad you did!!! Below track level scenery is easy to do, I like to use a keyhole saw to carve foam. It makes quick work.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  13. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    I like it. I am not very good at seeing problems with trackplans, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm seeing more and more references to the Sanborn maps lately as a resource, especially on MRH. They help with good layout design.

    How long are the trains you plan on running? What size turnouts? Minimum radius?
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  14. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    I posted the assembled partials from the 1915 Sanborn map of Weir in my media gallery. There was a wye perpendicular to the depot at this time, but I did not include it. There are any number of mines and zinc smelters in the region at this time, and this one is representative of those in the area. They were mostly small operations. There is a plate at:

    which shows a number of industries in the area. I think any one of these, or several are candidates for additional modules. They also have the plates from Cherokee around 1910. I used what is there to design the module for the area south of the Frisco diamond.

    The layout will operate with short train lengths of 3-5 cars and a caboose. I am considering building a few of the 36 ft wood boxcars from Accurail. It would be neat to recreate the photo in the Frisco Archive:


    The turnouts are minimum #5 (2), but most are #6 or greater. I am using a bunch of FastTracks turnouts that I salvaged from my old layout. I spent the weekend trying to clean the ballast from them and glue a few ties back on, but you can see in the photos, they still look a bit hairy. Minimum radius is 26 inches on the corner modules.

    Thanks for the MRH reminder. I posted some of the early plans there, but need to post this update as well and try to get some feedback.

    Thanks for your interest and feedback.

    -Bob T.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  15. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    For some reason, that picture won't open for me. EDIT: I reloaded the page and I can see it now. Yes, those Accurail cars would be good. I haven't found any of the Accurail 36 footers yet, but I want to get several of them.

    MRH has been interesting lately. Jim Six has been posting on "One Town Layouts," and "Depression era modeling." Apparently there was some blow up last week that I missed, and he deleted everything, but came back with new versions. This would be perfect for those threads. There are some good threads on layout design, too.

    I read the Model Railroader forum, too, and there are some people who are very good at layout design on that site.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  16. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    I noticed that in the sixth post down the link Bob gave is broken. Please take a look.

    rjthomas909 likes this.
  17. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    You can backdoor it. Click on rjthomas909 under his avatar, and when a box opens up, click on albums page. You can see all the albums mentioned in this thread.
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  18. rjthomas909

    rjthomas909 Member Supporter


    Thanks, I think that might have been a link in the old site. I have posted a picture, and the link will take you to the album.

    -Bob T.
  19. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Thank you guys, I looked up Bob's photos from his album page from his profile. Bob has a lot of neat photos.

    mountaincreekar and gna like this.
  20. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    Is that a Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0? Looks like you built an oil bunker and a doghouse for it. Nice!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.

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