New layout; Bonanza & Western Railroad

Discussion in 'Freelance' started by skyraider, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Last August I started a new layout in my small basement. We have an extremely small home so the layout is only 6' X 12'. Dallas, TX, is where I was born and reared. Southwest railroads are my favorites. We have lived in Colorado Springs for over 20 years and I also like mountain railroading. Frisco will always be the most important railroad to me because my grandfather was a division lineman with the Frisco / QA&P for his entire working career.

    As a result, my railroad (the Bonanza & Western Railroad) is a completely fictitious combination of the Frisco and anything that ran into the Colorado front range (ATSF, Mopac, FW&D, C&S, RI, D&RGW, WP). Technically, the WP never made it past Utah, but it did on this railroad.

    The scenery will be based on the Colorado Springs area (think red and yellow sandstone, in addition to red granite). It's a fun area to model due to the wide variety of geography and geology, and the multiple railroads that come through Colorado Springs. Between the joint line, the old Colorado & Midland and the defunct Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek District Railway (now Gold Camp Road), there are numerous photo opportunities and prototype sources to follow. At least once a week I ride my bicycle someplace to take photos of places you can't access by a motorized vehicle.

    Needless to say, I've got a long way to go. The mainline is dual gauge so I can run my HOn3 stuff. The yard will most likely be narrow gauge only to simplify things (and avoid the expense of additional dual gauge switches). The structures are all complete because they came from a previous railroad I built. My wife made the skirts and will paint a backdrop at some point in time.

    A few photos of local scenery and the model railroad are attached. Once I figure out how to create an album, I'll post more photos.

    Paul Moore IMG_1527.JPG IMG_1526.JPG IMG_1529.JPG carved rock retaining wall.jpg 004.jpg IMG_20171123_134518_674.jpg 008.jpg IMG_1527.JPG IMG_1526.JPG IMG_1529.JPG carved rock retaining wall.jpg 004.jpg IMG_20171123_134518_674.jpg 008.jpg
     
  2. gbnf

    gbnf Member

    Thank you for posting this, Paul. I like the approach to the tunnel and the view block.
    Do you have a particular time period in mind?
    I see a couple of steam locomotives. Will it be all steam?
    All freight, or will there be passenger service?
    Would love to see a track plan, and your ideas for operation.
    - George
     
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  3. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Hi George,

    Basically, late steam / early diesel. But the D&RGW steam locomotive paint jobs will be pre -1940. I like the herald and Denver & Rio Grande Western, not the Flying Rio Grande. The only diesels I have at this point are several sets of F units and a Rio Grande SD7. And the early diesel is open to interpretation. Someday I'd like to have a pair of GQ&P GP7's--one with a steam generator and one without. Some early second generation diesels might end up in the collection (GP 35's, for example).

    The track plan was done in SCARM. A week after I completed the trackplan my old XP computer finally died and I lost the track plans. The track plan is basically an oval (30" radius on the mainline) with an infield yard and stub end that goes to what I call the north end of the layout. On the back side of the layout there is a double track stub end siding that serves the mine.

    Due to turn radius and cuts and fills, the passenger operations might be limited to shorter cars (70' passenger cars and troop cars). I have an 11 car California Zephyr, but don't know if I'll run those on the layout or not. Certainly not the full consist. I've also got a seven car troop train. That would be perfect for the layout.

    Operations haven't been thought through yet. It's a small enough layout that the switches (turnouts) will be manual. Walking around the layout doesn't bother me to flip a hand-throw doesn't bother me.

    The path carved into the side of the slope below where the mine siding will be is a hiking path. It originally existed for mine access before the mine was served by the railroad.

    I may do away with the roundhouse. It's too large for this layout and dwarfs everything in the center of the layout.

    Any ideas are welcome!!! It's still at the stage that quite a few changes could be accommodated.

    Thanks!!

    Paul
     
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  4. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Beautiful! I’ve been to and through Colorado Springs several times and I’ve always loved the scenery. Took my kids to Cripple Creek and rode the narrow gauge train once. Keep the photos coming.
     
  5. gbnf

    gbnf Member

    Paul, if you swapped ends, putting the roundhouse where the yard/team track is now, and vice versa. you would change the viewpoint so that the observer would be looking into the stalls at the locomotives. The town buildings would shift right, across from the passenger station. The largest item would be toward the front, and the smaller buildings would be farther away, exaggerating the perspective. Your locomotives would then be a highly visible focal point, as would any service area details. It appears you might also get more track in the relocated yard area. One of the two parallel tracks nearest the left front could be the yard lead, and the other a service track.

    The turntable could be manual, as it will be easy to reach, and the entire yard could serve as staging tracks. Any given locomotive would couple to a ready train and pull onto the main. One session might be passenger trains, another freight. By making just a few obvious buildings and details, like the water tank, removable, you could date the layout forward to diesels or backward to the steam era. You might even consider swapping buildings with rock formations. With careful attention to sight lines, the right side of the layout might resemble the empty spaces in your photos. In effect the layout would be a stage for sets that change with different plays. - George
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    George,

    Let me think about that. Those are great ideas and greatly appreciated.

    Paul
     
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  7. skyraider

    skyraider Member


    George,

    Your suggestions had me excited. They were great ideas. Unfortunately, after carefully looking over the layout and considering your ideas, there's just not enough room where the locomotive facility currently sits to have yard or team tracks of any length. If I had thought of this when designing the layout, I could have located the yard entrance to facilitate what you suggested. If I had a track plan, you would see what I mean.

    Thanks for the ideas. I really appreciate them. It just doesn't look like they will work.

    paul
     
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  8. gbnf

    gbnf Member

    John Allen had the same problem. A turntable and roundhouse is a space gobbler. (See attached images)
    He planned them inside, but changed the plan during construction.
    Not suggesting that you do likewise. :)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  9. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    That would be possible if I decreased the minimum radius, or enlarged the overall size of the layout. Sharp turns don't do it for me and there's not enough room to increase the size of the layout.
     
  10. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    A little progress has been made on my small HO layout (6 X 12). I've laid some track and done some more sculptamold. Needless to say, there's a long way to go. There's going to be a 1920's era foot bridge at the south end of the layout just north of the black plate girder bridge that I'll have to scratch build. Yesterday I did some research on foot bridges over small rivers. Any ideas are more than welcome.

    Anyway, here are a few shots of the current status.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Since none of the illustrious forum members have responded with ideas for a (just joking :)), I scratch built one last night. Actually, it was more like carving. Attached are some photos. I started with a plain piece of wood. I cut it to 32 scale feet long by 9 scale feet wide. Then I used a variety of tools to carve and make it look like planks attached to logs. It's a temporary bridge, but at least it's a bridge, and it didn't cost a penny. The fact that I spent five hours on Friday evening carving a bridge shows you how exciting a life I have. Kidding on that too...

    I may repaint or restain it. I'm not happy with the finish. But it's ok for something temporary until I find the right bridge. What I really want is the underframe from a 36' boxcar or reefer with trussrods.

    Paul Moore
     

    Attached Files:

  12. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Pretty darn good job on the bridge, Paul. Good enough that, if it were mine, I might be inclined to just leave it there as the final version.

    Best Regards,
     
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  13. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Chris. Scratch building is something I'm starting to enjoy. If you want something to fit a particular spot, a kit may not do it. But I've got tons to learn. My roundhouse is just too large for the layout. After scouring the internet looking for the right two small engine house, I may have to create one.

    The other issue is my color vision: I'm seriously color blind. Painting and staining are a huge challenge. My wife has to come downstairs numerous times to help me with colors.

    If I don't fine the right truss rod flat car, maybe I'll leave the bridge.

    Paul
     
  14. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Today I took some more photos of the foot bridge I carved a couple of weeks ago. It looks better than I thought, so I may keep it. It cost nothing--I carved it out of a piece of scrap wood.

    Paul Moore
     

    Attached Files:

  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Nice work Paul!
    K
     
  16. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Ken. Now if I could just improve my track laying skills!!

    Paul
     
  17. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Paul - Fear not, there is always something that is a problem.
    K
     
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  18. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Made a bit of progress on the layout this weekend. With my relative lack of experience on painting and detailing scenery (and defective color vision!), it's slow going. A couple of areas are just about ready for vegetation.

    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  19. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Got the scenery paint mostly done on a couple of areas this week. Pretty soon there will be some grass, bushes and weeds growing.

    Paul
     

    Attached Files:

  20. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    A few more photos of layout progress. Laid yard track; planted some grass, bushes and one tree; etc. Obviously, my scenery is semi-arid that is typical of the Colorado Springs area where my wife and I live. The mainline is dual gauge so I can run both standard and narrow gauge. Someday I'll do a little weathering on the freight cars, but that's a ways down the road.

    Also replaced gears on two of the four memebers of an ABBA set of FA / FB. On the B unit, all four gears had to be replaced.

    Paul Moore
     

    Attached Files:

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