New Layout Idea-Looking for Input

Discussion in 'General' started by Boomer John, May 16, 2017.

  1. Boomer John

    Boomer John Member

    I was pretty active at one point on the SLSF Forum with my West Bottoms layout. Several years ago I ran into a problem I am sure many have faced. This was my first layout and over the last eight years my standards have increased. Try as I might I don't think I will ever be satisfied with the current project, so it sits mostly idle like the infamous Plywood Pacific.

    I have spent the last several years toying around with what to do next. I have entertained a "Lance Mindheim" type industrial switching layout, even looking at non-SLSF themes. But in the end the tilt up buildings all look alike and I can see getting bored with it pretty quick.

    Several days ago I stumbled on a website of Charlie Duckworth's MOPAC line through central Missouri. It made be think of my original thought nine years ago to model the Clinton line. But I just could not make that work given not much switching activity north of Clinton and Clinton is pretty spread out. I have an L shaped area 24X12. But after looking at Charlie's layout I got to thinking that I have always approached Clinton from the North. If I approach from the South those towns have a little more meat on the bones. I could string together three LDE's; Bolivar, Weableau (sp?) and Oceola. A couple of my objectives would be met;

    1) Keith Robinson did his magic on an RS1 and a Baldwin, my two favorite locomotives. The RS1 is RI, so still looking for a decal solution. I also like covered wagons, which could occasionally make a run. Perfect for the Clinton branch.
    2) I like scratch building structures. At first glace Bolivar and Oceola depots look difficult, but I think doable.
    3) I like doing scenery.
    4) I like the feeling of small town Midwest.
    5) Operationally I don't have the space, money or time to build the big layout so prevalent in KC that takes a team to operate. I'm quite satisfied to go run the trains 30 minutes switching some industries.
    Switching simple industries in three small towns seems a good fit.
    6) I have all the necessary equipment except for more tank cars, including a converted troop sleeper for express, AMB caboose and plenty of Sylvan Models 1950 automobiles, another thing I enjoy building.

    For the first time in awhile I am kind of excited about this. Do any of my fellow Friscophiles have any input, or have a lost my mind.

    John Moenius
    Joe Lovett and FriscoCharlie like this.
  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    John -
    Sorry for the delay in replying - good to see you around here. Hopefully the tardiness in replies hasn't convinced you that your mind is irrevocably lost.

    Depending on the configuration, I'd think that Clinton alone, and certainly some towns to the south could offer 30 minutes at a time of switching. And, I definitely think you would realize all of the goals you've listed above.

    Are you looking at a particular era? The Sylvan models tells me 1950s; I think I recall you looking at a later 60s/70s timeframe when you'd discussed some of the Frisco's industrial trackage in Johnson County. At any rate, the most appealing thing I see about a late 1940s/early 1950s time frame is that one can still run the local freights and trains 20/21 as separate passenger runs, with even some passenger switching to boot, especially in some of the photos posted by Tom G. in post #19 and with a nice Mark Davidson description in - appropriately - post #21:

    I concur with and can relate to a lot of what you've outlined. As appealing as the 29th Street interlocking and the Fairgrounds Branch is to me, I lack both time and available space to effectively model such a locale, especially in terms of motive power and rolling stock.

    If the excitement is still there a few days later, I say start the planning and make plans for the demolition and construction to start. Looking forward to hearing more.

    Best Regards,
  3. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    I've thought about this myself lately as well.

    The interaction between the Frisco and the Katy at Clinton could certainly be Interesting to model.

    The depot spur saw mixed service from the end of trains 20 and 21 until very late in the Frisco passenger era, with the mixed service being one of the last 3 passenger route in the timetable.

    Sometime shortly after the discontinuance of trains 20/21, the interlocking tower was taken out of service, and the diamond was protected by a gate, so signaling can be all mechanical.

    Frisco had a yard at Clinton. It is a very model railroad like yard, with only a handful of tracks. The yard included a track scale and an engine servicing facility ( complete with turntable )

    There were some joint Frisco/Katy industries, including an ADM plant and a piggyback ramp ( which was at the end of two of the ADM tracks.

    The south Clinton industries were reached via trackage rights over the Katy. I can imagine the Frisco crews having to wait on a Katy crew before being able to proceed to south Clinton. (I have pondered lately the thought of a south Clinton switching layout on a Free-moN module set. At home, just switching on the Frisco tracks. And using the MKT tracks for the Free-moN mainline...the same thing could be done as an HO Free-mo module set. )

    Clinton was the termination point for the scheduled freights on the line.

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  4. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    John, you have chosen wisely. The industry schematics for the "high line" makes my teeth itch. Check with Charlie Dischinger and have a long phone chat with him about the "Clinton" branch, which he ran often as engineer. Pick a few words, in question form, to ask him, and take notes for the following hour. You'll not need to say much. Those of us who know Charlie can validate this. He's a great resource. And NMRA MMR.

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