North Clinton in HO Scale

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by yardmaster, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Folks -
    Been a long time coming, but as I've gotten to know the environs of North Clinton, I think it's a good fit for my land grant and a modeling topic whose time has come.

    Still struggling with precise logistics, but here's a crude version thus far. Some key notes:
    • Staging areas will be either sector plates or traversers. I don't like the added complexity or length of ladder tracks, but am not opposed to considering them.
    • If I feel really ambitious, the North Staging could potentially be replaced with a helix to allow for an upper level of the line north of Clinton.
    • The Workbench, storage cabinet and bookshelf are immovable. Sort of. I've already moved these items with an eye toward this general scheme.
    • I plan on building in stages. The Frisco Depot Spur's about to get started. From there I'll build toward the MKT crossing and then south to the yard.
    • Track to be handlaid. Psychological examination to follow. It's always something I wanted to do. Hence, the depot spur will be smaller, simpler and a good test bed and starting point.
    • Operational scheme will focus on 1943, but I have to admit that Karl's description of 1929 North Clinton operations certainly has me thinking "backdating"
    • Each square on the sketch represents 1 foot.
    North Clinton Yard Operations

    The literal question mark is where I'm stuck. If I start yard trackage just "south" of the interlocking tower, I worry that it's going to look like the Espee's yard at Dunsmuir, CA and not North Clinton. I think it will still work operationally, but I have to decide if I'll be happy with how it looks. I have pondered using a view block where the tracks curve behind a back drop and then straighten out along the bottom wall - a blind spot of sorts.

    More to come. Thoughts, ideas and suggestions are welcome. My feelings will not be hurt - I've worked in insurance 22 years, so I assure you, I've probably heard worse. :)

  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Handlay track? Holy cow! I’ve always admired folks with the skill, time and patience to handlay but honestly Micro Engineering flex track looks more realistic in my opinion. Especially with the pre weathered rail and some weathering applied to the ties.
    But then again I’m getting lazy in my older years. :)
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  3. Friscotony

    Friscotony Member

    A cross over between the Frisco main and the spur would give you a wye and allow "loco" turning.

    Tony LaLumia
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I can understand the desire to build your own switches; you can't get the quality from factory, machine-made. But there just is no realistic benefit/cost ratio for hand-building regular straight or curved track; the time consumed trying to get it straight, parallel and in gauge will be really frustrating. I really recommend you focus on what is most important for maintaining interest and operation, unless you are more into rivet-counting model-building.
    geep07 and Ozarktraveler like this.
  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Thanks for the comments and suggestions, gents.

    Indeed, today's flextrack options look much more realistic and detailed. Unless going to a Proto:87 approach or larger scale, I won't have detailed tie plates, etc. to enjoy. Keith, I do worry about the lack of precision and the abundance of frustration. Nevertheless it's something I want to try and is why I will start small and simple.

    Tony, I'm hoping to keep the track plan as prototypical as possible. There will be a turntable for loco turning either near or beyond the "mark of the Riddler" that I've included in the sketch.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  6. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Their is a lot of wisdom in Keith's words, but it is your RR, so the choice is your's I would not be able to do that, it wouldn't be long until rail and tie's would look like a Rock Island yard. And I would say, " I planned it that way "
    Ozarktraveler and Jim James like this.
  7. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter


    I have played with room and basic premise, and I have arrived at my version of Clinton and North Clinton. I cheated at North Clinton and used a 30 degree crossing instead of the 90 degree prototype. Consequently North Clinton looks a bit different, but I think that I have captured the essence of the depot lead and I included an interchange. It still might be possible to add another connecting leg if desired. One can play a bit with the depot lead and add industries. Tracks are on two inch centers, turnouts are number sixes, and the minimum radius is 24". The aisle is about 48", which could be tightened if desired. The 75' turntable will accommodate Bolsheviks and the 4000-class 2-8-2's (which operated between KC and Clinton).The down-side of my plan is the distance between the yard and the N Clinton crossing. Perhaps this space might be used for additional industries.

    I moved the Springfield staging area to "above" your work table... I wonder if one of the staging tracks might also be used as a test track at your work bench??

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Chris, Karl has an excellent take on what you are trying to accomplish. I think the staging tracks above your work bench are an excellent idea as well. Using the track nearest to you could be used as a test and programming track is superior as well. Excellent LED lighting could be placed under the staging benchwork to provide excellent lighting for a work surface.
    Ozarktraveler and yardmaster like this.
  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Don't think I can thank you enough for this. It solves two previously unspoken issues:
    1) how to add a "live" MKT track and interchange and
    2) how to squeeze in the Mo. Utilities facility north of the junction and the Larabee Mills or at least its lead.

    Guess that's actually three issues.

    My initial reaction to a 30 degree crossing is that the increased operational flexibility - which is a high priority for me - makes any aesthetic sacrifice well worth it. That said, I probably will try to cobble together a small, 3D mockup.

    Also like Springfield staging over the workbench. Keith, it's interesting that you mentioned the LED lighting. Between an overhead shop light, a magnifier-light combo and desk lamp, I still wouldn't mind more.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    The 5 meter LED strips that run on 12vdc are available in very bright warm white and cool white. I used a combination of both to get a very balanced color in my paint booth. They can be cut to length and mount easily on a smooth, finished flat surface.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  11. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Chris and Keith,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    So, Chris, if you were willing to have a lift-out, would you consider this offering? I have added South Clinton, which the Frisco reached via the KATY and KCCS Jct. The layout would include the abandoned South Interlocking Tower and the freshly abandoned KCCS crossing and ROW. This addition will provide additional industries, and trackage rights over the Katy. Crews will have to get track and time to switch S Clinton. I may have reached the point of diminishing returns with this version, and things may be too tight at S Clinton.

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
    gna, yardmaster, Joe Lovett and 2 others like this.
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Chris, if your layout height will be 52", I have a suggestion. Don't go with a lift-out. You can do a duck-under that is high enough for most anyone. I have some pix on my layout thread that should give you a good idea of what I am doing.

    I really like Karl's latest iteration.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
    gna likes this.
  13. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Wow. There needs to be an tiered level of "like" on the site. Maybe Double-Secret Like or some such.

    Plaudits aside, I had not really thought that the space would make itself available for linking up at South Clinton. The possibility of having both ends of the MKT connected to staging would really give a greater feel of traffic actually going somewhere, and not just onto the interchange track, waiting to be picked up between sessions.

    Karl, I will tinker around with the space and some butcher paper to see if South Clinton would fit. Here's the X Factor: this would fit very nicely into what I call our rumpus room, where we have a treadmill, card/game table and a table tennis set. With the youngest about 2 1/2 years from post-secondary life, it's really the ideal layout room. Carpeted with drop ceiling and climate controlled. Accordingly, I am hoping to build anything in the current landgrant that could be moved and modified to fit in this space. At the same time, my wife has started hinting at a desire to downsize to a more-centrally located house in town that would be closer to her work and just as close to mine once the nest is empty. So, who knows.

    Keith, a duckunder is preferable to a lift-out or swing gate. I think I'm going to manage to that. The latter two options would be vital if I were to be moving larger stuff in and out of the space, and if I haven't thus far, I don't think I will be. Maybe even use the office chair to make it a Skootch-Under if my flexibility continues to flee my joints.

    This is as enthused as I've ever felt about a layout plan that seems buildable. Now I need to manage my time better so I can start-a-buildin'.

    Many, many thanks to you both. More to come.

    Best Regards,
  14. w3hodoug

    w3hodoug 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Only one suggestion - the Springfield Yard - try to angle your ladder tracks toward the aisle rather than toward the wall. You might want to see the switch points. Otherwise, you are getting there. Doug
  15. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter


    Just to clarify things, the yard depicted at the bottom of the drawing, is the Frisco's North Clinton Yard. Of the various Layout Design Elements incorporated into the drawing, the North Clinton Yard has the best fidelity to the prototype.

    I have added a label to the drawing... Apologies for the confusion.

    Joe Lovett likes this.

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