Sulligent Layout

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by trainchaser007, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Welcome to the thread about the new direction for my layout - the Sulligent, AL area along the Birmingham Subdivision. I had fun working on my freelanced AT&N Extension layout (http://www.frisco.org/shipit/index.php?threads/at-n-modern-era-layout.5484/), but I couldn't get the idea of modeling an area a few miles in either direction of Sulligent out of my head. I'd thought about waiting indefinitely for the time to come when another space would be available to build another layout. Then I realized that with no more progress than I had made on the AT&N Extension layout, it really wouldn't be too difficult to go ahead and make a few changes to turn the AT&N Extension layout into a more prototypical, Sulligent-themed layout.
    Obviously, the Reform, AL side of the layout had to be remodeled as something else. Rather than stick my Flynn pulpwood yard and Crews pulpwood yard on that side, I decided to move Sulligent over to that side instead. It makes Sulligent easier for visitors to see without having to duck under the layout. I changed the track plan in between the curves to include the Odgen pulpwood yard spur, and Tri-County Farm Supply sidings.
    On the AT&N Extension layout, I wanted my run-around at Reform as long as possible so I soldered the turnout ends to the 24" semi-circle curves on each end. However, trains seldom went straight to stay on the main. Coming out of the curves, trains often jumped the turnouts' legs and derailed. To hopefully eliminate this problem, I took 6" of straight track out of the middle, and put 3" of straight track between each curve and turnout. I lost 6" of run-around track, but if trains no longer jump the turnout legs coming out of the curves, it will be worth it. I felt like if I can get lead trucks headed in the right direction after coming out of the curves prior to coming upon the turnouts, the 3" straights should steer the lead trucks in the right direction first and help prevent derailments.
    Below is a video showing what I've done to the new Sulligent side (old Reform side) as well plans for a factory backdrop on the far end. As for the old Sulligent side, that side will be home to the other two pulpwood yards in the area and a scenic divide.
     
    Jim James likes this.
  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Nice. I suggest you scratchbuilt the depot. I guarantee it will look better and be more rewarding than any kit depot.
     
  3. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    All in due time, Jim, but I share your opinion. No doubt it will give me plenty to do when the time comes. The floor plan mistakenly list the depot as erected in 1887, but that refers to the first, wooden depot. I'm not sure when the brick and concrete depot replaced it. All I know is that I'm too young to have any memories of the depot. The rest of the floor plan seems to be correct for the brick/concrete depot.
    First Sulligent Depot (Wooden).jpg Sulligent Depot.jpg Sulligent Depot2.jpg Sulligent Depot3.png Sulligent Depot Floor Plan.JPG
    On a side note, I found the picture of the wooden depot on a website about a local train robber, Rube Burrow (1854-1890), who was famous enough to be featured in an episode of the old "Stories of the Century" series. In the short western, Sulligent was mentioned by name three times and fictionally portrayed in a short train scene near the end.

    As for finding supplies to model the brick/concrete depot, I will most likely be calling upon you and others again to point me in the right directions as I did with my model of the Sulligent Cotton Oil Co. building. I've seen another picture of the depot somewhere that shows the other side from atop one of the buildings across the street, probably from the tallest building seen in the "Oldpostcards.com" image, but now I can't find it anywhere online. If my memory serves me correctly, the picture was taken during an International truck show that was held on the depot lot, probably in the 50's. I think a copy is hanging up in the current diner across the street from where the depot was located. I'll have to check next week. If so, I can take a picture of that copy.
    There was another building (Tri-County Farm Supply) that I would like to model but I barely remember it being there. I don't remember much about it other than it was a white, metal building. I remember it had a door on the south side, near the SE corner. I can't find any pictures. The last owner (on that site) told me she inherited the building from her dad and that she doesn't have any pictures. She sold the building with the stipulation that the buyer dismantle it and move it so that she could cancel her land lease with the railroad. All that remains is the concrete slab. I plan to ask her who bought it and attempt to contact them to find out if they relocated it or scrapped it. I fear the latter will be the case but it's worth a shot to find out if it's possible to see it as it was, only in another location. For now, I'm using a small freight house to represent the structure.
    As for the layout progress I made today...
    I glued all of the track in place on the (new) Sulligent side of the layout with DAP and replaced all missing ties from Sulligent to the other end of the curves at each end. I wanted the sidings lower than the main so I tapered the foam roadbed with a sharp kitchen knife as well as I could. Now, I just have to brush up on "how to make weeds" for the sidings. At the expense of a shorter run-around track, the curves in the sidings are smoother and the turnouts are better positioned and should work better. I haven't done any rewiring yet. I want to get all of the track in place all the way around the layout before I move on to rewiring. This picture shows cars staged on the two Tri-County Farm Supply sidings. The westbound local just picked up some pulpwood and left a couple of empties in the pulpwood yard siding across the main before departing for Amory. Sorry, but the lighting leaves something to be desired... for now.
    20160625_170339.jpg 20160625_170044.jpg
     
  4. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I still have another turnout to buy and another pulpwood yard to lay, but I couldn't wait any longer. After 11 days since the "morphing" began, I had to get a train running again. So I threw in a tacked down a temporary section of track and ran a westbound manifest. Two words = Smooth Running!
     
    Jim James likes this.
  5. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Well here's a question you won't see me ask everyday: "How do you like my skirt?" I wanted a cleaner look so I finally bought some inexpensive fabric, cut it in approx. 1-yd lengths, and stapled them in place (overlapping them slightly) to hide the storage underneath the layout. Before doing that, I put metal wheelsets on about four more freight cars and had my RS-1 pull a cut of cars around while I installed the skirt.
     
  6. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I love it! I really need to do something like that. Looks very good.
     
  7. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    How did Sulligent get its name? Crazy name.
     
  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Don, here's your answer:

    Sulligent was first called "Elliott", in honor of the chief engineer of the Kansas City-Memphis-Birmingham Railroad, then renamed one month later “Sulligent”, in honor of Sullivan, the superintendent of the railroad, and Sargeant, the passenger agent of the railroad.
     
  9. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    It could not have been any easier. The fabric was $1.49/yd at Walmart. I cut it into 1-yd lengths to access the storage space under the layout easier. I used a staple gun because it made for fast work. Thumbtacks would have probably worked as well but I would have spray painted them green first. I started to staple the fabric upside down, then let the fabric hang over the staples so that they wouldn't show. In the end, I just wasn't willing to take the time and make the effort to do it that way. It's not that big of a deal to me. I think it definitely looks better and that was my goal.

    Exactly, Keith. The rest of the info states: "The town was incorporated October 1887. A railroad depot was constructed and replaced twice over the years. Passenger car service existed until around 1965. The establishment of Sulligent along the railroad prompted a mass move of residents, and even some buildings from the town of Moscow, which had been established in 1835 just (3 miles) south of present day Sulligent. Moscow ceased to exist around 1900." (Source: http://maxhome.us/sulligent.html)

    Since naming the town after the chief engineer obviously wasn't enough to get the RR to build a depot, they renamed it after the supt. and passenger agent. That did the trick. The town was incorporated as Elliot in Oct., renamed Sulligent in Nov., and the depot was erected the same year!!! Now that's what I call getting the ball rolling! All that remains of Moscow (https://www.google.com/maps/@33.8600277,-88.1091137,16z) is a confederate cemetery on Jackson's Military Road (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson's_Military_Road). The oldest remaining building in Lamar County, AL is the Old Stagecoach Inn which is also on Jackson's Military Rd., a little NE of Moscow. http://www.fayette.net/Carruth/stagecoachinn.htm

    As long as I'm posting, I may as well give what little progress update I have. It's not much, but tonight, I finished making the last 120 of the 350 cornstalks I've made from garland. The best part is that while I worked on the cornstalks, my daughter sat down at the table with me and started cutting coffee stir sticks to make "pipes." I joined her after finishing the cornstalks. Together, we cut 250 stir sticks or enough to fill 6 gondolas.
    Cornstalks and Pipe.jpg
     
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  10. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I finally have my cornstalks and pipes on my layout.
     
    Jim James likes this.
  11. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Excellent looking corn!
     
    trainchaser007 likes this.
  12. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Thanks, Jim. It's not as realistic as the manufactured cornstalks, but with 341 cornstalks, it was certainly a whole lot less expensive. Their are 11 rows, spaced 5/8" apart. The cornstalks in each row are 1/2" apart. I drew a grid and pokes holes in the cardboard with a push pin and later with a small nail. The cornstalks fit tightly and are firmly in place. From stalk to stalk, the field is 15" x 6.25". I plan on installing weeds/brush at each end of the base so I made the base longer (18" x 8") to allow a little room for farm equipment to turn around at each end. My #8 Peco, left turnout just arrived at the post office so hopefully I'll be installing the last yard tonight or tomorrow. After than, it's on to crossings, then ballast, then ground cover.
     
  13. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    My layout is a obviously a running loop, but in theory, it is a point to point. In theory, it has a north end and south end. I need a scenic divide where the north and south ends meet each other. In real life, there are some places on the west side of town and one place east of town where construction of the railroad cut through small, gentle hills where the hilltops are about 30 ft above the track. The hills are covered with trees & ground cover. I'm thinking of creating a small, gentle hill, with a cut for the track, in the 36" x 20" area shown below, and covering it with trees and ground cover for realism and another inch or two of height. The highest point of the hill would be about train height with trees above that. I think that would be the most realist way to separate the scenes/directions. Any feedback such as opinions, advice, tips, photos, etc. would be appreciated.
    Sulligent Layout.GIF
     
  14. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Bridge Foreman

    Looks good. You could use a highway overpass in your scenic area. There is one nearby in Guin.
     
  15. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Thanks for the reply. I actually considered that since one highway overpass at that spot on the layout could serve as either the Guin, AL overpass from Crews, or the Greenwood Springs, MS overpass from the Flynn Yd. Both are within 13 miles of Sulligent so I strongly considered it. However, I'm trying to stay true to the area around Flynn Yd. & Crews if possible. In my opinion, the overpasses are too far away from either location in reality to have them so close together on the layout. I bought some Styrofoam & have been carving my small hill. If I don't like the results, I probably will make a highway overpass. Here are some progress pics. From the track view, the hill blocks the scene on the other side. Once I add ground cover and trees, it will be even better. I tried to make each side different. I cut the Flynn Yd (right) side at an angle. I cut a valley in the Crews, AL (left) side. The valley is in the slope to the left of the tracks. I also carved a steep slope on either side of the tracks.
    20160712_210301.jpg 20160712_221614.jpg 20160712_221559.jpg 20160712_222101.jpg
     
  16. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Here's my latest video. It shows some operation video clips, pictures, a "cab view" video with a track-height-view of the hill progress near the end, approaching the hill from "Crews, AL." Keep in mind that in the Sulligent area, RR north/south is actually west/east through the area. So when you see "Eastbound," thats' RR south. I'm also sharing the video on facebook so I worded it with east/west directions that would make sense to locals. Now that I've confused myself about directions, on to the video...
     
  17. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    In mid-July 2013, I bought two locomotives from Keith Robinson (klrwhizkid), one of which was a Bachmann Spectrum, GE 44 tonner that Keith had converted from DC to DCC. My layout is DC, but when he sold/shipped it to me, he thought my layout was DCC. I put getting it reprogrammed on the back burner until late May, 2014 when, with no known DCC modelers in my area, I post the fact that I was looking for someone to reprogram it and I would soon be traveling to NW Arkansas. I hoped someone along my route would see my post and be able to reprogram it. Keith saw my post and said that he too would be in NW Arkansas the same week. Since I was already passing within 10 miles of where he was staying, he graciously invited me up and offered to reprogram it to run on DC. Even though he reprogrammed it with his laptop and the power pack I was using at the time, after I got it home, it never worked correctly. Again, it became a project that got pushed to the back burner. About a week ago, I tried it out again and, "poof," I saw a puff of smoke and smelled the smell of burned up electronics. Hoping it was just a fried decoder, I googled, "How to reconvert a DCC locomotive back to DC." I also sent Keith a private message. With his instructions, this past Wednesday, I was able to rewire it and bypass the decoder. After having it for 3 years, I was finally able to get it working on DC! Here's a video of it's first run on my layout. I had it working on a M.O.W. train, headed to replace some crossties and ballast. That's actual limestone in the Frisco hopper on top of some foam. As for the crossties in the Frisco crosstie car, I took craft sticks from hobby lobby, glued them together in bundles, cut them to length, and soaked them in stain to look like they have been treated with creosote. The excavator and loader on the flatcar are items from my childhood Hot Wheels stash. The excavator's caterpillar tracks dry-rotted, so I'm going to try to find some black rubber bands, or paint some rubber bands black. If neither of those work, I plan to try super gluing black zip ties, or if all else fails, use black ponytail holders. The caboose (not visible) was a Life-Like, U.P. caboose that came with a train set I got for Christmas of 1990. A few years ago, I painted it red with some Testors paint and a paint brush. I made the decal myself. It's ugly, but I needed a caboose with hook horn couplers and it's the only "Frisco" caboose I have with hook horns. I hope you enjoy the video (with sound added).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  18. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Back to making asphalt pavement...
    On my last layout, the joint compound I used to make ramps/crossings cracked after I thought it was completely dry and painted it. Before I changed themes on my layout, I tried using air-dry clay. It looked perfect... until it dried and cracked. Then, I tried upside-down shingles. The surface was great, but I didn't like the seams. Since changing themes, I removed the singles and, last night, I tried joint compound again. Where it's thin, it seems to be drying fine, but where I built up ramps for crossings, it's thicker and already cracking. I may give it a week or so to dry, then apply another thin coat to seal the cracks. However, I began wondering if anyone has used shingles and then used joint compound to conceal the seams before painting it all. Has anyone ever seen that done and if so, was it successful?
    In the meantime, I just saw the electric mouse race game on The Price Is Right. I told my wife that even I could rig that game by taking cheap, used Tyco, DC power packs from Ebay (one for each mouse) and plugging them all into the same power strip to start them at the same time. Then I would set the speeds to get the desired outcome and say, "Well... you didn't win the new car, or the romantic 10-day trip for 2 to Hawaii, but at least you won the box of Orville Redenbacher's butter flavored, microwaved popcorn."
    Lawm mower key.jpg
     
  19. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I purchased and built an "Atlas HO Lumber Yard and Office Building Kit" years ago to represent Sulligent's former Kentucky Lumber Company, but I never got around to stocking it with lumber. I've had an assortment of hobby wood for years, but I had pushed the project to the back burner. My daughter had surgery Monday. Everything went much better than expected. She is home now and recovering well. Knowing she would be in the hospital for two nights, she packed coloring books in addition to her tablet and ipod. Since we would be staying with her (away from my layout & with a lot of idle time on my hands at the hospital), I decided to take my stash of hobby wood and other materials for stocking the lumber yard. Below are pictures of my "work bench," a progress photo from the hospital, and another photo of the stocked shed after we got home.
    Monday.jpg Tuesday.jpg Wednesday.jpg
    As a
     
    Jim James likes this.
  20. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Brandon, hope that your daughter and your family are doing okay. A hospital's never a fun place for kids or to be with one's own kids, but she sounds like a planner and one who's ready to make as good of use of her time as she can. Regardless of the reason for being away from home, it's always good to have portable modelling projects on hand.

    Best Regards,
     
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