New Frisco West Bottoms Layout Under Construction

Discussion in 'General' started by mbowline, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. mbowline

    mbowline Mike Bowline bottomslover

    To friends:

    Please see the attached track plan and Google Earth aerial of the area I am modeling in the bottoms area outlined in blue. I am posting this to inform you of another Frisco-themed layout being built (in Denver). Just for fun, I’ve uploaded a few progress photos of the layout under construction. All structures are painted mock-ups built of foam-core board. Streets are mocked-up with black foam core.

    My general layout scheme began with a desire to model the Frisco 8[SUP]th[/SUP] Street Industrial District in the bottoms in 1963, and specifically the so-called Alley Track (or Sweet Track, which is it?) between 8[SUP]th[/SUP] Street and 9[SUP]th[/SUP] Street just west of Santa Fe Street. This track appealed to me because of it being long, mostly single track serving multiple industry spots along its length, making for switching fun. Plus, it will only accessible via a switchback move using the track north of Continental Oil and Helmers as the lead with a crossing of Santa Fe Street, too.

    I have been able to include some other goodies that help make the bottoms so interesting:
    Street-running in Santa Fe Street
    MP switching action in the area around the MP freight house and Abernathy Furniture
    MP and UP through freights
    UP switching at the UP freight house
    All 13 railroads in KC in 1963 making appearances on transfer runs, either with a full train or caboose light.

    The majority of the action will be switching by Frisco crews in the bottoms, switching by MP crews around the MP freight house, and switching the UP freight house by UP locals. I also plan on KCT switchers appearing to switch the few industries KCT served in the bottoms. An occasional CGW train will appear on SLSF tracks in Santa Fe Street, as will Rock Island trains based on photos I’ve seen of such trains appearing on Santa Fe Street.

    I’ve also included a large staging yard with space for trains from all 13 railroads with facilities in KC in 1963. Many trains will be through trains with only an engine + transfer caboose and therefore will only need a short stub-ended staging track. Other trains appearing will be transfers with a string of freight cars and a transfer caboose on the end that will simply run-through the layout on Frisco, MP, or UP/KCT tracks.

    Modeling the bottoms, with its concentration of multiple railroads in a condensed area, is a great excuse to have a diesel or two of all 13 KC railroads in 1963, plus matching transfer cabooses, too!

    I envision 3-4 operators staying busy in a session. Control is CVP EasyDCC with wireless throttles, the layout height is 55”, and the track is Walthers Code 83 with some hand-laid code 55 spurs.

    I am ready to begun preliminary, test-run operating sessions to work out the inevitable bugs.

    I welcome your comments and questions

    -Mike Bowline

    Thanks for looking!

    Attached Files:

  2. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Mike, it will be interesting to find out how you represent the transfer activities and the sorting of that activity. Assume you have an operating group, but we'll have to put together a trip from Frisco country to try it out.
  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Mike, it's looking really good. I'm glad we were able to help you get the information and background you needed to pull this off. Can't wait for the opportunity to operate there. Jim Senese (kctrwy) will definitely interested in your work.
  4. mbowline

    mbowline Mike Bowline bottomslover

    Steve, thanks for your comment. Alas, the only modeling of transfers between yards of other RRs in KC will be represented by run-thrus on the layout, e.g., a transfer will enter the layout from the staging yard, run thru the layout, and return to staging. The focus of the layout will be switching in the bottoms by Frisco, MP, KCT, and UP.

    As I do not yet operate, I have only test-run the switching on the Frisco trackage by myself. A few friends are interested once I get past the de-bugging stage. I would welcome your visit to Denver BTW.
  5. mbowline

    mbowline Mike Bowline bottomslover

    Keith, no doubt the great time we had touring the bottoms that Saturday afternoon in June, 2011 caused many ideas to germinate in the gray matter. The knowledge that you, Mark, Chuck, Jim, and others (too many to name) shared with me was so very valuable. What a great day that was, despite your having recently had a "weed walk" several months prior. Thanks again!
  6. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    That looks like a busy outfit there, there should be a lot of switching for sure.
  7. tferk

    tferk Member Supporter

    This is a fascinating plan. My uncle was employed with Pilgrim House Furniture whose warehouse was on the north side of the Mopac tracks near Liberty and Hickory, just east of the former Mop freight house. I used to spend hours on the roof of the multi-story building looking down at Mop trains. The Sears Roebuck building is curious, I will have to research what it was used for, as by 1963 Sears had built their large distribution facility at 15th and Cleveland (along the KCT east of downtown) where my father was a 35 year employee. This is what I love about this list....always gets me started on new research projects.

    Ted Ferkenhoff
  8. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Cool! Another West Bottoms theme! Looking very nice!

    I'm still in the "pay through the nose" portion of my upcoming "KC Lines" layout theme as I amass the needed stuff for a layout. Been right at 10-15 years since I've been in HO, and pretty much had to start over with nothing! My version of the West Bottoms will be much more free-flowing than Mike's or Boomer John's version. Good job, Mike and John!
  9. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    It's looking great, Mike. Thanks very much for sharing the track plan, too. It's great to see and hear of so many different representations of a great modeling topic that offers a lot. Keep the photos and updates coming!

    Best Regards,
  10. mbowline

    mbowline Mike Bowline bottomslover

    Where the Frisco crossed KCT and MP trackage in Santa Fe Street, does anyone know what signals were employed in the 1960s to control the crossings? Dwarfs, pole, etc? Thanks everyone.
  11. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    What?! No new photos to share? I have no answer to your question but I'm ready to see some progress pics.
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Mike, I do not have a KCT Rule Book, but I would believe that the whole area was probably treated as in Yard Limits, thus any train crew would have to be able to stop in half the sight distance of any obstruction ahead. Whoever entered a grade crossing first would have right. Thus no need for signals. I will check the archive I have from Richard Napper's stuff when I get back in KC to see if he had scanned a KCT Rule Book. At first thought, I don't remember seeing such.

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