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Just one of 298's new layout ideas...





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#1 298

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:14

There I was, quite happily dreaming of a layout idea that probably won't get past the armchair modelling (or swivel chair when I'm at work) stage, when along come Prof Klyzlr and Ozexpatriate with some more photos and video from prototype locations that have inspired me to do something slightly different from my usual norm.

Many years ago I saw one of Peter North's layouts and was so impressed with how a complete scene could be modelled and was seen to be alive through nothing more than background music and a flashing Neon sign in a cafe window (tumbleweeds blowing across the layout were optional), I thought my first foray into US modelling would have to be something similar but based in a City in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990's and featuring music from the Grunge bands of the era which is more of my scene. Coupled with the fact that I like having a layout on the go and with Wiley City just about finished, I started some scribbling...

Here are the posts from the other thread:

Dear 298, Hmmm, you want to be very careful what you wish for... ;-) UPY and OPR ops around Portland and Oregon City, Ore
http://www.railpictu...d=337927&nseq=0
http://3.bp.blogspot...00/loverain.jpg
https://lh5.googleus...gon+City+OR.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot...2BCity%2BOR.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot...at+Canby+OR.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot...2BCity%2BOR.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot...Portland+OR.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot...2BCity%2BOR.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89JxeL-8dMg

I have a small fleet of SW1500s here that are just itching to be deployed on a layout of such... (Did someone say "Oregon : 3AM"?) Happy Modelling, Aim to Improve, Prof Klyzlr PS for those who may want to get a railroader's "cheat sheet" on the proto ops of the area, try this... http://www.fogchart....OC_Switcher.pdf


Sounds like last night - except for the 1990s bit. Oregon City - with the vertical cliff right above the old SP mainline, it's one of those "prototype for everything" locations and even if there wasn't enough fog, the paper mills create their own atmosphere. The intersection of Hwy 99E and Main Street is here. The immediate foreground of the image is on top of the cliff. The mill, downtown and railroad is at the bottom. This reverse view might be clearer.





#2 298

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:15

Surely this has to be a model....? http://www.railpictu...7927&nseq=0 Look!, there's even a Chevvy pickup and boat straight out of the Busch catalogue...

Edited by 298, 17 April 2012 - 12:19 .

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#3 F-UnitMad

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:25

Love the "Two Locos, One Boxcar" thing!! Of course it's a model -the loco even has an unrealistically bright LED for a headlight... :D :D :D

#4 298

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:31

Thinking of a location, Seattle seemed like an obvious choice but there isn't alot of street running outside of non-industrial areas and the Ballard Terminal would have to involve Ships at some point, so heading south down the I-5, Tacoma seemed possible, there's alot of trackage in Olympia that could be used or suitably twisted to make up a plausable senario, and then we arrive in Portland with the Oregon Pacific Shortline:

http://www.oregonpacificrr.com/

And then there is Oregon City with the photos posted by the good Prof. above. Claiming to model an ex-Interurban line seems like a good idea, but might only lead me onto stringing up overhead wire and running modern Streetcars on shared trackage with a switching job. In actual fact I quite fancy having a certain freelanced feel as every layout I've built or been involved with for a long time has been based on a real location.
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#5 Glorious NSE

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 13:13

How big are you talking in scope? Space for a bit of scenery too, or is it a 'one perfect scene' type of thing? The Peter North ones being mentioned were all small roundies IIRC?

#6 shortliner

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 13:18

Thinking of a location, Seattle seemed like an obvious choice but there isn't alot of street running outside of non-industrial areas and the Ballard Terminal would have to involve Ships at some point, so heading south down the I-5, Tacoma seemed possible, there's alot of trackage in Olympia that could be used or suitably twisted to make up a plausable senario, and then we arrive in Portland with the Oregon Pacific Shortline:

http://www.oregonpacificrr.com/

And then there is Oregon City with the photos posted by the good Prof. above. Claiming to model an ex-Interurban line seems like a good idea, but might only lead me onto stringing up overhead wire and running modern Streetcars on shared trackage with a switching job. In actual fact I quite fancy having a certain freelanced feel as every layout I've built or been involved with for a long time has been based on a real location.


Andy - you've confused me slightly - why does the Ballard Terminal have to involve ships? AFAIk There are no ship-served industries involved with it
Must admit I like Blue Heron on the Profs link though - Oh, for the space!

Edited by shortliner, 17 April 2012 - 14:27 .


#7 Prof Klyzlr

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 14:09

Dear 298,

Just some random thoughts that come to mind as extreme tiredness sets in...

- RE providing the OC Switcher pics and links : Sorry for the "push" :devil:

In the same way that "Brooklyn" took advantage of it's 1999 timeframe to level the rave party tracks of UltraSonic and Scooter :music: :music: :music:,

I could definitely see a layout set in the Pac NW, levering SoundGarden, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters... :music: :music: :music:

- Remember that _properly_deployed_ "LayoutSound" can give all the Grunge the 505 Tavern could deliver in the wee hours as UPs SW1500s switch Herron Paper

http://lothes.blogsp...ast-switch.html

_without_ having to exceed 60dB SPL, and drift from "atmospheric" and "in the style of" into flat out "too dang loud"...

- Strongly reccomend picking up a copy of the Kalmbach "Trains Special Annual : Locomotive 2011", it has a 7-page article on the OC Switcher's last nights, and is where I first learned abou this "local"

http://www.kalmbachs.../loc110901.html

- There's a significant ammount of RR interest in the Pac NW, even leaving the loggers out of proceedings.
(With Weyerhauser and Simpson still going strong, and both using EMD switchers,
http://farm7.static...._649b80737d.jpg
why you'd want to leave them out is beyond me,... :-) ).

However, much of the "modern era" switching needs some hunting. For the modeller and trackplanner, it also often requires a high degree of focus to capture "the feel" while staying true to the desired model ops.



http://www.shortline...m/northwest.htm

- Much of the Pac NW ops are op-in-daylight affairs AFAIK, which is why the stated givens-and-druthurs of "drizzly, at night" immediately made me "pull focus" onto the OC Switcher...

- In no particular order of preference, we've covered the Meeker Southern, Puget Sound and Pacific, and the disturbingly-micro-layout-esque Portland CLP grain terminal with trackmobile here onlist previously. The OPR I think bears closer inspection, (and with Rapido threatening to bring out a RTR GMD1, could suddenly become very do-able!),

but partial as I am to SW1500s, the UPs OC Switcher really grabbed me by the lapels...

- UP switching Sea-tac with SW1500s and a ex MP caboose is an appealing thought, ,,, but oh dang ... Those RailYard resin MP caboose kits which were just going on eBay for 4+ times their retail prices would have been _perfect_!

http://www.railpictu...d=236173&nseq=1

http://www.railpictu...d=235762&nseq=2


Whicever way you choose to go, I'm sure you'll turn out some sterling results... :-)

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

#8 Prof Klyzlr

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 14:19

Pust admit I like Blue Heron on the Profs link though - Oh, for the space!


Dear Jack,

Come now, I'm sure we could do a bang-up job of the Herron Mill, 505 Tavern,
and maybe even a section of the UP/BNSF main in the background,
in what, say 8x1?
(Limit the width to the street and 1 building either side, and you could shrink it down to 8x0.75,
which could fold up to a 4x1.5 for transport!!!)

Athearn do the SW1500s, the Railbox boxcars are available, we already know that "rain-slicked 3AM" is entirely do-able,
and with (If I trace the rails correctly) the Interchange access to the Herron Mill actually coming from "out the back",
(IE the track past T505 is actually a headshunt/switchback!?!?!?),

seriously, IMHO this is a proto-nook exhibition-grade layout in the making...

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

PS Jack, did you check the "FogChart" for this line linked to earlier?
Potentially invaluable resource for emulating the proto op "headspace" even on a off-stage staging-free micro...

#9 shortliner

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 14:25

Yes - that was what triggered my interest! I have one of those MP transfer cabeese - built for me by Mozzer of this parish some while back. The trackplan reminded me of the Serendipity switching layout on Carls site with the "turn left to go right" idea - but it would need some squeezing down to get it into 96"!

Edited by shortliner, 17 April 2012 - 15:32 .


#10 Glorious NSE

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 15:33

Been trawling Railpictures for '1990s' and 'Washington state' inspiration!

I can see this as a North-esque layout, but it's not on the rainy side of the state! BN had similar operations...
(Another mopac caboose too!)
http://www.railpictu...=353205&nseq=38

Some timber-y stuff - I do like that Simpson livery - it's BN except with red paint!!
http://www.railpictu...=379011&nseq=28

Are you definately against doing marine stuff?
http://www.railpictu...=297411&nseq=58

#11 Ozexpatriate

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 15:55

Must admit I like Blue Heron on the Profs link though - Oh, for the space!

Come now, I'm sure we could do a bang-up job of the Herron Mill, 505 Tavern,
and maybe even a section of the UP/BNSF main in the background,
in what, say 8x1?
(Limit the width to the street and 1 building either side, and you could shrink it down to 8x0.75,
which could fold up to a 4x1.5 for transport!!!)

I agree. The mill itself is on a very small parcel of land between the cliff and the Willamette River.

The cliff is extraordinarily vertical and is a natural backdrop - though a photo mural of the river would be more scenic.

When accurately modelled, I suspect that critics unfamiliar with the area would claim the cliff is too vertical. Adjacent to the cliff is Hwy 99E, which curves under the adjacent ex-SP mainline south.

With some selective compression of the mill, it can be made to fit.

#12 298

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 16:05

How big are you talking in scope? Space for a bit of scenery too, or is it a 'one perfect scene' type of thing? The Peter North ones being mentioned were all small roundies IIRC?


I'm thinking something that's a cross between a Peter North roundy-roundy and Prof's 3am Brooklyn of around 4'6" in length and 18" deep. That'll give room for a Street crossing and a short spur to an Industry, plus a bit of variety in run-through traffic. My previous layout had a 5-lane Avenue on it and I could re-use the buildings....:

pict0125s 1024x768.jpg

PICT0586.JPG

I also have quite a few Boxcars lettered for shortlines in Oregon and Washington.

Thinking about it, the space currently occupied by Wiley is just less than 8' long (It could have been longer but the choice of having an American width fridge/freezer when we were building the kitchen dictated the size of the study/layout room), so I could run it with a short fiddle yard at one end at home and as a roundy at shows or in the garage. Also, laying the road out at an angle would mean the buildings block the view down it so there's no need for a view blocker at the end, as I've not yet thought how to make an urban road disappear at night...

#13 298

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 16:10

Andy - you've confused me slightly - why does the Ballard Terminal have to involve ships? AFAIk There are no ship-served industries involved with it Must admit I like Blue Heron on the Profs link though - Oh, for the space!


I dunno, It's just a random thought I had. I had thought a Tugboat at night with all it's lights on would make good scene against the backdrop, and then Martyn posts that photo of the BN switcher loading a car float. If only there was somewhere where I could combine a street crossing with the downtown Seattle backdrop from Elliot Bay.
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#14 Ozexpatriate

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 16:10

And then there is Oregon City with the photos posted by the good Prof. above. Claiming to model an ex-Interurban line seems like a good idea, but might only lead me onto stringing up overhead wire and running modern Streetcars on shared trackage with a switching job. In actual fact I quite fancy having a certain freelanced feel as every layout I've built or been involved with for a long time has been based on a real location.

Not much of a "claim" there! It's pretty close to reality.

The Portland Railway Light and Power Company ran interurban streetcars to Oregon City in the first half of the 20th century starting in 1893. Their westside competitor was the Oregon Electic Railway which was a true electric interurban and operated from Portland to Eugene. Hydroelectric power was plentiful and there was an explosion in street cars that helped Portland grow rapidly. These variably lasted until about the second world war.

Oregon City is the destination point for the Oregon Trail from the pioneering era. It was founded by the former "chief factor" (head) of the Hudson's Bay Company "Factory" or trading post in nearby Fort Vancouver (Washington) in 1829 at the falls of the Willamette. At one point it was a close call as to whether the area would be considered British and eventually part of the Dominion of Canada or belong to the United States. This was more or less settled in the Oregon Treaty of 1846.

Edited by Ozexpatriate, 17 April 2012 - 23:00 .


#15 298

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 16:19

Dear 298, Just some random thoughts that come to mind as extreme tiredness sets in... - RE providing the OC Switcher pics and links : Sorry for the "push" :devil: In the same way that "Brooklyn" took advantage of it's 1999 timeframe to level the rave party tracks of UltraSonic and Scooter :music: :music: :music:, I could definitely see a layout set in the Pac NW, levering SoundGarden, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters...


Music-wise you've hit the nail on the head, Soundgarden are my favourite band..!! I did think about setting the layout in Olympia and calling it "Sleater-Kinney" after the road and band of the same name.

:music: :music: :music: - Remember that _properly_deployed_ "LayoutSound" can give all the Grunge the 505 Tavern could deliver in the wee hours as UPs SW1500s switch Herron Paper http://lothes.blogsp...ast-switch.html _without_ having to exceed 60dB SPL, and drift from "atmospheric" and "in the style of" into flat out "too dang loud"... - Strongly reccomend picking up a copy of the Kalmbach "Trains Special Annual : Locomotive 2011", it has a 7-page article on the OC Switcher's last nights, and is where I first learned abou this "local" http://www.kalmbachs.../loc110901.html - There's a significant ammount of RR interest in the Pac NW, even leaving the loggers out of proceedings. (With Weyerhauser and Simpson still going strong, and both using EMD switchers, http://farm7.static...._649b80737d.jpg


Thanks for the links, I'll try to find those mags (also have a Trains article on "Pugetopolis", Pacific Railnews on the Oregon Pacific and another featuring Aberdeen & Hoquiam, we went there in 2004 but nothing really struck me as modellable until I decide to model a NP branch with lots of Pine Trees.

Music-wise you've hit the nail on the head, Soundgarden are my favourite band..!!
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#16 Ozexpatriate

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 16:25

Thinking of a location, Seattle seemed like an obvious choice but there isn't alot of street running outside of non-industrial areas...

Maybe not today. I believe that the Milwaukee Road mainline from the Cascades and into Seattle ran down Houser Way in Renton, WA - not that you're wanting to model the Olympian Hiawatha!

I had thought a Tugboat at night with all it's lights on would make good scene against the backdrop, and then Martyn posts that photo of the BN switcher loading a car float. If only there was somewhere where I could combine a street crossing with the downtown Seattle backdrop from Elliot Bay.

There are lots of places in the NW where navigable water is close to street running (Oregon City is certainly one) but not that magnificent Seattle skyline across Elliot Bay.

#17 Ozexpatriate

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 18:10

However, much of the "modern era" switching needs some hunting. For the modeller and trackplanner, it also often requires a high degree of focus to capture "the feel" while staying true to the desired model ops.

Much of the Pac NW ops are op-in-daylight affairs AFAIK, which is why the stated givens-and-druthurs of "drizzly, at night" immediately made me "pull focus" onto the OC Switcher...

As always, "the feel" here is important. While I interpreted the comment above to refer to the types of rolling stock, which really is quite mixed, there's also the surrounding environmental aspect.

A big part of the "feel" here is flora - particularly trees. The ubiqutous tree is the Douglas Fir. This is not a generic conifer as might be modeled by a European manufacturer. Other aspects are rainy grey skies with green vegetation in winter or sunny, blue skies and dull brown grasses and muddy dark greens in the firs in the short but wonderful summer.

As an illustration of local mainline "feel", the lead video here is a commercial GE is running on TV here right now: Click on the link on this page that says "On TV".

There are a sequence of videos that quickly get tedious, but since the exterior scenes are local, they represent the area well.

The lineside setting is in the Columbia River gorge east of the Portland area on the BNSF mainline (the north shore of the river in Washington). The two bridges are over the Klickitat River, which flows into the Columbia. I think the tunnel featured is Cape Horn, west of the Bonneville Dam, first the west then the east portal.

There are many other tunnels east of this point between Stevenson and the Dalles in the gorge.

Edited by Ozexpatriate, 17 April 2012 - 18:57 .


#18 signalmaintainer

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 22:27

If only there was somewhere where I could combine a street crossing with the downtown Seattle backdrop from Elliot Bay.


I'm thinkin', I'm thinkin'. ...!

#19 signalmaintainer

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 22:29

Maybe not today. I believe that the Milwaukee Road mainline from the Cascades and into Seattle ran down Houser Way in Renton, WA - not that you're wanting to model the Olympian Hiawatha!


That's correct, and we use that trackage today to service the Boeing 737 plant at Renton. The crossings along Houser Way are part of my signal territory.
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#20 Prof Klyzlr

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 00:12

Music-wise you've hit the nail on the head, Soundgarden are my favourite band..!!


Dear 298,

Let me know if you need any sound-design for the layout,
I can see (oops, I mean _hear_) Chris C and the band playing out of Tavern 505 as the SWs roll past... ;-)

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

PS I think we've talked here onlist previously about the links between music and model RRing?
I know TriSonic would have some key insights! :-)
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#21 Prof Klyzlr

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:47

I agree. The mill itself is on a very small parcel of land between the cliff and the Willamette River.

The cliff is extraordinarily vertical and is a natural backdrop - though a photo mural of the river would be more scenic.

When accurately modelled, I suspect that critics unfamiliar with the area would claim the cliff is too vertical. Adjacent to the cliff is Hwy 99E, which curves under the adjacent ex-SP mainline south.

With some selective compression of the mill, it can be made to fit.


Dear OzExPat,

That would explain the prodominence of "high above the town" shots on the various RR and "Blog" sites that cover the OC Switcher moves.
It does present a problem for the layout designer though.

- By modelling the scene as shown in the common photos,
(IE in a way that makes it easy for even non model RRers to look at the proto pic, look at the model, and says "I get it now, I see the scene"),

we get a _proto_justification_ for a presenting a low-altitude layout and "chopper shot" perspective
(really "top of hill" shot :-) ).

However, this also presents challenges in terms of module design, visual presentation,
(it's just easier if a model scene starts low and rises to the rear), and operator interface...

- In contrast, building and displaying the layout as if the viewer was "in the river" looking accross/up at the mill, town, and hill, would fit better within convention "module design", but would not match many of the "common photos" of the scene being modelled,
and as such wouldn't give the matching perspective to the images that have obviously grabbed the attention of both myself and other RMWebbers here on-thread...

Oh the predicament!

That said, no matter which way you look at it
(pun not intended... I'll get my coat anyway...)

I agree that the scene covering renditions of:
- both Short and Long Tracks
- feeder "mainline"
(still having to look hard to confirm exactly how trains get onto/off-of the property),
- the "S-bend" grade crossing
- the switchback past Tavern 505

should be easily do-able in 8'

Consider:
- a 5-3-3 'nook requires 11 carlengths,
- and assuming 50' Railbox boxcars @ 8" each in HO,
- 8' buys you 12 linear carlengths.

- factor in that the key "short track" is a 90-degree curve
IE _NOT_ eating linear length,

and things look to get very do-able... :-)

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

#22 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:03

Hmm, 1990s North West. A subject close to my heart. As 298 says, great music, and a great location.

"10 things I hate about you" is/was on the telly again. Ignore the teen romcom (but not Julia) if you want, but feast your eyes on Tacoma sound in the closing shot.

I think MRP had some north west switcher ideas a year or so back - I'll see if I can find them

#23 shortliner

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:54

<SNIP>I agree that the scene covering renditions of: - both Short and Long Tracks - feeder "mainline" (still having to look hard to confirm exactly how trains get onto/off-of the property), - the "S-bend" grade crossing - the switchback past Tavern 505 should be easily do-able in 8' Consider: - a 5-3-3 'nook requires 11 carlengths, - and assuming 50' Railbox boxcars @ 8" each in HO, - 8' buys you 12 linear carlengths. - factor in that the key "short track" is a 90-degree curve IE _NOT_ eating linear length, and things look to get very do-able... :-) Happy Modelling, Aim to Improve, Prof Klyzlr


The key problem being the 90 degree curve which "EATS" space - even laying it out in setrack. The layout has inglenook possibilities if the loop is a pair of tracks, each holding three cars (with a hidden sectorplate holding one, or a pair of, loco(s) at the far end, replacing the turnout/lead track) and a five car, individual spot, siding at the front - of course using two locos will extend the length of the tail track at the other, end which should hold a loco+ three, by another loco length. But the big problem is that 90 degree curve - which will probably involve a custom turnout and curve of about radius 0 (around 11") which may cause problems for locos/ 50'+ boxcars - The 90 degree crossing is available from Atlas
One point re the track diagram - in the bloggy post http://lothes.blogsp...hort-track.html it does say that the curve is the equivalent of approx 15"radius and the spur holds 2 x 50' cars rather than the 3 shown on the diagram - I wonder which is corect

Edited by shortliner, 18 April 2012 - 10:31 .


#24 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:59

There was talk earlier of photos "having" to be models - well this one form the above selection looks exactly like night shots of Minatur Wunderland...

http://2.bp.blogspot...gon+City+OR.jpg

#25 Jon Gwinnett

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:03

I think this has been shown before, but a bit more North West atmosphere for you...