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Wiley City

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With the ongoing fotopic outage preventing me from posting the sporadic progress on my current layout, I thought i'd better make an effort to write an ongoing blog concerning the planning and development here on RMweb, prior to it's first and only booked outing at the Trent Valley North American Modellers Show in June.

 

I suppose "Wiley City" was the layout I should have built first and I surveyed the area on our first visit to the Yakima Valley in 2002. Instead I chose the shrunken basement option and decided to model a stand alone, round the room layout depicting scenes from the route to Selah that I exhibited at ten or so shows in 2006 or 2007. Although I was fairly happy with the layout, certain compromises were preventing it's development and a desire to try something new led to the inception of Wiley as a stand-alone side project. I'd also promised myself and the YVT museum in Yakima a showcase model that could be used to show how a fruit warehouse was rail served up until the line's closure, so the layout was built with this consideration in mind, especially how it could be kept dust free and adequately illuminated.

 

First of all, some prototype photos:

 

From the HABS/HAER library, who wouldn't want to model these scenes...?:

 

post-6819-0-34238400-1300376681_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-38127500-1300376806_thumb.jpg

 

Every prototype modellers dream, the full outline drawing of the area....

 

post-6819-0-82302200-1300376859_thumb.jpg

 

Which I then overlaid on the Google Earth image:

 

post-6819-0-78923100-1300377350_thumb.jpg

 

Finally for today, some images from 2002:

 

post-6819-0-75462100-1300377315_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-30964600-1300377459_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-36411300-1300377498_thumb.jpg

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I suppose "Wiley City" was the layout I should have built first ...

 

Everyone's next layout is the one they should've built first...!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: ;)

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The problem I found with Selah was it was too compromised in order to make it fit into a 11'x6' room that included sliding door wardrobes all along one wall, the viewing sides were different between home and shows which meant removeable backscenes had to be used, and the "L" style precluded a nice pelmet lighting rig to frame the layout. And with hindsight I ended up exhibiting too much of the layout, and later built a separate fiddle yard for use with just the Selah Fruit Row section that made the layout more manageable and only impacted on the functionality by loosing the spur to the door factory and the longer run. The 12" radius curves weren't really a problem on their own, but I wouldn't repeat the double reverse curves through "Y" turnouts again.

 

So I had the choice of either rebuilding Selah, or starting again...

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With the ongoing fotopic outage preventing me from posting the sporadic progress on my current layout, I thought i'd better make an effort to write an ongoing blog concerning the planning and development here on RMweb, prior to it's first and only booked outing at the Trent Valley North American Modellers Show in June.

 

I suppose "Wiley City" was the layout I should have built first and I surveyed the area on our first visit to the Yakima Valley in 2002. Instead I chose the shrunken basement option and decided to model a stand alone, round the room layout depicting scenes from the route to Selah that I exhibited at ten or so shows in 2006 or 2007. Although I was fairly happy with the layout, certain compromises were preventing it's development and a desire to try something new led to the inception of Wiley as a stand-alone side project. I'd also promised myself and the YVT museum in Yakima a showcase model that could be used to show how a fruit warehouse was rail served up until the line's closure, so the layout was built with this consideration in mind, especially how it could be kept dust free and adequately illuminated.

 

First of all, some prototype photos:

 

From the HABS/HAER library, who wouldn't want to model these scenes...?:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-34238400-1300376681.jpg

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-38127500-1300376806.jpg

 

Every prototype modellers dream, the full outline drawing of the area....

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-82302200-1300376859.jpg

 

Which I then overlaid on the Google Earth image:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-78923100-1300377350.jpg

 

Finally for today, some images from 2002:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-75462100-1300377315.jpg

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-30964600-1300377459.jpg

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_03_2011/post-6819-0-36411300-1300377498.jpg

Hi Andy,

 

I've been waiting for this....

 

I've passed on the info to our 'other interested party' and wait to see/hear his reaction.

 

Yes - he did get his 'Yakima' layout - but not the way we discussed!

 

Never mind....

 

The lure of 'buy it in a box and put it on the layout' was too much for him!

 

Look forward to seeing more of this one..

 

Glasgow in 5 years time? - Ready to book!

 

Thanks

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Good to see you again at the weekend, Andy.

 

I'm on tenterhooks that it will be finished for Trent Valley.:O

 

Re your first comment "Who wouldn't want to model thsi?" - I quite agree but can somebody please show me how to model (quickly and easily) dirt and weed filled track as per the first photo, 'cos I've tried on many occasions and haven't succeeded.

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Hi Andy,

 

I've been waiting for this....

 

I've passed on the info to our 'other interested party' and wait to see/hear his reaction.

 

Yes - he did get his 'Yakima' layout - but not the way we discussed!

 

Never mind....

 

The lure of 'buy it in a box and put it on the layout' was too much for him!

 

Look forward to seeing more of this one..

 

Glasgow in 5 years time? - Ready to book!

 

Thanks

 

 

Hi Phil,

 

Funnily enough, just the other day I was wondering what had happened to that project, as i've pretty much decided any future larger HO layouts will include Wide Hollow Jn and Congdon Orchards, so it'll be my turn to model the small powerhouse.

 

I'm not quite sure about generally exhibiting it yet, Nick has kindly agreed to have it at the TVNAM show which suits me as it is an achievable deadline to aim for. But it will probably be the most boring layout to operate so it'd have to be a special event to drag me away from family commitments for a weekend.

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Prototype History.

 

The YVT line to Wiley City was built in the early 1910’s, heading southwest for a couple of miles from Wide Hollow Jn and terminating at what was little more than a collection of farmsteads that went by the name of Wiley City. Perhaps the founders had grand pretentions for the area, which unfortunately came to nothing except for the the addition of a few large Apple storage warehouses by the Gilbert Fruit Company (And I’m not taking the Mickey out of Chris here, that really is the company name…!!).

 

The line wasn’t electrified for the first few years of operation, so a McKeen Gas Electric car was used for the passenger service. This car was single ended, so a wye was laid in order for it to be turned on arrival (The city’s name doesn’t come from this feature). A beet siding was laid to the east of South Wiley Road, and two spurs connected with the warehouses. Interurban passenger service continued until 1947, but the fruit business continued until the line closed in 1985. The trackbed, poles, and a few insulators can still be seen in places, but unfortunately the large brick warehouse was destroyed by fire about 5 years ago.

 

Planning

 

I’d decided the layout should fit a space of approximately 6’ long and just over 1’ wide, which might seem like a luxury for small layout designers but actually meant some pretty tight criteria as to what should or shouldn’t be included. I was told the Alfalfa spur to the west of South Wiley Road didn’t last long and including the wye would have meant taking up a lot of room I didn’t have outside of the footprint area and have had to include some tight curves I didn’t want to repeat from the experiences with Selah, so I settled on what us Brits would call a loop with an elongated headshunt. The loop was long enough to take two 57’ or three 40’ Reefers and the headshunt length allowed a loco to perform a runround move whilst a reefer was loading at the large brick warehouse, but I’ll explain later why this trackwork was ripped up after I’d weathered and ballasted. This allowed enough room at the east end for a short section of Apple Orchard (to show the main source of traffic for the line), and to allow for a train to remain in sight on the layout during switching moves.

 

Baseboard Construction

 

As mentioned, I’d decided on a 6’ by 1’ area to allow a good scenic section but without an obvious baseboard joint, but in a departure from what I’d had to do with Selah, included an integral curved backscene and end supports for a lighting rig. The layout length was actually designed around a 6’ fluorescent light fitting in order to provide clear uninterrupted illumination along the length of the layout, although I did consider LED strips as these would be easier to convert to US 110v for when the layout is sent to it’s new home. I ended up using a slimline 5’ fitting with a diffuser and warm white tube as this meant the light source would be equidistant from all parts of the backscene and illuminate it evenly. In another departure I decided to use a separate framework for the support legs, so this can be erected and levelled at a show before the layout is brought straight in and plonked on top, and having the whole layout as a large box means the buildings and trolley wire & poles are protected.

 

Anyway, that’s enough waffle so here are some photos:

 

McKeen Gas Electric Car:

 

post-6819-0-40384800-1300730547_thumb.jpg

 

YVT 298 near Wiley City:

 

post-6819-0-92840200-1300730700_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-69036600-1300730733_thumb.jpg

 

And finally, some of the baseboard:

 

post-6819-0-01132900-1300730836_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-04389500-1300730858_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-71547100-1300730877_thumb.jpg

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Andy, I'm intrigued by thos hinges in the last picture - trying to work out what is hinged! Are you going to build the McKeen carr AFAIK the only RTR model was from someone like PFM, or one of the other korean companies, in Brass. I think the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad had one.

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Andy, I'm intrigued by thos hinges in the last picture - trying to work out what is hinged! Are you going to build the McKeen carr AFAIK the only RTR model was from someone like PFM, or one of the other korean companies, in Brass. I think the Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad had one.

 

Hi Jack,

 

The hinges are there to attach the legs to the horizontal supports, and have removable pins to effect this. It's a bit of an idea from Selah where the boards piggybacked on each other with their own folding legs and smaller hinges on the reverse sides with removable pins to lock the leg in place, but one board stand-alone board had this arrangement. Unfortunately they're not as stable as i'd like so might be replaced with conventional hinged legs or triangle shaped plywood pieces at the tops.

 

I've seen a brass McKeen car for sale at a show, but didn't buy it as I was unsure whether it had the correct number of windows. It isn't a priority for the roster as i've nowhere to turn it and was soon replaced when the wiring was strung up.

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Hi Phil,

 

Funnily enough, just the other day I was wondering what had happened to that project, as i've pretty much decided any future larger HO layouts will include Wide Hollow Jn and Congdon Orchards, so it'll be my turn to model the small powerhouse.

 

I'm not quite sure about generally exhibiting it yet, Nick has kindly agreed to have it at the TVNAM show which suits me as it is an achievable deadline to aim for. But it will probably be the most boring layout to operate so it'd have to be a special event to drag me away from family commitments for a weekend.

 

Hi Andy,

 

Easiest way to describe what happened...

 

He got his basic layout: - I was doing the larger buildings he wanted...

 

He got several bits of stock:- I was doing the service car he wanted...

 

Went round with some buildings and to show how the service car was doing and found he was packing up and moving permanently to Bahrain.

 

He sent a cheque - I asked if he wanted anything else - got no reply.

 

End of story.

 

Never mind - what got built was enjoyed!

 

Thanks for asking though!

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Hi Andy,

 

Easiest way to describe what happened...

 

He got his basic layout: - I was doing the larger buildings he wanted...

 

He got several bits of stock:- I was doing the service car he wanted...

 

Went round with some buildings and to show how the service car was doing and found he was packing up and moving permanently to Bahrain.

 

He sent a cheque - I asked if he wanted anything else - got no reply.

 

End of story.

 

Never mind - what got built was enjoyed!

 

Thanks for asking though!

 

I was impressed with his efforts to get to Modelrail Scotland in 2007, flying into Heathrow from a business trip and driving straight to Glasgow....

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Trackwork

 

In another change from the Peco code 75 and 100 (for buried rail in street running sections), I wanted to try something closer to scale in terms of both rail height and tie spacing. A pair of Fast Tracks code 70 #4 turnouts were quickly sourced from a company called "Cream City Turnouts", along with enough spikes and plain ties to lay the plain track. After about two inches I got bored and changed to Shinohara code 70 flexitrack, my hand spiked efforts were looking too random for quite a well laid Interurban and I couldn't see the kudos in picking up extra brownie points for what would obviously be not as good as commercial offerings. The trackwork is laid on 4mm thick cork tiles to raise the height above the MDF base. I had considered using insulation foam but weight isn't really an issue and the poles need a firm base to be anchored into. Turnout control uses Tortoise motors, and I added a small linkage from the tiebar to operate the switch stand. Once laid, the track was sprayed with Phoenix Precision weathered sleeper grey.

 

Eastern end, with 298 standing where the road crossing will be:

 

post-6819-0-26570100-1300825650_thumb.jpg

 

Switch Stand:

 

post-6819-0-63315800-1300825768_thumb.jpg

 

Western end:

 

post-6819-0-58007600-1300825834_thumb.jpg

 

Road crossing check rails, and a slightly closer spacing over where a culvert alongside the road is to be excavated:

 

post-6819-0-05687700-1300825916_thumb.jpg

 

As some of you might know, this trackwork was ballasted until a change of plan caused by realising the doors on the fruit warehouses wouldn't line up with the loop so it was all lifted, the current plan being to move the loop to the space nearer the baseboard edge and lay a spur to serve where the fruit warehouses will be situated. I'm also still unsure about magnets, their use seems to be a personal preference and although I originally included one in the obvious place, I feel for ultimate realism we'll have to do all of the uncoupling by hand. My chief operator (Doctor Quinn) thinks the layout should have them to avoid getting in the way of the public's view too much, so i'll have to have a think about the possibilities.

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Hi Andy

 

Who's switch stands are those? Looking forward to seeing more.

 

Dave

 

I think they are NJ International, from Model Junction. Can't find them in their stock list tho....

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Thanks Andy , thought that they looked like NJs. Nobody over here gets the one i really want (Phol Low's NJs website) so another US order might be needed that 3 this week already. :unsure:

 

rgds

 

Dave

 

 

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Blue Sky Thinking

 

As can be seen in the above photos, the backscene soon gained a coat of B&Q “Blue Sky†in order to match the walls of the railway room. All was fine until I switched on the light and realised the summer’s day intensity I was after washed out the colour, so the backscene was then repainted with the darker B&Q “Blue Light†shade. I had considered feathering the colour so the horizon was lighter, but experiences with previous layouts had shown it was prudent to carry a small tester pot to touch up any areas that might become damaged. I then invested in the Kalmbach/ “Painting Backdrops for Your Model Railroad (Model Railroader's How-To Guides)â€:

 

51PouxKb9GL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

 

This is an excellent “how to†book and something I’ll follow up in the future, but until then the sky will remain as cloud free as I remember my first visit to Wiley City. Another piece of inspiration was this layout:

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=28839 , especially how the builder had blended the road into the backscene. I had considered using photos but they have to work in order not to detract from the scene, and it’s true that the eye isn’t drawn towards something that isn’t there, rather than something that is obviously out of place which I was afraid of.

 

EDIT: I forgot to add that B&Q in their wisdom have replaced these colours with slightly different ones, the nearest match I can find being "Sky" which looks the same when wet but dries slightly darker.

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Realising it's been a few weeks since the last chapter, I thought i'd bring things up to date with a few photos and will bore you with some text later.

 

First of all, the poles went up (they're from Rich Eaton and a mix of unused ones plus a few recycled from the old layout):

 

post-6819-0-86744800-1303764912_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-10169400-1303765020_thumb.jpg

 

Then during a mad hour, the wiring went up and is slowly being tweaked, with 298 managing to reach the end of the line without too many problems:

 

post-6819-0-71181000-1303765119_thumb.jpg

 

post-6819-0-31600900-1303765240_thumb.jpg

 

I don't want to tempt fate, but it seems there are just a few final details to finish before the layout's outing to the TVNAM show in June...

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Looks good to me - fantastic scenic work Andy!! Looking forward to TVNAM, too :) - like yourself, "just a few details" to do... :blink: :unsure:

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Superb, Andy, just like being in Wiley City itself.:) Have not been there myself since autumn of 2004, but your modeling evokes memories and certainly makes me want to go upstairs and find my copy of "Apple Country Interurban."

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Really, really, nice - and the proof (if it was needed!) that you DON'T need a complicated trackplan, with track crammed into every inch of space, to have a very effective model railroad

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