This week I started on the construction of my layout which I have named. The Silverton, Animas Forks & Lake City. The thought came to reality because the real life connection never came to being. Some of the history states that it was planned but never became reality.
For several years I have been collecting the rolling stock and locomotives for the project. Also I have been laying in a generous supply of track and accessories. Because I, in the beginning really didn't think much about the track materials of the real world connection I settled for doing everything in code "70" which for me is just fine. The rolling stock consists of mainly Blackstone offerings with some M-T and LaBelle thrown in for measure. The motive power is mainly Blackstone in both the K-27's & C-19's. Only recently have I begun collecting some brass for a little variety in the final operation of this endeavor. I really like the little moguls which traveled the Colorado mountains in the 20's & 30's.
Proto-type Colorado railroading is not the theme I've chosen for this railroad although I will use many of the railroads structures and equipment in the construction. The only models that will have the " SAF&LC lettering will probably be the smaller 2-6-0, 2-8-0 & 4-6-0 models when they get painted. Otherwise the Grande paint scheme will do for the railroad.
I have always believed in the two rule theory of modeling railroading which many of you modelers know.
Rule # 1 " This is my railroad and I will run it my way "
Rule # 2 This is my railroad and if you do not agree with how it's run, Refer to Rule # 1
Now for the overall plan of the project I have done a fair amount of research into the south central region of Colorado which I have chosen. With my plan I will use mostly fictitious names for locations and towns on the line with the obvious exception of the name sake towns chosen. The mines and otherwise switching locations will also be of this nature. Also the railroad will have a small amount of dual gauge code "70" track so I have the ability to run some of my favorite standard gauge logging equipment and to test run decoder installations that I do for my clients. This will consist of a loop of track with several turnouts and broad curves ( 36"radius ) the remainder will accommodate the logging equipment I have.
All of the track will be done in code "70". For consistency in design I will use Micro Engineering weathered flex track for the entire layout for both narrow gauge and dual gauge track. I also plan to have some hand -laid turnouts in the design of the railroad. I have used the Fast Tracks Jigs in the past as these are very helpful in the construction of custom track work. The dual gauge jigs in both left & right allow for just about any configuration of turnout imaginable, even transition tracks are possible.
The bench work for this new plan is from my original standard gauge operation which I abandoned several months ago after getting the narrow gauge bug. This was a decision made by myself and a few of my associates when I decided to go Narrow Gauge. Besides this will reduce greatly the amount of work involved in redoing it. This will allow for most of the mountain terrain needed with exception of the deep valleys many modelers do when building to the proto-type of the area. This I feel will be a trade-off in the design but some what necessary in the overall plan.
The road bed construction will be essentially the same as the previously built system. Only the method of cutting out the components will be newer technology. The original standard gauge system was constructed of 5 ply Baltic Birch plywood sections laminated into 2 layers of 5 plies glued together for a total of 10. This was layered with another layer of 3/16"pasted chip board for sound deadening. This material is similar to Homisote in consistency & much easier to work with (cleaner).
The construction was of an overlapping nature which is extremely stable in high humidity situations.
In the 14 plus years that this track system was in use there was never a situation where the track went out of alignment or changed in any way.
Instead of doing all the cutting with a band saw as in the original layout I will use a 60 watt Laser to do the cutting. This equipment was not available when the original was built. The new system has the advantage of computer design and computer manufacturing software and equipment. The design is done with
Auto Cad software coupled to a Universal Laser Systems Laser. The beauty of this is that when you layout a 24 "curve in the design, that's what you end up with. All the roadbed sections and the chip board are designed with center & curve degree reference lines in them. With this the old adage of it only works on paper becomes a bit non existent. Although when one actually gets into this building of things change is always possible. So far I have discovered in my design that when I made original measurements of the space in the design I was in error. This required some fudging and compromise in my work to date. I just made a few mistakes in my calculations, that's all.
I plan to do a fair amount of documentation as things progress with pictures and additional explainations.
George @ TVW Miniatures