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Author Topic: Yosemite Valley RailRoad  (Read 30800 times)

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Offline polo2k

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Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« on: November 08, 2011, 04:25:29 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I thought it might be a good idea to start a post on my new layout that im working on.

I chose the YVR as I saw a loft layout many years ago, and the memories stayed with me. I have recently started model railwaying and the YVR fits the bill for an interesting model with plenty of possible detail and scope for interesting operations.



The real YVR closed in 1942 after approximatly 40 years of taking tourists into the Yosemite valley and serving logging, mining and various other industries. The Railroad ran from Merced (California) into the valley, finally terminating at El Portal. There was also a logging incline (originally at El Portal, then moved to the appropriately named "Incline") this incline got as steep at 78%!

I am not modeling this as an exact replica, however I am trying to capture the feel of the Railroad and incorporate key structures and features.

I plan to add a new post with each update (as well as the usual banter/questions etc in between)

Please see the last page (above this post and left slightly) for the latest progress!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 12:22:45 AM by polo2k »
Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

Offline ddolfelin

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 04:27:44 PM »
Should be interesting to watch progress!
In a little world of my own.
http://dddioramas.webs.com/

Offline polo2k

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 04:43:47 PM »
Initial planning and rough track laying

I have been working on a track plan with the Gentleman who owns the layout that inspired this project. Between us, we have figured out a track plan, but I have not yet drawn it electronically.

I have sourced the material for the baseboards and I am using 50mm foam insulation boards. There will be 4 boards and each will have an MDF end plate to give accurate and durable location of the modules. So that I know what shapes I need for the end plates I have made a rough mockup on the boards.
Here are the photos of this taking place.



Here is all 16 feet together, The foam boards are 50mm thick and 50cm deep. I plan to make the end plates and then reenforce the bottom corners by recessing 2x1 CLS strip wood longitudinally into the bottom edges. Eventually the top will be braced front and rear so that I effectively have 4 boxes, each measuring 120cmx40cm (high)x 50cm (deep).

Here are the 4 boards individually:
Board 1 (Far left when viewed from the front) Merced Falls (incl lumber mill)


Board 2 (Centre left viewed from the front) Barrat and Bagby Bridges, these cross the Merced River


Board 3 (Centre Right viewed from the front) Bottom of incline with base of logging ops and incorperating Bagby station. Also featuiring the interchange from the narrow gauge mining operations


Board 4 (Far right viewed from the front) El Portal station. I am using some artistic licence  by incorperating a return loop to allow continuous running when desired. There will also be a mezzanine board eventually which will house the top of the logging incline and a small portion of the logging railways to feed this. Shays will be weaving amongst the trees here.

The trackplan on here may get some additions, we'll see


Unfortunately my railway room is only about 7 or 8 feet long, so I will not be operating in there, meerly working on single modules, and storing the others.
Im planning to use the MERG Cbus system to keep wiring simple, and to allow me to plug unto whichever module I choose with just 2 wires.
Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

Online kirky

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 06:28:24 PM »
Hi Polo2k

So what does the Merg Cbus do?

Kirky
Northallerton is in the August 2018 edition of Raiway Modeller

and in real life at the Normanton and Pontefract exhibition. New College, Park Lane, Pontefract. 26/27th January 2019



Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Offline Lawrence

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 07:08:48 PM »
Looking forward to this polo, nice one  :thumbsup:

Kirky - http://www.merg.org.uk/resources/lcb.html

Offline 4x2

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 07:43:37 PM »
Hi polo2k, Just bought this loco from a buyer who has built a Yosemite Valley layout - probably the same guy you've already spoken to !
On his listing he gave a link to his flicker account with many photos of his great layout and is well worth a look...  :thumbsup:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320783864009?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline longbridge

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 08:06:07 PM »
Great subject for a model railroad and it looks like you are off to a fine start, the modelling prospects are great with this layout as no doubt there would have been a few Sequoia Trees around in those days and they always tend to look great.

I had thought of building a model of the current railroad at Yosemite the "Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad" but decided to have a crack at the Utah area.

Looking forward to seeing future pics of your layout :thumbsup:
Keep on Smiling
Dave.

Offline polo2k

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2011, 08:39:20 PM »
Thanks all, good to see so much interest in the layout at this early stage ! :D

So what does the Merg Cbus do?



The CBUS system is a simplified Canbus system, this means that it encodes signal and condences them into a single pair of wires. its very similar to DCC except a fair bit more bespoke. this means that I will have a throttle plugged into a control panel and then this in turn connects to the layout. Each board will probably have a front and rear plug. this means that I done need to daisy chain the boards for testing (unless I want to cross a join). on each board there will be a DCC module and a Servo module which both act like decoders. This means that the DCC module powers all the track on that particular board and the servo module controls the point work.
Another great thing is that all their products are NMRA compliant (so will work with standard decoders) and come in kit form (so I get to enjoy them throughout construction too :)


Looking forward to this polo, nice one  :thumbsup:


You and me both. unfortunately I have buggered my back so any lifting or stretching needs an assistant. So much so that I basically made each mock up on my lap, then laid it on the floor.

Hi polo2k, Just bought this loco from a buyer who has built a Yosemite Valley layout - probably the same guy you've already spoken to !
On his listing he gave a link to his flicker account with many photos of his great layout and is well worth a look...  :thumbsup:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320783864009?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649


Very much the same Gent. You will be very happy with the loco, he took very good care of them before he had to retire from the hobby. The layout in the Flicr album is the one that inspired me around 10 years ago. you might recognise the loco in my signature from his logging photos.

Great subject for a model railroad and it looks like you are off to a fine start, the modelling prospects are great with this layout as no doubt there would have been a few Sequoia Trees around in those days and they always tend to look great.

I had thought of building a model of the current railroad at Yosemite the "Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad" but decided to have a crack at the Utah area.

Looking forward to seeing future pics of your layout :thumbsup:


There was indeed som Sequoia here and there, mainly pine though (I think). Interestingly the shay on the sugar pine railway is one from the original YVR despite sitting in a scrap yard under several hundred tons of tyres, forgotten, then unearthed/untyred and recovered. There is also the original observation car (No 303 I think) that has been restored and runs regularly.

Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 09:43:10 PM »
All the best with the layout - it's going to be fascinating watching the development :camera: :thumbsup:

Offline polo2k

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 12:06:52 AM »
*Ding Ding* - Round 2!

First off I just want to make a correction, the observation cars was number 330 (oops)

So since the last update, I have cajoled one of my neighbours to cut some MDF for me to make end plates for the layout. Essentially each board will be a box so I can include a pelmet with all the lighting etc. Im trying to keep transporting and exhibiting in mind from an early stage here.

Tonight I have made up 4 of the end plates and I also have the end, end plates cut (these are boards for each end, they are a simple oblong but I want to cut in remove-able access panels). This leaves 2 end plates to make, but im out of MDF.

The end plates are C shaped and protect the end of the foam board and provide location for the timber that will run from one end to the other in each corner of the end plates to strengthen the whole shebang.

Onto the pics:

Here you can see one of the end plates. The front of the layout takes up most of the inside of the "C", then the runaround/fiddle yard will pass between the 2 verticals on the left (these are 32mm apart). Along the bottom there are additional pieces of MDF to strengthen key areas.



In this image you can see the gap for the return track (hole yet to be cut) at the rear right at the bottom (with its own strengthening pieces)



Here you can see the double thickness of MDF up at the bottom, the additional strength is needed because these areas house the dowels+bolts and also will be used to locate the track.



In this image you can see one of the 3 M6 Bolts that hold each section together and also one of the brass dowels, there are 2 of these per board placed close to the tracks so that any distortion is minimised where accuracy is important.



I have drawn on this image to show:
RED - Hole still to be cut for runaround track
YELLOW - Location of rear dowel (glued with gorrilla glue)
BLUE - This is roughly where the rails are on this board join. I plan to temporarily lay the track, mark its position and then drill pilot holes below the rails into the double thickness MDF. I will take the screws to the level of the base of the rail and then solder the rail to them before cutting the gap.
On the right you can also see one of the bolts, with Wing nut that holds the rear together.



Here you can roughly see how the boards will fit in. The Foam board top will be flush with the bottom of the "C" to minimise damage to the foam edge, I should also be able to take the scenics right to the edge to minimise the visibility of the joints. The braces will be sunk into the board so each module has a smooth end.

Progress may slow a little until I get some more MDF, and Space. I am going to cajole my friendly neighbour to mount some shelf brackets for my 4 1/2Sq' layout, and also cut out 56" of work surface. This will let me stand 3 modules on their ends with another layed across the top, this will also move my main workbench under a window for fresh air and light.

In the meantime I may start making some of the point operating gubbins as im using servos so cant mount them conventionally.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 12:10:50 AM by polo2k, Reason: Fixed pic and Kant Speel »
Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

Offline polo2k

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 06:34:24 PM »
I have been doing a little more on the baseboards this evening (and will continue once X factor is on).

Im impressed with this foam, its solvent safe and cuts easily. Its already rigid but now that I have added braces along the bottom edges of the first board im confident that this will be light and exhibition proof! I have been using How glue to get the grab properties and hold the wood in place while the other glues set. I have also been using PVA and a glue called Gorilla glue.
Gorilla glue says that you need to dampen the surface before use, this is because it then foams up and draws the adhesive into the material. While this is awful news when gluing parts to a loco its great when working with this foam as it expands to fill the gaps (it has worked so well that its been pushing the pva out of the joins!).


EDIT!! I have since realised that the foam is not as resistant as I first thought. Some solvent adhesives will attack the foam (i.e. bostik all purpose). Small amounts of superglue are fine, however I tried a larger quantity (10ml in a hole) and overnight it ate through the 50mm board!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 12:21:35 AM by polo2k »
Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

Offline Tank

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 06:42:25 PM »
The pictures show that you've done a lot of woodwork, and it's come together nicely.  I'll be using the brass dowels on my next layout.  And I don't blame you about X Factor!  :D  We've stuck Downton Abbey on, and then The Walking Dead will be on after that.  God bless Sky+!

Offline polo2k

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 07:58:19 PM »
Ive only got speakers and my Ipod/laptop, but I suppose its less distractions.

The brass dowels have worked really well with no vagueness in any direction which should ensure good track alignment.


I have finally got the track plan into a single file so here it is, obviously the 2 sections would go end to end. Top right board joining to bottom left.
The fiddle yard will probably be different and possibly the right hand station too (El portal)




Starting at the far left (from the front) there is Merced falls station in the centre of the board, and limestone unloading at the rear (where its marked quarry). At the front there is a sawmill on the edge or the river Merced.

The second board has a single spur for storing a train or for a head shunt, Bagby station/halt and then 2 bridges spanning the river Merced (one as a Double, then a single span).

On the third board, we have the bottom of Incline where the automated incline will bring loaded log cars from the woods and transfer the wagons to the railroad. There is also a narrow gauge mine line (Nn3) bringing the limestone from the off scene quarry. This narrow gauge will replenish an over-track hopper, dispensing the limestone into wagons.

The forth board has the El portal station including a covered platform and then a goods siding, and small engine shed. behind this, there will be a mezzanine board with the woods and logging operations, this is the area that will be all trees and shays.


Operations will fall into several categories
-Limestone trains - These will be loaded at incline on the third board, and then unloaded at merced falls at the rear of board 1. Occasional shuttling
-Log Trains - These will decent from the mezanine board on board 4 by means of an automated incline. they will then run onto the railroad trackwork where they are assembled into a train. Once in a complete train they will be shuttled to the mill at the front of board one and dumped into the dam section of the river. reasonably often shuttling
-Passenger and mixed freight - This will be interspersed between the other rail workings, box cars will appear from off scene, some dropped at Merced falls on board one, Others will go all the way to El portal. Fitted in with other trains.

The real El Portal was the terminus, however I am using some modellers license to allow continuous running. I will try yo disguise the through-roads with plenty of trees etc. In reality there was a Wye at Incline and the trains reversed into el portal which did away with the need for running round.
Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 09:18:48 PM »
Great looking layout plan, well researched :thumbsup:

Offline polo2k

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Re: Yosemite Valley RailRoad
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 10:15:37 PM »
Great looking layout plan, well researched :thumbsup:


I cant take all the credit, I have had a lot of help from the gent who inspired me with his version of the YVR in his loft.

As promised, I have been busy again, the following pic should show how the re-enforcing locates near the track so that there is somewhere to put the brass screws :

Obviously the foam has the be recessed for the 2x1 etc


This gives a better idea of how the boxes will be created and the picture framing effect from the integral valance.
Cheers
-Ash-



The only way to guarantee failure, is not to try

 

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