Monday, May 26, 2008

Rose Gulch overview

The Rose Gulch and Portland Rail system began on a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood with a 1/4" plywood track base cut out of another sheet of plywood. It had two distinct levels, but was one continuous piece of track with one siding that went nowhere. It was in my bedroom and took up way to much living space. When I realized it would never be able to be moved after I finished it, I disassembled the whole thing and began again.

I kept all of the track and turnouts from the old layout. One never knows how useful something is going to be, especially on a limited budget. In the present layout I tried to make it as "portable" as possible, thus building it on eight separate tables bolted together to form an 8'x9' layout area. Of course this could never fit in my room so it grew in the basement.

The basic layout presumes a connection with an outside more major railroad, maybe the Spokane, Portland and Seattle before it was assimilated. On the layout this is represented by the outer track which begins and ends at the "east" side of the layout; one end at the north and the other end at the south. The next track in from the edge is part of a spiral that begins at the mainline track and, in a clockwise direction, works its way to a central loop. This loop can send a train back out to the outer track via a series of turnouts.

In order to turn engines around I had to create a "Y" which actually crosses the access hole in the middle of the layout. Although not easily seen in any of my pictures, there will indeed be a "Rose Gulch" complete with wild roses throughout. It is on the East side of the layout near where the station is siting right now (will probably move). To its right will be a high hill with a dry creek running down into the gulch. The trains will have to go through a tunnel under this hill. To the left will be a more urban area where the gulch is diverted into a culvert through the town.

I reused much of the track, complete with its existing soldered wire connections, thus some of the track looks particularly tie-less. Some of that is because plastic ties had to go where I was soldering and some of it is rail connections that required a bit more room than the presence of the standard ties on flex track allow. All will be healed with the addition of some wooden ties I have waiting for a more stable track layout. It seems that in my hurry to have SOMETHING I neglected to be really careful at some critical curves. I have begun replacing them, and some of the turnouts as well. When I finish the track repairs I will move on to creating a small yard. With that accomplished I will begin making it look real; adding the turf and bushes, trees and hills, and all those other things that make a model railroad fun to look at as well as to operate.


President, Olean, Bradford & Warren / Kendall & Eldred Lines said...

Hi Vicent,

Wow. Looks nice--love the long curves. What is your minimum radius? What number frogs are your turnouts?

But the way, leave a little space to add a spur off to link to the Olean, Bradford, and Warren (HOn3). You might need to link up sooner than you think. Even before I move back to the Coast ...

El Presidente RG&P said...

Dear Mr. President,

I appreciate your interest in the Rose Gulch and Portland. At present we do not have any openings for HOn3 but will certainly try to keep you informed if such were to become a reality. Meanwhile, concerning your other inquiries: Turnouts have varied. In "Atlas" they are and were #4 and #6. In Peco they are "medium" although I am thinking of using some "short" for the small yard that will be needed to organize the consists. The curves were originally intended never to be less than 18" with some as much as 24", but with lack of space and poor judgement the track crew laid a few curves that were much less than 18". The track crew is trying to figure out a way to correct such problems.