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Thread: The Eureka! moment.

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    Lightbulb The Eureka! moment.

    I've been working on a general concept in my head for over 10 years now for a set of N-Trak modules. There are many aspects to my idea, and each of them has required a bunch of mental development, sketches, and research. However while I have had great luck solving various technical issues (how many tracks, what size modules, how to transport them, control system for switches) and even refining the sort of scene I want to model, it just wasn't all coming together.

    Then I received the January/February 2016 C&O Historical Society Magazine. It contains an article first printed in 1937 about Martin Kentucky, "Biggest Little Yard". Along with the reprint is an article with great detail about the engine house, along with a ton of pictures and a track plan of the entire yard.

    The track plan in particular is very similar to the track plan I had in my head. As in nearly identical. Additionally the structures all look fairly easy to scratch build or kit bash. It's clear the C&O Historical Society has a number of photos and other information I can request as well. It's the perfect match.

    Eureka! I found it.

    I will be modeling Martin Kentucky, just before WWII.

    Now comes the hard part though. I think I'm ready to come up with the "final" design, so later this year or early next construction can begin. However I'm going to be building a large and complicated yard, so there is a fair amount of planning left to be done.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    I'm hopeful that you might document your progress on modules in the form of videos... I really do miss "Reality Reduced"! Not that I'd expect a resurrection of that journalistic format per se. It's just clear that you're comfortable with the medium, and it sounds like you'd have a lot of content to offer.

    Honestly, I got off my duff and decided to try my hand at making some videos in large part because of the inspiration I got from you and a few others.

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    I too, miss the old show, when I could download it and watch it at my leisure. When you went to live viewing you lost a bunch of us that have very slow connections. YouTube or another service really sucks when a five minute video takes hours to watch.

    Besides we have a lot of confidence you can pull both the layout and a new podcast off. It would be interesting for the newbies if you started now. The need to do a lot of planning and how to do it, is something that many videos leave out.
    Use what you know about the world to model…
    Learn from modeling what you don't know about the real world.



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    I don't know how much video I will do. The truth of the matter is that video is extremely time consuming. It takes a lot of extra effort to get the shots set up, lights and sound right, and then a lot more effort to edit it together. It really puts a serious crimp on hobby time.

    That said, I am looking at starting a new blog just to chronicle building these modules, with lots of text and pictures. There would likely be a video or two along the way. We'll see what shapes up.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Default Track Chart

    I thought it might help to give you guys a better idea of what Martin Yard might look like. Here's a copy of the track chart from 1960. The article details some of the reconfigurations over time, but I think this is pretty close to the plan I would want to build. My goal is to model ~1935-1950 era layout and operations.



    One thing I want to be sure is that I am reading the chart right. Please let me know if anyone thinks the following is wrong. I'm assuming the measurements were 100' chains, plus the odd number of feet.

    On the left I believe is Milepost 4, at 21,100 + 01 feet. Note that 4 miles is actually 21,120 feet. On the right I believe is Milepost 5, at 26,300 + 90 feet. Note that 5 miles is actually 26,400 feet.

    Yard tracks are numbered 1-19, roughly left to right. I believe the various switches are indicated as Point of Switch ("P.S."). For instance the switch for track #7 has points that start at 24,300 + 27 feet.

    1. Appears to have no track number, but I would assume 1209 is right. Parking track for a switch engine to clear the main.
    2. AKA track 1210. Longest through storage track, referenced in the text as holding "about 100 cars".
    3. AKA track 1211. Next shortest through storage track.
    4. AKA track 1212. Shortest through storage track.
    5. AKA track 1213. Run-around track in the yard for local switching duties.
    6. AKA track 1214. I'm not sure the main purpose of this track. Maybe caboose storage?
    7. AKA track 1215. RIP track for bad ordered cars that must be repaired on site.
    8. AKA track 1216. Locomotive servicing and Wye access run-through track, sort of an alternate main.
    9. AKA track 1217. Locomotive ready track, probably for 2 locomotives.
    10. AKA track 1218. Locomotive ready track, probably for 1 locomotive.
    11. AKA track 1219. Coaling and Ash Pit
    12. AKA track 1220. Engine house with pits for local servicing, extends on under the coaling tower, and on to an ash pit.
    13. AKA track 1221. Supply coal for the coaling tower, line goes slightly up a hill to a car dump to feed the coaling tower.
    14. AKA track 1222. Elkhorn Coal Company spur. This would go off scene in my plan.
    15. AKA track 1223. Coal Loading Track at Elkhart Coal.
    16. AKA track 1224. Coal Loading Track at Elkhart Coal.
    17. AKA track 1225. Other side of the Wye.
    18. AKA track 1226. House track for the depot to unload LCL freight, also a place for a switch engine to clear the main.
    19. AKA track 1227. Set out track by the depot for cars that get spotted overnight, flat car freight, etc.


    Note that not listed is the Long Fork Subdivision spur, that would also go off-scene in my plan.

    The C&O Historical Society has some Martin Kentucky information online.

    The yard still exists today. The engine servicing and the depot are gone along with most of their support tracks, and it's now 4 longer tracks with the left end reworked in how they come together to better fit the unit train freight. Google Maps has a good set of satellite images of the area in modern day.
    Last edited by bicknell; 9th Jul 2016 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Figured out the Elkhorn Coal Loading Location
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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