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Thread: Southern Railway Memphis Div in 1975

  1. #21
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    Default bridge

    Working on the bridge for the rear pass through to the workbench area.
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    Ryan B.

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  3. #22
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    Default LOwer deck

    Around the wall lower deck is roughed in. This will allow the lower deck door crossing to be completed. Starting to plan blocks for detection and signaling. For operational ease I am adding a set of crossovers on the twin mains midway down the section where the old Sheffield station. In real life there are none but for the things I want to do with passenger trains and my train lengths I will be changing that aspect.
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    Ryan B.

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  5. #23
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    Default testing

    The staging yard arrival departure section yard throat from the three descending tracks off the helix. Testing with some typically obstinate cars.
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    Ryan B.

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  7. #24
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    Default

    Not much to picture but with leftover sheetrock I patched rocked in the wall where my workbench is. It has pipes and tubes galore in and out of it. So the wall board is really lots of little pieces. I will mud it eventually and probably wet sponge the finish. Some random paint to seal it and call it good enough. But doing this did allow me to find where the AC condensation exhaust pipe had cracked and was pouring water into the wall space. Pulled the pipe down, cut off the broken end, stuck the rest out the wall and will fix it later. I have a fan on the area drying the wood. Lucky find as I totally did this on a whim today. Last few days of real home time. Im back to the classroom next Monday. My bridge for Spring Creek should be here tomorrow or the next day. Will then figure out if I have to put another layer of foam on the shelf from Sheffield station to the crossing at Tuscumbia. That is a steep grade in real life so it would add some operational interest. I have bus wire and hook up wire otw as well so I can run some sections potentially.
    Ryan B.

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    Default Staging

    So playing around with staging design. There are three tracks coming down the helix. One is Memphis the west end. Middle is Sheffield yard and points east, and the third is Birmingham and points south. There is an AD area that is along the wall. Each track coming down the helix spreads into three tracks. Those three extend at least 8 ft and then transition to the main staging yard. Some tracks go straight through and some branch. I stick with tge original 1-9 designations and additional yard branches get a prime tick on their originating track number. The outside tracks balloon around the penninsula , 6 and 5 attach to the inner balloon. They could get their own balloon track, I just thought of this. But basically there will be a balloon track that any train coming down the helix can access if necessary. Gives space for 22 full trains, 3-4 locals and potentially 3 more full trains in the balloon tracks. So potentially 28 trains in staging. That should be enough for a full operating session if I get it to that point.
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    Ryan B.

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  11. #26
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    Default Spring Creek Bridge

    So I got home and I had a package from Ebay waiting on me. I got the Kato through truss. I pulled the deck off and cut the ends vertical. I looked at the picture and using a divider measured the kayak. I think most are 12 feet. Using that measurement the bridge is 150 ft. If the kayak is 10 ft the bridge is 120 feet. Either way I could get a good measure of the height above the water and the vertical height of the bridge. In order to figure out how much clearance I am going to need to create with a drop in benchwork or some extra foam on top. The Kato bridge is 120ft long but it is too tall by about 8-12 ft. I am not sure I want to chop the height out of this bridge. If I do I will effectively be rebuilding the bridge because I will have to change the angles of the cross braces. Once you get to that point you might as well scratch the whole bridge. I think I will shorten the piers and install this bridge. When the layout gets further along and I am looking for projects I will scratch build the actual bridge. I know that is probably 4-6 years down the road. But to signal this thing like I want to I will be spending a lot of time scratching D type signals. Those are further up the list than a correct bridge. Especially one that I have personally never seen. Now the next bridge is one I have viewed many times and fidelity will be much more important to me.
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    Ryan B.


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    Default

    https://www.shapeways.com/product/MB...ignal-set-2300

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter3 View Post
    But to signal this thing like I want to I will be spending a lot of time scratching D type signals
    You might not have to scratchbuild them. But the trick will be getting LEDs into otherwise static heads.

    Then there are these: http://www.azatrax.com/n-d-type-track-signals.html

    They look more promising.

    As a by-the-by, the distant signals on the Slate Fork are GRS SAs, definitely not Southern type D CLs. But the Slate Fork Railway was independent (actually owned by a Midwest steel consortium prior to being acquired by the Southern, along with the better-known Interstate RR), and the SAs were second-hand ans available. So the SA fixed-distants stayed at Norfolk Junction (where SFRy crossed the N&W); I don't think the Southern would have issued an AFE to fix something that wasn't broke.

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  14. #28
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    Default

    Unfortunately those are not lighted. I want to go full electronics with detection, signals, JMRI, etc. current plan is RR cirkits watchman, and signalman for detection and signals. Something that will drive turnouts for the staging yard. Rest of layout may or may not be powered turnouts. Showcase Minatures has announced a 3 light signal but no reference to older or modern. If Showcase gets a D type to the market for $20 or so(their single led signals are $13) that will be probably what I use. If it hits $35 then I may be trying to use a 3d printed head and stainless tube and learn to drive myself crazy soldering micro LEDs. I need at least 10 sets of singles and 4-6 sets of two head jobs, plus some dwarfs.
    Ryan B.

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    Default

    The piece of the Southern that I'm modeling is ABS signals and timetable and train order, which I consider the best of both worlds.

    Most turnout are controlled manually using Bluepoint switch machines. I'm using RR-CirKits components, but the LCC stuff rather than the LocoNet. I did use the LocoNet components on my last layout, along with an NCE DCC system, but decided to switch to LCC for this layout.

    I haven't decided on what signals to use yet, but they will be type D color light signals. I'm not really happy with anything offered in N-scale right now. However, my "for now" signals are from Model Railroad Control Systems. They ain't pretty, but they work and they're cheap (12 signals for $14.99).

    One of my requirements is that everything needs to work without having a computer connected to the layout. Of course, I use JMRI on my lap-top to configure the cards, but all it needs to work correctly is power.

    Just to avoid Moose tracks on my layout, here's one of these signals going through its paces.

    Loco at S488.jpg

    Loco past S472.jpg

    Loco gone.jpg
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale


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    Default Spring Creek bridge

    Played this morn for a bit with the Spring Creek bridge. Cut the outer edge of benchwork for the creek bed. Glued in a piece of 1/4 in ply for the base. Cut the foam to give a shape to the banks. Then put in a flat piece that will have the abandoned trolley roadbed on it. Placed the bridge in situ with tracks just sitting on it. I think the approahes are deck girder. I have girders from another project that will probably work. Also played around with some landforms to create some elevation at the Memphis Pike crossing. The tracks are decidely higher than the road that parallels them. I used dividers to measure the houses that will be along the road east of the crossing. Based my measurements off of the door widths. Using those came up with what look like reasonable measurements for the three houses that will be there.

    Did some calculations and figured out there will be over 100 sticks of flex in the helix and a similar number in the staging yard. Save up!
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    Ryan B.

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    Default Lighting

    Bought some lights.Cheap 4ft LED tubes off Amazon. Specs are 5000K, 2200 lumen. After temporarily putting them up to check out their output I think I need more light. I am happy with the temperature. You can get these in temps from 3k to 6.5k from what I see on Amazon. But I think next order will be some 4000 lumen versions. After testing those I will decide which will be the layout lights and the others will be purposed as room lights.
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    Ryan B.

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  20. #32
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    Default Sheffield

    I received some supplies and started playing around with the track layout in Shefield. This location is one of those that looks funny on a map now railroad wise, but made perfect sense 100 years ago when the railroads were building and expanding. Tuscumbia,which today is the smallest of the three(four if you count Florence) towns is the oldest in the area. The Memphis and Charleston had a yard in Tuscumbia that it quickly outgrew. It moved out to Sheffield. The L&N came across the Tennessee river on a bridge from Florence and ran to a station in Tuscumbia and a station in Sheffield. Another railroad, the Northern Alabama Railway built north from Birmingham crossed the Memphis and Charleston at NorAla junction and continued on to a terminus with a yard in Sheffield where it interchanged with the L&N. When JP Morgan bought up and reorganized a bunch of railroads the M&C and the NAR were included in the new Southern Railway. The Southern kept both of the yard facilities in Sheffield and used them both until the new hump yard which is still in operation(I think, looked pretty empty on the last current aerial I saw) opened in 1975ish. So, like I said, this lays out some interesting track layouts if you have a look from the air. I have kept the flavor of the area with the double mains and three yard tracks railroad west of downtown Sheffield. I am inserting a set of crossovers on the mains where a set did not actually exist in life. But my train lengths are majorly different from the real world and my intention to run passenger ops necessitates a way to get fro main 2 to the passenger platform on main 1. Also, in Sheffield between S Montgomery and S Atlanta streets I am adding a crossover from main 2 to yard 1 westbound. This will facilitate the local coming from the new Sheffield yard(staging) to bypass the east end of yard 1 where the empty inbound coal train sometimes tied down waiting on it's counterpart to clear the loader out at the Pride Transload. The local when then be able to work the L&N interchange, industries in Sheffield, and the two west of Sheffield down by the station. In real life the Nitrate plant(large brick building) never really did much of anything in my time frame. Of course on my railroad it will still be doing something. The other spur down by the station has been a metal fabrication plant(old Alcoa facility I think) nearly all its life as far as I know and is currently owned by Wise Alloys. It currently does not seem to be active. Behind the station is the remnants of the 2nd Memphis and Charleston shops being torn down. There is a building sitting there which is standing in for the car shops building which as far as I can tell was the last building to be active in that area. A larger brick building behind and to the left will be perpendicular running into the backdrop and it will be being torn down. There will be some rotting wooden cars on the derelict tracks leading into the car shops. The 1971 aerial photo shows cars on those tracks. I don't know if they were being worked on or were simply being stored there. By the 1978 aerial nothing is left. I plan on running a layer of cork for the mains and yard 1,2,3 tracks with the mains on additional standard roadbed. The derelict tracks will be directly on the foam. This will give different elevations for all of these lines to help separate out their uses and ages. Just west of Sheffield a lone track branches off of yard 3 and runs to a couple of stand in buildings. There used to be stub tracks branching off this and the remnants of these stub tracks will be modeled, ballast, ties, random lengths of rail.

    For the first two pics you are looking from above the station back towards Sheffield. The last two are Sheffield from railroad east of town. The L&N interchange will be under the camera. S. Montgomery ave is the closer of the two roads crossing the tracks.
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  22. #33
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    Default Spring Creek bridge

    Here is an issue that I am bumping up against right now. The Spring Creek bridge is a really neat bridge across Spring Creek. It is visually interesting and has the old trolley ROW running along the creek. I knew the trolley ran under it from prior investigations and seeing a picture in the Tuscumbia railway museum. My grandmother told me about riding the trolley to Florence for special occasions. Despite those features had I not found the picture on bridgehunter I would not have included the bridge on the layout. Even now I am still kind of questioning my decision as I never saw this bridge as a kid chasing trains with my grandfather. That is the whole premise of the upper deck to kind of recreate those places where I spent a lot of time counting cars and enjoying being a kid with old people who just wanted to make me happy. Lots of great memories and the hope that I can recreate those scenes. But the bridge....so with aerials providing evidence that the approach spans are deck girder that is the way I built them. I will order some Micro Engineering bridge track with the next supply order to put across it. I have no idea what the abutments look like besides some vague shapes from aerials. I will probably find some other bridges in the area that I know date back to the correct time period of construction and wing it from there. And based on the picture most of it will be obscured by trees anyway. lol. One of these days I will amass enough unanswered questions and internet research dead ends that I will plan a trip to the area. My grandparents have passed and we no longer have family in the area so I will let the "needed info" list grow to make the long haul to North Alabama worth it. Probably take my oldest next spring and visit some colleges to get the trip spouse approved. She is already sensitive to how much time I have been spending in the train room lately.
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    Ryan B.

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  24. #34
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    Default Tuscumbia Cotton warehouse

    In Tuscumbia itself, the key spotting feature(to me) are the warehouses that sit on N. Hook St. They are gone now but still exist for the moment on google street view. According to my grandfather these were used to store cotton. In old aerial photos the one north of the tracks was there in 1948. The one south of the largest building appears to be an original Tuscumbia shops building. The largest is not in the 48 picture but it is in the 62 pic. I am not sure why it would have stored cotton at that late of a date but that is what he told me they were used for. In the time that I was aware that I would eventually model these things and paying attention to the small things I only saw them signed for a plastics business. I can not imagine they did anything other than use them for storage. But again, dating back to the period I was chasing trains with my grandfather they were a huge visual factor while running through Tuscumbia to get down to the station in Sheffield. On the layout the shelf is 12 inches wide. As I kept poking around with how I was going to position these things on the layout I knew I was going to have the business be an active rail shipper. It's my railroad, I get to make the rules. I wanted to get two 40 ft boxcars on the spur. But as I did more research on the buildings and started figuring out sizes and positioning I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to get two cars on the spur in a manner that I was happy with. So I laid it out and figured if I had a couple of inches I could get it in and be happy. So a couple of pieces of wood and a quick trim of foam and I had a 2.5 inch bump in the bench work. Using pictures from Google and my own on the last trip through town I estimated the size of the building using the trailers in the picture for scale. The space I have allows the largest building to be built nearly full size. There will be two loading spots like I planned and the building on the north side will be there as well. The southern(directional) building will be there but moved in orientation to accommodate the different N. Hook St. alignment. The original Memphis and Charleston alignment through Tuscumbia runs just south of this building and will be modeled as well. The whole complex has to be scratched so I am starting to feel my way through some of the buildings. I am throwing the big building up with some scraps to flesh out the site and to see what I can fit in and still have it look right.
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  26. #35
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    Default

    Well some more updates. I got a second building made up for the cotton warehouses in Tuscumbia. Also found further mention of them as being cotton warehouses on the net so purpose is confirmed. Not that I had a reason to doubt my grandfather. He was postmaster of the place after all and literally knew just about everybody. It is a strange shape but it looks like it was one of those here is the size of the plot, fill it up. The aerial pic in the above post shows it as the left end of the darker roofed object towards the top. It is actually two separate buildings. The main piece of it is older than the rest of the buildings there and I believe it is a wooden structure similar to the first pic below. These warehouses were built by the same railroad in Decatur and the shape and roof are right for what is in the picture.

    I received some more supplies and got the main line crossovers in Sheffield in. I also got all of the sidings in Sheffield in and was doing some 0-5-0 shifting testing out what is there and seeing if my ideas actually worked like I think they should. I am contemplating moving the tracks toward the backdrop to reduce the curve of main 1. I would loose the three buildings that have the one lonely spur going toward them probably reducing them to low relief on the backdrop. Since I don't even know what they were for I am not wedded to them. They are on the list of "figure out what they are/were". The track and the space between it and yard three will be removed trackage. Ballast, ties, tie plates, joiner bars, etc.

    Got a piece of bridge track for the Spring creek bridge and man, does it make a difference.

    Thanks for looking!
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    Last edited by Specter3; 9th Sep 2020 at 05:53 PM. Reason: forgot pic
    Ryan B.

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  28. #36
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    Default

    I love that you have that reference photo for the bridge! I'm looking forward to seeing you model that tree that is in the foreground, with a big old limb leaning way out over the water.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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  30. #37
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    Default cotton wharehouses continued

    Update

    In browsing through the photos I have I found the first one below. Notice the 3 lines across the roof of the building I have been most interested in lately. This shows that the roof is tin and flat just like the odd shaped building next to it. Since it runs off the edge of the layout I made the end blank and it will be painted black.

    Once that building was rigged up I turned my attention to the packing supply place in Sheffield. This building will be straddling the support pole. So it has to be built around the pole. It will have two loading spots. Once the building is close to finished the pole will be sky blue above the building and black below the roof line.
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  32. #38
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    Wow! You've made great progress!!! (I'm so envious... been doing home remodeling and the layout was taken down.)
    Mark

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    Default Not dead yet

    Just to prove Im still working. Got the floor in. Luxury vinyl plank. 3rd room I have used it in. Love how easy it goes down and it is way more durable than any other stuff I have put down. Did whole room in an afternoon. Now to jam all that crud back in there. Definitely gonna cull my junk before putting it away. 11 days until Christmas break.
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  35. #40
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Specter3 View Post
    Just to prove Im still working. Got the floor in. Luxury vinyl plank. 3rd room I have used it in. Love how easy it goes down and it is way more durable than any other stuff I have put down. Did whole room in an afternoon. Now to jam all that crud back in there. Definitely gonna cull my junk before putting it away. 11 days until Christmas break.
    Yes! I've used that flooring in my kitchen and more recently in my bathroom. Easy and durable.
    Your floor looks great!
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    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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