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2005 Projects

Dec 2005

More Line Side Details

My effort continues in adding more line side details. I'm not stringing any wires between the poles to much work and I'm affraid they would be in the way during operation. I'm really enjoying the process and I hope you enjoy the photos.

Forty foot pole with guy wires
Thirty foot pole with a pole brace
Forty foot pole to drop pole to drop box at Sage Hen
Thirty foot pole with drop to a cut in box
Thirty foot pole with drop to a drop box
New westbound cantilever bridge at Jiggs Jct
Meet at Jiggs Jct westbound cantilever bridge
Westbound at Jiggs Jct
Pole line at Sage Hen

Nov 2005

Line Side Details

Photos Added -11/26/2005

As the UCW is controlled by CTC one of my goals is to add correct line side details that would support CTC operation. This would include communication poles, relay bungalows and other details as required and I have completed some of the work between Sage Hen and Jiggs. The process would have been somewhat difficult if not for me good friend Mike Burgett. Mike works in the signal department for the CN and has been very patient in answering my many questions on the various details and where they are placed. Below are several pictures of the work in progress.

Communication Pole Line Communication Pole Line Communication Pole Line and Bungalow

Oct 2005 and Nov 2005

New Signal at Jiggs Jct

Photos Added -11/26/2005

The exsisting signals at Jiggs Jct were in the same condition as the Castle Gate signals shown below being placed on the right and left sides of the double track main. I have replaced them with an Overland brass signal bridge which places them in the proper location for our time period. Just when I thought I had Jiggs Jct complete I relized that the Westbound signal was in the wrong place and have replaced it with cantalever bridge as well.

Old Westbound Signal at Jiggs Jct
New Westbound Signal at Jiggs Jct relocated in scene above
New Westbound Signal at Jiggs Jct relocated in scene above
Old Eastbound Signal at Jiggs Jct New Eastbound Signal at Jiggs Jct

Weed Sprayer Train Oct 2005

Photos Added -10/04/2005

Recently I purchased a brass weed sprayer car that I have finally painted and added to my weed sprayer train. I'm not sure who manufactured it as it was part of set release some years ago. The train consists of the sprayer car, 3 tanks that I modified and a box car.

Weed Sprayer Train
Weed Sprayer Train
Weed Sprayer Train
Weed Sprayer Train
Brass Sprayer Car
Brass Sprayer Car

New Signal at Castle Gate Sept 2005

Photos Added -9/27/2005

The UCW hosted an op session for a group from Oregon on Sept 24, 2005. The crew consisted of members of the Clackamas and Columbia Gorge clubs from the Portland, Oregan area and a couple of UCW crew members. We had a great time and it turned out to be one of those op til you drop sessions (pictures posted elsewhere). In preparing the layout for the session I decided to change the signals at Castle Gate. The exsisting signals were placed on the right and left sides of the double track main and were not correct for our 1967 time period. The signals should be on the right side of the track. To accomplish this I needed to install another cantilever signal bridge. I am using signal bridges from Overland, which are very nice models, but take some effort to get them wired up. I have been avoiding this change for some time as it is the most complicated signal on the layout in terms of the number of heads involved. There are 14 lamps which required 14 wires plus a ground for a total of 15 wires to thread inside the super structure of the signal. It was a good half day project but I stuck with it and it is now in service (photos below). I want to thank my good friend Mike Burgett from CTC Components fame for his encouragement to get this done.

New Signal at Castle Gate
New Signal at Castle Gate
New Signal at Castle Gate
Old Signal at Castle GateOl
ggOld Signal at Castle Gate
Old Signal at Castle Gate

New Track for the UCW Aug 2005

Photos Added -8/24/2005

My goal is to replace all the visible code 100 track with code 83. I am using Atlas code 83 flex track and Atlas #6 switches for all hand thrown turnouts and Walthers #6 and #8 switches for all mainline or dispatcher control turnouts. I use switchmaster motors for throwing all the mainline turnouts and feel the Walthers turnout throwbars will hold up better and so far they have met my expectations. I am gluing the track down, which is a new process for me and I highly recommend it. The process is fast and it really holds the track in place. After the track is glued down I airbrush the track with Polyscale Rail Tie Brown and then add the ballast. I use Smith and Son's ballast and really like the way it goes down and use several different colors. I soak it with water and alcohol and it is held in place with diluted white glue. You can see my latest efforts in the photos below.

Enjoy ----------

Removing the old track
I make 12" cuts for easy handling
Track removed
Spraying old ballast for easy removal
I use a wood rasp to scrape and loosen up the ballast
Here's the process
Old ballast ready for removal
Old ballast ready for removal
Ballast removed from the cork roadbed
Latex adhesive caulk for gluing track. This brand from Home Depot
Gluing the track. No glue on points!!
Bead of glue ready to spread
Spreading glue
Spreading glue
Glue ready for track
Track held in place with map pins.
Bubble level used to level track from side to side
Bubble level in use
Track glued ready to paint and ballast
Track glued ready to paint and ballast
Track glued ready to paint and ballast
Smith and Son ballast
Spreading ballast
Brushing in place
Glue bottle and sprayer.
Spraying ballast
Gluing ballast
Gluing ballast
Finished track
Finished track
Finshed track
Finished track

Shots of Finished Track

Flanigan to Watercress Aisle Project

Photos Added -8/22/2005

After an op session with our Oregon friends (spring 2005) a discussion on how to widen the aisle between Flanigan and Watercress came up. This was the narrowest aisle on the layout and was always a source for traffic jams (people not trains). I had been thinking of this change for sometime and after op session it was time to make the change. With the help of Gary Waite (one of our Oregon friends) measurements were taken and the project was started. In addition to widening the aisle the scenery and city scene at the east end of Flanigan would need to come out. This would also accomodate another needed change to improve the line of site, throttle to engine, communication necessary for Rail Lynx. The raised city scene around the end of this penninsula was always a sore spot for Rail Lynx as the engines were blocked from view and it was difficult to place the repeaters for reliable operation and besides it had been sometime since I've had the opportunity to work on new structures for the layout. I acutally ended up with one new industry in the process, Steelware Corp. Following are some photos of the process which include tear-down, adding laminated roadbed (hot glued masonite spline), cheesecloth scenery (Kelly Newton process), new track and the finished product. I hope you enjoy.

Scene removed and aisle widened
Scene removed and aisle widened
Spline roadbed added
Spline keyed to old roadbed
Keyed to old roadbed
Masonite spline roadbed
Masonite spline roadbed
Masonite spline roadbed
Masonite spline roadbed
Masonite spline roadbed
Masonite spline roadbed
Lots of laminated roadbed
Lots of laminated roadbed
Cheesecloth glued over spline
Cheesecloth glued over spline
Cheesecloth glued over spline
Cork glued over cheesecloth
Cork glued over cheesecloth
Tools used to create the mess
Tools used to create the mess
Tools used to create the mess
Wire leads (20 gauge wire)
Wire leads (20 gauge wire)
Wire leads (20 gauge wire)
Finshed product
UCW Freight Terminal
UCW Freight Terminal
UCW Freight Terminal
UCW Freight Terminal
Beanery
Beanery
Beanery
Beanery
Steelware Corp
Steelware Corp
Steelware Corp
Steelware Corp
KG Newton
KG Newton
Yard Office
Yard Office
East Flanigan Signal

New Track on Lone Pine Branch

I'm using Atlas code 83 track for the entire project and a combination of Atlas and Walthers DCC friendly turnouts. I use Atlas turnouts for all hand thrown turnouts and Walthers for all dispatcher controlled turnouts (main line) which use Switch Master motors. My decision to use both brands of turnouts was based on a couple of factors.

First: I got a great deal on the Atlas turnouts and after putting a couple in service, for testing, and taking a poll of my operators we all agreed that they performed very well and looked fine after ballast and weathering (I was concerned with the look of the stamped metal points).

Second: the throw bar on the Atlas turnouts was not robust enough to handle the pressure applied by the Switch Masters (at least in my testing), so I used Walthers turnouts that I modifed with a PC tie throw bar and insulated the frog to make them DCC friendly. Now that Walthers has introduced their DCC friendly line I have switched over to them with good success. I'm also looking at the new DCC friendly Micro Engineering and Peco turnouts.

New track has completed from Tres Pinos through Lone Pine to the Bear River mine. A new passing track was added at the Bear River mine which will make life much easier for the local, Jiggs Tramp, who works this part of the branch. New track has also been completed in Flanigan and East Yard. It's a big project and I'm thoroughly enjoying the process and the look of the now scale ties and smaller rail really adds to the finish look of the railroad. I'm also using Smith and Son's ballast (from Scenic Express) and really like the look and texture of their product.

Here are a few photos of my efforts:

New siding at Bear River Mine
Granite Block
Lone Pine Block
West End Lone Pine Block
Tres Pinos
Tres Pino with new flood loader
Tres Pinos and Red Devil Mine
Tres Pinos
East Yard

Industry Bill Boxes

The UCW is not blessed with real wide aisles so after observing several incidences during the GBG 2004 operations I decided to replace the bill boxes (car card holders) and hooks that protruded into the aisles from the fascia.

I have recessed all the bill boxes into the fascia to hold the car cards and some have additional shelves for holding other items. It has certainly made an impact and the aisles seem wider now and most of the hangups (hooks etc) seem to have been eliminated. Thanks to Gary Waite for the inspiration to tackle this one.

ReRRecessed bill boxes
Recessed bill boxes with shelf

New Shop and Dispatch Office

Another project that had been looming on the back burner was a re-do in the dispatcher/shop area located north of the lounge area. I had been thinking about this for some time and the GBG was a great motivator in making it happen. It took several weeks to complete, during June, and was well worth the effort as it now closes off the dispatch office to traffic entering the shop during our op sessions. I know the dispatchers appreciate not having to deal with all the noise as they can now shut the office door and work in private.

New Shop
New Dispatch Office
New Dispatch Office

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