Doubleheaders Tour 2008 pictures

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by galt904, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Here's my pictures from the 2008 Doubleheaders tour in SW Ontario. Didn't see as many layouts as other years because I had 2 of my kids with me, and needed to visit the toilets at every place because my 2 year old was in her first week of being fully potty trained. :) So I visited several that I normally do, and several new ones I've never been to.

    1st layout visited was Aberfoyle (tradition) no pictures of this one, I'd probably end up photographing the same things every year.

    2nd layout (with no further ones in Guelph I wanted to see) was Waterloo Region Model Railroad club. Unfortunately it seems they are moving backwards in terms of progress, they have less track running than they used to, and no further work on scenery in the 5 or so years I've visited. Here's a couple pics of 1 of 2 nearly completed areas on the layout.

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  2. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Next layout visited was Milo Shantz, in the St Jacobs Country Mill. This layout is excellently completed, with authentic scenes from the 50s in the St Jacobs area.

    Note the covered bridge, it is a "flat" along the back edge, tapered from one end to other to create the illusion of perspective.

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  3. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    More pics from St Jacobs...

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  4. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    After lunch we visited Jim Nuhn's layout based on Goderich Ontario. I enjoyed this one, gave me some thought about the practicality of a double deck layout, with both decks being quite accessible. Also of interest was using the top of the helix (24" radius) as part of the layout so it doesn't seem to eat up quite as much room.

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  5. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Following that was Dieter Engelmann's Norfolk Southern Southern Tier layout. Original layout is in one room, with staging expanded into a big loop around the basement. My girls loved watching the train come through the stairs. I was disappointed to see no further progress on this layout either.

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  6. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Last stop in K-W was the Preston Model Railroad Society, with a sprawling anything-goes HO layout with nose-bleed upper deck, and also a large N layout. Here's some pics of the HO layout. I'm a sucker for CP diesels. :)

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  7. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Then a quick jaunt to Cambridge for Jeff Pinchbeck's CP Sutherland Sub. Benchwork is all done, ready for scenery and buildings. Well researched layout. I appreciate building mockups to get a feel for the builder's intentions. Jeff's mockups appear to be original scaled blueprints on foamcore structures.

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  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Thanks for the pics!

    That St Jacon's layout is great - I recognize the main street!

    Kids are great too - my girls no longer have the patience to go to trains with me. I get the occasional whirlwind tour as long as some of the other members' kids are there too... :rolleyes:

    Andrew
  9. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    And the last one, Graham MacDonald's Ottawa, Arnprior, & Parry Sound. Some nice progress since the last time I was there, I only took some pics of the newly completed areas.

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  10. cntown

    cntown Member

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    Pictures are amazing .thanks for taking so many,i know what you mean about taking the kids with you .I only had my 2yr old and he was a handfull but you had 2 girls also and no backup.The boss said I had to work 1 day over the weekend and with the Lakeshore Flea Market at Humber on sunday it won out.
  11. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

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    I don't know what makes you say that, there's definately no piece of track or layout that's been removed or taken out of service, so that part of your comment is wrong.

    A lot of work has been done over the past year; some of it hidden, some of it fairly visible. We've completely rewired all the feeders underneath the main yard at Sudbury, a task that took a little over a year to complete. All the DCC components as well as some new electronics were moved into a new electrical cabinet by the yard. A lot of electronic work was completed at the staging yard on the control panel and optical detectors on each staging track.
    Some scenery work has been done, but admittedly it's been a little slow since we've been putting a lot of work into other things right now.
    On the visible progress end of things, perhaps you failed to notice the fairly major new construction in the middle of the layout? What a year ago was a big empty space now has a new wall, a set of stairs and an upper level walkway, a new ceiling and flooring for upstairs, the start of new benchwork shelves, new lighting, part of a new helix, and some new track forming a hidden ramp between levels. Some more of this construction is along the aisle by the staging yard. All this construction is part of our push to expand the mainline length for more operation. As well, some cracks and defects were repaired in the backdrop on the rear wall behind Subdury and the entire thing repainted.

    Here's three shots taken in pretty much the same direction of the same area:

    May 2007 (after the last Doubleheaders Tour)
    http://www.wrmrc.ca/graphics/construction1.jpg

    August 2007:
    http://www.wrmrc.ca/graphics/construction2.jpg

    January 2008:
    http://www.wrmrc.ca/graphics/construction19.jpg

    We're constantly fighting the perception that the layout doesn't change much from year to year; but this year has frankly had the most progress, especially with the new construction, and we've completed a couple major electrical projects, with a few more still getting attention. Unfortunately the electrical projects take a lot of time to complete and are completely invisible to visitors. And with only about a half dozen members actually putting in the majority of the work, a few hours once a week, sometimes certain projects can stall a little when there's something higher priority (in terms of operability) to complete.

    Anyway, nice photos, glad you came out on the tour, I just felt I had to defend the club's side here, especially when we really have made a lot of progress this year compared to the last few years.
  12. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

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    Thanks for the great pics! I'm mad at myself that I missed the tour - it's a great one, and have always enjoyed it a lot!

    Val
  13. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    My favorite is the St Jacobs. The creator seems to be somewhat on the same ideas as me, where the layout is based on the scenery, wth the trains running through it
  14. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Chris, thanks for the inside info. I thought there had already been stairs on the south? side of the layout the first time I saw it 5 or so years ago, but I may be wrong. I seem to recall seeing a lot more second level of the layout before than what was open on the weekend. I didn't see it last year at all, but I did see it 2 years ago.

    Viperman, I agree. That St. Jacobs layout is superbly done in terms of scenery and detail. I believe most of the structures are scratchbuilt.
  15. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

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    There's a half set of stairs on the south side, at the back of aisle where the staging yard is, which doesn't really go anywhere yet, but we've started putting in the joists for the floor of the middle level walkway it goes to. Another half set will go from there to the second floor at the back of the layout. A completely new set of stairs and a whole new middle level walkway was built in the centre. As well as the ceiling joists above and the flooring on those for the second floor. All that structure had to go in before we started the new trackwork, since the one helix fits under the stairs from the middle level to upstairs, and another helix will eventually go through the ceiling nearby. That helix that's in progress there has about 3 or 4 things wrapping around it, so it's really the key part of the expansion that needs to happen first, even though there's 200+ feet of track that goes between it and the nearest existing section of the layout...
  16. viperman

    viperman Active Member

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    galt, the St Jacobs actually looks to be pretty much what I would like to have with my layout (or future layouts). Excellent scenery. And the trains don't completely dominate it like on a lot of layouts, its more realistic in that the trains run through the scenery. THAT is my goal
  17. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Hey Chris, how old is the stairs to the upper level by the entrance door (that puts you in the Mckerrow area on the 2nd level)? I got to thinking, and I don't remember it being there before...
  18. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

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    Chad,
    That part is actually some of the older construction on the current layout.
    Years ago, the club had a smaller layout in part of a warehouse somewhere in Kitchener (Boehmer Box factory). Eventually they were forced to move and settled in our present location.
    As I understand it, the only parts of the old layout that were incorporated into the new one were a few pieces of Sudbury yard ladder (some of the switches were changes and a couple more tracks added, and the whole thing lengthened by at least 4 feet) and the helix used to go from Nairn to McKerrow (and to the lumber mill on the level below Nairn). There's also some pieces from an old scene at Levack from the old layout stored upstairs, but these aren't likely to be reused.
    The earliest construction was building/re-arranging some walls to form the front lounge/office area, and installation of Sudbury yard. Early on, there was a single level, double-ended staging yard that connected both ends of Sudbury.
    The branch line from Sudbury to Mckerrow was built just under 10 years ago from about 1998-2000. Also the maintenance facilities and the secondary yard behind the shops were probably started around this time frame as well. Although, finishing all the switches in the car shops area somehow lost priority in the following years, something we hope to get back to sometime, considering the central nature of Sudbury to the layout.
    The levels below Nairn, with the lumber mill and nickel mine spurs were added a little later.
    Following getting the branchline in service, the simple staging yard across the bottom was replaced by the current double level staging yard, which connects via helix to the east end of Sudbury. This was built over a few years. Based on construction photos at the club, I gather they only built the helix up high enough to connect directly to Sudbury at first, and later finished it off all the way up to Romford with the double track helix back down to Sudbury. This is what it basically looks like now:

    http://www.wrmrc.ca/graphics/romford-helix1.jpg

    To the casual viewer, this arrangement doesn't really seem to make sense, until you image that a complete scene with a full wye junction will be here, with one leg running down to the staging yard, one running down to Sudbury, and one continuing in the visible scene towards the camera, towards North Bay and Montreal. The track from the west end of Sudbury yard towards Cartier and western Canada wraps around the outside of the helix and just kindof stops, requiring us to use the hidden ramp as serial staging (fits 4 trains of 40-50 cars on two tracks) - not the most flexible operationally. The plan is to have this continue on and emerge into the scene next to and above west sudbury by next year, and eventually upstairs to a temporary full staging yard. This is next on our construction agenda for this summer.
    All of the above was basically in place when I joined the club about 3-4 years ago. However a lot of work has been done in the staging yard to add a proper control panel, optical occupancy detectors, etc. There is a scary amount of electronic bits installed there, which took a long time to complete and will never be seen by vistors.
    Over the last year or so, we have completely rewired the yard, adding feeders to eliminate dead spots and engine stalling, disconnecting feeders from existing feeder buses and adding new ones to completely isolate sections of the layout (the original wiring was all cross-connected, so the layout operated as a single block, which is bad when a minor derailment causing a minor short circuit shuts down _everything_) and we also started rewiring and blocking the mainline tracks for occupancy detectors and signalling. Also on the agenda: ABS signalling from Sudbury to Romford, the interlocked junction at Romford, and CTC on pretty much the rest of the mainline part of the layout. The branchline to Nairn, McKerrow, Sault Ste. Marie remains "dark territory." In the 1970s it would have been operated by timetable and train orders. We run it as OCS right now, as it's a little easier to manage, especially with hand-held or headset radios.
    Also over the last year, we built all the stuff in the previously empty space in the middle of the layout. (New stairs, new walkway, new ceiling, new helix, new benchwork in the middle and down the staging yard side, new lighting) It used to store extra wood and miscellaneous junk. (And in a way still does, since we shoved everything in there out of the way for the tour) This is where we are doing the most construction work right now, and we are still finishing up the mainline wiring. (a few things were temporarily reconnected to work for the tour).
    So, yeah, I think that pretty much provides a synopsis of the layout's history at the current location...
    We've got a ways to go but it should be pretty cool as it takes shape. Looking at the plan drawings and some of the current construction can be a little confusing, but the overall plan actually make sense and is pretty neat. Starting in Sudbury, there are three directions you can take, each matching up to a line or direction from Sudbury on the real railway. One set of aisles go towards Sault Ste. Marie and Manitoulin Island. One set goes west towards Cartier, and one goes east towards North Bay. A no point other than Sudbury do these aisles ever reconnect. So if you're at the end of the aisle at Cartier (west end of the layout), to get to Sturgeon Falls (east end) you might actually be physically 5-10 feet away, but the only way to get there is to go all the way around through Sudbury.
    Hidden trackage serves to lengthen the run between stations. The member who designed the plan estimates the mainline length will end up being almost 20 scale miles. With a 4:1 fast clock for operation, that's about 100 miles which is pretty close to the real thing. So schedules and times can be pretty realistic. With meets, it could end up taking up to or over an hour to get a train from one end to another. We'll probably need a lot more operators then, as crews will be tied up running a particular train for much longer than the current 10 minutes start to stop for a mainline train running from staging to staging.
  19. galt904

    galt904 Member

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    Sounds pretty ambitious! How much of the Manitoulin Island trackage will be modelled? I'd assume this is going in the top most level? I think it ends at a wye right now around the Mckerrow station?
  20. acsoosub

    acsoosub Member

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    The wye at McKerrow is the start of the Little Current subdivision, and we will take it to Little Current/Turner. Right now it's just a temporary yard across the aisle from McKerrow, with a runaround track and a track for each location: Espanola, Lawson Quarry + Birch Island, Little Current + Turner Yard. Eventually the paper mill at Espanola will be located in that spot, but mainline construction is more of a priority right now.