New layout help

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by jlg759, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. jlg759

    jlg759 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been looking around the gauge for a few weeks and reading some great articles. I have a layout currently which is in a 12 x 20 building. I am currently thinking about changing the layout and i guess in a way down sizing since i am the only one who works on it. I have always modeled kinda hap hazzard with mixed equipment etc. In the new layout i would like to build a logging / minning operation and have some industry that would be serviced from cars left at an interchange. I would like to build the layout on a 2 foot wide shelf in a u shape around the walls on 3 sides. I like service facilities and want to have a turntable and service area at one end. I will be using shays and smaller equipment for the operation. Any plans / suggestions would be greatly appriated.

    Joe
  2. Summit

    Summit Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    A logging line would be a good choice...your "industry" could be a sawmill, which would both create a logical destination for the logs your trains haul out of the woods and a major source of outbound lumber traffic to go to the interchange. It was not uncommon for sawmills located away from the mainline to have their own subsidiary common carrier railroad companies that served no other real purpose in the world than to transport lumber from the sawmill to the nearest mainline connection. Any other traffic that railroad might move was incidental. This sort of scenario would give you an opportunity to model two different operations on the same layout- the private logging railroad running from the mill to the woods and the common carrier shortline running from the mill to the interchange.

    I run a website that has some pages dealing with a couple different operations like this in Oregon. In north central Oregon you had Kinzua Pine Mills running a large sawmill in Kinzua, Oregon. They had a subsidiary shortline, the Condon, Kinzua & Southern Railroad, that ran north from the sawmill community to a connection with the Union Pacific in Condon, OR. Sole steam power on the CK&S was a 2-truck Shay. Kinzua Pine Mills ran their own private logging railroad from Kinzua into the woods using a 3-truck Shay and a 3-truck Heisler for power. KPM also had a small 0-4-0T or 0-6-0T that they used as a mill switcher. It was not uncommon for the KPM locomotives to be seen powering the CK&S freights, or to see the CK&S Shay out on the private logging railroad. In later years the CK&S purchased a 70-ton diesel new from GE...the logging railroad quit early, but the CK&S lasted into the mid-1970's before closing. The site is located at:

    http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/cks.html

    One other page I have on this site deals with the Big Creek & Telocaset Railroad, which ran 12 miles from a connection with the Union Pacific mainline at Telocaset, OR, to the sawmill town of Pondosa, OR. It was owned by a series of lumber companies that also had the Pondosa mill through the years. Motive power here was a combination of small 2- or 3-truck Heislers and a Shay or two. The page I have on this railroad is located at:

    http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/bct.html

    At 12 feet wide...I would suggest adding an island down the center of the room. This would give you three foot isles on either side and another 12 or 15 linear feet of benchwork to play with. Connect the island to the benchwork at one end so that it connects with the rest of the layout. This would give you some more running room.

    I hope that this helps and is of interest to you.

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV
    http://www.trainweb.org/mccloudrails
    http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff

    Thanks very much for the links. The layout I am planning is a free-lance short line (in HO) that had big time ambitions to run east-west completely across Oregon, and maybe all the way across the Rockies. There would be a connecting feeder narrow gauge line that also had access to a tiny coastal town/harbor. Era is 1900 - I realize that's a little early for Oregon logging history for the most part - but I pretend my citizens were ahead of their time. Focus of the layout will likely be (I'm moving this summer so construction is in abeyance) the interchange between standard and narrow gauge, and either the narrow or standard gauge harbor connection. Next on the list would be the short line connection to SP in Willamette Valley.

    Anyway, your web sites have treasure trove of information about Oregon and Shasta logging railroads. Thanks again.
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joe

    Sorry to sort of hijack your thread. Back to your concern - with this much space, $$, and time that you will invest, you need to be as clear as you can be on what you want to accomplish. The better you can define your vision, the happier you be over the long term with the result. Some examples:

    1) You mention 2 ft wide shelves around 3 sides of the space that is 12ft wide. The 12 ft width leaves room for peninsulas to increase the size and running length of the layout. Are you interested, or do you just want the shelves? A 2ft wide shelf is not really enough to turn around in any scales except N or Z - and even N would be limited. This will restrict you to point-to-point. Are you willing to give up continuous running? If you wanted it, continuous running in HO and larger scales is most easily accomplished with the aforementioned peninsulas. In N, you could get away with widening the shelf to 30-36 inches.

    2) You didn't mention a scale or gauge. Model Shays are readily available in G, O, On3, On30, HO, HOn3, HOn30, and N - although some are more expensive than others! I'm sure there are brass Shays in S and/or Sn3.

    3) Era and locale may or may not be a major influence. Most logging models are modeled after prototypes built or operating in the 1920s to 1930s. If you are after an earlier era, On30/HO/HOn3 have the largest availability of commercial items - and even then it will be limited. Logging rail operations in the Pacific Northwest were quite different from the South in terms of equipment used (loaders, etc) and the scenery.

    4) Particular scenes and structures that you want to model have a major impact on layout design. Do you want an incline section (where loaded cars are lowered by winches, capstans, and ropes)? Do you want a log flume, a large sawmill, a log pond, or none of the above? Will your logs be herded and loaded by spar tree, steam donkey, oxen teams, or the manufactured loaders? Same for the mines - are there particular mine structures you want to build? What kind of setting and space do they need? What kind of ore cars do you intend to use? How heavy is the ore?

    Another way to get at your desires is to examine layouts, layout plans, and your reaction to them. What did you like, and not like, about a given layout or track plan? In the 1960s Model Railroader published an article about a layout called "Bullfrog Logging Co" (I believe, will check my back issues when I get a chance). It was a very simple point-to-point logging operation using Shays around 3 walls of a room. It was either HO or HOn3, and featured a very simple terminal with small turntable at each end. There was an incline in the middle section, and the main had 5% grades. Don't remember much else - my age is showing. Might have been in the same issue that had multiple articles on rail logging operations.

    Hope this helps
  5. Summit

    Summit Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    What you describe sounds a lot like the Oregon Pacific Railroad- its original route was supposed to run from Yaquina Bay (on the Oregon Coast) eastward across the Coast Range, across the Willamette Valley through Corvallis and Albany, cross the Cascade Range through Santiam Pass, then go eastward through Prineville and along the Malheur River Canyon to a connection with some railroad- rumors at the time had it as a westward extension of the Chicago & Northwestern- somewhere in southern Idaho. The construction budget ran out for the last time when the railrs reach Idanha, on the west slope of the Cascades several miles short of Santiam Pass. The railroad did complete a grade up to the pass and a dozen miles of grade out in the Malheur River Canyon far to the east, and they even built a short stretch of track up in Santiam Pass, hauled a boxcar up to that track, and dragged it back and forth a few times with horses to hold the pass for them. The boxcar and the tracks came up in World War Two. Anyway, after the transcontinental dream failed the company settled down to a life of hauling for the various logging companies that opened up along the line. Amazingly enough, most of the Oregon Pacific system is intact today- some dam building doomed the eastern end, the western end came up after a while, and a portion of the middle section is gone...but at least 3/4 of the original system is still operating today, with part of it in the hands of shortline Albany & Eastern Railroad and the rest in the hands of regional Portland & Western.

    As for era- 1900 is near the beginning of the boom period for loggers, but it is in all reality not all that early. Brian McCamish runs an excellent website covering many abandoned logging railroads at:

    http://www.brian894x4.com/AbandonedRRmainpage.html

    PG&W raises some good points. I'd be interested in knowing what magazine articles you were thinking of.

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff

    Thanks so much. I've bookmarked the web site. I'll be researching the Oregon Pacific a lot more - sounds like my kind of railroad. It may become what I seek the flavor of. I had picked going up the John Day River (obvious from the name) after crossing the Cascades to reach Blue Mt pass. It would then proceed down the Burnt R to reach/cross the Snake. The standard gauge ocean port would be laid out somewhat like a condensed version of Charleston and Coos Bay, but located further north. Interchange with the SP would be at Cottage Grove. The narrow gauge is supposed to be very loosely fashioned after California's North Pacific Coast. The narrow gauge port would be named after Tillamook, but resemble Noyo, CA (the real NPC never got that far north). The interchange between the standard and narrow would be in a valley in the Coast Range at the fictitious town of Bethel which would resemble Drain. The SP connection would ostensibly be at Cottage Grove. Ports would feature the sailing schooners that hauled logs from the rail connections in the tiny Oregon and California "harbors" to San Francisco, as well as fishing and canneries. Obviously, doesn't match real geography particularly well but it has some of the flavor.

    Thanks again for the history.
  7. Summit

    Summit Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple of book suggestions for you, if you don't already have them.

    1. Southern Pacific in Oregon by Ed Austin and Tom Dill. Great book on, well, the Southern Pacific in Oregon. Fantastic coverage of all lines ever owned or operated by that company in the state except for the Cascade line south of Chemult and the Lakeview Branch...it refers you to John Signor's Shasta Division book for coverage of those lines. This book has a good history of the Oregon Pacific corporate history, and then some really good coverage of those lines after they came under SP ownership.

    2. Backwoods Railroads, Branchlines and Shortlines of Western Oregon by D.C. Jesse Burkhardt. Another good book about all railroads in the Willamette Valley, with lots of good recent photos and a couple of historic ones. This book consistently ranks as one of my favorites.

    3. Railroads Down the Valleys, by Randall Mills. Long out of print, hard to find, but may be available through interlibrary loan. This has chapters devoted to covering several railroads around the state, including a chapter on the Oregon Pacific. Writing style is a little "folkish" but is entertaining and readable. Good read, if you can find it...it also contains chapters on the City of Prineville, Oregon Pacific & Eastern (a shortline that ran eastward from Cottage Grove), and some others.

    I have a page on High Desert Rails about the Oregon Pacific located at:

    http://www.trainweb.org/highdesertrails/oprr.html

    Jeff Moore
    Elko, NV