Posted by: Roger | April 6, 2014

Yahoo! And Springtime Too!

Well, I may be slow, but I’m really slow. Now that I don’t have to spend a fortune to heat the train room, I’m getting some good things done. I have essentially all of the benchwork done. There are a few curved corners, and fill-in pieces, but the benchwork is ready for some serious track work… er, maybe “intensive planning.” I tried using computer programs to draw trackwork, but I don’t seem to get the sense of “space” doing it that way. There is no spatial connection between the bits on screen and what I can actually do in a given amount of space. I just have to see how much plywood there is and judge how much additional space I need for hills, roads and buildings.

I am SOOOO thankful my friend Paul P. suggested using the long side of the benchwork to finish the climb up from staging so I could put a “roof” over the helix and make that space usable. Without the top deck that I’m showing here, the paper mill would not meet my minimum requirements. I suppose some would be satisfied with onesie-twosie industries (and I’m NOT looking down on that), but I seem to feel the need for large industries with lots of tracks and spots for cars. One illustration of this is in the 2014 Model Railroad Planning issue from Model Railroader. The article on the Post cereal plant enthralls me. That’s similar to what I hope to do with the Hoerner-Waldorf pulp and paper mill that was near Frenchtown, Montana. In the photo below, I’ve temporarily plunked some building down to get a sense of space that I could not get using computer software.

The buildings are temporarily plunked down to see how they fit into the space. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough room, but by placing the mill over the helix, I have plenty.

The buildings are temporarily plunked down to see how they fit into the space. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough room, but by placing the mill over the helix, I have plenty.

The curved black line shows where a filler piece of benchwork will go. I was really trying to figure out how to include the Milwaukee Road tracks that ran right by the mill, and I think I figured it out. I can bring in a stretch of track along the front of the benchwork, and enter a tunnel behind the mill so the track climb up to a two-track staging yard that will represent the Milwaukee’s Alberton yard. The turnout to the right of the brick building might be where I start the two tracks. I need to give that more thought.

An alternate view of the helix with the paper mill above.

An alternate view of the helix with the paper mill above.

 

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