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Scenic Line
Members' Reports

31 December 2011

31 December 2011    Crew: Jacob, Gary, Barry and Hal
28 December 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry

DCC - LocoNet
After reconnecting some standard gauge RJ12 plug-ins, LocoNet seems to be functioning correctly. We did notice on Wednesday night that every 40 seconds or so, a throttle speed would drop to zero. This prblem went away with a battery installed in the throttle. No problems were detected Saturday while operating a throttle wireless (with battery installed). Batteries are to be removed from throttles and returned to the battery shelf (DCC cabinet) at end of sessions.

Gray's Siding
Jacob declared this scenery as "complete." The fascia was cut down at the corner. Plexiglass will be installed to wrap around to protect scenery but allow a better view.

Mear's Junction
Jacob also declared this scenery at Mears' as "complete."

We cut down the fascia adjacent to the trestle and Hal displayed mock-ups of the depot and hotel.

The fascia was cut down at the saddle point where the drainage pipe will go.

Barry began replacing soldered joiners on the helix track, by slipping the flextrack rails into a joiner, and soldering that joiner to a PC tie, but not soldering the rails. Thermal expansion during the summer and contraction during the winter just continued kinking the helix track annually. It was noticed that most flextrack connections were soldered to the joiner, prohibiting sufficient expansion and contraction.

News & Notes

  • The member profiles were updated, take a gander and report changes/errors: Train Weasels
  • The webpage header was updated with NMRA club and year of our establishment.
  • The rails will need cleaning prior to the next Ops session scheduled for Jan 14th. Standard Gauge operations will be limited to running without access to the Pueblo/Grand Junction staging, while Helix repair continues.

  • 24 December 2011    Crew: Gary
    21 December 2011    Crew: Gary

    DCC - LocoNet
    LocoNet Update: After much disatifaction with LocoNet performance, further diagnostics were undertaken. According to the Digitrax manual, the NET indicator light should be always RED when in RUN mode, and flicker when receiving commands. This was confirmed. It also states that almost all LocoNet problems can be traced to wiring problems. Currently, Throttles are not acquiring locomotives consisitently or at all when plugged in a RJ12 jack. Unplugging LocoNet from Port 'A' on the DCS100 Command Station, and plugging in a throttle directly in Port 'A', showed perfect operation of all throttles. The following diagnostic steps were taken:

  • The LocoNet first connects from the Command Station to the dual RJ12 plugs right above the DCC cabinet in West Salida, where it is teed, one branch along the Standard Gauge, from West Salida to the helix (eleven jack pairs), and a Narrow Gauge branch from West Salida to Crested Butte (9 jack pairs).
  • The Narrow Gauge Branch was disconnected. Result: Throttles did not operate properly.
  • Note: Every time the loconet was changed (connecting or disconnecting sections, the DCS Command Station was shutdown and restarted.
  • Standard Gauge disconnected. Throttles worked perfectly from W. Salida RJ12 jacks, including the DT400 marked "may be functioning improperly".
  • Narrow Gauge branch reconnected. All throttles were able to work properly.
  • Standard Gauge branch reconnected - problem acquiring locomotives and throttle unresponsiveness returned.
  • Standard Gauge disconnected from the first Salida RJ12 dual jacks (near depot). Throttles worked perfectly.
  • Conclusion: LocoNet wiring problem between 1st RJ12 pair (Depot) and 11th RJ12 jack pair at Helix. Work to continue tracking down the problem.
  • Note: The LocoNet to the Radio Receiver remains disconnected during this process. Throttles can be plugged into any Narrow Gauge branch RJ12 port for normal operations.

    Gray's Siding
    Four new photos of Jacob's awesome landscaping (in progress) have been added to the Modeling pictures on the layout page.

    Mear's Junction
    A photo displaying the transition from Grays to Mears is with the photograph displayed next to the backdrop, near the bottom of the Mears' Jct layout page. It is actually the view from the Mears' main trestle looking north to the roadbed rounding to the right to Poncha Pass, which is the first photo displayed at the top of the layout page. Two additional photos of Jacob's recent work of underbrush and tree planting are also posted to the Layout page Modeling pictures.

    Walthers 85' Heavyweight cars were tested. It was noticed that it appeared some trucks' wheels would lift off the rails. It also appeared that the trucks may be restricted somewhat from staying 'flat' on the rails because of the screw contacts to the metal contact plates on the underneath side of the floor. Fine-tuning experimentation of cars to continue.

    17 December 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, Hal, Barry, & Kent
    17 December 2011    Chow: Gary, Jacob, Hal, Barry, & Grant
    14 December 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, Gerry & Barry

    Gray's Siding
    Jacob added to the ground cover, scrub, and trees.

    Gerry removed a tight spot on the aisle side siding by cutting the flex track spikes and regluing the rails with CA.

    10 December 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, Hal, Barry, & Gerry
    07 December 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, & Barry

    DCC - Command Station
    More troubleshooting to do on the LocoNet cabling.

    Mear's Junction
    Jacob has begun adding ground cover along the Poncha creek bed.

    Alex has been telling me that I need to work on the Layout webpages. So now when I add photos, I will update the Layout webpage as well. Click on the "Blue Lettering Link" in the name "Mear's Junction" for a shortcut to the layout page.

    Gray's Siding
    GaryM finally completed the backdrop at Gray's, allowing Jacob to continue with the foreground scenery. New photos are availble through the link.

    It was discovered that the east switch on the passing siding was out of alignment with the flextrack rails. Hal crimped down the joiner to match up the rail height and Barry was able to further adjust to prevent derailments from occurring.

    News & Notes

  • Forgot to mention that the last FRA 30A fuse on the heater blew and was replaced December 3rd with a NON 30A fuse. The NON type fuses seem to be rated more for our usage, and the other two fuses, both NON types, have lasted since last winter. We have one spare NON type remaining.

  • 03 December 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, & Gerry
    30 November 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, & Barry
    26 November 2011    Crew: Hal & Gerry
    23 November 2011    Crew: Gary
    19 November 2011    Chow: Gary, Grant, Gerry, Barry & Jacob
    19 November 2011    Crew: Grant & Barry
    16 November 2011    Crew: Gary
    12 November 2011    Crew: Gary & Hal
    09 November 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry

    DCC - Command Station
    A lot of troubleshooting on the LocoNet cabling. We did make a mistake using an extension rather than a jumper to connect remote sections. Following that correction, Barry did find a broken wire in one cable and troubleshooting may be now complete.

    Mear's Junction
    Jacob and Hal installed creek bed using the plaster cloth technique. Jacob has since began applying the ground paint and dirt.

    The east floor of the Narrow Gauge roundhouse was installed a ways back. Each track will be powered with a switch.

    Gray's Siding
    Gary has been working on the backdrop from Mears to the cut. At the TCA show on the 27th, Gary started making more and more aspen.

    Gerry has been working on the backdrop from Shavanno to the Tank 7.

    Another portion of the helix was found with some minimum curvature violations, as well as some wandering track. Track nails were extracted, the non-compliant track section was caulked in place with 30" radius sweeps and weighted with iron spikes. Helix needs track cleaning and testing for next Ops session.

    News & Notes

  • Gerry hosted our annual holiday get together, and we were able to see Gerry's HO/HOn3 pike - AWESOME! We had a great time, great food, and a lot of fun! Thanks Gerry!
  • After a review of the last several status reports, it looks like some year end photos are in order.
  • Dec 10th is our next Operating Day, will want to see if the LocoNet problems have been corrected.

    05 November 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob, Barry, & Hal
    02 November 2011    Crew: Gary

    DCC - Command Station
    Still experiencing trouble with LocoNet - not being able to activate the system. LocoNet was unplugged from the Command Station, a throttle plugged into Port "A" to turn track power "Off", "On", and "Off", system shut down and restarted, LocoNet replugged in. Still need to isolate this problem.

    Staging Deck
    Staging entrance ladder work on adjustments to the micro-switches that were not activating when switched.

    Track on the bottom loop right off the staging deck was found to have an incursion to the minimum 30" radius requirement. Track nails were pulled, adhesive caulk put down, two 30" radius Ribbon Rail spans were placed in the rails to smooth curve, and weighted down with some real spikes to dry.

    Mear's Junction
    Scenery work continued along Poncha Creek through Mears.

    Gray's Siding
    Rail on the siding at the east end was CA'd to the ties where it had separated from the ties.

    Marshall Pass
    Most of the remaining unpainted ties from the west end of Gray's to the east switch at the top of the pass were painted a gray enamel.


  • Fellow Rio Grande modeler Jim Stone paid us a visit today.
  • For Operations next Saturday, plan to run a few narrow gauge trains including the Monarch run, and standard gauge passenger. Also want to test more locomotives and rolling stock.
  • Next Wednesday (Nov 9) train set up, and track cleaning required at Marshall Pass.

    29 October 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant, & Hal
    27 October 2011    Crew: Gary

    DCC - Command Station
    Saturday had trouble with LocoNet - not being able to activate the system. LocoNet was corrupted from leaving a rechargeable battery in one of the throttles. The trickle charge applied to the throttles is insufficient to the rechargeable batteries during SLEEP Mode, and somehow provides a garbage feedback into LocoNet. After unplugging all throttles and LocoNet from the Command Station, turning everythnig off and on a couple times, finally cleared the system and then everything finally worked fine. We experienced this problem before when we left the batteries in the throttles plugged in. Therefore, please remove all rechargeable batteries from throttles at end of the day. When unplugging the throttle from the layout, the battery voltage will show on the screen. Batteries under 7.8 volts should be placed back on one of the charger units in the DCC cabinet.

    Gray's Siding
    The ties from Gray's to Mears were completed by drybrushing a dark brown enamel, followed by another drybrush coat of black. A Floquil paint pen of Rust color was lovingly applied to the top of the spikes.

    More cardboard strips were added from Shavanno to Marshall Pass, clearly framing the landscape. The slope of the cut was reduced to a less sharp angle and the tank area moved slightly "west" to allow for more gradual slope in the saddle.

    22 October 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant, Gerry, Hal & Barry

    DCC - Command Station
    DCC user friendly instruction sheets were reviewed. PM4 instructions in process of being added. We had a lengthy review of DCC equipment this morning.

    We had several locomotives running under load in Salida including some narrow gauge, and managed to draw >3 amps, prompting the trip circuit to activate. This will require the block to be set at 4.5 amps, which will be updated in the PM4 instructions.

    Crested Butte
    The auto-reverse leg of the wye had been found to cause an intermittent short in Crested Butte when the locomotive would cross the second set of gaps along that leg of the wye. This was eliminated by setting the PM4 block for Crested Butte to SLOW fault detection time (approximately 1/2 second) as opposed to FAST. Previously, all other locos in the block would briefly stall while a loco crossed through the leg during the auto-reverse, now there is no noticeable change in running of a locomotive while one runs through the gaps of the auto-reversed wye leg.

    Grant's Pennyslvania Rivarossi cars successfully made it up and down the helix, although there was a coupler issue with the Huron sleeper.

    19 October 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry
    15 October 2011    Crew: Barry, Hal & Gerry
    15 October 2011    Chow: Gary, Barry, Hal, Gerry, & Grant
    12 October 2011    Crew: Gary
    08 October 2011    OPS: Gary, Barry, Hal, Grant, Gerry & Jacob
    05 October 2011    OPS: Gary, Barry, & Jacob
    01 October 2011    OPS: Gary, Barry, Grant, Gerry, Hal & Jacob

    Ops consisted of test running locomotives and equipment, cleaning wheels, lubrication, and getting equipment in order. Gary's new Walthers D&RGW PS Streamline coaches & heavyweight baggage almost made it through the helix - one trailing wheel jumped the rail - some more searching and corrective action for the helix, but huge improvements. A few engines got some long neglected maintenance and started performing well, but we still need more engines for Ops, especially switchers.

    DCC - Command Station
    Great News! Barry & Gary finally were able to diagnose the DCS100 Command Station Indicator's 8 blinks per 4 sec and finally make corrections. We also cleared and erased all consists, routes, and loco roster (stack) from the system. We expect trains to run smoothly with less issues. We also discovered how to properly set the PM4 parameters for Autoreverse and normal sections, current settings per block, and fast/slow fault detection per block. Saturday, Oct 22 we would like to test out our amperage draw by running combinations of narrow and standard gauge locos in Salida, so bring your equipment. Gary is in the process of writing up user friendly instruction sheets for power up/down sequence, PM4 and Command Station checkout for diagnostics to be performed prior to Ops sessions. The goal of the instruction sheets are they are easily usable by everyone, so we will test them out to see.

    Gary and Barry were able to operate the 65' Turntable correctly after finding a rail feeder improperly connected to the turntable leads (by yours truly) and resetting the autoreverse correctly on the PM4 block.

    All leads to the tracks between the turntables have been connected and work properly. The east floor of the narrow gauge roundhouse is now secured to the benchtop. Track feeders will be connected to a rotary switch so power can be selectively applied to one stall at a time.

    Staging Deck
    A throw against a micro-switch was adjusted to fully close the switch on the reverse loop end of Track #3 to properly change frog polarity, thus, the staging ladder should now work properly at that end.

    Mear's Junction
    Last month a lot of lanscape was put in between Mear's and Poncha Junction, with mostly around a couple briges to finish. We need more hot glue sticks and latex gloves!

    Gray's Siding
    The rails have been repainted from Mear's to the middle of the siding. This is where removing some ballast had removed some paint. The ties that had also received some paint removal have been repainted a couple shades of gray and now await dry-brushing brown & black.

    The ground is being roughed in with some cardstock strips. Rails have been painted from Marshall Pass to Parlin (using the Floquil Rail Brown pen). Some preliminary backdrop art by Gerry, but now on hold til we get the landscape figured out better.

    06 August 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant, Gerry, Andrew, Hal & Barry
    04 August 2011    Crew: Gary
    30 July 2011    Crew: Gary, Hal & Barry
    28 July 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry
    23 July 2011    Crew: Gary & Hal
    21 July 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry
    16 July 2011    Crew: Gary, Barry, Grant, Gerry & Hal
    16 July 2011    Chow: Gary, Barry, Grant, Gerry & Hal
    14 July 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry

    Gerry built a platform extension to project along the face of Poncha Junction, allowing for reach to the empties track at the CF&I Mine. Gerry's working on a larger section to replace the box at top (with wheels). Hal has been closing up seams on the foam scenery, with some help from Andrew. Hal also added some rock wall cribbing on the steep slope between the fascia and the scenery.

    Mear's Junction
    Hal and Andrew began sculpting the foam foundation for the Mears hotel by securing foam sheet with caulk.

    Gary continues to gear up for operations, with Barry and Grant helping out by testing trains and cleaning track. At Marshall Pass, the snow sheds were re-installed. The dispatch panels show some of the train magnets attached to the boards. We haven't run in a long time, so all locomotives and rolling stock are being test run.

    Running a set of Grant's D&RGW Heavyweights proved too much for the helix, which caused the wheels to poop out at two locations. Track nails were pulled, track realigned to smoother radii, and reattached with caulk.

    09 July 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant, Hal & Barry
    06 July 2011    Crew: Gary, & Barry
    02 July 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant, Hal & Barry
    29 June 2011    Crew: Gary, & Barry
    25 June 2011    Crew: Gary, Gerry, Hal, Andrew, & Grant
    22 June 2011    Crew: Gary
    18 June 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant, Barry, Andrew, Gerry & Hal
    18 June 2011    Chow: Gary, Grant, Barry, Gerry & Hal
    15 June 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry
    15 June 2011    Crew: Gary, Grant & Barry
    08 June 2011    Crew: Gary & Barry
    04 June 2011    Crew: Gerry & Hal

    Royal Gorge Route Makeover
    Additional ground has been added by Hal in the riverbed under the Howard Truss Bridge to change the river course. At Parkdale, a sandbar is being added by Andrew to cover some water bubbles and moderate the river width.

    Backdrop makeover by Gary continues as time permits. Still a work in progress, check the evolution. A photo from 2007 is shown of the previous backdrop behind the bridge, and an actual photo of the scene.

    Red Cliff
    Barry has completed installation of switch motors to the 3 turnouts at Red Cliff and mounted toggle switches to a panel.

    Monarch Branch
    Grant has been laying in ground foam like mad along the switchback, with an assist by Gary. Hal has been adding sculptamold to fill cracks and bumps. The old foam set up very fast, even with heating. The new foam has a much slower setting time with the warm temperatures, and is acting more like expected, easing installation and making foam sheets.

    Crested Butte Branch
    Barry has been making progress on the Big Mine drop shelf, for the gondola feed track for the mine.

    Jacob and Gary started working on the backdrop between Gray's and Mears, of Mt Antero, Shavanno, and Princeton from the southeast. Gary's continued adding to the range, putting in the valley below the range.

    Gerry's been busy working on the backdrop between Tank 7 and Shavonno. Here is how the backdrop here is developing.

    Colorado & Southern Quartz Creek Branch
    Progress continues for the Quartz Creek "staging" branch. Gary has spiked the turnout in place and is awaiting power connections. Since the photo was shot, the remaining rails were spiked in between the gap to the mainline, and the flex track was caulked down on the old roadbed. Ties were removed from the micro-engineering flextrack where the gauge was tight (Manufacturer's defect). Wood ties were placed in these gaps and at the ends of pieces to 'mate' separate flex pieces. The remaining piece at the far end was troublesome as it was too short a piece to bend to shape and not pop out of the spikes. After 3 pieces of microengineering failed, shinohara was attempted but also was difficult for a short length, so ties were put in place to await rails for spiking.

    The wood ties were stained with different shades of gray acrylics. The flextrack ties will be painted with different shades of gray enamels.

    White Metal Kits
    Hal's HOn3 Rail car!

    14 May 2011    Crew: Gary, Gerry & Hal
    11 May 2011    Crew: Gary, Barry
    07 May 2011    Crew: Hal, Gerry, Gary & John Denny
    04 May 2011    Crew: Gary
    30 Apr 2011    Crew: Gary, Barry, Hal, Grant and Kent
    27 Apr 2011    Crew: Gary
    23 Apr 2011    Crew: Gary, Barry & Hal
    20 Apr 2011    Crew: Jacob & Gary

    Gray's Siding
    The spectacular view of the mountains from Gray's is now being transferred to the backdrop. The mountain chain in view is looking northwest toward Mt Shavanno, Mt. Anterro, and Mt. Princeton. Gary roughed in the range with a dark blue, which is intended as a base coat and frame for more proper colors.

    Colorado & Southern Quartz Creek Branch
    The second layer of subroadbed was cut out. The purpose of the second layer is to provide splicing of segments for smooth roadbed, extra robustness to prevent warping (which is inevitable for single layers), and thickness so the subroadbed can be mounted from below and through the riser, further eliminating bumps and dips in the roadbed surface. Hal glued and clamped together the two layers of subroadbed. Gerry installed the Luann roadbed for the switch and cork. Although not evident in the photographs, the Quartz Branch track is lower than the foreground Tank No. 7 track.
    30 June 2011    Crew: Gary, & Barry

    Gunnison Drop shelf
    Barry made further refinements for the drop shelf for ease in handling and snugness of fit.

    Red Cliff
    Gary installed the remaining feeders to the new track. Jacob and Gary removed excessive caulk that "bled" between the ties. Barry installed a new switch control panel for the switch motors. Hal successfully completed testing of the track (pre-switch motor hook-up) with his Challenger, and demonstrated adequate reach to the house track through the window.

    The backdrop along the front of the layout is going through an improvement cycle. With more experience and new and old photos from Red Hill Tunnel to Parkdale, Gary began applying more realistic painting. The photos below show the previous backdrop of the truss bridge, an actual photo, and stages of the repainted area to date. Note that the tangent on the mainline was insufficent for the extra span of the actual bridge - thus the shorter modeled bridge. Each photo shows the progression of hills added, progressing to the foreground. Gary added Trees to the very reddish distant peak, and Gerry demonstated painting single trees along the skyline with a fine brush. Hal added Sculptamold near the backdrop to the riverbanks so the river can look like it is wrapping around a "bend".

    Cast White Metal Project Update
    Gary brought in his Wheel Works 1930s Ford dump truck. This kit was a real challenge assemblying the very soft metal parts and poorly fitting parts, as can be seen by the roof overhang in the rear. The hood and front of the cab fit well, but the doors, roof, and rear of the cab didn't align so well to the windshield frame. Inserting the figure required whittling him down to fit. Windows were added by attaching with Kristal Klear to the frame. Dull Cote and weathering was applied to complete he model. Photos always show more details that jump out in the end. The driver's side window needs fixing (the window isn't curved at the corner and the KK left a gap along the bottom) and either the license plate needs to be dulled with some weathering or replaced with a Micro Scale decal.

    16 Apr 2011    Crew: Jacob, Gary, Barry & Hal
    16 Apr 2011    Chow: Gerry, Gary, Barry & Hal

    Gray's Anatomy Revealed
    A lot of scenery work developing at Gray's, mostly due to Jacob's concerted efforts. A few ponderosa pines and some intial scrub dot the hillside. The overall area has received its groundcover. The cut around the water tank has been filled with more material to form the edge of the cut next to the tank, which will get paint and earth yet to come. Reddish barked monterrey pines are set out on the blue foam. These scrub pines receive "leaves" from applications of ground foam, and are installed one at time using tweezers and glue.

    Colorado & Southern Quartz Branch
    A staging track for the Colorado & Southern line from Parlin to Pitkin is under construction. Hal and Gerry have been building the subroadbed. The Colorado & Southern exited from South Park, to Buenva Vista, through the Alpine Tunnel, to Pitkin, Ohio City, and entered Parlin along Quartz Creek. The Colorado & Southern obtained the track originally from the Denver, South Park & Pacific, which was owned by theUnion Pacific under Jay Gould. The C&S tracks left Parlin to the north of the D&RGW tracks and Tomichi Creek, and went into Gunnison. The DSP&P had a branch from Gunnison to Baldin. The C&S was formed in 1898 out of the remains of the DSP&P and Colorado Central. In 1908, controlling interest of the C&S was purchased by the CB&Q. After the collapse of the Alpine Tunnel in 1911, the D&RGW operated the isolated C&S lines between Quartz and Baldwin. In Parlin, a connecting track to the D&RGW was laid. In 1934, the Quartz branch was discontinued. In 1938, the Baldwin Branch was turned over to the D&RGW. The track to Quartz will allow for a partially hidden train to be staged to & from Gunnison to Quartz. See the Layout Constuction page.

    Roughing in Red Cliff
    Gerry, Hal, and Gary have worked on putting together the base and newly laid track for Red Cliff. The passing siding will hold a freight with 12 cars. The house track is available for LCL, Express BOX, and baggage. Track feeders continue being installed.

    Mear's Junction
    Scenery is creeping along at Mear's, overgrowing the voids.

    Off the Rails
    Check out the Missing Links in Off the Rails for the latest on installing a decoder in an ALCO engine. This new and advanced technique will save you hours of frustrating time!

    Cast White Metal Project Update
    From our cast white metal kit clinic, Jacob brings in his completed late model Fordson tractor. This tractor will be assigned duty at the Cleora Bar JL ranch.

    Fatality Report
    Mr Elmo Bevington, former Salida resident, was found dead last week after a severe accident in which his hip and thigh were severely crushed in mechanical apparatus. Mr Bervington's accidental death is recorded here. Unfortunatley for Mr. Bevington, his death was a slow, drawn out and painful one.

    09 Apr 2011    Crew: Jacob, & Hal
    06 Apr 2011    Crew: Gary
    02 Apr 2011    Crew: Hal, Barry, Gerry, Grant & Gary
    30 Mar 2011    Crew: Jacob & Gary
    26 Mar 2011    Crew: Hal & Gary
    19 Mar 2011    Crew: Barry, Grant, Hal & Gary
    19 Mar 2011    Chow: Barry, Grant, Hal & Gary
    16 Mar 2011    Chow: Jacob, Barry & Gary

    The Marshall Plan
    All track feeders from the spliced rails have been installed to new terminal strips, and wiring from switch motors inside the "loop" rerouted around the benchwork out of the access "hole" to the Dispatcher panels.

    More Gray's Anatomy
    Some rock castings have been removed from Gray's and replaced with a "dirt" cut along the face of the hill. Ground foam for grasses have been added which look fantastic (unfortunately not shown here).

    Red Cliff
    The tracks have been all installed, including an abandoned siding along the old reverse loop right of way before it was moved to accomodate the access 'hole' to Crested Butte. There is some cleanup of some overzealous application of caulk along the part of the mainline to be accomplished. Wiring track feeders to new terminal strips has commenced.

    NG Drop Shelf
    Self-aligning pins have been added to the drop shelf, and the final deck added, to level the drop shelf with the surfaces at Gunnison and Cimarron. See the Layout Constuction page.

    Other Notes

  • Old Home Week at Caboose Hobbies; ran into Joe and Steve Saturday and both are doing fine. Joe hopes to get back into serious work on his layout very soon after taking a little break.
  • We need to re-schedule Gerry's Dual Gauge clinic soon, so stay tuned.

    12 Mar 2011    Crew: Gerry, Jacob, Hal & Gary
    09 Mar 2011    Crew: Barry & Gary
    05 Mar 2011    Crew: Jacob, Andrew & Gary
    26 Feb 2011    Crew: Jacob, Hal & Gary
    23 Feb 2011    Crew: Jacob, Andrew & Gary

    The Ties That Bind
    A lot of tie painting has been going on. NG ties have been completed from just uphill from the Gray's Water Tank to just past the large trestle at Mear's Junction. Many more ties stretching back to the Dispatcher area, the Mear's siding, and along the mainline from the Mear's trestle to where the track crosses Poncha Creek have been painted various shades of gray. Next for those are brown & black dry brushing, and spike painting to complete those. Surely, there are millions more ties to paint but a good portion has been completed, which will now permit final ballasting and scenicking. The ties at Poncha Jct will be painted dark brown to simulate creosote, and will be ballasted with cinders. The line to and in W. Salida will be modeled as all creosoted ties. The line going up to Monarch will be all painted in gray shades.

    NG Staging Deck Progress
    Work on the drop shelf from Cimarron to Gunnison continued, with some ingenious snap-in mounting plates to lock the shelf in the "up" position, which will make raising or lowering the drop shelf in one easy "snap".

    Red Cliff Expansion
    Platforms for the passing siding and house track & Depot have been installed. Next up: Add in 3 switches, siding and house track. The siding should hold about a 12 car freight (40 footers).

    Roster Additions
    Jacob has been growing his rolling stock collection, including three SG D&RGW stock cars and a NG caboose. GaryM added Athearn LCL 40' Express Box Cars T&P #1703 & 1717, and RI #20003 & #20016 to his fleet. Hal recently purchased the Rapido D&RGW Steam Generator Car. Note: If you intend to have rolling stock available for operating sessions, please check the rolling stock roster to send me (your webslinger) the appropriate data so that the roster can be can be updated. The roster is used as the database to put together operating sessions for different years. Thus, car number, car type, car date information, herald style, are needed. Also remember that rolling stock used in operating sessions will be available to all operators.

    12 Feb 2011    Crew: Grant, Gerry, Jacob, Andrew & Gary
    09 Feb 2011    Crew: Gary
    05 Feb 2011    Crew: Hal, Gerry, Jacob, & Gary
    03 Feb 2011    Crew: Gary, Jacob & Gerry

    The scenery work at Gray's siding is slowly changing the topography. Rock castings are being added to jut from cut faces, fill depressions, and add detail. Ground cover is being put in as well, transforming the area. Poncha Creek, which flows through Mear's Junction, originates from the backdrop behind a ridge which starts the Gray's Siding scene. Work has begun along the creek bed and ridge to "merge" the two scenes. Very soon we will be working on the backdrop to blend into the ground work.

    The narrow gauge flex track is being transformed as well. The uniform, dark brown ties with unpainted rails, of the flex track is being turned into a model of track. Step 1, the unpainted rail is painted a greenish-mud colored rail brown with a Floquil paint pen. Step 2, the ties are painted a gray enamel, painted in blocks of different color grays. Sometimes, the plastic ties have small sprue tabs protruding from the end of the tie which is removed by an exacto-blade. Step 3, the ties are dry brushed with a dark brown, then drybrushed with a black. Step 4, the spike heads are touched off with the Floquil "Rust" paint pen, transforming the plastic flex track into a unique model of track. Dirt from the "cut" will be used as "ballast", partially filling in between the ties and covering the cork.

    The uneven backdrop behind the Crested Butte site was cut out to allow for scenicing. The ends now need some filler and blending to the remaining backdrop. The challenge of blending the overhang into the backdrop is yet to come.

    Track feeder work continues as another terminal strip was installed to the main track bus. Terminal strips are added for new feeders as required.

    29 Jan 2011    Crew: Hal & Gary
    26 Jan 2011    Crew: Gary & Grant
    22 Jan 2011    Crew: Gary, Hal, Barry, Jacob, Gerry & Grant
    19 Jan 2011    Crew: Gary
    15 Jan 2011    Crew: Gary, Hal, Barry, & Jacob
    15 Jan 2011    Chow: Gary, Hal, Barry, Jacob, & Grant
    12 Jan 2011    Crew: Gary, Barry, Jacob, & Grant

    Welcome to fellow D&RGW modeler Gerry Glancy as our newest member!

    For the past couple of weeks, we've worked at the Hunting & Fishing Club, concentrating on making some white metal vehicle kits. Progress is slow but steady. We may want to designate a "Modeling Day" for working projects like these, which can take quite some time to complete. Next week we'll go back to working on the layout.

    Permanent installation of cutouts set between track and fascia underway. Passing track for 12 car train and house track planned for Red Cliff depot.

    Some scenery work around Gray's Tank area. Ties are now being painted prior to ballasting.

    Track feeders have been installed on the new rails and cut rails from the stretch from Gray's winding to the back of the inside loop. The feeders were "harnessed" to a new terminal strip tied into the bus. New track feeders are being installed in this manner, to "clean-up" wiring, reduce bus connections, while relocating connections to centralized, accessible locations.

    8 Jan 2010    Crew: Hal Gary, Barry & Grant
    5 Jan 2010    Crew: Gary & Barry

    Three areas of significant track kink occurred. Unfortunately, only one photo of the least kink was taken. These occurred over the summer due to the interior heat in the clubhouse. A progression of repairs are shown for each area. The track actually buckled at the joint where the kink occurred. All kinks occurred at solder/rail joiner joints.

    Drop shelf construction underway. See "Construction Photos"

    A cardboard template of the current tracks and benchwork under Crested Butte along the "portals" was laid out full-scale. We looked at several scenarios for what could fit in the area, what could be reached, what could be operated, and what could be "modeled". We decided to model a depot at Red Cliff, with a house track and a passing siding.

    Intermountain D&RGW 2-Bay 70 Ton Covered Hoppers (Blt 1946) 18355, 18358, 18361, 18362. Rivarossi wedge plow repainted for D&RGW X-066. Athearn American Refrigerator Transit 40' Reefers 31207, 31213, 31221, 31234, 31247 & 31265.


  • Several areas along the NG are getting painted, between Marshall Pass and Salida, and the Monarch Branch. Track requires cleaning off the rail prior to running any NG trains along these routes.
  • We'll have our January workshop painting & assembling cast white-metal vehicle kits, to take a break from track painting and scenicing.

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