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Welcome to the Great Northwestern Railway

 

Great Northwestern Railway

 

Providing Conestoga Service to the High Desert and Rocky Mountain States

 

Route of the LUXURIOUS San Juan passenger trains

 

 

Welcome to the

 

Great Northwestern Railway

 

A freelanced HO scale switching layout.

 

 

SW-1500The story of the GNW is that they bought up the old narrow gauge right of way from the Colorado Southern (itself later merged into the Burlington Route and the AT&SF), including the old R.O.W of the Denver, South Park and Pacific, which the GNW has rebuilt in standard gauge. Later acquisitions developed the GNW as a north/south line connecting the Great Basin to south central US. It is now primarily a bridge line between the SP at Tucumcari, NM and the D&RGW at Green River, UT. There is also the South Park Division providing connections to Denver, CO.

 

The model RR is set somewhere between Colorado and New Mexico along the main. Only a few dozen feet of mainline are modeled, connecting two 8-track staging yards. A single major yard, Valley Gate, is placed along this main. A branch line comes off the main to Warm Springs, an industrialized town. The operating scheme is the exchange of cars between industry and mainline trains by means of locals and manifest freights. There is also commute service between Valley Gate and Warm Springs, and a daily Amtrak train, the San Juan, through Valley Gate.

 

The era is late 70s/early 80s with a mix of first and second generation diesels. Due to limited cashflow, the GNW necessarily uses second hand power for most of its trains. SP provides the power for most of the through trains.

 

 

Enjoy the story!

 

 

 

 

 

~ Directory ~

 

 

About the Railroad

 

 

LCC Integration

 

Size: The layout is situated in an area approximately 30 x25, configured with an around-the-walls shelf and two peninsulas.  The Phase III buildout was completed in the spring of 2019 and provides considerably more space for crews and trains.

 

Train Controls: Train controls are DCC by MRC PA Wireless and PA tethered throttles at the yards. All locos are sound equipped.

 

Train movement scheme: All trains except passenger and one express freight are extras and run off a train sequence.  Passenger service is run per the timetable.

 

Authority to the main is via written track warrants, as issued by the dispatcher. Operators are expected to know the limit of their authority at all times.

 

Car Movement Scheme: Cars are moved by car cards and waybills. The Micro-Mark card system is used. Train Packs are used to define trains and carry instructions.

 

 GNW Model Railroad Concept and Standards

 

 

 

Layout Command Control on
The GNW

 

Layout Command Control, a.k.a., LCC, is a data highway for the control of layout accessories, such as turnouts, signals and other accessories. It can also accept data inputs like block occupancy and push buttons.

 

Check out the following pages:

 

* A general overview can be found HERE.

 

Blog posts chronicling the story are:

 

 

 

Check out the GREAT NORTHWESTERNS PHASE III BUILDOUT BLOG!!!!

 

Its filled with OODLES of useful tips, tricks, and techniques!

 

Wiring, Controls, LCC and Turnouts

 

LCC and Wiring Continues

 

Lets Configure a Node The Beauty of LCC (With a bonus section on connecting LCC to PanelPro)

 

More on LCC - Configuring a Turnout

 

Wiring To The Track

 

Configuring Push-buttons for Turnout Control in LCC (with BONUS section on Adapting JMRI for Feedback)

 

LCC - Configuring a Push Button ~WITH~ Indication

 

CHECK OUT THIS YOUTUBE VID ON HOW IT ALL CAME TOGETHER:  THE VID! 
(well, at least as of February 2019.)

 

And if that’s not all… here is

the ULTIMATE LCC RESOURCE PAGE

at OpenLCB.org

 

 

 

OPERATORS SECTION 

 

 

Planning to Operate at the GNW?

Download and Review the

GNW Operators Orientation

 

 (Now UPDATED to VERSION 6!)

 

 

 

Position Descriptions

Download and Review the

GNW POSITION DESCRIPTIONS

 

 

 

Trains operate under rules.

 

Download and Review the:

GNW General Code Of Operating Rules
(GCOR)

 

 (Being Updated – NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME)

 

 

 

THE ENGINE HOUSE

STORIES FROM THE SHOPS

 

 

The Story of the GNW GE Gas-Turbine Electric Locomotive

 

AKA

Athearn Veranda GTEL with a Soundtraxx Tsunami Decoder

From the VERY EARLY DAYS of the GNW

Below are a few of my first web-posts.  Preserved here for fun and reference.

 

So you want to install LEDs in your Locos? Be sure to do some homework. Hint: what one person calls white is another persons BLUE! Check it all out in this little study called:

 

LEDs for Locomotives and Rolling Stock

 

The Whistlestop
The GNWs own newsletter!

 

NEWS FLASH: TRAIN SERVICE STARTS TO
BLACK WATER FALLS RESORT AND HOTEL


LETTERING REMOVAL Removing Markings from an Athearn Diesel Loco

SOME TIPS AND TECHNIQUES IN PROGRAMMING SOUNDTRAXX TSUNAMI DECODERS:

 

BEMF Tuning - Tuning a Soundtraxx Tsunami for Slow Speed Control


What On Earth is BEMF?!?!?

Whistlestop #9 Interoffice Memo to Liberty Valley Railroad - C-19 Work Complete, Special Movement and Photos

 


What On Earth is PID Control?!?!?

The Whistlestop #8 - Sand Creek Trestle

 

The Whistlestop #7 Sound on the GNW!

 

The Whistlestop #6

 

The Whistlestop #5

Advanced Ops: Tuning a TSU to simulate a heavy train with:

 

UPDATED!

 

Engine Lag, Momentum, and Braking

 

The Whistlestop #4

 

The Whistlestop #3

 

 The Whistlestop #2

 

The Whistlestop #1

All About Sound Decoders

 

(Note: This study was done in early 2007. Since then, the GNW has standardized on Soundtraxx Tsunami Decoders. These files are kept here for posteritys sake!)

 

The Sound Decoder Comparison and Test Program 

 

And the Sound Decoder Test Program Follow Up Comparison

 

 

And speaking of SOUND Here is a YouTube video of a crazy idea using a couple Soundtraxx EMD non-turbo sound decoders

 

Soundtraxx Equipped GP38s

So what if you want to marry an MRC Prodigy Advance system to a CVP Zonemaster booster? Read and find out

 

MRC-CVP Compatibility Solution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope your visit to the Great Northwestern Railway was a pleasant one, and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

 

Detlef Kurpanek

 

Chief Brass Hat

Of the

Great Northwestern Railway

 

 

Email: GreatNorthwesternRwy@msn.com

 

 

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Site Last Updated: August 19, 2019

 Brakeman1