Just east of the two large warehouses next to the Proviso/Clinton yard was a area that needed additional businesses that would be near a railroad right of way, but not necessarily with rail service. Rather than scratch build actual prototypes from the Clinton area, I just threw some buildings from my previous layout, the Rochelle Sub, in the area to see how they fit. Over time I messed with numerous different orientations. I was looking for a mix of old and new structures that are common for a lot of present day industries. Below is the orientation that I finally settled on.
With the location of structures set, the next step was putting in a parking lot for the industries. I wanted the parking lot to be old and in somewhat disrepair as you would typically find near a railroad right of way. I first marked off the boundaries of the lot and used Woodland Scenics "Smooth It" plaster to fashion a lot.
Once the plaster was dried I painted it a light gray and added gravel around the edges and on the lot itself. The gravel on the lot was to represent where pot holes has been filled in. A 6' chain link fence from Gold Metals Products completed the project. I did not have quite enough chain link fencing on hand, so I filled in the last bit with wood fencing. The wood fencing adds to the ad-hoc look of the scene.
I pretty much finished the Proviso control tower this afternoon. I airbrushed the tower refer white and then used strip styrene to fashion a crude desk for the interior of the tower. I then painted the interior of the tower black. Using the packaging from a set of Woodland Scenics figures, I cut out window glazing to place on the inside of the window frames. After placing a couple of figures in the tower, I cut a piece of styene for the roof. I did not glue to roof in place as I may add to or change the interior at some point.
Overall I'm pretty pleased with the project. Its definitely a one of a kind structure. I doubt anyone else has one on their layout besides me! I'll be doing some work on the grounds around the tower and then it will be complete.
Today I finally started work on the Proviso control tower. As you can see from the photos below, the prototype is a very unusual looking tower. More reminiscent of an airport tower or, according to my wife, a prison tower.
Thanks to David K. Smith, I had drawings that I could use to build a mock up. After having the mock up on the layout for a couple of months, I determined that building the structure full size would make it too big for my scaled down version of the Proviso yard. For one thing, the prototype has two stories which makes sense for a very large yard complex with three yards; hump, inter-modal and flat. But, it is overkill for my scaled down version which only has one yard. The other thing is that the full size height simply overpowered the rest of the structures, which are all scaled down versions of the real thing. So I reduced the size to 85% and removed the second story.
I printed out the reduced drawings, taped it to Evergreen .030" V-groove styrene, cut out the four sides and glued them together. Since the windows go completely around the tower, the windows were cut off completely making the roof section separate from the rest of the structure. I also added a floor.
To connect the roof section to the base, I glued four .030"X.030" styrene strips to the base. I then glued the roof section to the four posts.
Next, I used more .030"X.030" strips to represent the remaining posts and to strengthen to connection. Lastly, I added four small horizontal pieces to complete the windows according to the prototype.
Here's a comparison with the full size mock up.
At this point, I need to paint the structure, put in an interior and add window glazing. Stay tuned!
Okay, they are not really satellite photos, but they remind me of them. They are actually multiple photographs taken with the camera up against the ceiling. I then "pasted" them together with Microsoft Word. Finally, I used Word to generate a pdf file of the photos. The photos provide an excellent way to see the details of the track plan. The photos are from the Proviso area of the layout. I'm am including a track plan of the entire layout so that you can see where the photos fit into the layout. You may notice that the track plan is incorrect in a number of areas.
Its been quite a while since my last post. This has been due mainly to working on new flooring for the upstairs of our house. We should be done with that by Thanksgiving and then its back to the railroad. In the meantime here's a short video to keep you interested (and clicking on ads!)
I used the drawings from David K. Smith to throw together a mock up of the structure. I used 65' for the overall height. My goal for the mock up is to get a feel for how the finished structure will look on the layout. I've included some rolling stock, vehicles and a portable toilet in the pictures to give a size comparison.
Well, I posted the pictures to the Railwire N scale forum looking for advise on the overall height and angles and I got way more than I ever anticipated. David K. Smith used to pictures to come up with drawings of the structure from all four sides. Thank you David! I will use the drawings to build a mock up of the structure at 65 scale feet. Once the mock up is placed on the layout, I will decide on whether to scale it down in size or build it as is.
Its time to begin the next new project for the UPRR Geneva Subdivision; The Proviso Yard Control Tower. The extreme uniqueness of the prototype should make it another signature element of the Proviso Yard section of the layout. As you can see from the photographs, the control tower looks more like it belongs at an airport than in a railroad yard. It has a very unusual angles that will be a challenge to replicate in a model. What makes it harder is that its location makes it difficult to photograph. Being in the middle of the railroad property makes taking close up pictures without major trespassing an impossibility. Its was also difficult to get straight on pictures that are needed to determine proper dimensions and angles.
The first dimension to determine is the overall height of the building. Using the third picture below I came of with an overall height of about 75 feet. I got this by assuming that the windows were floor to ceiling at 8 ft in height.
The next dimension is the angle off square of the front and back walls of tower control house, which would mach the angle off square of the tower base. Right now I am guessing 2-3 degrees off square. I got this by taking the average of the front and back walls compared to the horizon. I have no idea if that is correct. Any ideas out there?
Here are the final two parts of the manifest freight operations video series. Part III is 25 minutes long so you may want to fast forward through parts of it. But, it does show all the steps needed to complete switching operations in Franklin Grove, IL. Switching Fulton and the Rochelle interchange track take a similar amount of time. Part IV shows the train, MCLYC, traveling from Franklin Grove to Chicago Yard Center.
I finally pushed through and completed track ballasting! All track on the layout is 100% ballasted. I am so glad!! To celebrate I decided to take a break from working on the layout and get back to running trains. Here's Intermodal Operations Part I. More to follow shortly. Check out all the ballasted track!!!!!
Rochelle Global III is coming along nicely. With the parking lot installed and painted, I turned my attention to ballasting the track. In addition, I sanded the asphalt parking lots giving them a more faded/washed out look. I also build a second Mi-Jack crane (Thanks Garth!!!!!) and attached the cranes to both Mi-Jacks.
The paint dried fast enough for me to mask and paint the second color still today. I ended up painting the asphalt first and the concrete second. I painted in this order thinking that the paint would hold to the Smooth It surface better than the styrene and, therefore, chip off less when removing the masking tape. Worked out real well as just a bit chipped of in a couple of places. The chips were easily repaired with some additional asphalt paint. One other thing, I added a bit of the concrete paint to the asphalt paint to lighten up the asphalt paint and not make it look like it was freshly poured yesterday. Tomorrow I will sand the paint a bit to weather it up some and then I'll be all set to ballast the track.
Concrete is in place and all asphalt has been poured. I sanded the Smooth It plaster with 220 grit sand paper, vacuumed and then cleaned up the styrene sheet. I also used brown latex paint to cover up excess plaster that did not end up on the parking lot. The Rochelle Global III intermodal parking lot is ready for paint. I will paint the concrete today using Woodland Scenics' Road System Top Coat Concrete (ST1454) paint today. Tomorrow, after the paint has had plenty of time to dry, I will mask the concrete and paint the asphalt using the TOP Coat asphalt (ST1453).
I've been doing a ton of ballasting this summer. So much that the only ballasting left to do is the Rochelle Global III Intermodal Yard. Ballasting in the yard will look better if done after the paving of the intermodal lot. So, it looks like paving Global III is the next project for the layout. The prototype lot has both concrete and asphalt paving as shown in the photo below. There is concrete paving in between and next to the loading/unloading tracks and asphalt elsewhere.
On the layout, I am using styrene sheets for the concrete and Woodland Scenics "Smooth-It" for the asphalt. The styrene sheets are .030" thick. At this thickness the sheets lay just below the rails when setting on top the plactic spikeheads of the ME code 55 flextrack. I then used a second .030 sheet underneath the the top sheet so that the sheets slope ever so slightly away from the rails. .030 sheet was also used between the tracks. Next I will be using .040 sheets for between the rails.
After getting the Proviso Locomotive Facility done, the difference in the level of completeness between the two rooms of the layout was getting very large. While the room with Fulton/Clinton/Proviso still has a long way to go, it is much further along then the Rochelle/Franklin Grove room. The main difference is ballasting, as in completely done to just started. So, I decided that before I make any more progress on Fulton/Clinton/Proviso area, I really needed to get the rest of the ballasting done for the entire layout. The video below shows what's been done over the past few weeks. I've completed fifty more feet of the mainline (1.5 scale miles) with just 16 left to go. After that there is the BNSF track, Global III and the BNSF/UP interchange track. My plan is to have all ballasting done before school starts in just over 4 weeks.
Here's also a video of trains running past the Proviso Locomotive Facility.
With just roof detail left to add, the Proviso Locomotive Facilities are nearly complete. Its been a fun project although I'm surprised how much time it has taken to do the finishing touches. Since the last post, I used chalk to bring out the brick mortar lines, added interior flooring, added stall numbers & other signage and added ballast to blend the foundation into the area. I'm not real happy with the color of the fueling station sidewalk. Too green. I may change it. I am now turning my attention to the Proviso control tower.
I added trim to the stall doors and added sidewalks for the fueling station. The fueling station items are from the Bachman kit I used on the Rochelle Sub. I also painted the foundation of the metal add on stall Floquil "aged concrete" to more closely follow the prototype. Next I will be adding some chalk mortar lines to the brick walls. I also still need to fill in around the foundation with ballast, install stall numbers & other signage and add lots of roof details, piping, etc.