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Oregon Trunk on a HCD (N scale)

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    Oregon Trunk on a HCD (N scale)

    Hi all,
    I'm new here and figured I should start something about my layout. I'll try to just give an overview in this first post, and then add more over the coming days. I began the layout in February 2020. It is hollow core door sized, and built in four sections to allow easier moving (it's already moved once). I use a NCE Powercab and DCC. Min radius is 12.5" on the mainline and 11" on the siding (it's a compromise for the continuous running I want, and still being able to reach across it comfortably).

    The area I am modeling is the Oregon Trunk line that splits from the BNSF mainline on the north side of the Colombia River (also the border of Oregon and Washington in that area), crosses the Colombia, follows the Deschutes River canyon south and climbs out into the high desert of Central Oregon. Obviously that all doesn't fit on a HCD... so I focused on a canyon scene, some high desert scenery, and two spurs serving three customers in a small industrial area. Those industries are sorta "inspired by" industries actually in the area, but do not try to exactly model a particular industry. I'm mostly running '90s era BN equipment, but sometimes switch things out for late '40s / early '50s SP&S and GN (I'll post more on that later).

    OK, enough talk, here's pictures. The canyon scene, inspired by one of the two "twin bridges" along the route (I'll also post links to some prototype pics below):

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    A small fertilizer dealer (my current project is a replacement for this building):

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    Lumber loading:

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    A little office/storage building that goes with a fuel dealer:

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    And a shot along the backdrop:

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    Here are a few links to pictures of the area on railpictures.net.

    The bridge that inspired mine: https://www.railpictures.net/photo/733771/

    A couple shots from the northern part of Central Oregon: https://www.railpictures.net/photo/3010/
    https://www.railpictures.net/photo/617649/

    And from a little further south in Bend: https://www.railpictures.net/photo/3135/

    #2
    That last pic has a great transition to the backdrop! Looks really good, as does the rest of the layout. Welcome aboard!

    Comment


    • Cody
      Cody commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Alan, good to be here.

    #3
    I'll give an overview of the track plan and construction in this post. The way I built this thing was driven by the fact that my career keeps me moving every few years. It's more often that I would like to start over with a new layout each time, so I wanted this to be easy to move. I considered some type of modular standard, but decided this was going to be a more efficient use of space for what I wanted. The HCD size layout splits into four sections. Those are held together with sectional track at the seams, much like a T Track module, and it all sits on top of the hollow core door. Feeders for each section run along the back to terminal connectors, and from there to the Power Cab. The sections fit into two large wardrobe boxes (two sections to a box) when it's time to move. They're super light weight and easy to make sure they're at the top of the load in the moving truck. It's an unusual approach I know, but it works well for me.

    OK, here's the track plan (the industries have changed a bit, but the track plan is still basically this):

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    And here's a high angle shot of the layout as it sits today:

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    The sections are just made from insulation foam, no wood involved. Here's a "during construction" shot:

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    And here's how they get wrapped up and put in a box to move:

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    I did something similar with my previous layout and it survived four moves before I decided I had learned enough to start over and improve some things. This layout has one move so far. It's an unusual approach, but I'm happy with it for my circumstances.

    Comment


      #4
      Being able to move all the industries around gives you a feeling of a new layout somewhat I suspect. I've always been impressed with the canyon portion of your RR Cody. BTW, what's that white mock up structure going to be?
      HO Scale

      Comment


        #5
        Thanks Michael, and yes, being able to move the industries around has let me go through a few iterations of things and keep improving, as well as the original purpose of being able to remove them to move the layout.

        The white mock up is going to be a fertilizer dealer. I'll post some progress pics for feedback soon. The idea is covered hoppers are spotted by an elevator leg behind the building, and a winch/car puller would move the cars along for unloading. Pipes from the head of the elevator down into both the low, wide building on the right, and the taller portion on the left. A roll up door in the middle of the low, wide building allows a fertilizer spreader trailer to be backed in for loading.

        I'm still using a bunch of those little plant bits you sent me a decade ago for sagebrush, by the way, recycled from my last layout. Thanks again for those!‚Äč

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        Comment


          #6
          Here's where I'm at with a new fertilizer place. Agriculture using irrigation from local reservoirs is one of the main industries in the area I model and I wanted something to go along with that. Crops include various crops grown for seed, cereals, and mint. The processing and storage for all of that is big and my layout is small, so I went with an industry that receives fertilizer by rail and distributes it to the local farmers that I hope will be believable in a relatively small footprint.

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          The white, rectangular paper tube in the back is standing in for an elevator leg. Covered hoppers unload there, pulled along by the winch you see at the left of the second picture. Tubes from the head of the elevator will drop the fertilizer down into various bins in the buildings. Loading into a trailer is via auger inside the building on the right. I'll put a concrete pad under it, including an apron leading into the door the trailer is backing into. A small office on the left is starting to come together, next to the red car (I haven't cut the opening for the door in the front wall yet). All of this is scratch built from styrene sheet and Pikestuff windows and doors.

          While I have looked at some prototype pictures this includes a fair amount of guesswork and assumptions on my part, so if anyone has suggestions to make this more realistic please fire away. For example, I'm imagining the scales could be right where the trailer is loaded, but am not sure if that would be too hard on the scales and I should add something on the outside of the building?

          Comment


            #7
            We both seem to be using the same concept with fertilizer distributors. Only difference is I'm shipping mine out in bags.

            I'm assuming your trailer is loaded inside the building using an auger or possibly a front loader. Looking at your footprint another alternative might be to make a covered loading spot outside in front of the door where the customer could just pull through parallel to the front of the building. This would look like a typical unloading spot in a generic grain elevator. They had the scales built right into the unloading floor. All you need is a roof, so forget about the end doors. Place a loading tube on the underside of the roof. Now to deal with the large door opening that is currently there. Construct a second parallel wall 3 feet behind the door opening to create a little indentation. Now look around for a scale mechanism, or try and scratch build one to sit in that area. You'll want to install a people door there also. I feel this makes more sense with the way your parking lot is laid out. Just a suggestion Cody.


            Also, you might consider putting a small square window up high on the pointed end of the large stroage area. Like on most all grain elevators this allows sunlight in so the guys can see what they are doing up there where the machinery is located. The opposite end could use a window also.
            Last edited by Michael Whiteman; 2 weeks ago.
            HO Scale

            Comment


            • Cody
              Cody commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Michael. My idea for loading the trailer was an auger inside the building, but your suggestion makes sense and I'll mock something up to try it out. Good idea with the windows high up in the taller structure too, thanks!

            #8
            Following up on suggestions from Michael Whiteman with windows for natural light at the top of the taller building, and a different idea for where to load fertilizer in a trailer.

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            Comment


            • Allen
              Allen commented
              Editing a comment
              There ya go Cody!

            #9
            The mockup looks good. Now you can put the scale right there in the the concrete. I think that "drive through" concept makes more sense regarding the shape of your lot. I'm looking forward to the finished structure, and I know you are also.

            Another thought..........you might consider running another tube straight down from the collector into the roof there. In the very rare case a customer would like something straight from the rail car. More tubes always make for a more impressive structure, I think
            HO Scale

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