Hiding atlas switch machines,how to build model railroad scenery,tsunami decoders,train tables for toddlers - Step 2

On my old layout, I used a razor saw to neatly remove the Atlas switch machine and motor mounts from the Atlas turnout. I think he maybe referring to the switch machines that are attached to the Atlas turnouts. Years ago, GHI made an 'under table mounting kit,' for Atlas machines, which included a few metal parts, and a block of masonite, for a turnout pad, under the table.
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Chapter VI - The Operating SchemeVI.iv - The Cody BranchThe Burlington's claim of access to Yellowstone National Park was through a relatively short branch that ran from Frannie Wyoming (a tiny little town) through Powell to Cody. Chapter VII - Staging Yards, Laurel MT and Control PanelsWell, now that my rather long diversion into operating schemes is over, let's get back to construction!After completing the basic NP staging loop on Christmas Eve, 2004, came the task of installing the Minneapolis staging yard, building a control panel for controlling the yards, and adding tracks to the interchange at Laurel, which to that point had only the main tracks installed, and no interchange yard or engine facilities planned out.One of the first orders of business was to add ground throws to the switches at Laurel (I had the points spiked into position temporarily, so I could run a train on the loop).
I then bent the nylon pointer thing a majig 90 degrees on the switch motor, bored a corresponding hole in the turnout frog so that a throw of the motor opened and closed the frog from the underside. These switch machines nicely hide underneath your layout so that you can throw your turnouts without having to see the machine amongst your scenery.These switch machines have not been used and include the original boxes and instructions. Since that area played a pretty big part inmy childhood (I even planned to retire in Powell for years, but that's changed now), I HAD to include that branch on my layout!Here's the Cody Branch track plan:Tracks start out at Frannie on the upper level, run around the curve to Powell, basically an overgrown farming community (in real life, Powell is twenty miles or so from Frannie, not the six feet on the layout.
I don't know how - anyone should be able to follow that army of demented spiders!Ok, my bad! Here's the double crossover at the west end of Laurel after the stands:Although the Seattle staging yard trackwork was installed, switch machines were not in place, so that was next on the list.
I then glued the switch motor to the underside of the turnout and then cut a corresponding rectangular hole in the road bed.
That's called "selective compression" ), then around the walls of the room to the helix, where it travels to the lower deck.
Then I needed to design a control panel, since it got really tiring (really fast!) to reach under the layout and move the Tortoises by hand. After exiting the helix trains arrive in Cody.I've touched on the Cody branch in previous Operating Scheme posts.
Being the very rural area that it is, Wyoming towns had one more - an ag, or farm, store (animal feed, seed, farming and ranching needs. So I built this:Of course, all you bright and attentive readers know that I recently discarded this panel and built a new one, allowing for train detection indication and track selection indicators. The interesting part about it is that, as I understand it, the original bridge that was there was washed out during some flood many years ago (in the 1940's I believe.) They apparently put in a 'temporary fix' to keep trains running from Ft.

At Shobon the C&NW retained its own trackage west to Riverton and Lander, the final end-of-track.The layout encompasses several compromises with reality regarding the C&NW. The refinery produced mainly asphalt, which generally went north to the NP for shipment to other regions of the country (mostly west, I believe).
The Northwestern had its own yard and stations in Casper, but on the layout it shares the Burlington's facilities (not enough room for them to be separate!).
There were some agrarian activities, but the refinery accounted for the bulk of the Cody freight traffic, and it will on the layout as well. I've pared the number down on the layout, leaving only the Standard Refinery in Casper (represented by loading racks only) and the Husky Refinery in Cody (though I’m tempted to model the very small refinery in Thermopolis as well). My plans call for a moderate-sized modeled refinery (to bring back those fond memories of standing at the window at night and gazing out over town to the dazzlingly bright refinery a few miles distant) with loading racks capable of handling a total of about 24 cars on two tracks. Note that Lusk staging is just a two-track staging yard in a reverse loop (I may increase that to three, with restrictions on what can go onto the sub-standard radius inner track). On top of that will be one branch local a day, plus passenger traffic (heavy because of the park).Powell, meanwhile, is the center of a big sugar-beet growing area. There never was too much traffic on the line, except for the seasonal agricultrual shipments:Here's the Lander Branch, on the lower level.
This will allow for shipping tank cars of asphalt from Cody to Greybull on occasion, thus breaking up some of the repetitious Cody-to-staging-to-Cody tank trains.I may add the bentonite plant that is now in Lovell, even though it wasn’t there in the 1930s and 40s, to up the variety of traffic on the layout. Here is where seasonal trains of sugar-beet hoppers originated, for trips to the Lovell and Worland sugar factories. It breaks off from the CB&Q trackage at Shobon, runs hidden under the Wind River Canyon mountains, Thermopolis and Glenrock, around the helix beneath Cody, and comes out into Lander on the opposite side of the peninsula from Laurel:In the basic operating concept, trains will run from Lusk staging (basically glorified locals every few days) to Orin Junction and on to Casper, where they'll change locos and crews and pick up or drop off cuts of cars not headed on to Lander. The idea of building a transition under a turnout location may seem to be tempting fate, but in the nearly three years that turnout's been in place, I've had zero problems.
On the layout Lovell does not have the sugar beet factory, but Worland does (Instead, I'm thinking of including the Bentonite plant at Lovell, although it didn't really exist until the latter 1950's.
There hasn't been a single derailment, and I've been running 2-10-2's through both legs of the turnout, at times with a 30-car train in tow.The second half of 2005 (until Thanksgiving, that is) saw construction of the Minneapolis staging yard. Once that's done, they head west out of Casper to Shobon, where they switch onto C&NW tracks to Lander. Trains of sugar beet cars will run from Powell to Frannie, where the engine and loco will reverse positions so the train can proceed loco-first to Worland (and who knows, maybe I'll represent the plant in Lovell with just a siding, and drop cars there as well. I ran into a problem at one turnout, where the points rested right above the benchwork L-girder. Most traffic will go off the layout on the C&NW to Lusk staging, or through Orin Junction to Crawford NE (Laurel) and on to staging there.Ag – Sugar beet processing is the biggest agricultural industry on the layout.

I had to se the Tortoise off to the side, so I linked it back into the turnout like this:With Minneapolis done, I was ready to start up the hill from Laurel towards Orin Junction on the upper deck (see, you shoulda read all those operations posts!
The trains of empties arriving in Powell will be exchanged for the loaded cars, and since neither Powell or Frannie had facilities for turning locos, the loco will back up to Frannie with the train. Reefers are re-iced when needed, cars are dropped or picked up as necessary, and the loco(s) again chenged. Beet trains originate in Greybull and Powell, and will terminate at Holly Sugar in Worland. Passenger traffic is pretty light - just a daily Doodlebug with an occasional trailer (this was full Pullman sleeper service when it started in 1906, but was later downgraded. The sugar plants themselves will take a variety of products – bottles, pallets and kegs ( provided by other industries around the layout) for finished product shipping, which will go out to various destinations on the layout as well (molasses to the Ag feed processor in Douglas, and refined sugar to Casper’s Grocery Supply Warehouse, for examples). But, although I have a very accurate trackplan thanks to CadRail, I still needed to establish the point where the Frannie Cutoff enters the helix on the lower level. I'll include Pullman service every now and again just for variety).The grade was pretty stiff in one spot between Riverton and Lander, so the always-short trains were pulled by double-headed ten wheelers, for the most part.
Ag again – Stock hauling will provide seasonal traffic flow, with sheep and cattle being shipped from Powder River, Lovell, and perhaps Cody and Lander to staging. Replicating that will add a bit of fun to the Lander runs on the layout.I thought this would be my last installment about the operating scheme, but I'm going to add one more, to talk about the industries along the lines, how they inter-relate, and how the railroads will service them. Initially I had one planned for Lovell, but will probably expand that to add one in Lander and perhaps one in Cody as well.
Casper had more than one rail-served lumberyard, but with the large yard, the refinery and other industries slated for Casper, there may not be room for a lumberyard too.Casper was a spot where the Burlington re-iced it’s reefer trains, and that’s on the layout. Trains will come into Casper and cuts of cars must be routed to the icing plant, then re-assembled back into trains to proceed across the layout.Add Big Horn Glass in Lovell, Wyola Feeds in Lander, and the oilfield equipment supply in Casper (all really existed), plus the normal and “resort” passenger traffic (Thermopolis, with it’s giant mineral hot springs, was a destination in itself, as was Cody for it’s access to Yellowstone Park), and the layout should be pretty lively!In Conclusion, this series on operations has probably been of much more interest to myself than to most other folks, but it’s been helpful also.
For those who may be interested, you can find more about traffic flows on my website – just click on the “Operations” button in the upper left after you go past the memorial page to the main page. We now return you to our irregularly scheduled construction posts, wherein we see just how slowly a layout can really be built!

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