My Northern Pacific Butte Montana Layout.

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NP2626

Guest
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#713 is exiting the other tunnel now. You can see the Campbell's trestle to the left of the photo that I described earlier. The train is about to cross a deck girder bridge made from an Atlas through girder bridge, by sawing off the girders and gluing bridge track atop the girders. The bluish foliage under the outside track is sage colored ground foam from Scenic Express. I don't think it exactly matches sage brush; but, it is closer to sage brush than anything else I have seen. What do you think? Where you see trees on my layout will eventually be much larger and denser forests.
 
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N

NP2626

Guest
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The photo on the left has been shown before, it shows the grade crossing that is crossed to get to the next photo. The train crosses this scene on the track closest to the signal tower and exits this scene to the bottom left of the photo. At one point in the construction of my layout, the grade crossing did not exist and this track went down a 5-6% grade down to the staging yard. For a couple years I lived with this mistake; but, finally decided I needed to do something to reduce the grade. I decided to cross over the main line where the grade crossing is and build a loop. This allowed for the Hoo Doo Gultch to be built and reduced the grade down to 2%. So, the ruling grade on my layout is now 2%.

The second photo is the scene that people see when they first come down the stairs to my layout room. This trestle is scratch built and traverses Hoo Doo Gulch. There is no Hoo Doo Gulch West of Logan Montana, in reality. The trestle is built from 1/8th inch diameter birch doweling and balsa strips. The support for the track is a piece of 3/16ths thick mahogany strip. In reality this would be made from 3-4 stringers bolted together. Instead, this is a solid strip of wood because I figured no one would be able to see that this part was not made up of several strips of wood. The trestle has a slight curve starting on the end under the loco and then straightens out. There is another Atlas product on the other end, a through girder bridge. The trestle track is a piece of code 83 Micro Engineering bridge track with code 70 guard rails. This is the only piece of code 83 on the layout. Maybe, if there is interest, I will describe how I built this trestle. It was a fun process, not unlike building R/C airplanes.
 
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N

NP2626

Guest
I'm kind of bridge nut, on the short chunk of mainline and yard on my layout there are 16 bridges. I like to see trains cross over small creeks or large canyons, doesn't matter. I would never consider building a layout that doesn't have bridges, even though this might be more realistic. Bridges, tunnels and mountains are what I like to see and I think my layout confers this. I am not saying this is what you need to build your layout like, it is only what "Trips my Trigger"! Many model railroaders today are all about reality and operations. The "Building" part of this hobby has taken a backseat to the "Must have it Now", mindset. The hobby "Is what it is" and the manufacturers respond to what the majority of modelers want.

Just a little mental rambling from someone having been in the hobby for a long while and sees things the way he sees them.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
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Here is the loop down to staging. Hoo Doo Gultch is to the right in this photo and the track in the background is from the Hoo Doo Gultch trestle, this track passes over the track in the foreground, which leads to the staging yard. What I am going to do to scenic this portion of the layout has not been determined, yet. The card board strips are to keep cars and locos from falling to the floor until the scenery has been added.
 
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N

NP2626

Guest
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This photo will be somewhat difficult to understand. The bridge in the foreground is the through girder portion of the Hoo Doo Gultch trestle. The tunnel to the right is the mainline entrance to the staging yard. The tunnel to the left, is dead ended, only extending a foot beyond the tunnel portal. However, as far as the layout is concerned, the track leads to both a logging camp and another mine. The two tracks that lead under the mine tipple are affiliated with the Spire Rock Mine. The track to the right is a storage track for holding both empty and loaded log cars and loaded and empty ore cars. The track to the left also leads to staging where an empty ore cars in and loaded ore cars out operation exists. You can see two different colors of ballast have been used. The darker "Buff" colored ballast has been in place for 20 plus years and the lighter "Buff" colored ballast is newer. I was disappointed that both Woodland Scenics ballasts weren't a closer match to each other!
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Thanks for posting more photos Mark. I like your layout. I also model southwestern Montana, right in the area where I live, but not into the mountains. My freelance railroad connects to the NP at Logan, MT and runs south to Gallatin Gateway which is near where I live. Here I connect to the Milwaukee Road (which did have a spur into Gallatin Gateway which did operate until the grain elevator burned down in th mid 70's) From there, off stage, I also connect to the Gallatin Canyon & Western which runs south down the Gallatin Canyon to West Yellowstone and connects to the Union Pacific. A good friend of mine was building the GC&W and I custom painted a number of freight cars and locomotives for his railroad. Unfortunately, he passed away but the operation sounded so good that I kept it. In my freelance world, the Logan Valley bought out the GC&W but still has equipment still painted for the GC&W.

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For years I wouldn't go near a Bachmann locomotive because of past experiences I had with their locomotives. Then they brought out their Spectrum line. I was still hesitant until I read some good reviews in model railroad magazines. I gave their Consolidation a try and was pleasantly suprised. An excellent running locomotive. Their Decapod though was a bust. I have a ruling two and a half percent grade and the Decapod was a wimp maybe being able to pull three or four cars up the grade. It now is a yard switcher. Their 3 truck shay is a nice running locomotive also.

I still operate DC only and it is now hard to find many locomotives that are not DCC with sound. Their Alco S-2 which is in the video in my signature "Switching in Churchill" is an excellent running locomotive. I was impressed with it, but don't really need the sound, but I am a sucker for anything decorated for the Northern Pacific or the Milwaukee Road. My son, who knows absolutely nothing about model railroading gave me a Bachmann Mogul, that is DCC and sound equipped. Nice running little locomotive, but also a wimp on my grades. It is now used to pull a couple of coaches which is about all it can handle for passenger service.

I can see tht you have this thing for bridges. I really like the photo of the trestle. I would have liked to have more bridges, but my railroad runs in a valley but I did manage to get one bridge in. Bridges sure make a train look interesting running through the scenery.

Again, I really enjoy seeing the photos of your layout. Well done. Keep the photos coming.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Thanks for the kind words, Chet!
 
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N

NP2626

Guest
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Here we are looking into the staging yard. The control panel for staging is just below the trains. Although not all tracks are visible on the panel, there are eight tracks to store trains on. One of my biggest regrets with my layout is the fact that I did not allow enough space between Butte Yard, overhead and the staging yard (about six inches). This is totally inadequate and probably should have been about ten inches. However, adding more room would have meant steeper grades down to and up from staging. Better yet would have been to have had staging on slides so it could have been slid out for messing with the trains; or, the staging yard should have just been out in the open. How I thought I was going to get work done in the Staging Yard and how it actually happens, is two different things.

With this photo, we are now slightly more than two thirds of the way around the layout. As we enter Staging, we are ending the Eastward travel from Butte and at Logan Montana. As we leave Staging, we will be traveling East from Garrison, Montana heading to Butte.
 
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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The Brits have used slide out/across (also called cassette) staging for a long time as a way of minimising space and access problems. I saw one at a show where it eliminated the need for turnouts, to each staging track by only having one entry at each end from the layout, close to the front, and you slid the staging section to align the required track. Bonus was, the staging tracks could be fully utilised for storing trains. Even the locos could be stored off staging if required.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
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In this photo we see the train coming out of staging, heading East bound out of Garrison Montana. We are climbing the ruling 2% grade running along side a river, again in the un-sceniced portion of the layout. And, again, Deephole Mine is above the river bank on the east side. It would be interesting to know what the name of this river is? Maybe Tootnkumin; or Montanan know?
 
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N

NP2626

Guest
Chet, I just got through watching all three of the videos you link to in your posts. Imagine my surprise when you showed your GML hand held throttle. I have a throttle just like yours and I use it if I ever want to run DC. However, mostly, it is used to power my turntable, now days as I love my Digitrax Zephyr system. You have a very nice layout and it appears to operate very well.

All though I model the Butte Shortline, my mountains and the area I have modeled is more like the Absaroka Range between Cody Wyoming and Yellowstone Park. I have spent time there and I like the reddish hue of the rocks there. While I run mostly freight, I understand that the Butte Short line was mostly for passenger traffic. That the great thing about modeling, we can do what we dang well please. You are pretty close to the area I model. I have even taken a trip out West Yellowstone and went by Hebgen Lake and the earth quake area then up to Virginia City and Nevada City. That might have been fairly close to where you live.
 
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N

NP2626

Guest
This is totally unimportant and I like that you are interested in the Northern Pacific and Montana, Toot. The fact your from Queensland, Australia is also neat. Being a dense Minnesotan, I'm not understanding what being from Caboolture in SE Queensland Australia, has to do with "They don't like turning the Hubble off deep outer space for me :rolleyes:"

However, I just did learn that there are two rivers named "Clark" in Montana, 1). The Clark Fork. 2). The Clark's Fork. #1 the Clark Fork is the Clark Fork of the Columbia river that runs in both Montana and Idaho and #2, the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone.that runs runs in Wyoming and Montana. I did not know that there were two, until Chet stated the river I had in question was the Clark Fork. The Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone is the more known of the two.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
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This scene which was shown before runs along a river and with the help of you guys I now know this is the Clark Fork, which runs through Garrison Montana. If you go to Google Earth and look at Garrison, there is a photo of the river just south of the Wye at the junction of the Butte Shortline and the Helena Branch, that must incorrectly name this river as the Little Blackfoot River. The second photo of this scene shows the same area from a higher elevation. However, because the area has only un-finshed white plaster other than the tracks and the Deepole Mine buildings there really isn't much to see.

Thanks guys for helping me name this area.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
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The train has cleared the unfinished portion of the layout near Deepole Mine and the Clark Fork River by entering a tunnel which then exits the tunnel and immediately entering a snowshed. I just got through building this structure last Winter. Because the terrain was so irregular where I wanted the snowshed to be located, I pretty much built the snow shed in situ. Again, I find these types of projects to be very enjoyable and I think the shed looks pretty good. The second photo shows the front of the snowshed and just to the right of the train crossing the bridge, you can see the top of the tunnel portal for the short tunnel that leads to the snowshed.
 
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