The Resurrection of Rock Ridge

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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
know it seems like I am all over the place, but I am trying to get something working without spending a lot of time and money doing it. I know, if I was trying to do that, I picked the wrong hobby. The thing is I have engines and rolling stock in HO for 1885 SP, plus I have some 15-20 craftsmen kit structures as well as the buildings I already have on the small version. Plus I have already installed electrical wiring and track lighting for building a layout. I was just going to make it the Union Lumber Co and California Western Terminal.

So anyway, I was just playing around and I took the tater mountain/Rock Ridge part of the Rock Ridge and Train City RR and plopped it down on my TV (or at least where the TV will go). I didn't think I could get much out of it--especially since I couldn't come up with a good plan in N-scale, even though it was half the size of what I was working with.

Well, the downside is that the town of Rock Ridge will show us it's backside--giving us a good view of the back of the church and funeral, while Red Rock Canyon is displayed in it's full glory, as is the Rock Ridge Station. The rock Ridge mine is visible, but it will not displayed as nicely as it merits. But still all in all, it fits.

Going counter-clockwise you come to Rock Ridge Canyon. This will be a floor to eye-level affair with two curved trestle bridges ala ArtHill. But the vertical separation of the bridges may only be two inches. I want to stay under 2% grades.

Next is the city of Train City. I'll lay it out once the foam is up. The tracks are vague approximations. The hidden loop is just that. Staging is exposed, but coming through the wall. The small track at the top of the yard will hold a switcher. The turntable is for engines, cabooses, and business class coaches.

The yard is simple. Although there is some operations, the layout is about 62.35% railfan.

Comments? Suggestions? I really don't know which direction to go. The N-scale is pretty appealing and it it a real operator's layout. However, I could build this one then devote a 10 x 11 x 15 room to all N-scale--and that does not include staging which is outside that room.

Okay, here's the plan. Whacha think?

PS The red track is less than 18" radius. That only happens when I try to work a turnout coming straight out of a curve. It works in practice, but not with the software. I can fix that on the layout and get the radius back up to 18" or better.

rockridge01.gif
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Is that all the space you have? In my eye, even with the old Rock Ridge module, you can fit a whole lot more in there, but I'm not sure of your space constrictions. My thought is, maybe you should go "round the walls" to the lower left then helix down to a lower level (staging, or more running space).

I dunno...
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Is that all the space you have? In my eye, even with the old Rock Ridge module, you can fit a whole lot more in there, but I'm not sure of your space constrictions. My thought is, maybe you should go "round the walls" to the lower left then helix down to a lower level (staging, or more running space).

I dunno...
The "room" is the entertainment area of the basement--where I can go to get the bass pounding thud of Jurassic Park dinos or Tanks in Private Ryan--and is a "U-shaped" corner of the basement. Just to the right of Rock Ridge is the door to the garage. To the left of staging is the stairs to the house. There is a narrow walkway from the door to the stairs.

The staging area is a foot that I squeezed out. It is above the sofa, just enough to be comfortable about hitting your head and not feeling closed in. The hidden loop covers about 5" of the dryer and I had to negotiate for that. The TV and sound equipment are under the Rock Ridge Module. And the area under Train City is for DVD/video storage.

My connection to the rest of the basement would be about 50 ft of 6" shelves running over the laundry appliances, the sink, my workbench, behind my wife's art storage shelves, under the electric panel to an area about 10x 11x 16 with room for long staging about 1 ft wide on the outside of the described area. I actually have a plan for scenicing that long narrow run and everything.

I just lost a large area that would have been the lumber camps and logging site. My wife just gobbled it up for art storage.

I have to build the entertainment area anyway, and so I planned it with a layout on top in mind. Right now the speakers are on the floor and the DVD's are in boxes.

That is why I am being called back to HO. I want to save Rock Ridge and get this area finished. It was originally going to be a terminal yard for the California Western and the Union Lumber Mill ala the scope of the McCabe Mill. Life is pushing the Redwood Empire out of the picture.

That and the fact that I have so much stuff for 1880's HO and very little for modern N-scale, it's just going to be cheaper to do.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Josh,

You just gave me a cool idea. I'm going sit in on my sofa and see if I can't bring that module out into the room a little. Then I can turn it and get a better view of the town and mine while extending the layout a couple feet. It will depend on how I can make the entertainment center look.

Also thanks. You are the only person here that has posted a comment on my last several designs. And it was very helpful.
 
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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Here is the new plan. It came from your idea, Josh.

I rotated Tater Mountain to get a better look at the mine as well as Mongo who would have been lost in the shuffle. This adds a lot of area that may just become wilderness. I'm also thinking of a cattle line shack or lumber. I do have a Climax A that needs a reason. My best guess is taking terrain up with a hillside that covers the back track right up until it parallels the inner track at Rock Ridge Canyon on the trestle.

I'd love to vertically separate the two tracks, but I can't figure it out without exceeding 2% and I know how poorly small steam works with 3.1 and 3.7 percent grades.

The TV is closer to the sofa--the yellow block. Walk around is very tight, but at least everything above the knees is open which gives it less of a cramped feel. I may change some of the #4 turnouts to #8's on the mainline when I can.

The turntable has been moved further back into the corner, the roundhouse now gone in favor of a two stall engine house. The A/D tracks are much smoother. I'd like to get a passenger station and an icing platform in there.

Any other suggestions?

rockridge04.gif
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Chip,

Is the TV under the Rock Ridge module? I'm just trying to visualize what your entertainment center looks like. Would you be willing to post a few photos at different angles on that room? I just don't have enough info to make any useful construction suggestions at this point...

I think it's probably a good idea to stick with HO for the reasons you mentioned, especially since the rolling stock for your era is better-suited to handle those sharp curves. And you could have an operating layout sooner.

I just went thru a phase where I nearly lost interest, because I was trying to figure out how to adapt all my locos and infrastructure for DCC. Totally overwhelming! Then somebody suggested I simply get a few CM20's so I at least have full walkaround control. I did, and guess what? I'm having a ball! Just seeing trains actually run on my layout has rekindled the "fire". I'll get DCC someday for sure, but I don't have to have it right now...
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
The entertainment center will be built into the benchwork structure, so I have no picture for you. There is a 27" TV, an amp, DVD player, VCR, Cassette Deck, and center speaker. Under the layout will also be the left cabinet speaker and the sub-woofer.

Here are some photos during construction. I hope this helps.

basementempty02.gif


basementempty03.gif


basementempty04.gif


basementempty05.gif


basementempty06.gif


basementempty07.gif
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Looking good Chip! Glad I inspired you some, and sorry I hadn't commented on the other plans. I always mean to, I leave the thread open on my browser until I get done surfing the rest, then get distracted, and close the window, forgetting to come back and look into the plan.

So I'm stuck imagining the entertainment center "blaring" some railfan video...

As for the new plan, its looking up. I now see you can really only fit those 3 walls... I like how you set the old module at an angle there. I guess now the question is, when does construction begin!?
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
As for the new plan, its looking up. I now see you can really only fit those 3 walls... I like how you set the old module at an angle there. I guess now the question is, when does construction begin!?
Thanks Josh.

It's still not there yet, but closer. Tonight, I lamented that I wished that I could have the two trestle bridges at differing heights. I don't want to exceed 2% and I was looking forward to the simplicity of throwing a sheet of foam on some cross pieces and being done with it.

Well it was pointed out the I could have 4" of separation if I wanted. Well if I stay under 2" I only get 3.5, but hey. Anyway, it complicates the benchwork. I will need to go cookie cutter to make the grade, and if I do like I plan and make Rock Ridge Canyon a floor to eye-high deal. I'm going to need to support multiple layers of foam.

I've also got a lot of area to scenic, especially if I put the back track in a tunnel--which means I have to hollow out the bench work to access the tunnel from underneath if there is a problem--which there won't be because it will be bullet-proof trackwork. But anyway, I'm toying with running a logging line through the vast open spaces. I have this that need a purpose.

climax01.gif


At any rate, I need to build the furniture aspects of it first, and in the meantime, I'm scratch-bashing some stuff on the module while I sort things out. Things are moving forward, and I can run the Rock Ridge Loop--all 3 x 4 of it.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
You guys initiated some good changes.

I took all the switching off the upper passing siding so the siding can be part of the grade. At the same time, the passing siding is about 2 1/2 inches above Train City. So the switching has been moved down to the lower level. There's a lot of track in that town, but that is why my son named it that, so I guess it fits. Thanks.

rockridge05.gif
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Looks good Chip, just noticed something. I see you have a 3 track yard, plus one extra track at an angle. Maybe pull it all to be parallel to the front most track, then you can pull the roundhouse a little closer, and create a little more separation between it & the back tracks. You could even run the roundhouse spur off the passing track for the track around the text "Train City", thus eliminating one more "wasted" track.
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Thanks Josh. Good call.

I was picturing that as an RIP track and I had a service building I was going to use there.

traincity11.gif


If I bend the yard, I'll have to shorten the longest yard track so that the side building will fit. However, the amount of room I'll gain will help a lot. I still think I'll conserve space and go with a Muir models craftsman 2-stall engine house instead of a roundhouse. (Since I already have the engine house :D ) But the move of the yard will free up a lot of room in train city where it is needed.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Chip - I tried to put Josh's idea into a graphical mode, note the repositioned yard tracks in Train City:

rockridge04.jpg


Hope this helps...
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I actually meant more like this:
View attachment 5288

I've also edited my thoughts for the yard, if you've got a building picked for there, then I understand. I just bent it a bit to see how it might fit.
 
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SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Thanks Ken and Josh, you've been very helpful. Ken, the plan you took your drawing from was a little older. I simplified the trackwork quite a bit since then. But the idea you and Josh came up with really cleaned things up. I got an extra yard track but lost my RIP track. All the ladder tracks increased in capacity. Unless I use the smallest ladder track for that purpose. Here's the revision. I could have gone longer like Ken suggested, but would have had to foul the main to switch the yard. My engines can't pull more than the longest yard tracks anyway. We are talking very small steam.

Unfortunately, I didn't gain any space like I had hoped.

rockridge06.gif


So here are my concerns.

1) I have room for engine service, but not room for servicing the service facilities. I can put a stack of firewood for fuel, but I can't store or bring in a gondola full of firewood. Likewise with sand. I have to bring it in on the engine service track.

2) I have the choice of using the smallest ladder track for an RIP track. I have room to put a track off the turntable, but I fear it would not be appropriate.

3) The "town" of Train City is over-crowded with track that only services two industries. I could extend the point of the switchback and get a third. But the biggest problem will be developing a big city feel in the remaining space provided. My best guess solution right now is to make the passing siding a double trestle bridge. It's not extremely high above the yard, like 2 1/2 inches, but it is enough to see through and put roads through. I can then put false front structures that you can see through the bridge and then paint an extension of the city onto the backdrop.

4) Things I haven't thought of.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Heh, its a long process isn't it! You'll get one of those restless nights now thinking of it, then have a minor revelation. THe biggest thing is still the ultra ling track to the turntable, removing and attaching it to the switchback may provide desired room for the fueling, watering & sanding facilities (the water tank can be "off site" with a trough too).

I had another thought, what about connecting the staging track to the layout through that stub track in the staging yard? I'll allow more "multi direction" trains.

I'd assume you're planning a station to the left of the "R" in Rock Ridge Canyon?

You wouldn't happen to have the xtracad file I (we) can "toy" with do ya!?
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
...So here are my concerns.

1) I have room for engine service, but not room for servicing the service facilities. I can put a stack of firewood for fuel, but I can't store or bring in a gondola full of firewood. Likewise with sand. I have to bring it in on the engine service track...
Chip, have a look at my revision below (hope it's based on the latest 'Rev' LOL). Note the extra blue track hanging off the turntable. Is there some kind of AAR regulation that prohibits using a TT as a bridge? If not, that seems like plenty of space for at least one gondola load of firewood.

rockridge06_rev1.jpg
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
Heh, its a long process isn't it! You'll get one of those restless nights now thinking of it, then have a minor revelation. THe biggest thing is still the ultra ling track to the turntable, removing and attaching it to the switchback may provide desired room for the fueling, watering & sanding facilities (the water tank can be "off site" with a trough too).

I had another thought, what about connecting the staging track to the layout through that stub track in the staging yard? I'll allow more "multi direction" trains.

I'd assume you're planning a station to the left of the "R" in Rock Ridge Canyon?

You wouldn't happen to have the xtracad file I (we) can "toy" with do ya!?
shoot me an email & I'll get it to ya:

spacemouse@vitaconnect.com
 

GrandpaCoyote

Wiley Old Dog
Chip,

I really like what you've got going here.

It's great to see that you've been able to save some of your original work and ideas and incorporate them into the new plan.

The other guys seem to have lit a fire under you as well, one of the things I love about this place is seeing stuff grow and kick off from mutual contributions. I know, I for one, could never have gotten where I am now without you guys.

As always I am impressed by your work, you seem able to toss out ideas and plans that would take me months to even begin to form in my mind.

I wish I had something more substitutive to offer you other than compliments but I'm afraid you'll just have to take compliments for now. ;)

Keep up the good work man.

Peace.

Coyote
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Just a little tweak, not much to "work with" and I really didn't want to rip it apart like I do with my own plans!
 




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