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D&RG to El Paso (Texas) or Guymas (Mexico)
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 Posted: Sat Jun 30th, 2012 06:31 pm
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elminero67
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Early promoters of Guaymas claimed that Guaymas would soon compete with San Francisco as the premier port on the west coast. The promoters may have used typical Victorian exaggerations, but 100 years later the future of Guaymas is bright; the port is busy and the economy is booming, complete with Home Depot, McDonalds and all of those wonderful things capitalism has brought us...here is some switching action in Emaplme when I was down there last year:



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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2012 04:42 am
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titus
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Thanks for the additional pictures. The scenery in Empalme was fairly close to what I was envisioning. The two things that I noticed that were different was the construction of the building (I can't quite tell if that's metal siding or boards) and the fact that you can't see the ties because they're completely covered over with dirt.

I spent some time yesterday "exploring" Guaymas with google maps to get a sense of what my backdrop might look like, what color the dirt was, etc. I was surprised to see a number of california palms, though I'm assuming those came later and aren't indigenous.

As far as my layout, I finished a lot of small tasks which "feels" like it added up to a lot of progress: Under the table turnout throws, fascia knobs, lots of misc wiring and electrical work, finally mounted the DCC plate, etc. I posted a longer blog post with details about all of the boring parts of building a railroad if you're interested in the nitty gritty. http://somerailroad.blogspot.com/2012/06/lots-of-infrastructure.html

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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2012 08:27 am
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Bill Fornshell
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I like the story behind your layout plan and the terrain.

I checked out your blog and then had to trace it back to see what you were using to hold the layout sections. Nice idea using the keyboard stands. How is that working? How tall will they adjust to?

They look like something I would like to try.

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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2012 01:25 pm
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titus
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Yes, those are scissor keyboard stands under the layout which I bought from amazon for $25 each. It kind of sounds like a lot when you say, "It will cost $50 to hold this layout up", but honestly after I buy all the wood, glue, and hardware to build them myself I feel like the cost is fairly close.

They have a total of 5 height positions you can set them at. Right now I have them set to the 2nd tallest position which is around 3.5 ft. tall. I haven't taken them all the way up to the highest but I'm guessing that'd be around 4 ft. I should note that the taller they are configured the closer their feet get together and the less stable they become.

One thing I didn't expect about them is that I ordered the first one to see what it was all about. Overall I was pretty impressed. It was cost efficient, made from lightweight aluminum, easy to open and close, and collapsed into a compact form. I bought the 2nd one a few months later and used Amazon to re-order the exact same model. Well apparently the company changed the product slightly during that time. The new one has an extra height position, and instead of making all the positions match they rounded out the difference. This makes it so that only two of the settings on each unit actually match up height-wise. I guess the rule of thumb here is buy what you need at the same time so that doesn't happen to you!

As for what I think of them -- Overall they're pretty good and probably better than what I would have built. They are stable left to right but a little tippy front to back as they're sitting on carpet. Obviously they'd be more stable on a solid surface.

Where the layout is standing right now there will eventually be two bookshelfs purchased and set there. At that point the layouts will live on top of the bookshelves and I'll keep the stands in the closet for when I want to take the layout places to display it. When that happens, I think there will need to be a little extra work done on a way to give things some more stability. I was thinking of using Velcro straps or zip ties to secure the sections to the legs. Something to that effect would need to be done to make sure that a viewer doesn't accidentally bump a section off it's stand.

Overall if I was to build another portable layout I think I'd use these again but would somehow incorporate into the benchwork some kind of design where the stands actually fit into or snapped into the benchwork somehow. At that point I think it'd be a hard option to beat.

Also, I should mention I got the idea to use the keyboard stands from Woody. If you've seen woody's outdoor layout he's using some kind of tripod to hold up each section. It make me start looking around for something lighter and easier than wood to work as layout legs.

Last edited on Sun Jul 1st, 2012 01:27 pm by titus

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 Posted: Sun Jul 1st, 2012 02:22 pm
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W C Greene
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Good move on the stands, looks like they will do the job. And yes, when you buy one thing and need two, or three, etc., then buy them all at once! I bought several tripods at once, went back a couple of months later and had to "settle" for different tripods since (I guess) somebody bought all the others a couple of months back!
You should have no problems, especially inside. Some have questioned my using tripods but after several years of snow, hail, rain, 60 MPH winds, all the other stuff...the layout still stands.
Your layout looks great, you will have a ball operating it.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Jul 5th, 2012 03:38 am
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titus
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Built and painted the backdrop today. It's removable. The hole on the left is for the train to pass through to the staging cassette. I'll cover it up with scenery or structures.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 5th, 2012 11:17 pm
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Si.
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Hi Titus

Just dropped in for the latest.

Your backdrop looks great.
Seems to have an exellent gradation from top to bottom.

The curved benchwork edge is a real plus as well.
All very inspiring indeed !

Yeah...Iain Rice is pretty clued on track-plans.
I've pinched a few of his from the Net...
...and bunged them in my 'cooking pot' !
( could be a very slow simmer though )

I have to say that I always felt that without a run-around loop; you ain't got a track plan.
I mean OK...'Inglenooks' are interesting as well.
( love yours Broadoak ! )

But Woodie has blown away all my track-plan pre-conceptions totaly, with his 'pole switching' Texas style !

Had always known about the 'flying switch'.
But somehow never came across pole switching, till now.

Think I saw it some years ago, as it happens, in some Westside Lumber Company stuff; but never put 2 & 2 together to make 5, and realised you just need a single switch spur, if you have a pole.

Anyway...
...marvelous progress Titus.
Keep it coming !!!

Cheers

Si.

P.S. Elminero, thanks for the pics.
especialy the sepia Mexico, 1 page back; great stuff.
I guess all the cactus, got turned into Tequilla !!!



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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2012 12:49 am
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SPV
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Titus,

I have to say, more often than not in my opinion, layouts designed to make something unusual work (such as D&RGW narrow gauge in a waterfront scene) are too much of a stretch. But yours is a brilliant exception! And the workmanship looks superb! Really looking forward to watching this layout come together. Will the rest of the basement layout follow the same theme?

-Chris

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 Posted: Tue Jul 17th, 2012 12:52 pm
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titus
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Chris --

Will the rest of the basement follow the same theme? Probably not, though who knows. I had previously started on a basement layout about a year ago (thread here: http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=3752&forum_id=51&page=1) but realized after the fact that I had clearly bitten off too much. I've decided instead to spend the next year building small modules; one to three section layouts where I can try out ideas and techniques, perhaps even change scales, themes, or locales, all within the scope of small and relatively inexpensive projects.

The one you see here is my first go at this, and so far I've been happy with it's progress. I think with today's media about model railroading it's easy to flip through a magazine and think that a huge basement layout is what everyone should go for. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get there some day, but I've realized it's something I need to build up to rather than jumping in to. There's still a lot for me to learn and with each project hopefully I'll understand more about my own railroad tastes -- for example, I'm starting to see a "waterfront" theme developing in almost everything I do, which probably means that should be a big component of my basement layout whenever I get there. Discovering those things is part of the fun I suppose.

Also this actual shelf layout, the D&RGW in Guyamas, was actually designed to live in my loft, where my wife and I's desk/computers are. It's long and slender to run along the wall and hopefully will provide some fun switching operation inside the house.

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