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Modeling 'The Gilpin Tram' - pt.I
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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 11:02 pm
   
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vamodeler
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Kieth,

Thanks, I'm amazed what you can get into 16 inch width. Also amazed to hear you already have something up! I am confused though about the pictures at the start of this thread. I don't see the engine house area or the switchback scene at the Gunnel and whiting mines. Were those pictures from an even earlier layout?

Thanks,

Brian

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 Posted: Thu Feb 7th, 2013 11:57 pm
   
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elminero67
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I agree with Brian, you did a great job giving the feel of the Colorado lanscape on a narrow shelf.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2013 02:24 am
   
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Keith Pashina
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Duane and Brian:

Thank you for the nice comments.  Actually, the photos I have posted have come from a variety of layouts over the years.  I tend to build scenes in sections and have frequently reused those into new sections of layouts.  For example, one depot on the current layout was built about 1980 and keeps getting reused.

The Whiting, Grand Army, and Grand Central Mines shown in some of the earlier photos still exist, but I gave them away to a friend about 10 years ago.  WIth limited space, and lots of prototype mines I admire, it is easy to keep thinking of new mines that I want to build.  In fact, I have one mine from the Gilpin that I probably will get rid of to make room for another one I have been eying.

So, the Gilpin Tram layouts have been in 3 different homes (counting the move I made last week).  Here is what the previous layouts looked like.


This double deck layout was previously published in Gazette.  It ran well, and the best part was the steep climb between levels.  I ran it with a Soundtraxx sound unit (this was pre-DCC), and the sound added a lot of interest.  But, I wanted to switch to DCC, and the double deck feature was getting tiresome, and my son wanted to use the space for his hobby, so...


I built the modular layout seen above (and drawn by Joe Crea).  You'll recognize several elements - they are part of my current layout.  This DCC layout ran well, and I had a lot of (solo) card system operating sessions on it.  In 2005, we moved to a new home, and the modular sections followed, but I also built a new, enlarged Black Hawk section.  It looked like this:


You'll notice the reused mining scene on the left.  This section had several design flaws that became evident when I started operating it (yard layout, track too far back from the front edge, etc.), so it was eventually replaced.  I tried an experiment to double deck the layout, reminiscent of what I had done a few years before, and it started out like this:


There's those reused mining sections up on the top level once again.  I started rebuidling Black Hawk, but realized I did not like the double deck feature - each level was either too low or too high.  So, I discarded the unfinished lower section, lowered the upper section, and was happy.

Then, we decided to sell and move, so now I have a new place, with many sections to be reused, and lots of scheming and dreaming going on right now...

Keith

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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2013 01:44 pm
   
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elminero67
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Is the new place bigger?



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 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2013 02:03 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Duane:

The new place is different. My last space was 135 SF, and was windowless. The new space is 110 SF, but has a large window (which I don't want to block), and 2 doors (neither of which will be blocked). So, the new layout will be more compact, which I don't see as a problem in HOn30.

Keith

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 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2013 12:24 pm
   
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vamodeler
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Keith,

Ah ha! So your layout was in the NG&SLG! I though something about it seemed familiar.

Thanks for posting the plans, the picture now makes so much more sense.

Curious, why did the double decker become a pain? Anything other than difficulty getting each height just right? I ask these questions as I am always planning the next layout in my head. Also, I really like the linear single deck plan. Looks like a lot of operation. I've always thought that a model of the gilpin would have lots of operational possibilities. Any comment both positive and negative about the plan drawn by Joe? I don't see any operational drawbacks, yet you must not have liked something since the next layout was different?

Didn't Joe start a Sn2 layout? I think there used to be a web page about it. Must have been six or more years ago. Think he sold it before completion.
Also a nice design.

Interesting,

Briam

Last edited on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 12:35 pm by vamodeler

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 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2013 02:29 pm
   
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Herb Kephart
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Briam

I had a two level layout once also--never again!

I model in 1/48 (O scale) and the required distance between levels made it impossible to have the lower level at a height that made it possible to work on without  your back hurting, while the upper level (more or less eye level) required working on a stool or small ladder.

Plus it was an extreme PITA having to wear my motorcycle crash helmet while working on the lower level, after I got tired of bashing my noggin standing up too quickly when working down there.

Herb



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 Posted: Sun Feb 10th, 2013 04:56 pm
   
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Keith Pashina
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Brian:

The double deck layout didn't work for me mainly because of personal preference. I found I preferred a single height, which is slightly below eye level when standing, and eye level when sitting on a tall stool.

The double deck layout did not get all that far when I realized: 1) when operating the lower level, I intended to sit on a wheeled office chair, but since the room was carpeted, that didn't work so well to follow the trains around, 2) I built some turnouts too far back on the lower level, making it cumbersome to reach back, below the upper deck, 3) I realized I was content with a relatively small amount of track - it gave me the operations potential I was seeking.

The Sn2 layout you were referring to was originally built by Darel Leedy of Arvada, CO (who at one time lived next door to Joe). Darel eventually sold it to someone else in the Denver area (I don't know its fate). The layout was well engineered and ran really well. He used Grandt Line small On2 Gilpin cars, and they looked great in Sn2, also.

Keith

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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2013 02:08 pm
   
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Dan Graham
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Hi Keith, Thanks for all the great stuff. I know you are not "out there" for all of our convience, but I wonder what thoughts you have on why the Gilpin never saw a need for some box cars. Surely someone should have seen the potential for delivery to Nevadville and and Russell Gulch. With the population they could have delivered food and supplies. Also they thought of the excursion cars, so why not a couple of passenger cars to get the miners to and from the hundreds of mines. They could have tacked them on to a regular mine run train. With bad weather during Winter and Spring the roads must have been muddy and almost impassable. Too bad I couldn't talk to Fred Kruse about this!! Dan.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 17th, 2013 02:30 pm
   
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W C Greene
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Howdy Dan, welcome to Freerails. I have been inspired by Keith's work for years and finally have gotten to know him via the "net"...what a great guy he is! I am sure that Keith knows about "Gilpin box cars" and will inform us when he can. In the first issue of Light Iron Digest (now defunct), MoeN3 Meichling had plans for a Gilpin box car which showed the interior structure and had dimensions of lumber, etc., even though it was "imaginary". I usually get in trouble with copyright laws and post info like these plans, but knowing the editor of LID, I feel that a jail stint is not for me!

Woodie



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