Indian Valley RR
In March 2015, my friend and partner Steve Blackson from Windypoint Publishing in Austin, TX asked me if I would like to help him building a G-scale layout in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After looking at the track plan I said "Sure, why not? Should be a nice change from N-scale building" :-)
So, on April 20, 2015 we had a first glance at the customer's site. Looked very promising.... However, the weather did not really cooperate: it was raining cats and dogs the day before we arrived and so the site was soaking wet. To make things worse, the ground is solid red clay.
Following is a construction report in pictures. To view an image in full size, please click on it and it will open in a lightbox. To close the lightbox, simply click into the dark shaded area.
All in all, it was a very productive day. It really helps saving time when the customer has the plat ready to accept track :-).
Not a bad day at all, although Steve had the idea of burying the wires for switch control in pipes ------ after the track was laid and ballasted :-(. So we had to invest some extra time, dig up the ballast, run the wires, bury them, and re-ballast. Not to self: Make sure this doesn't happen in May when we tackle the other half of the layout!
This concludes our first 10-day stint here in North Carolina. We now leave for a well earned break and will return on May 7.
While I am busy adding more ballast to the left side of the layout and started trenching the right side, Steve occupied himself with building the first trestle for the waterfall. There won't be glue or nails in the trestles, just nuts, bolts, and washers!
|The customer wanted an asphalt road. This is the first try of about 4. Just doesn't look right...|
After passing the dry wash from the left side of the layout, the main splits into a loop and a branch line up to the coal mine. The plan had a calculated grade of 4% which we managed to bring down to about 2.8%. That is still pretty steep for G-scale but manageable for the engines intended for the branch: a railbus and the 2-6-6-2 "Uintah" by LGB.
Another 3 busy days lie behind us and so it is time for new update:
Unfortunately the weather didn't quite cooperate and so we lost 2 days due to heavy rain. Another day was lost due to the fact that the landscaping company hired to do some heavy lifting let us down. In consequence this meant we couldn't finish the layout as per our deadline and had to schedule a third stint of 7 days beginning today.
When we arrived, we were really surprised to find the layout overgrown by grass and wild onions!
The next day, after some manicure, the layout looked a bit better:
After testing the waterfall for several hours we found a small leak. Panic struck! Luckily, I was able to detect the leak in about 2 hours and so we decided to give the waterfall a complete makeover. 2 dispenser boxes were added to the top in order to achieve a better water flow and the sides of the liner and the dispenser boxes were mortared in place to keep the water from flowing underneath the liner. This added another 6 hours of heavy leifting but it was well worth it!
Our last day is finally here! The main tasks today were mainly cleaning up the work site, some detail work (aka TLC) and test runs. I'll conclude this construction report with a short video clip of the test run.
The owner holds an open house on August 8, 2015 and I will be up in Winston-Salem for it. If you are interested to attend, please drop me an email and I'll send you the address. And yes, the owner is fine with that :-)