Construction Start!

After more than a year of planning and about 6 iterations of the track plan, this projects finally entered the construction phase on January 23, 2015! I went up to Georgia for a "long weekend" to mark the layout contours on the floor of my customer's new basement and start building benchwork modules.

The final plan still depicts the Great Northern Railroad between Whitefish and Havre in Montana (set in 1929) but now evolved into a "mushroom" design from "along the walls" - style. This gives much longer mainline runs than before but also creates new challenges as far as aisle widths and grades are concerned.

Here are the two levels of this final plan:

Great Northern RR lower level Great Northern RR upper level 

When I arrived at the site, the divider wall was already up for a while. And this wall was in fact the reason why I had to travel to Georgia since it was apparently built per the "eyeball" method: no consistent curves and barely a straight stretch in it. This meant that the majority of the benchwork will have to be built on-site, taken back to my workshop for track laying and wiring, and then hauled back to my customer for installation.

The following pictures show the layout room as per the 23rd and 24th January, 2015:

(Click on an image to open it as a popup)

View from room entrance to Havre and Whitefish 3D rendering of view from previous picture  Havre and Whitefish    3D rendering of view from previous picture
 Havre and Whitefish  3D rendering of view from previous picture  Along the East wall from Shelby to Glacier  Glacier with room for an 8ft siding
 Glacier with room for an 8ft siding  The location of Marias Pass along the West wall  In Columbia Falls the line splits to Whitefish and Kalispell  Location of Columbia Falls at the South wall
 Pacific Junction is located inside the mushroom  At Pacific Junction the line from Havre splits to Hingham and Shelby  Hingham - mainly grain storage and an 8ft passing siding here  Great Falls is on the inside of the mushroom featuring industries along the dividing wall on 10inch wide shelves
 View from inside the mushroom to Kalispell and Pacific Junction  Benchwork supports for Havre  Benchwork supports for Havre  Benchwork supports for Havre
 Parts for Whitefish benchwork  Parts for Whitefish benchwork    

The next step is to assemble the benchwork modules in  my workshop, lay track, wire, and the fun part: test it.

Stay tuned for more...