Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum Logo

GADSDEN-PACIFIC DIVISION
 TOY TRAIN OPERATING MUSEUM

A CHARITABLE, NON-PROFIT IRS 501(C)(3) ORGANIZATION
 DEDICATED TO THE HOBBY OF MODEL RAILROADING
 BY PROVIDING THE PUBLIC WITH
 AN INTERACTIVE MUSEUM OF OPERATING TOY TRAIN LAYOUTS AND DISPLAYS.

Toy Train Museum Tunnel


 

Toy Train Museum Tunnel

 

Home ] Information ] Train Meets ] Fundraisers ] Other Train Sites ] Sponsors ] How to find us ]

Previous Page ] Large Scale Railroad 2014 (Jan-June) ] Large Scale Railroad - 2013 ] Large Scale Railroad 2012 (July - Dec) ] Large Scale Railroad 2012 (Jan-June) ] Large Scale Railroad 2011 ]


Large Scale Railroad
Construction Progress 2014

Help Wanted

Work sessions are on Saturday mornings usually around 7:30am.
Come down and help build a railroad!

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Burt Wright (cell #) 444-0661

The Golden Spike Ceremony was December 1st 2012

[Large Scale Railroad info...] 

Large Scale Railroad 2014 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad - 2013
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (July - Dec)
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad 2011


Planned for Saturday (Sept 20, 2014):

There will be a normally scheduled work session this Saturday morning beginning at 7:30 AM. Jesse will be there to open up as Burt & Glenn will be out of town for the weekend again. Although the high temperature should only reach the low 90’s, there will be some humidity. Planned for the day are a few projects which can get tackled including:

  1. We need to create a safety chain adaptation for the new engine. The logical location might be the coupler pin. This will probably necessitate some careful engineering but it is something we need to think about soon.

  2. There are a few weeds that could get pulled before they turn into bigger problems. These have sprouted here and there defying the herbicide and pre-emergence treatments.

  3. The Billboard needs to get planted as we have the sign ready to install.

  4. There is a scheduled Birthday Party set to begin at 10 AM. There will be about 15 children as well as the same amount of adults. Giving this group rides on the RR would probably be appreciated by the Birthday celebrants.


At the last work session, we began the session by running the new Alco S4 engine with a string of gondolas to test not only the engine but also the track.

We found no problem whatsoever with the engine, but we did find a track issue that required our attention. Just outside the caboose enclosure, we encountered a misaligned track joint coupled with some inconsistent track gauging.

We spent some time working on that curved section of track getting the problem corrected and we then continued doing some additional laps with the engine before retiring for the day due to the heat/humidity.


The following day, Burt brought his grandkids down to the Museum to give them some rides on the train. What he found was that with the cars lightly loaded with little kids, he experienced a few derailments in the same section of curved track only closer to the south driveway. Close inspection revealed a dip in the track.

Consequently, the following Saturday just before the Open House last weekend, Burt, Bob, Glenn & Jesse did some additional track leveling and track joint gap resetting work on the curve correcting that problem.

We also fixed a significant hump on one rail of the passing siding behind the building which had caused an engine derailment when putting the engine away. That effort required considerably more effort as a lot of ballast had to be removed and reset. This hump was not noticed during the previous re-gauging work in the same area.


The lock box placement has been decided and it will get installed inside the yard between the 40’ container and the meeting room. The front gate key also opens the gate to this yard. The intent is to keep the keys to Big Joe and to the gates of the Caboose enclosure within the lock box. Yes, there will be a lock on the lock box with a resettable combination lock installed. The combination will be provided to those who need it.

While track work was being completed, Michael Hegny tried to program the engine’s sound system but didn’t have much luck configuring the buttons on the control box. Michael will coordinate his efforts with Bill Kaval when Bill returns from his current tour of duty.

The track seems ready for public operations now, but we should still be diligent by running as much as we can prior to beginning the public runs. Last Sunday was the 1st Open House and the committee concluded that it was too hot to run and it was too hot. The Open House was really packed with people, especially kids. They didn’t seen too disappointed that we weren’t running, but when we do start, there’s going to be a lot of demand. Load balancing in the cars is going to be critical.


Everyone needs to face forward and be given clear instructions about facing forward and keeping hands inside the train. This is critical to being safe and keeping us out of trouble. We’ll have a review of this prior to our first run date.

Have a great weekend – hope to see as many of you as possible at the Museum on Saturday (7:30 AM). Birthday Party at 10:00 AM. If you operate the train and give rides, don’t forget the safety chains between the cars even if we can’t chain to the engine yet.


Saturday (Sept 13, 2014):   (No "official" work session Saturday)

This Saturday will not be an Official work session at the Museum. Sunday will be an Open House. The likelihood is that we won’t be doing public runs at the Museum as the current weather prediction for Sunday is high temperature of 97 degrees and the humidity will also be up there. Although disappointing as we all have been anticipating running the new engine, it will give us a little more time to get some track issues corrected.

During the work session last Saturday, we took care of a fairly major track problem that was present just as you exit the caboose enclosure. It involve set setting the curvature at a track joint to eliminate somewhat of a “kink” that was causing sporadic derailment. This was corrected and it seems to be working fine, but downstream from that point there is a condition where potential settlement has created a slight vertical curve on the horizontal curve. These two conditions (horizontal curve is intended) together with a lightly loaded car has caused some other derailments. So, this Saturday, if you want to attend, were going to tackle the removal of the vertical curves in that location in preparation for our next public run dates – hopefully 2 weeks from that point. Of course, we can also do so additional running during the morning as well to test out our corrections.

So, if you come, we’ll see you there on Saturday morning, beginning about 7:00-7:30. If you have something you’d rather do or need to do, go for it and hopefully we’ll see you Sunday afternoon during the Open House.


Saturday (Sept 6, 2014):

This Saturday will be a scheduled work session with lots of potential projects lined up to do. Obviously, these won’t all get done, but we may make some headway on some of them. Our Chairman, Jesse, has put together the following list for consideration:

  • Complete siding track work along back.

  • Mount the Lock Box.

  • Locate/plan crossing signal pole plus consideration of the signal system, including station bypass and possible automatic switch control.

  • Locate/install scale billboard(s).

  • Finalize/design Alco S4's #3975 paint scheme and plans for finishing/paint.

  • Plan the Relocation of the standard gauge track/golden spike section/exhibit.

  • Design/build diamond x-ings (two required).

  • Design/build Station structure.

  • Locate and install track mile markers built by Dale Cover.

The following are lower priority:

  • Locate, finish, install, water tank.

  • Design/plan for many scale structures and or flats along back wall or along the backside of the 20’ container. They should be self-supporting along the back of the building.

  • Design possible siding tracks/destinations for equipment operations/staging.

  • Landscaping plans (trees & plants, 1:8 scale features like hills, mines, etc.)

  • Turntable consideration?


The last work session was one of our more tedious work sessions as we did some track re-gauging at the back of the building as well as doing the saw cutting across the front drive to facilitate the installation of wiring for the future signal system. Although canopies were set up for both tasks, it was still hot and slow going. In addition, the square tube rails were permanently fastened to the floor in the 20’ container. Raymond McDaniel welded up the lock box in preparation for its installation. We just need to decide where its permanent location should be. One suggestion was to install it at the end of one of the steam bays. Another suggestion was to mount it to Big Joe. Another was to mount it to the 20’ container although door swing could be impacted depending upon where it was placed.

The saw cutting goes slowly, about 1 foot a minute. The old saw finally gave up the ghost making these cuts after making all of the pavement cuts from the beginning.

Although the saw cutting went slowly, the digging out the 3” wide slice of asphalt didn’t exactly go quickly either. It was pick work for the most part.

We had to dig down about 6” to get enough space above the 1” conduit for a minimum cover of concrete.

With the conduit glued into a continuous piece (34’ long), we prepared forms for each end and then started mixing the concrete. As usual, we came up about two cupful of concrete short and Brian Scott made an emergency run to home depot for another bag or two. Thank you Brian for that help.
Glenn Ellis took charge of the placement of concrete and the finishing tasks with help from his kneepads.
Now with the work completed, there was time for a lap around the circuit only to find another track gauge issue near the station bypass north of the building. There will be no end to track maintenance although we are blessed with good drainage systems thus we have not experienced damage from the monsoons such as our brothers to the north.

We look forward to seeing everyone this Saturday morning.

Don’t forget the General Membership Meeting this Friday @ 7:00. As usual, dinner will be offered beginning at 5:30 for the requisite $5 donation. Jerry Dzara will be providing the program which is always interesting and unusual. We’re also hoping to see Raymond McDaniel up and around on Friday as he’s recovering from the fall he took 2 weeks ago.


Saturday (August 23, 2014):

This Saturday, there will be a work session beginning at 7:00 AM as usual. With a very productive local monsoon this week, we need to give our track system a pretty good going over to make sure that our drainage features are working as intended. Having said that, I received an email today from our friends up north (Maricopa Live Steamers) indicating that the County had closed their park due to flooding from heavy monsoon rains. This isn’t good news for them as they have a lot of track on the ground at their facility that is vulnerable to being damaged from flooding. We hope that they won’t have extensive damage. We are so blessed to have our track installed outside of a flood plain.

This Saturday, we have at least one section of track requiring attention due to gauge issues. That needs to be corrected before we begin running/testing our new engine. We also need to enlarge the drilled holes in the top of the rails installed during our last work session so that a socket wrench can be used to install the lag screws replacing the temporary phillips screws that were temporarily installed. It is probable that Raymond McDaniel will have the lock box he’s offered to donate to the Museum ready to be mounted so that can also be done. Another saw cut across the main entrance drive needs to be made to allow for a wire installation to facilitate the future installation of the crossing signal. And of course, we have some engine testing to do as well. During breaks, we need to continue having discussion about painting vs. powder coating the new engine as we’re almost ready to move on that project.

Due to a flurry of activity on the Alco S4 that occurred last Friday afternoon and then again on last Saturday morning, our engine is now operational and ready for track testing (de-bugging). The first picture below (top left), is a mock-up of a grade crossing that Bill Kaval put together to demonstrate electronics that he developed that will automatically cause our crossing signal to activate when a train approaches the grade crossing at the entrance to the Museum. Although the demonstration was on HO track, it will work on the 7-1/2” gauge layout as well. You have to see this demonstrated as it is really neat.

The speaker boxes that were ordered were exactly the right size to fit onto the frame of the engine as well as accommodate the 6-1/2” speakers. They were installed with Velcro belts, front & rear, under the cab of the engine facing downward. The amplifier was attached to the top of the front speaker and wired into place.
   
Even though this was not an announced work session, several people were at the Museum anyway. When Bill fired up the sound system for the first time, it attracted a ton of attention. With the hour meter logging in the first 2/10ths of an hour (sound system testing), and the wiring completed, we replaced the cab onto the chassis and then took it outside for a spin around the layout.

The engine worked flawlessly – I wish I could have said the same thing of the track. We found a gauge problem at the beginning of the curve section behind the steaming bays. This has probably always been there but wasn’t causing an issue with the normal counterclockwise rotation which we normally run. The testing however was done in a clockwise rotation and we came off the track just south of the first turnout. It gives us something to do next Saturday.

Bill Kaval spent several hours on Friday & Saturday finishing up the wiring installation on the S4 and the results were outstanding. Bill did this a day before he had to leave his wife & family for 8 weeks, traveling to the SE part of the country for military related training. This effort goes so far over the call of duty that words cannot express how much we appreciate his efforts. We wish we had an opportunity to repay Bill for what he has done for us, but it will have to wait for now. On behalf of all of us, thank you Bill for everything.

During the last work session, two Saturdays ago, we installed the bottom rails into the container.

This went relatively fast although the screws used to secure the rails are only temporary as we didn’t have a drill bit large enough to drill the top holes allowing us to use a socket on the lag screws we need to use. This also gives us something to do next Saturday as the correct size drill bit will be brought to the Museum and we can finish that task.

Raymond McDaniel has found the lock box that he mentioned he had last week. It’s large enough to hold more than just keys. It’s built really heavy duty and will work well for our purposes. We’ll need to mount it and get a lock for it. That’s another task for an upcoming work session.

For those who come this Saturday, please look at the work that the OH G-Gauge group including the Lightning Bros. Have done on the overhead G-Gauge Layout. Bill Nunn has got track installed and the long loop (outside loop) is operational. They will be ready for Open Houses which start in only 3 weeks!

Hope to see you all this Saturday.


Saturday (August 9, 2014):

There will be a work session this Saturday beginning at 7:00 AM. Tasks to tend to include:

  • Installing tube steel rails in the bottom of the 20’ container as originally planned.

  • Track leveling in the back where the hump in the first siding was removed during the last work session.

  • Important discussion related to use of the storage racks in the container and the new key policy approved by the BOD.

The last work session proved to be very productive as a couple of long delayed projects were completed.

   
First on the list was to remove a fairly significant “hump” from the 1st siding on the back side of the building. With the building providing the shade, all that was needed was to pull out the ballast along about 15’ of track, replace a couple of bad ties, re-gauge the rails, tighten some screws and then re-ballast the section of track once we established level grade and do some tamping. All that is left is some minor L/R leveling. About 9:30, with the shade beginning to disappear, the heat chased us to the next project which was nearly completed as well.
   
The 40’ container where all the tools & materials was stored had become a rats nest not to mention a trip hazard from one end to the other. It was a project that involved having to unload the container and start over. By the time Jesse & Burt had completed the track work, the rest of the crew were almost done with the container. Wow, what a difference that made.

Burt hauled off a trunk load of junk to his dumpster and we got our container back. Hallelujah!

   
As a final treat, Ron McLaughlin brought down his latest acquisitions including a homemade wooden caboose which was detailed with more gingerbread than one could imagine. It had everything including the kitchen sink (in miniature of course). You could spend an hour looking at all the little details that were installed in this caboose. Nice pieces Ron!

 

Hope to see you this Saturday.


Saturday (July 26, 2014):

Yep, it’ll be hot and humid. It’s that time of year. I might even rain if we’re lucky. But a work session is scheduled nonetheless for this Saturday morning beginning at 7:00 AM. There is some discussion that Ron McLaughlin may have his newly acquired caboose & engineer car at the Museum for all to admire. There are a couple of projects that need to be done although they won’t particularly be a lot of fun. One is cleaning out our end of the 40’ container. It’s getting flat dangerous to walk into it. There is probably some stuff that can get tossed, but re-organizing would really help out as well. The 2nd task involves leveling the siding track on the drainage way side of the building. This was never done when it was installed a year ago and is way past due. Getting both done during this work session may not be possible but it would be nice to get the container cleaned out & organized if possible.

Two weekends ago, the group met to get started on completing the leveling of the station bypass track plus remove the short section of curved track that was left in place across the boardwalk when we relocated the turnout. Because it’s summer and the sun takes its toll on us in a hurry, we broke out the canopies. In order to remove the section of track, we had to remove the boards that had been so beautifully installed. It was somewhat heart breaking to do that, but progress dictated that they be removed.



 
Once all the boards were pulled, the entire section was pulled up and the support structure for the boards could be disconnected from the track ties. We completed the leveling process around the corner of the building to the sidewalk crossing and then redid the ballasting.
 

While the track work was being completed, our resident tree trimming crew managed to fill up Burt’s truck again with branches contained the sharpest thorns this side of the Pecos. There was some bloodletting.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Museum at 7:00 AM or so.


Saturday (July 12, 2014):

We will meet this Saturday beginning at 7:00 AM at the Museum to continue working on projects that have been put off for a while such as track leveling and gauge checking the Station Bypass Track to make it usable. This will necessitate the setup of all the canopies to provide us with much needed shade. This may be predicated on how the weather looks as rains are again predicted. With the recent welcome arrival of the Monsoons, we want to check the entire layout to review the drainage systems to make sure all is well. We also want to get ol’ gas engine #5 out and evaluate exactly what needs to be done to make it usable and reliable. Depending on the availability of Bill Kaval, we might continue with the wiring project for the S4 switcher. Chairman Jessie wants to discuss the schedule of work sessions for the remainder of the summer. Should we continue on the bi-weekly (2/month) approach or consider weekly? Jessie also want to discuss/begin to plan an engine dedication ceremony for the completed #3975 (Alco S4).

Last work session, we again tackled the ever returning hump problem occurring over the curbing location next to the 20’ container. This has been corrected on numerous occasions but keeps returning. We employed a little different strategy this time, taking a suggestion from Roger Phillips. We removed all of the ballast going both directions from the curb. We added based material in a few locations to provide a stable setting for the ties. Ties were repositioned with a few added and a few replaced. The difference this time was that we drove stakes into the ground on both sides of the curb and then screwed and adjacent tie to the stake to prevent upward movement. It was our evaluation that the heave was not caused by rail expansion as joint gaps located adjacent to the curb were not closed when the rail section raised.

With the work completed, we re-ballasted the section. A small amount of leveling is still needed on the section to be complete. The shade canopies were a great investment and made this work tolerable.
 
Bill Kaval was available and wired in the motors to the motor controller on the S4. In addition, battery hold downs were fabricated by Glenn Ellis and installed with drillings in the bottom of the chassis for the hold down bolts.

Chairman Jessie has added a proposal for the paint scheme for the S4. Please review and be prepared to comment.

Hope to see you this Saturday @ 7:00 AM

These guys are good – a lot got done and it was done well and safely. We then retired to our usual watering hole for lunch & a well-deserved break. It was a great day at the train museum.



Large Scale Railroad 2014 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad - 2013
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (July - Dec)
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad 2011

[Back to Top of Page]



 

[Page Published September 18, 2014 ]

Info@gpdToyTrainMuseum.com

www.gpdToyTrainMuseum.com
Site hosted by www.PullenInc.com

MUSEUM ADDRESS: 3975 N. MILLER AVE., TUCSON, AZ 85705-2275
MAIL ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 85425, TUCSON, AZ  85754-5425

PHONE: 520-888-2222
(MOST OF THE TIME YOU WILL REACH THE ANSWERING MACHINE)