Large Scale Railroad
Construction Progress 2013
Work sessions are on Saturday mornings usually around
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
Scale Railroad info...]
Large Scale Railroad - 2013
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (July - Dec)
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad 2011
Planned for Saturday (March 1, 2014):
There is a work session scheduled for this Saturday beginning at 8:00
AM at the Museum, however there is also a predicted 90% chance of rain.
That high of a chance usually means that we’ll get rained on and thus
outside activities will be curtailed. If it isn’t raining, there is
plenty to do including continuing to install the mainline loop at the
north end. There are only 1-1/2 sections of track left to set, but it
appears unlikely that we’ll be able to do it. I have obtained the
requested 18 additional blocks to finish the retaining wall around the
tree at the north end, so that project can be completed.
If you wake up Saturday AM and you find that we’re socked in for a
rainout, you might want to stay at home – your choice. The Museum will
be opened however, if you want to come down and join those brave souls
who may not know enough to come out of the rain or are just celebrating
the fact that we’re finally getting some. If nothing else, we can admire
our fine drainage work at work (hopefully).
|Last weekend, we had another great day of weather as we
all enjoyed working on various tasks at hand. Glenn Ellis, Bob
Swanson took on the task of excavating for the retaining wall around
the tree including placement of the block. Unfortunately, they came
up more than “1 brick short” (for the record) and weren’t able to
complete the task. But finishing will take only a few minutes once
the additional blocks are obtained.
|Everyone took some time to admire the fine work done by Jacob &
Jim Payne welding up the storage racks in the container. Although we
aren’t yet completed installing the lower level tracks, the top two
levels are now usable. Big Joe will need to have some modifications
done to the vertical channels to permit the full extension of the
lift to access the top levels. This shouldn’t be too difficult once
we get a 220 outlet wired in on the outside of the building.
|Brian Scott was found doing some more tweaking on the 060 but
more work remains to get it working properly. Hugh Madsen put
another coat of bright paint on the beam car. It is now ready to
have the padded seat cushion installed. While these projects were
going on, the track gang including Don VanManen, Dave Petersen,
Roger Phillips & Burt Wright put in another two sections of track,
including placement of ballast on one section.
As with previous sections, we had to get everything properly leveled
before setting the track. Then, the track joints needed to be tweaked a
bit to eliminate any signs of kinks. This two person effort with pipe
wrenches is very effective to do this task. Using track gauges, we again
re-gauged the straight track to be a curved section. The crew felt
pretty good about getting two sections down in one work session.
||Jesse has created a couple more color suggestions “food for
thought & comment” as we are getting closer (hopefully) to that day
when we need to make a decision about getting the new engine
painted. Give Jesse your suggestions – he’ll be glad to work up a
picture or two.
Hope to see you Saturday –
also hope it rains a lot cuz we really need it.
Saturday (February 22, 2014):
This Saturday, we will continue construction of the main line
bypass at the north end of the property. We can also begin placement of
the retaining wall block to create a tree well for the large tree to the
north of the main line bypass. The block was obtained last week and is
stacked at the north end of the building. Before we begin the tasks of
the day, Jesse has requested that we discuss an important scheduling
change to our work sessions. This is to “cut back” on the number of
sessions by perhaps scheduling one Saturday per month as a “family day
off”. With the public rides beginning, albeit somewhat irregular, and
commitments of time increasing during the Open Houses, reducing the work
sessions per month is probably a good idea to consider. Please give this
some thought and bring your comments to the work session this Saturday.
Last Saturday, a huge amount of work was completed. The group
split up into subgroups so to speak with one group heading to the north
end of the building to begin the process of installing track on the
finished grade prepared the preceding week and the others staying back
to assist with the installation of the storage racks into the 20’
container. Jacob Payne and his father, Jim, came with the pre-fabricated
rack uprights ready to install this long awaited and extremely important
improvements. With the understanding that the installation would
probably take longer than the planned work session, we changed our
routine to include lunch being prepared at the Museum. The first order
of business was to unload the container completely.
Then the work began. With the materials and labor being donated by
Jacob, we marveled at the strength and quality of this installation.
||The notion that we would have to store engines only on the lower
levels was quickly dismissed as the racks are simply rock solid and
didn’t complain a bit when loads were placed on the middle levels.
We didn’t try lifting to the upper level yet.
While the rack installation proceeded, the track crew moved to the
north. We replaced a small drain pipe with a larger one that was found
under the 20’ container. We then set the first section of track onto the
finished grade north of the newly placed turnout. We found that we had a
“hump” in the finished grade that needed to be scraped off before we
could proceed. The hump was removed and with the 12’ straight edge, we
re-leveled the grade and set the track. Because the track was originally
built to be a straight section, we had to re-gauge the rails as it is
now being installed as a curved section.
||With the racks being built, Brian Scott had obtained a new governor
spring for the 060 and he began installing that. Hugh Madsen and Bob
Rubino began putting a first coat of color to the straddle beam car.
|The Museum was humming with activity.
Work proceeded painstakingly slow up front, as we carefully made the
transition from straight to curved including tweaking the rails at the
joints to make sure there was no sign of any kinks.
Ultimately, by noon, we had finished with two sections including the
ballasting. Brian was able to get the 060 running and was test driving
it as we finished the ballasting. Glenn Ellis began cooking up
hamburgers on the grill that he donated to the Museum and we all retired
to the meeting room for lunch. After lunch, we began the task of cleanup
and put away and by 2:00 or so, we called it a day with a couple of
members staying at the Museum to help Jacob and his dad with the
completion of the racks. The racks were completed shortly after 5:00 PM
and we replaced everything into the container and decided to retire. WOW
– what a work session. It will be hard to beat that one in terms of work
completed. My body tells me that we shouldn’t try. Thanks to all who
helped out. This was really a milestone day for the RR.
Saturday (February15, 2014):
This Saturday @ 8:00 AM (if it isn’t too hot??), we’ll again
meet at the Museum to work on two separate significant projects. The
train storage rack uprights are ready to install inside the 20’
container. This is coming not a moment too soon. Jacob Payne will be
delivering the pre-fabricated uprights and will begin installing them
into the container. Our job is to completely empty the container and
provide assistance as needed to Jacob as the welding process of the
horizontal members to the uprights will begin.
Due to the fact that preparing for this project will involve a lot of
front end work, we’d like to be able to complete the entire task in one
work session if possible. To enhance that possibility, we are going to
forego the routine “going out to lunch” that we normally do and we’re
going to do lunch “in house” as a repeat of the offering that was
prepared for last Friday’s General Membership Meeting.
Glenn donated the grill to the Museum and so we’re going to put it to
good use. We’ll be preparing hamburgers and will also have some sort of
side (chips/potato salad) for those who want to joins us for lunch.
We’ll have lettuce, mayo, ketchup, mustard & pickles as well. We’ll have
bottled water in the fridge as usual or you can purchase soda from the
machine for 50 cents. Glenn is bringing the burgers and others are
bringing buns & the sides so all you need to do is bring yourselves and
possibly help out with the preparation & cleanup. Who knows, this may
turn into something we do on a regular basis. If you have special
dietary needs, don’t hesitate to bring something on your own to cook on
the grill, microwave, or stove.
While that is going on, the track crew will begin the process to finish
the leveling of the finished grade for the mainline bypass and begin
installing track at the north end of the building. A “possible” third
project that could also be started involves installing a stackable block
retaining wall around the street side one of our trees at the north end
of the site. This will enable us to water the tree occasionally to
preserve its appearance during times of drought. This project will be
dependent upon acquisition of the block.
Last Saturday proved to be a great work session as we
accomplished pretty much everything we set out to do. Glenn maneuvered
the Bobcat with ¼-minus into the ROW for the mainline bypass and began
scattering it as needed to get us up to finished grade. Half the crew
worked on the west side of the walkway as the spikes were already set to
finished grade elevation. While this was going on, Burt quickly set the
spikes on the east side of the walkway to set not only the grade, but
the alignment as well. The other half of the crew began ballasting.
||Glenn kept bringing the ¼-minus and we kept raking & leveling it
into place. Then he’d bring a load of ballast. Once we had the
¼-minus level set, we began watering it down. The break in action
allowed us to re-align the curve track transition from the new
turnout and begin ballasting. Rebar stakes were set to maintain the
alignment while several of the crew shoveled ballast into the rail
|Of course, we had to begin testing the newly installed &
ballasted track as there was an Open House scheduled for Sunday.
Darel was nice enough to do the honors with his box cab electric.
The following day at the Open House, Don VanManen brought down his
fleet of engines early and gave them all some test runs before the
||Don has recently acquired a straddle beam car which he proudly
displayed and made a few laps around the cycle. The very low center
of gravity adds to rider stability, however we weren’t able to use
the car due to the lack of compatible safety chains. Don will be
remedying that issue soon.
|The Open House Sunday was one of the best in Museum History. The
weather was unbelievable as has become the norm. There were nothing
but smiling faces and no mishaps as we successfully rode well over a
hundred passengers. Thank you Don for using the speeder again.
Amazing what that little Honda can do!
||At the end of the day, the tuckered out crew put the train away
and called it a day. The work from the Saturday work session passed
the testing with flying colors.
Hope to see everyone this Saturday @ 8:00 AM.
Saturday (February 8, 2014):
This Saturday @ 8:00 AM, we’ll continue to work at the north
end of the property getting the rough & finish grading established for
the main line bypass.
Last Saturday was a great work session with the new turnout
getting installed and the rough grading nearly completed from the
walkway to the sidewalk area. With the group split into two separate
tasks, one group with Roger Phillips taking the lead, completely
upholstered 8 seats for the gondolas being used to pull the public
trains. His experience doing the same work on his cars paid off greatly
as our seats look great. All that remains is installing the cleats on
the bottom of the seats. That will get done next week.
|While the upholstery bunch were doing their thing, the remainder
of the group headed outside and promptly installed the new turnout.
While that was happening, the grade hubs were relocated to the
opposite side of the alignment to allow for the Bobcat to access the
area allowing it to do the heavy lifting rather than it becoming a
pick & shovel effort.
||With the turnout installed and the connection to the existing
mainline accomplished, we were close to being able to install
Next week’s work session will require a small amount of tweaking to
the curve track transition, but we should be able to complete that task
completed this Saturday and have the layout ready for the Open House on
Don’t forget the upcoming meeting this Friday night beginning at 7:00
PM with a hamburger dinner being served (for a $5 donation) beginning at
Saturday (February 1, 2014):
Before getting into the plans for this Saturday’s work session, I was
asked by Ivan English; “What is the name of the 7-1/2” railroad”? Well,
the short story is that the railroad has no “official” name yet. The BOD
will need to make the final determination, but I would like to get a
consensus of our group as to what we think the railroad should be
called. Intuitively, one would think that the railroad would be called
the Gadsden Pacific for obvious reasons. This may very well become the
name, but other suggestions might warrant consideration. Think about it
for the rest of the week and let’s see if we can reach a consensus by
this Saturday so our recommendation can be passed onto the BOD.
This Saturday, work will continue at the north end of the layout.
We’d like to get the new turnout cut in and rough grade established from
that point to the center walkway area where we left off last work
session. That will complete the rough grading effort only leaving the
placement of the ¼ minus base material and then track laying.
Last Saturday, the limited crew did a huge amount of work by
cutting, shoveling, raking the rough grade in on one half (west portion)
of the new track alignment. This required setting alignment stakes and
strings between the stakes set at markings on the stake to make sure we
removed enough material to get below finished grade elevation.
||Although the heavy lifting was left to the Bobcat as usual, all
that were present will testify to the amount of shovel work that
needed to be done. Dirt that was removed was piled at the north end
of the property in case it was needed as fill.
|Once we removed enough dirt, Glenn Ellis brought out the plate
tamper and we began the tamping process in preparation for the ¼
minus material. With the rough grade set and tamped, we then cleaned
& raked the area in preparation for the Open House scheduled for the
||Caution tape was then strung around the work area including
stake to stake to discourage the public from getting into our grade
stakes or messing up the finish grade blue top spikes that were also
set during this work session. Tools got put away, and the group took
a well-deserved break.
|Ole #5 was reassembled as the motor was checked out by a local
small engine repair facility and found to need a replacement module
that controls spark to the engine. Apparently, the old module was
failing intermittently. We didn’t have time to fully complete the
job before the group retired to Grumpy’s for lunch and fellowship.
Hope to see you all this Saturday at 8:00 AM. Forecast is for partly
cloudy & high of 72 degrees. Can it get any better?
Saturday (January 25, 2014):
Even though several members will be absent, we are still scheduling a
work session for this Saturday at 8:00 AM. On the agenda is the
beginning of work to establish the rough grading for the mainline bypass
at the north end of the facility. We’ll have the assistance of using the
Bobcat so hopefully there won’t be a lot of pick work. We will need to
leave the facility in a safe & presentable condition as there is an Open
House scheduled for Sunday.
Last week, a huge amount of work was accomplish by a large
turnout of members. Great weather continues to bless us making the
efforts go a lot easier. The first task at hand was to relocate the
golden spike track. That effort began by moving ballast on the west side
exposing the ends of the ties. Spikes were removed from the ties nearest
to the walkway. The spike puller out of the caboose made that possible.
||We removed the last section of chain link fencing adjacent to
the sidewalk enabling us to bring in the Bobcat to work its’ magic.
The removed ballast was then shoveled into the Bobcat bucket and
replaced to the ballast pile. With our new chairman supervising the
efforts, the Bobcat was able to get its forks under the west end of
the ties and begin lifting the entire assembly. Members stood clear
and watched as Glenn skillfully was able to get the entire thing
|Once lifted, the assembly was teetering as the forks on the
Bobcat were only 4’ long.
||A few members volunteered to add their weight on top of the ties
to stabilize the load.
Slowly, the assembly was moved into
position between the two trees north of the existing ore car.
|| With the move out of the way,
we focused on removing excess ballast for reuse and then backfilling
the hole left with dirt from our spoils pile.
Glenn & others then broke out the plate tamper, the dirt was racked,
wetted and then tamped for about 30 minutes.
||John Roads and others then turned their focus on removing the
turnout for reuse on the west side of the building. Removal proved
to be rather simple and placement of a fill piece of track quickly
occurred including ballasting.
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.
Saturday (January 18, 2014):
After a long weekend at the train meet plus an Open House, we will
meet this Saturday at 8:00 AM to begin work at the north end of the
property by moving the golden spike track and finding a new home for it
out of harm’s way. We can also begin cutting in the new turnout just
north of the sidewalk crossing. Chairman Jesse also wants to begin
working out some of the billboard mounting options including locations
for installation, so perhaps a few members could help out with that. In
addition, we want to discuss and decide upon the mounting arrangements
for the new trucks onto our straddle beam ride-on car.
As of today, we’re not sure if the new engine will arrive this week or
not. More on that later.
Last Friday & Saturday was the train meet. We had a great group
of volunteers who helped with the table move which began promptly at
8:00 AM at the Museum and we were done with the setup at the Expo Center
before 10:00 AM. The takedown on Saturday went smoothly as well and we
had enough people willing to help enabling us to be done shortly after
4:00 PM. It was a very successful meet for the Museum and very enjoyable
Last Sunday during the Open House, Glenn Ellis & Burt Wright
removed the gas engine from the 060 switcher to obtain dimensional
specifications for a potential engine replacement.
Wednesday night, during the normal work session at the Museum,
Raymond McDaniel, Glenn Ellis, Jesse Miller & Burt Wright met at the
Museum and went over the information and discussed the potential engine
We drew up some diagrams with accurate dimensions so that we can
compare the space limitations with potential engine replacements. More
on this project later.
At our last work session, two weeks ago, we continued to fiddle with the
switcher to try and get it to run reliably to little avail. It appears
that 40 years of operation has taken its toll on the little engine and
it probably deserves to be rebuilt and/or replaced. While this was going
on, some of the group traveled to Darel Magee’s shop and helped him load
his box cab electric engine chassis & batteries into Burt’s pickup truck
and transport it to the Museum for test running.
Many laps later, Darel was seen with a large grin on his face.
Hope to see you all on Saturday!
Saturday (January 4, 2014):
This Saturday, we'll get back on track and meet at the Museum
at 8:00 AM. Tasks for the day will include but not be limited to the
Complete putting together the trucks for
the 3rd gondola.
Inspect the trucks on the newly acquired
flat car with seats and possibly clean & relubricate.
Cut, install padding, and upholstery on
the gondola seats.
Continue work on the 060 switcher to
improve performance and reliability.
The following Saturday will be a day full of train meet as we will
again be moving tables to and from the Expo Center beginning next Friday
@ 8:00 AM.
In the meantime, there is the 1st General Membership Meeting for 2014
tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. Dinner will be served at 5:30 for those
Last work session (before Christmas) was a group effort to clean,
lubricate and reassemble two of the three gondolas. It was somewhat
tedious with the cleaning parts being the work part of the project.
||It was interesting to get the trucks apart and learning the
technique for reassembly.
While the truck rebuilding was going on, work continues on the 060
switcher installing new cabling and trying to get the run issues taken
care of. More work to be done for sure.
Hope to see everyone Friday at the meeting and Saturday at the work
Large Scale Railroad - 2013
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (July - Dec)
Large Scale Railroad 2012 (Jan-June)
Large Scale Railroad 2011
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