Feb 13, 2006

Ophir is coming along. The loop and road thru town are complete (in plywood only), and bridges on the line are complete from 44-A near Vance Jct all the way thru 46-D on the high line. Of course, I'm having to compress the lengths of the bridges, as I've only got about 29' to work with. I'm also trying to keep some kind of relative separation between the the bridges - ie 46-B and 46-C are right next to each other, 46-A is a little before them, and 46-D is a bit further away in the other direction.

But all this fiddling means the compression is all over the board - 45-B is about 62% of it's prototype length, while 46-D is only 37%. And the entire high line is pretty straight - there just isn't room for any twists or curves. I did manage to curve the lower line a bit. So - it's not an exact model, but I knew that starting out. At least there'll be lots of trestles to build and (eventually) look at. Maybe I can mass-produce these critters when I get to that point - I'm up to 11 already!

Feb 6, 2006

The climb to Ophir

Well, last weekend saw more work on the Ophir loop area. The track is so high here, I feel like I'm working on an 'airline route'! The big bridge 45-A has it's form roughed in, and I'm working around the depot area now, toward the back of the loop. In this area, there are 3 levels of track - the hidden return loop, the hidden Durango staging, then the Ophir area. I hadn't planned on going over the staging, but the grades worked out and pushing that loop back to the wall gave me a little more room for 45-A.

Here's a shot of trestle 45-A's opening, showing most of the loop area and the hidden return track under the loop. The grade up from the Ophir lowline lessens to 1% over 45-A, then flattens to zero thru the depot grounds, then back to 2% entering 45-B. It'll be flat again on the passing siding (just to make switching easier), but by having some grade in the loop itself, I think I can get a little grade separation between the siding and 45-A below it.

Here's another shot, showing the area where the siding at the Ophir depot will begin, and the opening in the rear for trestle 45-B.

Here's the grade coming up from Vance Jct. I roughed in the location for trestle 44-A at the beginning (not really visible in this shot). The Ophir low line, on my layout, is a constant 2.5% grade, and as curvy as I could make it, given the long narrow benchwork in this section.

The grades came out so high that the high line bridges will be nearly level I think - I'm already nearly at the Lizard Head elevation and pushing eye-level for viewing. I would've liked a little more vertical distance between the lower and upper lines, but I think this'll work ok. I had to maintain the steep grade on the lower line, just because Ophir depot had to be high enough to clear the Durango staging tracks.