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.