Thursday, August 18, 2011

Swamp Logger Concept Gets Bigger

With a move to our new home becoming more of a reality with each passing day ( the loan is moving swiftly along through all the red tape), my thoughts are grinding away to conceptualize what my new layout room will hold.

Armed with rough basement dimensions, a ream of scratch paper and fist fulla pencils, I have been brain storming and thinking out loud on paper what I want to do with the limited new space I will have for model trains. The little experiment to get back into O scale narrow gauge railroading with a modular logging concept is growing, with my thoughts now locked in on a full-blown On30 layout that combines vintage 1950's-era sugar plantation shortline with my original rough and tumble "Swamp Logger" railroad concept. What about my XXL HO Big Island Rail layout? Well, I will still have that as well, this time converted into a narrow shelf layout, stacked above the floor-standing On30 pike. It's the ol' Combo-Pack I talked about in my previous post.

The more I think about this concept, the more appealing it's becoming to me. I can mix and match sections of my HO scale layout, converting a few into On30 (such as a part of my massive Hilo Pier 1 complex) and retain a couple key "scenes" on my HO layout into the new shelf concept (a detailed single track swing bridge scene and a truss bridge and gulch scene). This is a real change for me, since I've been a "Diesel Guy" for a long time. But with the outstanding (and relatively inexpensive) On30 steam engines on the market from Bachmann, it's hard to pass up. Plus, I blame Troels Kirk's On30 Coast Line RR incredible layout for the change of Diesel heart! Check it out if you haven't already.!/pages/The-Coast-Line-RR-page/127409483958090?sk=wall 

I hope these links work. If not go to Facebook and Search "The Coast Line RR."

Overview Operations in On30
I know it's hard to see in the scan of my pencil trackplan sketch, but this is what I envision for the 12 x 11 foot space with two "wings" at each end for staging. I will utilize the "main" portion of my HO scale "Hilo Pier 1" in the new On30 pike, with the large pier complex anchoring the right side of the layout room. The small yard that is part of the lead tracks to the harbor area will also come along into the On30 layout since all the tracks and switches will work in On30 and all the pier track is buried in "Concrete" and I don't want to destroy all that work. To the "south" (left) of the pier will sit a small depot and a turntable and small locomotive servicing facilities to turn steam engines for the return trip "North" into staging.

Trains will arrive off of the North staging wing (above the washer and dryer) with boxcars and bulkhead flatcars filled with bagged bulk sugar from the sugar mill (not modeled) to Pier 1 for loading onto ships. A warehouse will be located over one of the three pier tracks. A sugar molasses storage tank farm could also be part of the area. I might also add another industry or freight car destination in that area to add some more switching possibilities. A daily passenger train - loco, combine and coach -will also serve this area coming to and from staging, with loco getting turned and taking water before the return trip.

A bridge or wooden trestle will mark the transition between the plantation shortline and the swamp logger areas. On the angled peninsula will be a log dump and single stall engine house. Further up the line a small camp and log loading landing. Continuing from here the track would head around a corner and into a small staging yard.

I plan to "blend" the two railroads, by having railbus passenger service from "the woods" to the harbor depot. The railbus would also pick-up mail, supplies and groceries for camp. Occasional rail shipments of bridge timbers, logging equipment and fuel would arrive for the logging camp at the harbor yard. Logging trains would make the trip to the harbor to pick-up those cars and set out any out-bound cars.

Logging Critter Update

Coming along slow but sure.

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