The first loop of the helix has been “corked” and track is due to go down next week. This will be about 25 feet long and we’d like to test it. We want to hook up a Zephyr (Digitrax) power supply to the rails and have some of you come by and try it out. The idea is to see how many cars certain engines will pull up this 1.7% grade on a 49” radius. It is still possible to recalculate and reset this grade, although it would be a major pain. The idea of the test is to see if it’s something we can live with. We will report test results in one of the next progress reports. We’ll let you know when it’s ready for testing and particulars about how to do it.
Gene, John and Randy kibitz over the newly corked helix.
As framing began for the mainline above the old Albany Yard (Diesel facility) we came up with a plan to cantilever the stringers over the main level. This will create a second deck and provides support for a single track mainline and separate logging line above. Stringers are angled downward in front to define an embankment which can then be “rocked” to create a right of way built on a fill over natural rocks and hills. This second deck also provides for more room behind first level main lines for streets, buildings and (?).
Doug and George align framing for the second deck above Albany yard. Angled stringers will provide for enhanced scenery potential.
An exciting development happened today as we unveiled the beginnings of a spectacular geological formation known as “George’s Gorge”. It will be found across the aisle from Eagle Point and runs for 15-20 feet. This amazing piece of model railroading extravaganza will include scenery extending from knee level up to head high and above. The crossovers at old Asher will cling to the side of a mountain while the “hi-line” will snake through several curves as it traverses the rocky crags above. Side hill trestles, a tunnel or two, and certainly a rock shed will punctuate this bit of scenic delight. Close access will make this a photographer’s delight and kids will remember watching trains over their heads for years to come. How did this concept come about? Well, it all started with George standing on a ladder confirming track alignment. Then he and Doug, always politically correct, summoned me AFTER lunch to answer an engineering question regarding the “S” curves. As we concocted one theory after another and attempted to rationalize what the two of them had done, ideas began to flow. Gene joined the conversation and creative juices really erupted – mostly it was hamburger grease from lunch. One thing led to another and a conceptual landform emerged that would make any self-respecting geologist cringe. We concluded that a master’s thesis could be written about our ideas and they would involve bending the tenants of geomorphology to the max, but we could make it work. Thus began George’s Gorge. Stay tuned for additional details.
Doug and George team up on the “S” curves through George’s Gorge
Possible scenic contours are developed with a tape measure near the “S” curves. The cliffs could actually be this high . . . we’ll see.