Friday, September 7, 2012


Subroadbed panels were placed, joined and firmly attached for the Eugene Depot scene, which also includes the area for the Eugene classification yard.  Gaps between the Eugene panels and the Oakridge panels were filled and spackle used generously.  Streambed panels have been mounted for the Willamette River crossing and the Salmon Creek area just RR-West of Oakridge.  With the exception of the stream area at Westfir, the “Valley Core” is now complete!

Eugene Depot subroadbed panels.

Development of the river scenes prompted initial structure construction.  In this case, it was the bridges.  I have had a Walthers single track through truss bridge kit (933-3185) since its introduction.  As the Willamette River scene developed during the full-size track planning stage, it became clear that a second such bridge would be the correct choice.  Unfortunately, those kits were not available this past Spring, so I began researching alternatives.  None were satisfying for either the necessary visual weight (and modeled bridge capacity) or length.  I was contemplating the more involved task of building the desired bridge from Central Valley bridge components.  While visually satisfying, this would claim important time and effort needed elsewhere for the layout construction to proceed on schedule.  Fortunately, a second run of the Walthers kit was produced this summer, so I now have the pair of bridges needed for the scene. 

Willamette River crossing with two Walthers through truss bridges.

I am now fitting Micro Engineering deck plate girder bridges (50 ft.: 255-75501, 30 ft.: 255-75502) into the scene to connect the through trusses to the shore.  Though I currently have only one 50 ft. bridge, I’ll probably use this length at both ends of the river crossing.  I will need to modify the benchwork in this area to provide for a better river bank slope.  Fortunately, the L-girder structure is easily modified. 

I continue to work with the scene at Westfir.  The Walthers sawmill kit (933-3058) and outbuildings (933-3144) provide a useful core for representing Western Lumber.  The Walthers kits are based on the last steam-powered sawmill in the US, located south of Corvallis at Alpine, Oregon.  This mill has been the subject of books and video.  Several pictures of it appear in the Kalmbach book:  Industries Along the Tracks 4.  Though condensed, compressed and simplified, they do capture important elements of the prototype and will serve well for my use as Western Lumber.  Space and track access issues remain, so the mock-up is important.  The SP bridge over the North Fork of the Willamette is an important part of the Westfir scene.  I am wrestling with that bridge, the river level and the sawmill log pond, with the latter requiring both space and vastly different height than the river.  Stayed tuned for future developments here.

Westfir Scene Mock-Up.

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