Thursday, July 12, 2018


Learning from my experiences with the other two steel trestles, I took the time to build the terrain around Shady Creek Trestle immediately after completing the trestle components.  
(  I deliberately left the trestle components loose so I could remove them for the rough work of terrain forming.  Previously, though I had removed the steel towers under the other trestles, I still had to work very carefully around and under the girders and track decks.  

Terrain construction proceeded along the path established with Noisy Creek, as both Shady Creek and Noisy Creek occupy room corners.  Profile stryofoam planks established the "ridgelines." I then carefully built up the surrounding styrofoam base around the trestle tower bases, concrete piers and abutments.  Then I began placing styrofoam planks to span between the ridges and the immediate trestle base area.

Terrain base construction around Shady Creek Trestle.

Filling in the terrain below the trestle base was a little more complicated as I needed to prepare two foot pads with removable scenery sections.  I also needed to terminate the area "drainage" into a creek that flows under the lower level track.  That project will be described in a later blog post, but for now, I simply needed to direct a gully toward the eventual creek location.  Note that Shady Creek Trestle supports the upper line in this area.  The lower line, almost two feet below, is the line climbing up out of McCredie Springs toward Wicopee.

Completed Styrofoam base for Shady Creek Trestle.  Spray Foam has been applied to cracks and holes.

With the Styrofoam planks in place, spray foam was applied to the cracks and holes that developed during the rough construction.  The completed foam shell was carved with knives and shaped with a Surform scraper.  Following clean-up with a broom and then the shop vacuum, Sculptamold was applied to the foam shell.  I held out the terrain cover for the footpad and applied Sculptamold to it the next day after the "fixed" terrain had a chance to begin setting.  

Terrain cover for one of the footpads in the Shady Creek area.  The edges are separated from the fixed terrain with waxed paper.

Finally, it was time to reinstall the trestle components and run a train over it!  I will do a bit more height adjustment with shims on the trestle, as my match of the new trestle spine to the existing roadbed was not perfect.  That was a consequence of my installation of the spine well after initial roadbed construction.  I planned for this with my trestle construction--another reason to leave the components loose until I completed the rough work in the area.   The need for adjustments to the track and roadbed were the reason I left the tunnel portals on both sides of the trestle loose. I need to get at least one operating session completed with train crews other than myself over this section before I close in those tunnels.

Step by step, my railroad is emerging from its "Plywood Pacific" appearance to one that clearly climbs through the mountains.

A WCEUY (West Colton to Eugene manifest) drifts down-grade over Shady Creek Trestle.

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