Saturday, August 31, 2019


After a long break for late spring activities--the Promontory Sesquicentennial and WOOPS--I returned to model building.  I continue to build the structures for company villages along the line. Previous efforts included the train order stations and the operator houses.  
My attention turned next to the section gang bunkhouses.  Nominally set up for "four families," a pair of these structures provided housing for the section gang at each station along the line.

As with other structures in this series, I am using kits created by Bruce Barney of ALW Lines.
These are laser-cut kits with tabbed primary construction and peel-and-stick trim.  The separate trim feature makes easy work of painting the trim color.  

One of the more tedious jobs for my early-production versions of these kits is applying the roof shingles.  As designed, these are peel-and-stick shingle strips.  Applying these to the roofs is made easier by the alignment lines laser-scribed onto the roofs.  Still, the job is tedious, with 25 shingle rows required for each roof half. With my older kits, I find it best to apply a coat of contact cement to the roof before using the peel-and-stick shingles.  The combination of adhesives ensures these shingles will stay down.  Fortunately, Bruce changed the kits in later production to provide laser-cut embossed plastic shingle sections, but the current building set had the old version.

Roof shingling underway.

Bunkhouses complete.

Once the shingles were applied, it was relatively straight-forward to paint the roofs, touch up paint, and install the chimneys.  Then it was out to the layout for my developing station villages at Cascade Summit and Cruzatte.

Cascade Summit bunkhouses.

Cruzatte bunkhouses.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Each year at the beginning of August, I do a photo survey of my railroad to mark the year's progress.  Previous surveys may be found by working backwards through the links for previous years. Last year's link is:  

This year's survey might be subtitled:  "On the Seventh Day (Year) He Rested."  I have been on a bit of a sabbatical break after last year's intense scenery efforts.  Still, as I look back, I see progress has been made.  Scenery gaps now evident to me from last year have been filled in, notably below Cruzatte and around Tunnel 20.  Company structures have started appearing, though none are set into their scenes yet.  This year has been more about operating the railroad, including support of the second edition of Western Oregon OPerationS (WOOPS).

Follow along as the 02-EULAY (Eugene to Los Angeles manifest freight) makes its way RR-West from Eugene to Crescent Lake.  Photos were shot after the August 3, operating session, with several trains left in place out on the line.

Our train is departing the Eugene Arrival-Departure Yard via Santa Clara Tower.

We are rolling past the Eugene depot.  Sharp eyes will see the track use label tags in addition to track numbers in the classification yard.  Similar tags are used by the Santa Clara Tower operator.  These tags help operators organize their yards and convey to switch crews that organization scheme.

Passing out of Eugene, our train crosses the Willamette River on its way to Springfield.

Crossing the river into Springfield, we roll past the Borden Chemical plant.  Borden extracts wood resin for glue.

The first Springfield Turn is at work as we roll through town.  This job works the depot side of the mainline.

Our journey continues out of Springfield past the Marcola Branch. Cars destined for Weyerhauser are on the interchange track between the mainline (left) and the Amerigas dealer (right-center).  The beginnings of my forestry project (a lifetime effort!) can be seen on the right.

We roll past Western Lumber at Westfir, one of two large mills served by the Oakridge Turn.

Rolling into Oakridge, we find a full house.  The Dispatcher has elected to have us entrain our helper using the RR-East mainline.  Another RR-West train occupies the normal yard track for entraining the helper and the mainline is occupied by a RR-East train.  Further complicating the scene is the Oakridge Turn with its power using the engine facility run-through track as it swaps ends with its train, currently occupying yard tracks 3 and 4.

With our helper cut into the train and the brake test performed, our train, X7480W, is ready to depart Oakridge.  A cluster of maintenance-of-way sheds has appeared at the RR-West end of Oakridge.

In a scene similar to last year, our train crosses Salmon Creek on its way out of Oakridge.

The distinctive Montieth Rock (aka, "Rooster Rock") now looms over the railroad as we begin the climb over the Cascades.

We pass more maintenance-of-way sheds on our way through McCredie Springs.

We exit Tunnel 20 on our way into Wicopee.

Climbing out of Wicopee, we cross Salt Creek Trestle, a signature scene on the railroad.

We exit Tunnel 10 and its rock and snow shed to cross Noisy Creek Trestle.

We roll through Cruzatte with its company village developing.

Shady Creek Trestle is the third and final of the large steel viaducts on the line as we climb toward the summit.

Tunnel 5 has another rock and snow shed protecting its RR-West end. These open gallery sheds are a signature element of the Cascade Line.

The heavy work ends as we work through the summit tunnel and into Cascade Summit.

Our helper has been cut off and is now moving to push the rear of the train into the rest of it.  Cascade Summit also has a developing company village.

Our journey ends at Crescent Lake--the upper staging yard on my railroad.