03 Phase III Construction by Verryl V Fosnight Jr
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
  1. Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
  2. Wyoming Division HO Operation LayoutWyoming Division HO Operation Layout
  3. 03 Phase III Construction03 Phase III Construction
View from the front door: The change is obvious and immediate the moment you look into the building from the front door. Bang! There is the main Helix in its final location. leaning against it is some of the 1 1/2" square steel tubing welded into the legs for one of the end caps. The steel "F" legs can be seen from the end of the incomplete bench with the lower level bench top/horizontal shear panel in place. Self tapping wafer head screws are used to join the plywood to the steel. they require a 3/32" pilot hole in the steel and we countersink the plywood so the screws are flush with the surface.
The "F" steel leg units are clearly seen here. A full sheet of 1/2" plywood on edge is screwed to a pair of legs to form an 8 foot long section of bench. This vertical sheet acts as a vertical shear panel to keep the legs upright and parallel, preventing any twist into a trapezoid shape. The top of the bench is also an eight foot long by width of the bench sheet of plywood to prevent shear horizontally. Spline roadbed with cork on top will support the track; the bench "top" is mainly a structural... 
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member. No upper level bench tops are yet in place. They will be laid across the top of the "F" bars, and spline roadbed with cork will be on the upper level also. The upper level of this bench is intentionally much more narrow than the lower bench top. The upper level will be the minor yards of Sinclair Oil and Rawlins, and the lower bench is for the very large Green River Yard. Note that all of the legs have steel bolts screwed into plates in the leg bottoms for levelers.
This is the back of the bench just shown. The aisle on this side will have a riser like that at the right of the new carpeting still in rolls at the right of this photo, so this aisle will be used to access and work the upper level. The last photo was looking down a lower level aisle.
This is looking down the lower level aisle again, and the end cap can be seen that connects the two benches. Below the lower level benches on each aisles can be seen the Oregon Short Line (OSL) hidden track. This track junctions into the main on the left hand lower level just out of the picture in the foreground, then turns nearly 360 degrees and drops down rapidly to under the mains and continues away from the camera, wraps around the end cap and continues on the right, now well below the lower bench, the 1 x 6 framing for which can be seen near the right center extending out to the end cap.
This is the OSL corked hidden track road bed that has been swung out to the outer edges of the tow benches to maximize the radius of the 180 degree curve. The riser on the far side of this end cap can be seen through the opening that has not received its final sheet of Masonite covering. Compare the lower elevation of the OSL track here with that in the next picture.
This is the other side of the same aisle and the OSL is swung outward to make the 180 degree curve at the end cap as large as possible (about a 49" radius). Before laying the track here, Allen Montgomery shown bend over working away, laid temporary flex track on this section to test the curve and the elongated S curves at each end.
This is a better view of the S curves used to bump the track out to the "outside" (back) edges of these two benches to maximize the radius. The red painted lines on the floor are the bench outlines. The aisles are 41 inches wide for the whole layout except for two 36 inch "pinch points" about 32 inches long each. The cross aisle through the end cap openings was originally 41 inches, but we used 4" to mount the yellow switch panels that control the Tortoise machines in Cheyenne. During operations we found that this aisle was very crowded and will be more so when this bench is done, so we widened that aisle from the 41 less 4" (37") by 12" so that it is now 49 inches wide.
View of the next bench from the other direction to be built showing the steel legs clamped temporarily together. The helix is now in its final location near the front doors. This and the next bench to its left are narrow benchs (24") compared to the 35" Green River bench. The 24" benches are for the Red Desert region of southwestern Wyoming where there are few towns. (Creston, Wamsutter and Table Rock on the upper level and Thayer, Point of Rocks and Bittercreek on the lower level, and these are mostly scenic locations).
This shows the 12" riser extension in width to the Cheyenne Aisle making it 49 inches wide. Cheyenne is just out of the picture to the right and is very busy. On this side of that aisle is Laramie, a busy yard beyond the new bench here, and the Hanna coal mines will be on this new bench's upper level end cap. The OSL hidden track corked roadbed can be seen through the sturdy large radius curved fascia bench work.
Allen is working from the bottom up on the trackwork. The OSL single track is being glued down here before the lower level bench top is applied, then the upper level will be done last. You can see that the 1 x 6 box framework to support the lower bench top has only been built up to just his left.
A good view of the broad S curve on one side to maximize the OSL end cap radius while keeping the "hidden" track mostly at the front of the layout and fairly accessible from the aisle.
I model the grades of the UP across Wyoming by varying the HO tracks in elevation to match the prototype oscillations up and down across the prairies and mountians. I have a set of UP Profile Charts that give the elevation in feet above sealevel at many locations, and those charts have each milepost shown. So I can calculate the prototype grade and match the model grade to it, and it works out amazingly well considering the length compression of the model. I some places the model grades are 1.6x the... 
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UP grades (Sherman Hill--to make it so steep that helpers are required), but in others they are comparable. It is because of the attention to the grades that in our operations we change from Big Boys with helpers up Sherman HIll and the Wasatch Mountains to lighter power across the "bowl" of Wyoming with those two grades at each end.
By this date (2/5/14) all three new benches are nearing completion. The main helix upper framework is across the bottom of this photo taken from an addition to the mezzanine bridging the 12 feet between the south edge of the mezzanine and the top of the bathroom walls. This makes about 150 sq feet more "floor" space on the mezzanine, and we have moved Allen's workbench up there with the roof of the two bathrooms as storage space fro modeling materials. The three new benches can be seen with the third one still needing the top level plywood sheet, and the steel leg sets exposed.. Greg keeps it painted as we progress. The
Taken from a slightly different angle and from the level of the mezzanine from the new bridge between the mezzanine and the top of the bathroom walls. The 17 inch tall riser and the two steps up to it are visible on the far right, and the helix is more clearly in view from this angle. The upper helix leads are not connected to the upper level of the right hand bench across the aisle with the riser, because the right hand bench is not completed yet and is without the top deck at this time. We covered the existing layout and trains with thin painter's sheet plastic, and the east end of the Cheyenne freight yard is under the sheet to the right. Staging is on the lower level of the plastic sheeted bench.
From the corner of the mezzanine this shows the east end of the Cheyenne freight yard under the plastic on the top bench which was completed first in Phase I. Under it is staging. The phone is one of the 8 connecting various locations on the upper level to the dispatchers on the mezzanine. There are 8 more phones on the lower level aisles which are at floor level. Note that every other aisle has a riser to work the elevated upper level (at a nominal height of 61 1/2 inches + spline for elevation... 
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control of the grades) and the alternate aisles have none to work the lower level from floor level. The upper level of the bench at the left here is for Sinclair Oil (refinery and Sinclair, Wyo) and Rawlins, Wyo. Around the end cap below the frame the tracks will wind across the grass lands prairie of Wyoming which will gradually change into the barren prairie of the Red Desert in southeastern Wyoming and up to the helix. W of Rawlins are the well known place names of Wamsutter and Table Rock on the Red Desert.
From the other end of the mezzanine Cheyenne is shrouded by plastic below and the Sinclair-Rawlins bench is half hidden by the yellow railed mezzanine. The 1.5 in sq steel tubing 0.093" wall bar across the end cap is a welded part of the set of legs that spans the junction of the two benches in the end cap. The third level down where Allen is working is the hidden track of the OSL about 12 inches under the lower level. Here the OSL widens out to 24 inches to make a 6 or 7 track wide staging yard which... 
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will be Portland. Beside that will be the main that will continue on to the shelf under the helix which WAS to have been Portland, but it was felt too hard to work under the helix. It could be reached OK, but the foot traffic around the helix would crowd the Portland yardman. So Allen suggested making the Portland yard here. The shelf under the helix beyond this yard will be used for a passenger train turning loop and storage tracks, and they will not require much foot traffic around them and the helix.
This is the lower level Green River, Wyo 34 " wide bench under Sinclair-Wyoming with Granger and the OSL Jct on the bench to the left. The OSL hidden track can be seen below the left hand lower level (with a passing siding and holding track) and the roadbed for it is on the right under Green River and continuing around the bench to the right. The Sinclair-Rawlins bench is "cut away" or more narrow than the GR bench, because these are only one industry and a relatively minor yard. The new carpet is... 
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stored on dollys under this bench. They will be rolled out far in the future when all the soldering, welding, paint9ng and scenery work is completed, but eventually all the floors, riser and concrete will be carpeted with the same carpet now on the mezzanine. Between GR and Granger will be the Westvaco trona (soda) mining complex, a major industry on the Wyoming Division.
The 24 inch wide bench at the left end of this aisle is for Westvaco. The end cap leading into Green River will be to model the Green River and the long bridge over it and the cliffs bordering the town. This is an excellent view of the OSL cork roadbed and how it has been made to swing wide to maximize the radius around the end cap. The red and black twisted wires are 10 AWG DCC main power bus wires. Occasonally, we tap off such a main with 14 AWG sub bus wires. from either we use 18 AWG feeders up... 
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to the track, and these are held to 6-10 inches maximum lengths. Note that these wire gauges are one size larger than usually recommended. We also spot weld the feeder wires at least every 3 feet to the track. It was somewhat harder to do this wiring on Phases I and II, but for this Phase we are wiring as we go, and building from the bottom up, Hidden track, lower level, upper level, and the access to the wiring is much easier than in the past.
Stan Ramey, one of our very dependable volunteers (they all are) is assembling dozens of 24" long T8 fluorescent light fixtures. I imported 1,000 of them from China (see me before you pay Home Depot of WalMart prices), but there is some assembly required to put the tube connectors on the ends of each fixture and the fast start ballasts and covers on. You can also see the curved backdrop of the lower level bench. The backdrop also forms the back of the wire chase on the upper level benches--the access... 
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door to the chase is on the other side of the bench on the upper level aisle (this is a lower level aisle reached from the concrete floor). You can see the gap of the 8 ft long 1 x 6" door on the facing wall of the upper level aisle at the far right of the photo.
This looks down the helix leads for the lower level entrance to the helix along the incomplete lower level bench. The upper level of this last bench is not in place yet. Both the top and the bottom levels of this bench are the Red Desert region of SE Wyoming. Where we had the world famous Wamsutter and Table Rock on the top level, we have Bitter Creek in the foreground and Thayer at the far end of the lower level. Aren't you glad you asked? The hidden OSL is below the lower level on the left, and the OSL staging, Portland, Oregon, will be below the framing of the right hand bench.
The nearly finished end cap of the Sinclair-Rawlins (top) Green River (bottom) bench. Here the door to the upper level aisle (with the riser) can be clearly seen, as well as the 12" width extension to the Cheyenne bench.
Before painting. The "window" will be sealed eventually, but for now it is left open to reach wiring and track until testing and verification shows them to be "bullet proof."
From the other end, L:ower Level: GReen River on the left and Westvaco on the right, with Granger/OSL Jct in the right hand distance.
OSL on the bottom (hidden track), the lower level framing, steel and wood, and wiring started. The red lines painted on the floor are the original laid out bench locations, which we have followed faithfully, except for the 12" widening of the Cheyenne Aisle, on which I am standing with the camera.
Through the temporary access window at Green river with roundhouse footprint pattern laid out in place and the 34 inch wide aisle (about 32" from the inside of the 1 1/2" steel + 1/2" plywood shear wall).
The new riser, upper level, aisle made by the first and second of the 3 new benches.
Starting with photos of this date, 2/24/14, the tracks of OSL have all been laid. If you refer to the third photo of the mother album for this album, you can see the my new 3rdPlanIt drawing of the hidden tracks on the third level. This is near the beginning of the OSL where the track has been brought below the lower level the the lower yet "Hidden Level" under neath Granger, Wyoming. Here the OSL goes into a shelf only about 6 inches below the Lower Level tracks with a 3 inch track clearance that increases to 9.5 inches at the far end of this aisle. On the near end of the right hand bench it drops only about another inch then continues the very slight down grade into the Portland yard at the far end of the next bench to the right.
This is near the beginning of the OSL under Granger where the passenger train is parked. We added a pair of short stub tracks each about 6 feet long for car storage, probably coal cars to simulate coal traffic from Kemmerer, Wyo north up the OSL. these tracks are thus a mini staging area.
To keep the hidden OSL out at the bench edge for accessibility in case of derailments was thought necessary, but we had to swing wide to the back of the end caps to make the 180 degree turn at or larger than out minimum radius of 37.5 inches. Here is the start of the first bump out to that large semicircle.
And here it comes back to the bench edge. The two rolls of carpet to be used eventually when construction and scenery is done (!!) (Done--Ha!) are stored under this bench. The rolls are about 13 feet long and are tucked under on dollys end to end.
Another view of the OSL coming out from deep under the end cap back out to the bench edge.
This is the second full bench of the OSL run. Since it is such a long single track we started a siding at about 82 feet from Granger (which is to the left behind the camera in this view) to this turnout. The siding is about 20 feet long.
This is the other end of the siding. Because of the geometry we did not have to bump out to the bench edge going around the outer edge of the bench.
Here the OSL hidden track has run along the bench just out of sight to the left and bumped into get on the outer side of this inner curve of the bench. The single OSL main track is at the left and the Portland staging yard ladder starts to the right. The 5 stub tracksnear the left edge of the photo are a yard lead and storage tracks for locos, cabooses, etc. From Granger at the start of the OSL it is 165 feet to where these stub tracks meet the beginning of the yard, so it is a nice long run for this job, and with the siding, trains can operate in both directions simultaneously. Trains on the OSL will undoubtedly be controlled by the lower level dispatcher.
Here are the Portland staging yard tracks with the main running along the bench edge. The leads at each end of the 20 foot long straight part of the yard tracks are both 3 feet long, so the whole yard from start to finish of each end ladder is 26 feet. This staging yard is only 29 1/2 inches above the floor, but we have two operators that can only participate a little standing for very long, so since this yard has to be worked from a rolling stool, it will be perfect for them. Actually the access is pretty good. See the next picture.
This is me at the Portland staging yard on a 20 inch tall rolling stool reaching in to the last freight track to "work." The back tow tracks will be passenger train tracks, so little or no manual manipulation will be needed for them. As you can see I have a full view of all tracks, and could even see a car number on the last passenger track if needed, but of course I can't stand up and look down. All in all the Portland staging yard looks workable.
This is the other end of the Portland staging yard and at the right is the beginning of the turning loop under the main helix. Technically, I suppose the turning loop extends all the way to the left end of the yard here with the first two tracks at the edge of the bench part of the loop. That would make the yard 8 tracks wide with all tracks at least 20 feet long between fouling points, and a double track runaround, in effect that blows up into a turning balloon loop at this right hand end.
In this view taken from the mezzanine, the Portland staging yard is on the third level down. The next level up from that has the lower end of the double track main helix coming from the bottom turn of the main helix on to the Lower Level bench. No Lower Level or Upper level tracks are laid yet, but the spline roadbed is advancing toward the upper turn of the helix. The end of the helix upper turn's tracks can be seen far to the right, and way down below parts of the Portland turning loop can be seen. The smaller main staging helix is in the distance in the corner of the building.
This is the view from the mezzanine to the last 2 of the 3 new benches. Allen is gluing up the spline roadbed which is flat on the bench for now. When the glue cures the spline road bed will be pried up from the bench top from the spots that leaked from the spline joints and set at the elevations required to model the grades. The roadbed is all double track, and this section is the Red Desert area of SW Wyoming. It is a very dry and alkaline region, and the only towns here on this upper level are... 
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Wamsutter on the left and Table Rock on the right out of the photo, and Table Rock will have few, if any structures. Therefore Allen will add a third track to span the long bend (at about the gallon jug of glue) to make a center siding about 20 feet long here starting at about where all the C clamps are for the left end. There will be a similar center siding on the lower level, so the two sidings will bracket the main Helix.
On the Upper Level is the other straight part of the roadbed to be made into a double track section with center siding. To the right of it is the beginning of the upper turns of the helix. The siding will span the bend by the glue jug, and the 3 track, center siding portion on the lower level will be similar. The helix will be between the two sidings, and the total length of siding-helix lead-helix-helix lead-siding will be nearly 400 feet, so this is the out-in-the-boonies Red Desert for sure. The... 
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scale of the Wyoming division is truly huge; the S curve on the near bench and the start of one on the far bench seem to be pretty sharp, but there is about 12 inches of nearly straight track in between each of the two S curves! And the curves are all 37 1/2" radius minimum.
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