12 2017 Winter Invitational Meet Ops by Verryl V...
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
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  2. Wyoming Division HO Operation LayoutWyoming Division HO Operation Layout
  3. 12 2017 Winter Invitational Meet Ops12 2017 Winter Invitational Meet Ops
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The out of state crew for the Wyoming Division Invitational Meet of Feb 9 to 11, 2017
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The photos in this album are from the February 9-11, 2017 Wyoming Division Invitational Meet. I had about 30 out of state operators by special invitation for two days of operating preceded by an open house and clinic on the layout and its car forwarding system and a prime rib banquet at Relics in Sedona. Sixteen of my Arizona operators participated, mostly as mentors, but they ran a few trains. The Dispatchers recorded 62 trains on the train sheets Friday and 67 Saturday as we operated from 9 to 4, with a break for lunch. I will only describe the layout in these "Description" sidebars, but not the operators, who are identified in the previous album for the Invitational BBQ at our home.
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This shows the Speer Wye from the other side of the bench, with Laramie fully shown. The climb up Sherman Hill is against the wall and backdrop to the right. On this HO model of the 1957 Wyoming Division of the Union Pacific (UP) that change in elevation is 10.5 inches over about 50 feet. The building was built for the layout and is 50 x 75 feet with a 7 foot wide x 75 foot long mezzanine suspended (no posts) over the layout for viewing. I missed taking a photo of Jon Schmidt who dispatched Saturday, but you can see him at the Dispatcher's desk on the mezzanine.
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On past Laramie (at the far right) is Medicine Bow and a small yard for coal marshaling of loads from the Hanna mines on the end cap nearest the camera. The benches are a free standing mushroom design with welded square steel tubing legs/bench supports. All track is on spline over the bench tops, except for level plywood stretches for yards. Some yellow car cards can be seen on the lower level fascia above that layer in the gap between the bench sides as they wraps around the end cap with the purple foam insulation scenery supports of the Hanna mines. Part of the Cheyenne steam yard is at the lower left.
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On past Hanna and it mines (lower right corner) is the Sinclair Refinery and Rawlins, Wyoming along the right edge, but hidden under the mezzanine. Then the double track main is through a stretch of prairie, the so called Red Desert of southern Wyoming. Just around this end cap is Wamsutter--surely you know where Wamsutter, Wyoming is, don't you? At Wamsutter is the eastern end of a 20 foot center siding named after Mr. Harriman in the early part of the 20th Century. This "Harriman Siding" cannot be seen but the depot is visible just over the rear view of the backdrop. Below is Rock Springs, which is the next location after traversing the giant oval helix (34.5" inner track radius semicircular ends with 7 foot straights joining them). The Cheyenne classification yard is on the upper level along the wall and staging is underneath it. each level is joined at each of their ends by not only the large helix but a small helix at the end of Cheyenne class and staging.
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This shows how The Arrival/Departure tracks of Cheyenne beside the power house (2 stacks)connect to the Cheyenne classification yard. The passenger trains on the top are stored in a 3 track staging yard. There is a turning loop on the small helix for them. To the east of Cheyenne and down the small helix is staging on the lower level. Staging entered from that end (out of the photo to the upper right) represents Chicago, Marysville KS, KC, St. Louis, Miami--all of which we identify as NP for North Platte, Nebraska. Staging entered from the left on the lower level (also out of sight) is equivalent to going west through Ogden Utah in to staging, which then represents LA or Oakland.
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This looks back at Cheyenne steam yard across the distant end of the photo. Then from the upper left is Sinclair Refinery, Rawlins, the Red Desert, and around the end cap to Wamsutter where the Harriman siding (center siding) starts. It ends at a place out in the prairie called Table Rock for a nearby formation, the double track main leads into the large helix. Out of the helix at the bottom is Rock Springs, which is two benches long, and only part of the west end of Rock Springs, Wyoming can be seen on the lower level. Continuing through Rock Springs is the beginning of another major yard, Green River, Wyoming on the lower level.
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Here are some more operators working just west of Rawlins. The Sinclair refinery is entirely on the photo backdrop, but it is very detailed. A local artist named Kelly Daniels did all the backdrops from old photos he stitched together from the internet. They are printed on vinyl. John Busa of New Jersey made the exquisite Cheyenne, Rawlins, and Rock Springs depots. I have cut away the backdrop to enable a view of the detailed front. We are finally getting scenery down. This brown is Wyoming dirt from the area as is dirt from Wyoming on 15 other layout areas. This dirt is newly laid and has no grass or sage brush yet. The whole layout is Wyoming prairie, so we will plant both trees next week.
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Seth Neumann working the Rock Springs Road Crew job on the lower level and Dave Stoll watching his train on the main helix. Dave has his hand on the small helix immediately next to the Frontier Refinery in east Cheyenne.
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This is taken from the western end of the mezzanine from its stairs. To the far left are the cumulous clouds over Sherman Hill. The coal tower to the left is Harriman, Wyoming on the Harriman Cutoff, the alternate route up Sherman Hill. Dale Junction, where we change the direction of running to left hand running from Dale (just out of the photo on the lower left) west down the Hill into Laramie. The twin tunnel between Dale and Laramie is the famous Hermosa Tunnel, #1 on the UP part of the Intercontinental RR. The Laramie roundhouse is at the end of the upper level, and the Laramie yard is coming towards the camera at the right. Evanston, Wyoming is on the lower level to the right; to the left is Curvo, Utah. The current of running changes a second time from left to right for the climb up the Wasatch Mountains from Ogden (not shown under the fan at the far upper left), and back to right hand running at Curvo, Utah.
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Taken from the same place on the mezzanine stairs this shows Medicine Bow on the top level going into Hanna where the upper level coal mines are. (Rock Springs, a few pictures back, has three big mines in it, so we have coal drags each direction to all the coal towers and power houses and distributors on the http:// Evanston, Wyoming peeks out on the lower level as the tracks emerge from the 5,800 and 7600 foot tunnels of Aspen and Altamont. The models tunnels are 11 and 13 feet long.
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Another view of Evanston west of the Aspen and Altamont tunnels (#2 and #3 on the Transcontinental RR) below Laramie and the Hermosa tunnels on Sherman Hill.
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The scenery blending into the custom photo backdrop is coming along nicely on Sherman Hill. This also shows the west end of the twin Hermosa Tunnel.
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Another view of the Sherman Hill area and the incomplete scenery. The Dale Fill is shown with the famous Sherman Hillocks. Dale Junction is modeled accurately with the multiple turnouts and crossovers to enable the change of running from right hand coming up the Hill The F unit diesel leads a train down the right hand #2 over the summit near the building's beam (with the backdrop wrapped around it). Track #3, the Harriman Cutoff joins the #1 and #2 mains at Dale Junction. Toward the bottom of the photo is west bound out of Dale and it is left hand running all the way down the west side of Sherman Hill on #2 (the left track going into Hermosa Tunnel) into Laramie. Jus barely visible on a hidden track third level is the Park City Branch that runs from Echo, Utah to Park City Utah.
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Cheyenne Classification yard on right leading to the Cheyenne steam yard. Center is the prairie bench with the center siding (a Harriman Siding, common in Wyoming), Wamsutter, Wyoming, more prairie, the Red Desert, and on east to Rawlins and the Sinclair Refinery tracks in front of the refinery depiction on the custom photo backdrop.
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The Cheyenne Classification yard from the east end of the layout. Frontier Refinery is just out of the photo at the lower right. This is a good view of the closed wire trays on the front panel of the upper level benches. All screw clamp connectors are in this 6 x 6" cross section channel. The lower level backdrops are curved out bench top to the top, and the resultant space behind these curved pieces serves as the lower level wire trays.
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Rawlins beyond the Sinclair Refinery, with incomplete ground cover dirt on the left. The main structure is at the end beyond these benches.
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Another view of the Sinclair Refinery backdrop and the mines at Hanna. Laramie is on the next bench. I'll have to make shelves into the gray fascia for the coal loads when we get the Bragden Geodesic foam hard shell and scenery over these foam insulation terrain forms.
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As we follow the tracks east back toward Cheyenne, this is a close up of the Hanna coal marshaling yard across from Laramie. Here a train climbs up a grade toward Hanna from Laramie having just passed Medicine Bow, Wyoming. The 3 consist of RS-3 units is for the Hanna to Cheyenne Coal Extra train. The 4 axle switcher is for the same operator to use in the tight curve mine area, after he counts the empty coal hoppers between here and Cheyenne to make up his coal order. Taking off his coal agent's hat he will don his switcher engineer's and assemble his train, then put his caboose on it, and call DS for clearance to go on the main with his train pulled by the RS units. The he delivers his loads and brings the MTs back to the mines.
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A Geep consist with a local leaving Cheyenne past the unpainted brass model of Tower A and under the 5 track signal bridge. The Wyoming Division operates under Rule 251D with written track warrants (with verbal verification by phone), and protection by ABS. These signals are ABS leaving Cheyenne, but entering Cheyenne from the other direction (east bound) Track 2 into Cheyenne is always red to cause each train to stop and ask the YM for permission to enter. The YM then sets the route he needs for the train and pressed a momentary switch for permission to enter the yard. This changes the normally red to yellow for the train to enter. After 30 seconds the aspect returns to red automatically. These "mother-may-I signals are here, both ends of Laramie and Green River (out on the middle of the layout) and the east end of Ogden. The other yard limits of Cheyenne and Ogden are not signaled, since they border into staging.
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Here is the train sent up toward Dale Junction via the Harriman Cutoff. It is taking the main along side the siding on this stretch of bidirectional single track. The whole layout is double tracked, except for the single track #3, the single track OSL, and the single track Park City Branch. We have yet to signal the OSL, but that is upcoming as of February, 2017. We will probably not signal the 30 foot Park City Branch; we only run one turn on it per session.
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An elevated view of the custom photo backdrop up Sherman Hill, Tracks #1 and #2 near the backdrop, and #3, the Harriman Cutoff, in the foreground. The coal tower is at Harriman, Wyoming. The Cutoff was opened in 1953 as a gentler grade (1.15%) up the Hill than the 1.55% constant grade of #1. The yellow Dale Switch Panel for the Dale Tortoise Machines can be seen at the end of the aisle. All switch panels are recessed rocker switches and routes are indicated on the map face by lighted LEDs.
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Here Buzz Lenander OS's to Dispatch on the phone to call in his train's location. Buzz has built a terrific and precise model of the Cheyenne Steam Yard in N scale on two wide modules (5 to 6 fee wide). He has all but one freight house track, I think. Mine is missing 2 freight house tracks and 2 storage tracks.
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Here is Buzz bringing his train through the Hermosa Tunnel properly on the left hand track down toward Laramie. Bob Butler is a Phoenix modeler who was here for this meet to mentor our out of state visitors.
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Buzz has his train waiting at the red mother-may-I signal operated by the Laramie YM. When the YM is ready for the train to enter with the route into the yard all set, he pushes a momentary switch to change the red aspect to the yellow above it. The signals change back to red automatically in 30 seconds.
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The Laramie side of the Tie Treating Plant with stacks of creosoted ties awaiting shipment across the road by the MOW Department. I will model the steam plant by extending the stub track in a curve behind the retort shop. That coal tar must be kept liquid in the cold Wyoming winters.
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Another train up #3. The siding has been reconfigured to be a short section of double track main. The track from Tower A to Dale was too short for 3 blocks (we run trains with engine/consist, caboose and 30 cars), so at Dennis Drury's suggestion (he provided the technical expertise for the signal system), we made this section into only two longer blocks, each ending at one of the turnouts that formerly bounded the siding. Now there is single track, a short section of double track, and more single track from either direction.
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The F unit train approaching Dale on #3. Allen Montgomery's scenery is pretty far along here. The yellow card on the fascia is a schematic of the 4 places that bound the two lengths of left hand running on the layout. The black arrowhead is a "you are here" notice. The hot pink card is instructions on how to OS to the Dispatcher here at Dale. The hot pink color is meant to get the train crews' attentions.
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I guess it worked. Chuck Catania just hung up, as his train emerges from the Hermosa Tunnel on the left hand track. (both tunnels are numbered as #1 by UP. Other pairs have a similar single number, but close tunnels that are not twins (the Aspen-Altamont pair and the two at Curvo have separate numbers, (#2 and #3, and #5 and #6, respectively). I have modeled all 10 of the UP tunnels on its Wyoming Division, and also the daylighted old #7.
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Good work, Chuck.
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I had a double crossover, and not wanting to waste it, I used it at Laramie to change the current of running back to right hand inside the yard. The uard limits are just beyond the turnout leading to Monolith Redimix, so Monolith is within yard limits, so the Laramie YM or his designate must work it. Note the large yellow schematic fascia sign to note the change of running here like at Dale.
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Waiting for the YM to set the route into his yard at the east Laramie yard signal.
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The overhead Cheyenne Steam yard with the red labels of the 69 Tortoise machine operated turnouts via the 10 Cheyenne switch panels. Not all turnouts on the layout have white posts with numbers. For example turnout # 17 between #16 and #18 may not have a marker if it is obvious because of the markers at the other two. Lenny Wyatt scratch built the Passenger House portion of the Cheyenne roundhouse, and is working on plans for the Freight house part, which is slightly larger. He will make it with a section in the middle cutaway to model some machinery inside it, and so the turntable can be seen through the cutaway missing section. Ogden is on the lower level, but not visible here, because of the angle. It is behind a view block anyway. The visible lower 5 tracks is a 5th part of staging, 5 stub tracks we call North Platte. From the staging classification yard completed trains are stored here to be brought up the small helix through Cheyenne onto the layout.
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Left to right: Cheyenne coal tower, 105 foot turntable (Big Boys, you know), the red brick back shop with open diesel shop doors, the boiler shop, tin shop, electrical shop, the blacksmith shop, and in front the light colored brick Yard office, and the twin stack power house with coal loads recently delivered by the Hanna -Cheyenne Coal Extra (delivered to the YM, of course, who has them set out at the power house and coal tower by an intra-yard local--the Cheyenne steam yard being our largest industry. There are 906 spots for freight cars on the Wyoming Division, so it is not just a through train layout.
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Further east in the Steam Yard, the Steel Car Shop combined with a storehouse, both connected to the transfer table which goes into the wheel and tank shop which is next to the Wood Working Shop outside of the older 90 foot turntable. The Grain Door Shop is the low one story building in front. We have many more to build. The TV monitor shows the view from the small camera on the arced arm over the transfer table. We cannot get the indexing to work on it or any of our 5 Walthers 105 foot turntables, so we align them by eye, or in this case by aided eye.
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Cheyenne Steam Yard on left, Hanna mines at near right. These mines are essentially a 4 x 8 plywood sheet layout. We have one of everything. The quarter sheet car cards are one move at a time documents. More moves are added randomly, and not planned like 4 cycle car cards. Which real rail railroad moves its cars repetitively with 4 moves planned for all cars in advance, and with the planning done by the railroad owner? One move at a time is prototypical. "No waybills?" you ask. They are in the cabooses where they belong.
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The Dispatcher's desk can be seen through the railing of the viewing mezzanine which runs the full 75 feet over the layout. It is suspended from 2 giant girder pairs 25 feet from each end spanning the roof and supported at the walls, so there are no posts in the building.
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Lenny is nearing completion of his rock castings on the west portals of Hermosa Tunnel. The dirt is real from Wyoming that Allen collected from Hermosa on his trip there last summer. He collected dirt from all across Wyoming for ground cover on the layout.
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Hanna mines loom over Sinclair Refinery, and Rawlins is in the distance. The actual distance between Hanna and Rawlins is 42 miles, but Sinclair Refinery is only about 10 miles from Rawlins, so this is an example of modeling compression required even for a nearly 4,000 sq foot layout on two levels, because it is 485 miles from Cheyenne to Ogden.
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A good view of Wamsutter and the center siding. The ground cover is just Wyoming dirt from near Wamsutter so far. The two heat pumps hanging over Cheyenne Classification use lines buried in ten 200 foot deep wells under the parking lot for condensers. The ground below 70 feet is a constant 70 degrees, which is a much more efficient cooling environment that air blown over conventional condenser coils at 105 degrees F, a not unusual temperature June to September in this part of Arizona, even though the altitude is over 4,000 feet.
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Same view, more operators. The lady at the right is a regular operator who usually does the Downtown Ogden job. She also embroiders our shirts. Her shirt list her name as "Queen of Downtown Ogden."
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Staging is below Cheyenne Classification. This bench is in 4 parts, A/D, Passenger staging/storage for west of Ogden passenger trains, Storage, and classification (where the cards are leaning against the cars. A main runs down the middle, and not counting that main there are 14 tracks. But these 14 are divided into two sections lengthwise, so we have 28 tracks each capable of holding a 30 car train. But wait! There is more. Behind the camera around the corner is 5 more stub tracks we call NP or North Platte for storage of pre-staged trains ready to be taken up the small helix (visible in the distance) to Cheyenne to enter the layout as if from Chicago, St. Louis, or where ever east of Cheyenne. We call this job the North Platte job, which we press on anyone waiting on a train where these two are standing now.
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Here can be seen the Staging Classification Yard and the stub track storage, 2 of the 4 quarters of main staging. The 5 North Platte 30 car stub tracks are to the far left around the corner. Portland on the hidden track third level is also technically another staging yard, although we only use it for storage of trains ready to enter the layout via the OSL or for trains that have left the layout at Granger onto the OSL and traveled the 186 feet to the 9 tracks of Portland. Naturally it has a turning loop and a 10 track parallel to the other nine for turning the trains, so they don't have to be worked from a rolling stool. The turning loop is conveniently under the main helix. One of the east pair of main beams that support the roof is seen here. It grows in width toward the top where it joins to very large roof rafters from which the mezzanine is hung. This pair is 15 feet from the east end of the building; there is a matching pair 25 feet from the west end.
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Dennis Drury working Downtown Ogden, a large "switching puzzle" with 13 industries with facing and trailing point turnouts. This is SP territory, so the steamer and red reefer beyond Dennis is the SP interchange yard which takes and gives cars from and to UP in Ogden. The Speery Mills silos are seen at the right center in the distance. They are in Ogden which runs along the east wall of the building and mergs into staging around the corner out of the view far to the right.
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Break time in the kitchenette near the front door. I call this Union Headquarters, because everyone is always sitting there. This is a good view of the main helix. The track plan in three sheets hung on the helix will be moved to over the Dispatcher's Desk on the mezzanine. Sometime.
This shows an empty coal hopper on the Sinclair Refinery just east of Rawlins, Wyoming. They are just east of the loading track (with tank crs) and the MT track parallel to that. We have only room for the refinery on this exquisitely detailed custom photo backdrop made from photos found on the internet by our local artist Kelly Daniels. Note the 50's cars. We have no ballast here yet. The road bed is cut from 1/4" thick cork flooring underlayment that I buy in 4 foot x 50 foot rolls, then cut on a vacuum table cutting jig shown in the next photo.
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This is my cork cutting jig set on a bench big enough to hold the roll of cork about to be cut. It is a made in a box about 6 x 6" x 50 " with a hole for a shop vac in one end. Suction to hold the cork down for cutting with a razor knife held at an angle along a “fence” is through the holes of the top made of pegboard. I found that the cork "leaked" too much air through it unless I added a strip of vinyl sheet flooring on top of it. The vinyl is the black strip on top.
Lenny Wyatt is finishing the low mountain and portals of Hermosa Tunnel, #1 on the UP Transcontinental line. He is working on making large batches of clumps of weeds, sagebrush and the sort. The dirt is genuine dirt from that location, and the ballast is AZ Rock. Lenny has carved the castings to make finely detailed rocks. I drove by these twin tunnels 3 or four times, back and forth, but could not see them. Finally I caught a glimpse of this side (the east end) from my truck. I knew from the map that I was in the right place, but the "mountain" did not look worthy of a tunnel. It must be a lot of hard rock, because it would seem on first glance that a cut would be easier.
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