The Casper Layout

Modeling – The Present – The Casper Layout

The top part of this page is a blog of recent activity. Every three months or so, when the page gets too long, I'll move everything into the appropriate link below. Enjoy!

1 October

I mounted the backdrop frames all the way to the Hudson benchwork:

And then cut the backdrop to the right height and mounted it.

3 October

Yesterday I painted the new section of backdrop.

Today I uploaded my October layout construction update to YouTube.

9 October

Work is progressing towards Hudson on the Chicago & Northwestern. October 4th I got the subroadbed in place into Hudson.

Later that evening the roadbed was in place. The pins hold the curves until the glue dries.

By the 7th I had new track down leading into the curve just east of Hudson.

Yesterday I laid the roadbed in Hudson and then marked the track centerlines. Hudson is a very small town - just the mainline and a siding. The siding here will be my first use of code 55 rail. if it works, I'll use all code 55 track for sidings along this line.

Last evening I built the ramp from the mainline roadbed down to the Hudson roadbed. From here on west to Lander all the track will be laid on the thinner cork. I also curved, but didn't yet install, the track leading to the switch that will be installed on the ramp (I've never had a problem with derailments on turnouts on these ramps). Here's a picture of the ramp under construction:

11 October

I got the CNW branchline past the turnout into Hudson yesterday.

Today I test ran a train onto the new track. The track past the frog in the switch (under the flatcar) isn't powered yet - I still have to do the wiring. But I ran the train backwards into Hudson and the track seemed just fine.

In a few days I should have the code 55 track from Walthers, and I'll start laying the siding. I'm really looking forward to trying that small rail!

Here's a medium-resolution photo of the real depot at Hudson from around 1915. As you can see, there are at least three tracks here, but on the layout I'll only have two.

Later this evening I printed out a draft of some pictures I took near Hudson a few days ago, and taped them to the backdrop to get an idea of how it might look. Let me know what you think of the backdrop in these photos:

21 October

I got the code 55 track I ordered, and on the 18th set a piece in Hudson for the station siding, to the left of the mainline in this photo.

I took the panoramic photo to a printer and had them print a few copies on their large-format printer. I had them reverse one left-to-right so three copies would match end-to-end. I got it back on the 18th. Here's what the final copy looks like unrolled on a work table. Total length of each section is about 12 1/2 feet.

This is a view of a section of the backdrops all on the same sheet of paper.

On the 19th I cut one of the backdrops from the other two, and am about to start trimming it.

Here's a comparison of the backdrop I printed at home, just below the one I had done at the printer. The ones I paid to have printed look a lot better!

I set the trimmed out backdrop behind Hudson to see how it would look.

Today I temporarily mounted two backdrops end-to-end on the section above Casper and posed a train in front of it to get a good look before permanently installing the backdrop. Here's a couple of shots:

On 4 November, 2019, my wife and I moved into our new house in Casper Wyoming. I was back home!

I had an unfinished basement comparable in size to the one I left behind in Merchantville. Here are a couple shots from out house hunting trip in October:

Even before we moved, I was fiddling around with ideas for track plans (or course). But I didn't do very much except daydream, because we had a lot to do on our house in Merchantville to get it ready to sell.

Once we moved to Casper and settled in a bit, I did have time to start messing around with track plans. Lots of time, because I needed to finish the train room before I started building this fifth version of the CB&Q in Wyoming.

I did produce an update video in December, chronicling the track planning process to that point, introducing the new layout space, and giving a brief recap of the previous four versions of the layout:

The basement was pretty cluttered. We put nearly all the stuff we brought with us that didn't have a specific home right in - you guess it - the train room:

Click the buttons below to look at the construction of the second Cove Road layout, or to go on to the last version the layout, in Casper Wyoming.