5 February 2020
Posted my latest construction update to YouTube a couple days ago:
28 January 2020
I'm continuing to refine and clarify the track plan. Here I've adjusted the position of the blob ends of the Wind River Canyon and Worland peninsulas to provide a bit more aisle space for Casper operators. I've also added track elevations for all locations, to help provide a bit of elevation information so you can see how tracks are separated vertically.
24 January 2020
I've spent many hours over the last few days on the track plan. Based on input from members of the Model Railroader forums, I've been fleshing out what I called Option 5, which is the last plan in the 19 January posting below. Here it is in it's current form:
This is turning out to be a multi-deck plan, but the decks are relatively small and located in different areas of the basement. The Wind River Canyon peninsula looks pretty complicated, but I've checked all elevations and they work out. The hidden Frannie Staging is on the lowest level of the layout. Cody is about 4 inches above that, then Thermopolis, on the main deck, is about 15" above Cody. Ten inches higher, and hidden in the peninsula, is the Lander branch, climbing towards Lander on the opposite side of the room.
It looks very complicated, but it isn't that bad. The hard part was working out the elevations.
I'll be adding some elevation markers as I further refine the plan, and maybe posting some cross-section views to clarify track clearances, etc.
19 January 2020
Work continues on the basement floor. It's going slowly, but it is going:
Driving those Tapcon concrete screws in the floor is really difficult. The drill bit is good for 15-20 holes maximum. Even a new bit in my hammer drill isn't easy. I have to put a lot of weight on the back of the drill to make the bit penetrate. Then I have to put a lot of weight on the impact driver too, to keep the phillips bit from jumping out of the head of the screw. Crawling around on my knees doing that at my age is a real challenge! Getting 10-15 screws in a day is what I consider good work.
I had to move all my boxes of books (heavy!), benchwork, etc. from the middle of the cement floor over onto the first half-dozen anchored sheets of OSB. I'll have to move them again in a month or two to install studwalls. Plus I'm still sorting through a lot of boxes of workroom tools and supplies on the other side of the stairway.
And to top it all off I'm having a heck of a time with the track plan. I now have several concepts I'm working on...
This first one you've seen before. Nothing new here. It's developed far enough that I know it will work.
Here's another version with the peninsula next to the long wall reversed. I kinda like this one:
Here Casper is perpendicular to the long wall. The Burlington mainline is worked out, but the branches and the NP aren't present yet:
Here Casper is located at the right end of the long wall. In this plan I've omitted the NP completely, and the Frannie cutoff is a hidden staging reversing loop at the left end of the long wall. I do like where Lander and Cody are located. Cody would be directly above Lander. I forgot the label for Frannie / Orin - it would be located directly behind Casper, at the top of the diagram. There are some elevation problems with this plan, and it may simply not work at all:
And finally, here's Casper at the opposite end of the long wall. In this one, as in the one above, the Frannie cutoff simply ends in a hidden staging yard, and there is no NP. Cody and Lander runs are still be be developed. This one would include a swing gate or lift-out section at one end or the other of the Frannie / Orin Interchange yard.
I seem to be struggling with this plan more than I have for any of the prior layouts I've started. Not sure why. Fortunately, I have months of basement work to do before I can even start on the layout in earnest, so there's plenty of time to settle on a track plan.
7 January 2020
A few days ago I posted the latest layout construction update:
Beyond what you see there, work is now moving ahead a bit faster on the basement. I've laid the first four sheets of OSB floor base:
It doesn't look like much, I know, but each sheet is fastened through the dimpled membrane to the concrete using eight Tapcon phillips screws. That involves using a hammer drill to drill into the floor, then using an impact driver to run the screws down. At my age and size, that's not easy! These were installed yesterday and today, and right now the muscles in the back of my upper legs and backside are pretty sore! I'm sure tomorrow will be worse.
I can place one more sheet of OSB, then to proceed on I'll need to roll out some more of the membrane (which I have on hand). Here's a view looking on down the first row of OSB to the far end of the basement:
Placing the membrane goes quickly, but after the rest of the row on the right is complete I'll have to move the big pile of boxes over onto the OSB to be able to continue work. That will happen in the next day or two.