The track arrangement at Glenrock:
Pretty simple, huh? That's because the town of Glenrock is on the opposite side of the North Platte River from the CB&Q. The Burlington had only a passing siding called "Glenrock", which is what's modeled here.
One of the realism compromises I've made here is that trains pass through the Glenrock area the wrong way, based on where the town of Glenrock is on the layout. On the track plan at this point, North is up, and the town of Glenrock would be on the backdrop at the bottom of the plan (on the wall). But in real life, in this same orientation Casper is to the left and Douglas to the right, the reverse of the directions on the plan. Of course, I could say Glenrock is in the aisle and maybe move the North Platte between the Glenrock siding and the aisle, making North to the bottom, thus correcting the discrepancy. But on the other hand, I'd like to see Glenrock on the backdrop, and not just prairie. Who knows? Something to mull over.
Glenrock's biggest claim to fame now, and probably the only reason it's still a viable community, is the Dave Johnston Power Plant a couple miles east of town. This is a coal burning plant, and coal trains arrive frequently to feed this hungry monster. In the mid-sixties, when I toured the power plant with the rest of my sixth-grade class, the plant was a fraction of its current size, with only the two smallest, and the next-to-smallest, units in the production (the third one, the slightly larger one, had just gone into operation at that time). In the layout timeframe the plant didn't exist at all yet, so it won't be found here.
As of the end of January, 2008, I had the sky backdrop in place behind the Glenrock siding, plus the first section of the hills backdrop. You can also see finished fascia at the benchwork edge. The cutouts are for access to the Minneapolis staging yard, located directly below Glenrock.
That subroadbed with unfinished track climbing from right to left is the line from the helix to Thermopolis. It will be hidden underneath the hills behind the Glenrock tracks.
By mid-March 2008 I was beginning to build scenery at Glenrock. This is my first foray into foam scenery. Here I've cut and placed the base level of foam and glued additional blocks of foam where hills will be in the foreground.
I used infrared detectors fon Minneapolis staging yard, and found that the foam reflected the IR light back to the detectors, giving a false "occupied" indication on the control panel (this was not unexpected). I glued small squares of sandpaper to the bottom of the foam sheet above each detector. The sand on the paper served to scatter the light and prevent it from reflecting back to the sensor - problem solved! See the construction pages for more details.
By mid-April (still 2008) I started the foam block that would cover the Thermopolis line behind Glenrock.
In this photo I've stacked and glued long blocks of 1 1/2" (I think - it's been awhile) foam to build up the hill.
Over the next months I carved it into a hill shape and temporarily installed in on the layout.
It's now mid-October 2008, and the basic landforms are in at the east end of Glenrock.
You can see that the hills backdrop has been painted with something that's supposed to look like grasses , sagebrush and bare dirt. Hey, I tried.
The hills are temporarily covered with painted masking tape, and a few trees stuck in the foam. That was temporary, for a photo of the area for a clinic I would be giving on the helix at the Hartford National convention of the NMRA in 2009. Plus, I wanted to get a better idea of how it might look than what the pink foam would provide. It was showing some promise, I think. Unfortunately I didn't get much farther than this at Glenrock before the layout came down.