v. ex·trap·o·lat·ed, ex·trap·o·lat·ing, ex·trap·o·lates
1. To infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information.
I've had the day off today!. Been really busy of late. As of 11/11/11, I already have 122.75 hours for the month (and that's being off last Sunday!). That HOS Waiver is a blessing... and a curse. However, I need some big years to help the Tier II portion of my Railroad Retirement as I head toward that day... so no complaints!
Anyway, it should come as no surprise that today has been a day of odds and ends about the house and RELAXING. Now... given my eccentric ways... what better way to relax than tinkering with a route? Exactly!
Sooo... I've been layin' some track and doin't some thinkin': Both tonics for me ol' brain n' body. That so... it should come as no surprise that I'm fiddlin' with my Fayetteville & Little Rock concept. Pull up a chair an' I'll spin you a yarn...
As you may, or may not, be aware of, I've laid track for the basic St. Paul line before. (It's a branch off my Frisco Lines mega-route.) This time though (as mentioned previously), I'm building it as if it remained an independant. line. Thus, I'm having to think about the towns and such. Much of it is (and will be) like it actually was. You see, I had 1920's track charts to work from when I originally laid the St. Paul Branch on the Frisco Lines project, and I am referring back to my Frisco Lines version of the St. Paul Branch for reference points. Therefore, the towns are where they should be, the pass tracks are where they should be and the physical land features are being integrated into the track work as much as practical whenever possible.
Where I'm having to extrapolate is in the backdating.
You see, there was MUCH more happening in the 1880's than when the 1920's track chart was made. By 1920, the true boom times had been long gone for many years. During the 1920's, things were REALLY winding down and the Great Depression would come along and finish off the entire St. Paul Branch. So, the 1920's track chart only had the remaining pass tracks and a handful of industries depicted.
The huge boom for the line was in the late 1880's through the 1890's and into the early teens of the 20th century. Therefore, the new town trackage on the F&LR version reflect that. That is, at a town that only had a pass track illustrated on the 1920's track chart, on the F&LR version there is typically a station track and/or a team track, etc. Some of the towns will have even small stock pens. Nothing major or "hokey"... just allowances for "boom" and the shipping/receiving of freight, stock, and passengers.
I did have to interpret the eastern terminus of Fayette Jct quite a bit differently than what it looked like as a Frisco branch junction on the 1920's track chart. Namely, I had to incorporate F&LR engine facilities, a combination freight house and team track, a location for a joint F&LR and Frisco depot alongside the Frisco mainline, and a small classification yard. The prototype wye legs w/sidings have become north/south inbound/outbound interchange tracks with the Frisco. More good stuff in the Fayette Jct area is on the way, for I am going to represent the connection at McNair (about .4 tenths of a mile north of Fayette Jct on the Frisco) and the connection with the prototype Ozark & Cherokee Central. In my F&LR virtual world, the Frisco has granted trackage rights to the F&LR for the short transfer move to McNair and interchange with the O&CC.
Once completed end to end, the F&LR will reflect several different personalities:
* At Fayette Jct, there will be engine hostling, yard switching, transfers to/from the O&CC and interchange with the Frisco, etc, to keep me busy.
* Fayette Jct (MP 0.0) to Durham (MP 15.3) will be fruit and vegetables as well as cattle country, for the White River valley is wide through that portion. However do NOT let that "White River valley" thing deceive you... there are short grades of 1.31% that can bring you to your knees (even stall) if one doesn't manage the throttle and Johnson Bar with adeptness! (No gradient will exceed 1.31% either direction from Fayette Jct to St. Paul.)
* On the 17.6 miles between Durham to St. Paul (MP 32.9), timber products become more and more primary. St. Paul will have several mills (prototypical). At Combs (MP 28.4), there will be interchange with the prototype Black Moutain & Eastern. On the BM&E tracks at Combs, will be the large Phipps Bros. sawmill and the BM&E's small yard, other tracks, as well as engine service/etc.
* It appears as though the western helper station will be needed at either St. Paul or Pettigrew. There is a yet another 1.31% grade just east of St. Paul and a 1.57% grade coming into Pettigrew. Doubt prototype management would dispatch trains out of Fayette Jct with maximum tonnage for the 1.31% knowing they will stall on the 1.57% coming into Pettigrew. Thus, St. Paul seems the likely candidate to become the western helper station. Even if Pettigrew misses out on becoming the helper station, Pettigrew will have several sawmills as well as other basic industries. (Team and house tracks, cattle pens, etc.)
* From Pettigrew (MP 40.9), the F&LR will transform into a full blown mountain line. I suspect there will be at least 3% grades to get up on the ridge it will use to the easternmost watercourse descent. Navigating significant mountains will be the major theme for the next twenty miles or so to the eastern descent and the point in the hollow or valley where the eastern helper station will be located. Once on the ridge, I hope to keep grades within that 1.31% figure so that once a train is helped up (either direction) it can handle the terrain by itself the rest of the way unassisted.
* From the exit of the mountains into the Arkansas River valley, again I suspect fruit and vegetables as well as cattle/stock. BUT... there will now be coal to exploit. Judging from the maps of the eastern end of the coal belt in the region, I suspect a short coal branch will be needed to tap into the easternmost reaches of the Arkansas coal belt. Hargarville looks to be the likely town that will become a branch junction for the coal branch. (Oooo! Ooooo! Just had a thought: It may be very possible to run the coal branch to the booming town of Clarksville and a connection with the prototype Iron Moutain branch to Clarksville!)
* Lastly, once the terminus of Lewisburg is reached, the entire look will be that of a riverboat town. I am not going to make any attempt to model the Iron Mountain & Southern line to Little Rock (on which it appears the F&LR was going to use trackage rights to access). Instead, all Little Rock traffic will enter/leave off "stage" via AI trains with just enough Iron Mountain track in place to allow such.
Big project? Yup. BUT one that really hits close to home for me. May never finish it, but I'll CERTAINLY have fun with!
Wow... all this... and I haven't even talked about the engine roster yet!