John Henry Ain't Got Nutthin' On Me! 7/14/12
Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:41 PM
Shortly after phlyer phil posted his "hello" thread... things have started poppin'.
I think the biggest reason for all my renewed interest and activity is owed to John the History Guy. His new book on the coal belt in Sebastian County, AR is really packed with good info. Plus, he was kind enough to burn a DVD of some additional information he has amassed over the years he's been digging. (BTW, John has found/purchased MSTS, has it installed, and has begun learning how to nagvigate therein! He LIKED what he saw in my Frisco Lines project when over at my house a few weekends ago.)
So, what have I been piddlin' at? Glad you asked! (You DID ask, didn't you? You didn't? No matter... I'm gonna' tell you anyway!)
As mentioned in the "hello" thread, I had decided to backdate my 1908 version of the Frisco Lines to reflect the late 1880's. Well, I've tackled that in a mighty way, and thus far:
* The 17.9 mile Mansfield Branch has been modified to reflect the 1880's, including several additions and revisions.
* The St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern tracks have been revised at Van Buren to reflect the late 1880's. I LOVE the "new" IM&S! John's Sanborn maps and "Perspective Map" he kindly provided really lit a fire under me to create such in MSTS. All of the IM&S is now situated along the banks of the Arkansas River. The IM&S portion of Van Buren is going to make a super neat river port town!
* The St.L&SF tracks at Van Buren were reworked to reflect the late 1880's. The depot location was moved, as well as some other simplistic changes. Long Bell Lumber switch is in and awaits track, still need to drop in the switch for the stock pen spur and a few other minor things.
Wow. LOTS has been accomplished at Fort Smith!
* IM&S: Track extensively reworked to better reflect the new era. Looks less like an industrial line now, and more like a growing city line. Still PLENTY of industries to serve, however, as there was almost no loss of customers that were represented, merely less supporting track.
* St.L&SF: Wow... HUGE changes. Total revamping of the rails exiting the city to the south, reduced track in the "Alleys", was able to downsize the sprawling yard complex as well as some other things. Trust me though, there is still a LOT of industries to serve, yard work, etc. BUT... I was able to reduce the object count to 349 on the worst tile, and some of that is place holding road sections. (To be replaced with painted roads on the terrtex.) I suspect at least 40 or so road pieces will eventually come out, this puts me in much better shape when the time comes to start populating Fort Smith with resource-eating SCENERY.
So, that takes car of the track changes that have been accomplished thus far. Still a few odds and ends to tie up in Fort Smith... I will likely do that tonight.
Welp... all for now!
Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:21 PM
You go, guy.
Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:42 PM
Well... it's fun to tinker with my Frisco Lines project! I realize my effort has lots of compromises and intentional anachronisms... but the "feel" is there in regards to the trackwork.
I've created a map of IM&S at Van Buren via Activity Editor to help illustrate what I was describing above.
Posted 15 July 2012 - 06:54 AM
Glad to see things are "a-popp'n"!
Really looking forward to a back-dated Frisco Lines.
This will be a fine addition to both the North Arkansas and Ozark Northern routes.
Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:19 PM
I'm a' goin'... I'm a' goin! (Sort of!)
Backdating it has been a good decision.
Spent some time tonight repainting my first St.L & SF engine: A Rogers locomotive #52 of 1880 vintage. The tender lettering is going to need to be redone to account for the stretching/compression that sometimes occurs when textures are applied to a model. It's gonna' be a nice looking engine when finished.
Instead of pullin' n' ploppin' down track, I decided to run a 13 car train of loads/empties over the Iron Mountain from Van Buren Yard, over through Fort Smith, and on down to Greenwood, a distance of about 24 or so miles.
Gotta' admit: This mega-route is like getting several shortline railroads and a long main line railroad... all in one wad of a route. The Iron Mountain's Greenwood Branch is completely independant of the Iron Mountain's north/south (time table direction) mainline... thus can indeed be treated like a seperate entity. Anyway... was boogey'n along and up ahead I remembered Rye Hill. Got the best run I could at it through the sag at the approach... hit the bottom running about 32 MPH but was soon down to 5 MPH... however I made it over the top! Soon I was rattling through Jenny Lind... then had to make another run for another pull... this time over Long Ridge. Once at Greenwood I ran around the train and shoved it over to the Midland Valley interchange. Relaxing fun.
One thing that I have yet to capitilize upon in regards to the ealier era's I like to model: Air brakes. Or, more properly, lack of same. My target era of the late 1880's was a period of lots of transistions taking place: The move from straight air to automatic air... heck... even the adding of air brakes! Anyway, I have never modeled cars with no air (hand brakes only). When browsing the older Employee Time Tables I have access to, without fail they all contain rules on handling air and non-air cars. Very much unlike today's railroading, a train "back then" was allowed to leave its initial terminal with only 75% of the cars having functioning brakes! No wonder there were such strict speed restrictions on steep descents!
Anyway... had a relaxing evening (had to work today)... and just decided to kick back and piddle with my latest craze.
All fer now!
Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:57 PM
I'll be workin' nights this week. Been hittin' ol' RE and the rails have reached Bengal, I.T. and are poised to start climbing the helper grade over Winding Stair Mountain... but it's time to leave for work.