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Massive Update w/Pics 11/26/11


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#1 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:09 PM

Hi All!

Mr. Verbosity is going to do it again: Type an illustrated novelette! tongue.gif

Now on with the show!...

First off. Lots has happened on my F&LR project.

For starters, after reaching the first summit town of Boston, it was my intention to follow the ridge to a drop off point, some 20 miles away. (I have assumed that is what the F&LR was going to do "back when".) Well... there just wasn't any way. I spent several evenings scouting terrain and studying topo maps. The top of the ridge rises/falls too fast to use. I may go back and try again... but for now it's just not happening. What DID those founding father "crazies" have in mind when they chartered to Lewisburg???

SOOOooo... it was drop back and punt.

Figured the best option was to look for a way over the divide near Boston, and try to get a line down to Little Mulberry Creek, then run Little Muberry to the Mulberry River valley, head east, and follow the Mulberry River up toward its headwaters until I could find a suitable hollow(s) to gain the altitude needed to surmount the final divide.

This I did, though it was not by the routing I thought I was going to use! (These are some RUGGED mountains, fella's! Gotta' adjust along the way!) Along the way between Boston and the next divide, the rails pass through such illustrious places as Spoke Plant, Friley, Yale, Oark, Catalpa, and Hignite. Once the rails were up on top, the town of Clifty was born. From Clifty, the rails drop down the steepest grade on the line using Clifty Hollow and Devil's Fork Hollow. FINALLY, the rails have reached Little Piney Creek, the watercourse the line will use to exit the roughest of the mountains.

It's been some mighty tough sluggin' to get this thing through these tumbled masses of terra firma known as The Ozarks... but lemme' tell 'ya... when running a train in the sim, the scenes are well worth it! It would have been SO COOL if the prototype had been completed!

Some factoids...

Ruling grades:

Fayette Junction to St. Paul: 1.05% with short stretches of 1.31%.
St. Paul to Pettigrew: 1.31% and 1.57%.
Pettigrew to Boston: 3.14%
Descent to Spoke Plant: 3.14%
Spoke Plant to Hignite (descending and ascending): 1.05%.
Hignite to Clifty: 3.14%
Descent from Clifty to Little Piney creek: 3.66%

Running the Little Piney appears I'll be able to keep the gradient to 1.05%.

Unknown what I'll face once I start working eastward in the foothills alongside the Arkansas River to Lewisburg!

As for distances:

As per the prototype, St. Paul Branch to Pettigrew is 40.9 miles. Until completed, it is difficult to reckon exact mileage, but I think it is safe to assume that I have already nearly doubled the miles constructing the unfinished portion of the F&LR. Total miles to Lewisburg should be in the 145-150 range.

Now for some illustrations...

First up: An overall pic of the route's progress as of the today:



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#2 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:15 PM

Now we'll look at some of the towns along the way. First, the towns that were actually on the prototype...

Combs: Junction with the Black Mountain & Eastern (which I intend to model). I have been able to stay quite faithful to the prototype data I have for Combs. Here is an AE schematic pic of Combs...



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#3 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:20 PM

Next is St. Paul. I had to project St. Paul a bit. That is, it is situated where it needs to become a helper station. Perhaps this is what the actual F&LR had in mind, for at first there was a small engine facility and turntable at St. Paul. Anyway, the additions are minimal. (Most obvious is the wye needed for MSTS.)

Ozark Northern owners will see lots of similarities between St. Paul on the ON and the F&LR version of St. Paul. Reason? I did stay pretty close to St. Paul's basic track alignments on the Ozark Northern!

Having been at the actual town of St. Paul more times than I can count, I am pleased that the "feel" of St. Paul and that area is nicely replicated within the sim.

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#4 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:22 PM

Last of the towns that the prototype rails reached was Pettigrew. Below is what Pettigrew looks like. As Combs, my version of Pettigrew is close to the prototype track data I have for it. Not perfect, but again, "feels" right in the sim.

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#5 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:30 PM

Now we're on the "chartered but never built" portion of the F&LR. From the onset of this project, I determined that as I pushed the rails toward the chartered terminal of Lewisburg, I would do my best to keep this effort as plausible as possible, given the terrain it must traverse.

Thus, I have tried to keep all the town and track elements practical, and am avoiding the temptation to create puzzle switching areas et al. Sure, there will be local switching, for almost all towns (back then) had team tracks and such, but I am avoiding cramming every town with much more industry than was in the region. And, there will be places that aren't easy to switch... but they will be based on prototype practice or a prototype. (More on that later.)

First of the "new" construction towns is the summit town of Boston. (Note in-sim pics of Boston are in another thread here.)

(To be continued... supper's on!)

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#6 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:03 PM

Next is the town of Spoke Plant (actual place). Apparently, Spoke Plant got its name from a looong time ago because... well... there was must have been a spoke plant there! (Spoke plants made spokes for wagon wheels as well as other hardwood items.)

EDIT: Forgot to say when originally posted that Spoke Plant is the eastbound helper station to Boston summit.

Here's what Spoke Plant looks like:

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#7 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:15 PM

The town of Oark.

Oark is another actual place. When the rails pass through an actual town area, I develop a town at that location, i.e. pass track w/team or just a team track if needed. Wife and I often eat at the 1890 General Store at the town of Oark. (Here's a link to the actual place: http://www.oarkgeneralstore.com/store )

At Oark, I've done something that I intend to do more of: I used a prototype track schematic/industries from another railroad.

In this case, I lifted the track/industries from the town of Shirley that was on the extended North Arkansas line. I always thought Shirley an interesting town... so put it to good use!

(To be continued...)

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#8 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:43 PM

Hignite...

Next is the helper station at Hignite. Haven't a clue what/who "Hignite" was. Got the name from Hignite Hollow nearby (also Hignite Gap). Anyway... a full-blown helper station that will have a small town alongside.

It's a wonderful run along the Little Mulberry Creek and Mulberry River up toward its headwaters. Lots of hollows and mountain peaks as the line meanders along.

(To be continued...)

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#9 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 05:51 PM

Last schematic for now: Clifty.

Clifty is the top of the last divide (I hope). From Clifty, the rails descend to the floor of the Little Piney Creek watercourse and will follow Little Piney out of the moutains.

This Clifty got its name from Clifty Hollow, which is right alongside (east) and which the rails use to descend toward Little Piney Creek. There IS another Clifty, Arkansas... it is up toward Eureka Springs. However, in 1889 (my target era) small towns were just developing and this one beat the "other" Clifty to the use of the name! At least, that's my story an' I'm a' stickin' to it. biggrin.gif

Had a devil of a time getting the line from Clifty to Little Piney Creek. Seems no matter where I tried to route the rails, I ended up in the cul-de-sac named Devil's Fork Hollow. Couldn't get the rails bent around in that tight abyss so they could be headed back down toward the correct direction! Finally had to steepen the descent, which allowed me to reach a spot wide enough to get the rails bent 180 degrees and get on down to the floor. Ended up having to use curvature as tight as was found on the Colorado Midland! Wild.

Next up, a few in-sim pics around Clifty.

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#10 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:04 PM

Now for some in-sim shots of Clifty...

Pic 1...

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#11 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:04 PM

Clifty, Pic 2...

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#12 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:06 PM

Clifty, Pic 3...

(As with the above pictures, you can "click the pic" to view full sized.)

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#13 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:06 PM

Last Clifty pic...

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#14 laming

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:15 PM

This pretty much concludes the "Massive Update" from me. (Finally! laugh.gif )

Few points as I close out and head off to other things:

* I'm intentionally trying to keep the grades in the... ahem... "flatter" portions to 1.05%. Reason for this is so if you can leave a yard with a "tonnage" train for the flat portions, you ought be able to make it a helper station. (If no helpers are avaiable, I reckon' you'll double to the top!)

* In the "flatter" portions (yeow, right!), the above effort is causing the rails to meander along following the contours of the land instead of just setting a track at a flat gradient and blasting along with 500m and 250m straights and letting the "Y" key do its dirty work. (Which results in a perfectly boring and seldom prototypical route.)

In all, I have really been enjoying breathing virtual life into a line that has held my fascination for over 3 decades.

Now... you guys need to PRAY that I'll actually scenic some portions of this and get it out there into your hands. IF you like this kind of railroading* you'd get it in SPADES.

* TOC19 era with major towns, small towns, mountain settlements, wild topography, trestles galore, etc, etc!!!

See 'ya later alligators!!

#15 laming

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 02:22 PM

Update to the Update smile.gif :

Fayette Jct has been bugging me. Was intending to add enough track to interchange with the prototype Ozark & Cherokee Central since I've started this project... just hadn't gotten around to it. Well, last night and part of today, a Round Tuit arrived... so I've constructed the junction at McNair, as well as the O&CC jct, the O&CC interchange tracks and enough east/west O&CC and north/south SLSF main tracks to afford AI trains.

Wanted to include the O&CC track/interchange so the F&LR can run interchange freight to/from them. (The SLSF graciously granted us trackage rights over their main about 2-3 tenths of a mile to McNair!)

Anyhoo... here's another of my World Famous AE Schematic Screens, complete with genuine "Coonskin" Annotations! What more could you ask for? tongue.gif



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#16 S. Weaver

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:02 PM

Whoo! Oark = Massive Cheeseburger with all of the trimmings!

No, seriously my friend, you have been busy. This route is highly attractive to me. Of course it looks like another great Ozark route to break our necks on with those grades east of Clifty. Fayette Jct is intriguing.

Cheering you on ...

#17 atsf37l

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:05 PM

The boys with the shovels will be workin' hard on this one! foof.gif

#18 laming

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 06:25 PM

Hi Steve!

"Oark = Massive cheeseburgers"

That was some good eatin', huh? I have a slight anachronistic enigma to address once I'm doing scenery at Oark: The Oark General Store that you, Ann, Sharon and yours truly dined at was built in 1890... however I'm targeting 1889 as the era for my version of the F&LR. Sooo... "technically" the Oark General Store wasn't there. BUT... it is MY railroad and I'M the one fool enough to build it (the original founders chickened out!)....

SOOOO....

I decree that the Oark General Store was brand new in 1889. smile.gif I'll have to double check my lats/lon coordinates, but hopefully a model of the General Store will be visible from the tracks. That'd be cool.

As fer grades:

Well, so far I've avoided 4% grades as per the Ozark Northern. HOPEFULLY, I won't get "surprised" once I'm out of the mountains and working the foothills along the Arkansas River valley toward Lewisburg. But of course, that's a ways off yet. Scary part is, on the topo maps I've already seen some sections where the land has 200' of rise within one mile. Ummm... last I checked, a direct assault would result in 4%. Pray for me! biggrin.gif

Fayette Jct:

Fun looking, isn't it? By the way, the short run from the F&LR wye up to McNair is on 1.05% ascending. IF there's a bunch of loads goin' to the O&CC, reckon you'll be makin' two trips!

Still to come at Fayette Jct: The F&LR's car shops and some passenger car provisions. Haven't decided how to do that yet.

Howdy Herb!

Yup... Otto (the Fireman) is going to get a workout on the grades... BUT... running a near tonnage freight over the "flatter" portions ("flatter portions"... BWHAHAHAHAAH!! laugh.gif ) is quite an excersise in steam management as well. It's a lot of fun getting a train over this line thus far.

All:

Like I said... it would be GREAT if I've found my route "niche" and I can actually get some scenery in a portion and share it you guys. Strangely, I find myself looking forward to creating the needed static models for this one. I think it's because it is NOT a well-publicized, "high profile" prototype, and thus I have much more latitude to extrapolate/improvise to get the job done.

This "latitude" thing is one of the reasons my Colorado Midland idea died on me. Namely, as well covered as the CM is (books, drawings, etc, etc), the route supporting models would have to be SPOT ON, or the whole effort would suffer. Next time you browse a CM book... think in terms of having to come up with the correct textures, colors, dimensions, et al, in order to populate an ENTIRE route with CM-specific structures. VERY disheartening.

FWIW: The rails are just a few miles from the midway point to Lewisburg. I will be building a division point at the midway point. Looks like the community that's gonna' get the division point will be Mt. Levi. Wow... I'm getting ready to change their history!!

Welp... all for now.

#19 laming

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 03:06 PM

Might as well give a quick update as I'm waiting for the lil' S10 to warm up (gotta' leave in a few minutes... working nights this week. sad.gif )

ANYWAY...

Finished "Mt. Levi" a few days ago. Mt. Levi is the division point. The track at Mt. Levi is almost a 100% schematic reproduction of the prototype town of Heber Springs on the Missouri & North Arkansas. (Heber Springs was a division point on that prototype.) So... it's prototype! (Just from a different prototype!)

As it sits, the F&LR is on hold until a kind alpha tester has the time to look at it. In the meantime, I've put a few rails in place for the Black Mountain & Eastern southeast out of Combs, Ark.

See'ya!!!

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#20 S. Weaver

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:37 PM

Holding, aye, aye. tongue.gif