Sunday, September 12, 2010

Trackwork begins

CODE 80 vs CODE 55?
If I had to start over again, I would consider using Atlas code 55 especially seeing what they have added to the line since it first made it's d├ębut.

Since the yard was already laid out with Atlas code 80 flex and a mixture of mainly Atlas and some Peco turnouts, I decided to continue down the same road.  Not too mention that I could use what I had saved and salvaged from previous layouts. This also kept Mr. Wallet very happy. 

Some folks say c80 looks so big and out of scale, which I agree.  It doesn't look as prototypical as the Atlas c55 and Micro Engineering products [both the c80 and c55] but nothing a coat of paint, ballast and a little weathering won't take care.  It's also reliable and more forgiving than the smaller rail can be, and since I would be going for operations, I could live with a little larger looking rails and ties and less aggravations.   

The only turnouts that would be powered, would be a few on the rear yard behind the engine facility.  It's a little bit of a reach for these, so a good friend built a Diode Matrix for a routing control which solved that problem nicely.

All of the turnouts on the mainlines and sidings are Peco large or large curved.  The yard at El Dorado is  laid mostly of Peco medium turnouts.  At Malvern there are both Peco large & medium turnouts.  At a few places there are a handful Atlas #8 that I have spiked for a single route only.




The track on the right leads to the main yard.  It serves as both Biddle Yard in Little Rock, AR on the north end of the line and the yard in Alexandria, LA on the south end of the line.

The track that runs through the back drop is for south bound trains that originate in Little Rock and the track that crosses the diamonds is used for the north bound trains originating in Alexandria.

The track in the middle that parallels the edge of the benchwork is used for continuous running.






In this shot we see an overview of Winnfeild, LA and Tioga Junction.  This is the southern most terminus on the line for the local turn.  In the following shots, we will be following the track northbound.

This is where The Rock Island leaves their rails and exercises trackage rights on the KCS to access the yard in Alexandria, LA.   At one time there was only a crossing for the KCS. 


The single industrial lead is for Union Scrap and Iron Co. which is the only customer in Winnfield [at least for now]

The tracks against the backdrop are the visible staging yard for the ICG which will interchange with the Rock Island at Ruston, LA. the next town north.






Here in Ruston, LA the ICG hands off chemical tankers and pulpwood cars to the Rock Island who in turn hand them off to the W&OV [Warren & Ouchita Valley] in El Dorado further north of here.

The W&OV serves the town of Malvern, AR [which can be seen in the upper left and behind the column, the tracks are all in at the time of this posting].





Another shot of Ruston, LA.  The front half of the main yard can be seen in the background.






This is the South end of Dubach, LA. the next town North of Ruston, LA.

This is the only siding between Winnfield, LA and El Dorado, AR. on the south side of the layout.

The town of Dubach is home to three industries:
In the front right is ARKLA Distributing [A distributor of plastic pellets].
A&A Precast Cement Co. in the corner.
The Piggly Wiggly Distribution Center off the picture and to the left.






Here we see the north end of Dubach.
In the bottom of the picture and to the left of the tracks is where Piggly Wiggly will be located.


Next stop: El Dorado, AR.




After leaving Dubach we cross the state line into Arkansas and we see the South end of the yard at El Dorado.





You're looking north at the midpoint yard at El Dorado.

Left to right:
The passing siding, mainline, Arrival/Departure track, four yard tracks. 
The track on the right will reach the town via a switchback to service a couple of local industries.

The actual town will be located to the right of the yard and elevated against the back drop.





Looking South at El Dorado.
The engine facility and caboose track can be seen in the foreground.

El Dorado is where the North and South bound locals originate from, as well as the interchange between the Rock Island and the W&OV.  The W&OV has trackage rights to El Dorado for just this reason.  They own a couple of second hand SD-9's to handle this job.

The left hand turnout that leads to the Arrival/Departure track and the yard ladder has been replaced with a right hand turnout and has been re-aligned since the picture was taken.

The piece of paper under the engine tracks is the footprint for the engine shed.







As we leave El Dorado and continue north, the switch lead for the yard can be seen behind the mainline and the passing siding.

After the turnout, the track straightens out just before crossing the Ouchita River Bridge [which has yet to be designed and installed].

In the background we can see the south end of MQ siding and the town of Calion, AR.






A close up of Calion, AR.  

Calion Lumber Co is the only customer in town [the sidings have been installed since the time of this picture].
Just around the corner and the other end of "MQ" siding lies the town of Fordyce, AR.

"MQ" siding is the only siding between El Dorado, AR. and Haskell, AR. on the north side of the layout.









With only two industries, Fordyce, AR. will be the busiest town for the northbound local to work.

The track leading to the left will service the Flappers Chicken Plant and there will be a Furniture company on the opposite side of the tracks [again, the industrial leads have been installed since the time of this picture].

Only one more town to go.






This is the sleepy little town of Haskell, AR.  Last stop before reaching Biddle Yard at Little Rock, and the northern most terminus for the north bound local.
A couple of low key industries are planned for this town, but the junction is the big ticket in this town.

Here the tracks split via the junction and head east to Malvern, AR. which is around the corner and off to the left of the picture.

The Rock Island has leased this section of trackage to the W&OV when they slimmed down in the effort to avoid bankruptcy.  [The W&OV already leases trackage further south of here, between Tinsman Jct. and east to Warren, AR. on the prototype]

The W&OV is kept busy serving the following industries in Malvern:
A chemical plant, a small metal manufacturing company, a pulpwood plant, a rock quarry and a LPG dealership called Frump Gas & Supply which will be located on the unused leg of the wye.  The W&OV also has a modest engine facility located in Malvern as well.
[The tracks at Malvern have all been installed since the time of this picture...Man I really need to get these pics updated...]

The W&OV also has trackage rights from Haskell to El Dorado.






Here's a closer view of the Junction at Haskell.


After leaving Haskell, the tracks duct through the backdrop and head into Little Rock and enter Biddle Yard.

The single track against the backdrop has been removed.  The un-used leg of the wye will start from the switch on the left of the picture [now installed].