04/05/98 rev 01/16/07
The snapshots presented here are intended to share ideas with my fellow model railroaders. I am not attempting to compete with the skilled photographer, so please don't be too critical. Other pages on this web site may link to one or more of these photos for descriptive support.
The background paintings, approx 100 lineal feet, is the work of my long time artist friend Conn Housley. Done in acrylics more than 25 years ago, they still are vivid.
Click on any thumbnail pix for the full size view, about 60k
Malfuntion Junction (MFJ). The heart of operations. Patterned from Dr Roy Dohns Victor Yard (MR, early 60's). Track power is routed with hidden logic devices controlled by switch machines that are in turn controlled by route selection to minimize the panel controls. Fun and intuitive to operate, even with two or more engines.
MFJ operations area is accessed thru the dutch door and a hinged liftout that is part of RRR yard with catenary overhead and two levels of track. My departed friend Bill Wilt (South Side Line, Nyssa OR) told me that I'd regret the original duckunder in years to come. He was right! After the second back surgery, we made it into a hinged liftout. Had to reroute over 200 wires also. With an electromagnetic latch, it is highly dependable- We'll get it written up one day.
MFJ roundhouse was rebuilt using steel post (1/8" weld rod) and beam construction, after the flood of 1979 destroyed the old wooden structure. A water saturated ceiling tile, estimated at 35 pounds, fell from the sky and crushed the old one. The siding is scribed wood on a real rock foundation. The roof is three removeable sections for easy access. It's lighted and some stalls have pits. The turntable is blue flagged for safety while DCC is being implemented.
At MFJ looking West on arrival/departure (A/D) track #1 with a clear signal. Main line is left of us with a left branch to Moosemilk, on the Termite Timber Line (TTL) Branch. We'll take the left thru the double-slip switch. The straight route is the drill track Notice how the double-slip switch makes easy access to both A/D tracks without the extra figure "S" and length of two switchs. Tremendous increase in reliabilty when shoving a long string.
Double Slip Switch (DSS), at a most critical location solves several problems, but you can't buy one! For a DSS to route wheels safely, it cannot have frogs in the center opposite from each other, like the store bought ones do. For reliable operation, you have to build it with switch points like the prototype folks did. This one has worked well since 1978 when the MFJ yards were relaid with code 70 rail. We're going to expand on this later.
West end of East Grande. East Grande is the operating area for my grandkids. Separately powered, they can shift cars around with the simple handheld throttle (white cylinder with two microswitchs). The Ernst geared loco runs at one speed (slow). Switchs are thrown by moving the spring toggled points with a finger tip. More serious modelers will recognize John Allens famous "timesaver" plan.
East end of East Grande. Our East Grande customers are named for my children and grandchildren. In this view, Katie's gemstone mine sets on the hill above Joni's Pickle Barrel factory. The kids can switch cars around the town without upsetting serious :) operations for us bigger kids.
The latest scale model construction on the TSL. One of the ten remaining Pegram Bridges. Patented in 1885, this 207' span was moved from the UP mainline at Nyssa OR to the East Belt at Ririe ID in 1913. The model is all metal except for the scaled wood ties. Pegram Bridges are pin connected, a hybrid of the Parker and Warren truss designs. The top chords are all equal length. Thornton Waite describes them in Mainline Modeler July 94. See Howard Russell, MR April 98, for more details on pin connected truss bridges.
The upper staging yard at ThunderMountain. The lower yard is partially seen in the shadow below. Short lengths of PVC pipe identify the train AND prohibit it from accidentally moving out. The PVC jams between the turnout guard rails and the engine frame without risk to the coupler. The upper and lower yards, coded as OFL for "off-line" are connected by the Thunder Mountain loop below.
Thunder Mountain Loop, connecting the upper and lower OFL yards was constructed when my wife insisted that the Thursday Night Crew needed downstairs toilet facilities. We simply moved the old outhouse in doors and connected it to essential pipes. The only reasonable location without tearing up concrete was here, so we used the real estate for double duty. Just lift the bridge- sit down- drop the bridge and enjoy the train traffic. Ah- yes, the chamber is equipped with an exhaust fan to remove loco smoke and other gases. A British friend suggested that we call it the CHOO CHOO LOO.
Return to Teton Short Line Home Page