Author's note:
All material on this website is covered by copyrite.
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal. `12/8/2

PAINTED ROCK RAIL ROAD

(prrr - Pic. steam engine on a bridge.)
HOW NOT TO BUILD A LAYOUT

I have, over my life, made many mistakes.

This is a series of mistake I can group as one, `building a train set'.

The first act of this compendium was taking on a job as second driver for the construction dept. of the TV series ARROW.

One of the first things I did wrong at Arrow was to note all the nice, little, pieces, of wood that were going out in the scrap bins.

Some sixty years ago, when I was first into model trains my main enjoyment was constructing, rather than running.

At one time I even built a mini table saw so I could cut my own ties and lumber.

I scratch built an insulated water tower, complete with sliding windows.

Having just moved into a town house, from an apartment, one of the first things I considered was, where could I build a layout?

However there wasn't room to build an HO layout and after checking prices N gauge was out of the question.

That probably would have been the end of it but then I got the job at arrow and I saw all that neat scrap wood........

SURREY, B. C.


(prrr - Pic. wooden braces on top of shelf.)
STAPLERS, SAWS, WOOD, AND SCREWS IN THE WASTE
(prrr - Pic. wooden braces under shelf.)
BRACES HAD TO BE MOUNTED AT DIFFERENT HEIGHTS
BECAUSE THE WOOD WAS OF DIFFERENT THICKNESSES
(prrr - Pic. capenters level on top of shelf.)
NOT LEVEL, REPOSITION THE BRACES
(prrr - Pic. two shelves.)
AFTERE SEARCHING THE SHOP WE FOUND A SELDOM USED GUIDE
FOR THE TABLE SAW THAT ALLOWED WOOD TO BE CUT
AT AN ANGLE AND I MADE A PIECE TO FILL THIS SPACE
(prrr - Pic. shelf with model round house.)
AN EVEN THINNER PIECE WAS USED OVER THE HOT WATER TANK
WHICH ESTABLISHED THE HEIGHT FOR THE REST OF THE LAYOUT
(prrr - Pic. Quan in the bus.)
RATHER THAN USING A LAYOUT GUIDE FOR MEASUREMENTS
I SET 0UT PIECES OF TRACK AND DREW AN OUTLINE
(prrr - Pic. row of bricks sitting on shelf.)
WATCHING YOUTUBE VIDEOS I LEARNED OF VARIOUS TYPES
OF GLUE AND HOW TO APPLY THEM
(prrr - Pic. blocks of foam between two shelves.)
MEASURING AND INSERTING SOME SCRAPS OF STYROFOAM
THE MACHINIST AT WORK MADE THE INITIAL CUTS FOR ME
(prrr - Pic. track bed glued to shelf.)
AFTER GLUING THE TRACKBED, IT WAS TIME TO LAY THE TRACK
(prrr - Pic. track glued to track bed.)
MAJOR MISTAKE, I USED THE TURNOUTS AS GUIDES

Now this is where my gullibility came in.

Having searched `Craigslist' I found several, what I thought, were good, deals.

Actually I was rather pleased with a couple of them but the first one was the killer.

I didn't check any of it out before I bought it.

The Fleischmann turnouts didn't work, they were old and obsolete, so they couldn't be replaced.

All newer turnouts are wider spaced which mean they won't fit into the spaces where I need them.

The next problem, from the same package, the power supply.

It works, as a reducing transformer, but not as a variable capacitor.

Though I am an ex tech, I couldn't repair it.

(prrr - Pic. powerpack.)
(prrr - Pic. interior of powerpack.)
(prrr - Pic. shelf with model round house.)
ROUND HOUSE, TURNTABLE, AND SOME SIDINGS
(prrr - Pic. Shelf with swing down control panel.)
A DROP DOWN CONTROL PANEL AND A POWER SUPPLY
(prrr - Pic. control panel with power pack and switches.)
SOME DOUBLE SWITCHES, HOLES FOR LIGHTS WILL COME LATER
(prrr - Pic. control panel, power pack, engines, and switches.)
TIME TO ADD SOME WIRE AND TEST SOME TRACK AND ENGINES

The canyon had to be set further back from the engine yard as the curve on the main line was too tight and my steamer couldn't traverse it.

The steam engine was purchased new at a train show in Burnaby.

It is a replica of one that was stationed in Kamloops, B. C. during the 1940s.

I bought the roundhouse second hand and parts of it had been assembled wrong and some parts were missing but all in all, for the price, it was a good buy as it was 3 kits in one; turntable, motor for the turntable, and roundhouse.

I bought 3 separate packages of; cars, engines, track, and turnouts, only one power supply was fully functional.

The switches are dual so that I could add an indicator light.

I tried a couple of plastic switches with built in lights but they are so dim you can't tell that they are on.

Of course it would have been cheaper to buy single throw and remember that if the switch is in the up position it is on.

A piece of plywood for a pallet to protect the top of my desk.

Old newspaper, flour, salt, some wood/paper glue from the dollar store, and water to make a papier-mache wall.

Trimming the tapered edge of some rail bed I made a berm.

From Central Hobbies in Vancouver, virtually the only store in Vancouver that still sells train supplies, I purchased a kit for a tall storage tank and shortened it to fit under my canyon wall.

(prrr - Pic. papier-mache drying on a board)
THE START OF THE ROCK WALL
(prrr - Pic. cork pinned to a board.)
CORK GLUED TO A PAPER AND PINNED TO DRY IN A CIRCLE
(prrr - Pic. berm and wall in postion.)
CHECKING THE PLACEMENT
(prrr - Pic. storage tank in place.)
THE TANK WAS TOO TALL, I HAD TO TRIM
A COUPLE OF LAYERS OFF THE BOTTOM

In some ways polyfilla is easy to work with.

A slight bit of moisture on the trowel leaves a nice smooth surface.

However it is brittle and cracks easily when you try to cut it.

(prrr - Pic. framework made from stir sticks)
COFFEE STIR STICKS WERE THE RIGHT SIZE TO MAKE A MOLD
(prrr - Pic. poor casting out of molds.)
I LINED THE MOLDS WITH CRYOWRAP TO KEEP THE PLAST FROM STICKING TO THE WOOD HOWEVER I COULDN'T GET IT TO STAY TIGHT TO THE MOLDS
(prrr - Pic. jig for drawling lines on wall.)
INSTEAD I BUILT A LARGE WALL AND LAID A STRAIGHT EDGE TO DRAW LINES
(prrr - Pic. rough wall with lines.)
I USED A DREMEL TOOL TO CARVE GROOVES ALONG THE LINES
(prrr - Pic. scissors and plastic)
THE PLASTIC THAT YOUR PARTS COME IN MAKES GOOD FORMS
(prrr - Pic. plastic form with poured gyprock.)
THE CORNERS ARE IDEAL FOR MAKING CORNERS
(prrr - Pic. plastic form with poured gyprock.)
(prrr - Pic. removing form from gyprock.)
IT DOESN'T STICK, MUCH, AND PEELS OFF EASILY
(prrr - Pic. front of finished rail stops.)
(prrr - Pic. back .)
JUST NEEDS WEATHERING

There are many articles on YouTube on how to make ballast.

I found a pile of crush that was the right colour near an old construction site.

One gallon of crush will yield 2 cups of HO ballast and 1/2 cup of N gauge ballast.

One cup of ballast will cover a lot of track.

(prrr - Pic. most of the sidings, some with ballast.)
DON'T LET ANY WASTE GO DOWN THE DRAIN
(prrr - Pic. ballast drying on newspaper.)
SPREAD IT THIN AND THE NEWSPAPER SOAKS UP THE MOISTURE
(prrr - Pic. most of the sidings, some with ballast.)
THE RAIL STOPS WERE FILLED WITH BALLAST
(prrr - Pic. a dish of ballast and a small spoon on top of the tracks.)
I MADE MY OWN BALLAST


PAINTED ROCK CANYON

There are many types of adhesive to use on styrofoam but some of them will eat the material and ruin your finish.

Cutting is also a problem as it will leave small and large (sawdust) that becomes static and clings to everything.

I found a zip knife with a; long, thin, narrow, blade gives the cleanest cuts.

Once I had the general shape I covered it with papier-mache.

To drill a long hole for wires just use a coat hanger wire with a rough end.

Then fasten the wire to the end of the hanger wire and pull it back through.

A piece of plastic bag that the Mod Podge won't stick to.

Short strokes with a brush to the length and width of the waterfall.

Mix some Mod Podge with white paint and alternate between white and clear until you have a thin layer.

Then glue the ends in place with some more Mod Podge and the waterfall hangs in the air, clear of the rocks.

(prrr - Pic. first steps of the canyon sitting on my work bench.)
I MOUNTED THE ENDS OF THE STRYOFOAM TO A BOARD
(prrr - Pic. the rough canyon sits in place .)
IT HAS TO SLIDE IN BENEATH THE TRACKS
(prrr - Pic. styrofom and a picture glued to a board.)
THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN NEAR SPENCES BRIDGE, B. C.
(prrr - Pic. styrofoam covers wtih papeir machie.)
NEWSPAPER DIPPED IN A MIXTURE OF FLOUR AND WATER
(prrr - Pic. canyon without paint)
(prrr - Pic. canyon painted.)
(prrr - Pic. a piece of plastic on the pallet.)
CREATING THE WATERFALL
(prrr - Pic. figures on the pallet.)
FLESH COLOURED PAINT COVERS THE SWIMMING SUITS
(prrr - Pic. the brace that holds the canyon.)
THE CANYON RESTS ON ITS OWN BRACE
(prrr - Pic. the finished, and installed, canyon.)
WIRING IS HIDDEN IN THE CANYON FLOOR
(prrr - Pic. plastic caps of a plug)
SMALL PLASTIC BOXES MAKE PUMP HOUSINGS
(prrr - Pic. storage tank and pipe.)
THIN COAT HANGER WIRE, PAINTED GLOSSY BLACK FOR INLET LINE
(prrr - Pic. papier-mache wall.)
EXTENDING THE CANYON WALL
(prrr - Pic. the wall painted.)

When the tip of the soldering iron turns black, it is insulating the heat.

Sand the tip until it is shiny.

Pre tin the ends of your wires. (Heat the ends of the wires and add a touch of solder.)

Cut the plastic out beneath the rails, between two ties.

Pre bend the last 1/8 of an inch of your tinned wire.

Carefully lay the tip of the soldering iron between the ties and pre tin the underside of the track.

The track must be hot, but not hot enough to melt the ties.

Then quickly add the bent wire, touch it with the soldering iron until the two solders join.

Now measure and drill holes in your track bed.

After you ballast you will never see where the wires are joining the rails.

(prrr - Pic. main control panel)
THE INDICATOR LIGHTS ARE INSTALLED ON THE MAIN CONTROL PANEL
(prrr - Pic. secondary control panel.)
START OF THE CONTROL PANEL FOR THE WORK YARD
(prrr - Pic. street light on work board.)
I ORDERED THESE ONLINE
THEN I NEEDED A 3 VOLT 500 mA POWER SUPPLY
(prrr - Pic. street light and additional wiring on work board.)
THE WIRES ARE VERY THIN
THE INSULATION MUST BE PEELED VERY CAREFULLY
THICKER WIRES ARE THEN SOLDERED ON
(prrr - Pic. sandpaper and soldering iron.)
FOR BEST HEAT, KEEP YOU TIP CLEAN
(prrr - Pic. two wires with tinned ends.)
FOR EASIER CONNECTIONS PRE TIN THE WIRES
(prrr - Pic. underneath of rails.)
TRIM THE PLASTIC OUT WHERE YOU WANT THE WIRES
(prrr - Pic. wires from the bottom of the tracks.)
WIRES WON'T BE SEEN ONCE COVERED BY BALLAST
(prrr - Pic. overview of work yard and streetlights.)
THE PLACEMENT OF STREET LIGHTS IN THE YARD
(prrr - Pic. fuel area lit up at night.)
THOUGH SMALL THE LIGHTS ARE QUITE BRIGHT

Water, fuel, and sand towers are separate but come in one kit and have to be assembled.

I mounted each tower on its own plaster base so they would all be the same height.

I didn't get the spread right on the two water hoses and the engines barely fit between them.

The street light was placed too far from the towers and rubs against the engine when it tries to leave and is also hit by any cars coming around the curve.

I didn't use all of the ladder when I assembled the storage tank so I used part of it to make the style over the berm.

It is hard to see in the photo, I added a dangling level indicator along the outside of the tank.

Another little pad is placed beside the tank car siding for a hose connection for unloading.

A bit of cardboard covered by papier-mache makes a road way up to the tracks.

The crossing was made from scraps of balsa wood and the papier-mache was covered with red sawdust.

My friend in the construction shop gave me the red sawdust, I never learned what type of wood he was cutting.

The pond, like the waterfall and river in the canyon, was made with Mod Podge Puzzle Saver from Michaels.

You have to use very thin layers after each previous one has thoroughly dried or it will turn milky.

(prrr - Pic. metal tower with pollyfilla under base.)
ADDING A PLASTER BASE
(prrr - Pic. overview of the fuel storage and fueling area.)
THE BASES ARE ALL CEMENTED TOGETHER
(prrr - Pic. papier-mache beside the track.)
A PAPEIR MACHIE RAMP
(prrr - Pic. fraailway crossing.)
A DIRT ROAD TO A DIRT BEACH

The yellow engine in the above pictures is not a live loco.

Though the body is the right size and looks like it could be a regular HO gauge train the undercarriage is fake.

The wheels are a slightly different gauge and don't fit on the track.

It was originally a child's push toy and I took the centrifugal motor out so it would sit lower.

(prrr - Pic. freight yard.)
PAINTED ROCK RAIL ROAD FREIGHT YARD

(prrr - Pic. excavator and work crew.)
THE JOINT BETWEEN THE SECTIONS CRIED OUT FOR A CULVERT CREW
(prrr - Pic. welding and cutting crew.)
SCRAP TRACK AND TIES BECOME A WORK SITE
(prrr - Pic. gantry.)
FROM THE TRAIN SHOW I BOUGHT AN EXCAVATOR AND A GANTRY
(prrr - Pic. close up of gantry.)
A BIT OF ADAPTATION FROM ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE
(prrr - Pic. canyon - from above.)
PAINTED ROCK CANYON
(prrr - Pic. canyon - from front end.)
BEARS, CANOEISTS, HANG GLIDER, SUNBATHERS
I BOUGHT ONE OF THE BRIDGES FROM `HOBBYLINC'

(prrr - Pic. roound house and turn table.)
PAINTED ROCK RAIL ROAD ROUNDHOUSE

(prrr - Pic. roundhouse and locos.)
THE WORK SHED MAKES A PERFECT COVER FOR THE
ELECTRIC MOTOR FOR THE TURNTABLE
(prrr - Pic. work shed and speeders.)
2 SPEEDER KITS I BOUGHT FROM `CENTRAL HOBBIES'
(prrr - Pic. maintenance crew.)
SOME FIGURINES I BOUGHT FROM `C & R's HOBBIES COLLECTIBLES
(prrr - Pic. staff parking.)
SOME CARS I BOUGHT FROM `CAMEO STAMP COIN & HOBBY'
(prrr - Pic. hoboes and police.)
IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AND HIGHLY ILLEGAL TO
TRESPASS ON RAILWAY PROPERTY
(prrr - Pic. policedog and handler.)
THIS GUY TREID TO RUN AWAY BUT TRIPPED AND FELL

(prrr - Pic. steam engine.)
PAINTED ROCK RAIL ROAD LOCOMOTIVES

(prrr - Pic. D7 style engine.)
CP 1412
(prrr - Pic. D7 style engine.)
CN 6535
(prrr - Pic. D7 style engine.)
CP 1410
(prrr - Pic. jeep style engine.)
CP 8776

TO VIEW A SUM UP VIDEO CLICK ON THE PICTURE
(YouTube logo.)
Click on the above picture for a short video.

END

RELATED WEB SITES

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CENTRAL HOBBIES
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CRAIGSLIST
(Fleischmann logo.)
FLEISCHMANN
(Hobbylinc logo.)
HOBBYLINC
(Michaels logo.)
MICHAELS
(Mod Podge Rocks logo.)
MOD PODGE ROCKS
(YouTube logo.)
YouTube

(prrr - Pic. stripped layout.)
DESTRUCTION
REMOVE ALL REMOVABLES

(prrr - Pic. underneath of shelves.)
REMOVE WRING AND DISCONNECT SHELVES FROM BRACES
(prrr - Pic. canyon and control panel on a box.)
CANYON AND CONROL PANEL SET ASIDE
(prrr - Pic. yard section on the floor.)
YARD SECTION SET ASIDE
(prrr - Pic. extension section on the desk.)
EXENTION SECTION SET ASIDE
(prrr - Pic. hammer laying where the mainline used to be.)
A HAMMER AND A WIDE BLADE CHISEL
REMOVE THE OLD MAINLINE AND POND
(prrr - Pic. yard section in 2 pieces laying on a box.)
SOAKING WITH WATER OVER NIGHT WILL LOOSEN THE GLUE
SO THAT TRACK AND BALLAST CAN BE SAVED

In the fall of `17 I started wOrk on the series `Riverdale'.

The boys in the construction shop were kind enough to cut me a piece of plywood that I dug out of the trash.

I rearranged the mounting braces and then padded their tops so that I wouldn't have to use roadbed while I laid everything out.

By swapping the main line and the first siding the curve up to the turntable is now much gentler and the big steamer can make it home.

I put the canyon at the end of the layout.

The same bears are still searching the wreckage of the hang glider.

The hang glider pilot is still hiding in the waterfall.

(prrr - Pic. new wood for the layout.)
RESURECTION
REBUILDING THE PAINTED ROCK LAYOUT?

(prrr - Pic. ballast spread to dry and bits of track.)
DRYING BALLAST AND SOME SALVAGED PARTS
(prrr - Pic. turntable and roundhouse.)
I REBUILT THE PAD FOR THE FUEL TOWERS
THE FUEL UNLOADING STATION REPLACES THE MAIN LINE
THE OLD FUEL SIDING IS NOW PART OF THE MAINLINE
(prrr - Pic. canyon and one bridge.)
THE CANYON IS NOW AT THE END OF THE WORK YARD
(prrr - Pic. a new picture at the head of the canyon.)
THE WATERFALL PICTURE IS NOW COLOURED

I mounted the turtle turnout switch beneath the track and temporarily mounted the mainline and temporarily wired it so that it all works.

However a bit of ballast has gotten under the turntable and it won't turn.

So far I haven't found the inclination to work on it.

I bought another turnout but I still need two more, I think.

I advertised everything on Craigslist but I never received any queries.

Will I ever do any more work on it?

Will I ever add to this webpage???????????

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