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August 2002 - Page 35

casting, so as long as it was shaped like rock, it was fine. The trestle in Photo 7 draws your attention away from the walls anyway. I have become increasingly fonder of Sculptamold. Not only does this wonderful product wet-carve easily into extremely detailed strata, I have used it to model all the dirt roads, plowed fields, embankments, stone foundations and the towns elevated business row. There are portions of the elevated rail that were built on Sculptamold, too. I also used Luann over risers, foam wedges and stacked wedges of wood to gain altitude in different areas of the layout. The tables height is set at 30". Way lower than accepted standard layout heights, but perfect for my four-year-old assistant.


All of the tracks sit on cork roadbed. I used Atlas code 83 flextrack through the tunnels, in the hard-to-reach engine yard, and over the mountain elevation for ease of maintenance. The rest of the rail is handlaid. The ballast is medium gray blend with the edges dusted in dark sifted dirt. I used blends of coal and cinders in the service yard and around the two coaling facilities. There is only one handlaid turnout on the layout, all the rest are #6 and #4 Atlas units with electrified frogs. Turnout control is handled by a separate power source, running under-table snap switches, Tortoise slowmotion motors and two aboveground machines in areas where under-table mountings resulted in clearance problems. A couple turnouts have manual throws. Atlas relays handle the frog polarity. The layout is powered with the Atlas Commander DCC system. I was advised not to convert to DCC on such a small layout,

A modified AHM Heisler shoves a skeleton load of fresh-cut timber across a deep ravine. The bridge was modeled after the original 1910 Creech Brothers prototype, as taken from the only known existing photograph of the companys rail line. The backdrop was constructed from photographs of cloudy skies, printed in 4 x 14 sheets on an electrostatic printer. since that type of system would not be needed. I have found it extremely easy to use, totally reliable and perfect for multiple train operation on any layout, small or large. All the rail is wired into one big block, with a single buss line around the layout. Once youve been under my layout, you quickly realize the table height makes it difficult to do any extended work beneath the layout. The table is too high to work on while laying down, but too short to allow you to sit in an upright position while trying to fight a mile of color coded wire. DCC makes life so mush easier by letting me run everything together in a long circuit. Feeders to the rails are placed every 4' to 6' for continuous electrical contact. I have installed two walkaround throttle connection panels along the outer perimeter. The main throttle is located inside the donut-shaped layout. A hinged lift-up access was installed to make life just a tad bit easier for my tired old bones, when trying to crawl under the table. With the fully scenicked lift-up, I only need to duck down to four feet for just a few inches. It sure has made life easier for me. My next layout will be a whole lot higher.


The original Creech Brothers Logging Company Climax #1 on the way to the log dump. The bridge was built with low-grade hemlock, then reclaimed as pulpwood. Green Creek near Raymond, Washington; 1910.
E. R. Hackett photo, courtesy of Pacific County Historical Society, Catalog #6-13-81-1,



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