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December 2002 - Page 37


Silver
This layout is all about silver mining and the support industries common to that enterprise. The GV&W features a typical narrow gauge setting, but it is built as standard gauge. Its more than the measurement between the rails that gives narrow gauge its appeal. Jim wanted to reproduce the look and feel of a narrow gauge line without having to endure the expense and lack of locally available products commonly associated with that venue. His layout started out as HO gauge. During its development, Jim discovered the looks of a narrow gauge rail line were more to his liking, but he didnt want to waste his already extensive collection of rolling stock. Until recently, narrow gauge supplies werent readily available on our local store shelves. As Jim explains it, The hobby is not supposed to be about frustration. I wholeheartedly agree after spending a month waiting on HOn3 supplies for my own layout. Some narrow gauge does exist on the layout, but in limited amounts. Those lines are separate from the standard rail lines, but allow him to run the HOn3 stock he has on hand. The layout is basically straightforward in its design and construction. The first thing you see when you enter the layout is the removable duck-under used to allow continuous running of the otherwise point-to-point trackplan. The device features hidden contacts and a dovetailed notch at both ends. The V-shaped notch allows the bridge to be dropped back into place without any deviation in alignment. The rail joints are silky smooth at the transitions to the main layouts rail lines. The addition of this one feature makes continuous running possible so non-operating visitors can enjoy the action. Visitors without a model railroading background tend to enjoy the continuous running more than the more prototypical point-topoint way of operating a layout. They cant seem to accept trains operating in reverse. Shove a line of log cars down the rail and you can really confuse them! Just try explaining to a visitor that some mining and logging locomotives lived their entire lives without ever being turned around, and see what kind of reaction you get. The benchwork on the Green Valley and Western is framed in wood with cookie-cutter plywood tops. The around-the-room base framing was installed shelf style, anchored and braced onto stringers, and nail gunned into the basement walls. Homasote roadbeds and tabletops support Atlas code 100 rail and Shinohara turnouts. A dehumidifier runs all summer long and when combined with the sturdy construction, code 100 flextrack and dependable turnouts, Jim has enjoyed a trouble free layout in our notorious Ohio Valley climate. I once called him on the phone for some advice on handlaying turnouts. His response was, Why bother, when you can buy them cheaper, more dependable and install them quicker than you can by spiking your own. I ignored his

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The tiny Keystone Shay sits idle near the highly detailed Edwards Welding Shop in the yards at Green Valley Station. The locomotive is under repair at the time of this writing, awaiting a new drive mechanism. It is a much-appreciated gift of friendship from another local modeler that emphasizes the camaraderie of model railroaders that is enjoyed here in the Louisville/southern Indiana area. advice and now whenever I have problems with one of my turnouts, Jims words come back to haunt me. The key to a dependable layout is the quality and sturdiness of the components used...and not just for the benchwork. If you want it to last, youll build it that way. The coloration and texture of the scenic elements along the Green Valley & Western are naturally produced. Jim blends most of his ground cover from natural materials. His grass is ground mosses and sawdust. Bark, sawdust, dirt and dust are a few of the elements used to obtain the covers needed. Even the plasterwork has had the recipes doctored to achieve a better texture and working time. Over five hundred pounds of fibrous Gold Bond plaster make up the most prominent of the mountains on the layout. Gold Bond was once prevalent as a construction plaster finish for interior walls, and has a fibrous blend of plaster and cellulose in its composition. No rock castings were used; all the mountains, walls and terrain were hand sculpted into the wet plaster before it set. The water features on the layout were built with epoxy resins. The river path was

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Passenger service to the Green Valley Station is sparse but regular. The small towns residents make up the bulk of the mining work force. Small branchline stations thrived during the mining booms, but often fell into disrepair in leaner times. Times are good right now in this small branchline community.

DECEMBER 2002

MODEL RAILROADING 37

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