Saturday, February 24, 2018

Measure Once, Cut Twice. Um ...Okay ... Repeat

At least I can make it smaller
I found a slight miscalculation in my wall measurements, but at least this part is too big rather than too small. This is the deck for the south part of Newton, which is the old Carolina & Northwestern line going to Lincolnton, Gastonia, and York, SC.

The C&NW (not the one in Chigaco!) started out as a 3 foot narrow gauge line from Chester, SC to Lenoir, NC. It was standard gauged, bought by the Southern Ry, and eventually cut back to York, SC, though there is still a little bit left in Chester, as an industrial lead.

By 1979, when I was working in a cotton mill in Lincolnton for the summer, the line was cut between Lincolnton and Dallas, just north of Gastonia. The mill where I worked was the end of the line, and we'd get about one boxcar of cotton every day. Now the line ends just past the Midstate Mills plant in the southern part of Newton.

It is nice to be building a model railroad again, even with the occasional oops. The little hole at the top of this picture goes to the Gastonia stating yard, which is a short (about five foot) three track staging yard. That will be fine for the one little local train each way six days a week.

While I was going back to Laurinburg for a visit a little while back I got an idea for a revision to the design. Here is the new lower level plan.

Level 1 Plan as of 2018-02-23
I moved the Spencer staging yard over to the garage wall and replaced my "thin" wall section with a peninsula. This will mean a little less length on the main track, but other things are improved. For the old plan, see here.

  1. Spencer staging is now double ended. Crews will pick up there engines from the ready track and pull down to couple to their trains. Incoming crews will cut off the engines and run them to the servicing tracks. This will also create a position of yard operator. There won't be any classification here, but he will move cabooses around and manage locomotive consists and move them from the servicing area to the ready tracks.
  2. The double track between Salisbury and Majolica is longer, so it will feel more like double track and less like a siding.
  3. Barber is now located in the tee between the two peninsulas, which makes for a better arrangement and the line to Winston-Salem doesn't cross the aisle any more.
  4. Statesville is no longer jammed into the narrow part of the layout with Barber.
  5. Not shown here, but Oyama yard will be eight tracks instead of the previous six, and moved to the large aisle opposite Claremont. The yard lead will not be buried in a hole and will be easier to get to.
Once I get the deck the right size, I'll add framing using 1-1/2 inch strips cut from 1/2 inch cabinet grade plywood, the same material the deck is made from, and then I'll be ready to start working on roadbed, track, and wiring. Like my last layout, this one will be built in pieces. The track laid, wiring installed, and everything tested before being installed in the layout room. The Gastonia staging yard will be next, and then I'll start building along the south (right hand) wall. By the time I get to Claremont (lower) and Conover (upper), I'll have enough grade separation to start the dual level section. Look Ma! No helix!


  1. Didn't get into your "Oyama Staging Yard III - Programming" in earlier posts but really do understand "Measure Once, Cut Twice. Um ...Okay ... Repeat". Now for me to go back and look at the two level "maps". Looking good!

  2. Glad to here you are finally able to start construction.