Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas on the RGS

The RGS has been gearing up for winter operations.  

RGS #11 has been handling trainloads of wood between Telluride and Pine Hill and Pine Hill to Wood Station.

RGS #10 has been handling the passengers out to see the lights on the upper section of track only as the upper switchback turnout switch limiter contact switch has been failing to work and needs to be looked at.  Also, the #10 could not handle a heavily loaded passenger car up the switchback track (especially with my being on the train too.)

RGS #300 awaiting a new floor and #302 fully loaded with ties as well as the old frame of a burned out car.

RGS #10 and flat 4686 recieves wood hauled over from the wood splitter.  2 or 3 wagon loads per flat.
The beam riding car was pressed into service.  After the Christmas lights viewing is over, it wll return to get the lights installed.  (White lights and red lights controlled by a switch on the car to light up behind this car.)

RGS #10 pulls the Christmas train - on the Dogwood Bridge

The Christmas train on the RGS

The Christmas train on the RGS - on the Dogwood Bridge

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October Update

Fall has began to fall on the RGS.
Dogwood bridge 24-Oct-2011
The tracks were cleared reciently.  No trains have operated over the railroad in about 2 months.

In Ridgeway, by the barn, the next car to undergo restoration is the beam riding car, which is used for passengers.  It is about the safest way to ride on the railroad.  This car has new trucks which will be fitted with air brakes and installed.  The brake cylinder will mount under the steel beam along the center sill of the car.  The valves will be mounted up under the frame on the "B" end of the car.  These valves allow for the brakes to be adjusted to normal train line pressure and a dump valve to release the brakes when rolling it by hand.

The riding car after painting.  It looks a little like a steam engine color scheme with the black and silver.

The seat is sitting on the 4684 flat car on track 1 while the side of the seat structure is on the top of the #11 on track 2.

The seat structure.  Inside this will be mounted a couple electrical boxes.  One will be for to 2 9-volt batteries and the other will have a direction control switch.  Both boxes will have protective covers which keep the weather out.  The power will feed two a red and a white LED mounted on the ends so that it can be used as the front or rear car in a train (headlight and taillight.)

Brand new heavy-duty steel trucks for the car, painted the first coat of black paint to be followed up with silver on the sideframes and blue on the bearings (with the black bolt ends showing through.)  It will allow me to see the wheels turning.
Progress has been slow this summer and fall due to high heat, excessive rains and the tractor oil line system.  Also progressing is the barn lean-to project to replace the rotted roof with a new, stronger structure which will be slightly larger, enclosed and will have a track for equipment along the north wall.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick update

Just a quick update.  Late summer in the south meant hot and wet weather with several storms dropping several inches of rain.  It made the track soft in spots and knocked a lot of tree "litter" out on the tracks.

D&RGW #4686, the large flat, was next up for polyurethane.  This will protect the car through the winter rigors of hauling wood and rock for the railroad.  The sides I am planning on leaving off for a while to make it easier to load and unload ballast.

Santa Fe flat #100 is back in service.  I have yet to fashion plates for the corners of the car.  But it's behind the #10.

RGS #10 and 11 are both in operating condition and being use to haul wood and build track (as time permits.)  Both locomotives have new batteries as the old ones finally quit holding a charge.

The bridge has been power washed and a new coat of water seal applied.  It sure looks good not being so green!  The bridge battery also failed so I replaced it with a full sized marine deep cycle battery and placed it inside a new battery box which will keep it dry and clean.  Then since the battery was so powerful, I had to adjust the switches.  Also I replaced the "start motor" buttons on the posts as I installed metal cover plates.  (See below.)

Next up is working on the beam riding car which has issues with its trucks.  The car will be repainted and polyurethane applied to the seat.

Also still to do is the ballasting to level the tracks again and complete the end of the switchback's lower tail track.  It did not flood in all the heavy storms we had so I believe it will be fine to complete the work without having to add several additional drains across.

The RGS will be gearing up again to haul the surplus wood to Pine Hill for storage.  I have a great deal of wood to split.  Some of it is still quite green and so I will split it and send it down for seasoning.  The rest will be just dumped at the stove.  No need hauling it around so much until the area near the stove is full.  :-)

Wood Spur in the late summer.

Dogwood Bridge all nice and clean.

Turnout Motor start button housing

Turnout Motor button

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16th - Progress

Santa Fe #100 is about ready to return to active duty.  The side frames have been painted and a good deal of the underside which needed touchup (it was in good shape) was also painted.  I flipped it back over and polyurethaned the top with a couple coats to protect it from the weather.  I do not have any lettering for it yet so I will return it to service without that for the time being.  I do also need to create and paint the poling pockets for the corners.

D&RGW #4686 was pulled down from Wood Station and pressure washed.  It will also get a nice coat of polyurethane on its woodwork as well.  The sides are in good shape except the lettering is coming off.  The high temps are making them loose and they just curl up and fall off.  I am thinking I will polyurethane over the new lettering on the cars when they get new paint (like the #100) and I apply new lettering - to make them stick better.

The upper section of the Dogwood Bridge (1A) was also pressure washed.  The rest of the bridge will be cleaned tomorrow.  The ties, wooden guard rails and bents were all washed off.  This is in preparation of my spraying them with Thompson's Water Seal this coming week.  This is all part of the normal bridge maintenance cycle.

Photos of these projects are coming soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quick Update

The storms on July 8th dropped about 5" of rain.  Much of Telluride was flooded as since it was the first big rain of the year, all the debris from the fall, winter and spring plugged up the grates of the water drainage pipes.  A great deal of mud washed into the barn's leanto as well.  I'll definately need to add concrete sills to prevent that once it's enclosed.   The rest of the tracks showed no signs of damage.  I do need to get over to the Bridge 2C site and paint the outline of the washed out area for the creek so the bridge will be placed at the optimum location.

As of July 11th, RGS #10 has been returned to active service.  The #11 will be worked on next.  The #10 and 11 were washed and are parked in Telluride awaiting repair work and assignment to a train.

Santa Fe flatcar #100 is currently in the barn getting painted.  The electrical I plan on removing as I decided it's easier to just put batteries at the end of the train to power any end of train lights.  I'll keep the two brake lines in place for the time being (one vacuum, the other air.)  The #100 has vacuum brakes.

Once painting is completed on the #100, D&RGW #4686 will be cleaned and revarnished before returning to work.

The Santa Fe coach I expect to pull out of the House Track and set up for MOW service sometime.  It would be a good place to put the track building stuff other than inside the door of the barn.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Belated 4th of July.

With the #10 away undergoing repairs, the #11 filled in for the day.

Independence Day train in Telluride.

The Eleven

Tht's a "purdy" water tower.

10 feet of new track laid.

New track and the remaining section to build.

Telluride, mostly empty.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Telluride Yard - June 21st, 2011

The yard has been cleared of railroad cars.  The #10 rests alongside the water tower and the #11 rests next to her.  The water tower awaits construction of a spout and the completion of the water system under the shed.  #10 will be heading into the shop next week and the #11 will be getting a tune up this weekend before it begins to handle the roadmaster's train and go out looking for sections of track to level up.

RGS #11 and #10 in the Telluride Yard

RGS #11 and #10 in the Telluride Yard alongside the newly refurbished water tower.

The Telluride track needs a little work too.
Some photos from June 20th with the #10 and water tower.  The #11 was out on the road with the 4686 getting more wood for Wood Station.

Showing the underside of the tower and how the valve works.

The engineer deck for the engineer to get off the locomotive and water and oil around without having to worry about falling off the bridge.

#10 at Telluride

Sunset falls for the day but not for a growing railroad.

Proud old girls,

The engineer deck.  I used old wood from an old wheelchair ramp that was removed and donated to the cause.

#10 awaiting a trip into the shop to get her running again.

Telluide on the Rio Grande Southern R.R. of North Carolina.  (Notice the bridge switch turnout indicator in the background displaying the switch is set to the siding.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tower Progress - June 15

The water tower I had a little trouble with.  The plastic backing of the foam is rather slick so when I slid the last board in, it caused the entire wooden part of the tower to become a barrel and slide down.  So I first added more foam around the top and wooden pieces below to hold the wooden siding in place as I put it back on.

One thing I managed to get done is the mortar between the base of the tower and foundation.  I was not too concerned with "look" on the sides which will be hidden by the raised deck area.  It took roughly one 60 pound bag of mortar.  I left 3 corners of the old concrete open so that I can place wooden beams on the tower foundation to support the deck.

I managed to get the wood up there but found that the foam increased the diameter one additional board.  It means the bolts I bought were too short.  But I am not concerned as the wood looks good.  I did have some smaller bolts from the bridge building project which barely held the tank bands in place.  I will get replacements and install them soon to get the wood tight around the foam.

The back of the tower.  The foundation is done but you can see how the wood has slid down.

The tower with the wooden siding slid down.  The foam is actually hardwood flooring underlayment which will prevent bugs from getting in between the metal and wood and to provide great cushioning of the wood.

The drains across to prevent water from backing up against the tower.  I used excess mortar to try to prevent any undecutting.

The gap between the tower and bridge abutment.  This will be spanned by a board which is raised slightly to go over that edge of the concrete and allow water to run off under.

The back of the foundation where the water drains out.

The tower with the wood in place and the tank band somewhat in place.  When the new bolts are installed (5/16" by 5") the tank bands should be nice and tight and I can remove the bungee cord which I left on there just to prevent the top from trying to shift in the meantime.

Ridgeway's water tower and equipment in storage.  The old burned out coach frame is sitting next to the tower and will move to the House Track later (on a flat as it does not roll.)

Next up, plumbing and then the spout which will be made of copper.

Underside of tower with some of the plumbing in place (mainly because the spring connections.)
I installed some steel straps under the tower to hold the pipes in place and to act as a connection point for the return spring of the water valve.  I have additional straps to add to tightly secure the pipes to the tower.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More work on tower

The concrete for the tower is complete and drying. In a couple days I will remove the forms and get it ready to move the tower over onto the foundation. The sand is sitting nearby to fill the core and hopefully Lowes has restocked their mortar by now. I need more for the tower as well as the retaining wall in the barn which will allow me to redo the lean-to and enclose that space which will give me room to restore equipment and more room in the barn as I move tools into the new "garage space."

Foundation ring for water tower.  The pipes through are obvious.

The foundation ring for the water tower.  The void will be filled in the sand to support the metal legs of the tower.

The water tower, ready to be installed on the foundation when it's ready.

The siding is coming along nicely. The last of the unpainted wood was painted. About 2/3 of the painted siding was painted a second coat and it's quite a bit more glossy now as it dries. A third coat will complete the painting and I should be able to install the siding onto the tower this weekend along with the water system. The spout will have to be manufactured however and it's not that straightforward to build one. But I do not have an operational steam locomotive yet.

The second coat of paint and the siding is a lot shinier.  One more coat of paint to go.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Water tower progress 5th of June, 2011

Progress has been slow but steady over the past week.  The new tank siding has been purchased, cut and painted.  The wood was cut on an 8 degree angle to allow for the curvature of the tank.

(Click any image to see full sized)

Siding lined up to be painted.

Inside of wood is painted first (to protect it from decades of weather.)  The ends and outside will be painted as well.

The legs of the tower were also painted.  You might notice all the old siding was removed.  I decided to paint all the bands and put a nice foam pad under the wood.  So I will use a bungee cord to hold the wood in place as it's all put back together.

Wood outside awaiting painting on both sides.

Tank masked off so the roof can be repainted.

Silver roof restored.  It was resealed with caulk, primed and then painted.

Tank bands were primed and then painted gloss black.

The foundation was started.  The tower will stand next to the crossover between the craft building and barn.  The railroad is almost on the bridge at this point.  The tank was set off so that a spout roughly the same size as the siding will come down into the middle of the tender's water hatch.  In order for the tower to have plenty of room for the spout to come down, the base of the foundation will be a little higher.  Also, due to the soft ground in the area, the foundation will be deeper and wider.  Also 2 pipes extend from the uphill side to the downhill side to allow water to pass under the tower and not backup over the path.  Water can also pass on either side of the tower.

Foundation outer ring.  There is an inner ring which makes the wall 3-1/2 inches thick all the way around.  The inside will be sand so the legs which pass through the tower's concrete can be firmly planted in sand.

The water tower will service locomotives on track 2.  The idea is, trains will come in on track one, the locomotive will cut off and head to the turntable and pass the train on track 2.  The position of the water tower is back enough to allow the locomotive to stop for water without fouling the switch.