Remaking of the Ridley Keystone & Mountain
#1
Post 1 – Prologue 

After quite a bit of thinking I have come to the conclusion it is time to remake the Ridley Keystone & Mountain layout. The unreliable trackwork, along the desire to add certain scenes is the driving force for this remaking. It will mean the destruction of about 80% of the current layout. This will be the third revision.

There was no plan when the current layout was begun. It was meant to house dioramas such as the Water Tower, Inland Cement Company, and the passenger station not for running. At the time I was more interested in taking photos than running trains. I never expected to be able to run them with any consistency. That changed when my son got involved. He and a friend got things running. Not long afterward I discovered videoing.

Then came to long time of no modeling. Things accumulated on the layout. The closet the rolling stock was stored in rusted at the bottom and collapsed. We had the water damage to the house and luckily no damage to the layout. It had to covered during the repairs.

A couple years later retirement comes and I again at the urging and prodding of the kids get involved in modeling. First, I have to reorganize and store the rolling stock. I get some storage bins and sort the cars. I also begin working on weathering and building more cars. I acquire some new locos at this time.

Again, I think I will never get the trains running again. Once more my son comes to rescue one night and gets things rolling. Him and I discuss the current layout, and both agree something needs to be done. After several conversations we decide the best course of action is pretty much starting over.

What I am hoping to accomplish is something that incorporates some of the dioramas from the current layout. Both my son and I want some type of urban scene. I would also like to add something representing South Jersey for the PRSL equipment. I want to make sure the anthracite region is represented.

From our brainstorming we have think a simple oval type design will work. There will be some double track sections. Of course, industrial sidings will be part of it. We will use backdrops to section off the scenes. There is room to lengthen the layout by at least other eight to ten feet so that will happen. We want either 22 inch or 24 inch curves on the “mainline.”

To get things started as you can see in the following photos the current chaos has to be cleared off. I will need to store the locomotives either in the boxes they came in or something else. Any with added detail parts will most likely need new storage boxes. The Proto 2000 and Stewart locomotives come with shell and body separate so they will need new boxes. There is some rolling stock that either do not fit in their boxes or never had any so they will need some.

Here is a short photo tour of the current mess.

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The tunnel and hill be going.
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Not sure about this tunnel portal. The hunting cabin will be saved in some way.
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The grain elevator will be saved. The mountain will not.
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The station will be saved. Not sure about the bridges or creek. I used Woodland Scenics water that you pour, and it has not held up well.
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Inland Cement Company will be saved. This is where the layout can be extended to the right in the photo.
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This is the corner from Hell. Everything seems to accumulate on this spot.
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The Water Tower diorama will be part of the new layout. This diorama is the only one not permanently attached to the current layout.
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The farmhouse and barn (buried under the boxes and felt) will be saved.
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Each of the scenes other than the Water Tower will have to be cut out from the current layout. All the scenes need some tender loving care. Trees have fallen out, foliage is loose. Ballast needs to be replaced.

I hope to be starting the cleaning up stage next week. Wish me luck.
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
NARA Member #100
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#2
Tom, WOW, so glad to see your layout and thoughts/plans Applause . Take your time, think things out and do it right...do as I say not as I did, right, LOL!! Naw, but honestly, I know exactly what a lot of what you were saying, from experience Icon_redface  . 

The track work on my layout is pretty rock solid, everything runs pretty darn good without problems, HOWEVER, my track planning wasn't great in some sections, like my rail yards for example, I really should have put more thought into it and made it more prototypical, so what I am saying is, take this time to think things out real good, you'll thank yourself later for it Icon_e_biggrin .

REALLY EXCITED to follow your new journey!!!  Applause Applause Applause
[Image: sig2.jpg]-Deano
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#3
Yeah sometimes starting back over will really get the creative juices flowing again! Looking forward to your new venture.
Mike

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
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#4
It's a lot of work starting over or a major revision of what you have, but it gives you the opportunity to do things that you thought of too late to do before. I know, been there, doing that. And yeah, it's a lot of fun, and satisfying as well.....

Good luck, and keep us posted...
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
founder of the CANYON STATE RAILROAD
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#5
You've got some really nice-looking scenes on your layout, Tom, but I can see the need for an upgrade and some de-cluttering, too.

While it isn't a quick-fix solution, you can make some very useful (and durable) storage boxes for your locomotives and/or rolling stock.

I use the two-piece boxes in which fruit and vegetables are shipped:  they're fairly heavy cardboard, with strong bottoms, and a separate lid, and in most cases, have openings in the ends as hand-holds, making them easy to move.  Because they're so sturdy, you can stack them as high as you wish.

Here's one....

   

...that's used for passenger cars...

   

I store them on their sides, so that the car is easily viewable, without need to unnecessarily take it from the tray...

   

This box has deeper trays, and was intended for locomotives, although I seldom take locomotives off the layout.  The deeper tray allows the model s(in this example, passenger cars awaiting modifications) to be stored upright, on their own wheels...

   

Here's a locomotive and tender in a similar compartment...

   

One side of the compartment folds down...

   

...and the soft plastic sheeting material allows the loco to be lifted out and carried to the layout or workbench...

   

This box is used for MoW equipment, and each individual compartment can be removed, with one fold-down side for easy access.  Fragile equipment can be stored on its wheels, but also with loose details in some cars - this way, all the parts of a multi-part model can be kept together, making it easy to store or easy to put on the layout...

   

To make the trays, I use ordinary corrugated cardboard.  You can often get large sheets of it, free for the asking, from appliance stores.  The fruit and vegetable boxes should be available at any supermarket, although you may have to ask for them to set some aside for you to pick-up.

I use a carpenter's square and a utility knife to cut out the needed shapes, then assemble them use a hot glue gun.  The soft plastic sheeting is often found wrapped around many electronic devices or other items which need protection during shipping, but if you can't otherwise find it, it's also available from stores which sell flooring, as it's used, in various thicknesses, for underlay.

If you need boxes for rolling stock, Accurail offers them, in at least a couple of sizes, at a fairly reasonable cost - I got a bunch of them through Bowser (English's Model Railroad Supply, in Montoursville, PA) and picked them up, in-person, as it's one of my favourite hobbyshops to visit.  That saved a lot of postage - they're not heavy, but pretty bulky for shipping.  Bowser may also offer their own rolling-stock boxes for sale, too.

Wayne
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#6
You've done some fantastic work there. I know what it's like to walk away for a long time and come back to this hobby. It can be daunting at first however I learned patience is key. All that being said, as much as everyone else I'm looking forward to seeing your renewed efforts.

P.S. I was also sorry to hear about the flooding. Hope the damage to your home wasn't too severe?
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#7
I made (am still making) storage boxes from scrapbooking trays. These are clamshell boxes about 13" square and 2+" high. I bought mine from Costco in rolling cabinets, but Michaels has them as separate items.
I made separators from foam-core board (2" high) and also made end bits to keep them apart. Mine don't come out as neatly as Dr. Wayne's. They take full length passemger cars about 7 wide.
Pix available on request.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
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#8
Quote :"There was no plan when the current layout was begun. It was meant to house dioramas such as the Water Tower, Inland Cement Company, and the passenger station not for running. At the time I was more interested in taking photos than running trains. I never expected to be able to run them with any consistency."   

Tom---I'm really looking forward to your progress on the rebuild of your layout---you certainly have some excellent current scenes that will be part of your new layout.
I can certainly relate to your original plan as quoted above as my own Leetown Division was developed along the same idea---a series of dioramas to take pictures.Who knows maybe your plan to rebuild may inspire me to follow your lead.
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#9
Thanks everyone for the encouragement. It is going to be a big step.

Wayne that is an awesome idea and I may try it. The only change is I can't use the cardboard fruit boxes. Our basement can on rare occasions get water. I will have to modify the system to use plastic bins. At the moment I will be using the boxes the locos came in if it can be placed in it without damaging it. This means the Proto 2000 and Stewart locos will not go in their boxes since they come with the shell and base separate.
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
NARA Member #100
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#10
It has been a week since I posted I was starting this project. The first order of business was clearing off the layout. This meant packing away the locomotives and rolling stock strewn about the layout. As of today there is one locomotive I need to box. It is my NYO&W FTA and FTB. Problem is they are permanently connected with a drawbar and therefore are too big for the containers I have. I don't want to have to unscrew the drawbar each time I store them or take them out.

You can see the FTB in the first photo.

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The collection of buildings still has to go

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Stray cars mostly gone from this area. There is a passenger coach behind the grain elevator

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This area used to be filled with locos, rolling stock, and junk. Pretty clean except for some rolling stock that either does not fit in the box it came in or does not have a box

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The rolling stock from last week's run by is still there.

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The corner from hell is looking better.

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The Water Tower diorama area mostly cleared.

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Here are the locos that do not fit in their original boxes plus a couple oddballs. These are almost all Proto 2000. I like Wayne's storage method but at the moment I don't have the resources and material to use it. When I have time it may well become the prefered method. In the meantime I had purchased these containers awhile back.

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Here are the locos that fit in their boxes.

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Moving forward I need to finish clearing the layout. Find a box for the FT's, put the cabooses and the rolling stock from the run by in their boxes. Then store the boxless rolling stock.
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
NARA Member #100
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#11
Looking good Tom!
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#12
I have attacked a number of boxes with the WS hotwire tool. This carves little (or not so little) bits out of the foam packing to go around details.
I've also used it to cut packing down the middle so that cars don't have to be pried out.
David
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.
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#13
An easy and inexpensive way to store enclosed rolling stock (boxcar, reefers, passenger cars, and in some cases, even locomotives) is to use ordinary white glue to cement a piece of compressible foam into a suitable box, making it the same height as the interior of the box, but a bit larger than the empty space above the roof of the car to be stored, as shown below...

   

Once the lid is placed back onto the box, the foam will be compressed a little more, making the car immoveable unless severely manhandled.

The foam which I used was cut from a piece of packing material, but you can also buy blocks of various types of foam at some fabric stores. 

This method protects fragile details, without the need to cut-out the entire profile of each piece of rolling stock.
Wayne
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#14
Wayne - that is such a simple yet brilliant and easy way to store the cars. I have got a bunch of foam and now I know what I will be using it for.
Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
NARA Member #100
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#15
All the locos and rolling stock are off the layout and in bins. Been using Wayne's freight car storage hack for my blue boxes and Roundhouse kits.

Ready to begin demo. The mountain behind the Farm will be first. It will begin with removing the trees. I am not sure how much if any of the foliage can be salvaged.

This is how it looks before the tree removal begins.

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Tom
Silence is golden but Duct tape is silver
Ridley Keystone & Mountain Railroad
My Rail Images Gallery
NARA Member #100
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