Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Modeling SP Supply Trains (Part 3) - Boxcars

In my previous two blog posts on SP Supply Trains, I first looked at the general layout of the Supply Train operations and consist of a standard train (Modeling SP Supply Trains - Part 1). Then in the second post, I covered one of the unique SP 80ft wooden combine which was repurposed as a supply train office and caboose (SPMW 740 Supply Train Caboose).

A screen capture from the SP Company film "This is My Railroad - 1946" showing the SP's vast supply system

In this post we're going to look at two of the SP's vast fleet of Supply Boxcars which roamed the SP system. It should be noted again in this post that these cars were also used in the 'standard supply train' but also were more free roaming between the SP's General Shops, Division Shops, and to specific points for supplying other company forces (T&M, Rail Gangs, B&B, etc.). So these cars can show up in regular low to medium priority freights and also be switched at your larger yards and sent over to the local MW Store House and Supply Yards.

The Models

SPMW 701 - Accurail Single-Sheath B-50-13 (stand-in)

SPMW 701 patch lettered for "SUPPLY CAR" service. - Note the T-section trucks!

Specifically, I'm going to look at modeling SPMW 701 with an Accurail single sheath boxcar. Note that most of the SP cars are best represented by models with wooden doors and wooden ends. Some cars were later upgraded with steel ends, but most photos seem to show them keeping their wooden ends very late. B-50-13/14 class cars had variations of early Dreadnought-style ends and some hand round roofs.

The Accurail model I started for this project happens to be a model with 7-8 Murphy Ends, which I have not found any prototype photos for. This and the damage to one of the poling pockets, may make the ends a candidate for replacement at some point in the future.

The SP retired vast numbers of B-50-13 and -14s to MW service, with probably half going into Supply Car service.  I've not finished tabulating the number of them from the SPMW 1956 Roster, but needless to say, starting about 1949-1950 the SP began replacing their wooden boxcar fleet with a vengeance, scrapping the older MW boxcars that had served in these functions through WWII.  Remember this was also permitted by the large acquisitions of new all-steel boxcars after WWII in 1948 on wards.

The SPMW 701 still needs to be finished up with 3 pairs of stirrup steps and the a brake wheel installed.  It should be noted that to the left of the door is the new grab iron ladder and it will have the 3rd pair of stirrups under them for accessing the car without a platform.

SPMW 701 before adding the "SUPPLY CAR" decals to the left end of the car.

The weathering on SPMW 701 is fairly heavy currently.  I don't really feel like repainting the car, which would require redecalling it like the SPMW 2676 (below)... I'll probably go with the concept that this car was 'patched' out first to the SPMW Service with the "MW701" under the old SP reporting marks and received a quick stenciling of the "SUPPLY CAR" on July 27, 1951.

The model of SPMW 701 also has upgraded AB-schedule brakes (standard for Accurail stock models).  It also has some Tichy Andrews trucks, which I must have scrounged for it about 10 years ago.  Note that these trucks were traded to the SPMW 2676, as Andrews trucks were fairly rare on SP's cars outside of the standard USRA B-50-12 boxcars.  The B-50-13s seemed to all keep their original T-section trucks until at least 1950+ from the photos I've seen in Tony Thompson's Southern Pacific Freight Cars Vol.4 Boxcars.

SPMW 2676 - Tichy USRA B-50-12 - The last of its kind?

IMRC R-T-R model of B-50-12 class, SP 26948, commercially built-up from Tichy Train Group kit.

The SP 26240, class B-50-12, was assigned to SPMW service in 1944, so by my modeling era of 1948-1953 the car will be out of regular revenue service for 4-7 years.  I chose to decal the car as being reweighed at LA General Shops in August of 1948 at which time it will probably be fairly lightly weathered, if it received a repaint in either the 1948 or 1944 shopping.

The B-50-12s seemed to retain their as-delivered Andrews-style trucks until the rebuilding of 650 of the 1000 cars of the class in 1949.  It is unclear how many of the 350 other cars were retired to MW service before 1949.  However, it appears that the SPMW 2676 appears to be the ONLY B-50-12 still in MW service on the SP by 1956.  Sooo, this makes it rather rare bird.  Normally I don't like modeling the "One and only" car, but since I had the USRA boxcar kit, it is correct for this car, and I want to build several more cars for "Supply Service", I'll make the exception to my 'rule'.  Also according to Tony Thompson's blog post about the B-50-12A class cars, many were XMs assigned to auto parts not requiring forklifts.

SPMW 2676 starting as a raw Tichy USRA boxcar kit.

The SPMW 2676 basically is a standard Tichy USRA kit built up with 5-5-5 Murphy ends.  In the picture above, I've started despruing the two centersill members and the two bolsters.  Construction basically follows the kit instructions, except that I'm using roofing/flashing sheet lead for the weight instead of the 'nuts' which raise the center-of-gravity too much for the LMRC standards (and my liking).


Grab iron locations center marked with a carbide scribe before drilling with No.79 drill.

Looking closer at the modifications to SPMW Supply Car service mostly consists of adding a ladder and stirrup to the left of each side door.  The A-Line stirrups will be attached from the bottom after the weights are installed in the car.

SPMW 2676 with grab irons installed.  The thin molded plastic side below the door has fractured.  This will be fixed later.

I decided to glue my doors on the SPMW 2676 closed.  Tichy tries to provide a method for making the doors positional-able, however I didn't feel like dealing with it.  The examples assembled by IMRC do have the doors able to be opened and closed.

Painting SPMW 2676

Painting the SPMW 2676 with standard SP Freight Car Red from Star Brand.

The car is painted with SP Freight Car Red (FCR) and a off-black underframe, with spots of FCR overspray.  The trucks also get a shot of FCR, which will have weathering applied over it later.  Note that the SPMW 2676 was retired to MW service in 1944, well before many SP cars were fitted with AB-schedule brakes (not required by ICC/AAR until 1953).  Therefore, my model will still have K-brakes for company service.

SPMW 2676 with some scribed weathering on the right door.

Once the door was distressed a little, I went back with some lightened FCR and over-sprayed the areas.  The lightened FCR also gives a nice faded color, so I applied that to the roof of the car also.

Decalling Finished on SPMW 2676

Right side of SPMW 2676 with decals applied.  Note the resprayed area over the door.

The decals came from MicroScale 87-911 for the car data, 87-155 SP MoW Equipment set, and 90031 Railroad Roman Condensed White alphabet set.  The "SUPPLY CAR" lettering on some prototype cars has noticeable over-spray around the stencils, so I may add that later.

Left side of SPMW 2676 with decals applied.

The "SUPPLY CAR" lettering on these two cars is applied one letter at a time.  I used one of the horizontal board line edges to help align them.  In prototype photos the lettering isn't exactly straight either, so this thankfully doesn't have to be perfect.

SPMW 2681 screen capture from 'This is My Railroad, 1946, Steam Version'.

Notice the low "L" not being quite as high as the top of the "Y" next to it.  Also notice that the SPMW 2681 (above) only has Capacity and Lt. Weight (Tare) stenciled on it.  The Load Limit stencil, which is usually the second line of weight stenciling has been dropped.  I therefore cut out the LD LMT set of decals on my model of 2676.

SPMW 2676 end lettering with the "2676" applied to the crown of the top rib!

The end lettering is applied on the top rib, which is a delicate process to get the decal resting level and centered on the rib, then very carefully applying the Micro Scale MicroSol to the decal and getting it to curve down over the shape of the rib.  Also finding a "26" in my collection of number jubbles seemed excessively impossible.  So it was also done one number at a time and then set.

At this point the last bits finishing of the car still need to be done.  Brake lever guide rods, stirrup steps, brake staff, etc. which will be added and touched up with a brush before final weathering.

Blog Post Edit:

SPMW 2681, SUPPLY CAR after my repaint and decal in 2023.

Just as a side note to this post.  A friend asked me to recommend some SPMW car numbers for Accurail wood door, wood end boxcars to make a SPMW Supply Car for his layout.  I'll probably be working on designing a couple of small detail parts for upgrading the Accurail car to be more like the SP Standard B-50-8/10/11 classes of car.  The B-50-13/14 really should have pressed steel ends, which is not the same as the Accurail model.

Here's the short list of cars form the January 1956 SPMW Roster, published in the SP Trainlines.

SPMW B-50-8, -10, & -11 boxcars converted to Supply Service as of Jan 1, 1956. - Information SP Trainline with notes from Thompson's SP Freight Cars Vol4. Boxcars

This list covers most of the cars up until the later B-50-12 through 16 which were being converted to SPMW service after 1950-1951 roughly.  Hopefully this list will give you a set of quick numbers to choose from to build your Accurail SPMW Supply Car.

In Closing

Considering all the cars in the SPMW system, the Supply Cars were probably one of the assignments which had the best mechanical condition cars and moved the most miles.  This is shown also as they're also pulled from the newest classes of cars being retired, where the car is not needed, but still in good shape mechanically.

One of my favorite aerial photo cropped from the Bakersfield SP Trainline article showing the Division Storehouse and Material Yard around 1957-1958.

The railroad used these Supply Cars to move their own supplies as freight in trains.  For a large layout like LMRC, I'm forecasting that we could easily use 5-10 cars in this service alone, with 3-4 cars worth regularly heading to the Storehouse at Bakersfield, the Carpentry Shop, or the Car Shops on a regular basis.  Remember that Tehachapi was also the main 'bridge route' between Sacramento General Shops and Los Angeles General Shops, both of which were shipping supplies to other Division Shops farther out both directions on the SP system, so overhead movements of a couple Supply Cars every day to other points would not be out of the question.

LMRC's version of SP Bakersfield Storehouse and what Material Yards we'll be able to model.

These cars probably would be kept in good condition as they were running between main shops.  Therefore they couldn't get 'too bad' of mechanical or weather-proof condition, which is one reason the 701 should just have dust and dirt on it, not signs of mechanical failures or leaks.

Currently (July 21, 2020) progress on SPMW 701 and SPMW 2676.

As stated above, I'll be doing some final finishing work on both of these models.  The SPMW 701 still needs to have its "SUPPLY CAR" stenciling applied on the other side.  Stirrups will be installed along with other minor details before these two cars are put into service supplying the railroad!

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

Modeling SP Supply Trains - Part 1

Modeling SP Supply Trains (Part 2) - Caboose

Plastic Modeling Options for SP B-50-12/13/14

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Laying out Tehachapi (Part 1) Research & Layout

While this is more or less a repeat of the process I covered in the "West Bakersfield Industries (Part 1) - Laying Out Industries" which are the industries west of Baker Street on the SP.  So in a way, this covering the process we go through to research, compress and model a town at La Mesa Model Railroad Club, in San Diego, CA.

Two AC's helpers head west light as SP 5297 & 5300 working the KI (Tehachapi) Local switch the sheds just west of Hayes St. at LMRC

The town of Tehachapi during the 1950's had about 1,600 residents in 1950, but it was one of the largest villas during that era.  Mojave only had 2,000 residents!  Bakersfield had only 34,000.  That said, let's have a look at what businesses existed along the Southern Pacific mainline between Tehachapi Blvd and H Street.

Potato sheds dominated the early on-line businesses along the SP & ATSF Joint Line.  However by the 1930s the seed potato business was dropping off, resulting in the agriculture moving to diversify the growing acreage to include fruit and even blue grass seeds by the 1940s.

Town of Tehachapi - General Layout

The starting point before we're able to get the Val Map and Aerial photos started with a rough diagram (below).  Summit crossover is shown at the far left (east) end of this diagram supposedly two miles away.

Tony Anderson, the LMRC's Chief Engineer, planned Tehachapi to be somewhat compressed with the primary focus being on the length of Siding Nos. 1 & 2, to accommodate our standard length freights while waiting for orders and meets with opposing eastward trains.  The other main issue was the total tangent length between the west switch at Tehachapi and the east switch at Summit Siding, where eastward trains could be clear of the main and detraining their helpers on the wye.

The industries in the town of Tehachapi were therefore a distant third place during the considerations of scale compression and use of the available space.  Basically being stuffed into what was left of the two mile prototypical tangent between Tehachapi and Summit, and along the south side of the Main Track west of the Depot.

2017 vintage diagram of Tehachapi industries. (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

The drawing above shows the original plan for the industries from about 2015, before I really started digging into what was there.  In this version there are no industries on the north side of the mains east of Green St.  No.3 Siding is stub-ended.  There is also no stub track off the west end of the House Track.  Also notice that the spurs between Green Street and Hayes St. are staggered at the west end to lap around the House Track's east switch.

We found these photos on-line, this is the link http://mil.library.ucsb.edu/apcatalog/report/report.php?filed_by=C-18085 - reproduced here in part under fair use.

Fairchild Aerial Survey Inc photo of Tehachapi to document the earthquake damage on July 25, 1952. - Looking roughly North

Looking in depth at the Tehachapi July 1952 Fairchild aerial photos, we can see the true layout of the town's industries and buildings.  There are a noticeable number of rail-served industries along the NE section, east of Green Street.  Several sheds along the double-ended spur, which the selective compression has cut to about 3-4ft long, with not options of lengthening it without pushing the east switch east of the Summit crossover, which of course is not acceptable.  One of our main goals is not having any track features of one station in the area of the next station!  We'll be limited therefore having the north double-ended spur will only have room for one, maybe two sheds, not the three plus, from the prototype information.

The following CAD diagram shows the redesign and positions of the industries from February 2020.  I'll be using this diagram cropped for each of the following detailed discussions.

Yes, it's a little small... click on it to view full size.  this is the CAD model from February of what we can do in the LMRC's space.  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

On the railroad, Tehachapi is the west end of the double track (D-251) out of Mojave.  The station has three westward sidings.  Siding Nos. 1 & 2 are for westward trains to dive into while waiting for Train Orders to move west.  Siding No.3 is shorter and was used for pickups, setouts, and helpers to gather up and wait for orders before heading to Bakersfield.  I should take a moment to also reference that the station of Summit is two miles to the east on the double-track with an eastward siding of over 70 cars and the wye to turn helpers. 

Businesses, Industries, and Trackside Modeled Structures

Starting at the west end of town on the south side of the main track there is a double ended siding which serves as the house track.  From the west switch, the east the structures were as follows:

West of 400-block of W. Tehachapi Blvd.

There appears to be a stub track which runs down literally in the weeds west of the industries and the west end switch (far right in above aerial photo) of the House Track.  It runs to just short of the trestle at MP 356.4 (at the left in the aerial photos below).

West of the industries at Tehachapi there is a stub track 'down in the weeds' on the south side of the main track.

I would guess that this spur was used as a place to put "Off Spots" or possibly MOW outfit cars.  In further ponderings during the January 2020 TT/TO session, the idea was also floated that this spur might have been used to shove all of the spotted cars out of the House Track to the west by an eastward freight to get access to the stock pens, which would be a priority move over whatever cars were sitting in the house track at the lumber yard, depot freight platform, or packing sheds.

400-block of W. Tehachapi Blvd.

Henry Kirschenmann warehouse - West House switch is a few hundred feet to the west.

A Large Packing Shed owned by Henry Kirschenmann.  This structure was probably a packing shed.  From some other research about Tehachapi, there originally were a large number of seed potato sheds, but during the 1930s much of the agriculture shifted to fruit, with only a small amount still working with potatoes.

Southern Pacific's Stock Pens
This stock pen measures about 112ft along the tracks, with two 50ft pens and two 41ft long pens.  In one set of data we have shows the pens existing, but the location of the next shed to the east seems to flip position by about 120ft.

Tehachapi SP Stock Pens - possibly removed between 1947 and 1952. - Except from SP Val Map

The aerial photos from Fairchild do not show the stock pens there in July 1952, but replaced with the Lumber Yard.

300-block of W. Tehachapi Blvd.

Tehachapi Lumber Yard and Shed - Aerial photo July 1952. -

225 W. Tehachapi Blvd - 

Tehachapi Lumber shed and yard.  This building currently still stands as 'Auntie Em's Antiques'.  Some of our research is confusing on the relation of this building and its lumber yard to the stock pens to the west, which once dismantled became part of the lumber yard.

Revised LMRC Map
West Tehachapi CAD scale drawing - Jan 2020  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

Here's the detailed revised Jan 2020 Scale Drawing of what the west end of Tehachapi looks like after compression is applied.  The west end switch of Siding No.3 was not originally planned to be built, so this will require widening the benchwork for about 36" and installing the new switch.

The west switch of the House track was originally planned to have a split-point derail protecting the main track.  Thankfully the derail was not finished when we found the aerial photo showing the stub which extended off from basically the same point where our derail was supposed to go.  This allows us to easily change the ties pattern to that of a full switch and install some new sub-roadbed for the House Track "Tail".  The "Tail" spur will also drop down about 18-24" in elevation to be 'down in the weeds', per the aerial photo, which shows the shadows of the rails and even the exposed ties!  The Tail's length is adjusted with selective compression to proportionally match the distance from Green Street to the west end switches of Nos. 1 & 2 Sidings.

200-block of W. Tehachapi Blvd.

"Summit Farms"  which may have dealt in Blue Grass Seed after the potato market dried up at Tehachapi.

Around 200 W. Tehachapi Blvd. was a smaller building which was probably a moderate sized packing shed.  This structure had a very interesting 'ad-hoc' construction style with many small extensions added on over the years it would seem.

This is probably Summit Farms dealing in blue grass seeds, but there still needs to be more confirmation from the 'old timers' and the Tehachapi department of commerce.

100-block of W. Tehachapi Blvd.

SP Tehachapi Depot at lower left in this crop of the aerial photo from Fairchild.  It appears there is a business car and a couple freight cars at the freight platform.

125 W. Tehachapi Blvd.Another larger shed which still stands as "Kohnen Country Bakery".  This building was originally a packing shed, as some of the details still clearly show.   Drawing from some of our ATSF customer list for the town of Tehachapi, we're guessing this was "Hi Valley Orchard" which probably by the 1940's was dealing in apples.

I believe east of that was a small gas station, which we're looking for confirmation on, but it could just be a garage or shed.

101 W. Tehachapi Blvd. is the SP standard station, which was about 114' long between the western edge of freight platform and the eastern wall of the passenger end of the structure.  The spring crossover at the end of double track is just west of the Station.  On each side of the station is a water column about 170ft away.  The eastern column was used to fill the tenders of eastward passenger engines during their station stops.  The western column was between the No.2 and No.3 sidings which allowed the returning westward helpers to top off their water after helping freights up the grade and turning at the Summit wye.

SP Depot at Tehachapi - Still needs some reworking. - Jan 2020  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

The 1950's era station was destroyed except for the eastern wall one year short of it's 100th birthday by arson fire.  The town of Tehachapi pulled together to rebuild the station in under a year, in time for the 100th anniversary celebration!

Tehachapi Station, Green Street and sheds just to the west. - CAD  Jan 2020.  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

Here's the revised Scaled CAD drawing for the center Tehachapi area from Jan 2020.  Unfortunately laying out this version of the drawings, with the water column between Siding Nos. 1 & 2, requires tearing out the switch between the east end of Siding Nos.2 & 3 and moving them north a couple of feet.

Green Street Crossing

Green Street is the western grade crossing in town.

100-block E. Tehachapi Blvd.

Detail of the 'company village' just east of Green St. - Fairchild Aerial Survey

In this detailed view we can see the depot at the left and collapsed water tanks center bottom, between the track and Tehachapi Blvd.  The large number of water cars (three red and two black) are supplying the town with potable water after the pipes were damaged between Woodford and Tehachapi.

107 E. Tehachapi Blvd.
Immediately east of Green Street is a small gas service station on the NE corner of Tehachapi Blvd. and Green Street.  Tehachapi Blvd runs just in the backdrop on the layout, so we'll be able to model about 85% of this gas station.  As of 2019, this gas station is long gone.  A small mini-strip mall with County Real Estate is built on the lot.

East of the gas station is the Southern Pacific's company water service tanks and also the town's supply of water, which was provided by the Southern Pacific's infrastructure.  The water tanks collapsed during the July 1952 7.5 Magnitude "White Wolf Earthquake."  Many brick walls of the structures along Tehachapi Blvd were damaged during the quake as well.

The water tanks were replaced quickly in time for the reopening of the railroad 25 days after the quake.  We'll be modeling the two pump houses and two water tanks.  The water tanks often had 2-3 water service tank cars spotted in front of them between Green Street and the east house switch. 

The prototype alignment had a crossover immediately east of Green Street, allowing a pocket for the water cars.  The modeled version of water track has lost this additional crossover simply because we don't have the space for it.

Company Village (at right) which we'll be compressing.

East of the water tanks was a small "company village" and section gang housing.  Unfortunately our model will only be able to have one standard bunk house.

300-block E. Tehachapi Blvd.

Two spurs on the south side reach just past the shed at 333 E. Tehachapi Blvd. and stop short of the drainage ditch.  The spurs are accessed by a switch just east of Hayes St. with the closure rails of the 'inside' spur switch crossing in the road at grade.

333 E. Tehachapi Blvd at the left in the aerial photo above.  The spurs are full of what appear to be ballast and side-dump cars related to the work que for the damaged Tunnels near Bealville.

333 E. Tehachapi Blvd.
A small culvert ducks under the tracks between the company village and 'The Apple Shed", which is currently known simply as 'The Shed'.  We're having some compression between this and the next shed to the east, as well as compression to about 80% in track-side length.  On the 'Val Map' we have this shed is shown as "Jacobson Bros.", which I would assume is resolved by the Jacobson Bros owned "The Shed".

What messes with me a bit is that at some point I thought 'The Apple Shed' was the building at 125 W. Tehachapi Blvd, which is now the "Kohnen Country Bakery."  I'm not sure if they were different businesses or what.

400-block E. Tehachapi Blvd.

~425 E. Tehachapi Blvd.

Oddly this structure is shown on the Val Maps as owned by "Emil Kirschenmann."  So not sure why Henry owns the shed on the west end of town and Emil owns the one on the east end.  Continuing to look into information of what the business names were for the sheds. - See right side of prior aerial photo above.

The most compression is applied between the water tanks and the single bunk house.  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

Here's the revision to the CAD model scaled to fit the LMRC layout space - CAD Jan 2020.  The Fuel Dealer from the 2015 version, is moved across the mains to the north side, and the pair of spurs on the south side are planned to be cut off even as a small creek drainage needs to exit the right-of-way to the south between the west end of the pair of spurs and the company village.

The Company Village on the south side is massively compressed and the water systems are compressed to the limits of their infrastructure.  We will only have room for one bunk building, not two.  The two water towers are signatures of the town of Tehachapi, so we've got to have them!  The prototype's left-hand crossover just east of Green Street from the House Track to the Main Track, which created a small 'water track' pocket to keep water cars in is removed.  Any MW Water Cars or supply cars unloading water treatment compounds will have to be switched with the whole House Track.

Hayes St.

The eastern grade crossing in town is Hayes St. which has the switch for the two spurs on the south side right in the crossing.  The two main tracks cross Hayes St and on the north side, there's an a double-ended spur.

North of the Main Track

East of Hayes Street were several more industries, which will not be modeled at LMRC due to the compression in this area.

On the other side of the main track, we'll work back to the west.  First off, the major compression is loosing about 2500ft of double-ended spur.  The result is that we only have room for one or two of the three or four graineries.

500-block E. H Street.

We'll have about one or two car spots to be able to have the 'bin' and 'shaft' structures for the grainery at Tehachapi Supply Co.  This will be squeezed in just east of Hayes Street.

400-block E H Street.

Tehachapi Hay & Grain will be moderate sized warehouse of about 70ft and an extra 28ft extra platform on the west side along the track.

401 E. H Street.

401 E. H Street is at the top right of this cropped view of the Aerial photos.

There is a possible Bulk Fuel Dealer at this lot, today it is a School Bus Depot, in the aerial photos from the 1952 earthquake survey it appears to be more of a fuel dealer with several tanks and small buildings.  401 E. H Street is actually on the north side of H Street, but on the model we simply don't have the depth in the benchwork to cross the small dirt road.  Therefore we'll have these small fuel dealer buildings just north of a stub track north of the double-ended spur along the edge of the benchwork.

300-block E. H Street.

As the spur from the fuel dealer diverges to the upper left (North East), there is a pair of company dwellings and a small Supply Yard along the spur.

West of the fuel dealer, the SP had an MOW Supply Yard and some "Company Dwellings".  The prototype had another spur, but because of the depth compression this spur will have to be omitted.  Again several hundred feet of additional material yards have to be omitted between the dwellings and Green Street.

West of Green Street between the mains and H Street there was basically open with no industries.

North of the Main Track industries compressed to fit between the main and the operators' aisle. - CAD Jan 2020  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

The last section of the selective compression scaled CAD model from Jan 2020.  Much of the compression here happens between Green Street (at right) and the Company Village.  The Fuel Dealer can't be a block to the North on the other side of H Street, so that spur has been consolidated and moved against the double-ended granary track.

The creek bed shifts slightly under the mains to create a bit more space for the rearranged Bulk Fuel Dealer and MW Material Yard, as we'll be removing the whole 'inside' spur, with again, we just simply won't have room for.

Other Notes on Modeling Tehachapi

Here's the complete un-cropped selective compression CAD model from January 2020.

Enjoy looking over the revised compression drawing from early 2020.  (Note this is looking south, as on the layout's perspective).

While it would be 'fun' to be able to model Tehachapi without any compression, that just isn't going to happen.  At the end of the day, the public will never be able to see this section of the layout as it will be behind the Marcel-Cable backdrop wall.  So we're doing the station to meet the demands of the road freights needing to use Siding Nos. 1 & 2, and beyond that, we're doing this 'for ourselves'.  As such, we're modeling the traffic options representing what went in and out of Tehachapi during the WWII-1960 era.  Therefore at least one of each industry type to spot our cars at is the main issue to be addressed and then making it look as close as possible.  I think we've done a pretty good job balancing this all out.

Unknown Shed Names

Other business names which we're researching where they go:

Summit Farms - possibly one of the sheds west of the depot... but that's as far from the "Summit" as you could get... so not sure.

Hi Valley Orchards - possibly Jacobson Bros?

Apple Shed (possibly the same as "The Shed")

Wrapping Up

January 2020 brought the ripping up of the East No.2/3 switch to be realigned.  Here the work is overseen by the Section Gang and some outfit cars.

This is just the first in a series of future posts as the club moves our model of Tehachapi past the 'plywood and rails' phase.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

West Bakersfield (Part 1) - Laying Out Industries

Tehachapi Operations (Part 1) - "Mountain Work Train" Symbol

Tehachapi Operations (Part 2) - "Mojave Shorts" Symbol

Freight Symbols Over Tehachapi Index

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Four Years of Blogging and Counting (Review)

Welcome back everyone --- to another year of model building of the NightOwlModeler!  It's been four years now of blog posts and rambling thoughts.  Hard to believe it's July again already!

Not to dwell on the statistics much, but the blog shows it has been viewed over 186k times, probably 25k of those are 'bots' checking in and scanning the page.  Since March 2020, there are regularly over 4-5k views per month.  There are 115 subscribed followers who get emails when I post a new blog post to the page.  Hopefully the content will continue to be of interest and use to the community.

F-units await their next call from the ready tracks at (Taylor) Los Angeles Yard in 1954 - Nolan Black photo, Brian Black collection 

I don't need to mention that the last six months have been very weird.  But let us look at some of the fun projects that have moved forward!

Wrapping Up 2019 Posts

From July 2019 until December, most of the posts here related to more detailed descriptions of selected freight symbols and the backgrounds of the operational logistics of the 1950's sessions.

Trip to San Diego - January 2020

In January, I was down in San Diego helping setup for the Winter on Tehachapi 1950's TT/TO operation event.

Mojave Yard with freight in the No.2 Track and an ATSF N-34 behind the depot on the A&P Main. - Jan 23, 2020 

During my visit, planning for the town of Tehachapi pressed forward with new CAD drawings of the physical LMRC layout and more in-depth planning of how our aerial photos and 'ValMap' research could be incorporated.  The club's 'Chief Engineer' (and ex-ATSF Civil Engineer by profession) Tony Anderson's passing has meant that some of the historical integration and operational research designs have shifted to several other members who work together to decide the direction of construction regarding the constant scale railroad battle of historical accuracy vs selective compression.

Tehachapi just west of Green Street with the east No.2-3 Siding switch torn out to be changed. - Jan 2020.

The town of Tehachapi is one of the larger 'small towns' directly along the right-of-way along the Tehachapi Pass route.  The major operational interests that must be modeled is as follows:
1. The SP Depot at the beginning of Double Track at Green Street.
2. The two long westward sidings west of Green Street.
3. Changing the alignment of the east switch of the short No.3 Siding to match the historical photos and Val Maps.
4. Modifications to the No.3 Siding, lengthening it and making it double ended at the west end.
5. Keeping the space permitted between the east end of Tehachapi and the west end of Summit, which is about two miles (120ft in HO) apart, but only about 3ft in the modeled space.
6. Given Issue 5 (above), what industries can be modeled along the "North Side" between Green and Hayes Streets?

I'm planning to make a couple of posts about the design of Tehachapi and Monolith soon.

Back to Freight Car Modeling in 2020!

Pilot models of OwlMtModels Blackburn Beet Racks photographed at Caliente at LMRC - January 2020.

In 2020 I've been back at modeling freight cars.  The early part of the year was spent building pilot models for OwlMtModels' new Blackburn Sugar Beet Racks for their March release.

In early 2020 the blog posts shifted to kitbashing OwlMtModels F-50-series flatcars into other versions.

Overview of the three OwlMtModels F-50-series kitbashes
(Part 1) SPMW 7021A - A unique Rail & Tie Car from the Bakersfield Wreck Outfit.
(Part 2) SPMW 847 - Wheel Car assigned to Sacramento Shops
(Part 3) PE 3669 - Modeling the PE's unique brake rigging

Current and Future Projects

In recent months I've been working on a number of other freight car related projects.

B&O 106682 - P-11 Class Flat resin kit from F&C

B&O 106682 being built to match photos in the F&C instructions

I have a small stash of PRR 'FM' and B&O P-11 class resin flatcars to build, so this model of B&O 106682 is just the first of many.  I had to set these aside in 2013 when I had some eye problems, which made the application of the stake pockets nearly impossible and just had not returned to the project until now.

SPMW 2749 and Tie Loads

SPMW 3605 (top) and SPMW 2749 (bottom) being worked on, along with tie loads being stained.

Recently I've done some staining of ties and picked up my Ulrich truss-rod flatcar again which is going to be SPMW 2749, an F-50-6 class WWI built flatcar for the SP.  Converted to MW Service as a "Ready Flat" car, which could have seen all sorts of uses.

SPMW 810 - Ready Flat

A stand-in for SPMW 810 starting from Walthers-TM 42ft flatcar.

Years ago I started kitbashing Walthers/Train Miniatures 42ft flatcars into SP F-50-5/8/9/10/12 class flatcars.  However now that OwlMtModels has released those specific cars my old Walthers/TM models really should find new lives.

This is much as my repurposing of Rivarossi 12-1 sleepers from SP paint schemes assigned to my models of the Owl and other HW consists to Pullman "Tourist Cars" (TC) for more general use as 'extra cars' when I acquired a number of the newer highly detailed Walthers 12-1s in the 2011-2012 time frame.

The SPMW 810 will be a stand-in for the WWI built F-50-7 class flatcar with truss-rods added.  Yes, the car is only going to be maybe a 80% stand-in, with a number of 'errors' compared to a true F-40/50-7, but it will be suitable to give a new life to the body.

T&NO 23454 - F-50-7 - WWI Truss Rod Flat

T&NO 23454 stand-in from Walthers/TM 42ft flat.

My second Walthers/TM 42ft flat is being rebuilt as an F-50-7 stand-in for the few remaining revenue service F-50-7s that the T&NO still had in service in 1950.  In the following blogs on these cars I'll be going into how I modified the underframes to model the 'all steel' truss rod construction of these cars built in 1917.

SPMW 2676 & 701 - 'Supply Cars' from Tichy B-50-12 and Accurail B-50-13

SPMW 2676 B-50-12 (top) and SPMW 701 B-50-13 (bottom)

Those readers who have followed since my blog post about the SP Supply Trains will have already seen the SPMW 701.  However the car will be receiving some upgrades and changing to the correct T-section trucks.  While the old Tichy Andrews Trucks go back to SPMW 2676.  Both cars are receiving short grab-ladders to the left of the doors for Supply Car service.

Wrapping Up the 4th Year

So as seems to be the 'usual' way things go with blogging... your time never goes 'as planned', and I think that's certainly the best way to describe 2020 so far.  Nothing is 'going as planned'.  So as I go forward into the next year of model building and blogging there will be new adventures and I hope to wrap up some of the modeling projects that have been started.  Time will tell if those goals come to pass.

LMRC's Tehachapi with the East No.3 switch torn out and the work train there to continue the rebuilding 'Tomorrow'. Jan 2020.

For now, enjoy your time with family and friends, and the occasional model building project when you have a free moment!  Don't forget to try expanding your modeling horizons by doing a little kitbashing.  Make the model unique in some way that it's not just "another R-T-R model" that you built.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

Modeling Bakersfield Wreck Outfit (SPMW 7021) - Part 1

Employe Timetable & Operational Ratings

SP Cabooses (Part 4) - Boxcar Conversions

Freight Train Symbols Over Tehachapi (Part 8) - Logistics