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Crenshaw Extension

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tom d View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 19 2010 at 2:50pm
12-18 It was raining  off and on on this Saturday and we had a large group of members that showed up for the run day but there were only 2  public riders, a father and son that came out for a ride in the rain.

The rain let up and the sun started to come out  so we pulled out the flat cars and loaded up the 6 20 foot track panels, added a few riding cars for members, then headed out for the rail head. As we were riding out the Crenshaw line we passed Mark J walking back for some lunch. He told us that he had been working on clearing the wood chips and was getting close to the turn table site.

When we got to the rail head we unloaded the track and set the straight panels in place and set the bent ones to the side. This was the first time to the new end of the line for a few of the SCLS members and they were very impressed with how it was all coming together. They are looking forward to running all the way to the end when we get done.

We all headed back for some chili and corn bread made by Daisy and Robert and it sure was good. After lunch Mark J, Phil C, myself  Tom D and the boys Wyatt and Blake headed out to the rail head. Mark got to work clearing to the turntable the boys worked on clearing from the switch back towards the windshield wiper table after Mark showed them how to do it the right way. I pulled a lot of the big weeds as the ground was soft from the rain then went to work getting the panels lined up for the turn table.

I found I need to weld up some more track panels so that I can play with lining up the two tracks. Tim B was asking how long the turntable would be and after some head scratching we decided I'm going to try to fit a 22 foot long table in. We may try to get a little longer when we get to setting it all up as Tim seemed to think his loco and support cars will be right at 22 feet long as a unit that will have to be turned all at one time. Man that 3 3/4" scale stuff is big.

Well we worked till it just got raining too hard and man it got muddy fast but fun for the boys. Still working on getting more ballast stone dropped at the club in the next few weeks.
 


Edited by administrator - Dec 19 2010 at 5:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 28 2010 at 8:22am
12-26-10 Well with Xmas on Saturday and a lot of rain the week before we didn't get anything done until Sunday the 26Th. Mark J. and Howie went out and worked at clearing more of the wood chips off the old paved strip that gos back to the windshield wiper turn table. There are only a few old tree sumps, but they all seem to be just half way across where we are thinking of putting the track, so we have been adjusting where we put the track to get around them.

Mark said he came up with a plan and some tools to remove the stumps as he said he thought it would make it better in the long run not to be going around them and having to get off the old pavement as its a smother base and it makes for a lot less work clearing the wood chips.


Wyatt and Tom D cleaned up around the steaming bays and a few members and guests came out to visit. We tinkered with and ran the steamers around. We had 3 running this time and a few battery and gassers. A lot of fun just running around.

After a bit Wyatt ran, and I road out the Crenshaw line to see how Mark and Howie where doing on there project for the day. It was a good run for the little steamer that Wyatt is learning to run as it is a hard one to fire. We got to the "Mistletoe Tunnel" as marks been calling it, and they had Howie's new speeder, a work car and one of the new  skeleton log cars that Tom D built for Mark J. parked. They had cut up some tree branches that had come down in one of the windy days a few weeks back and it worked out they where a nice size for a scale log for the new cars. They also had cleared a few hundred more feet of wood chips with Mark's new "super wood chip clearing tool", a snow shovel? It seamed to work well for the job. They also got one of the big stumps cut down so the track can go straight on though that spot.

 I helped a little at the end and I can tell you that was some hard work they did. I have the last 11 steel track panels from Jerry to weld up, hopefully this week, and we can get them down on this new road bed that Mark J and Howie opened up.

Still working on geting some stone for the ballasting of the new track, hopefuly this is not going to become a project stopper.  


Edited by administrator - Dec 28 2010 at 9:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 02 2011 at 5:49pm
On Wednesday  Tom D got back out to the club and welded up 6 more panels, 120feet total and hauled them out to the rail head and set them out. There are 6 more left to weld up at some point soon.

On Saturday Mark J when out and cut down about 1/2 of the tree stump that is in the way of  the, soon to be built, turn table. Since we got the new tie stock in Steve C and Tom D were side tracked on getting the track panels built and set down for the two new parking sidings on the inner loop. We got 150 feet down for the weekend total. 


Edited by administrator - Jan 03 2011 at 12:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2011 at 7:02am
1-8-11 Howie went down Crenshaw and did a lot of trimming of the trees and hauled back 4 large loads of brush and haul it to the city dumpster in his truck. He then went back to the rail head and put in the pins on the joints of several panels that Tom D had set out.

Still working on getting ballast rock dropped at the club. Maybe this week something will happen as Kelly S. needs some for his project so two peolpe working on this may make it happen.

Tom D.


Edited by administrator - Jan 10 2011 at 11:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 17 2011 at 11:00am
1-16-11 On Sunday Tom D. welded up four of the last six 20 foot track panels and Phil happily had his last go around with knocking the pins lose on the end of the panels. Steve was busy building 15' track panels out of aluminum rail and plastic ties for other projects on the steaming bays, so the welding was done on the transfer table and then loaded on the flat cars. It turned out to be a lot less lifting and in turn much easier on or backs this way [too bad we didn't do this sooner!].

Phil and Tom after fixing a bad rail joint at the gate, took the four panels down to just past the "Mistletoe Tunnel" and set them in place on the opposite side of the old right of way, on the new road bed cleared  few weeks back.

We then went to the spot were the turntable will be and did some measuring and head scratching and it looks like we will have a 23 foot turntable at the end of the two tracks for the locos and their support cars to turn on. This will be a large turntable for a live steam railroad, but we need it for the 3 3/4" scale RMI type locos we have at the club and we are thinking it will stand out and be easier  for people riding by in cars on Crenshaw Blvd. to see.

So now the plan is to put a 12' aluminum track panel just before the turntable as that will make it easier to adjust the track leads to mach up with the turntable. Phil and Tom then loaded up three 20 steel panels left there and ran them back up the line to the return track rail head.

We are now about 50 feet from the windshield wiper turn table so we are thinking we may use some of Steve's new track panels to get the return track tied back in. At some point we will replace this with new steel panels that we are planing to make.

Phil and Tom then went back and wielded up one more 20' panel and made two short 5 foot panels and one long 15 foot panel that have pins on one end and joint straps weld to the other end so the alum rail can be bolted on to it. These will be used for the turn table leads and to go just before the switch on the return track that goes in to the main line switch by the windshield wiper table. That is the last of the steel rail on hand we got from Jerry B.

Well good news! We have lots of ballast rock now, Tom D got an old sprint car racing friend, Steve Alexander, who has a 15 ton 10 wheel dump truck to drop 4 loads of crushed recycled cement base with a plan for a few more loads to be dropped soon. We used to get this stone for free but now we are paying around $120.00 per load which is still a very good deal and Steve is hauling it to us for free! So A BIG THANK YOU TO STEVE ALEXANDER for his helping us get this stone as I was starting to think this project was going to not get done.

At the club meeting the members voted $1000.00 for ballast. We will now have a good supply on hand for the many little projects that go on at the club that need this stone to be completed. A thank you to the members as well.

Well the boy scouts should be out in two weeks to do a lot of ballasting of track so in the next few weeks I'm going to try to get all the new track and stuff they will need ready for them so we get the most out of there help.

Tom Downing

Edited by administrator - Jan 17 2011 at 11:24am
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1-24-11 On Saturday the 22 Howie and Tom took the last 4 pieces of steel rail down to the rail head. The plan was for Howie to knock the pins in on the ends of the steel panels and then work on leveling out the hump where Mark and he removed the tree stump a few weeks back. This would allow the track to lay down smoother and flatter.

Tom took the power blower and cleared the leaves and small twigs from the tracks and then shimmed the track panels between the old asphalt and the bottom of every third steel tie making them level from side to side. We are thinking this should make for a lot less work when the boy scouts do the ballasting next weekend.

I played around with trying to get the steel panels all in a straight line and it looks OK now and should look great after its ballasted. Steve showed up with the little club tractor and moved a lot of the dirt and wood chips out of the way and knock the hump down a lot, but Tom and Howie worked hard to brake out the last of the raised up old asphalt to get the track panel the sit flat.

By this time the boys, Wyatt and Blake went to help out and they seemed to have a good time as when we broke out pieces of the asphalt a lot of big black bugs would run all over the ground. They put a lot of the bugs in some empty old water bottles we had and they told us this was so great, hmmm to be nine again.

About this time Phil showed up and we moved the last of the rail panels into place and did a bit of adjusting to get all the panels to line up to where the turntable will be and on the end of the return track so we start the turn back in to the main line switch that will be right next to the switch for the windshield wiper turntable lead.

It looks like we will have to use about 40 feet of Steve's new track panels to get to that switch which Tom still needs to build. We are thinking that we will build some more steel panels and switch them out at a later time. Tom still needs to shim some of the track but other than that it looks like where ready for the ballasting crew next weekend.

On Sunday Mark had made up his own work train and headed out to remove the last of the tree stumps that are in the way of the turntable. He had a tuff go of it as it seems the bees have moved into one of the stumps and there was a war between Mark and his bee killer spay and the bees. At some point Charlie jumped in to help in the war but it looks like one big back bee thing that just would not die won this round  but Mark is making plans for round two next week!

Meanwhile Rory and Tom loaded up the first load of five of the new 15 foot aluminum track panels onto the flat cars, and took them down the Crenshaw Line to where the switch was for the passing siding that Steve and crew built last summer.

The plan was to work our way back installing new track for what will be the out bound track from the station. The goal was to get to the gate by the Red Car with two tracks so we would have lots of track down for the boy scouts to ballast next weekend.

We got  12 panels down and ended up with two panels down just past the gate. Rory, Steve, and Phil did some looking and head scratching and we got the track ruffed in on the line up of the track past the red car. This track still needs some adjusting but it is looking good so far. This will make a long run of two tracks before it goes down to one track all the way to the windshield wiper turntable.

Last week I got a new rail bender form Eton so Steve is going to build some new 60 foot radius track panels so we can start to get the track tied back in to the station switch. This week Im going to build some plywood boxes to go on the flat cars so we can hopefully have three ballast trains running next weekend.

Tom D.


Edited by administrator - Jan 24 2011 at 10:59pm
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2-2-11 Well it was quite a weekend for the railroad as Wyatt Comon, who was working on his Eagle Scout project along with his boyscout friends and their families got a lot of ballasting done. We have been planing this weekend for sometime, so it was good to see it all turn out well.

Tom D built two large end dump cars using two car frames he had built for riding cars, but hadn't made the seat part yet, so that worked out well. On Friday Tom took the cars out to the club and then fixed the two older end dump boxes so they had doors on them to insure that the ballast wasn't falling on to the tracks and derailing cars as this has happened in the past.

This gave us 4 big cars for ballasting for one train and then we had a old small side dump club car, two old club work gons, and two of Rory's 4' bottom dump hopper cars for train #2.

Tom spent some time going threw the yard switches cleaning, lubing and adjusting so there would hopefully be less derailing of which there has been alot of lately in the yard. Tom then went out to the end of Crenshaw and shimmed under every third tie and on both sides of the joint ties on the return track and where needed on the inbound track.

On Saturday Wyatt, his mom and dad Mark met Phil, Tom, Mark J, and Howie at 8 am to get set up for the ballasting of Crenshaw it looked to be a nice day in the high 60's and sunny. Mark J. pulled his SD45 out and pulled the 4 big end dump cars around and Tom used the club tractor to fill them up.

By this time there were 5-6 scouts ready to work so we went to where the new steel rail starts on Crenshaw and Tom gave the scouts a quick demo on how to ballast track and tamp as needed. Tom went back to run the tractor to load train #2. Howie stayed with the scouts to lend a hand, answer any questions and work the radio to help keep the trains lined up at the rail head. By the time Tom got back to the tractor Phil had the club SW1500 fixed as it had to have a new piece made for the control rod so it was easier to run.

Tom filled Phil's train and he headed out to the rail head. Looking at the pile of ballast we had on hand I was thinking we didn't have enough, but it turned out we had just the right amount to get the job done.

All went well and as the day passed more scouts and their families came and left but they had a good size crew all day. They stopped for a hot dog and fixin's lunch provided by SCLS and made by Robbert, and man them hotlinks where good!

After a few more train fulls of ballast, one of the scout twisted his ankle,  when we were loading at about 3:30 so it was a good time to call it quits the day.  By this point they had got the track ballasted all the way to the end where the turntable will go and started on the return track.


On Sunday we got started about 9:00 am and it was starting to rain lightly on and off and cool down to the low 60's to high 50's. We added one of the big cars to train #2 so the unloading times would be closer to the same. After Howie knocked in the last four pins on the last two steel panel's and the return track was ballasted Tom came and looked over the ballasting job and had just a few low spots that had to be lifted and more ballast added, otherwise it looked to be a nice job done by the scouts.

Today we had Rory running the tractor loading the trains so that freed up Tom and Steve to look at lining and leveling of the track as the scouts ballasted it. By mid morning the boy scouts moved back down Crenshaw to ballast the new track installed last week by the gate and red car. This went much faster as the run time for the trains was cut in haft and it looked like there was more scouts on hand to work.

It seemed like lunchtime came up fast so Wyatt's mom ran out and got pizza for the large crew on hand. After lunch we broke the crews in to two groups and tom took some of the scouts and had them do regrading under the trees and ballasting of the new parking siding on the back of the inner loop.

Boy on this day the weather was changing by the minute it would be sunny then start to mist or rain and would be doing the opposite thing just a few hundred feet away but the scouts worked right on through it and as boys do at times, seemed to like the challenge of it.

At about 1:30 the scouts were done and were off to get some train rides behind the club steamer and Tim's big 3 3/4" steamer. A few tried there hand at the throttle  and it was a well deserved reward for all of their hard work.

After the scouts left Tom, Howie and Rory graded, set,aligned and ballasted the two switches to the parking sidings and did a little aligning and leveling of the one siding that was ballasted so they could try it out with a train. Mark, Charlie, and Phil got all the work cars put away which was a bit of work as some had to be taken apart in order to be stored away until next time.

Well the weekend total was around 75 tons of ballast moved by train and dropped by hand. Which gave us about 1600-1700 feet of track all ballasted and aligned. We will need to go back and do some more aligning and leveling in the next few months as all this new track starts to set in.

Next tom will build the switch for the return track by the windshield wiper turntable and 3 more for the cross over and siding by the red car. We are looking at and starting to plan for a 23 foot gallows type turntable made of steel for the end of Crenshaw. Man, this will be a looker for all the train nuts out there if all goes well.

A big thank you gos out to Wyatt Comon, his family and the Scouts of Troop 586 for all their hard work and their donation of $775.00 dollars, which will go a long ways in helping pay for the ballast to be brought out to the club.

Wow! What a weekend, now I'm going to get a good rest for a week and then get right back at it.

Tom D


Edited by administrator - Feb 02 2011 at 11:28pm
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2-8-11 Last weekend we didn't get much done on Crenshaw, but Mark did work on getting more of the tree stumps the are in the way of the turntable removed. He is also making some good headway on this and the good news is that the bees and some kid of big black flying thing seemed to have left the stumps. Mark seems to think he is at a point were we maybe able to pull out what is left of the stump with the club tractor so we may try that this coming week end.

Rory, Howie and Tom worked on getting  two electric switch machines installed one on the new parking sidings and one on the cross over switches on the inner loop side of the switch sets. Tom had installed one of the switch stands on the switch to the new parking siding a few weeks back just before the run day to see how the location of the stand would work out.

We got ten of these RMI stands and machines used from Steve at S&S Railroad up in Salt Lake City, UT to tryout at SoCal and they were paid for by Howie, Mark J, Rob L and Tom D. They didn't cost the club anything  as these guys just though it would be easier and more fun to run your train with a few electrically operated switches at a few places on the layout.

At the run day it evey one could see and agreed that the one switch stand Tom installed was too close to the track and would have to be moved back from the track as some riders would try to grab the switch stand as they rode by and it. It also looked to be very close to some of the lager riders knees, so we replaced the 5/16 throw rod with a new three foot long piece and put in five foot long 2x4s from the switch stand to the rail. This moved the stand back from the track a lot and it looked good. I am thinking Steve had them close to the track so you could work them manually from the engineers seat and not have to get off your riding car. When we got these machines a few mouths back Phil and Steve C had tested all the machines to see if they worked as they were used. Tthey fond we had seven good ones and there are in three that need  some replacement parts to make them work. They also took one of these machines apart to see how they were set up inside. So we were glad to see Phil show up at the club and give us a hand at getting one of them set up to work with a tap type button on post which Steve had given us with the machines.

As we had put the first one in the way it came to us, there were no springs on the rod going to the points of the switch so we found that you could not back though the switch without derailing as the points would not move, so we put some springs in and that part of the switch worked good.  Rory and Phil adjusted the throw on the stand so the indicator handle was easier to see were it was set.

We than found that the springs in the indicator handle were to short and stiff so we replaced them with ones Tom D luckily had with him that were for another project out at the club. After playing with the settings for a bit of time it  seemed this set up will work for SoCal.

Howie and Rory then replaced the machine on the switch that works the loop return switch on the cross over switch set with one more of the "new to us" machines. We were thinking it would be good to have on run day at that point on the layout so if the station was full with trains loading you could just tap the button on the post and go around the inner lop one more time and not have to just sit in line and wait to unload.

Howie, Rory,and Tom worked well after dark to get it all setup and working good with a 12 volt power pack Howie had. It was so much easier to flip the switch by just hitting the button. However; the next day after thinking about it we thought it was best not to use it on this run day as any rider on the train could hit the button and make the switch points move which could derail a train and that would be vary bad.

Phil came up with the idea and is in the process of getting the parts for a system of using a fast-pass pay type wand and reader. This is the same type of wand that is used at some of the gas stations out here in SoCal. So on run days the tap button will not work and the engineer will just wave the 2 inch long wand within three inches of the tapper post sensor and the points on the switch will flip and we will not have to wary about any riders flipping the points on the train as it goes though the switch.

Sunday was the SoCal public run day so we didn't get anything done on Crenshaw that day but we did have a good time and great weather for running trains as we hauled 1700 riders  from 10:30 till 3:00 at So Cal.

Oh well I hope I didn't run on for too long that's all for now,

Tom D 


Edited by administrator - Feb 09 2011 at 4:44pm
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Saturday 2-12-11 Mark, Tom and Dale went down to the end of Crenshaw with the club tractor and pulled the big stump out of the ground that Mark has been working on for a few weeks now. Mark had a big chain and we picked up the stump and hauled it back to the windshield wiper and set it down  there. In this location its out of the way and is something to look at. We may cut it up and haul it away at a later time.

After pulling the big sump out, Tom worked with the tractor filling the hole left from the stump and then removing 3 more smaller stumps. At this point we stopped as the ground was getting soft and we were thinking the tractor would get stuck.

We are thinking we will get some rain this week which should harden up the ground and we can go back and get the turn table spot cleared of all the wood chips and stuff so we can start to lay out the ring rail for the turn table.

After talking to Phil at this point were thinking the turntable will be six feet wide and 22.6 feet long with the top of the gallows cross bar 6.6 feet high. Next I will have to do a little fund drive to get money for this project. I am thinking it will take 3 or 4 hundred dollars to get the turntable built.

A few weeks back we had a visit from Terry Woolsey from Wichita, Kansas to see for himself all of the work done on projects at the club. He said that he has been fallowing us on the forum and liked what he saw. Thanks for the pat on the back Terry.

I will start a new post on the work we did on Sunday at the club as it didn't have any thing to do with Crenshaw so check it out as it is the start of a interesting project.

That's all for now. Tom D   


Edited by administrator - Feb 14 2011 at 9:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 27 2011 at 9:46pm
On 6-19-11 Phil and Tom replaced 30 feet of track by the red car about where the old switch to the  Y was. Tom tried to get the old track in line but this meant pulling the track out to scrape the road bed down so we thought it was best to put in two new track panels as the old track still had wood ties.

We set the old track we took out to the side to save it in one piece and we will use it on one of the sidings we are going to build at some point.

On 6-26-11 Tom took the hand held gas powered weed cutter and took down all the weeds from the return switch to just where the new steel rail starts. This was a long ways, and lot of work, but it had to be done to get the line opened back up as it was very overgrown with weeds that were bigger than the trains!  Phil did his best to rake the cut weeds off the track so we can run work trains, but there was so much cuttings it looked like we will have to haul some of it away.

Next there are 3 or 4 joint sets that need the new sliding type joiners installed so the rail can move and not make a kink in the track. Also there are some aligning and leveling needed,  then we will get the track back in past the new depot and we well be able to run trains back down the Crenshaw line.

Tom D

Edited by PhilC - Jun 29 2011 at 10:10pm
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