Hello all. I am starting to build a 1:24 layout of the area in the immediate vicinity of the C&S depot in Black Hawk. I apologize in advance if I pose questions in this thread that have been already asked/answered elsewhere. (I did such exhaustive searches that my eyeball sockets still ache.) I've studied the maps of Black Hawk and think I've come up with a feasible (and relatively accurate albeit compressed) track plan which is shown below and in a 3-D view. The big building in the upper right is the Avon Mill (it's already done in skeletal form). The only other buildings I've roughed in at this time are the depot, machine shop, and boiler works. The overall size of the layout is 24' x 5'4". That exceeds the length of my garage so the last 5' on the left (two modules) will have to come off to close the door. More detail to follow!
Thanks, Chris! All digital trails regarding Black Hawk and the Gilpin Tram lead back to Keith, don't they? I've read both of his massive threads over at Free Rails. Interesting and useful information. I will also reach out to Monte Peaeron who is working on the same locale/scale as me. His Polar Star Mill is very cool.
Really interesting to see this done in large scale, Fred. You've captured the spirit of Blackhawk! What time frame are you planning to model?
Are you wed to having the turntable? By 1886 (perhaps 1878) until 1900, the turntable was located about where you've got the kickback spur for the Argo. Before and after that it was half a mile downgrade, by the original stone depot. I wonder, if by moving the turntable to the kickback track, directly across from where you've put the machine shop, you could remove the turntable spur in the foreground, move the machine shop and foundry to the left a few feet and open up the scene a bit in the center foreground? You could then insert the hay/feed/lime business that actually used that other foreground spur, for some traffic interest--or leave the space open and use it as a team track as it may have been in later years.
The Gilpin mill/Miner's sampler was also located by that kickback track, just off left of your plan, as was a Coors beer warehouse (earlier a hay barn). You could add a flat on that spur for the beer warehouse and even a coal or ore dump for the Gilpin mill just beyond the turntable (at one point the hay barn that was there was served by a track accessed over the turntable).
One last scenic detail that may be of interest: the scales. They were located on the passing track off the main, on your plan the central of the three passing tracks in the center of the plan. Could be interesting to add and use.
Dave! I'm modeling the period from about 1900-1918. (To paraphrase Jimmy Buffet: I'm not too particular not too precise... Just a cheeseburger in paradise.)
Thanks for the suggestion for relocating the turntable... This looks like a much more authentic and interesting alternative. Here's the Sanborn maps of Black Hawk from 1890 and 1900. Clearly a lot of changes in a decade!
Wow, nicely done. You've even now got the spur to the State Ore Sampler in the right foreground, which appears to have started in operation around 1898 (prior to that that spur was the elevated coal trestle, destroyed in a mid-1880s flood, and then possibly a team track). And it looks like you've got the Gilpin mill now in the back left corner. Given you've got those two ore milling operations are you considering removing the freelanced big mill in the upper right? Removing that mill, or flattening it, you could extend the passing siding a bit longer. You may find you'll miss the two-track yard that sat there, for sorting...not that I'm trying to sway you too much towards the real thing :-)
Are you going to add the hay/feed/stable building in the center foreground?
Given the overall more exact-to-prototype arrangement you've designed, I think you'll enjoy the operations a lot more. There's plenty to do in that small yard in the period you are proposing. And of course if you want to really go crazy, the Gilpin ran through the scene on the foreground loop around the station, per the 1898 maps. Just sayin'...
Thanks for your continued suggestions, Dave. I've fiddled with the plan a little and added some of the misc. buildings, including the beer warehouses, lumber yard, coal/lime, feed, etc. As for now the BIG Avon mill in the upper right has to stay because it's partially done already. Excited to get started on this in the garage as soon as the Polar Vortex subsides!
Thanks, Don. I should get all of this printed in stainless steel. No need to settle with cheap plastic when you're building a 144 square foot layout in 1:24! Seriously, I'm getting super excited about this. Not only do I have a pretty good and reasonably prototypical design, but its in a scale that works well for ageing eyes and mutton-chop hands! (Don't know HOW you guys model in HOn3, Sn3, or even On3/On30. I could handle it if I wanted to...
With respect to Shapeways, I am going to have to design and build a lot of the rolling stock hardware from scratch, so doing it with 3D printing is the only way to go.
BTW, there's a little more to come on this design. I've figured out a way to work some Gilpin Tram elements into it as well. Will post that additional detail when I have more time.
Well, gang... It's taken me FOREVER to make enough progress in the garage to come back to thinking about track plans... I'm going to bring my old college buddy Bernard Kempinski (usmrr.blogspot.com) in for a consult, but I'm liking the version shown below. I had to lose the big mill in the upper right hand corner (it was too tall!) and that opens up the whole layout quite a bit... Let me know what ya'll think!
Layout size (final) looks to be 18'-0 wide by 5'-6" deep.
looks like you will have a nice switching layout when you are done. one thing to take into consideration, especially when you start to lay track, is to carefully evaluate the car spaces on each of the sidings, you want to avoid the almost will fit one more car scenario, and adjust so that a certain # of cars fit safely in a given location.
Thanks for the suggestion, Al. I revised the plan shown above after first posting this afternoon. That was my concern exactly. I'd like to be able to drop a passenger car at the front of the depot and have the engine be able to slip out and do a run around... BTW, I see you're a large scale modeler as well. Any experience with either the Kaddee or the Phoenix remote couplers?
Looking good. The more I think about it, the more I wonder: Have you considered ditching the turntable to allow for a longer second siding in the yard area? I'm not convinced the turntable offers a lot for a switching layout, despite being accurate depending on the time frame, and maybe removing it is a good compromise to help open the scene and give a little more room for cars?
Here's a 3D rendering of your suggestion, Dave. Regardless of whether I end up with a turntable (it was one of my planned scratch building projects), the layout WILL start out with this configuration... It's hard to fathom how many compromises you have to make in this scale even if you have 18' x 5.5' of territory! My freight cars are approx. 17 inches long, including the couplers, so on a six foot siding you can only get four cars! (The topmost siding is 87" which can just barely handle five cars.)