Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I'm not quite dead! Feeling a bit better actually...

Wow, well over a month since my last update. I hope you didn't think I wasn't coming back.  Simply stated, after finishing Gallitzin, I hadn't felt motivated to work on the layout. But, than I started chipping away at Casandra in fits and starts. So Here's what I've gotten done so far: I, I've gotten most of the earthworks built along the wall between Gallitzin and the conemagh river, Ballasted the tracks of the main line from Gallitzin to Cassandra and the Southfork Branch from the river up to the end of track. I've created rock outcrops and begun landscaping the Casandra and Southfork areas.

Cassandra doesn't offer much in the way of industry or operation but, it's one of my favorite railfanning spots and I had to include it on the layout. Here, the tracks come around a cure, downhill and pass under an old iron truss bridge before plunging into a rock cut. 
I built the iron bridge out of some Plastruct trusses and a bit of Model Power structure base. I glued the thing together and painted the trusses Floquil "Grimy Black." It will be mounted on a pair of Chooch Enterprises abutments. Right now it's only in place temporarily while other work is taking place.

I also went ahead and created the small railfan park. Check out the side by side comparison:

A Loram Rail Grinder passes through the real Cassndra, PA in August of 2010
And M1A 6720 thundering through the modeled Cassandra circa 1956

While the modeled scene isn't 100% accurate by any stretch of the imagination, it certainly captures the basic flavor. 

Meanwhile at Southfork, The track is ballasted and the groundcover applied. Also, the coal truck dump is finally in place of waiting patiently for two years. As you can see in the above photo, there is a gravel road running away from the truck dump. This goes to a small cabin on the Conemaugh River.

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