Willow Creek & Orchard Valley Railroad

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Gra2472
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:02 pm
Location: Monte Rio California

Re: Willow Creek & Orchard Valley Railroad

Post by Gra2472 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:06 pm

We didn’t get evacuated thank goodness. It was really nice and quiet here for several days. Thanks for your service!

As for the railroad, thanks, it coming along a piece at a time.

I’m working on the mogul at the moment. I just peeled off the jacket and found the builders markings. It has a code boiler built by Winton in 1973. The working pressure stamp says 170psi! I think 120 will do nicely.
7.5" Allen Mogul
3 x 7.5" West Valley Baldwin Westinghouse Electrics
The Mrs. wants her railroad around the house!
G. Augustus
Monte Rio, Ca.

Pontiacguy1
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Willow Creek & Orchard Valley Railroad

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:24 am

Well, at least you know where it came from. And having a 47 year old boiler is a pretty darn good lifespan, I think. The Allen locomotives are a bit over-powered as it is, raising the pressure would only make it that much more slippery, so I don't know why someone would want to rate that boiler to do that. Maybe just going above-and-beyond?

Gra2472
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:02 pm
Location: Monte Rio California

Re: Willow Creek & Orchard Valley Railroad

Post by Gra2472 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:17 pm

Yeah it was a nice surprise to see that it is a code boiler. From what I have found, Winton boilers were code boilers. I can't see running at 170 psi, but its nice to have that factor of safety.
7.5" Allen Mogul
3 x 7.5" West Valley Baldwin Westinghouse Electrics
The Mrs. wants her railroad around the house!
G. Augustus
Monte Rio, Ca.

Gra2472
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:02 pm
Location: Monte Rio California

Re: Willow Creek & Orchard Valley Railroad

Post by Gra2472 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:16 am

Good morning folks. Work is slow this morning so I thought that I would share my progress on my home railroad.

Things are progressing well. In the past few weeks I have been splitting time between working on locomotives and rolling stock, or building track.

The track foreman has been whipping his crew mercilessly the last few weeks. The temporarily laid yard and main track around the front of the house and across the driveway has been rebuilt. The yard switch was moved and rebuilt from a curved, to a standard #5 turnout. The curved turnout was an experiment with mixed results, that resulted in moving it a few feet back and rebuilding it.

The next project was determining how to get across the walkway to the house. My wife and I discussed it at length, where she even suggest a drawbridge. A fair idea, but more work than it was worth. Of all of our ideas, the simplest won, and not by committee. I simply took a shovel out to the front yard to test the soil for digging. As it turned out, the front yard is pretty easy to dig. Not soft, but easy to get a shovel through and dig out big chunks. Kind of like digging through a hard cheese. I just started digging, and in an hour I had the trench cut 30 feet across the front yard. Well that settled that. Two more days of work and I had another 100' of main track in place, and a crossing at the walkway. Often, the K.I.S.S principle is the best solution.

I have found that for my own purposes, I prefer laying track right on the ground as opposed to building panels. I can build 20' of new track in an hour, just sitting on my flatcar and scooting along spiking ties and bolting up rail. The curves come out nice and smooth, and I don't kill my knees.

A few weeks ago the track crew caught up with the grading crew and work was halted. Well you can imagine the calamity. The track crew sitting around while the grading foreman got an ear full from management. (Not really, there was just a discussion between my wife and I about renting equipment to get the job done.) We rented a mini excavator from Home Depot the next weekend and got to work. Those little excavators are a hoot to play with! A tree, some very tenacious roots, and a number of old (ancient) stumps were removed first. Once the forest had been subdued, the right of way was cut through a modest berm in the back corner of the property. This being done, grading was completed from the end of track to the head of the planned "Fox Den" trestle, thus finishing most of the shovel work.

The next phase is the construction of Fox Den trestle, but there are several engineering problems to solve. Most stemming from the fact that we live in a redwood forest, and trees have roots. Who knew huh? I will be fighting with roots for weeks. Is there a merit badge for that? Anyways, things are moving forward and I hope to have the railroad "completed" sometime early next year. I have been toying with the idea of having the golden spike ceremony on Christmas day if the track foreman can whip the bridge construction crew into shape.

The future department is also looking for suggestions for a simple turntable design. As much as the shop foreman would love to have an inground hydraulic motorcycle lift as a turntable, management is resisting due to cost.

1. Looking from the crossing up the new main track to the yard switch.
2. Looking from the crossing around "Out of Plum" curve around the plum tree.
3. Our local FRA inspector checking on the new grade.
Attachments
main track 1.jpg
main track 2.jpg
RR cut Titan.jpg
7.5" Allen Mogul
3 x 7.5" West Valley Baldwin Westinghouse Electrics
The Mrs. wants her railroad around the house!
G. Augustus
Monte Rio, Ca.

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