Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

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JBodenmann
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Location: Grover Beach, California

Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by JBodenmann » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:56 am

Hello My Friends
Snow, rain,and mud. I could do without mud! That's been the story here for a while. The sun came out for a few days so I managed to get a couple more uprights cast.
Now that the new wood shop is up and running the forms for the turn table base can be started. No shortage of things to do!
Jack
Upright20.jpg

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JBodenmann
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by JBodenmann » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:50 pm

Hello My Friends
Just little update here on the railway. Most of last winter and spring was spent working on the retaining walls around the steaming bay area and landscaping. At this point there have been just over three hundred trees planted. Yes three hundred....with about two hundred and forty survivors. I want my railway to run through a forest. Last fall the deer descended on them. I have had this place eight years and they have never been so bad. They ate every leaf within reach. They especially liked the poplars. The turntable is in, along with the high line switch and about one hundred twenty feet of high line. Several steaming bays are assembled but not set in place yet. It's been a hot summer so I haven't worked much on the railway, just in the cool of the morning and evening. As soon as things cool off the main push will be to get the steaming bays in. There will be seven of them. Five will be eight feet long, one six feet long, and one five footer. I have a friend with a 3/4" Big Boy and it's just under eight feet long. Under the steaming bays will be red brick pavers. I hate dirt or gravel under steaming bays, good luck finding that tiny screw you just dropped. While the steaming bays are going in the high line will progress. But before the high line can progress a couple brick culverts need to be made. Oh my lord, no shortage of things to do! So I want you to know I haven't just been sitting around and just can't wait to invite my small scale friends over to make coal smoke and run tiny locomotives!
See you in the funny pages...
Jack

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JBodenmann
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by JBodenmann » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:52 am

Hello My Friends
Here are a couple of what I call then and now photos. These shots show the only level bit of the railway. The top photo was taken back in 2012 before any grading or tree work. At this point the juniper trees were just large bushes and awaited their Bonsai treatment as you can see in the bottom photo. This level stretch is about 150 feet long and we are looking towards the steaming bay area. Behind us is the valley division where the railway drops at 1-1/2 percent for about 300 feet. In the immediate foreground will be a brick culvert for the drainage of the south end of the driveway. I have a gaggle of concrete uprights cast and hopefully the culvert will be in soon so the high line can continue down the hill. The bottom photo is how things look now. No shortage of things to do!
Jack
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LevelThen.JPG
LevelNow.jpg

jeffsmith
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by jeffsmith » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:07 pm

Hello Jack,
Wanted to know what gauges you will have on your high line?

Jeff Smith

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JBodenmann
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by JBodenmann » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:21 am

Hello My Friends
The Alcalde & Coalfield will have about seven hundred feet of 3-1/2" and 4-3/4" gauge track. Here is a better photo of the track. It was evening and the light was really cool as it reflected off the rails.
Jack
Attachments
Main Line.jpg

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NP317
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by NP317 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:11 am

Jack:
How prevalent is 4-3/4" gauge, compared to 5" gauge?
I've been wondering about that.

Thanks for sharing your great work!
~RussN

jcbrock
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by jcbrock » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:20 am

Jumping in here, but the US is almost exclusively 4-3/4" rail. The only 5" line I know is the St Croix Railroad high line in Hudson, WI, and that was done because the guys from Winnipeg LS were kind enough to loan the club their forms for the new high line footings. We reciprocated by adding the 5" rail so they could come down and run at our track.
John Brock

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NP317
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by NP317 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:28 am

Thanks for that 4-3/4" info.
Planted in my brain for future use.
Always stuff to learn...
~RN

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JBodenmann
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by JBodenmann » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:16 pm

Hello My Friends
Here are a couple more then and now photos. This is the lowest point half way around the railway. The top one was taken in 2013, the bottom photo August 2018. No high line here yet. This will probably be the last part to be completed as the railway will be built in both directions from the steaming Bay Area. In the bottom photo you can see some stone walls and poplar trees. In the foreground this side of the wheel barrow will be another brick culvert for the driveway drainage coming down from the left. This is a dry stream bed when it's not raining. Around the stream bed is a grove on red maple trees. These are some go the trees that the deer chewed up lat fall. They lost about a years growth from the deer. This year they have grown a lot, some three of four feet. The deer have never been as bad as last year, hopefully they won't be so destructive this year. You may be wondering why I have spent so much time on landscaping. This is partly because once the high line is in there will be no access for the tractor in a lot of areas. But mainly so when the railway comes trough there will be a forest, lots of stone work, cool little private areas with shade and picnic tables where you can sit and visit with a friend and watch trains. I have been to railroads where no thought so ever was directed to creature comforts. No shady spots comfortable spots to hang out. Their vision stopped at the edge of the ballast....A cool railway is the whole package, not just track.
Jack
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Half Way1.jpg
HalfWay2.jpg

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JBodenmann
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by JBodenmann » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:58 pm

Hello My Friends
Here is some more of what I was talking about concerning landscaping. These two photos were taken in roughly the same spot, the top one in 2013, the other September 2018. This is a trail that goes to a cozy little picnic-hang out area in the middle of the valley division loop. This was an area I really wanted to plant a lot of trees. These trees break up the views and make the place seem much larger than it really is. In the winter time when the trees are bare this area looks much smaller. The problem was that there was about a foot of dirt, and under that rock. So to the left of the trail I piled three to four feet of dirt to plant tees in and built walls of native stone to contain the mini mountains and define the trails. This trail continues around the bend where there is a fork. If you hang a left the trail goes off over the high line on an arched wooden bridge and swings around through the back yard to the steaming bays. If you don't hang a left around the bend the trail curves back around to the right in sort of a horse shoe bend to a cool little shady area with a picnic table. It is only about thirty feet from the bridge to this picnic table but I wanted a long curvy trail. So more little mountains, stone walls and trees were put in to give the trail a reason to wiggle around rather than just a straight shot, making it probably seventy five feet long. I also brought in couple old dead trees that were found on another part of the property and carefully placed them. The idea being to make the area look natural with interesting things to look at. After all, a bare straight trail is boring. This secluded shady little picnic area will be a great place to watch the engines go snorting up the hill. Now all this trail, stone wall baloney is really un necessary for the railway, but in my opinion a track without it is just a track, not a railway. This landscaping will also help to create the illusion that you have actually gone somewhere instead of just around a tiny loop. The size of a railway really has nothing to do with how cool it is. I am finally getting to the point where I can concentrate on the actual railway, too much fun. Sometimes I think of my little empire as a large model railway. Instead of a skill saw, putty knife, and plaster I am using a tractor, wheel barrow, shovel and rake....too much fun!
See you in the funny pages...
Jack
Attachments
Trail 2013.jpg
Trail 2018.jpg

James Powell
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by James Powell » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:58 pm

jcbrock wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:20 am
Jumping in here, but the US is almost exclusively 4-3/4" rail. The only 5" line I know is the St Croix Railroad high line in Hudson, WI, and that was done because the guys from Winnipeg LS were kind enough to loan the club their forms for the new high line footings. We reciprocated by adding the 5" rail so they could come down and run at our track.
VIME on Vancouver Island has 5" highline (used to have ground level as well)
FSME (Kingston, Ontario) has 5" highline

(whereas Richmond Hill, Hamilton & Toronto Society are 4.75")

I'm not sure about AMES in Aldergrove, I don't even know the status of the track at this point, but suspect 5" there too...

James

jcbrock
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Re: Alcalde & Coalfield High Line

Post by jcbrock » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:07 pm

Sorry I wasn't clear, I was referring to US tracks, but yes there are several 5" gauge tracks in Canada. Winnipeg for one in addition to those James has kindly listed.
John Brock

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