Building the Pacific & Eastern:
The Permanent HO Model Railroad
of the
Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club

2007 Update -- Major Progress

In 2007 progress on the new layout took major steps forward in several areas.  Late in 2006, the Club held a meeting to discuss progress thus far and plan work for 2007.   The first thing we learned was that each of us had a different vision of what the new P&E should be.  Some people felt we should continue scenery as before and not worry a whole lot about it reflecting the scenes between the Rogue Valley and Klamath Falls.  Others believed that we should strive to make the scenes as realistic as possible, even going so far as trying to replicate in miniature actual structures and geology along the route. 

One thing that didn't seem to be working very well was giving an a section of the layout to a member and letting them run with it.  We decided to form "Construction Gangs" to focus on specific areas:  Terrain; Rails & Bridges; Structures; Trees; Ballast, Soils and Rocks; DCC; Signals, Operating Authority and Grade Crossings; and Backdrops and Clouds.  The idea is to provide for oversight and collaboration in each of these areas so that each section of the layout has certain common features (bridges, ballast, lineside details, etc.) and not become a hodge podge of different ideas of what looked cool or tickled one's fancy in the Walthers book.  It also meant that some work had to be redone. 

The Terrain Gang adopted the philosophy of first considering what the terrain looked like prior to the railroad's arrival and then creating a scene based on both the original terrain how the railroad altered that terrain.  Several field trips were made with numerous pictures printed out.  We soon lost our fear of tearing out and redoing 
part or all of a scene until we got it right. 

With some respectable land forms taking shape, we could no longer put off the issue of trees.  The Tree Gang developed a fairly efficient system of making trees from dowels, furnace filters and ground foam.  We found that trees really make a mountain scene and they're not too difficult or time consuming to make.  Nearly ever member of the Club contributed some trees.  500 down, 9500 to go.

The Rails and Bridges Gang determined that since the P&E was a product of the SP&S's desire to access the Rogue Valley, that SP&S (GN + NP) prototypes be considered.   Delving into bridge plans and photos, we found that SP&S employed a variety of bridge styles.  These served as guides for major bridges.  Where we lacked suitable examples of SP&S practices, we referred to Southern Pacific Lines Common Standard Plans published by Steam Age Equipment Company for smaller bridges and roadway construction practices.

Signals generated an spirited debate over whether to install block signals
mostly to indicate occupancy of hidden trackage or to  go with a prototypically correct Automatic Block Signal system.  The consensus was that if we're to have a signal system, we'll have one that's done correctly.  Also, grade crossing signals and gates were considered.  Research of model signals, detection and controls and efforts to set them up on the layout revealed a couple of things:  it's going to cost serious money and it's going to be more difficult that we thought. 

The DCC gang worked out a few bugs in the DCC and the layout now runs dependably.  One of the biggest hits of the year was the inclusion of sound on locomotives. 

Finally, a word about collaboration.  The scenes featured below may be modeling of a relatively few Club Members, but they include the ideas and input from the majority of the Members.  No single member or even pair of members of the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club could create scenes like these.  It took the work of many. 

Click on images below to go to pages about the specific areas.

Building the Gorge at East Derby
A main line high bridge over a pair of tracks and a creek below.    Or solving a scenery dilema between Derby and Butte Falls.
Building the scene at Summit
The pass at  Summit, the high point of the Pacific & Eastern in the Cascade Mountains.
Building Medco
The Medford Corporation in 1989 modeled in a tiny fraction of the space of the original.  How it might have looked had the P&E survived.

New Helix
2008 brings a major change to the Pacific & Eastern Railroad.  The decision was made to get started on the Klamath Falls "leg" with a one and a third turn helix connecting, temporarily, to the Mt. Pitt and Medford Yard Modules. For a while, Mt. Pitt will become Keno and the Medford Yard stand in for the P&E's Klamath Falls yard.  This will enable the club to resume operating sessions as well as providing more prototypical train operations on Sunday Run Days.  It will also mean the end of the loop of modules which had held court on the south side of the clubhouse for the past five years.  Join us as we build the helix and connecting trackwork.

Photos by Larry Tuttle . 

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All photos and text © 2007, 2008 by the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club