The Return of the Clinch Valley

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The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:05 am

As a few of you know, I recently moved, and have begun to build my first actual layout in a spare bedroom. However, choosing a prototype was a bit of a problem. I had recently began buying a lot of C&O equipment, and wanted some space to run it. Unfortunately, you cannot really accomplish that in a 10x10 bedroom with a closet. After talking with OldHogger, and unpacking the few items of the old Clinch Valley from the boxes, I worked out somewhat of a great plan to bring back a small subdivision of his railroad, presenting the Clinch Valley Island Creek Subdivision (based on the C&O Trace Fork, today's CSX Island Creek Subdivision) from Peach Creek, WV to Scarlet, WV.

Here's the backstory:
On January 26th, 1981, the Clinch Valley Railroad ceased operations between Knoxville, TN and Huntington, WV, and was folded into Norfolk Southern and CSX Transportation operations and became a fallen flag railroad, with name rights going to the Tennessee Southern.

Fast forward to August 1988, in Peach Creek, WV, where Island Creek Coal Company tipples #21 and #22 (also known as Holden 21 and 22), were in desperate need to get their black diamonds out of Appalachia as trucking was in-effective, and a coal hungry nation needed them. Island Creek in terms with CSX re-opened 10.6 miles of the former Clinch Valley Island Creek Subdivision from FD Cabin (Milepost: CMC 0) to Scarlet (Milepost CMC 10.6). CSX in good faith, allowed the newly re-formed Clinch Valley to use the facilities at Peach Creek, WV, a former CV shop complex, as well as former locomotive servicing facility and yard.

Immediately, Island Creek began shipping unit coal trains to the steam plant at Kingston, TN as well as north to Essexville and Monroe, Michigan. Other commodities include: lumber, natural gas, general/frozen goods, and also 2 transload operations.


Here's the trackplan in a nutshell, and some modifications are on the way.
Image

Trains will include a mine run, local, and a few coal trains, as well as a bit of yard switching.

Here's the first 2x5 module installed:
Image

Much more to go, and my rough plan is to have the modules done and connected and ready for track by December 1.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby AARR » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:36 am

Did you use SCARM to create your plan?
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:50 am

No, this was a pre-made plan that was made with AnyRail, I found that I liked, and have begun to adapt it. The reason why I liked it so much was it is based on 24" radii curves for making the use of the occasional 6 axles no problem on this small 8x10' pike, has a good sized yard, and a turntable for a small shop scene. The pit will be open 99% of the time, and can handle the dispatcher and 2 operators. I wanted to leave room to access the closet which is for storage of train set "cassettes", as the interchange track will probably be "cassette" staging as Ian Rice described in "Small, Smart and Practical Track Plans". Allows for run thru trains and things to go off the layout, and not have to add build cramped hidden staging yards as we as modelers love to do. More scenery.

My eventual plans have LED lighting on the layout to simulate 24 hour operations, lighted buildings, all that good stuff. Make it a bigger than life pike. Also, I should mention the layout is 50" high off the floor which I found was a very good height to work, as well as the dispatcher can watch trains pass above the desk at eye level.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby Racer » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:21 am

Have you considered building a second level?

Adding a second level would double your railroad operations without additional space. Connecting both levels wouldn't be hard as you could ramp the mainline upwards, hidden along the wall. You can plan your second level with another track plan you may have liked.

The plan is interesting, however, I see more yard trackage than industries that could result in switching sessions being very short.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby dmitzel » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:07 pm

Nice plan - a lot of railroading in a small room, and doesn't look cramped either.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:46 pm

Chris, without adding a proper helix that's impossible, and I want it to be easy to move and build.

I like the track plan as it fits the area rather well. I won't be running 100+ car drags, but with a bit of imagination and some scenery I think I could play it off with 2 6 axles and 15 cars. As I said the plan will change as I need to add some double track around the yard area to simulate the Logan Sub better as well as the area around FD Cabin (where the CV breaks off from CSX). Also, it allows for small unit style trains, and as you said, it's not cramped.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:48 pm

Image

Got another module installed above the future dispatchers desk. Even though the road is small, it will be dispatcher controlled using track warrants and CTC controlled thru the JMRI system to enter and exit the CSX Logan Subdivision at FD Cabin and "OB" at Peach Creek.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby Racer » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:08 am

Have you looked at other options regarding how trains operate around the loop to/from the Logan Sub connecting track?

Look at it this way, you want operators to get the most out of a run, not only working the railroad's businesses, but also the length of each train's operation.

If you changed your turnout marked in pink into a diamond, linking your track from the lift out bridge to the Logan Sub staging (I assume is your cassette staging track). The intersecting track would be the trackage from Monitor Jct. to the yard. Allowing this means more stopping and meeting to increase waiting times and make the trip longer from Logan Sub staging to the Peach Creek Yard, plus the dispatcher would have an interlocking to handle.

If your doing cassett staging, it is recommended to have 2 tracks for the cassettes or things can be a standstill for 2 operators. Look-up Cape Ann Rail System on Facebook that has a good example for cassette-style staging. With this simple change of that turnout, it's a true point-to-point system and eliminate two turnouts to use for another industry, a wye at the interlocking for continuous running, or 2 less turnouts to purchase and maintain.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:26 pm

Chris, this plan was the one I got off a website at I used for the basis of my module dimensions, and does not reflect the overall railroad when finished. I cannot fully plan the railroad via computer reliably due to a few differences in Peco switch dimensions and the various planning software available, and will be working it out with real track to get a better overall plan. Lots more to come. I expect to have 2 more modules finished by the end of the week.

Also, I should add that is not how the real track design is if the diamond was added at Monitor Jct. I am trying to reflect the real track plan of the area. FD Cabin is the interlocker the dispatcher will control as it is the point where the Island Creek Sub meets the Logan Sub. Monitor Jct is where the Logan and Southern Sub (Branchline) breaks off the Island Creek Subdivision.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby CAT345C » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:58 pm

Adding a diamond there Chris makes it look like an operational nightmare. You would lose access to two yard tracks from that side of the track plan.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby AARR » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:12 pm

I like it. It looks easy to build, you can get very detailed if you like and once it's operational you can enjoy a full session in an hour or so.

I'm designing one a little bigger but operationally it'll be very similar to yours, TW.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby Racer » Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:53 pm

CAT345C wrote:Adding a diamond there Chris makes it look like an operational nightmare. You would lose access to two yard tracks from that side of the track plan.


What my alteration consisted of was the track coming from the lift-out bridge to be seperated from the yard tracks and only connect to the "diamond". Only the switch from the yard to the lift-out would of been removed and the rest remained in place if that makes sense. Regardless of the modifications, two tracks for cassette staging reduces congestion during sessions.

So how many trains, cassettes, and locomotives will consist of the entire railroad?
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:20 am

Right now the new CV consists of: 2 mine turns, a CV local, a Chessie/CSX road freight, a Chessie coal mty and load pick-up at Peach Creek, a mine switch and a yard switch.

And again, Chris, I'll say that is IS NOT the 100% true plan and a rough idea. Already I have done some figuring with Google Maps, and figure to move the yard to the opposite corner across from the closet, as that would make a better true track alignment to the real Island Creek Subdivision, as at FD Cabin, the track leaves the Logan Sub on a right hand switch, and also at Monitor Jct., the Logan and Southern Sub leaves the IC Sub on a wye. It allows for some more creative scenery and also helps a bit with the yard, and I won't have to add so much "dummy" double trackage on the Logan Sub.

Locomotives include a few original CV SD45s and U Boats, a new CV Alco S2, and a few scattered CV 4 axles, all new. Chessie will be Geeps, and maybe a UBoat thrown in for good measure.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby GrandTrunkFan » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:24 pm

TrainWatcher wrote:Right now the new CV consists of: 2 mine turns, a CV local, a Chessie/CSX road freight, a Chessie coal mty and load pick-up at Peach Creek, a mine switch and a yard switch.

And again, Chris, I'll say that is IS NOT the 100% true plan and a rough idea. Already I have done some figuring with Google Maps, and figure to move the yard to the opposite corner across from the closet, as that would make a better true track alignment to the real Island Creek Subdivision, as at FD Cabin, the track leaves the Logan Sub on a right hand switch, and also at Monitor Jct., the Logan and Southern Sub leaves the IC Sub on a wye. It allows for some more creative scenery and also helps a bit with the yard, and I won't have to add so much "dummy" double trackage on the Logan Sub.

Locomotives include a few original CV SD45s and U Boats, a new CV Alco S2, and a few scattered CV 4 axles, all new. Chessie will be Geeps, and maybe a UBoat thrown in for good measure.


And a few early CSX units from Rose Locomotive Leasing right? :P
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:40 am

GrandTrunkFan wrote:
TrainWatcher wrote:Right now the new CV consists of: 2 mine turns, a CV local, a Chessie/CSX road freight, a Chessie coal mty and load pick-up at Peach Creek, a mine switch and a yard switch.

And again, Chris, I'll say that is IS NOT the 100% true plan and a rough idea. Already I have done some figuring with Google Maps, and figure to move the yard to the opposite corner across from the closet, as that would make a better true track alignment to the real Island Creek Subdivision, as at FD Cabin, the track leaves the Logan Sub on a right hand switch, and also at Monitor Jct., the Logan and Southern Sub leaves the IC Sub on a wye. It allows for some more creative scenery and also helps a bit with the yard, and I won't have to add so much "dummy" double trackage on the Logan Sub.

Locomotives include a few original CV SD45s and U Boats, a new CV Alco S2, and a few scattered CV 4 axles, all new. Chessie will be Geeps, and maybe a UBoat thrown in for good measure.


And a few early CSX units from Rose Locomotive Leasing right? :P


I have no clue who that is.... :P Sounds like a rather unsavory character to me.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:24 pm

Progress.... progress I say!

Image

I installed the tables for what will become the east end of Peach Creek Yard and one of the aisle modules tonight. If everything goes well, the remaining tables will be done and installed in the next 2 weeks.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:43 pm

So with the new layout I decided to do some video logs, showing techniques and progress on the Island Creek Subdivision. Here are the first 2. Enjoy!

Video Log 1:


Video Log 2:
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby Ypsi » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:51 am

I am not sure how your lighting situation is there James but you can't see much in that first video at all, second is better with that standing lamp. I know there wasn't much to see other than the bench work, but for the future light is a good thing. I do like how easy you make it sound 'lay some table tops, put some track down, and run some trains' :lol: I wish I could get that whole running trains thing down.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby TrainWatcher » Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:24 am

Ypsi wrote:I am not sure how your lighting situation is there James but you can't see much in that first video at all, second is better with that standing lamp. I know there wasn't much to see other than the bench work, but for the future light is a good thing. I do like how easy you make it sound 'lay some table tops, put some track down, and run some trains' :lol: I wish I could get that whole running trains thing down.


Lighting is coming ;) The first video was natural light from the window, and trust me I know it's not ideal. I am looking into hanging some overhead lights (building some add-on brackets to the modules) and LED back drop lighting in the future (think day/nighttime ops) to brighten up the road. Also the good video camera is having issues so my cell phone filled in, the #3 installment will be much better, I promise. :)

Really it might be a bit still before trains actually run. I am working on the DCC angle, as well because when it's installed it will have to run with the JMRI suite I am installing on the dispatcher computer so I am working out the kinks of which system to choose. RIght now it's between NCE and Digitrax, and I am leaning towards NCE.
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Re: The Return of the Clinch Valley

Unread postby ssnk79 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:07 pm

what are you planning on using for the signal system?
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