The West end loop prior to major scenery. The grade up to the mountain line can be seen going from the outer line around and up to the 3 1/8 inch elevation of the mountain line.
The East end loop with some photo enhanced scenery, not much. This hill scene created a small enough visual block that the merri-go-round effect the loops can create was somewhat eliminated.
Alcos can smoke that much I've been told.
Two end loops have been constructed which allow the club to setup without the Ballard Why which allows us to show at sites with limited floor space.
These modules connect the outer main to the mountain line by means of a 2-2.5% grade. The inner main and the branch are connected to each other at grade also. This provides two continuous loops through whatever track arrangement assembled.
At the first outing for the loops the show coordinator didn't know how much space he would have for us until the day the show set up. This is very unusual for us to do and would normally mean we would not attend this affair, since each show requires advanced planning for setup and travel of the "normal" track arrangement. But, with the loops, we had extreme freedom to set up any way the space permitted at the very last minute! This is what we had to do and constructed an elongated "U" that was 48 feet long and 8 feet deep with the back open against a wall. It worked great with the only shortcoming being that only two operators could run at a time, as mentioned above, instead of the usual four with our standard N-Trak layout. But, on Sunday of the show, we talked Jim Younkins into bringing his DCC stuff and we ran multiple trains on one track and that was very great FUN!!!
Jim Younkins did the major work on these loops and did his usual super job.
The West end loop with major scenery. We called this "Camp Schwennamucka". I can see a pond in the center of the camp, can't you? Hmmmm.
Coming out of the tunnel the mountain line crosses over this trestle which was inspired by one on the old NP line south of Tacoma near Rainier, WA.
The construction of these loops is worth mentioning since it restates two of our model railroader's characteristics:
1. We never throw anything away, in this case it was two old modules that appeared to have seen better days;
2. Where two or more modelers from MRNS get together stuff happens, in this case it was flying.
3. I don't remember exactly how we got on the subject to build loops but the next thing I know we were in possession of these very tired relics from trains gone by care of George at Tacoma Trains, a former N scaler gone astray (O Gauge). So, never get rid of old modules, they can be reborn.
4. To make a long story as short as possible, prior to seeing the modules Diane kind of remembered these loops and suggested that Jim could sprinkle some "magic scenery dust" on them and that should suffice. Well, after getting them in hand that wasn't going to do it and the plan was to get to the bones and start over.
So, one evening in June on Jim's front lawn in front of God and all the neighbors we attacked, and I mean attacked, these pine disasters. With axes, hammers, chisels, nine inch grinder and of course Jim's all time favorite tool, the three inch belt sander we descended on them. This must have been quite a sight for the people peering out of their houses across the street. Besides the noise, the visual display had to top anything on TV that night. Sparks were flying off Dennis' nine inch grinder, I was smashing away with an axe while Jim was making sawdust of any wood item in his way. After the carnage, the grass was covered with all kinds of debris. Sawdust, foam, ballast and track were everywhere. We did have a good laugh. It was really comedic. But, reality set in and Jim realized this was "HIS" lawn. Cleanup was upon us darkness approached. Well, if you have a belt sander as your favorite tool it's only reasonable to assume that a "VACUUM" is the second most favorite. Yes.... we did ....we sucked that lawn clean of all the stuff. The cherry on the cake of destruction. I'm glad it was Jim's lawn and his neighbors.