Mark J. Redmond's
Redmus Short Line Railroad
The name comes from an old bowling buddy of mine. In Phoenix a long time a go we had a local horror show host named 'Edmus P. Scary'. Well my friend thought the way I bowled was scary, so he started calling me Redmus P. Scary. Over time the P. Scary was dropped, so now it's just Redmus.
This is the second Redmus Short Line layout. The first was the Third Street Industrial layout in the November 1978 'Model Railroader' magazine that I expanded so I could have a small yard. That layout came down when I moved after I got married. The latest version is a freelance variation the previous layout using many of the same buildings. The premise for both is a fictitious section of the greater Phoenix Arizona area that the Southern Pacific railroad could no longer service. The local businesses found a group of investors to form a small local railroad to service the area. The Southern Pacific railroad still has a mainline that goes through the area and they drop off and pick up rolling stock in a 3 track service yard that holds about 10 cars.
As space was limited for what I was looking for, I chose to build a 2 level layout. The layout is an L shape with the bottom level being 2 feet wide and the top 1 foot wide. As I have a smoke detector in the same corner as the layout I could not go wider and still reach it to change batteries.. The bench work is a simple box frame made up of 2X4's to form the box; 2X2's to support the sound board and 2X4's for legs. (Can you say overkill?) The rear legs were extended to support the upper level which is made of 2X2's in the same box frame style. The bench work was also made in a modular fashion as the 2 sections were built in my garage then moved into the room and assembled. I did this so when the layout had to come down (we all know that will happen some day) it would be an easier task. I chose to use sound board for my base. Homasote was a bit heavy and expensive. The sound board was lightweight and easy to cut. To get from the bottom level to the top, I used a 2 foot 1X2 that slid in place. I could get 2 - 3 cars plus the engine on the slide, pull it out and slide it in to the other level. The idea was sound in practice, but turned into a bit of a pain. Getting the rails to line up with the rail joiners sometimes proved tedious. At the time I had no room for a helix and did not have a long enough stretch for a switchback solution.
The Layout and Operation
The layout is powered by an Innovator 1400 analog power supply. It has a hand held throttle which has a switch that allows the speed control to only go half speed with in the full position. A useful option on a switching layout. As I only have 1 Atlas S2 engine there is no block system. All of the track is Atlas code 100 snap track or flex track on cork roadbed. Many of the spurs were laid flush to the base board to simulate real spur conditions. I use a combination of #4 and #6 switches with 1 Y switch. All switches are hand throws. Scenery was a desert flavor. For operations, I did not have a card system or anything like that. I would basically presume the cars in the yard were for delivery to the businesses and pick up cars from businesses and put them in the yard.
The New Layout
The modular system for the bench work came in handy. New flooring in the room where the layout is necessitated I take down the layout. The bench work worked like a charm as all I would have to do is pop out a few sections of track or cut along the break. However, some flaws in the current track plan and as I will be gaining some extra room, I decided to scrap that layout and start all over. I am in the process of designing the new layout where I was able to gain a bit more room. I am planning to use 1X4's for the lower level box frame with 2X2's for support and the same 2X2 construction as before for a lighter bench work and will use a helix in place of the slide, although I am considering a switchback as I gained 3 feet of wall space. Have not yet decided on the base. May use the foam like the club layout in place of the sound board I did use.
As always, click on a picture to enlarge it. Turn off your pop-up blocker.
These 3 pictures are from a layout I built in my dads garage in the early 80's. Very simple 3 loops. Had the distinction of being the only layout in Arizona with working traffic lights. In the third picture you can see the poles.