17 October 2010

More on the CRD/ALCANEX track plan as of end-of-season 2010:

Here is the track layout as I projected it would look for the 2010 season. Except for the last extension to the proposed site of Grand Forks, which was to be part of the Phase III Klondike Mines Railway section, the line was completed as represented here by mid-summer of 2010. 

 In  2009 I wrote: 
"This map reflects  the proposed Phase III extension from a point just beyond Cantwell, winding around underneath the Cantwell yard via the Ed Knobel Memorial Bridge to Nowhere,* then  over to the  proposed Sulphur Springs Wye where the line will terminate just beyond it at the Grand Forks site. That is the extent of my model railroad work that I foresee for the upcoming season. 
"The Sulphur Springs Wye/Grand Forks (Phase III extension) is the closest point the tracks will reach the ground, although the entire line will still be supported above the ground on a "ladder" support. This will mark the beginnings of the Phase III segment, which is intended to be serviced primarily by 1:20.3 rolling stock.  

"For those of you not familiar with this setup, the Phase I is the original historic Chitina Local Branch of the Copper River & Northwestern Railway. It is built at the highest level, starting in the bar at the seven foot level. About a foot and a half below  that is the newer Phase II line which starts at the CRD back bar, then heads outdoors where at one point it is running about four feet below the Phase I line as the Phase II line approaches Cicely.

"Another roughly four feet below Cicely is the Cantwell RR yard, directly underneath. Finally, the Phase III extension will work its way around the yard, gradually dropping in elevation,  until it reaches a point approximately 1 1/2 to 2 feet below the Cantwell RR yard, making Cicely-Cantwell a three-tier operation. That lowest level will also serve as a railroad siding for the KMR rolling stock, whenever that is added. At this point only the KMR locomotives are here, but except for one piece, these remain to be converted to battery power before they can be used. That is still at least one or two additional seasons away.

"In any case, my point is that this is a multi-level line that ranges from approximately 10 feet above the ground on the CRNW Phase I  line, to 7 feet above the ground on average for the Phase II  line, to an average of 3 feet above the ground for the Cantwell RR Yard segment and ultimately to 1 1/2 feet and less for the lowest level --the KMR or Phase III  extension-- that remains to be constructed."

Below is a close-up Google-Earth map that enabled me to provide dimensions to the existing model RR @ the CRD: 

ALCANEX boundaries

* Ed Knoebel was a local retired businessman who was a fellow large-scale model train enthusiast. In has last years he began selling off his rather impressive model RR collection. I purchased much of the track and several pieces of his rolling stock. The very last item I bought from him before he passed away was a large model of a steel bridge, now in use on my line. I decided to name it after Ed Knoebel, a decorated WWII veteran.  When I first installed it, that was the end of the line, so its original name, fitting at the time, was the "Bridge to Nowhere." When Ed passed on, it became the "Ed Knoebel Memorial steel bridge."  I will eventually install a scale sign on both sides of that 4-foot-long bridge to properly mark it. 

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