Believe it or not, I’ve actually made progress again. I have a near-final design for the Cordova main yard and have started actually putting down track.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture! The barge slip will be to the left, the front half of the engine shop is represented by the eSun plastic box, and the main classification yard will be in the lower right. At the rear will be four storage tracks for ore trains and passenger equipment between runs.

See – progress in tracklaying!

As usual, nothing’s easy. I just ordered every left-hand turnout I need from MB Klein, but there seems to be a bit of a shortage of Atlas #7 right turnouts at the moment. Going to call some of my usual sources tomorrow and see if I can’t scare up about a dozen of them.

Regardless, I should be able to prioritize use of the few RH turnouts I have and at least get the mainline plumbed through. At long last, more than half a decade after I started this project, I’ll finally have a finished mainline. Then I can move along to fascia and scenery.

2 thoughts on “Progress!

  1. Andrew

    oh my gosh! i cant wait to see this built in N scale! i swear the copper river and northwestern is an underrated railway that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. if you don’t mind me asking what rolling stock will you be using? and how far do you plan on modeling the line?

    1. ndholmes Post author

      I suppose I should write more about the actual layout one of these days. The lower deck covers the line from the Cordova docks to approximately Abercrombie, and the upper deck covers Chitina to Kennicott. The Copper River canyon section is all consumed in the helix between the two. Obviously all quite compressed, as the mainline is only about ~10 scale miles end to end (~100ft per deck, and roughly ~100 ft in the helix).

      My version of the line is very much a prototype-based freelance version done in near modern day, as if mining hadn’t drawn to a close in 1938 and additional deposits had been located. I thought about doing a true-to-era layout, but when operations often consisted of a couple trains a week, that’s not terribly interesting for operating. So I’m keeping all of the key locations and structures (Miles Glacier, Kuskulana, Gilahina – though bypassed with a modern bridge, the big mill at Kennicott as a historic site), but move the date to a “what if this all survived to the modern era” timeframe. That allows me to make certain calculated concessions as well, such as adding in the oft-proposed smelter along the line, or redesigning the Cordova facilities based on rebuilding after the 1964 quake. Exactly what modern equipment is yet to be determined, but my thought is the ore cars will be based on those used on the Kennecott ore runs at the Ray Mine in Arizona (now the Copper Basin Rwy). Power will probably be 2-3 SDs of some sort for the ore trains and GP38-2s or GP39-2s for the local work.

      Given all the time I’ve had at home for the last two months and for the foreseeable future, I’m hoping to actually have test operating sessions this fall. It won’t be all the real equipment, but it’ll allow me to work out any kinks in the operating plan or track layout before I start heavily into scenery.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *