The Little River Rail Road in Doc Tom's Back Yard

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Doctor G, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Or some creativity in the workshop!

    That should probably wait until after more track work is done though.

    are you going to build your trestle bents with three, four or five poles. The RGS used three a lot of times, the D & R G W liked four or five . some standard gauge mainline outfits use more.

  2. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    I have seen a nice large scale Barnhart. I believe wildman Malcolm Furlow had one in one of his photo spreads a while back. Might be a fun build.

    I will use 4 poles in the bents. Here is a neat article I am following for general information

    What I like about this article is he gives the sizes of the wood needed for 1:20.3 and everything is a little larger than for 1:22 or 1:24 "G scale."

    For example the poles are supposed to be about 0.6"X 0.6" to scale out to a one foot by one foot square pole in 1:20.3. The Lowe's garden stakes are 0.75"X 0.75" which is pretty close to what is needed.

    The cap of the trestle bent should be about 7-7.5" long in 1:20.3 scale.

    All this has made for interesting reading and research.

    Tom :wave:
  3. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Timber abutment in place at Nelson's Gap

    Well, the sawmill over at Townsend Tennessee rough cut some more heavy timbers and the logging and road crews hoisted them in place to construct a timber abutment at the very beginning of the trestle to span Nelson's Gap.

    Before heading downgrade to a local watering hole the boys inched old #167 a box car from the neighboring Dead Grass Crooked Creek and Western out on to the beginning span to see if it all would hold together. Photo documentation was made to show the engineers and draftsman back at the home office that this project has merit.

    The abutment was made using cut .7" X .7" garden stakes glued with Titebond III and pinned together. It rests on about 2" of crushed stone to promote drainage and limit wood rot. The wood was sprayed with Thompson's water seal. The stringers are resting on top of the abutment without anchoring to allow for natural contraction and exspansion of the wood and the brass rails.

    Hope you like the pics.
    Doc Tom:mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  4. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    The Trestle at Nelson's Gap

    Here are a few shots of the first part of the trestle at Nelson's Gap. This is my first attempt at trestle construction in large scale. I was quite pleased that the very heavy shay did not collapse this "collection of cornstalks and bean poles."

    You can actually see why this design for trestle bents has been used for over a 100 years on RR's. They are very strong and sturdy.

    I chose to space the bents about 20 feet apart which research said was done on real logging outfits to conserve wood on the very temporary trackage.

    I also tried to represent the LRRR's approach to trestle building as well by putting up simple spindly side sway braces. You can see below a prototype picture from the LRRR. I have not dared try what the LRRR did and use entire tree trunks for the pole construction.

    All and all I am pretty satisfied with this first foray into large scale trestle building.

    Y'all let me know what you think.

    Doc Tom :wave:

    Attached Files:

  5. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

    Great progress Dr. Tom! Now just for some live steam...

  6. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Tyler,

    Glad you found Zealot and thanks for the feedback. Thanks also for what you guys are doing for us in the US Army....we appreciate all you do.

    I enjoyed meeting you at the Choo Choo club. We have been chugging along for quite a number of years. If you want to see some pics of the layout you can see it in the "Bill and Tom's excellent adventure" section of Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads here on Zealot.

    Boy, don't you know I have thought of "live steam" in the garden. Here is a pic of a live steamer on a garden RR. I have got to save up $$$ for 10 foot radius curved track to finish the LRRR before getting a live steam engine. But you know it is fun to dream.

    see you soon. Dr Tom

    Attached Files:

  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Tom. for the big radius's you are thinking big locomotives. a 0-4-0T like little River #1 would not require larger radius's.

  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Good point Bill. I found a picture of restored LRRR #1. It is up in Indiana on a tourist line as well as LRRR #110. May need to make a trip up North to see these two under real steam.

    I did "open up" another area in the yard that could go with smaller radii curves and the mill area at Townsend will have tighter curves as well.

    Thanks for the input.
    Dr Tom:wave:

    Attached Files:

  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the pick Tom. I had no Idea that #1 survived. I knew about the pacific though. That locomotive has been tormenting me for years, as the smallest standard gauge pacific built in the States, representing it well is a challenge I haven't figured out yet! I'll have to make do with two 2-4-4-2's

    Welcome in Tyler!

  10. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hey Bill,

    Here is a photo of #1 not looking so good after it wrecked in to the Little River. It did clean up nice with that full restoration posted earlier.

    While striving for authenticity I want to avoid these kinds of scenes along the Little River in the backyard.

    I am not sure, but I believe the LRRR sold little number one soon after this wreck. It would be interesting to learn more about the wreck. May have to swing by Townsend and pay a long visit at the museum

    doc Tom:twisted:

    Attached Files:

  11. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member


    Looks like LRRR #7 "Skookum" the 2-4-4-2 you like is under going restoration out in Oregon. Here is the website Skookum is 100 years old!!!!

    Here is a picture of the boiler restoration taken in 2007.

    This would make for four surviving locomotives counting #2147 sitting out front of the Townsend Museum.

    Doc Tom:mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Sorry Tom, that is #126 to me. My #22 the Oriental powerhouse series 2-4-4-2 came lettered for Snookum, and It took a massive effort to get those letters and numbers off of it's excellent factory paint job. Mine also came with a cowcatcher on the Tender. I fixed that quick with a razor saw. I fully intended to put a set of foot plates on there, but I haven't yet. The lettering on # 21 the J. H. Morgan was ruined, cleaning off some excessive weathering, and I have not yet lettered and numbered #22, the D. E. Murray.

    I also replaced the cowcatcher on the front with a pilot beam and foot plates on both the Oriental unit, as did # 21 the ancient and honorable Gem unit, that was probably 12 years old when I acquired it in 1974.

    The biggest failure of my railroad's design is that my Valley division isn't longer and more interesting, giving me more room to play with the 2-4-4-2's. Nothing like the sight of a 2-4-4-2 romping through undulating trackage. I'd consider putting a sound tracks decoder in my Oriental unit, if I could ever figure out how to get it apart.

    It is amazing that # 126 might be under steam soon. It has been a pile of parts since I became aware of it, reading some of my dad's logging books back in the 1960's, long before My RR was a Tennessee Railroad, or I was able to acquire my first 2-4-4-2

    Bill Nelson
  13. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    What's in a name???


    Where did they get that funky "skookum" name for this locomotive??? I figured you might know the story behind it.

    Doc Tom:confused:
  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Tom, I believe that it picked up that name on the Colombia Belt Line Railroad, but I could be wrong.

    Tyler is going to join our Rock expedition. He is coming over @ 1:00 to see my RR so if you want to come early to help show off the DG, CC, & W RR 1:00 is the start time for that.

  15. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Shay is back in the Yankee shops

    Enjoyed having Bill and Tyler by yesterday for a showcase run of the battery/RC powered Bachmann three truck Shay.

    Well, it wasn't much of a show as after about 5 minutes the Shay lost all power to its lead truck. Bill and Tyler were not too impressed with the chuff on the Phoenix sound system.....reminded them of what happens after too many Bush beans. I had never heard a locomotive described as passing flatus before.

    Any ways, diagnostic action took place today and it is a problem with the electrical leads into the front engine "block". When regular old transformer leads were attached to the contacts on top of the block the electric motor inside took off. I removed the fuel bunker and water tender covers ( first time for me) and very carefully explored the sphagetti bowl of wiring looking for a solder point that had come luck.

    I called RCS New England today who had installed all the Hi-tech goodies in the Lokie. Don Sweet there reported that Bachmann G scale Shays are "finnicky." My wife says "all Shays are finnicky they have too many parts." She has seen me wall1wall1wall1wall1wall1 for many a year with my HO side winders.

    Don told me to send the errant beast back to New Hampshire and he would hard wire the front truck to get away from the "finnicky" plunger system contacts. He told me this and a whole lot of other problems are recurring themes with these Big Shays.

    Don is also going to reroute the antenna wire to extend the range of the transmitter and he is going to check the timing on the chuff and "tweak the Phoenix" to get rid of the Bush Baked Beans sound.

    So maybe the Shay will run better for its next debut and maybe its time to look in to rod engines!!!

    Doc Tom:p:p:p
  16. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Shay sound

    The chuff sound breaking up at higher volumes made me think that it needs a bigger speaker with the same ohm value, or if the speaker is as big as will fit, it needs a better one of the same size. I hope if the hotwire the balky truck they hotwire the others as well, so we don't end up with the same problem with another truck later.

  17. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Good observation

    When I got in side the tender on my broken wire hunt I too realized the speaker was a bit small for this large locomotive. A future replacement may be in order.

    Don Sweet did mention perhaps "hotwiring" all the trucks to keep this from happening again.

    In reading online a lot of Large Scale Shay owners recommend gutting all the wiring and starting over. I have already replaced a very flimsy pin and wire connector from the 2nd to 3rd truck for the main power leads.

    I am learning a lot.

    Apparently in the early history of these beasts B.mann made some very weak gears and plastic trucks that always broke down. Now the gears are more robust and encased in metal trucks.

    I am learning that constant repair and maintenance is what owning a Shay is all about.......just like the prototype.

    Doc Tom:eek::eek::eek:
  18. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Colorado Mountain MEN help build some cribbing

    Hey Guys,

    Some Colorado Mountain Men were hired to help build some cribbing on the Little River. Seems they decided to come with their own varnish to keep comfortable in the wilds of Tennessee. It also seems like their are a lot of "bosses" and only on one worker. No wonder it is taking so long to get this cribbing done.

    Doc Tom:cool:

    Attached Files:

  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    It is good to see the loaner combine in service. The green one is disassembled and the first round of cleaning has taken place. The faded paint job was apparently done in my shops, as the original color, poking through under a couple paint chips after cleaning was yellow.

    I'll post photos after the cleaning is done.

  20. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member


    Thanks for taking on this project. Your help is always appreciated!!

    Looking forward to seeing what your shops turn out with the combine.

    Here is an actual picture of a combine on the LRRR. It is from the LRRR website from the museum in Townsend. I would love to build a 1:1 replica of one of these little passenger stations for a patio/gazebo out in the back yard overlooking the Garden RR.

    I cannot tell if it is a Southern car or an actual LRRR combine. Also do you have any idea what the color was for the Southern coaches in the 1920's ? What color do you think LRRR operated with??? I am also interested in the colors of the flat cars used on the Little River.

    May have to give the good folks at the Townsend Museum a holler.

    Doc Tom:rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

Share This Page