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Re: Nevada Central For Google Earth

Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:56 pm
by Dave

Much of the Clifton ROW remains, though the only structure left is the oil dump. You should easily find the turntable pit and the ROW tucked against the southern side of Pony canyon, and the station once sat along the west edge of the shooting range.

As to the Austin City line, it curved from the end of the NC yard north west up the hill to just below the cemetary where it then switched back and climbed up the canyon. I have searched over and over for it and while there are many promising trails nothing really fits there. One surveyor's book talks of it starting at the spike in a tie on the would be helpful if that tie was still there! But since it isn't I can only speculate. Road work and Hwy 50 have obliterated or covered much of the AC up to the last curves into Austin. Once on Main Street the line was centered in the road until removed in 1889. Many buildings seen in 1887 and earlier photos still exist. Many are gone. The Sanborn map is a good thing to have if you're looking for what still is there. But beware of cosmetic changes to buildings! The NC office was a bank building and was the town library in the 1990s.

At the Lander Court Building the line jogged from the center of the street to the south side of the street. A passing siding and station were here, now a gas station sits on the site. The line continued up the road to what is now a football field. A concentrator and the engine house once sat here. One time I came through they were digging irrigation trenches in the the field and bricks from the engine house had been exposed. The line curved with the canyon at this point. The Manhattan Mill was opposite of that football field and the AC worked up to a switch that it could back cars into the complex. The line itself continued just past that big curve you'll come to on Hwy 50 where it turns almost 180 degrees. The AC either curved or switchbacked here, it's not certain which, to climb to the mines. You'll see tailings on the right as you climb on the highway, the AC serviced that mine. Hwy 50 crosses the line again a bit further up at a location the AC had a trestle, now gone. The AC continued a bit to service a few other mines and an incline to the Lander Mine. All very hard to locate.

The MHF book is pretty high level, so if you want specifics let me know. Clifton changed over the years, with trackage changes and building changes in 1881, 1887, 1898-ish and the first decades of the 20th century. Also, while the NC ROW is easy to spot in some areas, such as the Reese River Canyon, a lot of it isn't so apparent, being barely visible above the sand and sage.

If you can get to the Berlin Icythyasauraus park nearby there is the remains of the Bobtown section house, built from 1/2 of an NC boxcar believed to have been built originally by Hammond or a predecessor for the Stockton & Ione. Another side trip is to head to the canyon the Battle Mountain & Lewis ran in...only 10 mile from Battle Mountain but it feels so remote and other-worldly there. Hard to imagine a town existed at that place.

As to modeling the line, I toyed with that for 15 years before giving up. The attraction is the amazing mix of equipment from day one: Carter, B&S, UP, Hammond, homegrown. Lovely engines and even a steam inspection shuttle. But the road was a pauper from day one and traffic was nill for long periods, and Clifton sadly was basically a team yard. The AC, from 1881 to 1888 was somewhat busy in fits, but only pushed 1-2 cars at a time up the hill to a limited set of customers spread over the two miles of track. It could be interesting for one operator but wouldn't be small in scope to be done right! I'm not sure how long it would keep me interested.

At any rate, let me know if you want to talk more and what level of detail you're interested in.

Dave Eggleston

Re: Nevada Central For Google Earth

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:58 pm
by Ed Weldon
Dave - I'm slow getting back to the forum this week. Evenings I've been exhausted from clearing brush around my CA mountain house. Springtime chore.....
I have to digest a lot of what you wrote; but it will all be interesting to me. I love researching narrow gauge prototypes with a purpose of designing layouts that capture their essence in condensed miniature. When I get too old and feeble to build models I may write on the subject.
Photographing Austin 2013 will be interesting this summer (or Autumn as the case turns out to be.) I've been out to Berlin Ichthyosaur park once. A revisit to view the structure you mentioned is a good excuse to go there.
About a layout design for NC-AC, I like the idea of a 4x8 starter layout that is a Clifton down in a "punch bowl" with hidden track to complete a loop representing the northbound main line . A winding branch will rise to the Austin town with a sprinkling of town structures against a back drop and a couple of mines and a small smelter thrown in.
I'd like to pursue this layout talk; but I think it would be more appropriate to carry on in the Modelers:Layouts section of the forum

Re: Nevada Central For Google Earth

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:02 pm
by Dave
Ed, just let me know if you want to chat more on the trip and details of the NC/AC when your're ready to.

One trick you may want to check is to look at Google maps, the view where you can see the town from the view of their camera car (you drag that little man below the zoom slider onto the map and it'll allow you to move through Austin up Main Street, but they didn't get down into Clifton), so that you can get an idea of what's there as of the past couple years. With a Sanborn map of Austin to compare you'll get some idea of what is what, though use period photos for true comparison as many buildings are refaced or changed from their NC period look.

As to the layout, I can't see how Clifton would fit on a 4x8 board and maintain any of the character unless you're modeling in some really super small scale. HOn3 would never work. Nn3 maybe...for a portion. I'd be curious what you have in mind.


Re: Nevada Central For Google Earth

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:10 pm
by Ed Weldon
Dave - I found the 1886 Sanborn map of Austin. Had to download it in 8 pieces which I will print out and cut and paste together. With that, current Google Earth images, MH Ferrell's book and your comments in front of me it will make an interesting study session. Neat thing about GE is that you can find elevations. Plotting an elevation grid that way is a painstaking process; but it provides useful data for model scene design.
About layout design with Clifton as a centerpiece....... I pick 4 x 8 because it is a popular size, albeit impractical. Much more practical is 3 x 6-1/2 feet which is much easier to move inside the average residence as well as offering easier reach to rear parts that sit against a wall.
I don't have drawing yet; but here's how the HOn3 4x8 design would work. The main level would be the Clifton facilities per Larry Larsen's drawing on pg 54 of Ferrell; engine facilities along the 8 foot front. The switchback would be 2" elevated from the turntable (about 3% grade) and would connect to the line to Battle Mountain hidden behind low scenery to form a continuous running loop to allow running for display purposes. On the hidden left radius of that loop would be a turnout leading to an unsceniced lower level reversing loop and staging tracks for trains to and from Battle Mountain. This would form the basis for operations in and out of Clifton. The switchback to Austin would gain elevation at 7% along the rear 8 foot side of the layout and curve around to stop in front of the principal Austin buildings located along the right rear and right side backdrops. Elevation gain of about 6-8" to the end of the AC spur line.
This design becomes easily expandable to new layout sections modeling the run to Battle mountain and finally the BM terminal and SP interchange. This latter per Larry Larsen's drawing on pg 43 would make a neat layout module in it's own right once you rationalize the layout design to allow for the wye.
Throughout this layout concept I don't see the necessary selective compression of trackwork and scenery as being to much to ruin the sense of the scene.
To me the epitome of model building is to take a photo and make it look like an ancient photo of the real thing. And then go back to normal room lighting and run prototype operation simulations.
Ed Weldon