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In Memory Of

Mark J. Redmond's
3rd Redmus Short Line Railroad Layout

Page released 2/26/2010

The Name

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.

The Prototype

This is the third Redmus Short Line layout. The first was a variation of the Third Street Industrial layout in the November 1978 'Model Railroader' magazine that I expanded so I could have a small yard. The second layout was a freelance 2 level variation the previous layout using many of the same buildings. It was taken down when the room was remodeled. The latest version is also a freelance design although this time I used Cadrail to assist in the design. The premise for the layout is a fictitious section of the greater Phoenix Arizona area that the Southern Pacific railroad, now Union Pacific, no longer wanted to 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 up to 6 - 9 cars.

Changes

I learned a lot from my last layout. Switching is fun but sometimes you just want the train to run, so this layout has the ability to run in a loop. The lift bridge to get to the upper level on the second layout worked but was a pain to use. I still needed a second level for my yard so instead of the lift bridge I am using a 4% & 6% grade to reach the upper level. I had to go 6% on a small section to get to the upper level with room to maneuver the train. I had thought of using a helix or switchback but both presented issues that I did not like.
I did use the same box style benchwork I used on the last layout but this time instead of 2X4's I used 1X3's for the box frame and 2X2 for the legs.
I also chose to use mostly Altas Snap Track for the layout. I did this to ensure my curves were correct and it made it easier to lay track on the curve 4% grade to the upper level. To ensure good electrical connections I soldered the rail joiners. Another advantage to using snap track was I could hide my wiring by soldering wires to the undersides of the rail joiners.
Another change was I decided to use Woodland Scenics foam road bed over cork. On the plus side it was much easier to cut and lay out especially for switches. Also much easier to lift up after the glue dries and it can be reused. On the down side, I had to glue the nails going into the foam riser to give the track extra stability until I ballasted and as I use hand throws, it's too soft to be used as hand throw bases.
Another recent change is the layout will be going DCC. There is something about having an engine with sound that adds that cool factor.

The Layout

The lower level is a is 10 1/2 ft. by 4 ft. U shape with a 2 X 4 lift out bridge. The upper level is L shaped with a 6 ft. X 10 inch section connected to a 4 ft. X 14 inch section. The upper level is held in place by 3 inch L brackets attached to 2 X 2's. The 2 X 2's will eventually be hidden by a back drop. I decided again to use sound board for my layout top and the layout is designed to be easily taken part should it need to be moved. The layout is very heavy with switching as I wanted to maximize operations. The upper level holds the yard and some switching operations. I wanted the lift bridge to be powered without having to plug and unplug wire connectors when moving it. At first I just cut out a space for washers to be wired and the weight of the 2 X 4 would make connection. That did not work too well. A trip to Germany however, gave me a great solution. The adapter plugs I used were small, simple and had the added benefit of locking the lift out in place

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Here is the track plan for the lower level.

The track plan for the upper level..

The lower level benchwork done I began to lay track to test my design.

Here you can see the center section of the layout.

The other end of the lower level.

The left side of the lower level with track laid verify the design.

A look at the track plan for the right side.
I have the 4% Woodland Scenics foam in place.

I marked the center of the track and added track nails to center the roadbed.

To make it easier to lay the track I did not secure this end of the layout just yet..
To cover the riser I used drywall mud.

The 4% riser in place and some scenery done.

A look at the track plan for the right side.
Laying the track for the car shop.

The left side lower level track work complete.

A look at the track plan for the right side.
The maiden run on the lower level loop.

A mixed freight.

A look at the 3 inch brackets I used to support the upper level.
I used 1 1/2 brackets to hold the 1 X 2 for the 6% grade.

A dry run putting the upper level on.

Checking the fit on the upper level.
This was my first try at wiring the lift out bridge. Wires worked good for DC but were replaced for DCC

The other end. I had to use the metal tabs to get a good connection but they eventually broke.

The upper level with track laid.
The other end with the yard in place.

An early look at the layout.

To help keep the bridge from shifting, I installed this metal pin.
The new connection for the bridge using a US to German plug adaptor.

Still have a bit of adjustments to make but it works well.

I added some trim to make the layout look nicer.
Saw a real engine painted in Nebraska colors so my new VO-660 is painted in Arizona State colors.

If I have an engine, why not a box car too.

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