1701 University HO Layout Building - 2004

Construction photos from 2004

Note- think of this as a running log of our work in photo format. Since we often shoot photos a couple times a month it will be pretty long at the end of the year and for people on dial-up modems it may take a minute to load. Enjoy!

Jan 8th


That's the yard down there and the hole in the wall... Note the modules in the upper right

Looking over Duplainville

Looking over Duplainville! The Penninsula Minor [still in the planning mode there...] will be where our chairs are right now...

March 24th

Overview of emerging terraine

Soon to be a river and hills...

river crossing

It all started with plywood and cardboard and a styrene bridge...

I should have gone into landscape architecture

Andy "I should have gone into landscape architecture" works on the farm scene...

Duplainville now has a depot

The city of Duplainville now has a depot. No passenger service yet [some Amtrak equipment would help] but hey, a depot's still nice!

farm house

The farm house. What are they farming you ask? Looks like a bumper crop of cardboard this year...

helix subassemblies

Soon to be the helix, now a bunch of circles made out of masonite...

The helix parts are being built...


The stand for the helix

Bob drilling holes for rods

Bob gets the holes drilled in the masonite layers.

Dan marking circles

Dan marks the lines to guide the track laying....

June 1

working on the helix

Joe, Bob and the back of Andy's head work on the helix...

 The helix June 2004

Caulking down the track with Joe, Andy [and a blue lamp] and Bob and the controls...

Level-1 umtc June 2004

The river got a new bridge today and the scene will soon begin to take shape...

Bridge with temporary footings

Bridge over - no water? Ok, but it is coming along and with the help of temporary supports it now hosts trains!
The Bridge June 2004

June 23

Bob laying helix track

Bob is hard at work laying track in the helix

Let me out!

Sorry Bob - you're stuck in there for good! We'll send food every so often until you get it all done...

July 20


We did it! The Helix is in place now - it needs some tweaking before connection but so far it looks like everything came out just fine for perfect operation!



The view from the soon-to-be loop track around the back

The view from the soon-to-be loop track around the back...

inside helix

As seen from the inside track of the helix...




And after! The green brings the scene to life and gets us out of that perpetual winter...

August 17th

Helix track laying

Track goes down on the last turn...

Helix Clearances

Clearances may be tight but we're in good shape with even the longest cars!

 Helix Completed

And here it is - the complete helix! Track is in, now it just needs connection to the lower level and then we're on to building the upper two levels!

Brian takes some time to service our Empire Builder

Brian takes some time to service our Empire Builder - pulled by a CNW SD60 until we get some F40s and P40s for Amtrak power!

Sept 4th

The Big view

The big view
The Big view

Sept 17th

Andy and Joe make progress on the WI-CHI loop track around the helix, with that done our lower mainline will be back in service once again...

Loop track

West side

Helix east side

East Side
Helix and yard

Sept 17

Track on loop

Our helix bypass loop is almost ready
Track on loop

Sept 24

First train on loop

And the first train around the bypass loop as the track enters service!

Oct 20th

Helix and Loop Completed

It's done! Over 6 months of work went into this thing and now we can't wait to get started on the second level!   Above - the mainline enters the helix.

Below - the yard and the middle level exit right above the edge of the yard....

Helix and Loop Completed

Nov 10th

Trees on the river scene

A forest starts growing in the river valley...

Nov 12th

Fascia on river scene

Fascia is being installed! 1/3 of the way done, it will be official U of M maroon when completed...
farm house fascia

Nov 19th

Fascia Duplainville scene

The fascia is in! Not done yet, it still need trimming to fit the landscape and a coat of official maroon paint [the above-and-below sky look is kind of interesting though] it does add a lot to the layout...
Fascia Duplainville scene

farm house fascia

And now the farm scene begins to come to life now that the fascia is in place - watch for more growth in this area soon.

Dec 3rd
Loads of progress today - maroon paint applied to the fascia [thanks to the folks at Williams Arena for helping us get the maroon exactly right!]

Maroon Fascia

Maroon Fascia

Next up are the blue hills from outer space! So far they are out of this world, soon we'll bring them down to earth but until then here is SD9 130 working a manifest train over the county highway...

Blue hill


Another view of the highway
Blue hill

Duplainville spur

Duplainville spur

Dville sees business grow on the east side of town...

Dec 28th

We wrap up the year with plenty of work and progress.

level 2 joist installation

Bob and Mark work on level 2 joist installation

scenery progress

Meanwhile, Andy and Joe were busy on scenery with a larger area now receieving the "snow covered look" in the farm or some flat base work over near D'ville. See ya next year!

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