Rocky Mountain Pacific in Fn3

A short trestle for the outer loop

I scratch built a short (one-bent) trestle for the main track crossing over the stream bed. The stream runs up and down on the drawing below to the right of the yard.

I will be showing it at the NMRA AZ Division meet on June 13, 2015.

Here is a photo of it taken in the studio, as it won’t be installed on the layout until after the meet.

Fn3 Single Bent Wood Trestle

The design was adapted from drawings in the Model Railroader book Model Railroad Bridges & Trestles (PP124, 125).

I did find one design flaw in the book drawing. The wing walls were positioned so that they would keep the dirt, etc. from holding up the footers at each end of the trestle. I redesigned them to fix that issue.

Starting on leveling and grading

The weather has gotten warmer, but there is still some cool time in the morning to spend an hour or two on the leveling and grading.

IMG 0285

Wiring is done

Got the wiring done on both loops now. Wrote a column about how I did it for the July 2015 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist.

Here is how I used landscape staples to keep wire buried.

Bus in the garden

The first photo shows the wire as it laid on the ground.

In the second photo the trench is dug, the wire placed and the staple started into the ground - look for the shadow of the staple.

The third photo shows the staple seated.

Int the last photo you can see the end of the brush that was used to sweep the dirt back over the wire.

Track plan

I finally found the software that will allow me to draw my track plan as I want it to be on my Apple Mac computers. I have it on my MacBook Pro, so that I can go out to the yard and measure and input the data directly, instead of running between the office and the back yard as I was doing previously. I also have it on my iMac in the office, so I can use the dual screens and increased resolution to enhance and label things.

The software is know as Railmodeler Pro and is available in the Apple App store.

Here is the first pass of the layout. I have NOT tried to be totally accurate, but to show the relative relationship of the various track elements. Click on the image for a larger view.

RMP Track Plan


The red track is the outer loop (mainline). The green track is the auto-reversing section, both a teardrop loop and a wye. The blue track is the inner loop (town)

As the structures and operations plans evolve, I’ll be posting revised versions of the track plan with more details.

Lots of wiring done

The good weather held - highs only in the 70s and a bit of rain one evening (actually, quite a bit - ½ inch). Thus, I was able to get all of the drops connected to the rails on the entire layout. There are a couple of sub-buses to install in the yard and a few drops left to solder to the bus in the inner loop.

Since I needed to re-lay the track to the depots (freight and passenger), I actually went ahead and graded it and leveled it.

Look for the information on how this wiring was done in my July 2015 column in Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine.

Copyright © Bruce F. Petrarca 2007 - 2017; All Rights Reserved