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Train Show Pictures

Pictures from Wasatch Rails 2003

Held November 7th - 9th, 2003 in the Grand Building at the Utah State Fairpark.

Utah Free-mo was in attendance again for the second year at the Wasatch Rail's 2003 Train Show sponsored by the Wasatch Division of the RMR, NMRA. This was the fifth show that Utah Free-mo has attended. This was our second year at Wasatch Rails. Overall it was a great success for our group. We had a completely rebuilt yard make it's debut as well as a ninety-degree module set. This significantly increased our overall size considerably over last years layout The new members to the group also helped keep the trains running on the layout which helped as well. While we had fewer questions about our height, there were several questions about when we were going to connect the layout into a loop. While overall attendance was better this year, there were no busy rush times which gave the appearance of being poorly attended. Because of scheduling difficulties Mike Nelson was not able to bring his loop to the this show. We decided to make a change to our plan on the fly during set up Friday to make better use of our modules and because we had the space. There were large openings on the floor and we still have room to grow next year.

As mentioned this show saw the inclusion of two new module sets. The first is Faust, as ninety-degree three module set built by Ted York. Ted has a very large and impressive home layout, but he likes the idea of operating at train shows and also is a big fan of the free-mo concept. So, he decided to join the group and build a module. Faust is very impressive. While the scenery is not complete is features a long passing siding with scratchbuilt number eight turnouts and handlaid track. The scenery drops below the track level and has a contoured edge which really adds to the look of the module.

The second module set making it first appearance was Smokey Point Yard built by Russ Ridgeway. This yard has a long history. It was originally built to NMRA standards several years ago for the OT&W; club. It was purchased by group member Mike Nelson, who rebuilt the legs and rewired the yard for free-mo. He also built two adapters for each end of the yard to give it the correct end dimensions for free-mo. This extended the overall length of the yard to 30 feet. Mike never brought the yard to a show however because he was hauling his loop. Mike sold the yard to new group member Russ Ridgeway earlier this year for a very reasonable price. You could say it was an offer Russ could not refuse. Russ was not happy with the number four turnouts in the yard or the code 100 rail, so he stripped the modules down to the roadbed. He then relaid the yard using code 83 and number 6 turnouts. He also upgraded the turnout controls from Caboose Industries ground throws to an under the table system using a slide switch and push rod system. Russ also improved the track arrangement in the yard shifting the mainline through tracks to the outside and adding a ready track to each throat. He also added one foot to the two adapter sections, bringing the overall length to 32'. This conversion was a huge project and investment on his part. The group was richly rewarded for his investment. The yard performed well and is a great addition to the layout. This also allowed us to run yard-to-yard and made operations on the layout a lot of fun.

Also improved at this show was the Hansen Branch. We used the "branch" portion of this module (the diverging route) as the mainline again. This helps break up the linear feel of the layout and also gives us more mainline length and switching opportunities. We hope to have enough modules next year to run a true branchline off of this module set. Mike reworked and improved the scenery on several of these modules and they were looking really good at this show.

Another module set that saw some improvement and upgrading was the Cement Plant module set. This eight foot module set (two four foot modules) was built by Bill Schlotthauer. The modules were used in the last two shows. Bill sold these module to group member Dave Vickers before the show. Dave renamed the modules Sage Creek. He added in new switching for the cement plant expanding its car capacity. He also added a spur to a freight depot, another to a team track, and added a passenger depot and water tower. These new additions enhanced the modules and created a nice job for a local switching job when placed next to Bill's Knight Jct. A local switch engine was stationed at either Knight Jct or Sage Creek and cars were dropped by a through freight to the local to switch out.

Some repairs and scenery improvements were also made to East Moore Yards and Shops. There were fewer derailments and other problems with this yard as a result. Although the module set ran better at this show than it has during the past several shows it is definitely showing its age. This is also the last set of modules that shows its legacy standards heritage. There were several discussions at the show and these modules will be placed into semi retirement. The next few shows will not have room for their display. In the interim, Jim Moore and Adam Eastman have begun plans for building replacement modules. The overall track plan of the existing East Moore Yard is sound and the new yard may be patterned off of it. The diesel shops may be integrated into the new yard. There are also plans to possibly incorporate the roundhouse and steam facility module that Jim own into the new yard.

The Layout

The Pictures

BNSF SD-70s 8276 and 8213 on a light power move from Smokey Point Yard to the Moore Shops pass the cement plant at Sage Creek.

A similar view of Sage Creek with the elevator at Knight Jct in the background.

An a-b set of E-7s (BLI) idle away on the ready track at Moore Shops.

Looking west across the leads to Moore Shops towards East Yard. There was a large area, approx. 20 feet by 40 feet that we could have expanded the layout into had we needed it. Room to grow next year!

Russ Ridgeway (L) and Adam Eastman trouble shoot a D&RGW; Tunnel Motor in the Smokey Point Yards.

BNSF 8213 East, an eastbound BNSF manifest, has gone into emergency as it left East Yard. Ted York asks the Road Forman for permision to make a reverse move after his breakman walked the train and discovered they had broken a nuckle a few cars back from the engine.

Dave Nusink reaches across East Yard to check his engine.

Finding trouble with the unit, Dave called Mike Nelson at the "Power Desk" for help trouble shooting the problem.

Looking east past Sage Creek and Knight Jct.

An eastbound BNSF manifest passes the freight house at Sage Creek as it enters West Knight Jct.

Looking east toward Faust, Ted York's new module set. BNSF 8213 East waits "in the whole" at Faust for a westbound to pass on the main.

The 8213 East won't be wainting long. Not far from Faust, D&RG; 3028 West has left Smokey Point as is on the approach to Hansen Jct.

Here is a close look at the 3028 West.

A close up look at the power, D&RGW; GP-30 3028 is in the lead with 5103 a GP-7 still wearing its five yellow stipes. The two EMD units lean into it to keep its train rolling right along at the speed limit.

A few minutes later the 3028 is rolling by 8213 at East Faust.

It won't be long now before 8213 East is on its way again as the 3028 keeps its train rolling on the main.

The engineer of 8213 lays on the horn as he approaches the unguarded crossing at Sugar Factory. Its not a busy road, but an accident is just needs one careless farmer who forgets to look.

A closer view of the 8213 East as it passes the Utah Sugar plant near Hansen Jct.

Here is that farmer the enineer was looking at. He must have new batteries in his hearing aids, that or he has his grandson in the car, because it didn't take long for him to stop this time.

After the 8213 passed, Al hiked back past the hill to get a better shot of the old sugar beet plant. What's that big silver thing? Must be some kind of signal box.

Photos by Al Barnes

Russ captured this view looking west at the cement plant at Sage Creek.

A lot of power sits on the ready tracks at Moore Shops in this view looking west towards East yard. In the upper right corner, Dave Vickers brings in the "big hook" to rerail a grain car.

Engines and trains await departure from the west end of Smokey Point Yards.

After leting an east-bound BNSF manifest pass on the main, Dave Vickers brings the local power out of the siding at Sage Creek to continue his switching. The BNSF manifest is passing Faust.

Photos by Russ Ridgeway

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© Utah Free-MONov 11, 2003