I received the latest LDJ, #54 and was reading it when I came across Byron Henderson's article about cement plants. Included in it was the Monolith plant. This got me thinking about what I could do in Monolith on my own layout.
I'm sure I have a cement plant kit in all the RR crap I have and it's just a matter of finding it. But first, I need to make a track arrangement. There is no track in Monolith (on my RR) yet. So I went into the RR room last night to take some measurements and to plan what I wanted to have there.
The space available is an odd shaped space due to the fact is that Monolith sits on the outside of a curve, between the track and the backdrop. Roughly the dimensions I have to work with are about 67" by 12", with a little extra on the right and left ends due to the curvature of the track and backdrop.
The biggest challenge to having track here is that my Monolith sits between Tehachapi and Mojave and that track is on a 2% grade. So any track I lay at Monolith will be on a grade. Obviously I don't want to do that because cars will roll, I will need to build-up the scenery level to be even across the length. This should be easy with sculptamold, however, the real Monolith plant area is totally flat and level with the mainline. Gotta have give and takes somewhere!
Ok, so that's what I will do then but first I need to figure out the track and building arrangement, which I will work on.
So the photo below is of Monolith currently (blank space!) and it shows what I am working with. On the far right is the turnout that comes off the main railroad tracks for the plant. My idea is to have the track curve to the left with 2 or 3 turnouts for the service tracks at Monolith. The coal delivery track will be the rear track and extend to the far right at the backdrop.
Cars for Monolith will need to be dropped off and right now I plan to drop them off (and pick-up) on the front service track. A switcher will sort the cars and deliver to the appropriate areas of the plant. The track you see in the photo are the main lines and the third rear track is what I call the Monolith Siding. This track allows a train switching Monolith to get out of the way! No, it's not prototypical but I didn't want to cause a bottleneck either.
Oh, and I tried doing research online for info and photos of the Monolith plant but there is very little. I couldn't even find any model RR info on Monolith. I you have any photos or info, or can direct me to some good info I would appreciate the help.
Any thoughts or ideas, please feel free to email me at CPRXmodelRR@gmail.com.
Frank Kenny, CPRX Railway