Rainier Great Western Railway & Navigation Company

The Route of the Thunderbird


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The Home and Design of the RGW....

This Page Currently Under Construction (Literally)

Train Room (Shell)  -  Train Room (Interior)  -  Layout Design

Layout Construction:  (click on pictures for full view)

October 2011:  

It has been almost three years since my last update of this website and I would like to apologize for those who repeatedly came back looking for new info only to find the same old stuff here time after time.  I will endeavor to update more often, but time will tell.

In brief, I have agreed to put the RGW on two layout tours in the Spring of 2012, first, the National Narrow Gauge Convention is coming to Seattle, so we agreed to put the railroad on the layout tour.  Second, since we had agreed to the former, what was one more tour, so we agreed to being a part of the spring layout tour of the local NMRA 4th Division.

So that said, we went to a regular work night; Tuesdays, and have been fortunate that a number of great guys and quality model railroaders have agreed to help me get this railroad up to layout tour quality.  We won't be finished, that's for certain, but with the progress we've made so far, I am very encouraged we will have something to show off come May. 

I can't hardly remember where we left things on the last update, so a quick tour and some thoughts on where we are going will do for now.  In the early stages of building the RGW we made a conscious decision to only build about 2/3 of the benchwork.  The reasoning was it would be a royal pain to walk around the front tables while we worked on the rest of the layout.  At this point, that front table (from the southeast corner to the helix) remains on the drawing board only.  We did insert a temporary return loop in the SE corner, but that will come out.

So where we stand today is that the entire trackwork of the rest of the layout is in and working.  Electrically we are sound and the Lenz DCC system works perfectly.  We are completing the installation of the switch controls (all Tortoise switch machines are in) but otherwise we have a working railroad.  The task now is to get item in their place, scenery, buildings, bridges, etc.  The real goal, make the RGW a railroad and not a glorified Plywood Pacific.  Here are some pics, check the captions for details.  Until next time, thanks again for checking in.

Looking at Franklin, where we will have a modern flood loader.   Another view of Franklin, when scenicked, you will see Mt. Rainier (as you do here) only through a closer mountain range.   Green River Gorge Bridge, built by Mike Petty and Doug Thorne, towners over Green River Gorge on way from Blalck Diamond to Franklin.   A look down the North wall toward Black Diamond.  Foam is going in to create landforms, including a large rock cut.

Shot of Black Diamond.  Small mining town that is hme to the John Henry Mine, which we have depicted with a kitbashed Walthers kit.   John Henry Mine in Black Diamond is a kitbashed New River Mine kit from Walthers.  The conveyor will extend into a mountain along the back wall.   The Junction at Henry's.  Trains can come from Black Diamond and run through the modern flood loader in Franklin, and then depart through BNSF tracks to points east.  Notice that the tracks become concrete as they pass to BNSF.   The "blob" as we call it, has its fascia in place.  We will have a scenicked cut through so the operator and visitors can see trains run through the second tier of track which is covered for several feet, for at least a few moments.

More to come soon.  I may take the time to post some layout comparison shots, what it was in the early days of construction and what it is today.  Stay tuned.


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