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Steve's Sn3 Alaska Pacific
Building Summit
 
 

Over the past couple of years, I have been reworking a portion of the Alaska Pacific to incorporate a mountain pass and grades that require the use of helpers on most trains.  Here's a progress report:

Glacier (Summit) April, 2018.  Alaska Pacific #43 cab hop at Glacier before the installation of the Mast Hardware, additional trees, and details to include switch-stands.
The original track plan for this part of the layout is shown on the left.   Originally, I was trying to keep the plan simple and avoid tunnels.  As a result, the plan lacked a mountain pass where there should have been one.  After the layout was fully operational, the lack of a mountain grade and the challenge of helper operations started to knaw at me.  I spent a couple of months trying to come up with a reasonable plan.  I didn't want to make any changes to Controller Bay or High Bridge and I wanted Glacier, the summit, to be easily accessible along one side of the peninsula.  Unfortunately, the only workable plan included a long stretch hidden track, on a 3.5% grade, in a loop.   Fortunately it has worked out pretty well.  The new plan is on the right.  
   
 
Track work consists of P-B-L Code 70 flex track and cork roadbed over a plywood sub-roadbed.  The turnouts were custom built using Fastrack turnout assembly fixtures.  Once the basic scenery was in place, test runs were made to insure adequate clearances.  Alaska Pacific #58 in northbound at Glacier.  The helper has cut off, crossed over, and backed into the helper pocket next to the depot.  The helper will either back down to Controller Bay and help another northbound or follow the #58 and train down to to Copper River and help the next southbound.  During this phase of testing, I discovered that the vents on PFM D&RGW passenger cars would not clear the overhead in my hidden loop.  Passenger service on the AP has been suspended until I can find substitutes..
 
The track was then masked off with painter's tape and the locations for rock molds marked on the hard-shell.  The rock work was cast in place using Hydrocal and molds from Bragdon Enterprises.  They were colored with tube acrylics, earth tones, thinned with water and alcohol.  I apply the colors while the plaster is still wet but most modelers prefer to wait for the rock molds to cure.  A final wash of diluted lamp-black brings out the detail
 
Here is the finished rock-work.  You don't want to get it to dark but it will fade some over time.
 
Initial ground cover consists of paving sand from Home Depot and a sprinkling of Woodland Scenics ground foam.  It is held in place with acrylic matt medium.  I pre-wet the ground cover with a half and half mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water using a misting spray bottle.  The matt medium was then dribbled on with a pipette.  Not the finished product but good enough to cover up the painted hard-shell.
 
Initially the right-of-way was supposed to pass through a deep cut. South of the Glacier Depot.  Unfortunately the cut didn't work out when viewed from the opposite side and a tunnel had to be substituted.  I didn't like the portal, so I covered it up with trees.
 
 
Structures at Glacier

Currently there are four structures at Glacier, the Alaska Pacific Depot (shown at right), Glacier General Store, the Union Hotel and the Mast General Store.  I haven't built any of them.   The most recent addition to Glacier is the Mast General Store.  A small outpost like Glacier would probably not have two general stores so it may have to be re-purposed, maybe to a mining supply company.  There is room for at least one more structure to the right of the Mast General Store.  It should probably be a bar or saloon.

The Glacier Depot came off Bob Christopherson's Pioche & Western.  Bob moved to Texas, but just about all of his structures found new homes here in Washington.  I think it was a mining supply office on his layout.  I originally scratch built a depot for Glacier but decided it was to large.  I tried other structures for a month or two but this one kept finding its way back...  so it stayed.
 
The Glacier General Store and attached log house were built by Curtis Rhoades.  Curtis built the structure according to the plans I provided and it is shown on the left in its original configuration.  Recently, I rebuilt the front by installing a taller false front wall and a new corrugated metal roof over the front porch.  I will probably have to replace the roofing material on the log house and addition as it is starting to lift off the roof.
 
The Union Hotel came from Paul Scholes Pelican Bay Railway & Navigation Company; the Mast General store came from Bill Scheef's Wind River Railway.
 
Glacier as of 7/14/18
 

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