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The outdoor portion of the work on the Phase II project  (the 1:29 modern trains)  ended in October, same as the year before, at the point when temperatures stayed below freezing at mid day.  This forced all remaining work indoors.  All the rail lines have been connected and the line will be fully operational in May. One new connecting segment will be added next season to enable an easier turn-around of trains without bringing them back inside the bar itself.



At present the  fleet for the Phase II segment includes one F3-A NP with a passenger consist of  NP USA aluminum coaches; an F3 A-B GN with a set of GN USA set of coaches; a GN mallet with a mixed assortment of freight cars, mostly coal hoppers; an Alaska Railroad 40-2 (custom paint) plus two AKRR SD-70 Macs (stock) and a set of FA-1-FB-1 AKRR engines along with two custom AKRR passenger cars and an assortment of freight cars; a Canadian Pacific FA-1 and FB-1 unit with a limited edition set of CP Aristocraft heavyweights plus a CP Aristocraft Pacific; a large Santa Fe USA passenger consist with an SF E-8 and an SF Dash 9; and a custom painted set of Milwaukee Road modern coaches plus the FA-B-A Aristo stock locomotive units in that paint scheme.  Additionally, in the Milwaukee paint scheme, we will be converting several heavyweights into the same stock Milwaukee colors later in the year.



The operational model trains in 2008 will be the two Great Northern ones; one of the AKRR consists; the BNSF passenger consist; and one Milwaukee Road passenger consist.



Finally, the structures so far mostly consist of kits and kit-bashes redone to fit the Cicely-NX scheme (mainly brick structures). However, several original NX-Roslyn buildings remain on the drawing board, likely to be completed before summer arrives. At this point only The Brick tavern is completed, including a full bar inside.  Several false-front structures from the Roslyn prototype will follow. The town will be quite large and very full of structures, limited only by its dedicated, covered footprint of 32 feet by 12 feet.  It will be quite a sight to behold. Trust me on that.



 



(click for larger view of model)
 

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Reference Map Showing Location of Phase II additional line, 2008
Once this extension is added, it will be possible to turn the consists around without backing up through the wye, which also means backing up into the bar.  The extension enters the western end of the Cicely model structure, passing over a 48 inch turntable pit, and ending up on the northern tracks of the Cicely model where another turn-around enables the train to return from this point back to the bar--or continue to the far-eastern end where the large turn-around loop marks the far-end of the Phase II railway.
 

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I really like The Brick, and the weathering on it. Looking forward to seeing the planned town and the other scratch structures.
 

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Thank you for the comment.


A word on the new name:





ALCANEX stands for Alaska-Canada Northern Expo Consolidated Railways System, a reference to a combination of all the road names seen above on the presumption that a rail connection between Alaska and Washington and/or Montana was fubakkt established via an extension of the B.C. rails system by means of the abandoned Cassiar railbed.


This may not be all that far-fetched. It appears that the Canadian gas line proposal has cleared the first hurdle. There is an Alaskan railroad tie-in proposal by a separate entity which assumes that such a gas line will be constructed. Ten years? Possibly so. 

And, of course, as near as I can determine, I operate THE farthest north large-scale model railroad system not just in North America, but apparently the entire world. That is, until someone in Fairbanks finally builds one. So, for the moment at least, I can claim some rather exclusive bragging rights.
 

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Above: The Brick model before being placed into winter storage. Click for larger image.
The Brick is probably the most complex structure that will ever be constructed on any of my layouts. The prototype is not as simple as it appears, with some rather odd roof angles, a variety of types of brick and plaster exterior sidings, that rise on the east side which you can see with the sloped sidewalk in this view, and interior detail I decided to add for this model only since it was the scene of so much of the action in the original NX television series.

Above: Photo I took of The Brick in Roslyn, Washington from the eastern hillside in May, 2007. Click for larger image.
There is one other major brick structure and one other stone structure prototypes remaining to be duplicated. These are the Roslyn Cafe which had the famous camel symbol on its side and the Northwestern Improvement Company building which housed KBHR with Chris in the Morning.

The remaining prototypes are all of wood construction.
 

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Posted By Richard Smith on 01/07/2008 8:13 PM
I really like The Brick, and the weathering on it. Looking forward to seeing the planned town and the other scratch structures.


I also have some kit models underway that are substantially changed from the original appearance in order to fit in with the Cicely scheme. One set of three is a Colorado model structures building that is a particularly aggrivating kit because the parts do not fit together well, but the final result is quite stunning. It is now in storage, but I will submit a picture of that one shortly.
 

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Cicely Alaska layout plan for April 2008
The light green area represents the town footprint. It is 12 feet by 32 feet.  This is entirely within the enclosed area, fully protected from precipitation and wind, but not from temperature variations. The Ouside walkway is adjacent two exterior railway lines and views the model town through the glass. Inside the structure is another parallel walkway on the north side, enabling the town to be observed from the opposite angle and without looking through the glass. This is particularly useful for visitors wishing to photograph the model.

The red line is the mainline railroad line that runs between the bar and the large turn-around loop to the east.  The black line represents the area where the Milwaukee Road and Great Northern depots will be placed. The green represents the other railroad lines which run through the north part of town. At some point a small Northern Pacific depot will be located along the far-northern rail line. The purple lines are sidewalks.

On the west end is the covered deck which features a 48 inch turntable. 

The red boxes are the brick structures. The series of brown boxes are wooden buildings--all of which have Roslyn prototypes. Most of these are false-fronted buildings from the early 1900s.  This final layout includes more buildings and other structures than are represented on this map. 
 

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East view of Cicely model structure (click):
In order to keep the weather off the structures, I had to construct yet another structure, in some ways similar to the one I built for the Kennecott model, which is visible in the background.

This one utilizes a lot of corrugated material of the same type used in some greenhouses in order to keep as much light on the model as possible.  The track grade is seven feet above ground.

The large windows face south.  The outside  walkway enables easy viewing of the model itself, which will is not yet in the building. I will begin installing the model structures sometime in late April. The second viewing point is inside the building, thus enabling a very complete view of what will turn out to be a highly detailed, very complex model of the mythical town of Cicely. From this view (click for larger image) one can see there are two tracks running outside and in front of the building.  The one closest to the building is a siding while the outside one is the mainline.

Another track will join the one on the left to complete the western-end turn-around which presently terminates at the wye.
 

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After taking this photo I added a parallel siding to the mainline. 
I am now considering placing the siding under a modified snow shed so that the train can be parked there even during the occasional heavy wind gust events which seem to spring up out of nowhere.  Such a shed, will, of course, also protect the parked train from precipitation. 

Most likely the snow shed will have a see-through plex-like roof so visitors can readily viw the parked consist.
 

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The four foot tall windows offer plenty of viewing area from both inside and outside the structure which will house the model: In the distance you can see the eastern turn-around loop (click for larger image).
The two northern rail lines are brass--remanants from the previous project.  All the newer rail is Llagas aluminum, which is highly flexible and considerably less expensive to install considering that all the locomotives are remote battery control.

The mid-rail is on the north side of the main drag, tentatively named "Copper Avenue."  The Roslyn prototype name is "Pennsylvania Avenue.  This street will be 30 inches wide, allowing plenty of room for walking right through the middle of the model.

 

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Even before I took the time to visit the actual Northern Exposure (NX) filming site of Roslyn, I had the area well mapped out. 
The Northern Pacific coal line rail bed shows up in some of the maps, so I was able to transpose its approximate location on this map.

As you see it runs one block roughly north (right) of the main street (Pennsylvania Avenue).  Most of the NX filming sites are concentrated between First and Second Street on Pennsylvania Avenue. Even in NX. the real street sign names sometimes appear.

First Street is Route 903, which runs south from Cle Elum through Roslyn and on to Lake Cle Elum which was the site for many of the outdoor NX shots such as the famous use of the trebouchet to flip Maggie's piano into the lake. 
When I finally arrived in Roslyn in late May, I was able to locate some of the old grade, but not much remains to indicate that a railroad once ran here. The old depot has become a horse barn. It looks more like it was built to be a warehouse than a depot. I will provide my own personal shots of that building along with others when I take you through the real town.

Obviously, since my model of Cicely is the centerpiece of a railroad layout, I have emphasized this aspect of the site even though elements of railroads rarely appear in the television series. I do recall one sequence where Ed Chigliak is walking down some railroad tracks which are unnamed, but use of the railroad was exceedingly rare in the series.

I, of course, took liberal use of the railroad history for the Roslyn prototype and ended up with several major railroads included in one model. I also, like any good model railroader, added a lot of extra track into a relatively small area, as you can see every time I show one of my Cicely model plans. 

My Cicely model is oriented the same way as Roslyn.
 

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Wow!

I really appreciate your guiding me to this thread. For reasons unknown I simply missed it. Waaaay to much information here at MLS so I had stepped over this gem.

You have an amazing project going there. Far, far more than I would attempt. And your Brick building is museum quality. I'm going to be dropping by quite a bit from now on.

Dave
 

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One of the problems for me is that it is difficult to do Large Scale in small scale. Thus, probably almost inevitably, I seem to have ended up with a very large project. 

The original layout, now referred to as Phase I, was the Copper River & Northwestern Railway historic model layout.  It was my extensive study of the history of Kennecott and its CRNW Railway which eventually led me into LS modelling, even though I am not really a modeller or a railroader. I put the final touches on that project in 2003, although this year I will need to go back to make some repairs and adjustments--and the make the model more view-friendly.

In any case,  in a discussion on this MLS forum one day it hit me that  I had built an obsolete model in the sense that what had started out as a project with the widest available brass curves and switches back in 1995, was now too narrow for the more modern 1:29 locomotives and longer coaches that were already in production at the time the 8-foot diameter curves were the standard. 

I had acquired several Aristocraft heavyweights that simply would not work their way through my layout without derailing at some of the switches.  Additionally, I had picked up a 40-2, fully intending to use it on this model, but it did not like the switches either.

On top of that I had acquired an Accucraft narrow gauge K-27 that definitely did not like the switches and did not look right on the track. At the time I had made no distinction between narrow gauge and what I was using, but now it became obvious.

So now I was forced to shelve these pieces--the heavyweights and the two rather expensive locomotives. The K-27 I had not only added sound and remote battery power to, but had the motor changed to work better on this system at a cost of about $350.00.

The 40-2 I had repainted into AKRR colors. I had acquired it as a remote battery operated engine with sound, so it was expensive to begin with.

The 40-2 on the shelf awaiting a more permanent home (click).
With one particular thread here on MLS it finally hit me that the only way to ever utilize these locomotives and the larger rolling stock which was not available at the time I started this project in 1995 was to build entirely new layouts that would be designed with these larger pieces in mind. 

Thus I have the mostly-completed Phase II 1:29 line, which by its nature, HAS to be large.  And I have the upcoming Phase III project which is to be specific to narrow gauge 1.20.3.  The background for that one is being discussed in a separate thread under that name "Phase III."

Getting back to Phase II, I designed it wilth an intentional minimum curve of twelve feet. Where possible, the curves are even greater. This requires a large amount of space.

On top of everything else, the Phase II line means nothing if a part of it cannot be viewed from inside the bar.  I had contemplated for some time the possibility of building a static display behind my bar and above the bottles where everyone could see it. 

In fact it is this display which is most obvious and gets the most immediate comments because the Phase I line is over head just above door and window level. The Phase I line then heads outside headed toward another building where the expansive Kennecott model is located.

But the new Phase II 1:29 line exists for the average customer who will never see the full outdoor model as a set of elevated double tracks above the bottles.  It stands out quite well.
 

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The new problem was that because I was displaying these 1:29 models above the bar as you see here, they are well above ground level.  Thus, once again I would have an elevated line--not three or four feet above the ground for ease of operation, but a full seven feet average above ground level. 
Above: One of my early consists was the Great Northern passenger trains utilizing the new USA streamlined coaches.  Before installing the new elevated rail system, I acquired the bottle rack you see below it to ensure that I had plenty of clearance for the bar business which is in reality the life-support system for my expanding model train layout.
Below:  Here you can see a couple of Santa Fe USA streamliner units with GN streamliners in the background.  Above it you can see the same CRNW ore carriers you viewed in the earlier picture of the Kennecott model.  As you can see, the initial difference in elevation between the two unconnected systems is approximately 1 1/2 feet. 
This decision to start the Phase II line inside the bar at this level would mean that I would have to develop an all new elevated train system for outdoors.   
 

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Here is a photo taken today of the double track area above the bar. Those are Aristocraft heavyweight Canadian Pacific units--part of a complete limited edition set I acquired from Art Knapp Trains in Surrey, B.C. (Click for larger image). They are occupying the rear track. No rolling stock is sitting on the front track as of yet, but that will soon change.
The trains exit through this point which is now blocked by two layers of two-inch blue foam to keep out the frigid air.  The track will be operational by some time in April.  The LGB locomotive is the tallest piece I have, so I used it to test the tunnel when I put up that tunnel face plate today. 
 

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What is the most common question I hear all winter long?

"When are you going to run the train?"

The last several winters when summer was over, so was the train operation. Maybe this winter I'll get the inside part of the CRNW one running again just to shut them up.
 

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Wow.

I'm not much of a traveler, but I have to get up there sometime and have a soda in your bar.
 

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I have many visitors who come by only to see the ever-growing outdoor model railroad.  This year the system will be running more than ever before because I have made it almost a full-time summer priority to make this a summertime attraction here in Copper Center.

I will try to have the basic system up and running well by Memorial Weekend when summer officially kicks off. 

For those who don't drink, neither do I. You have to remember that the bar is really nothing more than a life-support system for the model railroad.  Railfans should feel free to check it out without obligation.  The viewing is free, although the person who tends the facility in the daytime (not me--I'm out there working on the railroad somewhere)  really appreciates the tips he receives.  The bar is the entry point into the model railroad area.

Anyone seriously seeking to visit this area should contact me for more information before traveling in this direction. I will repeat this infornation from time to time because some will miss it. Due to the distances involved, it is important to do some special advance planning before coming up. 

--Ron in (where the h*** is) Copper Center, Alaska
 

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For those of you who have not followed this project from the beginning, I am going back to the START of Phase II to show how it developed. There is no way of my telling who has followed this because comments on this thread, for whatever reasons, have been almost non-existent. Therefore I cannot assume that the present readers are the same as the previous ones. So let us take a moment and go back to the original plans . . .
 
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